SMS B2B Marketing In The Modern Age Of Social Media
Usually, the B2B marketing landscape is a different kind of beast. You need special strategies to target other companies and convince them that your business is the right option. Email, cold call, direct meeting, those were the ways that B2B marketing used to work.
But the world is changing, and so do business to business models. Especially with the pandemic going on, companies more than ever need indirect marketing ways to connect with their potential customers. Social media was a good choice because of its modern features, but for a more personalized touch that B2B companies desperately needed, it lacks the ability.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, there is another powerful tool that many companies overlook.
SMS marketing is particularly not widely used in the B2B sector. The popular perception of text messaging is that it can only be used in the B2C section. This is a mistake. SMS B2B marketing can also be an effective B2B marketing strategy that helps nurture prospects down the sales funnel. And it works even more effectively with new automation technologies.
Read on for the guide to make text messaging work for your B2B company, and the tool you need to implement it.
Table of contents:
- Why should you use SMS B2B marketing?
- How to use SMS B2B marketing?
- Common usages for SMS B2B marketing
- Tips for SMS B2B marketing
- B2B vs B2C SMS marketing
- Final words
Why should you use SMS B2B marketing?
It’s simple:** the business people to whom B2B companies are attempting to sell their products are also customers! At its foundation, the business-to-business model is similar to the business-to-customer approach, with one exception: instead of “everyday” customers, there are some “serious” business people dressed in suits and ties. Of course, this is a generalization, but you get the idea of what we’re trying to express.
When selling to normal clients at a store or business people within a company, you are communicating and dealing with – people in both circumstances. This is why SMS marketing, which has proven to be effective in building relationships between companies and customers, can expand its reach and enter the world of business.
People attribute a more “professional” mindset to B2B clients, thus they believe the SMS marketing technique and content aren’t targeted to them.
As long as they believe this, they will be losing a valuable marketing and communication channel that other knowledgeable B2B marketers are using since they realized SMS is more than simply a retail business-to-customer communication medium.
SMS marketing is effective since SMS is the most popular and widely used mobile phone application. All mobile phones include an SMS feature that is always on; you do not need to install or configure it, and, more crucially, SMS does not require Internet access to function. This means that everyone with a mobile phone may send and receive SMS text messages. Not to mention how simple SMS is to use, how familiar it is, and how effective it is. In addition, it is quite inexpensive in comparison to other marketing tactics (looking at you, social media advertising).
Many industries have already used SMS marketing, with B2B companies as well, such as real estate (74%), agriculture (65%), entertainment and leisure (62%) and also construction, machinery, homes etc.
How to use SMS B2B marketing?
Now that you understand how B2B SMS marketing works, let’s talk about how to manage a successful campaign. Follow these five steps to improve your lead generation, lead nurturing, and conversion rates!
Step 1: Create a strategy
To create an efficient SMS B2B marketing campaign, you must properly plan your strategy. At this critical stage, you must create a practical framework that you will use to run the campaign. SMS communications should be included in an omnichannel strategy. To put it another way, you don’t simply send SMS messages to your prospects.
In most cases, sms’ best friend is email marketing, even in the B2B or B2C landscape. There are many ways to combine the power of these two marketing channels.
For example, you can send blast text messages and emails to inform customers about a new promotion campaign. Or you can use email surveys to gather more data about your customers and make personalized SMS campaigns. You can also use text messages to inform customers about a new email that includes your latest blog posts.
The best thing is that both these channels are highly cost-effective. Create a strategy that details the specific marketing channels and tactics you will use to execute your SMS campaigns with precision.
Step 2: Build an SMS list
Building a B2B SMS list isn’t as difficult as it sounds. You can use your existing email prospect list to announce your plans to expand your SMS list. Make sure to include the following in your email:
What will they gain if they join your SMS marketing list? Provide a monetary incentive.
Details about the types of text messages you intend to send and how frequently you intend to send them.
A button that directs them to your sign-up form or a call-to-action that instructs them to text you a specific keyword to subscribe.
On your website, you can also include a mobile number field in your opt-in forms. Make sure that you have a box for subscribers to provide the necessary consent to receive your text messages.
Step 3: Segment the list for better personalization
Don’t send the same text message to everyone of your B2B SMS marketing subscribers. First, you must segment your listing for relevancy. Sort your target list into categories depending on things like:
The prospect’s age
Pre-existing level of interest Business size
This segmentation will enable you to produce customized communications that will appeal to the appropriate B2B prospect.
Step 4: Craft compelling messages
There are numerous forms of text messages that may be sent to businesses. Polls are a great way to obtain feedback on your email marketing efforts. You can use questions to learn more about your prospects and create personalized email marketing campaigns. You can also collect more information about prospects in order to better understand them and the problems they want to solve.
Other forms of text messages you can send to B2B prospects can be:
Announcements from the company: Perhaps you’ve made modifications to your product pricing or have a planned product launch.
Reminder: Remind your prospects of their upcoming (online or offline) meetings or demos with you.
Content updates: Instead of sending fresh content to prospects, you can send it straight to them. Simply send them a text message with a link.
Keep track of the length of the texts you send to B2B prospects. Make them as short as possible. People don’t like reading long text messages on their phones, especially if they’re from someone they don’t know. Furthermore, maintaining the 160-character restriction will prevent you from being charged for split communications.
Step 5: Analyze and improve messages
You should send text messages that are most compelling for your B2B prospects. To do that, you need to analyze your campaign performance and make sure they are most effective.
Something that you should consider checking often for your SMS B2B marketing messages are:
Send messages during business hours: Just like you, people are more willing to receive anything related to work during their working hours.
See which timing works for them: A marketing message at 4 a.m will get your prospect to unsubscribe from your list. Also, Monday is generally not a good day to receive non-urgent messages. With automation, you can test to see which day and time work best.
Check the performance rate: Open and click-through rates are often available in your SMS marketing platform, use them to know if your messages work for your segments of subscribers.
Once you figure out what went good and not, stick to your SMS marketing strategy so people can come to expect your messages. That way, they will be accustomed to your texts and are less likely to be annoyed.
Common usages for SMS B2B marketing
As a B2B marketer, you have a unique company with unique needs. You tend to be more number-based with your marketing method and expect your result to be clear. Even new digital marketing methods from social media have their challenges with this.
For a direct communication channel like SMS marketing, you can offer a personalized experience while viewing data in a clear way - for each customer. This is why SMS marketing is perfect for B2B companies that have very high-value customers.
We’ll break it down to some common cases so you apply B2B SMS marketing for yourself:
Staying on top of your inventory is essential for a B2B company. You need to know what your customers order and when to ship to keep the whole company process smooth. And so does your partner company. Nothing is more helpful to a business than a user-friendly and efficient ordering system.
With a two-way communication channel like SMS, both parties can reach out with the order, and you can set reminders for them, or even send some upselling offers. By establishing a smooth relationship with clients, your offers through text messages will be received much like a note from a friend, not a salesman.
Connect with leads
While servicing your existing clients, you from time to time need to find new partnerships. But leads are expensive for a B2B company, you need to find a cost-effective solution to establish contacts and yield a better ROI.
With SMS marketing, if you can get the receiver’s consent, your messages can have an open rate of around 98%, higher than any other medium. For reaching out to a lead, this 98% makes all the difference. And with the spam technology of text messages is still not (yet) widely implemented, you have guaranteed direct access to your audience through SMS.
You can set up a sign-up form on your website, where visitors can arrange a consultation through SMS. From there, you can set autoresponders to reach out to your leads immediately and ask what kind of service they need (direct consultation, pricing plans, ect.)
Now you have eliminated the response waiting time, which can cause a lead to slip.
Being in touch with the requirements of your customers is essential for improving your business. You don’t want to send out surveys that go unanswered, just like you don’t want to lose hundreds of leads. Giving clients a simple option to send you feedback will increase the number of responses.
With SMS, you can set up keywords like yes or no for customers to give their short feedback right on their phones. Most text messages have a 90-second response rate, so the odds are you’ll be likely to collect a lot of feedback in a short time.
Tips for SMS B2B marketing
The most critical component of business texting is informing people that your company provides a text message service. We don’t want to conceal that knowledge!
Then, additional actions can be taken to assist you to get the most out of your SMS program. Among these suggestions are:
Offer an incentive for customers to sign up for your SMS messaging list (a discount on the order, free support, etc.).
Take segmentation seriously. While B2C companies can often send blast messages, B2B companies need to have the most relevant content for their high-value customers.
Send out messages to prompt a response. You want the most out of texting to build relationships. By sending messages that encourage reaction from the audience, you deepen that B2B relationship.
Stay in touch outside of just your sales context. Provide value by periodically sending them relevant business materials, blogs, articles, researches, etc.
As the B2B market continues to be impacted by globalization, do your part to make the sector feel more personal. Making your clients feel like valued partners can help you develop the emotional brand connection that traditional B2C marketing tactics achieve. And, as the B2B sector moves toward these techniques, you’ll be ahead of the curve thanks to SMS B2B marketing.
B2B vs B2C SMS marketing
By the way, although both use text messages to reach customers, B2B and B2C SMS marketing are different. You will find that you need to apply other types of tactics, content, and delivery.
Because businesses require a more personalized approach, the goal of B2B SMS marketing is to generate leads by suggesting your services. People who represent corporations, as previously stated, do not tend to make emotional purchases. As a result, overtly commercial messages will not be effective. These messages will only work with specific consumers where the emphasis is on brand growth.
It is best to approach companies one-on-one in B2B sales. As a result, when it comes to B2B SMS marketing, you should concentrate on nurturing your prospects through content distribution. With B2C SMS marketing, on the other hand, you need to inform a large number of people about the advantages of your product. You then nurture them to eventually make a purchase after they are aware of your product.
That is the basic difference between B2B and B2C SMS marketing to engage their target audience.
Also, if you want to know the difference between email marketing and SMS marketing, click on the link to read more.
Many brands have started using SMs marketing in their customer service. For example, American Airlines allow business travelers to get flight updates by text, voice, or email. Others are testing out exciting features of SMS, such as delivering video, blog, app downloads, pr announcements, and more.
So, don’t be afraid of using B2B SMS marketing for your business, it can be highly effective if you use it properly for customer delight. To start with B2B SMS marketing today, click on the image below and access AVADA Marketing Automation - a solution for SMS, email, opt-in form, and more. The best news is that our app is free to start using!