In traditional B2B marketing, the usual approach is to identify a specific audience then designing strategies to get to them directly. The idea is to eventually find someone who believes in your product or service enough to push it within the organization. This person is referred to as “The Champion”. Another approach requires B2B growth hacks the purpose of which is to widen your search and increase your chances of finding a champion. Theoretically, by casting a wider net, B2B growth hacks should enable marketers to acquire more customers.
Here’s a list of 21 B2B growth hacks marketers can use to increase sales and revenue.
1. Compare Products and Add Yours to the Mix
Product comparison articles rank very high in Google because readers who search for this type of content are in the buyers’ frame of mind. They are already in the market searching for products that are similar to yours.
A good example would be the market for analytics tools. For example, if your SaaS company provides comprehensive analytics, including heatmaps, and decision making recommendations based on user behavior. You can come up with an article: “How X stands against Google Analytics and X competitor”
You can proceed to make an objective breakdown between the products but mention in the article what are the key features of your tool and what makes it better than your competitors.
2. Launch a Feature as a New Product
B2B products are usually items that are built from a set of features. A good example would be a fitness tracker. It has an accelerometer, GPS, heart rate monitor, calorie counter and sleep tracker.
Fitness trackers are used for endurance type activities. But what you can do to bring in a wider range of end users is to introduce a feature that measures performance in resistance-based training in the form of a downloadable app. This will diversify your product and attract a new market of end users.
Another relevant example for the SaaS industry is how BareMetrics does with each new feature they introduce. For instance, just recently they introduced the “Recover” feature and they promoted on ProductHunt as a new product.
3. Run A/B Tests on Your E- mail Funnel
In the same way that you conduct A/B Testing on your website, so should you on your e-mail funnel.
Conduct at least five A/B Tests on the subject line and body of your e- mail. Compare which version produces the highest open rate and response rate. This is an effective way of fine-tuning you e-mail marketing campaign.
E-mail marketing has consistently been proven as an effective method for acquiring customers; even better than social media marketing.
4. Offer Free Trials or Upgrades with Premium Support
Free trials are a proven technique in acquiring customers because it shows your confidence and belief in your product. This a popular strategy for app developers; they will give you a free trial for a few days provided you sign up for a mailing list or newsletter subscription.
Offering free upgrades with premium support also works in acquiring customers. It gives existing members a chance to test the premium service at no extra cost. LinkedIn does this occasionally and it leaves a positive impression on User Experience.
5. Don’t Make the User Think
Customers can lose interest very fast. Studies show that users click out of a website that looks too complicated or difficult to navigate. If you are marketing a product make sure it will not look intimidating for users to handle.
Instructions should be simplified and easy to understand. Wi-Fi routers are a good example. Manufacturers are using apps to make installation and customization as quick and easy as possible.
6. Consider Having Joint Partnerships
Partnerships are essential to any business. If you can associate your business with other companies from your industry that are reputable, your chances of succeeding will be much higher. When I asked Josh Pigford, founder of BareMetrics, where does he think that his company would be today without Buffer’s partnership, here’s what he said:
Of course, getting such partnerships is not always accessible for anyone, but those who don’t try don’t stand a chance against others that are willing to knock on many doors.
7. Customize Your Approach… Always
One of the biggest turnoffs for customers whether it’s B2B or B2C is being given the generic treatment. It shows your business has no regard for who they are and what they have done.
In every stage of the customer acquisition process, always customize your approach. This includes invitations to connect, the preliminary engagement letter and in your content. Cite their achievements, current developments and bring up pain points where you believe your business can be of assistance.
8. Start Cross-Promoting
Not yet sure what is cross-promotion? It’s a lesser known and discussed marketing channel that involves a partnership between two parties. Each will promote their product and services to his partner’s users after they have segmented the audience. You can check some cross promotion examples here.
If you have a SaaS or any online business that offers services, you can find a partner that is not a direct competitor of yours and then start promoting each other. This growth hacking method is used by well known companies such as PayPal, Fiver and many more.
For instance, if you have a SaaS business that does email outreach, you can partner up with a company that offers and SEO tool. The two businesses complement each other, so the users of each company might be interested in using the other tool, especially if a discount is given.
By the way, we are building the first cross-promotion platform for SaaS and online businesses and it will include a marketplace where you can browse for partners. The tool is called Cross.Promo and you can request early access here. It allows businesses to find partners and then run newsletter cross-promotion campaigns with an equal exchange of emails sent.
9. Be Accessible By Establishing Multiple Points of Contact
All of your online or inbound marketing efforts will be more effective if your audience would have more avenues to access your business. A good idea would be to set up chat support services in your website.
People who are not comfortable calling in or those who want a faster response time would find chat services more convenient. Another method is through social media moderation. Consumers may be more comfortable interacting via social media. You should have someone who can respond to personal messages or posted comments as soon as possible.
The sooner you close in on an engagement, the faster you can build a relationship and acquire a customer.
10. Complement Product Launches with Giveaways
Consumers will hardly refuse anything that is given for free. If you want your product launch to be effective, complement it with a giveaway to capture more attention and interest.
T-shirts are wonderful giveaways because they are standard everyday wear for people. It’s a great way to establish a brand. Another good complementary giveaway for a product launch are coffee mugs or personalised postcards that include discounts for your platform.
11. Create List – Type Articles
List-type articles provide quick and easy information for your audience. You can also write them in ways that will help your business gain more traction.
For example, if you are selling SEO services, you can write content that supports the interest of your audience such as “Top things to check before purchasing SEO services”. Then come up with content that directly highlights your products: “The main reasons why you should use our SEO services”.
Always include the products and services that your business offers.
12. Write Long Form Guides and How – To Articles
Studies have shown that long form content helps your website climb up the search rankings. Long form content not only gives readers detailed information but also helps enhance your reputation as an expert.
Since Guides and How-To articles are extensive in content; some reach 5,000 words or more, you can have these available for free to your followers as an e-book once they’ve subscribed to your mailing list.
13. Write Content with SEO in Mind
You know that Search Engine Optimization or SEO works to have your content found on the Internet. With SEO based content marketing, you specifically choose the keywords you want to rank high in. The content you create will be based on these keywords.
Google’s keywords tool is a very useful tool to find key phrases that people use to search for products and services in Google. Quality content will rank higher in Google, will attract backlinks as well and these might lead to more referring traffic.
14. Retarget Marketing
Retargeting is a strategy designed to have your audience revisit your page by using online ads such as Google Ads, Facebook and Twitter ads.
An online music teacher who published an article on the “Fundamentals of Hybrid Picking” can create an ad on how the set and styles of picks he offers can help improve your guitar playing technique. The idea is that the user will see your ad on any new website that he will visit, until he’ll get back to you and eventually make a purchase.
15. Create Slideshare Presentations
SlideShare has grown to become one of the best content distribution platforms. The reason for this is that SlideShare is search friendly. It automatically transcribes copy that is uploaded.
Thus having a SlideShare version creates another medium for your original content. You can potentially get more leads because SlideShare is easier to use for readers. For Google, embedded content will bring you up higher in the search rankings.
16. Utilize Newsletters
Newsletters can generate good inbound traffic to your website. Typically newsletters have an open rate of 30% to 50% and depending on how your subscribers ended up in your list, the click through rate should be good too.
You should utilize newsletters because people who open it are those who found time to read its contents. They are likely already past the “I am interested” stage and are looking to actively purchase your product.
17. Customize an Existing Product
Every business likes it when a product has been customized for them. It may not necessarily be a new product. For the most part it is the same product; maybe with a few minor improvements, to make it appear brand new.
Software designers use this technique whenever they create an app that is built for a company. The basic features of the app are intact but a few new ones are added to highlight its customization.
18. Build Your Number of Followers
One reason why social media is such an effective tool for acquiring customers is because there are many ways you can harness its power.
A proven technique is to set up community groups within the users of your product in a company. Use it as a platform for end users to share, comment and post ideas and opinions on the product and for you to resolve issues immediately.
Through regular engagement and by working toward achieving consistent positive feedback, your initial group of members should start pulling in more prospective end users within the same company.
19. Optimize the Possibilities of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is hands down the preferred social media platform for professionals seeking to expand their B2B network.
Sign up for a premium membership and have the ability to set the parameters of your search. You can fine tune which industries, designations and geographic areas you want to connect with and send customized in-mail invitations.
Join focus groups that represent the B2B market you are interested in targeting. You can also publish blogs within your community to highlight your expertise, introduce your business, products and services.
20. Attend Trade Shows, Conventions and Conferences
High- touch methods of networking still remain relevant and effective in the age of the Internet. This means attending trade shows, conventions, exhibits and business conferences.
Companies continue to spend good money to join these events because they are able to meet up directly with potential clients whether end users or distributors. It gives them an opportunity to do a live demo of their product with all the bells and whistles.
These events are still great venues for you to acquire customers. You can address all questions and concerns on your product in real time, offer free trials, special discounts and other incentives to try and close the arrangement.
21. Be Proactive and Solutions Based
When promoting your product, it’s not enough to show your end user how to use it. You have to be proactive and emphasize how your product can directly address and resolve the problems currently faced by the company.
Good examples would be to invite users to a quick 10 minute podcast or a free video online consultation to answer questions they might have on your product. You can also give them limited access to online tutorials or manuals.
In order to be successful in your efforts to acquire B2B customers, you must be open to all the possibilities and consider every opportunity that could open more doors for your business.
Following a structured inbound marketing campaign specifically targeting B2B customers is a good idea and a proven approach but it can also be self- limiting. Integrating B2B growth hacks is a great way to expand your reach and tap into new markets you might have otherwise overlooked.