There are many articles written every day on how to acquire more users, clients and how to take advantage of the most prominent advertising channels out there, like Facebook.
But, do they apply to B2B businesses?
The truth is, most B2B businesses are very, very different than B2C businesses in pretty much every sales aspect. Especially in choosing the right acquisition channels.
In this article, we will take a look at the best acquisition channels for B2B businesses and how to make the numbers work for your business.
Adwords is *the top* acquisition channel for B2B businesses. Whatever it is that you do, your first priority should be to make Google Adwords work for you.
The reason is that some people are searching for your product or service directly and they have a very high buying intent (we will get to an example soon).
Also, in order to maximize your conversions and minimize your costs, you can focus on specific locations where you can take the conversation offline.
Here is an example:
A construction company in SouthEast London should bid for the keyword “Construction company SE London” *and* they can bid for the highly competitive keyword “industrial construction company”, while targeting only people who live in SouthEast London, by radius and postcodes.
These are virtually guaranteed to increase your conversions and reduce your CPC.
For some nice little extra traffic and conversion, duplicate your successful campaigns to Bing.
Any B2B company that is growing and wants to build a name for itself needs to write for leading industry publications.
There is both direct and indirect acquisition benefits with this process.
If you write consistently, some articles will end up ranking pretty high ending up bringing you referral traffic and leads for a long time for free. This is the direct acquisition.
Indirectly, as you write and provide value to your readers they start seeing you around and end up trusting you more. And everyone knows where trust leads to… More and better clients!
Next time when they are searching for whatever your company offers, your company will be the first to come to mind and they will send you an email to make them an offer before going to your competitors.
Not to mention the backlinks and the higher rankings you will start getting…
But, this tactic has a price… it needs great content from senior people in your company. The ideal way to go about this is to have your content marketer interview those persons, write the article and then send it to the senior person for some final edits.
That’s the most efficient way I know and most people do it this way.
Outbound sales (cold emailing or calling other businesses) is a very, very effective way to consistently get new clients.
This is working best if you are targeting medium or big businesses, because the numbers add up nicely. If you are targeting small businesses it’s harder because the contract will be lower and your salespeople might not be very motivated…
The interesting thing about medium and bigger businesses is that you’d think that if they have a problem they are going to search on how to solve it, right? They won’t be sitting there, especially since budgets are usually not an issue, right?
Well, apparently this is not the case and there are many reasons for that. For example, they almost always have pressing tasks to do and these are usually not to buy your product or service. However this doesn’t mean that they don’t need it!
They just want someone to reach out to them and put it in front of them. A very good portion of businesses is like that and outbound sales are the only way to fill that gap.
As David, the head of marketing at LiveAgent, said in his interview, don’t underestimate playing the location card.
If there are listings or citations with your type of business for your location make sure you are on all of them.
More importantly, for SaaS companies, make sure you are in the most important software directories out there like Capterra and GetApp.
There you can experiment with buying higher positions and clicks and trying to make the numbers work for you!
When a company is starting to go into the growth phase, that’s when it should add conferences as part of its marketing strategy.
Conferences can be a tough nut to crack especially for first time entrepreneurs, but here is what I have learned from my short experience with them.
First of all, you need to really nail down the conference that is most likely to help you generate leads and clients, instead of the “hot” conference of the year!
Then, you need to set some expectations and make a game plan. More often than not, you will want to generate leads, some sales and maybe 1 or more important brands as leads/clients.
As a side bonus, you will also get some exposure and branding from the attendees.
The important part herebthough is leads and sales. You must have done your homework a few days before going to the event and knowing who you want to meet and how to reach out to them.
Did you find someone who could be a good partner? Maybe someone with whom you can exchange stories and perhaps be interested in your company?
Reach out and schedule a short meeting at the conference. Everyone is there networking and trying to meet new interesting professionals.
You can designate specific persons in your team to do that exact task and others to stay at your stand.
This is a slightly more aggressive and proactive approach than going there and hoping for the best. I try to avoid the latter.
To sum this up, Pay-Per-Click is your friend and you must make it work for you as soon as possible. Start with paid search and directories.
Then you can utilize some of the other channels, like conferences, outbound sales and writing for industry publications, prioritizing according to your current standing, strengths and weaknesses.
I’d like to thank David and LiveAgent for having me here. I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any additional insights to share or questions, I’d be happy to discuss in the comments below.
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