What makes your business stand out?
What sets you apart from the competition?
What’s your USP?
Like it or not, the answer is often “nothing”.
It’s hard to find a business that’s reinvented the wheel nowadays – why claim to be one of them?
DITCH THE B2B CLICHÉS
Great products? Sure, loads of businesses have them.
Innovative solutions? Heard it all before.
Years of combined experience? Yawn.
See also: state of the art facilities, top of the range equipment, industry-leading expertise, first rate project management, exceptional customer service…
Boring, boring, boring.
None of this is unique to your business.
None of it makes you special.
None of it will convince customers to buy from you.
If you’re a B2B business, chances are there are a handful of businesses doing almost exactly the same as you.
You might think they’re decent, you might think they’re terrible.
But, the fact of the matter is, you’re probably both claiming the same things to the prospects who find their way into your sales funnel.
All that guff above, right?
So if everything’s already been said, and everything’s basically a cliché, how can you set your business apart from the competition?
Here are three ways using inbound marketing can get your B2B business ahead.
1. Get found before your competitors
SEO, PPC, email, social media…
Whatever you’re using to target prospects who are flitting around the top of your sales funnel, make sure you do it well.
Trade and industrial B2B brands are…shall we say, not exactly renowned for mastering inbound marketing, so there’s a good chance a savvy strategy will help you leap ahead.
Helpful, interesting and optimised B2B content on your blog, website, social media feed and email newsletter can get you on the radar of those consumers in the awareness stage of the buying process.
If you’re grabbing consumers’ attention before your competitors do, that’s half the battle.
And let’s look at it simply: if they don’t know about you, they’re not going to buy from you.
2. Give consumers what they want
Inbound marketing is not a game where you want to play hard to get.
If your prospect is floating around the digital marketplace, it’s because they want something.
Either you give it to them, or they’ll go elsewhere.
So what kind of something are we talking about?
B2B Content is:
- Authentic customer reviews that help prospects know they can trust you.
- Addressing how much something’s going to cost – even if you can’t give a straight answer.
- Giving customers answers to their questions.
And if consumers find the answers they want on your website, your social media feeds, and in your emails, chances are they’ll stick with you.
3. Give prospects a better online experience
One thing I hear a lot is that trade and industrial customers don’t like Doing Stuff Online™.
And sure, a lot of service-based businesses did just fine before the days of digital marketing.
Paper flyers, an A-board, and a listing in the Yellow Pages? Job done.
But, things have changed.
(I mean, have you seen how thin the Yellow Pages is now?)
Think about how many of the decision-makers you deal with grew up pre-internet.
Not that many, I’ll bet. And the number will get smaller year on year.
So remember that great B2B content we talked about?
Stick it on:
- An easy to navigate website that works on any screen
- Informative, attractive email newsletters that are easy to subscribe to (and unsubscribe from)
- A regularly updated, engaging blog that uses images, tags and categories
- Responsive and friendly social media accounts
That way, no matter how consumers come to find you, they’re going to like what they see.
TL;DR – The short version
Your business isn’t special. Sure, it is to you, but not to your prospects.
When it comes to online consumers, you’re only as good as what you offer them there and then.
Give them the information they want via easy to read, interesting B2B content.
It’s up to you to keep up with what makes an enjoyable online experience: responsive platforms, cracking website, friendly social media.
Question is: do you want to get ahead, or play catch-up?
What do you think? Is Inbound marketing the key to B2b success? Comments below👇🏻
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