Marketing is a very complex part of business and can take a lot of practice. With this practice, there can be a lot of mistakes that can greatly affect the results of a campaign. In this article, we have covered 5 B2B marketing mistakes that could affect your marketing strategy.
#1 - Pitching Immediately After Connecting on Social Media.
If there is one thing that grinds the gears of everyone on LinkedIn, it's when they get pitched to immediately after connecting with another user. If you are on LinkedIn, you have more than likely received one of these messages. They typically open with “Hi, thanks for connecting with me…” and then go straight into a pitch about their products or services and why you should buy them. This approach to social media marketing is rarely effective and results in more disengagement than engagement.
LinkedIn is all about building your network of professional connections and expanding your B2B audience. What is the point in building an audience just to pitch to every new connection and annoy them into disengaging? Using LinkedIn to post relevant, valuable posts and content is a far more effective way of building an engaged audience who see you as a leading figure in your industry.
Taking the other approach, and posting solely about your offerings is not going to get much attention from your audience either. That is why it’s best to create a limit. Say for every eight posts, one of them promotes your products or services. That way you have provided seven valuable posts that have gained a lot of engagement from your audience, and they will be more acceptant to your marketing.
Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t promote your offerings or include CTAs in your other posts because after all the main objective of marketing is to convert your audience into customers. Just make sure you are not forcing your marketing down your audience’s throats; make it subtle and natural. Include call to actions at the bottom of your articles, ask your audience to share your videos and infographics if they found them useful, and ask them to comment if they have anything to add to the topic or have any questions.
#2 - Targeting the Wrong Audience.
Ensuring you identify the right target audience is a crucial aspect of running any successful marketing campaign. Making sure that you understand the different market sectors and how your offering could benefit them is an important step when considering what type of marketing would be most beneficial for the business.
In a lot of cases, many companies do not dedicate enough time researching this aspect, leading them to unsuccessful campaigns. One example of this is B2B vs B2C. If your company’s proposition can be offered directly to consumers as well as businesses, does that mean you should combine them into the same strategy to go to market? No! This is a common mistake and takes us back to simple sales skills.
The buying cycles of a consumer are entirely different from the buying cycle of a business, no matter the business size. This is all down to emotion. Understanding this at even a very basic level will immediately make it clear that a different approach is critical for success.
Another point to mention is that if you have multiple clients from the same sector, then it shows you that your offering is well suited to that audience. Creating marketing collateral that focuses on that sector will help you leverage your strengths and expand your client base.
Create landing pages just for that audience, ask your current clients for testimonials and if they are happy to be used in a case study, build emails specifically for that sector. Doing this for all of your target markets will help you tailor your marketing to each sector and improve your results.
#3 - Using the Wrong Methods.
Spending all that time researching your target sectors and creating all the necessary resources needed to reach them, will be wasted if you are not using the correct methods to engage with them.
Part of your market research should be identifying which marketing methods and approach would be most effective to reach your target audience. Without doing this research, you could be putting in a lot of effort in the wrong place to reach your audience.
At Inspired B2B Marketing, for example, we work with a lot of businesses related to the care and health industries. If we started using Snapchat and Instagram in an attempt to reach prospects in the care industry, we are not going to see much or any engagement from the desired audience. Instead, using telemarketing, email marketing and business sites such as LinkedIn, we would see far better results.
If you have multiple target sectors and audiences within them, make sure that you know the differences between them, and which methods are more suited to engagement with the individual audiences.
#4 - Not Qualifying Your Leads.
When you are looking to convert any leads that you have, make sure that they reach the qualification criteria for your needs and goals. If you are not qualifying your leads, you could be wasting time by focusing on chasing up and pitching to prospects that are outside your target market and do not fit the criteria of your ideal customer. Working with these unqualified customers may bring you far beyond your comfort zone and into new markets that you have little experience of. Working in an environment you are not familiar with could result in a lower quality outcome, which may have an adverse effect on recommendations and customer feedback.
If these customers then choose to share their experience with other companies whether it be leaving a review or taking to social media, it could end up harming your professional reputation and could make it harder for you to move into those markets further down the line.
Qualifying your leads helps to ensure that you are not wasting time when it comes to marketing. This, in turn, will give you more time to focus on well-suited opportunities for your business.
#5 – Ignoring SEO.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a vital way of increasing your website traffic and getting your website to the top of search engine results pages. Many businesses use PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising to instantly get to the top of search results with certain keywords. They believe that substituting SEO for PPC is more beneficial in the long run, but they could be getting a lot more relevant traffic to their website, for a fraction of the cost by using SEO.
Sure, PPC gives more instantaneous results; however, PPC campaigns are a quick fix to search engine marketing and do not provide the full value that SEO can. With SEO, patience is key. Getting a few backlinks is not going to push you to the top of search engines within a week, no matter how little competition your keywords have.
Also, if you were to pay for a PPC campaign for each keyword related to your business, you would be spending a tremendous amount on PPC alone, more so if you are attempting to rank for high competition keywords. Using long-tail SEO, you can rank for a wider range of keywords that have low competition, and depending on your approach, it can be free!
Yes, SEO is difficult and requires a great deal of effort, but it is generally more cost-effective at delivering relevant traffic to your site in comparison to PPC and other marketing tactics.
To recap, when connecting with your audience for the first time on social media, ensure that you are doing so in a way that will be valuable to them and give them a more positive outlook on your business. When conducting any marketing campaigns, be sure to understand who your audience is, and the best way to reach them. Once you have generated leads, be sure to qualify them to ensure that you are getting the most from your marketing. When executed correctly, SEO can be the primary tool for directing relevant and valuable traffic to your website and can be a lot cheaper than methods such as PPC.