How to Choose the Best B2B Marketing Channels
Print advertising, direct mail, webinars, events, email marketing, social media… The list goes on! There are so many marketing channels for you to choose from. Now, just because you’re a marketing professional and these are marketing channels doesn’t mean you need to use every single one. Unless you’ve got a HUGE marketing budget and team, then you’ll want to identify the ones that will bring you the best ROI and are most effective with your target audience. Also, not all of them will be suitable for your market so you need to find out where your customers are and go from there.
To help plan your marketing strategy and determine which channels are most appropriate for your business, there are five factors you should consider. Let’s explore each of them.
1) Consider your goals
First things first, and if you haven’t done so already, you need to clearly define your marketing goals as this will set the foundation of your marketing strategy. You may be looking to increase sales of your products or perhaps you want to enhance awareness of your brand. Whatever your goals, identifying them and having them at the forefront of your mind will help you choose which marketing channels you use. Each marketing channel has a different purpose and some are better at achieving particular goals than others so it’s not a “one size fits all” approach. For example, using social media is a great way to engage your existing customers/followers, whereas advertising, such as print, is a great way to get your brand in front of new people.
Understanding your marketing goals will help you identify the most relevant channels that will help you smash those goals.
2) Where are your customers?
There’s no point attending an event if your prospects or customers aren’t going to be there or investing time (and money) in creating a beautiful website if your customers aren’t tech-savvy. You need to understand where your customers are. Are they regular YouTubers? What websites do they visit often? What are they typing in Google?
Once you’ve figured out where your customers are, it’s not just a case of sharing your message in front of them and hoping for the best. Consumers are bombarded with content all the time. Think how many marketing emails you get a day, how many leaflets come through your letterbox and how many adverts you see on social media or Google. You need to be smart with the content you’re sharing to ensure it’s not only the right message, but it’s in the right format and sent at the right time.
3) What are your competitors up to?
If your customers are advertising on billboards and you’re not then you could be missing out on potential leads. Likewise, if they’re regularly blogging on their website and taking their SEO efforts into consideration and you’re not, again, you could be missing out on business! Do some competitor research to understand what channels they’re using as this will give you a good direction as to where you want to be. Not only this, but if you share your message BIGGER and BETTER, then you’ll gain more market share in the long run!
4) Don’t forget your existing customers!
If you were to go on a date and it goes well but then they don’t call or text you back after, you may feel a little gutted and forgotten about. Well, the same applies to your customers! Don’t just woe them at the beginning and then forget they exist. There’s nothing stopping them from going elsewhere so you need to look after them too. If anything, they should be your priority, after all, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer and increasing retention by 5% can increase profits from 25% - 99%. So when considering which marketing channels to use, you also need to think about how to engage your existing customers. Whilst social media is a great platform as you can have private groups, particularly for your customers, not everyone uses it and it’s also limited to just sharing messages. One channel that is not only great for sharing updates and news but can also be used to reward customer loyalty is a customer loyalty programme. Recognising when your customers display desired behaviours, such as repeat purchases, through a well-crafted points-based rewards programme will provide positive results for both you and your customer. It’ll strengthen your relationship with them and get them talking about your brand.
5) Analyse the results
So you’ve identified your goals, figured out where your customers are, done your competitor research and taken your existing customers into account – now what?
Unfortunately, marketing isn’t something that you can just sit back and watch pan out in front of you. It takes optimisation and constant testing to ensure you’re getting the best results and achieving your goals. By utilising all the analytic and insight tools you have, you’ll be able to understand what’s working and what’s not. And if something isn’t working, don’t give up! It’s a learning curve and not everything will work so just keep optimising and testing until you find the best approach for your business.
If you need some guidance on choosing the best B2B marketing channels for your business, get in touch with our team today. Our customer loyalty platform may be the perfect solution to your goals!