How to hire great B2B Marketers for your company

 

Companies looking to market their solutions in a Business to Business environment are faced with a unique set of challenges that differ from the challenges seen in the Business to Consumer world.

While B2C marketing focuses on quick solutions and enjoyable content, B2B marketing is more concerned with building long-lasting relationships and proving a product's return on investment for a business customer. In order to achieve this, B2B marketers need to work with a different set of tools than their B2C counterparts.

In this post, we will discuss a series of tips that can help you hire the right person to take control of your company's B2B Marketing strategy.

 

B2B versus B2C Marketing

 

Before we start discussing the skills you should look for in a Business to Business Marketer, it's important we understand the main differences between B2B and B2C marketing in order to hire the right person for our company. It would be an obvious mistake to just look for a Digital Marketer to fill the role, without asking ourselves whether our candidates come from a B2B or B2C background...

Messaging

B2C Marketing typically uses short and simple messages that directly appeal to consumers emotions. B2B Marketing on the other hand relies on longer, more detailed and specific communications that appeal to clients' logic and industry knowledge.

Channels

B2C Marketing mostly relies on Ads. These ads may be broadcast through channels such as TV, radio and print if we are talking about Offline Marketing, or through Paid Digital Media such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads if we are talking about Online Marketing.

As opposed to the consumer world, B2B Marketing doesn't rely so much on Ads, but rather on content in the form of blog articles, whitepapers and videos. This doesn't by all account mean that Paid ads should stay out of the equation in a business to business marketing strategy. Digital ads might be good ways to initiate a conversation with a B2B prospect, for example by getting people in your niche to click on sponsored content articles. However, ads only play a small part in the B2B marketing mix, and won't be do the trick to position your company as a trustworthy partner with whom to engage in a long-lasting business relationship.

 

Content is king

 

Companies' primary concern when looking for external solutions to their needs is trust. And trust is mainly achieved by somehow showing to your prospects that you are among the leading experts in their area of expertise. This is mainly why B2C tactics such as Paid Ads don't work as well with B2B clients, as companies usually don't trust ads when it comes to strategic decisions.

Decision makers need to go through a well-crafted inbound marketing funnel before they may feel ready to purchase anything from another company. For example, a CTO looking up technological solutions in Google will need to come across a series of top level technical articles written by your content marketers in order to start trusting your company. The first article will merely draw their attention, the second article will position your company in their mind as an industry expert, and hopefully the third article will lead them to contacting you to discuss a potential collaboration.

What does that mean in terms of hiring someone to look after your B2B Marketing strategy? That not only will you need someone who knows your products and services inside out,  but also someone who is skilled at writing blog posts and white papers in a way that highligths how your solutions are solving the industry's pain points. Easier said than done!

 

Request content samples

 

This one is a no brainer. Don't trust candidates who tell you they can write, but rather make sure to request examples of blog articles, white papers and videos they've produced over the course of their professional career.

Candidates might tell you that the content was created under their supervision, implying they had someone in their team do the writing. That is fine, as long as they are able to complete their portfolio with a few pieces of content they created themsleves in order to prove their writing skills are in line with your expectations. Keep in mind that, even though you may be hiring someone who will be managing copywriters at your company rather than directly producing content, that person needs to know how to write in order to be able to review content produced by their team.

 

Look for fast learners

 

Ideally, you would want to leave your content strategy in the hands of some industry guru. However, you'll soon find out that those gurus aren't easy to find, and that they may not have all the skills required for the role even if they know your industry inside out.

Rather than wasting time finding the most knowledgeable people in your area, look for fast learners with a proven track history of joining new industries whilst performing at high levels in the job.

Industry specific features and trends is something that a lot of people can learn on the fly. However, writing catchy articles or producing high value marketing videos is a skill that some people have a natural talent for, while others simply don't (and won't learn that easily).

 

Public speakers a must have

 

A lot of B2B marketing consists of trade shows, fairs and other public events. A great way to let your target audience know about your company's expertise, is by giving presentations, workshops and keynotes where your staff can show off their industry know-how.

You've probably been at fairs and trade shows, and know that there is nothing worse than having to listen to a dull speaker for half an hour straight. It doesn't make you want to buy their products, and doesn't give you a great image of their brand.

While you don't need to hire the next Steve Jobs to cast a spell over your prospects, make sure you find someone who is capable of giving a decent speech in front of an audience. Ideally, you should review a video of your candidate's giving a keynote to find out whether you are about to hire the right person to showcase your products and services. Someone who stands out as a shy character during the job interview is unlikely to be much of a charmer while giving a presentation in front of an audience. That is why you should make sure you interview with reasonably outgoing people for a B2B marketing role.

 

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