For a long time, many businesses have relied on one or two traditional advertising methods to speak to potential customers.

They assume these methods are their target audience and that over time, the business will grow.

That's hardly the recipe for staying profitable. If anything, slow growth will kick you out of business.

No matter how exceptional your solutions are, you won't attract many customers simply by existing. Today's customers are looking for businesses interested in interacting and providing tailored solutions.

A business that capitalizes on these interactions builds awareness, improves visibility, and more importantly maximizes profitability.

Do you want to be in that business? Check out these digital marketing techniques.

1. Search Engine Marketing

HubSpot estimates that Google users conduct more than 5.6 billion searches daily. Add Bing and Yahoo searches and the numbers soar further.

Many of these searches are by potential customers looking for solutions. Solutions your business possibly offers.

If you want to reach them, your website needs to rank highly on result pages.

This is the role search engine marketing strategy plays. It helps improve brand visibility in search engines, allowing your target audiences to find you ahead of your competitors.

When employing this strategy, take the following into consideration:
  • Identify and study your ideal audience. What are their interests and primary needs? What information do they read and in what format? This information will help you determine the keywords they are likely to use.
  • Study the competition, especially those ranking higher than you. You need to know what keywords they are using to keep the spotlight. Look at the content they publish, how often they post, their landing pages, and the CTAs they use.
  • Create beneficial content (blogs, videos, and infographics) covering a range of topics that your ideal audience is interested in.
  • Add keywords in titles, meta descriptions, and heading tags to make it easy for search engines to determine what your pages are about.
  • Provide a seamless user experience for site visitors. Make navigation smooth, accessibility via mobile devices easy, and optimize page loading speed.
  • Consider pay-per-click advertising to improve visibility when users search for your target keyword.

2. Tell Your Brand's Story

People crave interactions and building connections.

What better way to start this connection than by telling a story that humanizes your brand?

A brand story communicates who you are, why you exist, what you do, and how you intend to help others achieve their goals.

A good brand story captivates and encourages audiences to engage and build relationships with your business.

Here are steps to telling a solid brand story
  • Know who you are, your core principles (mission, vision, and purpose), what you want to achieve, and your ideal customers
  • Your business was started by real people and is run by people. Put a face to your brand by talking about the company's origin, day-to-day running, and lessons you've learned.
  • Sift through ideas to find those that will interest the B2B buyers you want to reach. Ask yourself, "what value will this story offer my audiences? What's the takeaway?"
  • Choose the best format to communicate your brand story—preferably the one that will reach your target audiences. The most popular include videos, articles, data visualizations, case studies, interactive infographics, motion graphics, and ebooks.
  • Craft a narrative that takes audiences on a journey. Highlight a problem and the solution (you offer) for it. Talk about key differentiators in your solutions, how you deliver, and the businesses you want to help.
  • Ensure the content reflects your brand's voice, tone, personality, and colours. Audiences should be able to relate the content with your business, even without you slapping your business logo everywhere.

3. Leverage Social Proof

With stiff competition everywhere, it's becoming increasingly difficult for B2B sellers to grab buyers' attention.

Having an optimized website and great products/services may help attract prospects, but it doesn’t mean you've won their trust.

Up to 93 per cent of prospective buyers check out online reviews before making purchases.

People are doing their homework. They want value for money, and they want to know other users' experiences before putting money down.

If you want to win them over, you need social proof, and here’s how you can get it:
  • Ask happy customers to leave positive reviews (their experience with the solution and your brand) on your site.
  • Add testimonials to your website. Where possible, add photos of the people providing the testimonials for authenticity.
  • Use case studies in long-form content.
  • Encourage user-generated content. As users share images or videos using your products/services, you gain exposure and credibility
  • Create social media buzz by asking brand advocates to share your content on their social platforms.

4. Email Marketing

According to 2020 statistics, the number of email users globally stood at 4 billion, with roughly 306 billion emails exchanged daily.

These numbers are expected to increase by the year 2025.

When you invest in email marketing, you're not looking at a short-term trend that could fall flat any minute. You're engaging in a well-established technique capable of generating positive results for your business.

That said, today's B2B audiences have higher expectations from email marketing campaigns.

They expect visually appealing and personalized emails geared towards relationship building. So, how can email help grow your business?
  • Lead generation. By engaging in a series of personalized conversations, email marketing allows you to nurture leads into paying customers.
  • Distributing content. Introduce freshly posted content to your audiences by announcing it (and providing links) via email. They are likely to engage you if the content matches their interests.
  • Sales effectiveness. Email campaigns provide insights into prospects' behaviour, allowing you to see which emails they opened and clicked through to pages on your sites. You can then reach out personally to know how you can help. You can also use email to build awareness of other products/services, opening up opportunities for upselling.
  • Aiding customer retention. This medium is perfect for maintaining a vibrant relationship with customers. You can design email campaigns for cart abandonment, send out renewal offers, and introduce customers to other products/services.

5. Cold Calling

Among all the techniques we've looked at, cold calling puts you in direct contact with your target customer.

It's a gateway for building awareness and letting the listener know what value you can add to their business.

But to generate positive results, you need to understand that cold calling is not about calling random numbers and rambling about your products/services.

It's a research-based approach that zeros in on prospects who are likely to need your solutions.

Consider the following before making cold calls:
  • Conduct a pre-call search. Look for essential information about your target customer to know if your services are relevant to them. It will also help you customize your offer in line with their needs.
  • Keep a calling guide handy. Write the information you want to share and questions to ask the prospect. Include possible objections and how to answer them.
  • Time your calls. You have goals for the week that you want to meet, well so does everyone else. Analyze call records to see which days and what hours received the best responses, and work with that.
  • Avoid monopolizing the call. To make our offers attractive, reps often end up talking too much. If you don't let the prospect speak, you won't understand their needs or hear their concerns.
  • Leave a voicemail. If you can't reach the prospect, leave your name, company, phone number, and the reason for calling on their voicemail. Keep the voicemail short, preferably under 30 seconds, and straight to the point.