Networking in B2B marketing: let’s be friends
26 August 2021
So you want leads. Great start. But how exactly are you going to get those? We’ve talked about SEO, rebranding and the importance of nurturing leads. However, one of the best ways to increase your profile is with a little help from others. Let’s take a look at why networking is so important in B2B marketing and how you can do it successfully.
Now when leads become clients, you’ll hopefully start cultivating a long standing relationship with them. Remember, in B2C the client relationships are very intense and very brief, but in B2B marketing they’re created to last for longer periods of time, perhaps even years. Before I get myself into a what came first the chicken or the egg situation, we’ll just decide to start from when a lead has just turned into a client. In our case, this would be a technology or cybersecurity company. This company in turn likely has multiple vendor partners working in the same industry. Now as you spend time with this company on a campaign, website or event you’re designing or creating for them, take a look at some of those partners. Do any of them align with the sort of solutions you offer? If so, it is worth organising an email, inmail or call to them to talk about yourself. When networking it’s good to remember that you’re no worse off if they aren’t interested than before you spoke to them, so why not?
As well as getting into direct contact with them, if you just want to stir up more general interest and see if they come to you, go onto your client’s LinkedIn page. Have a look at their connections and analyse those that look at their page the most. A simple follow will alert them to your presence, and they will likely take a look at your page. This will encourage them at the very least to visit your website, and maybe follow you back to talk more about what you have to offer. Speaking of LinkedIn, it is a fantastic tool to search for companies or people that you are interested in working with. Use their sales navigator tool to identify key people and organisations that you would like to start a conversation with – LinkedIn even has conversation prompts and templates to make your job a little easier.
Now an excellent little known way of spinning a larger web from your company is backlinks. (I say little known purely because I had no idea what they were until a short while ago, you likely already know). Just in case you don’t know, backlinks are links on your website that lead back to other websites. Now you’re not the one placing these links, but other websites are linking you to them, essentially leading their leads to you. This is an excellent way to generate more traffic to your website from other relevant sources. It also increases your place on search results, as Google will scan your website for backlinks. The more it finds, the more it will rank you as a trustworthy and valuable source on your given topic. In way, backlinks show how popular you are among other businesses, which demonstrates that you are a good choice as a resource.
When I mentioned networking, you probably envisioned a large party with canapés and an open bar where company representatives make small talk and hand out business cards. Now whilst physical events remain an excellent way of networking, it might be a while until the post pandemic world opens up enough again. In the meantime, and simultaneously, your greatest resource remains your clients. I already spoke about how you can research and connect with their partners, but don’t forget about how important your established clients’ voices are in all of this. Word of mouth is such a simple but effective tool in spreading the word about your company and its benefits. Once you’ve built a solid relationship with a client, they are more likely to recommend you to their own connections.
So there you have it. Networking will likely always remain a crucial part of expanding your successful B2B marketing strategy, so it’s important to implement as many ways of doing it as possible.