If you want to know how to find new B2B clients, you’re in the right place. Like everything in marketing, what you’re looking to do actually has a name. You want to develop your customer acquisition strategy.
Finding new B2B clients can be more challenging than finding B2C clients. More people are involved in the purchase decision, and as a result, B2B sales cycles are longer. And strategies for acquiring clients are very different from those you see on social media or receive by email.
In the post below, we’ll show you 10 great ways to find new B2B clients.
1. Create a website and optimize it for SEO
Your website is one of the most important parts of your business — if not the most important of all. It not only gives you a presence online, but it also makes your business look more professional, and increases your credibility. Now let’s look at the role it plays in finding new clients.
If your website doesn’t rank well in search engines, your customer acquisition strategy isn’t going to be very successful. The first thing your potential clients now turn to when they need to solve a problem is Google. If your target audience can’t find your company online, you’re going to miss out on a lot of business. Ideally, you want your website to work like a magnet to attract new clients.
But for this to happen, you first need to know what your clients are looking for. There are now a number of tools available to help you do this. These will tell you what keywords your potential clients search for more most in search engines like Google. And once you know what internet users are looking for, you can start attracting the B2B clients you want.
A successful customer acquisition strategy should also include more long-term marketing strategies, like Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This requires some time and effort to really start delivering results. But organic search results provide you with a sustainable competitive advantage. SEO is a cost-effective long-term strategy which will ultimately bring you regular new business.
That’s because once your website ranks well in Google search results, it starts to pay for itself. It will deliver a constant flow of new leads to your website without requiring much additional effort on your part.
2. Post regularly on social media
Your potential clients are bound to be present on social media. Everyone has their favourite social network, even in B2B. For some it will be Instagram, for others YouTube, while still others will prefer LinkedIn. So, it’s vital for your business to have a presence on social media. For B2B, the most important social network is still LinkedIn.
There are a number of benefits for your business:
Brand image: Your posts add to your business’s credibility and give potential clients more ways to interact with you. Engaging with followers and posting content on a regular basis will build trust and authority in your niche over time. And that will help you to attract your target audience.
Pro tip: You can use a social media scheduling tool to manage your social media accounts. These will let you automate the publishing of posts across all channels, optimize posting times, and provide you with analytics for how your posts perform.
Customer relationships: At Plezi, we also use social media to engage with clients, partners, and recognized industry experts. Many B2B businesses are now using “social selling” strategies. These rely more on proactive tracking, comments, and direct messaging of business contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Visibility: One of the best ways to generate B2B clients is to create online communities. These include groups of connected individuals who face similar business challenges and problems. These are known as social communities. For example, LinkedIn Groups are a good place to post comments (in “Group conversations”). A group built around providing added value for its members is a great place find new potential clients.
To take advantage of these, you obviously need to have a social media account for your business and an up-to-date profile page. You can find out more about what makes a good LinkedIn strategy in this post.
3. Start using content marketing
Start by creating buyer personas for the target audience you want to attract. You can use these to create content of interest to these personas at each stage of the buyer’s journey (i.e., Awareness, Evaluation, and Purchase). The first goal of content marketing is to educate your audience. This means providing leads with valuable resources. For example, blog posts, white papers, and webinars. By providing leads with real evidence of your industry expertise, you’ll help them to see the value of your solution. This will then increase their trust in your business.
But this isn’t the only reason to use content marketing. It also helps your website to rank better in search engines like Google for keywords related to your sector.
Online content is now essential to your business. It will provide the cornerstone of many of your marketing campaigns by improving how your website ranks in search engines (SEO).
4. Use your website to reassure visitors
B2B clients know what they want. They also like to investigate every available alternative to find a solution that’s right for them. It’s not so much your business that finds new clients, its clients that will find you.
80% of the B2B buyer’s journey now happens online. Potential B2B clients only make contact with a sales representative after carrying out their own research. They also need to be completely reassured by what they’ve read. A content marketing strategy will let you reach your target audience on the right channels. But how can you convince website visitors to make a purchase?
The B2B sector is a highly competitive environment. To convert visitors into clients, you need to tell them the right story. Putting yourself in the shoes of leads who are short on time will help you to optimize your website’s user experience. Make it easy and quick for visitors to sign up or contact you. Create different landing pages to make sure they land on the page that is most relevant to them.
Also highlight what clients really appreciate about your business. To help identify your strengths, try talking to your sales team. At Plezi, we work closely with our salespeople. They receive feedback from clients and also know what made them become a client. Listen to them and feedback from your clients to identify your strengths and highlight these on the landing page.
It’s also a good idea to highlight client testimonials or important key figures. That’s because B2B buyers generally take more convincing before making a commitment. Reassuring them is ultimately what will let you turn them into clients.
5. Organize events to create a real connection
Industry events are great places to meet the leads, clients, and partners that are all vital to your business.
They can include things like business breakfasts, morning meetups, and afterwork events. These can be quite easy to organize if you have space in your offices. Otherwise, you might hire a meeting room at a café or a co-working space.
Events are typically led by one or more of your employees or an invited guest. And speakers will normally address a topic of interest to your leads. This will be a problem or challenge faced by your leads and which your business’s product or service can provide a solution for. But you should remember that you aren’t there to sell your product or service. The event is organized to provide value to leads and helpful advice. You don’t have to avoid talking about your product or service altogether, but only do so sparingly. Leads aren’t at the event to listen to a sales pitch, but to get ideas and resources.
After the event, you can use the questions asked and comments made by leads in your customer acquisition strategy. The event is also a great place to talk to leads directly. This will give you information which you can use in future communications with them and other contacts. They might comment on something that you might have missed or have a different opinion about some industry news. See it as an opportunity to learn to speak the same language as your potential clients. And you can use what you’ve heard from leads (e.g., about their needs, the problems they face, news) to create new content.
You should publish as much content as you can on your website as soon as possible. To be really successful, events need to be supported by a content strategy and a website. These should address the needs of event participants by highlighting content they can access, like videos and webinar replays. This will also encourage other leads to take part in future events.
6. Don’t give up on phone prospecting
Phone prospecting, or cold calling, has been part of a business’s sales techniques for a long time. It used to be the only way to reach potential clients but has now fallen out of favor with a lot of businesses.
But it’s not actually cold prospecting itself that has fallen out of favor. A lot of salespeople gave up using this technique with the advent of the internet. Compared to digital marketing, cold prospecting is often seen as being overly time-consuming by the sales team. But that doesn’t mean you should stop using it altogether.
We can guarantee that, working in an open space, you hear the phone ringing all day long. So, calling people on the telephone isn’t obsolete just yet. While cold calling doesn’t have a very good reputation in B2C, the same doesn’t really apply in B2B. That’s because it’s much easier to call businesses that know what they need.
There are a now huge number of tools that let businesses personalize each of their communications. But what most leads really want is to speak to a real person. Being able to speak to someone, ask them questions, and get answers in real-time is one of the best parts of a potential client’s buying experience.
7. Build partnerships
Business partnerships are free and enable both parties to increase their brand awareness. They are part of a traffic acquisition strategy called referral traffic. They can also be a great way to make early sales while your product and business reputation are still developing.
But if a partnership is to be successful, they need to be relevant to your marketing strategy. Start by asking yourself some questions to help identify other companies that could be potential partners:
- What products/companies in your sector have similar clients, but aren’t in direct competition with you?
- Is there a company or an industry professional that would find your product or service particularly useful and be ready to promote it?
- Could the clients of specific agencies, resellers, or distributors benefit from your product or service?
- What can you offer them as a partner? Would your product or service generate more engagement from them? Is your contact list or client database valuable? Does your website or blog receive a lot of traffic?
These partnerships can take a number of different forms, for example:
- Guest blog posts: you can write blog posts for your partner’s blog and increase both visibility and readership
- Software integrations: you can find ways to ensure that your products complement each other and can be used together
- Cross-promotion: you can promote each other’s business to your own clients and contact list
- Collaboration on bespoke projects: you can partner with another company to work on a bespoke project for a large client (this is a great way to network!)
- Affiliate marketing: you can promote another company’s product or service on your website or with an email marketing campaign
8. Monitor online forums and groups (Slack, WhatsApp, LinkedIn)
At Plezi, most of our clients find us in organic search results. We publish a lot of educational content on our blog to answer questions that our potential clients ask online. We identify these questions by regularly gathering marketing intelligence.
This involves monitoring what is said in forums and discussion groups about subjects we have expertise in. Ideally, each week we search for discussion groups relevant to our sector where members actively participate. This is where our target audience is present. We follow some of these groups on a regular basis, but others are always appearing, and they can be very useful.
You can use these groups in two main ways. The first is to join the conversation and make yourself known to potential clients by offering your expertise. As always, the aim is to demonstrate your expertise and be of help to other members of the group. Just be careful not to promote your business too much. If someone accuses you of doing this, it can do more harm to your business’s reputation than good.
Another way to take advantage of online activity is to browse Quora and Reddit forums related to your sector. You can use websites like these where your target audience asks questions to get ideas for new content. You can then write blog articles, white papers, and webinars that answer these questions. If a potential client is asking a specific question in an online forum, others are likely to share the same problem. They will also quite possibly be looking for similar solutions. All we are really doing is tracking the online behaviour of our target audience.
9. Consider using freelancing platforms
There are many different online platforms that connect a company that has a problem with a freelancer who can provide a solution. They basically work like classified ads, but for online B2B business services. Some examples of these platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.com.
If you’re a freelancer, there are several advantages to signing up, including:
- simplification of work processes (e.g., sending a quote, receiving payment);
- the speed at which projects are posted;
- the ability to reach your target audience.
So, if you’re a freelancer, why not sign up to one or more of these platforms? That’s quite possibly where your potential clients are.
Pro tip: When creating your profile, think about the first impression a client will have when they see it. This includes your profile picture, how you present yourself, client testimonials, and even the time you take to reply to messages.
10. Use Plezi One
If you want to start generating leads fast, the best thing you can do is to start using a lead generation tool like Plezi One.
Plezi One lets you easily create online forms (e.g., contact forms, request for quote, to request a demo, to download content) and use these to generate leads and potential clients. In looks something like this:
- Step 1: Attract new visitors to your website
- Step 2: Generate leads using online forms
- Step 3: Increase your sales
Plezi One is the free toolbox you need to easily find new B2B clients.
If you only remember one thing from this post, it’s this. You shouldn’t have to go looking for new clients. They are the ones who should be able to find you! For this to happen, the best thing you can do is to invest in inbound marketing. The new contacts you get as a result will be better qualified. That’s because they’ve found you after doing their own research into a problem they face. And that’s the key to a good customer acquisition strategy.