In a perfect world, businesses across Australia would have access to the means to perform high-quality, efficient B2B digital marketing practices regularly. However, if this last year is anything to go by, for many finances are tight and extra time is non-existent. This means business leaders are faced with the tough choice of where to invest their resources.
The reality is that many small B2B businesses can’t afford outsourced marketing functions – or professional in-house teams – due to low revenue and the need to be cautious with expenditure. For these businesses, many are moving towards undertaking their own marketing activities.
The problem with DIY B2B digital marketing
While it’s great that businesses are taking the initiative to fill the marketing gaps in their operations, it’s incredibly easy to use wrong or advanced tactics that waste resources on something that won’t add value to the business.
It can also be hard to know what those tactics are.
In our professional opinion, there are two tactics businesses should avoid when doing their own B2B digital marketing:
1. Email nurture
This is a great way to push out valuable insights to an established audience, but businesses need a lot of content and a large existing audience for this to be effective. This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t be writing blogs (as you’ll see later), but that investing time in pushing content like blogs to an email list is not recommended.
2. Google Ads
While this is an excellent tool on paper, setting up a campaign with little knowledge or direction is an easy way to waste a lot of money and not get any particularly valuable outcomes as a result.
Unless you have the time to do the initial leg work and training (and let’s be honest, who does?), these tactics aren’t going to deliver a return for you. To start, it’s best to start on high-return, low-effort tactics.
The foundations of B2B digital marketing
Every business needs to have several foundations in place to grow its marketing. Implementing these will set best practices to help them draw value down the line.
Foundation One: Track your opportunities
Instead of investing in CRM tactics when you don’t have the knowledge or time to set aside, put together an opportunity tracker spreadsheet to fill with useful information, including:
- Company name
- Opportunity name
- Lead source
- The date that your prospect reaches each stage in the buyer’s journey
The value of this information is not immediate by any means. Still, by documenting the steps in your prospect’s buying process, you can use this information to draw incredible calculations and insights down the line. Insights that could make significant changes to your bottom line, and it won’t cost you a cent!
Foundation Two: Build your contacts
This might be obvious to some, but you really should be connecting with everyone you know. This tactic doesn’t just apply to LinkedIn. Your Outlook should also have as many contacts as possible.
Why? Because building a healthy list of contacts gives you a base of people to reach out to down the line and share your value with, which leads me to the next foundation.
Foundation Three: Blog regularly
Do you have expert insights on the topic relevant to your industry? Then you should probably be sharing them.
This can be long or short-form content; the important thing is that you post as often as possible – preferably weekly – on your website and company LinkedIn to encourage organic inbound and drive engagement with your brand.
To maximise the reach of your content marketing, share your blog posts on your personal profiles and reach your extended network. If you have a good story to tell or a useful piece of information, the chances are that others will want to read it.
Speaking of telling a story, this next foundation is all about the why of your business.
Foundation Four: Tell a persuasive story and lead with the ‘why’
Imagine you’re visiting the website of a business you know next to nothing about. Even If you knew very little about their products/services, you would still want it to make sense.
When setting up your website, you want to tell a compelling story to your prospects instead of blatantly selling to them. By selling people on your beliefs, they may find that you hold the solution to their problems without shoving it in their face.
There’s a great talk on this by Simon Sinek called ‘Start with why’. In his speech, Simon emphasises that people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. This mindset is used by some of the most successful companies on the planet, such as Tesla. Why does it work? Because your prospects will see how strongly you feel about what you do, and chances are they will consider supporting you as a result.
Think about this when you next go to meet with a potential client. Don’t go in from a pure product/service offerings perspective, but focus on your story. Your aim should be for them to leave the meeting knowing that their problem is something that you could maybe fix better than anybody else.
Extracting long-term value from marketing foundations
Utilising these foundations in your B2B digital marketing will allow you to set up a framework from which you can continue to build. Some additional tactics you can implement after putting the work in on your foundations include:
Joining LinkedIn groups and sharing advice with people regularly – Again, don’t try to sell your product/service. Sharing your expertise is more likely to organically bring people over to your channels if you are helpful.
Outbound cold calls to your known connections – Go through your contact list and call everyone you know. You don’t have to start a conversation about how you can help them. Think of it more as a catch up in which you can ask how their current needs are being met. 99 out of 100 times they will tell you they’re fine, but the occasional lead or referral makes this effort a worthwhile sales tactic.
While doing your own marketing may not be enough on its own, these preparatory tactics will plant the seeds for long-term future value. There is also the added benefit of preparing your business for when you are ready to outsource your marketing.
The best part about these B2B digital marketing tactics is that they’re low-cost, time-efficient ways of building up your company’s why. Having the data and contacts gathered earlier, in addition to the content and consistent story you are crafting will give you a sea of information to work with and attain value from in the years to come.