So, you’ve got the next B2B startup idea to beat them all, but you don’t know where to start when it comes to marketing?
We’ve got you covered!
There is no way to be successful without a B2B startup marketing strategy
Sorry to say this but no matter how good your company is, how helpful your idea is, there is no road to the top that doesn’t involve marketing at some point.
Marketing is going to be the vehicle that gets your awesome company in front of the eyes of your future users and clients.
You need to understand and then master the art of creating a solid B2B marketing strategy so you can get from point A to point Success!
So, what is the best B2B startup marketing strategy?
The best marketing strategy is the one that works for your product. Marketing is not a one size fits all thing, it needs to be tailored to your company, your goals, and your target.
To put it simply, the best B2B Marketing Strategy is one that takes into account the unique aspects of your situation and constructs actions that go in hand with those characteristics.
However, there are actions you can take to get your best strategy going, using general principles of B2B marketing. These principles we’ll present can help you place your company’s marketing needs, start etching out a plan for the future and give you a clearer idea of where your marketing budget should go.
Before we get started, here are 5 tips to help you create a top B2B marketing strategy
Your road to having a complete marketing plan is just starting, even so, there are actions that can get you ahead and gain traction, no matter how small they may seem. Here are a few tips to put you on the fast track to your marketing goals.
Create a marketing team
B2B startups need to have a marketing team because these efforts will require people invested in the process and focused on the tasks.
Because startups sometimes have limitations in hiring we suggest you start with a team of flexible professionals that can manage different roles or outsource a few items to more expert agencies.
Your marketing team should have:
- Data analyst
- SEO and content strategist
- Writer and editor
- Graphics and visual talent
- PR representative
You can add more roles depending on your needs, some teams have their own Tech person to handle code and other aspects, as well as a videographer and more.
Open or update your social media profiles
We are talking mostly about LinkedIn since this is THE social media platform for B2B marketing, with 4 out of 5 business decision makers being active on the platform. (Source: LinkedIn)
Not only should you open a company profile and keep it updated, but also your founder, CEO, heads of departments, and employees should ideally all be active and receive support from the company to do so.
Last year 54% of company decision-makers spent over 1-hour reading thought leadership content. So, getting content in the hands of your company representatives can definitely have an impact. (Source: LinkedIn)
Creating content that both company and personal profiles feel open to sharing is the key to getting the type of LinkedIn presence you want.
Let’s not forget that other social media profiles are also valuable and should be curated, as they provide social proof and marketing opportunities.
Set a marketing budget
Can’t get started if you don’t know what you are going to be working with so having a budget number in mind will be key.
A set budget determines resources, actions, and channels of communications for your B2B startup marketing plans.
Because you can better assess goals and strategy when you have this information make sure to dedicate time to this before getting started.
Gather marketing information
This is going to be the foundation of your marketing team’s plans and determine how much work you have left.
Putting together the information you have on target personas, content ideas, communication channels, values and messaging will help form your B2B marketing strategy more quickly.
Your awesome B2B startup marketing strategy will not be built in a day so take it easy.
Marketing is a long-term investment, there are strategies that pay off quickly like ads, and then others like content that take longer but have high effectiveness with time.
The bottom line is your plan will change according to goals, current events, updates, trends, and more. Become flexible, open to ideas, and willing to adapt.
Most likely you won’t figure it all out at once, and if you do please share your secret with us!
Now you are ready! Here’s your step-by-step guide to creating the best B2B marketing strategy for your startup
You got 5 tips to get prepared and now you are ready to go, remember marketing is a marathon, not a race. Building the perfect B2B marketing strategy for your startup will take time but we’ll help you get to the finish line.
Step 1: Know who you are talking to by determining your target market
Researching and defining your target audience is going to determine key factors of your strategy, like:
- What channels do you need to use
- The tone of your messaging
- Where to place ads
- What content do you need to make
- And so much more
Your path to marketing growth as a B2B company starts here. Because of the millions of possibilities out there, if you skip this one you could be wasting time, money, and efforts on the wrong target.
Check my conversation with Zineb Layachi for more context.
Step 2: Take a look around the market and research your competition
You’ll need to know what you are going up against in your product category so you can prepare your strategy. The other players in the game help you determine key things about your own brand.
Doing a thorough overview of your competitors will provide you with ideas for selling your product, demand gaps you can exploit, and what to expect after market entry.
After you have gathered enough information you can begin to digest the data with the SWOT technique and build a strategy from there.
Strengths, what makes you better than the competition?
Weaknesses, what you may be lacking in comparison?
Opportunities, what has your competition not noticed or seized?
Threats, what could take you out of the market?
Step 3: Make sure you stand out and create a unique selling point
The competition is there and you know what they are about to make your product stand out!
Lucky Strike famously added the “It’s toasted” slogan to their brand to differentiate themselves, while other companies were doing the same, they were still able to identify their cigarettes as something different. That’s what you need to do.
While you may have the same product, service, or idea, there is something that sets you apart, maybe your company culture, the speed of your software, etc. Find something that makes your brand pop and create a message around it.
Check out what Peep Laja had to say about it.
Step 4: Create a plan
Marketing teams with an organized plan have a 674% higher rate of success than those that don’t think ahead. (Source: CoSchedule)
If that’s not reason enough, then how about because you don’t have time to not plan. As a startup team or founder, you will have a filled agenda and lots to do, planning helps you get what you need to be done in time.
Step 5: Give your audience the best: focus on quality
Quality is the force behind a great B2B content marketing strategy and an important part of your overall planning.
Audiences don’t want to consume just any piece of information, they need something useful that also has your personal touch.
Brainstorm content ideas with your team at some point in each marketing planning session and keep your focus on what you can say that can help your target. Maybe it’s teaching them how to best use your product or giving out tips and guides on the business, etc.
Step 6: Use Storytelling: Build the bigger picture with narrative
Storytelling is the secret ingredient of advertisement and marketing. It’s what turns a Nike shoe from just an object into a “Just do it” inspirational piece.
Whatever message you put out there needs to tell a story. Use your values, your goals, or your history to transform simple selling points into storytelling.
At the core is the message you want to transmit and then you add a narrative to it. For example, if you are a moving company, you are not just selling services, you are selling the feeling of coming home and your ads should reflect that.
To get started you can explore storytelling paths by answering these questions:
- What feeling do I want this service to be associated with?
- What story can help me drive this message across?
- Why did we come up with this idea?
- Who are we as a company?
Step 7: Know Where You Stand: Nail your positioning
There are very few things more disheartening than selling to the wrong target or with the wrong messaging. Perfecting your positioning will prevent this.
Think of positioning as the results of previous steps in your marketing planning. The sweet spot between what your customer needs, what your competitors do and what you do best. That’s where you should be.
Step 8: Make sure your messaging is on point
Figuring out what you want to say will take some time but if you follow the steps in this guide you will get to the right type of messaging.
Having the perfect concept to represent your B2B business will be key to getting your marketing strategy off the ground and building strong brand awareness, that you can later turn into leads and conversions.
Create messaging options, and run A/B testing on them so you can collect data to choose the best one.
Step 9: It takes time to be great: Be persistent
A marketing strategy can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to give you positive ROI numbers. Like we said before this is a long-term type of commitment.
You will see great results in time if you keep doing the work needed, and follow your plans with good room for flexibility and improvement.
Remember that even after you start achieving goals you still need to create, test, and innovate!
Step 10: Experimentation builds a better strategy
Just like you have to write and try out different messaging you should do the same with strategies and marketing actions.
You need to test and analyze data from all your marketing actions, channels, and messages to keep creating a better strategy.
Figure out what works where and how your company fits into it all. We can help you get started with a list of 10 marketing strategies for B2B business and a whole blog filled with accurate plus data-based B2B marketing content.
We have gone from A to Z on B2B Startup Marketing Strategies
There you have it, a whole walk through the building of a B2B marketing strategy. Getting your brand from its first steps to its first messaging down to its first actions.
Marketing is an ongoing investment for all companies, and you will probably revisit this guide from time to time. We encourage you to stay updated on marketing topics, keep an eye on trends and stay creatively hungry!
Looking for help taking your marketing and business to the next level? Schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation call and let’s see how we can help you get there. From business models to content marketing, team messaging to sales enablement, we help you accelerate your customer base, your revenue, and your business! It’s time to get unstuck and reach your full potential. Click here to book your FREE consultation call today!