By Nick Brown
Thanks to the digitalization of the marketplace, the B2B ecommerce industry has rapidly grown during the past decade. According to a report presented by Statista in 2019, the global B2B ecommerce market is valued at a whopping 12.2 trillion US dollars, over six times the estimated worth of the B2C industry. In reality the market seems to be dominated by major players like Amazon, Alibaba, Rakuten, or Mercateo.
In order to help you, we have compiled a list of seven B2B inbound marketing and outbound marketing mistakes to avoid:
1. Lacking a structured roadmap
If you are planning a marketing campaign, you must ensure that you know what you want to achieve. The best way to achieve this is by developing a robust roadmap with various phases and deadlines. It is important to have a clear task management plan so that everybody knows what to do.
The best way to go about it is to invest in team collaboration apps and communication software programs that include features like videoconferencing, file sharing, screen sharing, and a calendar. Solutions like Microsoft Teams are good for beginners, but you may want to look for more professional apps, designed especially for digital companies like yours.
2. Ignoring the power of email
It is absolutely baffling how companies sometimes simply ignore the effectiveness of email marketing. Why are emails so useful? Let’s check some numbers, shall we?
Even with the rapid rise of social media, emails have remained as the most popular and used method of digital communication. According to Statista, in 2018 the number of active Gmail users amounted to a mind-boggling 1.5 billion people.
In this day and age, emails have completely reshaped business-related communication, especially in the case of B2B interactions. Do you remember the last time you went more than 24 hours without getting an email? Don’t even bother trying to think about it, the most likely answer is you haven’t.
Now that we are all in the same page regarding the popularity of email-based communication, let’s look at examples of email marketing best practices to put into action:
- Message personalization: Prospective clients want to feel special. Putting some effort into designing personal emails will increase your chances of lead conversion and customer retention.
- Email formatting: How you design your messages is extremely important. Make sure to keep your emails short and sweet, add some visuals, and do not forget to include engaging CTAs (Calls To Action).
- Write eye-catching subject lines: Remember, your leads and clients get hundreds – if not thousands – of emails like yours every day. Try to make your messages stick out by creating eye-catching and interesting subject lines.
3. Not thinking outside the box
Another common B2B marketing mistake is relying too much on good old-fashioned strategies that leads have already seen a million times before. Sometimes, B2B companies are too afraid to take risks and decide to go with more traditional marketing tactics.
Well, if that sounds like you, then we have news for you: Your competitors are already exploring new and exciting marketing strategies and channels.
According to Statista, tactics such as influencer marketing (a very popular affiliate marketing strategy in the age of social media) are starting to take over the B2B industry. If you want to stay relevant, start looking for new forms of communication:
- Visual content. No, we’re not talking about the usual infographics. In the social media era, things like tutorial videos for onboarding or eye-catching GIFs and memes will help you captivate a larger audience.
- Audio content. According to Statista’s survey, more than a fourth of all B2B companies used podcasting and livestreaming as marketing tools in 2020.
4. Obsessing over lead conversion (and ignoring customer retention)
Yes, you read right, there is more to marketing than just lead conversion. Now, don’t be mistaken, engaging leads and adding new clients to your growing list of customers is a key element of any company’s marketing plan. However, poor customer retention is one of the biggest pitfalls in the B2B industry.
You can avoid churn and dis-engagement using marketing strategies such as loyalty programs and onboarding marketing content to boost your bottom line without having to convert any new leads into orders for new products or services.
Leveraging the power of marketing to introduce effective B2B upselling tactics will allow you to give your bottom line a boost without having to convert any new leads.
5. Not using buyer personas
Buyer personas are commonly associated with B2C marketing, unlike other B2B profiling techniques like ICPs (Ideal Customer Profiles). These profiles will allow you to create a deeper connection with the people behind the companies you are selling to.
Developing a robust buyer persona is an essential part of sales enablement within a B2B context. Remember, your real clients are not nebulous brands and companies, they are the people that run them.
6. Doing a poor job at SEO
Having strong SEO skills is essential in the digital era. Nowadays, leveraging the power of keywords, descriptions, backlinks with targeted anchor text, and other SEO elements is the best way to improve your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) positioning.
It doesn’t matter how good your product is or how well thought out your marketing strategy, if your site doesn’t appear near the top of a SERP then your chances of converting leads will be close to zero.
7. Trying too hard
In the B2B industry every company wants to convey a professional image, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some organizations will be weary of doing business with a brand that relies on buzzwords and hollow marketing to establish expertise. Instead, create effective and comprehensive messages that are engaging and easy to understand.
About the Author
Nick Brown is the founder & CEO of accelerate, a SaaS digital marketing agency providing Professional SEO services exclusively for enterprise tech company partners to scale their SEO and content marketing. Nick has launched several successful online businesses, written and published a book and grown accelerate from a UK based agency that now operates across US, APAC and EMEA. He has written for sites like Hubspot, and BambooHR.