How to generate leads with Internet (B2B) Marketing? 4 Strategic Tips
What is the difference between Industrial marketing and marketing? Industrial marketing is part of the overall marketing. Industrial marketing marks the relation between businesses (and that is why it falls into B2B marketing) rather than between businesses and end consumers. The basics between B2B and B2C marketing are the same, but there are some differences in the strategies of both. Communicating to a business is different than communicating to a consumer. Normally, when communicating with a company, many people are involved in the process and decision-making is slower.
The term ‘Industrial marketing’ has started being actively used from communication professionals in the past 2 to 3 years. One can even say that industrials are still opening to the online way of communication. Most of the companies now have websites, but they rarely succeed in using it in a way that it will generate high amount of leads. How do prospects/clients find you? Does your website introduce you in a proper way? Many B2B businesses are still trying to answer these questions. This is why, in this article, we have provided some strategic tips that you might find quite handy.
WHEN IT COMES TO ONLINE: WHICH CHANNELS TO USE?
Internet marketing is an ocean of things by itself. There are many channels available to reach the desired audience. Here comes also the main difference between B2C and B2B – in the channels used and the way these channels are used.
Online marketing channels and tools suitable for B2B communication are:
4 STRATEGIC TIPS TO SUCCEED IN THE ONLINE WORLD
Create a website, which is a content hub
Your website should be nothing like “Come here. This is my product. Are you buying?”. In our times where nothing on the market is new anymore, it is hard to surprise a customer or a prospect with an amazing product. Let alone if we are talking about B2B where – as we mentioned before – there are many opinions coming into play before the close of the deal.
What you should have on your website is useful for your customer information. (By the way, this is also something for the B2C businesses). The content that you have on your website should be answering questions, such as “Why do we sell/make these certain products?”, “What do we believe in?”, “How do we make them?” etc. In this way, it is easier to create a unique selling point (USP).
So, make your content useful and creative via articles, e-books, corporate videos, team presentations, whitepapers, etc.
Make your customers identify themselves
In order to be able to perfectly target your content, it will be great to have some more information about your customers. How do you do that? By including a section with content which is accessible only after registration. (This is again a tip for B2C too) Usually with the B2B businesses, these will be their partners, retailers and other parties.
You can also hear the term ‘gated content’, which is basically content accessible only after providing more information about yourself. In this case, this information can include number of employees, position in the company, annual turnover, etc. This is a very smart strategy employed by many websites. Such a strategy will help you pinpoint your customer and easily create your buyer persona. And ones you can envision the person across, is it not going to be easier to offer the content they need?
In our case of industrial, or simply B2B, communication, the (gated) content provided should include things like video explanations of how the product works, manuals, visuals, any kind of material a retailer might need to promote your product, 3D visualisations, latest product and company updates, etc. Pay a lot of attention to the visuals and video content. These can make a very big difference in your professional look.
Generate leads from social media
As mentioned above, your website is your content HUB. This means more or less every channels should be leading to your website. And this is how you create leads.
Therefore, social media should be used for lead generation. Yes, but which of the many social networks available out there should you use? Well, with B2B this is much simple than with B2C. When it comes to industrials – even more! Industrials are not that open yet to social networks (according to the research made by Translas throughout businesses around the world). They mostly like to use LinkedIn and YouTube! These are the top two. They really like to see videos and almost all managers, sales representatives, directors, CEOs, etc. are findable on LinkedIn. Therefore, as a manager or sales representative, you should definitely extend your LinkedIn network and join various groups over there.
Another useful channel is Twitter. This channel is mainly used by those who are either very keen on social media (and are small companies) or those who can allow to hire staff or an agency to do their online/social media marketing.
What about Facebook? Yes, Facebook you can also use. However, in the B2B world Facebook is good for putting your name out there and getting closer to the end consumer and see what they like. This can also be useful in maybe developing your next product or just to see the reactions of the end user on your existing or newest products. But, then act like you are a person and not a business.
Use actively email marketing
This seems quite obvious, does not it? But do you do it the right way? Your email marketing can also generate leads to your website. The tailored content you have already created and placed on your website can be disseminated also through an e-newsletter sent out to your existing database. Show off with what you’ve got! There is always something you can write about. The only trick here is to make it both look and sound interesting.
To make it simple, this is how your strategy should look like:
This is, of course, oversimplification of the online marketing. As we said before, there are many things to consider, also referral traffic is very important (where leads come from other websites). Anyhow, it is a good base to understand the big picture.
“Online marketing in the B2B Industrial business” by Lora Zayn, Bachelor research for the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, 2013