While B2B referral marketing and consumer refer-a-friend campaigns often have different objectives when trying to reach their target audience, the objective is still the same.For example, a B2B marketer spends substantially more time on crafting thought leadership content, while a B2C marketer is aiming to connect to their consumers on a brand level that is entertaining and “top of mind, tip of tongue.”
But regardless of audience, the ultimate goal for both types of marketers is to drive revenue. And whether your company provides enterprise solutions or toys for children, the use of referral marketing can dramatically increase existing customer engagement and new customer acquisition.
3 Ways to Achieve B2B Referral Marketing Success
If your marketing goals include getting in front of as many responsive prospects as possible and increasing leads, then there’s no reason that referral marketing shouldn’t be a priority. Here's how to get started:
1. ASK! Everytime. Everyone. Everywhere.
One of the keys to running a successful referral program in the B2B world is pretty simple: talk about it. Mention your referral program to every client you have and let it be known on every sales demo you host that your business rewards any referral.
Here are some simple tips to start using today:
- Display your referral program prominently on your site’s homepage
- Dedicate a landing page that explains how your referral program works and optimize for SEO
- Include referral call-to-actions in all your email marketing efforts and include links to your referral landing page
2. Drive referral leads to your BEST piece of content
According to LinkedIn Marketing, B2B buyers will consume 10 pieces of content before even considering a purchase. Make sure your resource page is packed with case studies, white papers, guides, blogs and e-books that referrals can consume once they’ve landed on your site.
Direct referral links to your highest performing piece of content to ensure a great first impression and higher conversion rates. If you utilize progressive profiling, this can also be a great tool to learn more about your prospects.
3. Make it worth their while
Rewarding an executive with a $10 gift card won’t generate the engagement your B2B referral program needs. Take Hubspot for example, they reward their brand ambassadors with a chance to win a ticket and airfare to Inbound, their annual marketing convention!
So what’s the right type of incentive to offer? From our experience: Cash is king. Whether it comes in the form of actual cash (PayPal or Dwolla) or gift cards, time over time, we see the best performance when cash is the reward.
While points, loyalty credits, and discounts might work for B2C referral programs, B2B referrers aren’t interested in those incentives. Instead, they respond to cold, hard cash.
Make sure the reward you are offering is incentivizing enough to make your customers share.
Generating Revenue With Referrals
To be successful with referral marketing, it's important for B2B marketers to use a mix of channels, platforms, and persona-specific messaging to ensure relevancy and awareness across multiple touch-points.
In other words, you have to view your B2B referral marketing program as a key piece of the entire customer journey, not just a bolt-on campaign to drive a few leads.