5 Ways to Stay Ahead of B2B Marketing Changes

Dan Matthews
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The B2B marketing landscape changes fast, often on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter what platform you use. At every level, change is the rule. Change has been the norm for decades, in finance, retail sales, even in the animated movie industry.

“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”—Walt Disney, 1960

The challenge is to stay ahead of the curve. If your company is always a few weeks behind, you will eventually find yourself floundering is a world that has completely changed around you. As you look back over the first quarter of 2020, ask yourself, “Has my marketing changed as quickly as the landscape?” What is it that you expect to see when you look back and analyze your business?

Every business owner wants to see:

  • growth and expansion

  • a thriving business

  • reaching out B2B to help clients every month

  • a prosperous team

  • new B2B relationships that are profitable to both Bs

It doesn’t matter what you see as you evaluate your business. You can always make improvements. Those improvements should produce results, and the results will show how quickly and how effectively you have changed.

Winston Churchill said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”

Here are 5 tips that may help you to set your business trajectory for powerful growth:

1. Give Clients High Value in Your B2B Marketing

“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.”—Jim Rohn, entrepreneur

Give value before you expect to receive sales. Not only is this the ethical way to do business, but it also creates a relationship with your client which is honest at a gut level. Author Terry Dean talks in detail about this idea of ethics in his book How to Sell Without Selling.

Your client should sense the value of your product or service without you having to tell them. Value will be evident in the way it is presented. Give your clients something of genuine value before you ever mention your product:

  • A tip for improving their own business.

  • An inspirational quote they can apply in their office.

  • A new way to reach out in a genuine way to clients.

When your client knows you care about them more than you care about their money, the money will flow in buckets. I know, this takes trust on your part, too. After all, you spend precious time and brain power to let people know about what you offer. You want to tell them how your business will benefit them.

But we live in a time of change and awakening. People want value before anything else. After they feel the value, they will see the benefits of what you offer.

“Sow value. Reap abundance.”—Khalil Gibran, writer

2. B2B Marketing Means Building Personal Relationships

“We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend."—Mark Zuckerberg, entrepreneur

Articles and blogs in B2B marketing are a necessary part of any communication. They can give your website a personal feeling that inspires trust when they are written properly. But they can kill a business if they are impersonal, boring, or overly technical. Follow these guidelines for a good article or blog:

  • A reading level of Grade 6-8 creates an effective article.

  • Sentences should be short and clear.

  • Personal, heartfelt writing is compelling.

  • Consider hiring an expert writer.

You may say, “I know my product! I’m the one qualified to write about it, right?" Wrong! If you are the owner, take the last guideline above to heart. I know, it sounds mean. But the truth is, owners rarely make great writers. After all, your business is your baby. You have put your heart into it. Slaved over it. You know all the history, the ins and outs of your business.

You are the owner. You created your business. These are the very reasons you need a writer to step in. You’re too close. Not objective. You believe everyone needs to be using this product. That may be true, but not everyone agrees.

A professional writer will take your expertise, add the threads of your ideas, and weave them into a beautiful fabric. You will have a compelling story that will resonate with your clients and make them want to purchase.

3. Streamlined B2B Marketing and Sleek Websites

Streamlining means different things, depending on your perspective.

When you hear someone talk about streamlining your business, what actions come to mind?  Cut out the fluff. Make your message easy to understand and digest. Intuitive and logical is better than dense and complicated.

The shortest point from A to B is the path of least resistance. Resistance of any kind will destroy your conversions. All these ideas should be kept in mind as you examine streamlining.

In terms of profitable copy, streamlining means creating meaningful, well-written content. An expert writer knows how to create words, phrases, and concepts that compel the reader to read the next sentence.

Write like Abraham Lincoln when he said, “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

Good copywriting eliminates unnecessary side issues. That’s what an FAQ section or blog page is for. Keep it simple and to the point. Be sure every part of your website is clear (as in not confusing), concise, and easy to follow.

The best way to engage with your clients is by telling a story that is about them. As you create the story, anticipate the thoughts that go through their minds. When you foresee possible objections, bring them up yourself and answer them. Answering the questions your readers may ask will help keep them engaged, and build trust.

4. Email and Chatbots in B2B Marketing

Something old and something new. Email sequences have been used now for decades, but are still one of the highest converting methods of B2B marketing. If you say, “They are outdated,” that is not correct. The well-written emails of 2020 are engaging, compelling, and give huge amounts of value before ever attempting to sell anything.

Sure, there is still a call to action. But the personal writing style, interesting story, and repeated use of the client’s name make this revamped marketing strategy vital and productive.

Here again, it must be well written by an expert writer. Not every writer is able to write an email which is conversational and flowing. For an email to be effective, it needs to be captivating, genuine, and personalized. And it needs to go out on schedule.

Analysis of email open rates show that it’s important to send emails at a particular time and day of the week. Entrepreneur magazine states that the highest B2B email open rates are 18% on Tuesdays, when the email is received at 10:00 AM. 

Chatbots have been around for a few years. They have proven to be a productive use of interactive technology for B2B marketing. Chatbots Magazine reports that in 2020, "a customer manages 85 per cent of the relationship with a business without interacting with humans."

They have the advantages of being in a familiar format, using the unique style of writing found in text messaging. This involves the use of contractions, humor, and conversational terms. 

A chatbot character communicates with the reader, complete with a cute cartoon illustration of the “speaker.” Even the everyday name of the chatbot is enticing and intuitive. The best-written chatbot scripts are personal and responsive as well as being predictive in picking up keywords. Responses sound genuine.

Sure, I engage in chatbot conversations. I know I’m talking to a computer. In the old phone days I would get put on hold for half an hour and endure it. These days I’m relieved that I get noticed! And even better, I get the answer I’m looking for.

Chatbots are another example of specialized copy that requires a professional writer. Chatbot scripting is an art as well as a science. Experts in this skill have had extensive training, and it shows. The result is an engaging and productive chatbot that converts.

5. B2B Marketing: Use of Videos and YouTube

Have you been avoiding the most productive B2B marketing tool ever?

You and many other business owners may cringe at the thought of making a video. But according to Pew Research, YouTube represents over 2 billion viewers a month, and will generate sales exceeding $5.5 billion in 2020.

It’s time to jump in. But many B2B owners are afraid to go on camera. “I just don’t look good!” “What if I mess up?” The list of excuses goes on and on. You need to get over the fear. Once you are set up, a 2-minute video will only take about 5 minutes out of your day.

You already know the clients you want to reach. Buy a good mic. Get an expert writer to write the script. And do what actors do: practice, practice, practice. Doing these things should give you the confidence you need.

If you feel like it’s really an impossible (in your mind) task, go to your team and ask for a volunteer to be the face of the business.

Let her or him take on the job. But still, have a script written by a professional that says the right things, in your voice.

You can post the video on YouTube or on your website. Or both. Then stand back! The response will be huge. Marketing studies show that “An initial email with a video receives an increase click-through rate by 96%,” according to campaignmonitor.com .

Summary

If you haven’t seen the growth that you envisioned for 2020 Q1, take heart. And don’t look at it as a failure.

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”—Johnny Cash, musician

Think of Q2 as your new starting point. You now have a 5-point plan to renew your B2B marketing and embrace change. Follow it to shape your own B2B marketing strategy into the modern, polished machine that it was meant to be.

Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for a professional writer like the experts at Copywriters.com to help you craft your new image. 

It will be some of the best money you have ever invested.

Dan Matthews

Dan started technical writing for Intel and McGraw-Hill after publishing a book of poetry. His third book became a #1 International Bestseller on Amazon. Now his focus is on helping companies connect with customers, with profitable conversions. He can help you achieve your goals. The most important thing: understand your ideal customer, your needs, and your product.

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