5 recommendations to help you put the pedal to the metal when it comes to your growth marketing strategy.
Buyers have embraced a digital-first buying process, and it’s making organizations re-think how they create value throughout the customer journey. This is an exciting evolution for B2B marketers, but it’s not without some challenges. Namely, how can you build mindshare with your target audience in a crowded digital marketplace? And in an uncertain economy, what can you do to ensure that your growth marketing strategy helps your company achieve its goals?
We often work with clients who are struggling to address these exact questions. If you’re looking for ways to kick-start your growth marketing efforts this year, here are our five recommendations for success.
Narrow your focus by using an ideal customer profile.
Need to generate growth fast? Then cast your line out to every buyer who could possibly use your product and see who bites.
Wait – not so fast!
Going after your total addressable market (TAM) may seem like a logical growth marketing strategy, but it’s actually counterproductive and inefficient in large crowded markets. Why? Because if you target only those companies who are the best fit for your products and services, then you’ve got a much better shot at gaining their interest.
But how do you zero in on that ideal buyer and understand what makes them tick? By using an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). An ICP is a description of your best fit customer. This is the type of company most likely to buy your products and maximize value for your organization. Basically, it’s a representation of your ideal client.
An ideal customer profile helps you identify and better understand your target audience by examining factors such as business triggers, product use cases and key company characteristics. They are a foundational tool you can use as part of any growth marketing strategy. Learn more about ICPs on this episode of our podcast, The Demand Gen Fix or in our blog article: Why You Need an Ideal Customer Profile for a Successful Demand Generation Strategy.
Create hyper-focused content targeted to your ideal customer profile.
If you’ve done your homework and created an ideal customer profile, then you understand exactly what types of companies are the best fit for your products and services. And you also know more about their strengths, weaknesses and what keeps them up at night. Now you can use those powerful insights from your ICP to create content that’s highly relevant to your ideal customer.
Let’s say you’re an HR technology company, and a common pain point for your ideal client is managing several different benefits partners and programs. You can build several pieces of content that speak to this challenge. But how do you take a strategic approach to developing the content? By using a content mapping process. Content mapping helps to ensure that you’re connecting with prospects at critical points throughout their buying journey.
|Awareness Phase||Consideration Phase||Decision Phase|
|Seeking education, resources and data to help solve a problem
Content goal: Emphasize trends, data
Content types: articles, infographics, listicles
Example: 5 ways to streamline your employee benefits ecosystem (article)
|Weighing options, evaluating solutions and providers
Content goal: Emphasize storytelling, client relationships
Content types: Case studies, webinars
Example: How ABC Company increased benefits usage and saved $2 million on administration costs (case study)
|Narrowing the field and selecting a partner
Content goal: Emphasize solutions, expertise
Content types: Demo videos, guides
Example: Why XYZ Company’s software platform is a benefits administration game-changer (demo video)
To learn more about content mapping, check out our blog article: B2B Content Mapping: Build Content for Each Stage of the Buyer Journey.
Use intent data to find companies that fit your ICP and are most likely to be in a buying cycle.
Intent data is a set of online behaviors that signal purchasing interest. It can tell you who’s in the market for your product right now, plus give you insights on what content they’re interested in.
4 types of intent data
- Search intent data – provides insights on search engine keywords to help you identify relevant content topics
- Engagement data – shows the interest level for a certain piece of content (shares, comments, likes, etc.)
- Firmographic data – reveals facts about the ideal company you want to target (size, revenue, industry, location, customers)
- Technographic data – offers details on the systems and technology used by your audience
Intent data helps you make informed decisions about your content throughout the buyer journey. As part of a growth marketing strategy, it can help to ensure that you’re targeting the right buyers with the right content at the right time.
Build out a digital footprint that becomes your BEST sales rep.
According to Gartner, 80% of sales interactions will occur on digital channels by 2025. This means that your company’s digital ecosystem has to act as your best sales rep. Think of it as a self-service sales channel that answers all your buyers’ questions and convinces them to choose your solution.
But are your company’s online channels on par with what your best sales rep has to offer? Many of our clients find themselves playing catch-up on this front, scrambling to fix outdated websites, enhance their social media presence and tap into relevant 3rd-party channels. And it’s easy to underestimate this work as a one-time endeavor. But it’s more than just refreshing your website or establishing a YouTube channel. Transforming your digital footprint into a growth marketing tool requires ongoing investment and attention. However, when you start viewing your digital ecosystem as a key driver for growth, it becomes easier to prioritize it.
If you’ve got a lot of work to do when it comes to your digital presence, it can be tough to know where and how to begin. We recommend starting with a competitive audit, so you can see how your company’s digital footprint stacks up to the competition.
- Select 3-5 of your top competitors and evaluate their digital footprints.
- Pay close attention to visual look-and-feel as well as key messaging, company differentiators, content depth and topics, as well as posting cadence and frequency.
- Include company ratings and reviews (on G2 Crowd, TrustRadius, Google, etc.) as part of your evaluation.
- Don’t forget to audit your own digital channels!
Once you’ve completed the audit, you’ll have a better understanding of where your own opportunities are as well as key competitor gaps that you can use to your advantage.
Leverage third-party industry influencers and media outlets to tap into their audiences.
B2B marketers have moved beyond simply targeting buyers – we’re now providing them with education and enrichment throughout a complex and lengthy sales cycle. This is part of a broader shift from simply generating leads toward building sustainable demand. And when you’re working to add value before the sales pitch, influencers are uniquely positioned to help you build brand preference and establish trust. How? Because they have established audiences and high credibility.
When you’re evaluating influencers and media options, clearly the size of their audience is important. But it shouldn’t be your only consideration. Look at how good they are at engaging with their audience, and how relevant their content is as well. Are they getting a lot of comments? Do they seem to have more than just followers, but passionate fans? All these factors can help you determine which influencer or media option is the best fit for your growth marketing strategy.
One common mistake that we see companies make with influencers is to use them only on social media channels. Yes, influencers are everywhere on social media. But many of them are even more effective in person, and can be a valuable addition to customer events and experiences. You can maximize your relationship with an influencer – and their impact on your brand – by incorporating them into content across your marketing channels.
In this article, we’ve offered five growth marketing strategies to help you accelerate your goals, starting with an ideal customer profile. You can then use your ICP to create relevant content for your target audience at each stage of their buying journey. Next, use intent data to identify which buyers to target with your content. Finally, build out your digital ecosystem and leverage industry influencers and media outlets to jump-start your growth marketing efforts.
If this sounds like a lot of work, well, it is! Here at GrowthMode Marketing, we’re experts at helping our clients create growth marketing strategies designed to generate demand and build brand value. And we can help you too! Contact us today to learn more.