B2B customer acquisition best practices
The customer acquisition process is essential for your business success, and it needs to be implemented in an effective way.
Its definition states it is the process of bringing new customers to your business. Its goal is to create a systematic and consistent customer acquisition strategy that can evolve with new changes and trends as they appear.
The strategy you should adopt is heavily influenced by the model of business you operate in – as it looks different in B2B and B2C models.
In B2B, the process may be a little bit more complex than in B2C due to different communication objectives. B2B focuses on long-lasting relationships and refers to logic, facts, and measurable qualities while B2C is more into quick sales and affecting emotions.
The studies have proved that these differences have a significant impact on using different channels when acquiring customers. B2B takes advantage of email marketing (as it is used by 88.6% B2B marketers), while B2C model focuses on social media (used by 90.3%).
Nevertheless, it doesn’t necessarily mean that once you operate in the B2B model, you should center around email marketing exclusively and ignore the other forms.
Inbound marketing is said to be one of the most effective methods of winning new B2B clients. Inbound clients frequently tend to be higher-intent, as they have already conducted their research and are looking into your offers.
One of the best inbound marketing examples here may be developing a video series or high-quality content strategy aimed at driving prospects to your website.
Referral marketing is based on old but gold word-of-mouth marketing, but in a slightly more advanced, meticulously planned and business-directed form. It is about encouraging your existing customers to share information about your products, offers, or brand, which is likely to help you generate new customers for your business.
Since, according to Extole study:
Another thing that the results of the study have pointed out is the fact that
Those are just two of the reasons why you should give referral marketing some thought.
Another method is to make use of affiliate programs with referral links. You can encourage the affiliates to introduce your brand to their audience by offering special discounts to them. It is also a unique way to maintain relationships with your customers – the situation in which affiliates gather their provision, while you gain recognition and new customers, works for everybody.
Setting up an affiliate program may seem a bit difficult initially, but a little effort is enough to crank up the engine and gather your first affiliates.
Social media marketing
A large number of B2B businesses exclude Facebook or Instagram Advertising as they perceive these platforms, and overall social media marketing, as rather belonging to the B2C world. But they couldn't be more wrong.
Instagram and Facebook Advertising can generate valuable traffic, increase brand awareness, and provide your business with high quality leads in a cost-effective way.
You should also give LinkedIn some thought, especially when it comes to B2B. This professional platform is here to help you find new promising customers and build authentic relationships with them.
Apart from just advertising on social media, make sure to post regularly, inform your audience about the latest updates, new launches, discounts, or special offers. It will allow you to increase audience engagement and take care of the corporate image.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Leads coming from organic search frequently turn out to be more valuable than those coming from business directories. Keeping this in mind, you should find out what your potential B2B customers search for. Then, you will be able to improve your SEO in order to appear higher in the rankings and make your business easy to be found.
Content marketing and recycling
Creating meaningful and engaging content on a website or a blog is a highly powerful customer acquisition practice implemented by the vast majority of B2B businesses. According to a Hubspot study:
Content marketing allows you to snag your audience’s attention, direct them to your website, and let them explore your business and offer. In order to make the best out of it, you should follow the content marketing cycle:
- create buying personas,
- map the most relevant content for each buyer persona,
- create content (various types – videos, blog posts, webinars, etc.),
- plan content marketing campaigns,
- measure the results,
- recycle the content to revive the topic after some time.
Positive testimonials and customer reviews can also work as a teaser to attract B2B customers. They will be more willing to trust a company with heaps of satisfied clients than a no-name one without any proven sales or loyal customer base.
This is the reason behind the widely used practice of putting testimonials on landing pages (which you can create with the Landingi platform). They are incredibly efficient and profoundly impact the customer’s final decision. Therefore, you should gather positive feedback from your existing clients, as it will facilitate you acquiring new ones.
Therefore, you should also check, which rating platform mentions your business, and encourage satisfied customers to give positive feedback about your company. Potentially interested customers will definitely look into these platforms to check your business reputation, so you should not miss out on them.
Another highly efficient form of customer review is a case study elaborated together with a given customer. Such a solution is mutually beneficial – your business will have an indisputable piece of evidence that your offer is stellar, and the customer will be able to reach a new audience.
When potential customers come across your business website, they expect to find useful information about your products or services that can be beneficial for them. Hence, your job is to provide them with it.
An enormous number of B2B business websites fail at properly familiarizing visitors with products or services features, which then results in millions of lost opportunities. Don’t just quote prices. Firstly, represent the features and value that your offer comes with.
Lead generation and lead scoring
Another B2B client acquisition practice is improving your lead generation process to increase the number of prospects (especially once you create a sales funnel). Implementing the lead generation process allows you to get to know your target audience and tailor your offer to their needs.
These days, you have a pool of possibilities when it comes to lead generation – creating meaningful content, implementing email marketing strategy, or promoting relevant content on your social media channels.
Moreover, you shouldn't miss out on lead scoring (assigning value to each lead based on the probability of engaging with a business), as it allows you to prioritize your efforts on the leads that are most likely to purchase and thus turn them into your customers in a more carefree and rapid way.
Interactions with your target audience are crucial for creating long-lasting relationships, And these are especially important in the B2B model, where you should appear as a reliable business partner. This is the reason behind the high usage of email marketing in B2B companies.
In order to increase engagement, you should nurture the relationship with existing customers (through email marketing or social media) and also try to reach those less engaged with a different approach (for example, by sending completely different emails or special offers).
To acquire customers in B2B, you can also reach out directly to a decision-maker. It may be a CEO, director with high authority in the business or procurement manager who decides on what is purchased.
Outreach marketing can substantially speed up the decision-making process and allow you to acquire customers for your business quickly.
In order to enhance brand awareness and reach your target audience in an optimized way, you can also make use of multiple channels. According to Nielsen survey:
Truth be told – engaging potential customers across various devices and media channels increases not just brand awareness but also the willingness of consumers to purchase from you. Therefore, it is a promising practice that should be followed.
Last but not least, customer retention is another exemplary practice that you can implement. In B2B, customer retention refers to all the activities that prevent your customers from deflecting somewhere else.
According to studies, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. It makes customer retention a powerful, cost-effective practice of increasing revenue – other studies prove that even an increase of 5% in customer retention rates can increase overall revenue by 25–95%.
How to measure the customer acquisition strategy?
In order to check whether the B2B acquisition marketing actions you have implemented work, you should measure the performance of your activities properly. You can help yourself with Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), including marketing costs, advertising, or events in reference to a specific marketing campaign.
CAC is very simple to calculate as the formula is CAC = marketing costs/customers acquired. It allows you to measure your ROI as CAC assigns real value to your marketing activities.
As you can see, there are numerous practices that can assist you in implementing a successful customer acquisition process in B2B. Nevertheless – once you execute them, always have in mind your target audience as they are the final users of your activities.
In the end – real and honest relationship building is the most essential in customer acquisition, and you should never forget about it.