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Focusing Marketing Efforts at Budget-Conscious B2B Businesses

As a marketer at a small or mid-sized B2B business, you have lots of tools and strategies available to you. However, many of them won’t significantly improve your business results, and, worse yet, few will offer the return on investment you desire. In this article, I’ll share tips for achieving B2B marketing success, even with a limited budget.

Understand Your Target Customers

To begin, you need to really understand your target customers. Why? Because as marketing consultant Jay Abraham once said, “Your customers are geniuses, they know exactly what they want.” Not only will finding out what your customers want help in offering them the right products and services, but finding out where they are will help too. For example, are they participating in LinkedIn groups? Are they reading certain trade journals? Clearly, knowing this information will help in your efforts to reach them.

Your customers are geniuses, they know exactly what they want.

Fortunately, it’s not that challenging to learn about your customers. Simply speak to and really listen to your customers. In-depth research is always beneficial, but simple conversations can often do the trick. Use this primary research to not only gain insight into your customers, but to create buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional profiles of the customers you’re hoping to target with your marketing. By developing quality personas, you can craft marketing messages that best resonate with your customers.

High ROI Promotional Methods

Now that you really understand your customers, it’s time to reach out to them. Below are the two methods that have been most successful for me and my clients. These same strategies should work well for you too.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

I have found that the fastest and often most cost-effective way to get new clients is through pay-per-click advertising. The keys to this tactic is to have 1) the right messaging in 2) the right places going to 3) the right landing pages.

For example, your messaging (or ad) should be different for different keywords. And so should your landing pages (the pages on your website visitors go to upon clicking your ad). Through advertising platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you can target prospective clients based on keywords, and demographic or psychographic variables. As such, you can always find your prospective clients.

Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Content marketing is simply creating and sharing content about your business and your market. Done right, you can not only attract new customers in the short-term, but you can build links to give your company dominant search engine positioning over the long-term.

Think about content that not only will answer your customers’ key questions, but will best position your company as the experts.

The key here is to figure out what content your customers need. This can be garnered by talking with them, as discussed above, or by talking to the people in your organization who have the most insight into your customers. Another way to find content that’s proven to be of interest is to review which content produced by your competitors is attracting a lot of attention (i.e., has lots of pageviews and/or links to it). Then, set out to create an even better version of that content that provides your own unique point of view.

Think about content that not only will answer your customers’ key questions, but will best position your company as the experts.

Converting Leads and Optimizing Your Results

Using the methods above should result in significant visitors to your website. It’s at this point that you must focus on converting those visitors into leads and then customers. Four ways to accomplish this include using effective copywriting, calls to action, low-friction forms, and split testing.

Effective Copywriting 

Just because a prospect visits your website doesn’t mean they’ll turn into a lead. Rather, you need to make sure your copy compels them to take the actions you want.

Do your headlines promote your unique selling proposition? Do you only talk about your product and/or service features, or do you specify the benefits that matter to your target audiences? Make sure you use effective copywriting to best convey your message to visitors.

Calls to Action

Next, make sure you have appropriate calls to action on your web pages. Some visitors will prefer to call you, some to complete a contact us form, some to chat online with you, and others to schedule a meeting with you via a calendar app. Know your audience and understand how they want to connect.

Test calls to action in different places on your website pages to maximize conversions.

Low-Friction Forms

With regards to your call to action forms, make sure they’re easy to complete. Many B2B firms have forms with too many fields. While it would be nice to know the prospect’s first name, last name, email address, location, type of firm, number of employees, etc., asking all those questions creates “friction,” which will significantly reduce the percentage of visitors who complete your form.

Conversely, just asking for someone’s email address, particularly if they are just downloading a report, is often enough. From that email address, you can most likely answer all the other questions yourself fairly quickly. In a contact form, asking for name, email, phone number and an optional open field for questions/comments is typically more than enough. This should get you the information you need while minimizing user friction and thus maximizing your responses.

Split Testing

Finally, you should never create web pages and just leave them. Rather, you should always be split testing to optimize your results. For example, create a test in which half your visitors see the original page and the other half see the same page with a new headline, or different call to action, etc. 

By split testing, you can optimize conversions and alter the game. Let me explain. Let’s say that via Google pay-per-click ads it costs you and your competitors $200 to acquire a lead. And in your industry, that’s too expensive, so you don’t use this method. But let’s say that via split testing, you’re able to double your conversion rates. That means that you will pay just $100 per lead. At this rate, you’ll be able to advertise, but your competitors won’t. You’ll thus dominate your market.

Putting It All Together

By better understanding your target customers, using high ROI promotional methods like pay-per-click advertising, content marketing, and SEO, and really focusing on converting leads and optimizing your results, you can cost-effectively generate leads to support your sales team. Doing this well can give you a significant competitive advantage and help you achieve lasting marketing success.

Picture of Dave Lavinsky
Dave Lavinsky
Dave Lavinsky is the president and co-founder of Growthink. For 20+ years, Growthink has provided business plan consulting services and business plan templates to tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses.