Businesses use marketing strategies as an effective way to generate leads and drive success. Creating successful marketing strategies will help you understand who buys your products, where those products are bought, and who your competitors are.
Marketing Strategies: What are they? How are they helpful?
Marketing strategies are part of the larger marketing plan. They work together to reach all customers within your target market, whether that’s new or existing.
The marketing plan defines broader marketing goals to streamline business activity. The marketing strategies start to break down different components of that bigger plan, and the marketing tactics explain exactly how those goals will be reached. Read below to better understand the difference between these three marketing initiatives and how they intersect.
All your marketing initiatives make up your marketing plan. The marketing plan outlines your overarching marketing strategy. This includes campaigns you will run, goals for projects, and research that has gone into your planning. A marketing plan should define your target market(s) and the KPIs you’re going to use to measure the success of your campaigns.
Marketing strategies are plans for how specific goals from the marketing plan will be accomplished. For example, if part of your marketing plan is to promote a new product or service, a strategy for that promotional effort may be an email or social media campaign. Several marketing strategies will be necessary to support the broader goals of your marketing plan.
While marketing plans and strategies explain what is going to happen, marketing tactics help determine how you will accomplish it. The tactics reflect exactly what you will do to get the desired outcomes. So, let’s go back to our example of promoting a new product or service. If one of our strategies is email marketing, a tactic related to that strategy would be sending four emails per week to the target audience.
Effective B2B Marketing Strategies
Whether your business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategies are aiming to increase brand awareness, boost website traffic, or electrify sales leads, here are the top B2B strategies businesses are relying on in 2022:
#1 Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing strategies are ways of pulling customers in, and ultimately increasing sales. Inbound marketing helps people solve problems, answer questions, and build connections – all while positioning your brand as a trusted expert.
Blogs are a good example of an effective inbound marketing strategy. As business users scour the internet for helpful articles, relevant blog posts surface. Posts that match the users’ search terms and interests provide a unique opportunity for brands to connect and deliver meaningful insights. That’s what makes inbound marketing so powerful. In 2022 and beyond, inbound marketing will continue to thrive.
#2 Content Marketing
Creating content to draw customers in is known as content marketing, and it’s part of a broader inbound strategy. Content marketing utilizes assets like blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, podcasts, and videos to build interest and reach potential buyers at different stages of their buyer’s journey. Content marketing builds authority and trust with your audience and allows you to grow to your fullest potential.
In a 2021 Content Preferences Survey, 32% of respondents felt overwhelmed by the amount of content out there, BUT they also noted that they consume 3-5 pieces of content before interacting with a vendor. Keep this in mind as you generate your content marketing plans. It's not about creating one blog post or video! Content marketing requires multiple touchpoints to convert.
#3 Social Media Marketing
Consistently publishing content across social media platforms increases your chances of a sale and can also boost your website traffic. Content that is engaging for your customers builds brand awareness and keeps them connected.
When someone follows your brand on social media, they see your brand more consistently, and this recognition increases the chance of a sale. Social media marketing “humanizes” products and can spark conversions. In fact, 54% of social media users use social platforms to search products and brands, and 89% of buyers will purchase from the pages they follow.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of utilizing specific tasks to rank your website higher within search engines (ex: Google). Keywords, website load time, images, product descriptions, and other SEO initiatives continue to be crucial for B2B companies in 2022.
Getting SEO right should be a top priority within your digital marketing strategies, especially when it comes to content creation and inbound marketing. SEO is effective because:
- It is always evolving
- It simplifies searches for customers
- It is a cost-effective way to stay relevant
This long-term strategy will help users as they navigate through your pages and will make it easier to find your content.
78% of customer leads generated are from B2B referrals. Referrals are great ways to bring attention to your brand without you directly marketing to them. Offering incentives to existing customers is a common way for brands to increase their referrals. These incentives—whether a discount on their next purchase or another type of reward—help generate purchases.
Referrals are effective because they:
- Allow for positive word-of-mouth marketing
- Lead to new customers
- Can produce more referrals
- Can increase closing rates
#6 Conversational Marketing
Real-time communication with customers is important for overall engagement. Chatbots or live chats put communication pathways at their fingertips, and especially due to the global epidemic of the past few years, this access-point is a must-have.
90% of customers prefer messaging over submitting a form because it's fast and conversations feel more authentic. People are answering fewer phone calls, so communicating through messaging is an important outlet to create that personalized experience in 2022.
#7 Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Personalized, strategic campaigns that focus on targeted accounts make up account-based marketing. ABM provides sales and marketing teams with:
- Improved optimization
- Better reporting
- Increased engagement
- Higher ROI
Part of an effective ABM strategy involves using cookies to understand where users are spending their time. Retargeting can use those cookies to seek out potential customers based on their previous internet behavior. However, it’s getting more and more difficult to use ABM strategies like cookies to retarget customers. B2B marketers will be forced to reevaluate their approach to ABM as third-party cookies are phased out in 2022.
As a B2B marketer, generating leads is important. But it's most crucial to generate the RIGHT leads. A marketing plan, backed by solid marketing strategies and tactics, is a blueprint for building initiatives that have impact and longevity. These marketing strategies represent some of the most effective approaches to B2B marketing.
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