If there’s one thing you probably know about SMS marketing, it’s that this channel of outreach and brand engagement absolutely dominates the business-to-consumer (B2C) scene. However, does the same power that makes this approach so popular in the individual customer-oriented world translate to the arena of business-to-business (B2B) operations?
The answer to this question is a resounding “Yes!” – if you’re willing to tweak and adapt the B2C approach to the realities of the B2B industry segment. With this in mind, let’s spend a few minutes talking about how to adopt a B2B mindset within your SMS marketing operations, as well as how to maximize your impact with the brands that make up your target audience.
Figure out If SMS Marketing Fits Your Outreach Plans and Goals
The best place to start this discussion, according to Silvio Kutic of Fourth Source, is by asking yourself a few key questions regarding how you expect this take on customer outreach to fit into your existing marketing operations. Specifically, Kutic points to the following questions as a strong sample of what to consider on this front:
- Is your brand interested in initiating a two-way conversation with its B2B target audience?
- Are you looking to move away from the “set it and forget” approach to marketing and toward a more engaging take on the process?
- Do you want to add a “human element” to your front-facing communications procedures?
- How important is receiving real-time feedback and insight from your customers to your marketing optimization and refinement methodology?
You’ll notice that each of these questions relates to a core benefit of the SMS process. This means that if you answer in the affirmative to some or all of these queries, then there’s a strong chance that SMS-based B2B marketing is a good fit for your brand’s outreach and communications initiatives moving forward.
Hammer out the Technical Details
Now that you’re ready to enact a B2B SMS strategy, it’s time to starting developing content and firing messages off, right? Not exactly. As Kutic goes on to note, it’s vital that your brand hammers out the technical details and considerations that come with best practice SMS marketing before it starts reaching out to consumers. Otherwise, you run the risk of turning off these target audience members before your text messages every truly get a change to generate a strong response.
The big thing to include on the technical front is easy access to an opt-out toggle feature. Regulatory bodies – like Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) enforcers – continue to crackdown on spam tactics, so making sure you stay on the right side of these agencies is vital to the success of your SMS operations.
Additionally, consider the context of your SMS campaign. Is your brand looking to set up a customer helpline? What about a notification or alert system? Understanding exactly what you plan to get out of this operation ensures that any overlooked technical details are brought to life and dealt with before your first message hits the mobile inboxes of your contact list membership.
Commit to a “Consumer-First” Approach
In terms of fine-tuning your B2B SMS content, Douglas Karr of the Marketing Tech Blog suggests getting straight to the point with a valuable offer that puts the consumer first. Your mobile viewership doesn’t want a bunch of fluff, so skip the unnecessary content and immediately explain why being a part of your SMS contact list a good thing.
Whether this is a limited-time offer, SMS-exclusive service, or some other centerpiece doesn’t really matter. What’s important is showing these B2B viewers that your content meets their needs and desires in a hurry. Anything less runs the risk of imparting a lackadaisical or lethargic SMS approach on your behalf.
From here, don’t be afraid to create a sense of urgency within your audience. While you don’t want to be the “pushy” brand in the mobile message inbox, letting these viewers know that this deal or service isn’t going to be around forever helps spur your target audience to action. If some of your relevant audience segments are prone to inactivity or a sluggish response, then the impact of this tactic is magnified significantly.
Finally, Karr suggests that you mention your brand name at the end of every message. Failing to do so diminishes the personal touch of this outreach and can lead to recipient “forgetfulness” from the target organizational representative on the other side of the mobile screen.
However, if you’re able to put everything you’ve learned here into action, then unlocking the benefits of SMS marketing for B2B brands is actually a fairly straightforward process. The only question left to answer now is whether or not you’re ready to add this powerful tactic to your company’s digital marketing arsenal.