There’s a big difference between what B2B marketers are using in their marketing programs and what is effective. Here are three things you need to act on to increase your marketing results.
A survey conducted in 2014 called the 2015 B2B Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends in North America by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs provided lists of what tactics B2B marketers used and what they found most effective. The survey results showed that B2B marketers still use tactics that are not that effective.
At the top of the list for tactics used were 1.) social media (other than blogs), 2.) eNewsletters, 3.) articles posted on the website, 4.) blog posts, 5.) in-person events and 6.) case studies. The most effective tactics were 1.) in-person events, 2.) webinars, 3.) videos, 4.) blog posts, 5.) case studies, and 6.) whitepapers.
What does this mean for B2B marketers?
1. Revisit your eNewsletter – it’s a push-marketing tactic
According to the survey, eNewsletters are the number 2 tactic used by B2B marketers, but they rank 8th in terms of effectiveness. I think that this is because eNewsletters have existed for so long, backed by email utility companies that have trained marketers on how to use them and measure results. It’s hard to let go when you have a marketing tactic like an eNewsletter up and running. But think about it. Our prospects’ email inboxes are overflowing with spam.
eNewsletters are an intrusive, push marketing tactic. (Unless they’re good! Read my blog posts on eNewsletters for tips on how to improve yours.) People want information when they are ready to buy, not when you want to sell. That means webinars (#2 most effective), videos (#3), blog posts (#4) and case studies (#5) are a better use of your time than eNewsletters. Consider moving to a less-frequent newsletter and use it to summarize your marketing activities and share the culture and personality of your business.
2. Use storytelling distributed on social media to “pull” buyers
Use webinars, videos, blog posts, articles and case studies to connect with buyers when they are ready. This is the law of attraction in action! Your great content in the forms just mentioned exist on social media platforms and on your website. Social media messaging and a great optimized website the content in circulation so that buyers find them when they are searching, look you up and take action by downloading more or contacting you.
3. Build your pipeline and offer in-person events mid- or bottom-of-the-funnel
In-person is the number 1 most effective B2B marketing tactic. You will have to do a lot of hard work to get people at the top of the funnel (see my post about Funnel Marketing here) to an in-person event that you host. If you piggy-back on an existing event such as a trade show or conference, you have more of a chance of getting people in the room. If the people you are targeting are warm leads – in other words they have read your stuff, downloaded the case studies or other materials – you’ll have an easier time signing them up.
If your business is larger and you have built your pipeline, you’ll be able to more easily afford in-person events. If you’re a smaller business, in-person events may not seem cost effective. But, let’s think about how we define in-person events. Is Skype and “in-person event”? For some it’s the next best thing to being there. And/or, can you be a speaker at existing conferences where your prospects go? Exhibit at the conference?
Are you doing the right marketing, to the right people, getting the right results? Contact New Incite today. We can analyze your existing marketing and provide recommendations (“new incite”) for how to change it to get better results.