Getting attention of a B2B customer and converting them to leads is a long process and therefore requires immense amount of patience. No marketer has a lot of time to invest on one online campaign because this format of advertising is meant to drive faster results.
A B2B client’s decision making time is way longer than B2C customers. However, this main point is often overlooked by most marketers while designing campaigns.
More than —here’s your product on x% discount & get it before it ends— approach, B2B customers need to be educated & informed. Along with marketing efforts, you will also have to invest a lot of time in getting to know your prospects.
So how do you capture your prospects as leads & ultimately acquire them as customers?
Study existing customers to build look alike prospect groups
After the success of custom audience campaigns, Facebook launched look alike audiences. This allowed advertisers to target an audience that had similar interests and profiles. This new format increased the targeting universe for advertisers & ended up giving a better conversion rate.
We can learn from this.
Start by studying your existing customers’ online behavior. You should know which medium they are more responsive on and where do they spend time. This will give you a working blueprint of areas that are hot for leads & areas that require additional effort. This will also help you develop distinct tactics for every platform.
Identify & segment target groups by interests & profiles
While segmenting audiences for an online campaign, most advertisers start segmenting by age groups, devices, location, language and maybe profession. Very few focus on segmenting audience basis their interests.
By interests we don’t mean putting all interests together.
Create different sets of interests.
If you’re a company with software solutions for automobiles, power, gas then make separate segments for each industry. Avoid an umbrella campaign which has a broader object. That mostly won’t work to drive a B2B revenue.
One stop Landing Page
This is a no brainer. But a lot of B2B companies do not invest in creating online assets. They believe (and we don’t blame them) that their customers would not want to decide a purchase without an actual face to face meeting & that’s why according to them the whole point of creating a landing page is a waste of money.
For long lasting gains you must build one landing page with short & most relevant information that would give the most important message without getting your prospects lost on your page & a short lead form that would capture only the most important information.
Having an online microsite is convenient and avoids the long process of setting up meetings or calls that may even lead to you losing your prospect to a faster company.
Put paid search at the top of the table
Search campaigns are the most effective. Slightly expensive than other models but it is the only method that converts a genuine intent into a customer faster. Important point to note; you must always optimize your campaigns for conversions.
CPC model is quite popular & cheaper. But of your end objective is to get conversions then why waste time and effort on clicks?
The more money you save by getting cheap clicks gets spent while converting that into a lead. Instead, optimize your lead gen campaign for conversion only. This way your conversion will increase & you’ll get a better deal because you won’t waste any media money.
Drive more of content marketing through social media
Social media is largely used to get attention of customers and engage with them. B2B is a hard audience to break into & even harder to have them perform an action. You can only get to them by educating them on every platform.
1) Use Facebook for informational content & also promote the same wherever necessary
2) Use Twitter for publishing press related information and news about the company and its stakeholders
3) Use LinkedIn for sharing whitepapers and case studies
4) Use Instagram for sneak peak into your offices, work culture & employee lifestyle
Dedicated customer service from day one
A dedicated customer service must be set up from day one of your campaign. For a simple reason that once a lead opportunity is lost for a B2B business it is difficult to retrieve. And you don’t want to lose a lead due to availability of a contact id or a toll free number.
Always have your customer service toll free number or email id on the same landing page so your prospect knows where to reach you in case they have more questions.
Build influencers out of stakeholders
The best influencers are the unpaid influencers who take genuine interest in your business and use their own views to leverage your business abilities. This scenario is not very common though. It will happen to only the best of companies who keep their customers happy.
In the meantime, companies should get their top management to use their social profiles to talk about their business, company goals and use it to show what they stand for. Influencer activity can be extended to various stakeholders as well.
Don’t drop out of the race just because you don’t see results in the beginning. Keep in touch with your lead till it converts into a customer.