Effective b2b marketing is a hard nut to crack. Between creative tasks, budget limits, and media selections, marketers fiddle with a lot while building their marketing strategy.
However, the major component of successful b2b marketing is your target market.
If you can’t paint a clear picture of your buyer persona, all your advertisement and promotion efforts fall into deadwood.
Although target audience varies a lot for multiple businesses, you can boil them down to two categories:
Marketing to individual customers is different from marketing to organizations. That’s why a completely different approach exists for B2B marketing.
And that’s what you will learn through the B2B marketing guide.
By the end of the B2B affiliate marketing guide, you’ll have a comprehensive idea of B2B marketing, what it exactly requires, and where it’s heading in 2021 and beyond.
Let’s put some light on each aspect of today’s most successful b2b marketing strategies.
What is B2B marketing?
B2B (business-to-business) marketing is a strategy focusing on a company or business. Any organisation selling products or services to other companies (not consumers) usually uses B2B marketing strategies.
B2B companies with successful digital marketing tactics are the ones who know the ins and outs of their target audience. They align their b2b buyer’s journey with their lead generation, and sales funnel campaigns.
Difference Between B2B & B2C Marketing
B2B and B2C marketing are two different sides of the same coin. They vary in their target market, strategies and applications, and their communication with the consumers.
B2B marketing focuses on the needs, challenges, and interests of people making purchases for their organisation (instead of themselves). Hence, the company is a customer.
Here are some examples of B2B companies:
An accounting firm marketing and selling its services to businesses who want to hire accountants.
A SAAS product company is attempting to market and sell its product to small businesses.
An app development firm markets and sells its services to businesses who want to develop their own apps.
B2C marketing focuses on individual customers’ pain points, needs, and challenges. Hence b2c buyers are the targeted audience making purchases for themselves.
Here are some examples of B2C companies:
An e-commerce company selling clothes and accessories
An online store selling milk products
A television platform selling streaming subscriptions
Check out this chart showing the difference between B2B and B2C business customers:
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As with anything in life, exceptions are always there. Large companies may be influenced by emotions to purchase while individual customers focus on logic.
If your target market includes both B2B and B2C audiences, you need a holistic marketing approach focusing on both audiences. For instance, a wholesaler, having a business of retail as well, needs office supplies catering to organizations and freelancers.
B2B Marketing Strategies
Now, let’s get into the meaty part – the trending B2B marketing strategies and platforms.
While B2c and B2b marketing differ, not each piece of B2B marketing assets is identical, either.
In this section, we’ll explore various actionable B2B marketing tactics to help you reach your specific organisation’s audience.
Before we dig, though, make sure you note each of these methods and quick ways to implement them.
B2B Digital Marketing
Whether it’s a B2B or B2C, digital presence is simply a must for everyone. It consists of search engine optimisation (SEO), a website, paid ads, and any place where a B2B organisation can stay online.
A solid B2B marketing strategy starts with specifying your target audience or buyer persona. These demographic and psychographic details will guide all your marketing steps after that, making sure you create the right content and deliver it to the right eyes and ears (and minimise marketing material waste).
Refer to the below-given example of buyer persona and use it as a template to create yours:
Build a website
Your website is a landscape of your b2b marketing strategy.
Your website helps search engines to find your business. It’s the first stop people visit when they come looking for your brand. Also, digital marketing strategies can’t function effectively without an informative and appealing website.
It takes 0.05 secondsfor users to judge your brand based on the first impression of the website. They will make up their mind about whether they like your site or not, whether they’ll buy or leave.
Moreover, a general B2B sales cycle includes multiple decision-makers (like owners, marketing managers, sales managers, etc.). Your website is a direct way to reveal information about your products or services.
Now that you know the importance of having a website, do you need some inspiration to build a B2B-compatible website?
Consider what visitors will think about your brand when they first arrive on your website.
Answer the below-given questions to understand better:
Would they immediately get to know your brand?
Is your website easy to navigate?
Is your website mobile-friendly? Fast enough to load in 3 seconds? Is it equipped with modern features?
Is your website optimised for lead generation? Does it have an opt-in form asking for email ids?
Once you get the answers, you will know what kind of site you need for your B2B business.
Along with that, B2B buyers have a deadline. They want a solution as quickly as possible. On top of that, 25% of searchers favour the first result in Google search.
It means if you are not ranking at the top, you may lose 25% of leads and sales.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)is the only saviour and a critical part of the B2B marketing puzzle.
SEO refers to optimising your site for search engine rankings. In other words, it lifts your site up in search engine results. It’s a long-term strategy delivering superior ROI.
You can conduct on-page SEO and technical SEO with the following tactics:
Creating relevant, high-quality content
Meta title descriptions
Increasing site speed
And much more.
Run PPC campaigns
Of course, SEO takes care of your website rankings on search engines. However, since SEO is an organic strategy, it takes time to generate results.
On the other hand, PPC advertising is a quick yet powerful way to capture leads and turn them into paying customers. It appears at the top, before the organic results, on search engines.
Here’s an example:
While your SEO works progressively, PPC ads like Google Ads put you right in front of people searching for similar products. If your business is highly competitive, PPC ads will help you spread awareness and gain brand exposure over your competitors.
B2B customers are driven by desire, believe in the expertise, and seek logic to be educated.
Where traditional advertising and promotional material (think magazines or TV ads) slip into people’s day-to-day lives, a content marketing strategy focuses on educating customers and adding value. It’s about offering content helping B2B customers solve problems or hints on how your products or services are solutions. Not to mention that content marketing is a big supporter of SEO, evaluating what your audience is looking for, and helping them find it through your website and content. Eventually, converting visitors into customers.
However, for effective content marketing, make sure to align your content with various stages of the buyer’s journey.
You can start with a business blog. Your blog posts are the home to all the educated content and internal links you create. It serves as an academy for readers to visit and subscribe to.
Email marketing brings a massive opportunity for your B2B business.
Email marketing has always been a champion for both B2C and B2B marketing campaigns. And it’s not slowing down. On the contrary, it’s proving to be an evergreen b2b marketing strategy.
With content marketing, you capture the email addresses of users in exchange for lead magnets like blogs, ebooks, podcasts, white papers, and other resources. From there, email marketing takes charge by sending educational emails to subscribers, illustrating your brand, products, and services. You can even send product news, demos, testimonials, or anything demonstrating the benefits of your brand. If users read your emails, they will understand your brand profoundly and eventually buy from you.
It can be true that social media is not the place where you can convert prospects, but it can prove to be a place to generate brand awareness at the beginning of the buyer’s journey.
Social media is a powerful marketing tool when it comes to getting people to notice your brand. You can build an online personality of your brand and humanize your company—all the factors work together to form a connection with potential customers. They will like, share, and comment on your content which further builds brand awareness and improves your expertise.
Later, when users fidget with buying decisions at the end, they find themselves familiar with your brand from social media networks and won’t take long to make the purchase.
B2B Marketing Examples
A B2B marketing strategy works differently for different businesses. But you always have the option to learn from successful B2B businesses.
Here are the examples of four B2B companies leveraging the b2b marketing strategies in various ways:
Email Marketing: Buffer, Welcome
Buffer is a social media marketing tool. When users sign up to the platform, Buffer sets a perfect stage with their “Welcome” email to build relationships with new users. Not only do they make users feel special, but they also offer their browser extension as an easy way to know the tool. They also give users the freedom to reach out to the brand anytime they way—even if to say “hi.”
Digital Marketing: WP Engine, Omnipresent
WP Engine is a leading hosting platform for WordPress users. Their specific digital marketing approach works into different sections, including:
Their product showcases the features and company news.
Their industry educates people on how WordPress users can build an online presence.
They help WordPress users in driving business growth
They have created a WordPress community named Torque offering resources for WP users
Their support library is full of written and video content to help customers solve problems.
Centering their digital marketing strategy around problems and pain points of customers helped the brand acquire 300,000 sites in 128 countries, raking in $40 million.
Content Marketing: HubSpot, Blog + Resources
HubSpot, a complete marketing platform, is well known for its top-ranking blogs and resources.
HubSpot blog educates about inbound marketing to help small businesses attract visitors at the top of the funnel.
HubSpot resource is a library of in-depth content like eBooks, webinars, quizzes, case studies, or anything that helps small businesses implement effective strategies. The brand also offers a marketing kit focusing on mid to bottom-of-the-funnel prospects.
Hence, both resources combined drive huge traffic towards HubSpot, enabling the brand to transform from a funded organization to a billion-dollar public company in ten years.
Social Media Marketing: MailChimp, Instagram
Marketing automation company Mailchimp is the best example of leveraging design creativity and standing apart from the competitors.
Mailchimp’s posts are often furnished with colorful and engaging graphics to delight users and encourage interactivity.
During COVID-19, Mailchimp unveiled the behind-the-scenes remote work-life of their employees on Instagram to stay connected with users. This turned out to be the ideal strategy for employer branding, offering ideas to small businesses for remote employee engagement.
Ready to invest in B2B marketing and reach your business consumers?
Marketing without keeping the audience in mind is like rebelling without a cause. The question always lingers in the air: who are you serving? Your b2b marketing strategies should communicate with your users in various ways. Call it content, email, video, social media, etc.
With the above tactics in hand, you will better understand your B2B audience, create your buyer persona, and find opportunities to reach them. When your marketing focuses on your audience, your audience will focus on your brand in turn. The benefits are limitless.
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