What are the top 10 modern b2b marketing best practices?
Hello! Thanks for your question regarding the top 10 modern B2B marketing best practices! In short, the top 10 modern B2B marketing best practices are: utilizing content marketing and account-based marketing techniques, creative B2B-focused social media strategies, use of marketing automation software, finding customers' pain points, not badgering prospective customers, switching to a multi-touch market attribution platform, combining marketing and HR principles to formulate employer branding and recruitment marketing, and being creative when it comes to utilizing forms. In order to find your answer, we combed through corporate websites, industry reports, and trusted media sites. The two most useful sources we found were CirclesStudio and the CMO slideshow. You will find a deep dive of our findings below!
METHODOLOGY In order to answer your question, we analyzed preexisting lists of B2B best practices for marketing, and noted any crossover within these lists. We used instances of crossover to help determine which practices were "top" and combined them to formulate a list specifically for you. To ensure the practices we provide you with are "modern," we have gathered information only from sources that are recent (no more than 2 years). We did not come across any information which tied the insurance technology industry/companies directly to B2B marketing best practices, however we were able to come across some information which alludes to the general technology field, which we believe may be helpful to you. We have woven this information throughout this response, so you will find several nods to tech-related companies and practices within the bullet points and examples. Since you did not go into detail regarding any preferred content you would like included within the bullet points, we decided to focus bullet points around content which is aimed at helping a business implement these best practices, as well as information regarding the current use of these practices. We included any relevant examples for specific practices where they applied. We have also included a section in this response which outlines some additional information we felt may be useful to you for the purposes of formulating your presentation. Also, because our research returned such an enormous wealth of information, you may enjoy browsing through the sources provided in order to gain even further insight into this topic. Below is a list of the top 10 modern B2B marketing best practices, along with 3-4 bullet points for each, including any relevant examples;
- According to the Content Marketing Institute, there is a "95% content marketing adoption rate among B2B marketers."
-Modern content marketing should be data driven, as "data allows for new types of creativity and insights on IT buyers and helps brands acquire new audiences."
- "For most B2B tech companies, creating content is a low priority. Most individuals like to be involved in deal flow. Content marketing is left to small marketing teams with limited budgets. This results in content that is not aligned to business strategy and market positioning."
-"Marketing and communications should be integrated to bring people, processes, and products together to deliver content marketing. Together, these departments should aim to create original content so as to gain credibility among the industry."
Example: "Deloitte's expertise. Deloitte is a Boston-based consultancy firm with services that include auditing, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax. The company works with a massive cross-section of industries, from government agencies to life sciences. At Deloitte, their knowledge is their selling point, so creating informed, useful content is core to their marketing strategy. Deloitte has long-published how-to guides and helpful resources based on their expertise, but recently they've upped the strength and gravitas of their analysis."
2. ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING -Account-Based Marketing has been shown to get "3X the response rate and 2X the conversion rate that a regular marketing campaign does."
-"Research from Demandbase found that when firms leveraged ABM, it resulted in a 285% higher close rate for targeted enterprise accounts, and a 166% higher close rate for mid-market accounts."
- "The heart of an ABM strategy is a close collaboration and alignment with a firm’s sales and business development efforts."
Example: Influitive utilized a highly-creative ABM marketing campaign and found success - "[We sent] packages with positive online reviews, but this time we put them inside pinatas that were filled with candy. We also switched up our messaging a bit by adding some social proof from one of our advocates, Amy Rosenberg. She shared a personal testimony about her success with our platform and offered to speak with them via email. We thought this added a nice human element to the campaign. Results: After sending the “pinata-grams” we had a 36% response rate along with a 3.4% sales-qualified opportunity rate—one of our highest yet! Lesson learned: This campaign has one of the best response rates, so it looks like sending something fun and adding in the advocacy touch works best."
3. USE LINKED-IN (AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA) -For lead generation, use Linked-In to "understand the roles of the people you are targeting."
-Twitter is a "great tool for building top-of-the-funnel visibility." -Most people use Facebook for personal reasons, as opposed to business, which suggests that Facebook would not be ideal for B2B marketing. However, due to their innovation in targeting audiences for advertising, the future seems favorable when it comes to
utilizing Facebook for B2B marketing.
Example: "For B2B, get your customers and prospects involved. Crowd-source an idea for a 'hackathon', or invite them to a special webinar. If you’re doing an event, use social media marketing to make your attendees famous. For example, Marketo Summit projects tweets for their attendees to see."
-"Once you attract a lead, using marketing automation software is key."
-It's important to make sure that the human element is not lost in the use of marketing automation software.
-Don't get hung up in the details of automation software to the point of overlooking the bigger picture (such as focusing on boosting SEO rankings, while ignoring "overall lift.")
-Let "potential customers identify what's causing them the most hardship." -Allow them to "volunteer information about pain points, struggles and interest in potential solutions." -Follow-up by providing them with more information.
6. DON'T BADGER PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS -Give the customer room/time to "discover your company" (For example: "Wait a few days after a prospective customer has downloaded a white paper before you contact them.")
-Send "nudges" via e-mail, such as a link to a related blog post. -"Give three nudges over the course of three weeks." A prospective customer who is truly interested will follow through naturally.
7. USE VIDEOS
- When done well, "video... is engaging and generates ROI." -"A study from HubSpot found that...four times as many consumers prefer digestible video content over text and 59% of senior executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic on the same page, they prefer to watch the video."
-Some good examples of short-form video use in marketing are "brand videos, client testimonials and video blogs." -"In 2017, we’ll also see more firms invest in long-form video content as well, including the creation of video shows and series." ("For instance, Intel’s Meet the Makers mini-documentary series.") -By using "tools such as Periscope, Facebook Live, Livestream, Ustream and newly released Instagram Live Video, marketers have the ability to easily broadcast live events as well. This opens up virtually endless possibilities for showcasing live events, product demonstrations, Q&A panels and behind-the-scenes."
Example: "Taulia provides cloud-based invoice, payment and dynamic discounting management solutions. Yep – it’s pretty B2B, and they’ve made a great video by parodying the award-winning commercial series “Get rid of cable” by Direct TV. In a funny worst-case-scenario deal, Taulia shows what can happen when you don’t use their services. The video not only delivers a laugh, but this kind of humorous take on a B2B solution can really get your customers feeling connected to your brand and helps you stand out in what can be a stuffy market."
-"Multi-touch marketing is now considered one of the most effective methods to increase brand awareness and ultimately bring in more sales."
- "Marketing attribution is the process of tying specific marketing campaigns and initiatives (or touch-points) to specific closed deals and revenue."
-"Marketing attribution tools such as BrightFunnel and Bizable available for B2B marketers."
Example: A marketer at Bizible said, "Multi-touch attribution helped us determine, and layer on, the impact of middle- and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing channels, which are necessary to identify which marketing channels are truly efficient drivers of business, not just efficient drivers of leads. By seeing the true value of these lower-funnel marketing channels, we were able to back up our decision to invest more time and resources into these areas with data."
9. EMPLOYER BRANDING AND RECRUITMENT MARKETING -"Marketing and HR collaboration makes complete sense, as many of HR’s objectives align perfectly with marketing’s skill set."
- "The principles of employer branding and recruitment marketing are innately strategic marketing principles." -"2017 will see a trend towards more marketing involvement with employer branding and recruitment marketing activities, and HR
initiatives will appear in many B2B marketing plans and budgets."
Example: "Here’s an example from B2B mobile advertising technology company, Tune. They shared pictures of their open house recruiting event [on social media]. Not only does it show personality and culture, it is a great recruitment tactic."
10. CREATIVE USE OF FORMS TO GET MORE REFERRALS -Gamify the process of filling out forms in order to make them more fun. -"Create a truncated form for mobile devices" to make filling out forms on mobile easier. -Make the forms more visual as to be more appealing.
Example: "Internet video studio Epipheo Studios includes a “Free Consultation” call to action and a large “Send” button to drive conversion."
ADDITIONAL INSIGHTS Since we were able to find so much information that we felt would be of benefit to you, we have included this section of additional insights for your reference. (Please note that these insights are not laid out in any particular order, but only serve to highlight some additional information we felt could be interesting and useful to you.)
Below is an excerpt taken from the Outbrain article, "The Best B2B Technology Marketing Minds on Driving Results with Content":
-Craft a content strategy by first defining who the customers are, where they are and what they’re seeking.
-Engage audiences, from employees and future employees to partners and influencers.
-Build a content hub, at least regionally.
-Create quality content instead of adding to the noise.
-Build a team both internally and externally to source and generate content.
-Use tools that simplify processes for your employees.
-Engage employees and unlock their potential to be brand ambassadors.
-Reward and celebrate employees who champion your brand."
This is an excerpt regarding ABM B2B marketing: "For B2B firms with long, complex sales cycles that often involve many stakeholders and are typically high-value in nature, ABM represents arguably a more effective way to generate new business than “inbound” approaches to demand generation."
We also want to point out that we came across several instances of using "varied marketing strategies" being considered a best practice. Although we chose not to dive deep into this here, as we felt our top 10 list encompasses this strategy in its totality.
CONCLUSION To wrap it up, the top 10 modern B2B marketing best practices are: utilizing content marketing and account-based marketing techniques, creative B2B-focused social media strategies, use of marketing automation software, finding customers' pain points, not badgering prospective customers, switching to a multi-touch market attribution platform, combining marketing and HR principles to formulate employer branding and recruitment marketing, and being creative when it comes to utilizing forms. Thanks for using Wonder! Please let us know if we can help with anything else!