There was a time when personal networks, the neighborhood grapevine and the yellow pages were the extent of a B2B company's marketing plan. Times have changed and the way customers buy is much different.  No one is waiting around for a sales person to ring or share more about a company's product or service.

Now, customers walk around with a computer in their hand at all times.  If a question comes to mind, there is an answer at your fingertips. Ever view a group of people waiting to walk into a meeting, to get on a flight, or pick to their child up from practice?  They are all on their phones.

Depending on the product, 50% - 80% of the buying decision has been narrowed down or determined before a salesperson is ever engaged. 

So, what does this mean for you? It means that if your marketing strategy does not include proper web communication and mobility, social media and digital communications, you are missing a big part of your audience. 
4 Marketing Tools Every B2B Business Owner Needs

I've had prospects tell me that they do not get their clients from the web or social media.  Well, if you are not in these places, there's a good chance you don't get your clients from these locations.  However, if you were to expand your marketing to places your target audience is, it stands to reason you would gain more clients.

Here is a quick run-down of what every B2B owner must consider for their marketing plan:

1. Website - I know this goes without saying, but you need a mobile-friendly website that communicates your differentiators, speaks to your audience, is visually appealing, easy to navigate, includes a call to action and allows visitors to engage with you.  

Can you check these all off your list?  If not, you may want to modify your site.  Your website shouldn't be stagnate.  If you are not regularly updating your site, visitors and Google will view your site as inactive, which may cause viewers to bounce, and your site to drop in search results.

2. Social Media - Not every platform is right for every business. However, social media is an emerging channel that many businesses are taking advantage of and believe me, there is a platform that will work for you.

The key to social media is in the engagement.  If all you do is post and tweet without engaging your connections and followers, you are not getting the most out of your social media.Build a loyal following. Building a relationship with potential customers is a critical first step. Social media connections are really about people-to-people, not always company-to-individual. Get to know your audience online, communicate and share information. In order to generate leads, you need to have human interaction with others.

3. Thought Leadership -  If you are regularly posting on social media, but you are not sharing items of value to your customer or directing them back to your website, your posts are being wasted. Inspiring thoughts and re-shares are great, but they shouldn't be your entire social media strategy.  Blogs, case studies, e-books and more not only give you something to share help you engage with your customer base.  Free offers of e-books, manuals and case studies also provide an opportunity to drive customers to your website or, even better, a landing page. I'll talk more about landing pages in some future blogs, but they are used to capture leads. (Look for my blog series on Lead Generation coming next week.)

4. Stay in Touch - What do you do when it takes some time to move a prospect to customer or to move a customer through the sales funnel?  Well, you stay in touch.  Social Media, blogs, article sharing and emails work, as do electronic newsletters. 

EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) is a great way to repackage blogs, case studies and to share recent news.  They key to EDMs is consistency. 

The simplicity of marketing has changed and if you are not taking advantage of new marketing channels and using them properly, you are missing out on a large prospect base that could be your next customer.

Marketing Eye Dallas helps small to medium-sized businesses develop and implement effective marketing strategies.  If you are looking for a marketing partner visit our website.

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