When it comes to marketing, building solid relationships with customers and clients is the key to success. The problem is, most advice related to building relationships doesn’t focus on the unique needs and strategies required to build strong relationships in the B2B market. You’ve likely heard “Customers don’t buy from companies, they buy from people” – but what happens when you are marketing your brand to another company?
B2B is still P2P (People to People). The bigger the deal size, the more people tend to be involved in the decision and not all of them may have the same priorities.
Here are 6 proven marketing tactics that work for B2B sales:
1. Create High-Quality Content
Creating high-quality content is one of the most basic methods of building relationships in any sector. High-value information that helps businesses make decisions is one way to do this. Besides blogging, here are some other great content ideas:
- Mention your clients or partners and highlight their success in a positive way. This can be done through case studies or examples of successful ad campaigns.
- Create a roundup of expert quotes about your industry and ask your client’s CEO or Director of Marketing to contribute. The benefits of this are two-fold – it builds up good will with your client, and it also makes it more likely they will share your content, which increases your brand reach.
- Make your clients famous. I recently put one of my clients, Trevor McCandless from FusionCPA, on the cover of SmallBizMagazine. I am now Trevor’s Mom’s best friend. There are pictures of Trevor’s magazine cover all over the state of Florida.
2. Stay Engaged on Social Media
Social media is above all social. When your clients or partners share their own content on LinkedIn or Facebook, take the time to share it or leave a thoughtful comment. This will help create a spirt of reciprocity, and also increase your brand’s visibility to others in the same sector. Just be sure you keep it positive and stay away from comments or topics that might be considered controversial.
3. Use LinkedIn
Most of the really successful sales people I know are great at using LinkedIn for prospecting and data mining. They don’t use it for selling. LinkedIn can be great for building a constant stream of leads if you know how to use it. At Kazmania, we use strategies developed by Josh Turner from LinkedSelling.
4. Invite Your Partners To Speak in Presentations
This is a common practice by some of the biggest names in tech and business, and it is a great way to expand the reach of your partners. For example, Steve Jobs made a habit of introducing CEOs of companies related to Apple when they had presentations about new products. LG, Microsoft, and even Samsung also do this. When you are working as a partner with another business, it makes sense to share the spotlight of success. For example, if you have a yearly holiday party where top management gives speeches about new initiatives, stake holder meetings, or at announcements of new products or service lines. Sharing the spotlight for just a few minutes can help solidify your relationship with the other company, and also serves as a showing of strength by highlighting the caliber of brands you partner with.On a smaller scale, you can include their logos in external presentations and mention the partnership. This might seem small, but it can have an important impact on your relationship.
5. Leverage Content Recommendation
Content recommendation is a type of advertisement that is on your website in a natural way. You often see these recommendations at the bottom of articles you read on Facebook or other social sites. These types of ads generally have a similar tone to your own website and should offer value to your readers. Be careful not to use these ads in a way that ‘tricks’ the readers. Often, they won’t realize they are ads, which can make them more likely to click on them. However, if it takes them to a poorly designed landing page or spammy looking site, that will reflect poorly on your brand. Make sure you only recommend valuable, relevant content.
6. Use Integrated Mobile Application Ads
Between Google announcing mobile-first indexing and the massive increase in mobile usage, mobile applications and ads have become an extremely popular way to advertise. For example, let’s say your client develops a gaming application – and some of these games get thousands of downloads. Sponsoring a section of their game can help you reach a very targeted group of users.
This can be as simple as having your business name show up on a billboard in a driving game to sponsoring an entire application so your ad shows before they can use their free white noise machine. Obviously, how you can do this will vary greatly by your industry, but it is a highly underutilized area of advertisement. In addition to providing your partner with a bit of revenue, you can target an audience that is directly interested in your product or service. It is also a great way to build a better relationship with your client.
B2B marketing and relationship building is difficult, but not impossible. By taking the time to build real relationships and offer your partners and clients true value, you can increase your reach and – in the end- improve sales. Stop letting B2B hold you back and start leveraging your unique position and these B2B marketing tips to create relationships that matter with partners and clients.