When it comes to B2B local marketing, finding leads, closing sales, and driving revenue is an interesting challenge, especially when you think about it in the context of local.
Think about it this way, have you ever heard the saying, "supplies are limited?"
It's a problem local B2B companies understand well. If you're in a large metropolitan area like Los Angeles, New York or Chicago it's actually more of a problem.
I'm talking about competition.
If you're running a local B2B company, you're competing directly with other providers in your area. If you're missing the right strategy and tactics, it can be tough to attract the steady flow of clients you need to build a thriving business.
Today we tackle that problem head-on.
Here are 30 B2B local marketing ideas you can put to work immediately, generating the leads, clients, and revenue that you need to grow your B2B company.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #1: Perpetual Poster Boy
Goal: Boost awareness and options with targeted testimonials
KPI: Referral traffic/visits
Here's how it works. You find great products, customers and services to use for your company. You achieve amazing results, then you reach out to the company in question and you talk about your amazing results. Here's a look at that in action.
The 17th Street Athletic Club is a fitness club and personal training studio based in San Francisco California. They signed up with MailChimp, used their new marketing platform, and achieved amazing results.
This is a fantastic way to produce under the radar opt-ins and sign-ups for your business. It has a cumulative effect on the businesses you work with. Here's how you do it.
Why it works. Whenever these local businesses promote your business, they'll promote you. It's a conversion booster for them, and free marketing for you. It's a win all around!
B2B Local Marketing Idea #2: BNI Booster
Goal: Use BNI to create a group of volunteer referral partners
Business Network International (BNI) is a networking organization that facilitates networking. Here's how it works. You pay the registration fee, then you show up to the meetings (usually at 7:00 am). Businesses mingle and get to know each other initially. Then, once the meeting starts, members take 60 seconds to introduce themselves.
It doesn't work well for most people.
Most people arrive with their hands out, immediately requesting referrals. That's not how business is done. You've got to prime the pump. The best way to do that?
Let members in tangential or relevant industries know you're looking for a reliable business to send referrals to. Then, send them referrals. Why would you pay hundreds of dollars to hand out referrals? Because what you give returns to you.
Send a consistent stream of referrals to givers and matchers. Avoid takers like the plague. In time, you'll begin to receive a consistent stream of referrals from each of the sources mentioned. Repeat as needed. It takes time to build but it's definitely worth it in the end. The more you give, the more you'll receive.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #3: Speaking engagements + products
Goal: Use speaking engagements to attract high dollar clients
KPI: Sales of products
This strategy is simple.
1. Make a list of tangential services in need of your services. If you're a contractor, you may want to speak with real estate investors or property developers.
2. Create an introductory product or service your audience is required to pay for (e.g. books, DVDs, USB downloads, etc.).
3. Pitch these organizations and ask for the opportunity to speak at their next event. Also ask that they provide you with a table/chairs, featured spot in the venue to sell your materials.
4. Deliver a speech that knocks their socks off. If you're not sure how, you can join Toastmasters to get the public speaking practice you need in a safe environment.
5. Sell your books after the event. The people who buy your introductory product have pre-qualified/self-identified as high-value leads. Add these people, with their permission, to your marketing funnel.
Here's an example of that strategy in action.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #4: Get your local library to sell for you
Goal: Goal: Build free marketing partnerships with local libraries
KPI: Contact information
Pitch your library with a list of ideas that would be ideal for a specific segment of their audience. If you're a small business accountant, pitch library staff on the idea of running a workshop for new/prospective entrepreneurs. Provide the library with images, content, copy and materials they need to promote the event.
Next, ask your library to promote the event via their print, email and social media profiles. Be sure to give your library the upfront time they need to promote your workshop, seminar or event aggressively.
Provide attendees with a product they can purchase. Sure, this can be a profitable side business for you but it's really designed to do three things.
1. Separate serious contenders from the casuals
2. Create additional revenue for more marketing
3. Build awareness, recognition and buzz
This strategy isn't limited to your local library. This can be done in a variety of other places, provided that your audience has the ability and the willingness to buy.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #5: Sponsored offerings
Goal: Monetize sponsorships via exclusive offers
KPI: Voucher redemption (digital or in-person)
Most of the time, businesses sponsor irrelevant organizations, groups, and events. It's part of the reason they struggle to see a return. Sponsored offerings are different. Here's how it works:
1. Find a relevant organization, group or event to sponsor. The emphasis here is relevance. If you're a business attorney, sponsoring business, entrepreneur or startup related events would be perfect.
2. Create a compelling and irresistible offer. Use urgency triggers and risk reversals to sweeten the deal.
3. Require that businesses come to your business specifically (online via a custom landing page or offline via a digital/paper voucher) to redeem the offer. They'll need to provide you with their contact details
4. Give everyone at the organization, group or event you're sponsoring equal access to the offer. Limit the offer to the first X number of people to redeem the offer in person. This is important because you typically won't be able to serve everyone. Set limits to avoid the Groupon rush.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #6: Newsjacking with breaking news
Goal: Build consistent publicity with appropriate, short-term content
KPI: Visits, shares, opt-ins
Newsjacking is defined as:
"The art and science of injecting your ideas into a breaking news story and generating tons of media coverage and social media engagement."
This strategy requires nuance and careful consideration. Here's how it works. You find a relevant breaking news story that's attracting a lot of attention. Then, you offer to solve the problem in the news story for each of the parties involved.
Here's what that looks like.
The Gracie family are pioneers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They frequently offer to train officers, police departments and innocent bystanders in the art of gentle self-protection. They're focused on helping departments avoid publicity nightmares and the decrease of trust in the community. They're also focused on empowering innocent victims/bystanders.
This strategy requires ingenuity but it can work for any local company.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #7: The greater good
Goal: Live out your values, build goodwill and a strong reputation by serving your community first
Identify a social interest cause or problem that's related to your business. If you're a lawyer, defend the defenseless. Restaurant? Feed those who can't feed themselves (e.g. homeless, nursing home, elderly, etc.). If you're a dentist, provide dental care for the homeless.
Next, watch the news for issues that are related (directly or indirectly) to your business. Then, contact the parties mentioned in the story and offer to provide for the needs of the suffering in your community. Do not market or promote your good deeds. Do not take pictures of your good deed and post them on Facebook. Simply step in, serve those who are struggling, then step out.
This certainly doesn't seem like a great marketing idea, but it is. Here's why. You are showing that you care about the people in your community. More importantly, you did what most people can't or won't do to help. This is a long-term strategy that's most effective when it's used as a habit.
Want your community to care for and support your business? Take the time to care for and support your community.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #8: Create a referral kit
Goal: Automate the referral process
It can be difficult for B2B organizations to earn a consistent supply of referrals. Clients aren't always sure what to say to prospective clients. A referral kit changes that.
A referral kit is a print document or booklet that provides clients with a solution to one (or a few) problems. You'll want to provide a solution that's meaty enough to provide clients with options, but brief enough to demonstrate their need for you.
When you're finished working with a client, give them a few copies of your referral kit. This short booklet is an educational powerhouse that provides you with a steady supply of clients.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #9: Local guest posting
Goal: Build publicity and local clout with influential publishers
Most clients are familiar with guest posting as a strategy. You'll get varying opinions on its effectiveness depending on who you ask. Local guest posting provides local businesses with a direct path to more leads, customers and sales.
Here's what you need to maximize your results.
1. A list of local publications. You're looking for high traffic, prestigious or partnership sources you can use to build your business. If they're an unknown, you'll have to evaluate things on a case-by-case basis.
2. A list of syndication sources. Some of the local publications in the previous step will also accept syndication, you'll want to identify the terms and conditions ahead of time.
3. A compelling, but limited, offer. You'll want to avoid a Groupon rush as much as possible. Limits increase the value of your offer but they also protect your business from an overwhelming surge of attention.
You probably see where I'm going with this. You pitch local sources exclusively, creating valuable stories around your client's desires, goals, fears and frustrations. Then, you seed your article, video or podcast with your compelling but limited offer. Next, syndicate your articles to the existing sites in your list that are okay with syndicating content.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #10: Review bird dogs
Goal: Create a powerful group of referral volunteers
KPI: Visits, conversions
Make a comprehensive list of local companies in your community (e.g. city, town or county). You're looking for organizations with a poor review portfolio. These are companies with no reviews, too many negative reviews, too little reviews (across multiple sites) or poor reviews from the wrong customer.
Present a few of the local companies with poor review portfolios a compelling offer.
You'll help them boost the traffic, leads and sales to their business dramatically. You'll take them on as a regular ongoing client, and provide them with a steady source of revenue, free of charge. When they ask what's the catch you show them your list.
They have to provide you with an introduction to X number of companies on your list each mo. The number of introductions they provide will vary from industry to industry.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #11: Become a maven
Goal: Collect and share difficult or hard-to-get information
Mavens are information gatherers, people who have access to valuable pieces of information others do not. If you're able to gather information prospective clients may want or need, do so. Take the time to share that information with B2B prospects in a systematic way (e.g. newsletter, membership site, recorded voicemail, etc.).
Becoming an information broker is an easy way to attract a never-ending supply of leads.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #12: Become the local connector
Goal: Broker access to those who struggle with networking
KPI: Number of quality contacts
Follow the 5+50+100 rule. Work to become a master connector, someone who is able to connect with anyone and everyone on a regular basis. This is a marketing track that operates parallel to your business. You need to have a set of systems and procedures in place to handle the demand once you get going.
Make it your goal to connect with anyone and everyone, regardless of their immediate value or interest to you. Next, work to stay in touch, providing everyone on your list with some sort of consistent, punctuated value. When anyone needs an introduction, be the one to line them up.
Follow the 5-to-1 ratio.
Facilitate five connections for every one connection you request. Worked to connect with influencers, celebrities, powerbrokers, other connectors, mavens and thought leaders. Make it a way of life, a habit you consistently follow.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #13: Barter for value
Goal: Trade services for value
Put out feelers. Work to consistently identify B2B professionals who are willing to barter for value. If a small business client needs help with their accounting, offer to line them up with a professional who needs help with some legal work. Throw your products and services in to sweeten the deal.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #14: Host meetups for tangential sources
Goal: Build a membership of like-minded sources
Hosting meetups is a great way to cultivate leads for your business. If you're a small business attorney, you can host meetups for the entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses in your area. If you're focused on a specific industry or group, you can create regular meetups that are focused and oriented on serving your specific audience.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #15: Forum posting
Goal: Build traffic by providing value on forums
KPI: Unique visits
You can use forum search engines like board reader, or search for specific subreddits related to your industry. If it's appropriate, add a compelling message to your signature. If you're on Reddit, be sure to fill out your profile in its entirety. You'll want to jump into these forums and begin solving your prospective client's problems. Focus exclusively on value. Remember, education attracts, information converts.
If you've taken the time to complete your profile properly, visitors will find you all on their own. This strategy works. I've used forums myself to land $14,000 - $20,000 contracts.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #16: Become a resource together
Goal: Build a sizable membership list
KPI: Contact information
First, determine the industry or groups in your target audience. If you're a startup consultant, you can identify the resources startups want most (e.g. funding, money to borrow). Create a list of resources, people and groups who are interested in loaning small businesses the resources they need, whether that's access, connections, money, leads or sales.
Work to find the inside track, a way for your specific target audience to get the resources they want from (or through) you. Provide better resources, content and details they can't get anywhere else. Create resources that are so good your clients would be crazy if they refused to come to you first.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #17: Create/commission original research
Goal: Create publicity and thought leadership that's difficult/impossible to copy
KPI: Traffic, leads, links and shares
Reach out to your local university. Contact specific colleges or departments. Recruit data scientists, statisticians, and economists in the making. Provide them with something they want (e.g. money, a recommendation letter, prestige, experience, etc.).
Ask them to create original research data on your behalf (in exchange for the thing they want). Ideally, you're answering questions the industry, your prospects or partners care about most. Provide them with the research credit, then advertise your original research (displayed on your website) to prospects in the local community.
Watch as the traffic, leads, links and shares pour in.
The better you are at answering important questions and presenting them in an attractive manner, the better your results will be.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #18: Create your own Facebook or LinkedIn group
Goal: Build trust quickly, drive traffic and generate leads at scale
KPI: Contact information + engagement
Create a LinkedIn group that serves your prospects and potential clients. If you'd like your group to be successful, do something you competitors won't do. Provide prospects with exclusive and valuable content they won't get anywhere else (e.g. Interviews and Q&A access to influencers and celebrities).
Use your LinkedIn group to serve your prospects exclusively.
If you're a real estate attorney, serve real estate investors, lenders and developers specifically.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #19: Rate businesses in a specific industry
Goal: Become an influencer for a specific industry
KPI: Prestige, traffic, views
Create an objective rating system for the best of the best in your state, region, town, community or ZIP Code. A well-known example is the Michelin guide. In the early 1900s, the Michelin tire company created the Michelin guide as a way to rate local restaurants. Today, the Michelin star is a make-or-break rating for restaurants and dining establishments in Europe.
Create your own trustworthy rating system to boost traffic, leads and sales for the industry of your choice and your local business.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #20: Promote local (hidden gems) in your community
Goal: Become a local thought leader in your community
KPI: traffic, access, leads and sales
Introduce the community to hidden gems in your local community. Provide local businesses with information on amazing businesses they walk past every day but aren't aware of. Promote these hidden gems aggressively, promoting each business with advertising.
Take it a step further by creating a micro-site where local businesses can request a feature in your publication. Give each business the chance to share their story. Ask businesses to submit high-quality video, images and content that meets a high-quality standard.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #21: Loyalty programs
Goal: Increase repeat sales, up-selling, down-selling and cross-selling opportunities
KPI: Repeat sales, more up-sells, down-sells, and cross-sells
Create a loyalty program for your business. This encourages repeat customers to spend more often, focusing on the value they receive from your company, product or service.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #22: Promote user-generated content
Goal: Increase engagement and publicity for your brand
KPI: Increased engagement, leads, and sales
You ask clients to share their honest feedback on a few specific issues affecting their industry, your industry or some other important issue. An example of this would be attorneys asking clients to show their honest feelings on billable hours anonymously.
This creates a tremendous amount of engagement, publicity, and buzz.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #23: Use the GaryVee content model for old content
Goal: Breathe new life into old content by updating and reformatting old content
KPI: Traffic, leads, subscribes, follows, shares, sales
The Gary Vee model re-purposes old content into new material. Create a video? Transcribe it, then turn it into a blog post, social media posts, a slide deck, and an infographic. Squeeze maximum value out of the old content on your site.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #24: Apply for online business awards
Goal: Boost trust, credibility and prestige
KPI: Smaller sales cycle
Apply for relevant awards in your industry. The key is consistency. You'll want to consistently apply for the awards you're reasonably confident you can win. Repeatedly applying to awards you know you have no chance of winning get you blacklisted and unable to win when you are ready.
Focus your time and attention on the awards that are a good fit for your business. Once you win, use these awards as a conversion tool to decrease your sales cycles and win more clients.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #25: Use email newsletter advertising to drive traffic, leads, and sales
Goal: Drive traffic leads and sales with email advertising
KPI: Traffic, leads, and sales
Use email advertising providers like Nexmark, permission-based email advertising, to advertise your services in other people's newsletters and email lists. Segment your advertising so it appears on lists that are relevant, local and exclusive to the lists/organizations you'd like to target.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #26: Advertise via direct advertising and third-party ad display networks
Goal: Lower-cost advertising via relevant sources
KPI: Lower ad cost, higher return on ad spend
You can use mainstream platforms like Google display ads at a steep price (low if you know what you're doing), or third-party platforms like BuySellAds, SiteScout, Bing, and other low-cost platforms. Get more traffic, leads and sales for your money at a lower cost per click/impression.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #27: Hyper-local advertising on Pandora
Goal: Lower-cost advertising via relevant sources
KPI: Lower ad cost, higher return on ad spend
Use geo-fencing, retargeting, remarketing, and contextual ads (online/off-line) to attract a significant amount of hyper-local customers to your local business.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #28: Use Facebook reach ads to drive local awareness of your business
Goal: Boost awareness, traffic and sales
KPI: Traffic, leads, sales
Launched in 2014, Facebook reach ads gives hyper-local businesses the precise targeting options they need to focus on a specific radius, neighborhood or locale. With reach ads, you're able to reach customers on Facebook and Instagram who are physically close to your business.
Hit them with an irresistible, urgent and time-sensitive offer to immediately attract their attention. Provide them with a compelling value proposition and strong risk reversal to close the sale.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #29: Driving local traffic with Waze
Goal: Target daily commuters and travelers on their way to and from work
KPI: Traffic, leads, sales
Waze depends on individuals to tag products, services and even police officers on their route. What makes Waze so helpful is the fact that it uses location-based marketing, to introduce customers to businesses as they approach. Waze works well if your business serves a specific neighborhood, region or locale. If you're offering food, dry cleaning, child care, or professional services, Waze works well.
B2B Local Marketing Idea #30: Google local ads and Nearby ads
Goal: Targeted traffic to your local or hyper-local business
KPI: Unique visits, conversions, sales
Google's local search ads and nearby ads. These two platforms enable you to target hyper-local prospects in your audience directly. Local search ads enable you to respond to searcher intent, while nearby ads send users a notification of your app, website, product or service they can accept or reject.
Your competitors aren't ready for this
They're really not ready for you.
If you're in a small metropolitan area, competition is a problem. If you're in a large metropolitan area like Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago, it's actually more of a problem.
There are too many cooks (competitors) in the kitchen.
As a local B2B company, you're competing directly with other providers in your area. If you're missing the right strategy and tactics, it can be tough to attract the steady flow of clients that you need to build a thriving business. I've tackled the problem head-on for you.
If you're running a B2B company, these are 30 local marketing ideas you can put to work immediately generating the leads, clients, and revenue you need to grow now.
All you have to do is get started. Are you ready?