By definition, enterprise businesses looking to retain their existing customer bases while generating new leads need to use different marketing strategies than smaller companies.

The focus on growth and expansion demands integrated, multi-channel marketing strategies based on solid, in-depth customer research.

In the midst of all the marketing noise right now — especially while facing down COVID-19 supply chain issues and major changes in shopping behavior — what are some clear ways to gain a competitive advantage?

Here are the top enterprise marketing best practices for 2022 that can help you reach more customers and scale your business:

Understand Your Target Audience

Researching your target audience at a deep level is the foundation for success in enterprise marketing. Your audience’s needs, wants and challenges will shape everything your marketing team does.

Who are you targeting with your marketing campaigns? Who are your prospects and customers?

A basic buyer persona for your target audience will include:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Marital status
  • Education level
  • Hobbies and personal interests
  • Income

But to resonate with the people you’re trying to reach, your persona should also answer these two critical questions:

  • What is the prospect’s motivation for buying?
  • What objections come up in the prospect’s mind before they buy?

You may have multiple buyer personas, depending on your business, the types of products and services you offer, and the verticals you’re targeting. If this is the case, flesh out each buyer persona in depth and adapt your campaigns accordingly.

Revise and refine your buyer personas over time, to make sure you stay up-to-date and connected with your customer’s demographics, needs and motivations.

Define and Document Your Marketing Goals and Objectives

What are the goals and objectives of your enterprise marketing efforts? Do you need to:

  • Engage with customers on social media?
  • Grow your email list?
  • Achieve better brand awareness?
  • Retain a higher percentage of existing clients?
  • Make more sales?

Your goals should help guide your marketing efforts, and give you a compass to follow on a broad level.

Once you have defined goals, dig in deeper to flesh out objectives for each goal. These are smaller, actionable steps your team can take to achieve the goals you’ve specified. Both goals and objectives should be well-defined, documented and communicated to your team members so they understand what they’re trying to achieve and what’s expected of them.

Update Your Content Marketing Strategies for the Times

Making Your Content More Effective

Semrush conducted a survey of 1,500 marketers from different countries and analyzed over 17,000 content marketing positions on the largest active job posting sites. They found that 84% of companies have a content marketing strategy, and 62% of those companies evaluate the performance of their content marketing strategy as “Excellent”” (11%) or “Good” (51%).

The pandemic has had a huge impact on enterprise marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 94% of content marketers changed their strategy in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic. They have adjusted to the changing needs of internet users by shifting their messaging and adapting their editorial calendars.

Content marketing for enterprise businesses is more competitive than ever. Churning out as much content as possible can be counterproductive, because you may end up with a large number of visitors that don’t fit within your ideal buyer persona profiles.

Posting cat videos might bring scores of feline fans to your site, but if those fans aren’t interested in what you’re selling, you are wasting your precious (and limited) marketing time. Purposeful content, on the other hand, is tied to your business goals and positively impacts your audience.

To determine whether content topics are worth spending your time on:

  • Brainstorm topics that align with your industry, business, and products or services
  • Determine which topics are most relevant or useful for your audience
  • Filter your list by monthly search volume (MSV) to see which ones have the greatest traffic potential

Additional Best Practices for Enterprise Content Marketing

  • Cluster your content. Set the foundation with a pillar page that gives that 10,000-foot view of the topic, then organize subtopic pieces of content around that foundational piece. Individual content pieces should address all the ways people search for information about your topic, and each piece of the cluster should be connected with an internal linking structure.
  • Create a variety of multimedia content, including blog posts, white papers, videos, images, audio, infographics, etc. to improve your chances of ranking for important keywords.
  • Publish first-hand, unique knowledge like surveys, focus group results and research reports.
  • Identify posts on your site that aren’t performing well and distribute them using other channels to see if they’re more successful on different platforms.
  • Keep content fresh by regularly updating your topics, statistics and best practices to make sure they’re relevant and current for your audience.

Be Smarter With Your Social Media Marketing

According to Smart Insights, 4.55 billion people around the world now use social media for an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes a day. Enterprise businesses ignore social media marketing at their own peril — but getting visibility and engagement on social platforms isn’t straightforward or simple.

Examine your audience research to figure out the right social media channel or channels for your prospects and customers. Then create unique, platform-appropriate content that generates value for the audience.

Unlike other enterprise marketing strategies, social media marketing relies heavily on interactions with prospects. Those interactions build loyalty and trust, but they also mean that your audience expects customized, unique content — not generic social posts that get blasted across every platform.

One-way messaging is no longer effective for enterprise brands. Instead, highlight your audience’s voices with user-generated content that ties into your brand messaging.

Are fans doing inspiring things? Can you highlight those things and encourage people to share more of their lives? Your brand affinity will continue to expand as people see friends, family members and followers posting about your company. Of course, always ask for permission when it’s needed and make sure to provide proper credit.

Modernize Your Omnichannel Marketing

Modern clients are no longer confined to a single communication channel with brands. Users want a seamless, positive customer experience across all their devices, platforms and locations.

For example, a customer journey might begin on a desktop computer with a search for product information, then continue to a social media site or to their email inbox. Prospects may discuss products or ask questions in user forums, and could make their final purchase within an e-commerce app, on brand’s website, or in a physical store. Customer service can take place via email, social media, or message boards.

Interactions don’t have to be exactly the same on every channel, but customers do expect some consistency. They also want highly personalized experiences at every step.

Enterprise businesses must balance the right content at the right time by understanding the entire customer journey and what users’ expectations and needs are at each touchpoint.

Best Practices for Enterprise Marketing Success

Enterprise companies now have access to an enormous amount of data about prospects and customers, which they can turn into insights that help them make marketing decisions.

By starting with data-driven customer research, enterprise organizations can set the direction for sales and marketing departments with confidence, knowing they are clear on who’s buying and who they’re speaking to with their messaging.

With these enterprise marketing best practices, you’ll be well-prepared to build long-lasting, trusted relationships with your customers even as post-pandemic shopping behaviors continue to shift.