Like most types of marketing, B2B marketing is a rapidly evolving landscape. From Internet channels to the real world, there’s an incredible number of ways that a B2B business can and even must engage with their customers. There are also an equally large number of bases to cover, from making your brand mobile-ready to incorporating Big Data into your decision making.
But all things considered, below are the five most essential networking activities to help boost your business by reaching out to your clients.
5 Essential B2B Networking Activities to Boost Your Business
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1. Employee Advocacy
For years, companies have restricted employee communications about their brand online in order to help dominate and even monopolize Internet conversation about it. But recently marketers have realized that they can capitalize on social media reach with employees communicating about the brands they work for. In short, employee advocacy helps turn every employee into an ambassador for your brand.
Best of all, doing employee advocacy is fairly simple. Just educate your employees about the rules with a clear social media policy. Such a policy might include positions on which company information can be shared what kind of posts are appropriate and inappropriate.
As your employees share, it will foster communication about your company within their own network of friends. This can lead to a number of promising B2B leads as friends learn about how their companies can help each other.
2. Join Pinterest
According to the Content Marketing Institute, a quarter of Internet B2B marketers used Pinterest to help them distribute content during 2012, and it’s easy to see why. Pinterest offers the most valuable referrals of any social network. Visitors from Pinterest are also drastically more likely to make a purchase, and when they do make purchases, they spend more on average than those directed from any other social media site.
Activity on social media is one of the best ways to make real connections with other businesses, and if you are looking for an alternative to LinkedIn, Pinterest is likely the best option.
3. Content Marketing
Customers have an incredible amount of real time information on hand about the features and pricing of products. The widespread availability of that content has a serious influence on every stage of any customer’s buying decision. Consequently, marketers need to focus on developing compelling and engaging content to draw clients in while establishing their brand as a trustworthy authority.
As social media is little more than a content hub, successful brands must become content machines to produce content to share over these networks on a regular basis. A solid blog that provides truly valuable information to your clients is also important. This will help direct qualified traffic to your site.
4. Adaptive Marketing
Today, the fight that B2B marketers struggle in the most is trying to achieve the flexibility and efficiency necessary to compete; without discarding transparency or adaptability that makes their brand stand out. Markets change quickly, and marketers have to be ready to adapt to the ever changing landscape of their time.
That’s why many B2B marketers favor adaptive marketing. It enables swift responses to market information, the rapid development of new iterations of campaigns, and more than anything else, it supports heavy testing and data-based approaches to marketing rather than an emphasis on conventional wisdom.
This approach allows companies to establish tailored outreach for each client’s business based on their needs and preferences; thereby creating stronger bonds, as well as a greater incentive for the client to provide solid referrals.
5. Real-World Marketing
We often think of websites and their associated brands to be sort of ethereal entities without much of an actual existence. One way to overcome that gap and make connections with other businesses is to become a more real entity in the minds of your customers. Branding through promotional material is one of the easiest ways to do just that.
This can include anything from pens with your brand name on them to personalized golf balls for Australian businesses, so long as it helps to establish your brand in the eyes of the recipient. These kinds of giveaways allow your salespeople to leave a tangible reminder with clients when they meet with them face to face, thereby reinforcing your real-world presence.
It is important you bear in mind that B2B marketing practices can change overnight and keeping up with the latest trends and happenings in the marketing world is never going to be easy. But for those who can and do put in the hard work, great rewards await.
Although the above list doesn’t include every important B2B networking activity used today, even participating in one or two of them should be sufficient to provide a serious boost to your business.