Facebook Ads ROI is dropping following the IOS changes that Apple unveiled. Google Ads seem only to get more expensive after you start a campaign. LinkedIn Ads have always been a very expensive approach, and the ROI for LinkedIn messages is limited. In fact, our research has found that nearly 100% of marketers have found that their paid ads ROI has either decreased or stayed the same in 2022.
So how can startups increase B2B sales without paid ads? It’s a question we get from startups every day. Many of them started with paid ads at a small price point and quickly find themselves spending upwards of 50K per month. There is no one answer to this question. Instead, there are several approaches for startup marketing that work well to break your dependence on paid ads.
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Focus on Inbound Marketing
This startup marketing technique focuses on pleasing the leads, rather than pushing them. In inbound marketing, it is important to give buyers a positive experience with your company first.
To do this, you need to garner a reputation as an expert in the field. Become an important resource for information to your prospects.
Leads should be nurtured to become qualified as sales-ready leads. This way, the buyer is ready to make a purchase before speaking to a salesperson. This is ideal for startup marketing, as it requires less input of your already limited time.
The result of successful inbound startup marketing is that the buyer feels they have autonomy over their decision to purchase. They feel that they know your company and have generated a good relationship. Humans are sociable, so this relationship is key.
Inbound marketing for startups is a longer-term strategy, taking at least 6 months. However, the value of the leads you will get makes it a worthwhile investment. At the same time, startups can’t just sit back and wait for inbound to work.
Provide Valuable Content
Making good quality content will increase interaction with leads naturally. It will also continue to uncover new prospects over time, as more buyers search for the solution to their problem.
Use content to answer questions that are searched frequently around your topic. Solve problems that you are aware of within your market. Your content should become a resource that buyers can refer to overtime.
Use keyword searches and conduct enquiries to discover which questions are frequently asked. Consider what problems your specific buyer is having. Utilise blog posts to explain answers to these questions.
Good quality written pieces will serve you continuously. New prospects will discover your answers. Likewise, existing leads will return to your content.
Use a website to host your blogs. This will act as a sort of portfolio to represent your business, and how you can add value to buyers’ lives.
Videos are a great way to engage your prospects. Showing your face makes you more recognizable as a brand. They are also ideal for explaining more complex concepts.
Video content creates more engagement than other formats. Buyers that feel familiar with a brand are more likely to interact. Generate trust between you and your buyer over time, to nurture them into a sale.
As we mentioned above, startups can’t just sit back and wait for inbound leads. At the same time, cold calling and pitching don’t work. So if you want to increase B2B sales without paid Ads, what are you to do?
Outbound using content is the best approach. Your email should be thought leadership and should be ‘selling’ content. What we mean by this is that your emails should push for downloads of content not for meetings.
Asking someone you’ve never met to take a meeting about your product almost never works. This content-driven approach is the best way to warm up the lead before you push for a meeting.
Build a specific and targeted list of contacts for your email campaigns. This method makes use of contact data that you already have.
Segment your audience, and tailor emails to certain qualities that leads have. For example, whether they have interacted with you, how, what field they are in, and more. This may change the type of content that will be useful to them. By tailoring your emails, your buyer feels you are aware of their specific needs.
Age may also be a factor to consider with email campaigns. Older generations prefer to use email to interact, whereas younger generations prefer social media.
Finally, you should be running email sequences, sometimes called drip marketing. These sequences are a series of emails that push content, follow up, build a relationship and then ask to meet.
Start Conversations on Social Media
Social media is an excellent way to have meaningful conversations with your prospects. Best of all, it’s free to use.
Creating a social media presence allows your buyers to get to know your company. People like to feel connected to a business before making a purchase. Your social media pages give prospects a place to have a 1:1 conversation with you.
Having an easy method of communication with your buyer is an important step to encouraging them through the buyers’ journey. As a result, buyers don’t feel pressured to complete a sale. They feel that they already trust your company enough to consult your salespeople independently.
You can also use social media to get involved in conversations that your prospects are already having. Use it as a tool to identify grievances that your buyer has. Your company can then focus on solving this recurring problem.
Posting on social networks can also facilitate your content to be spread. Users can share content that they found useful with their contacts. This extends your reach to a relevant audience, who are having the same problems as your lead.
As you generate a following, your company will be recognized as a reputable brand in your field.
Each of these methods are either free or relatively inexpensive. You can avoid using paid ads that require budget spend, and may not work for your brand.
Paid advertising is effective and we aren’t advocating stopping it fully. Instead, we believe that the most successful startups have a scalable business model. And, if a business is too reliant on paid advertising, that’s a risk. If major changes come along like Apple’s IOS update, which undermines Facebook Mobile ads, companies who are over-reliant on paid advertising are at risk.
The above techniques are useful when watching ROI and can generate good leads to nurture into sales.
At Nituno, we can build a startup marketing strategy that suits your company. Get in touch and let us show you how we can help with your marketing campaigns.
How to Market and Sell B2B AI Software
Invest in Social Media Marketing
Investing in social media marketing will also help you reach customers on a different platform.
Social media marketing gives you the opportunity to create word-of-mouth advertising and build your brand. As your business’s presence on social media grows, more people will see and recognize it.
Some best practices you need to follow on social media are:
- Create content regularly to connect with your audience.
- Use visuals like images and videos as they attract higher engagement.
- Interact with your audience through prompt replies and resharing.
- Share relevant industry content with followers.
- Invest in paid advertisements to reach a wider audience.
Post engaging, relevant content that gives users a reason to follow your account. You also need to create shareable content – this increases the spread of your messaging.
Use Content Marketing
Make it easier for people to find your business on search engine result pages through content marketing. With this type of marketing, you can create content about relevant topics and subjects to help people find your company.
Build a Blog
Content marketing uses search engine optimization to increase your rank in search results. Blogging is a powerful strategy that can help your startup generate the exposure it needs. That way, readers – who may become potential customers – can understand how your business will help address their needs.
Email marketing is an essential strategy for attracting customers to your startup. To take advantage of this marketing strategy, you must first collect prospects’ email addresses. Consider placing a newsletter signup form on your website.
You must diversify your emails with non-commercial content like guides, how-to articles, videos, and infographics. If you only send advertorial emails, subscribers will probably opt out of receiving your newsletter. You also want to be sure to have a catchy subject line to get readers to open the email.
Understand What Works for Your Audience
If you want to get the best possible results when it comes to marketing, you need to focus on what works.
There are many different ways to achieve your goals. You should always focus on the most high-impact and cost-effective, and as a startup owner.
The best ways of marketing a startup use a combination of what we’ve mentioned above. Then, analyzing their performance will determine which ones require more or less investment. No matter what you do, your marketing strategies are as important as your goals and targeting.
At Nituno, we specialize in helping startups to scale up their business. We are built from the ground up to help them with their unique challenges.