5 top marketing tips to boost your B2B startup.
June 12, 2017
When you’re working in a new business and have limited time and budget the key is to focus on the right areas. This post features 5 top marketing tips for B2B startups to focus on for those first 6 months.
I spend a lot of time talking with people starting new businesses and there are two main challenges that come up:
1) Learning marketing takes up a lot of time.
2) Doing marketing takes up a lot of time.
These are both true. But, I’m not going to rattle off a post recommending you outsource. That would be boring and predictable.
Instead, I’m going to give you an insight into my 5 winning marketing tips for B2B startups to help get your business going.
There’s lots to learn when you start a new business.
When you start a new business there are lots of new skills to learn – human resources, sales, marketing, finance, production, and setting up and running processes.
Of course it’s important to take advice from the professionals, but my view is that you also need to get a basic grounding in each area so that you know which parts you plan to outsource further down the line and, more importantly, what questions to ask. Then, when the time comes you can outsource or recruit and manage in-house effectively.
There’s little worse in business than trying to manage a dark art!
These are my 5 top marketing tips for B2B startups to focus on during their first 6 months.
5 marketing tips for B2B startups
Know your audience.
This is the starting point for any successful marketing activity.
You need to know who you’re interacting with, where they spend time both on and offline and what makes them tick.
The chief role of marketing communications is to inspire change. You can’t do that if you don’t know your audience.The chief role of marketing communications is to inspire change. Click To Tweet
It will come as no surprise that the best way to get to know your target audience is to spend time with them.
Speak to them in person, join the same online business groups, read the industry press, attend conferences, speak to other companies that serve the same market and run surveys.
If you can only do one thing go and talk to your target customers.
What to ask? Ask them about their business and their role in it. What they look for in suppliers and what turns them off. Who they currently work with and why. What gap could you fill to help them find a better solution.
Use this information to create a customer persona and share it with your business partner and team to help you to keep on track and make decisions based around your customers.
This isn’t just about having a website that’s easy to find, this is about being out there!
When you’re present in the right places then the right people know who you are and have an idea of what you do. By being present you’re making it easier for people to recommend your business.
Networking and industry events.
Networking is a great way to spread the word about your new venture. Check out the local and industry events and try them out, you’ll meet lots of people in a similar position to you or who are further along the line and can give you some pointers.
Networking is also a great way to test out your sales and marketing messages before you roll them out to a wider audience.
There’s a lot of pressure to be everywhere all at once and it isn’t realistic for larger businesses, let alone startups.
My advice is this: look at where your target customers are and be there. Look at where your target customers are and be there. Click To Tweet
This means resisting your urge to try the newest social media platform for now. New and shiny also means untested. This is fine for test and learn activities further down the line but when you have limited time and budget its best to focus on proven approaches first.
Choose 2 social media platforms (3 if you must) and do them well. Put content out regularly and use hashtags to help more people to find you.
Use social media schedulers to save you time but make sure you interact too – remember the ‘social’ in social media.
Develop a marketing plan.
You’ll have already spent time putting together a growth plan for your business so the next step is to extend this to your marketing plan.
This doesn’t have to be an all singing and dancing 26-page monologue. You can map out a plan that covers the essentials on just one page – check out our template.
A marketing plan will help you to stay on track. Because it forces you to think about what success looks like, it makes it easier for you to see if your marketing is working or not and to make the right sorts of changes.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your marketing or budget on marketing tools and design then you’ll need to know what it’s delivering.
There’s lots of data available for you to see how your digital marketing is performing. These dashboards are great for informing your future plans, especially if you overlay your offline and sales activity.
You’ll also want to know if your marketing is delivering the right sorts of results. This is where your marketing plan will provide clarity and direction.
There are two types of consistency in marketing, the first is frequency and the second is in brand experience.
When you’re starting a new business life is busy, so it can be difficult to fit in your marketing tasks regularly.
Marketing tends to be fitted around everything else that’s going on so it can be piecemeal. Effective marketing is consistent and regular. Effective marketing is consistent and regular. Click To Tweet
Of course, you might ramp your marketing up and down around seasonal trends but there also needs to be a core level of activity happening if you are looking for a steady flow of leads coming into your business.
People are quick to lose interest if you don’t appear to be committed, even if it’s because you’re busy with actually doing what your business does.
If you make a list of every interaction a person has with your business from initially researching solutions through to becoming a customer then you’ll have a list of customer touchpoints that contribute to your brand experience.
This is important because people are more likely to buy from you if they have a consistent brand experience because it builds trust.
So what sorts of actual things make up a brand experience? Things like the visuals on your website, social media, brochures and welcome packs being consistent. Also, your process for handling enquiries and customer feedback.
This is a whole topic in itself but people like to know what they’re getting. That’s a big part of why food chains are so successful – McDonalds, Nando’s, Dominos, their brand experience is consistent.
This is one of the great pillars of content marketing, and it applies not just to marketing but to sales, support and all other areas of your business.
People are worn by traditional sales approaches and many companies have found that they attract new customers simply by being helpful.
This isn’t an easy approach though because it takes time and effort to be helpful.
It means developing processes that make it easy for people to find out and then buy from you. It also means sharing your knowledge and expertise without fear because you know it’s this openness that attracts customers and prospects.
Lots of companies struggle with this, but once they get their head around it they find it makes it easier to build profitable relationships, and isn’t that what it’s all about?
These are my 5 winning marketing tips for B2B startups. They’ll help you to focus when life gets busy and to continue plugging away at your marketing to ensure a consistent flow of leads come into your business.