When companies ask me what B2B marketing strategies they should leverage, I always tell them the same thing:
The “High School Party” Strategy.
Think back to high school…
For a lot of “mid-tier” popular kids — kids who weren’t the coolest — an incredible opportunity came up in during sophomore or junior year.
If their parents traveled a lot, weren’t home much, or just didn’t care, they had the ability to host parties for the cool kids. And that made them dramatically more popular over the years because the popular kids needed a place to hang out.
Many of them started out say, “lower middle class” in terms of popularity. But they rose from that level to the top 5-10%.
These kids weren’t necessarily built to be popular on their own, but “hacked the system” and figured out how to elevate their brand. You might know a few kids like this if you think back to high school. You might have even been that kid yourself.
(Not that popular high school kids are necessarily “better” humans — they were just good at figuring out the game).
What people don’t realize is… same thing applies to B2B marketing. Imagine if you could be the “popular kid” among your clients and customers — and get them to give you business on the back of that popularity.
You can get to that level faster than you think.
Social media marketing has made B2B advertising so much easier – yet most companies in the space just don’t see it. In B2B, you know exactly who you’re targeting. You know exactly whose business you’re trying to get and what they look like.
And you can target that exact person through Facebook ads, Instagram ads, or LinkedIn.
The best way to do it is through the “High School Party” Strategy.
It’s what I want you to do in 2019.
Here’s how you can apply it B2B (and high ticket B2C):
Hosting small in-person events using social media
Leveraging Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and LinkedIn to create and promote in-person events is an unbelievable opportunity.
You can position the event however you want.
If it were me, I would do it around wine because that’s authentic to me. But you could host a dinner, a golf competition, or a number of other things.
Here’s a very tactical example of how you would do this if you had a business that sells to dance studios:
Step 1: Run ads at low cost
On Facebook, the broader your reach is, the lower your cost will be generally speaking. Pick an area to host your event that has a lot of “ideal clients”, so you can run ads at a lower cost.
If you have a business that sells to dance studios, pick an area with a lot of dance studios. To target people who own the studios, you might target people within a certain radius who are admins of a Facebook business page who are also interested in dance.
Step 2: Record an authentic video ad
Record a video straight from your phone or webcam. Keep it as authentic as possible.
Say something like this:
“Hey Phoenix, I’m going to be in your city soon! We rented out a room at Johnny’s Steakhouse — I’ve seen the great Yelp reviews and I’ve been wanting to go there for a while. We got some incredible food and wine, and we’re going to be putting on a 20-person dinner where we’re going to talk about the state of the union of dance studios.
Things like opportunities in social media, how to make more margin, how the TV shows have affected us, the macro trends, and more.
My family’s been in this business for 35 years, and I’ve worked in it for 15. I think we’ll have an awesome conversation.
Please fill out the form and I will pick 20 of you to join us for a private dinner. Can’t wait to see you!”
The reason I’m such a big fan of “raw” content is that people can tell that you’re being “you.” This is super important on a platform like Facebook where your content does both branding and sales (so you don’t hurt your brand while you’re trying to convert).
Step 3: Put all the information in the copy
Include the event details plus the Google Form in the copy of the post.
Step 4: Design the survey with an open-ended question
In the Google Form, include one open ended question where the answer will give you an indication as to whether or not you can convert them.
You can invite the people who give the “right” answer to this question to your event.
Step 5: Host the party with a captive audience
Let’s say you spend $500 on Facebook ads, and pick up a $1000 tab at the end of the dinner. For $1500 all-in you’ve got a captive audience where you’re the host of the party!
Hosting the event doesn’t have to be super complicated either. If you’re introverted, you could literally prepare note cards in advance, and start the event by saying something like “Thanks for coming guys. Today we’re going to talk about the state of the union of dance studios. Let’s go around the room and share our two cents.”
Starting a niche podcast
People in B2B always complain about not being able to “go wide” when they create content. But the truth is, many B2B companies don’t need to go wide. Even if you have 1500 people listening to your niche podcast, that could be enough to do millions of dollars a year in revenue!
If you’re the host of a small podcast in a niche, and you’re reaching out to experts or thought leaders and asking them to be clients on your show, you’re essentially “inviting” them to your party.
You’re telling them that they’re valuable enough to be on your show, and it plays to their ego. You get a valuable guest, and they get to send a link to their buddies from college that they were on a podcast.
And you’ll be stunned by how much easier it becomes to get their business. If you’ve got a popular podcast in a narrow niche and your guests are senior execs at the companies you’re trying to do business with, they’ll be so happy to be “fake famous” that they’ll just give you the business.
Hosting an event or “owning” the medium (i.e. podcast, vlog, etc) where the popular kids (i.e. the people you want to get as clients) want to hang out is an unbelievable arbitrage in 2019.
The host always wins the land grab.