Large companies spend incredible amounts of money marketing to other businesses. To a small- or medium-sized business, competing with them can seem like a David-and-Goliath scenario.
The good news is, you don’t need high-powered marketing executives or million-dollar marketing campaigns to get your name out there. Look around, and you’ll see ways to market your business without breaking the bank.
Big budgets be damned: Here are four tips and tricks to market your B2B company when you don’t have much to spend.
1. Build Content Around Current Events
Keeping your content fresh is key to boosting your company’s search rankings. Current events lend themselves to timely, click-worthy content. And in our lifetimes, there’s never been a current event quite like the pandemic.
Don’t ignore the elephant in the room. SEO guru Amine Dahimene recommends a generous, considerate approach: “Show both empathy and understanding and communicate in a friendly and supportive tone with your customers. Ultimately, everybody’s money is tight right now, so a helpful tone and helpful discounts can go a long way in boosting your ranking and profits.”
While the pandemic is obviously the current event, this is a great tool to keep in your toolbox. Look for cross-societal, brand-relevant opportunities to stay top of mind with your customers.
If you’re an online retailer, could you put together gift lists for the holidays? What about back-to-school shopping lists when August rolls around again? Not only does this content cost little to create, but it’s shareable — which contributes to both your SEO and word-of-mouth marketing efforts.
2. Audit Your Demand Generation Efforts
Are your SEO, paid media, and email marketing strategies actually creating customer demand, or are you just making assumptions? While having someone outside your business take a look costs money, it’s a smart investment for companies without virtually bottomless marketing budgets.
Companies like Interimly suss out the truth by auditing campaigns designed to drive awareness. And to help you avoid guesswork in the future, they can help you develop channel-specific reporting frameworks and key performance indicators.
Marketing audits aren’t as expensive as you might think. More importantly, they can keep you from continuing to throw money at channels that aren’t bringing in business.
3. Be Choosy With Social Media Channels
Keeping up with social media is not an easy task. Nor is it one you should do without a strategy for content, scheduling and cross-channel promotion.
The challenge for B2B companies is targeting niche audiences. Traditionally, social media is used to blast a message far and wide. But by being selective about which channels you use, you can reach business decision-makers without wasting money speaking to consumer audiences.
LinkedIn put the “professional” in social media, and that makes it a solid channel for B2B marketing. In fact, a whopping 97% of B2B marketers use the online platform in their content marketing strategy.
Although you will need to pay someone to create compelling content for you, posting it on any popular social media platform is free. What’s more, social media content works on multiple levels: It builds not only followers, who may refer business your way, but it increases your search rankings and builds a sense of legitimacy with people who see your content.
There are also paid advertising opportunities and reasonably priced plans designed for small- and midsized B2B marketers. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, for example, starts at about $80 a month with a free 30-day trial.
Whether you take the free, paid or premium route, just make sure it’s measurable. If it’s not, go back to step No. 2.
4. Double Down on Your Customer Experience
Keeping a customer costs less than acquiring a new one. In fact, increasing your retention rate by just 5% can boost your profits by as much as 95%.
Don’t leave your existing customers with that “what have you done for me lately” feeling. Customer success services like Gainsight can help you nip frustrations and cancellations in the bud by monitoring account health.
Proactively reaching out to those customers is key. At least once a week, give your customer service reps a list of clients that are in the danger zone. Note how each client initially reached out to you, and use that same channel to check in with them.
A word of warning: Don’t treat these as one-and-done communications. If you fail to reply to a text or email conversation you initiated, your customer isn’t going to feel cared for. When it’s not clear whether a customer’s issue has been resolved, offer to get on the phone.
Communicating with customers is something your business should be doing already. In other words, it won’t add nearly as much to your marketing costs as a new program or channel.
B2B companies come in all sizes, as do their marketing budgets. There are ways at every price point to reach the right audience with the right message. If you haven’t found yours yet, these four tips are great places to start.