Today's tech buyers need help navigating their buying experience. According to Gartner's 2022 Technology Buying Behavior survey, 71% of buyers were delayed by "surprise" steps in the buying process, elongating the sales cycle and frustrating the buyers. Another two-thirds of buyers claimed they were delayed by an inability to get product or implementation information from the providers. Both of these delays can be prevented through a well-organized B2B engagement marketing plan. Providers can be proactive in guiding buyers through the considerations and interactions that make the most sense in their buying experience. Being prescriptive here has very little downside, but can meaningfully reduce the surprises along the buying journey, and set your brand ahead as a customer-centric provider, dedicated to solving the challenges of your audience. In this article, we've compiled data-driven insights and actionable strategies to help you implement a successful B2B engagement marketing plan that will set your brand apart, and grow your business.
Do you need a B2B engagement marketing strategy?
In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving B2B landscape, a compelling engagement marketing strategy is no longer a nice-to-have; it's a must-have for any B2B business looking to impact the customer journey. B2B buyers have become more discerning and selective in their purchasing decisions, demanding personalized experiences and valuable interactions with the brands they consider. According to research from Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase involved an extensive evaluation of multiple solutions before making a decision. Moreover, with the rise of remote work and digital interactions, buyers now prefer self-guided journeys where they can explore and engage with brands on their terms.
By engaging your target audience at every stage of the customer experience, answering their questions, and reducing friction along the way, you can create a lasting impact that drives meaningful results for your business.
Higher Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the foundation of any successful business in 2023. Engaging your B2B customers and prospects throughout their customer journey demonstrates that you understand their unique needs and challenges. By delivering relevant and engaging content, personalized interactions, and exceptional customer experiences, you foster trust and confidence in your brand.
When your prospects and customers feel appreciated and valued, they are more likely to associate positively with your brand. According to a study by PwC, 73% of all people point to customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions. A satisfied customer is not only more likely to make a purchase but also to become a loyal advocate for your brand, leading to positive word-of-mouth and increased referrals.
Increased Customer Loyalty
Building strong and lasting relationships with your B2B audience is crucial for customer retention and loyalty. Engaging your customers throughout their entire lifecycle with your brand reinforces the value you provide and the support you offer. However, this relationship doesn't end after the initial sale; instead, it serves as a continuous cycle of personalization and customer engagement that can serve upsells, renewals, and cross-sells.
A study by Accenture revealed that 44% of consumers are loyal to brands that actively engage them through personalized experiences. By understanding your customers' preferences and pain points, you can cater to their individual needs and expectations, turning them into loyal brand advocates.
Driving Revenue Growth
An effective B2B engagement marketing strategy is directly tied to revenue growth. Engaging your prospects and customers helps you move them through the buyer journey, increasing the likelihood of conversion. According to Marketo, companies with strong engagement strategies achieve a 4.5% higher annual revenue growth rate.
Consistent and personalized interactions with your audience create opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. Engaged customers are more likely to explore additional products or services that address their evolving needs. Furthermore, positive engagement experiences also encourage repeat business and higher customer lifetime value, contributing to long-term revenue growth.
In a highly competitive B2B landscape, standing out from the crowd is essential. An engaging marketing strategy sets your brand apart from competitors and positions you as a thought leader in your industry. By delivering valuable content and meaningful interactions, you showcase your expertise and build trust with your audience.
According to Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers said their latest purchase was very complex or difficult. Engaging your prospects and customers with relevant content and experiences simplifies their decision-making process and provides the added value they seek. This competitive edge enables you to attract and retain high-quality leads, leading to increased market share and brand visibility.
Adaptability in an Ever-Changing Market
The B2B market landscape is constantly evolving, and customer preferences and behaviors are ever-changing. A dynamic engagement marketing strategy allows you to adapt to these shifts, ensuring your brand remains relevant and appealing to your target audience.
Being adaptable means staying informed about industry trends, customer demands, and emerging technologies. By regularly collecting and analyzing data, you can gain valuable insights that guide your engagement efforts. A study by McKinsey found that data-driven companies are 23 times more likely to acquire customers and six times more likely to retain them.
A well-crafted B2B engagement marketing strategy is a crucial ingredient for success in today's competitive landscape. By engaging your target audience at every stage of their journey, you can achieve higher customer satisfaction, increased loyalty, and ultimately, drive revenue growth.
Key strategies for B2B engagement marketing:
Create data-informed customer segments
Leverage data and analytics to segment your audience based on behavior, preferences, and needs. This segmentation must include engagement data, to help you understand the content and topics that your audience is responding to. For example, one key engagement marketing data point that we use at Banzai is called Focus Score. Focus Score reflects the percent of time a webinar attendee was focused on the content being presented. If an attendee has a score close to 100%, that tells us the attendee was very interested and engaged in that topic. We can then point the attendee toward other content pieces relevant to that topic, ensuring we are providing them content they find helpful and valuable. Consider adding your engagement data into your lead scoring to help automate this process. This approach allows you to deliver personalized and relevant content that resonates with your prospects, boosting engagement and conversion rates.
Understand B2B buying job groups
Today's typical B2B buying group contains 11 members. The members themselves are often in different stages of the buying experience - some are evaluating products while others are still evaluating a business case for a solution. This provides significant challenges for the buying group, because the members often have competing objectives and priorities - slowing down the process and making it harder for buyers to know where to start. Gartner urges providers to help B2B companies streamline the experience by focusing on buying jobs, rather than buying journeys. To help identify buying job groups, Gartner tells leaders they should start by investigating key questions into customer behavior, intentions and outcomes. This allows them to cluster job-related tasks and improve how their organization supports customers. Below is an example of two buying jobs (Problem Identification, and Solution Exploration), as well as the tasks, enablement, and job tracking that suppliers can use in supporting these phases of the buying journey.
From here, you can begin to create engagement content that serves each of these jobs. By aligning your marketing efforts with each buying job, you can guide prospects through their buying experience with ease.
Think in the long-term
Like all effective marketing, engagement marketing is not a one-time event; it's an ongoing process. Building lasting relationships with prospects and customers requires consistent engagement and nurturing, even after the initial conversion. Further, this is not exclusively the responsibility of B2B marketers. All customer facing teams, whether it's the sales team or the customer experience team, must commit to driving personalized, and interactive campaigns that ultimately drive business ROI. For example, content marketing teams can implement automated webinar campaigns, providing two way communication and engagement opportunities, in an effort to drive B2B audience acquisition. Sales teams can create on-demand product demos in order to increase B2B sales without draining sales team resources. Customer experience teams can invite loyal customers to serve as beta-testers in new feature releases. Focus on providing value and engagement consistently across the life of the customer.
Align your presence on all marketing channels
Consistency is key in your B2B marketing strategy . Ensure your brand message and voice are congruent across all channels, including social media, email marketing, webinars, and events. For instance, be sure your branding is the same whether you're running a webinar, or hosting meetings on the tradeshow floor. This unified approach enhances brand recognition and fosters trust with your audience. According to Edelman, 75% of people with high trust in a brand will buy exclusively from that brand, even if its not the cheapest.
Elevate engagement and lead generation
Engaging your audience means offering interactive and immersive experiences. Host virtual events, webinars, and workshops that provide valuable opportunities for interaction, networking, and lead generation. For example, create an interactive, live webinar series where attendees can participate in polls, download handouts, and take part in Q&A sessions to keep them involved and interested. Then repurpose that content by putting individual clips on Linkedin to continue the conversation and expand the audience.
Build lasting relationships
Personalized communication and thoughtful follow-ups go a long way in nurturing relationships with prospects and customers. Implement marketing automation and CRM tools to manage and track these interactions effectively. For instance, set up automated follow-up emails after events or webinars, acknowledging attendees' participation and offering additional resources based on their interests.
Reach and connect with prospects
Leverage your B2B lead generation strategy to expand your audience reach. Partner with industry influencers, participate in industry events, and optimize your content for SEO to attract more prospects to your brand. For example, collaborate with industry thought leaders to co-host webinars or contribute guest posts to their blogs, expanding your brand's reach to their audience.
Nurture B2B leads
Invest in lead nurturing campaigns that deliver relevant content and resources to prospects based on their interests and buying job. This keeps your brand top-of-mind and helps move leads through the funnel. For example, create targeted webinar sessions that answer the questions buyers have in various buying job stages.
Becoming a trusted industry authority
Demonstrate your expertise and thought leadership by sharing valuable content, conducting webinars, and contributing to B2B industry publications. Establishing your brand as a trusted authority enhances your credibility and fosters stronger engagement with your audience. For example, host webinars featuring industry experts discussing relevant topics to position your brand as a thought leader in the space.
Foster a community
One effective B2B customer engagement strategy using engagement marketing techniques is to implement an interactive customer community platform. By creating a space where customers can collaborate, share insights, and seek support, you foster a sense of belonging and build a strong brand community. Encourage users to ask questions, provide feedback, and share success stories, creating a valuable resource for prospects and customers alike. Engaging with customers in this manner not only strengthens their relationship with your brand but also enables you to gather valuable feedback and identify opportunities for product improvements, leading to higher customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
Co-marketing with B2B brands
A powerful B2B partnership strategy using engagement marketing techniques involves co-hosting webinars and events with complementary businesses. By collaborating with industry peers, you tap into their existing audience and expand your reach to potential customers who may not have been aware of your brand before. Through joint promotions and shared content, you can create a win-win situation that drives engagement and generates valuable leads. Additionally, these partnerships can enhance your brand credibility and authority within the industry, as customers see your willingness to collaborate and provide valuable insights. Utilizing engagement marketing techniques in B2B partnerships helps build strong connections with partners and fosters a sense of community that encourages mutual support and long-term collaboration.
Mastering B2B engagement marketing is a journey that requires a combination of data-driven strategies, targeted messaging, and continuous nurturing. At Banzai, we believe in the power of engagement marketing to elevate your brand's impact and drive exceptional results. Implementing these strategies will not only enhance your brand's reputation but also position you as a reliable industry authority, ultimately leading to improved customer loyalty and increased revenue. To further enhance your B2B marketing efforts, take the engagement marketing assessment to see how your current efforts stack up, and how to further improve.