A good marketing strategy takes context in mind. The reason why creating a marketing strategy is exhausting because each product, each market invites unique challenges.
If you do not set the right context, you will never be able to target the right audience. And that’s the most crucial thing – the audience.
If you do not target the right audience, your business will never take off.
The audience is so important that it defines the way we conduct our business.
The most basic division is businesses targeting individuals vs businesses targeting other businesses.
Marketing to other businesses differs from marketing to other individuals. Sure, It’s the same humans at the other end. But the way they evaluate products in both cases is totally different. B2B deals with logic and reason and B2C with emotions.
By the end of this blog, you’ll know what is B2B marketing? The B2B strategies and the Dos and Don’ts of B2B marketing?
What is B2B Marketing?
B2B is shortened term for business-to-business marketing. It refers to the strategy that is focused on other companies or organizations instead of individual consumers.
The product or service they sell is utilized by the entire organization and not just one consumer.
For example, an enterprise communication tool is utilized by the entire organization. Whereas a motorbike is an individual item. So the way you market these items and the way they are researched by the consumer is totally different.
Since most B2B products are a complex and long-term investment, relationship building becomes vital. While someone may not care about a long-term relationship while buying ice cream, they expect a long-term relationship while buying enterprise software. Therefore, choosing a suitable partner is vital to them.
Many B2B marketers use traditional strategies, like employing sales reps, to nurture these relationships. Combining these traditional methods with digital tools like inbound marketing and paid ads gives you the best of both worlds.
Important Characteristics of a B2B Buyer?
The most important thing to know about B2B buyers is they are well informed about the product before they contact your sales reps.
It means they are reaching out to you after extensive research and the tone you carry should be of empathy and nurturing instead of being sales-oriented.
The B2B buyers today have more control over their research. This means they are less reliant on gatekeepers, sales staff to obtain information.
They independently conduct their research through the internet. They can easily go through product reviews, social listening tools, or connect with people in their industry who are already familiar with the product.
They want to make sure they’ve made the right decision even after they purchase the product. Hence, nurturing them through good customer service is also important. This can help you turn customers into your biggest brand supporters.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
B2B and B2C marketing share numerous similarities but also stark differences.
B2B marketing is directed towards specific professionals who make decisions on behalf of their organization. The end consumer might be the employees who work for that organisation. While B2C marketing is directly targeted to the end consumer.
B2B marketing is longer and more expensive to convert. The sales processes typically involve weeks and take a lot of convincing. The buyers of a B2C product usually take a shorter time to decide.
B2B buyers need to be educated using detailed content. B2C buyers need emotional and entertaining content.
The Best B2B Marketing Strategies
1) B2B Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a valuable asset to your B2B organization. As mentioned before, a B2B prospect is well into the sales funnel before they talk to your sales reps. Usually, their journey starts with the search engine.
If you are not top in the search engines for the products or services you’re selling, you won’t be even considered as a potential vendor.
One way to leverage SEO is through content marketing. Your content can help you position yourself as an authority in the respective industry.
Use your content to solve typical problems the customers face in your industry. By regularly posting such content, you demonstrate your expertise and help prospects make informed decisions.
2) Social Media for Business
Social media evolved from being a supporting channel to being the primary channel for B2B marketing. Today, you are expected to be present on all relevant channels. Even if the channels seem to be for B2C customers, you need to modify your content to suit the platform’s needs. If you are not present on relevant channels, you can be ruled out as a potential customer.
You can use your reviews and case studies to attract relevant customers through social media. Just being present on social media won’t cut it. You need to actively tailor your content to meet the platform’s needs
3) B2B Email Marketing
Email marketing is the tried and trusted method for B2B businesses.
B2B buyers look for logic and reasoning before buying a product and email is the best way to communicate your benefits. The buyers are always looking for ways to make their business profitable. Your email should always communicate this.
B2B marketing takes time, and it’s important to build relationships with your customers. Email marketing is a great way to nurture relationships. You can segment the audience based on their buying stage and target email to move them down the sales funnel. Email makes personalization possible. The email landing in your prospect’s inbox should be targeted specifically to solve their problem. Either in the short term or long term.
4) B2B Paid Advertising
Your B2B marketing strategy should also include paid advertising strategy. If done right, it can generate substantial revenue for the business.
Learning how to do paid ads on social media or Google search can help you reach prospects when they need you the most.
With paid ads, you can jump the line and reduce the time involved in typical organic marketing. It helps you target the exact demographic they are interested in. This is why many business to business marketers prioritize digital marketing over traditional marketing strategies.
5) Set up a Referral System
One of the most under-rated B2B marketing strategies. Referrals have always been a great source of client onboarding. Try to build a customer referral system right from the beginning. You can employ both paid and organic methods.
You can pay a part of the commission as a reward for referring new clients. You can even leverage your current customer base and ask if they could spread the word in their network.
Referral systems leverage the oldest form of marketing, word of mouth.
The Dos and Don’t of B2B Marketing
1) Choose the Platform Wisely
Just knowing where your target audience spends their time is not enough. You need to know the reason why they are hanging out. People use Instagram for entertainment and Linkedin for professional connections. Hence B2B companies can use Linkedin for lead generation and Instagram for brand building strategies.
Before you choose your platform, do simple research to know what type of content works on each platform. Analyze your competitors and see what platforms are they leveraging to grow their business.
2) Know your Audience
Like B2C, businesses need to tailor their content according to customer needs. Many B2B marketers claim customers don’t care what product you have, they just want to know how you can help them solve a problem.
You should know customer’s pain points, where and how they spend their time, their buying motivations, and tailor your content to meet these needs.
3) Build Long-term Relationship
B2B’s marketing strategy should involve building relationships with the customer. Most B2B products are costly and complex and the chances of customers making a quick decision are slim. You should educate your customers about the benefit and prove that you are here to help them. This way you’ll be perceived as a company that cares about its customers and not just the sales.
4) Know the Details
Content is a complex area to operate into. There are thousands of people who are trying to attract your prospect’s attention. Getting the minute details right can impress your B2B prospects
For example, knowing your customer’s birthday might help you build a good relationship. Since customers don’t expect a B2B company to keep track of such things. You can provide free trials or extended periods as a gesture. Nailing these little details gives your B2B campaign a human touch. Something that lacks in most B2B strategies.
5) Know What’s Trending
In the digital marketing world, it is important to know what’s trending currently. This shows your consumer that you are here to serve them and not just sell and promote their products. B2B companies are advised to follow specific tricks and tips as it is difficult to keep up with all the trends.
Tools like Buzzsomo can be used to find the latest content and your B2B company can add its own twist to the content.
6) Analyze your Efforts
A common challenge for B2B marketers is to measure their efforts. Different initiatives are running simultaneously and it’s difficult to tie up everything to revenue. Use appropriate analyzing tools to measure your efforts from different channels. Know which campaign is performing the best and built strategies to optimize it further.
1) Don’t Overshare
Sharing too much content may ruin your chances of success. First, it looks spammy, and your prospect may not keep up with your activities. Engagement should be your first goal while posting on the internet. Don’t bore your prospect. This is important for both B2B and B2C businesses.
Different tools help you schedule content and be there only when your customers need it.
2) Don’t Stalk your Prospects
Follow-up messages are key in closing sales but don’t panic if they don’t answer you immediately. Maybe there is a reason they haven’t replied. Also, the number of follow-ups matters.
Sending too many messages is obviously not attractive to the prospects. You come across as a company trying too hard to connect and make sales.
3) Don’t use the Same Message
We cannot stress enough the importance of personalization in B2B marketing. The products are costly and complex and the prospects might be in the different industries facing distinct problems. So it’s a bad idea to churn out the same message to everyone. Remember, your competitors are also trying to sell the product to a similar audience, hence personalization is a key to stand out.
4) Don’t Expect Immediate Results
B2B marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. For most businesses, the product you are selling is going to change the way they operate their business. Hence, you need to be patient and consistent. You need to create a sales funnel and keep moving the prospects ahead with lead nurturing.
5) Don’t forget to add a Call-to-Action
CTA’s are important since it tells your prospects what next step they should take. Move beyond the traditional CTA’s like call us or read more. Develop personalized CTA’s that inspire prospects to take immediate action.
6) Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
While you must be strategic in your approach, you must not be afraid to try a new strategy or a tactic. Test new ideas, evaluate the results and optimize your campaigns. Don’t just rely on strategies from your own industry and try to learn something from different verticals and maybe even from your competitors.
Strategic knowledge is the first step in creating a good B2B marketing strategy. Testing different channels and methods is really important. The customer behavior is evolving fast and so should your B2B strategies.
Not committing any professional mistakes is as important as trying new strategies. We hope this blog helped you get a clear understanding of what B2B marketing is and the Dos and Dont’s of the B2B world.
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