Indirect marketing is the opposite of direct marketing. This involves targeting your potential buyers with a more passive strategy. Produce content that interests them, without outright pitching your product. The marketing isn’t centered around the product, but around engaging the buyer. Typically, this is a longer process, but establishes trust.
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The best type of marketing for B2B is a long-debated topic. The truth is, the best marketers will be able to implement a combination of direct marketing, indirect marketing, and paid advertising. Each type of marketing has its benefits, and challenges. The key is to use the alternative marketing strategies to back up your approach.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that B2B marketing is a very different beast to DTC marketing. This is particularly true of SaaS marketing.
Typically, in these industries, buyers need to be educated before they are pitched. Often, they know they have a problem but may not know there are solutions available, let alone be aware of your solution.
This is why indirect marketing is so popular in the B2B industry. This approach allows you to provide useful information to buyers, and establish trust in your brand. Still not sure if indirect marketing is the right strategy for you? Consider integrating some inbound methodology throughout your marketing approach.
Direct vs. Indirect
What’s the difference, then? Why do you need a mix of both? Well, direct marketing does just what it says on the tin. In this approach, leads are contacted directly by the marketers – typically with a product pitch.
Examples of direct marketing include targeted cold email sequences, phone calls, social media messages, and advertising. You might be more familiar with leaflets, billboards, and tv advertising, as traditional examples of direct marketing. You, as the buyer, know what these companies are trying to achieve with direct marketing, and you can make the decision to purchase, or not.
This is often why direct marketing is popular in the DTC space. You need to compete with competitors, not with your buyers’ lack of awareness. Direct marketing is straight to the point.
That’s not to say that B2B marketers can’t benefit from some direct marketing efforts. Direct marketing is ideal for testing new messages. You get feedback quickly, and can iterate based on those metrics. Is one of your ads or email sequences seeing more responses than others? You can then integrate that message into your wider marketing.
This is why the best B2B marketing includes a combination of direct and indirect marketing.
Examples of Indirect Marketing
What types of indirect marketing should you be implementing? It’s important to take a holistic approach to indirect marketing for maximum reach. Here are some of the more popular examples of B2B companies:
SEO’s sole purpose is to enable content to rank higher in online search results. This makes it one of the most popular indirect marketing strategies. By optimizing your content and website according to Google algorithm guidelines, you can reach your target audience passively. Provide them with the answers they’re looking for, and give them the autonomy to choose to interact with your business. Typically, people are more receptive when they feel in control of their decisions.
SEO works in tandem with your website content to answer your buyer’s pressing questions or concerns. By being a useful resource, over time, your buyers develop trust in your brand and your position in your market. This does take time but is a strong foundation for your marketing once built.
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As mentioned above, content marketing typically works in tandem with your SEO efforts. Your SEO ensures that your content is on the front page of Google, but your content needs to answer your buyer’s questions. There’s no point directing your buyers to your website if you have nothing to offer.
You can create a variety of quality content, and upload this across your website. You should create a combination of the following: blog posts, cornerstone pages, infographics, whitepapers, and eBooks. Some of these can be gated, but it’s important to ensure that your SEO works to drive buyers to those gated pages. Your content is the valuable resource that connects your buyers to your business.
There are ways to utilize social media in both indirect and direct marketing approaches. However, for indirect marketing, social media is used much more passively.
Contribute to conversations in your space, and interact with buyers and competitors. You need to show you’re involved in your community, and that you understand the problems that your buyers face. This isn’t about pitching your solution, but developing a brand voice and authority in your industry.
Get involved with popular hashtags and memes, and feel free to share some of your popular content with your followers. However, remember, the goal is to engage – not pitch.
Indirect Marketing for B2B SaaS
At Nituno, we work with B2B SaaS and tech companies to audit their marketing and understand how to drive lead generation. We believe that a combination of marketing strategies is key to B2B marketing success. Get in touch with us for a free strategy audit.