It’s not easy to manage effective marketing. Between budget limits, channel decisions, and creative demands, marketers have many things to do when creating their marketing strategy.
Your target audience is the biggest determinant when you are developing your content marketing strategy. Because your advertisements and promotions may fall on deaf ears if they are not properly targeted for your buyer persona.
Target audiences are always different, however, they are between businesses and individual consumers. Some businesses cater to organizations and companies, and others just serve individual shoppers.
Marketing to businesses is totally different than marketing to individual consumers, and that’s why a completely different method of marketing is taken which is B2B marketing. So, we have built this guide to help you know more about the method. In this article, you will understand better what is B2B marketing, and what are the most efficient B2B marketing strategies, and how you can convert and tap into your target audience.
What is B2B marketing?
B2B stands for Business To Business, it refers to any content marketing strategy that is created to target an organization or business. It is for businesses that sell services or products to other organizations or businesses, unlike consumers, usually use B2B marketing strategy methods.
For example Digital Market News is an example of a company that uses B2B marketing and targets businesses. The customers are usually other businesses not individuals. So, all our marketing efforts can be categorized as B2B.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
B2C which stands for business to consumer marketing is very different than B2B. Both marketing methods are different in their applications and strategies, and how they target their audience and engage with them.
So, B2B marketing targets the interests, challenges, and needs of people who are purchasing on behalf of their companies or organizations, not for themselves. But making the business the customer. Here are some B2B companies examples:
- WeWork: a coworking space that provides spaces as offices to remote freelancers and teams.
- Printful: printing services, warehousing, and on-demand order fulfillment.
- Digital Market News: a company that provides business owners will all news about marketing that they will need to develop their strategies.
On the other hand, B2C marketing targets the interests, challenges, and needs of individual consumers for or on behalf of themselves. So, the person is the customer. Here are some examples of B2C businesses:
- Poppin: An eCommerce company that offers office supplies for self-employed/freelancer individuals.
- Zara: A store that sells clothing and accessories
- Anghami: A music platform that sells streaming subscriptions
Check out this chart about the comparison between B2B and B2C customers.
|FOR B2B MARKETING||FOR B2C MARKETING|
|Goal||Customers are focused on efficiency, ROI, and expertise.||Customers are seeking entertainment and deals (that’s why B2C marketing has to be more fun).|
|Purchase Motivation||Customers are lead by financial incentives and logic.||Emotions drive customers|
|Drivers||Customers need to be educated (that’s why you have to use content marketing).||Customers would like to be educated yet wouldn’t always need this to make their decision.|
|Purchase Process||Customers prefer to work with salespeople and account managers.||Customers will directly make purchases.|
|People Involved in Purchase||Customers usually should take the approval from their decision makers and consult other team members of their company before making a buy decision.||Customers rarely need to consult anyone before making a decision to purchase.|
|Purchase Purpose||Customers purchase long-term solutions and get a longer sales cycle, longer contracts, and longer relationships with businesses as a result.||Customers are not necessarily searching for long-term relationships or long-term solutions.|
As much as they are different, however, B2C and B2B also are similar in a lot of ways. Though Poppin provides supplies for office to freelancers and self-employed people, they as well make designs for branded supplies and corporate office spaces. On the other side, Printful does not only offer warehousing and order fulfillment to companies; they also fill e-commerce printing orders for individual consumers.
As much as B2C and B2B are very different, B2B marketers can usually learn from B2C campaigns as well.
B2B Marketing Strategies
As we have mentioned above, marketing mainly relies on the target audience. While B2C and B2B marketing are different, not every element of B2B marketing material is the same as well.
So, now we will talk about several B2B marketing strategies and plans that you can apply to reach your particular business audience. Before we get deeply in this, though, be sure that you know the buyer’s journey of the B2B. And take notes of how every one of these levels may impact you marketing strategy and you you apply it.
B2B Email Marketing
Email Marketing is an experimented method that is true of reaching both business consumers and individual ones. So, did you know that around 93% of B2B marketers use email? most probably you are one of them, and if not, you have to start now. Emails lead to engagement that turns subscribers into leads, and then they eventually turn to consumers.
This content may help:
On the other hand, B2C customers are more likely to respond to entertainment and emotions. So, B2B customers look for positive ROI and logic. Basically, they usually ask themselves and their teams, How can your business help ours to develop? So that your email marketing must resonate with business customers regularly and concentrate on things that are important for them, like resources and money.
Also, Email marketing is a strong way to share content that represents your brand. 83% of B2B businesses use email newsletters as a major part of their content marketing plan, and 40% of them say that these newsletters are a major way and the most critical to their content marketing effectiveness.
With the constant hail of emails gets into our inboxes every day, it is more important than anytime before to create and send out efficient marketing emails.
B2B Email Marketing Best Practices
- Write enticing subject lines. You have to think about your email subject lines as a movie trailer that will catch the person in 2-minute-video, and in your case, in the few characters of your subject box. Never expect your audience to open and read your whole content. Also, we suggest spending the same amount of time thinking about your subject as much as the time you spend on the email content itself.
- Stick to one call-to-action (CTA) in each email. If you think that you receive a big number of emails, so you have to know the call-to-actions in many emails to learn from them and avoid their mistakes. Some emails are loaded with 2 or 3 or even 10 call-to-actions which is totally wrong and will confuse your audience. They will be thinking, what should I do first? So, they will end up doing nothing. With one CTA in every email, you will allow your audience to concentrate on your email content and focus on one action to make.
- Use email segmentation to reach the most relevant audience. Not every email you are willing to send is relevant to every company on your list. Your audience might be in different stages of the journey to buy your service or product, or they might be even looking for different solutions. That is the point where comes the email list segmentation to the table. This will not only help you relate better to your audience, yet it will also give your email a persona that feels saying “Hey, I’m listening and I know what you would love to see now” Business customers always prefer quality over quantity.
- Make your email designs responsive. More than 80% of email users check their email inboxes from their mobile phones, and emails that are not properly displayed on the mobile devices will usually be deleted in 3 seconds. So, do not make your email be one of the moved to trash emails.
- Don’t be afraid of the cold email. As inconvenient as it is, the right email can lead to new customers — and there are some cold sales emails that won a lot of new B2B customers.
B2B Digital Marketing
All businesses, both B2B or B2C have to have a digital presence, that contains search engine optimization, paid ads, a website, and any other place where your target company is active online. So, let’s dig deeper into some useful tactics that can make your B2B digital marketing strategy more powerful.
Define your target audience
A powerful B2B digital marketing strategy begins with determining your target audience, or to be more specific, the buyer persona. This psychographic and demographic information will, thereafter, define almost all the other marketing activities, guaranteeing that your digital material and content are absorbed by the right B2B target audience (and that you will not waste any of your resources on your end.)
Create your website
Second, digital marketing can not function well without an engaging and informative website. More than 80% of buyers do visit the website before taking any decision. Furthermore, since the usual B2B sales cycle often includes a lot of major players (Like decision makers, gatekeepers, and other people who have to purchase) Having website is straightforward, easy way for influencers to post data about your service or product.
Optimize your digital presence
Your site has to be more than engaging and informative, and it also needs to be easy to find. You can follow these 17 SEO tips to make it easier for you to make your website discoverable. These contain everything from meta description to image alt texts and everything you need to know to enhance your presence on search engines.
Run PPC campaigns
Last but not least, continue your digital presence by using the PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, it allows you to get your brand and content in front of other audiences by advertising platforms and search engines. We recommend maximizing your PPC investment by making more advertising than your particular services or products. For example, your brand personality, social media content, company tagline, or blog.
The ultimate way to see an ROI from your ads is by:
1- Introducing your buyer persona information
2- Developing content that they can see it relatable
For example, it is unlikely for a brand new customer who has never knew you to search for your specific product. They might be searching for a location-based product feature or a solution. To get the biggest number of customers, focus on target relevant categories in your brand, rather than promoting your service or product.
B2B Content Marketing
We have mentioned above that B2B customers usually focus on experience and they are driven by education and logic. What marketing tool satisfies more than these priorities than B2B content marketing?
While a PR marketing strategy cuts off a customer’s day with promotional material, a content marketing plan will add valuable data and tells the consumers all the information they need, and this is exactly what B2B customers need. And you know for sure how content marketing supports SEO efforts, that includes expecting what your audience is looking for, and helping them find your content and website, and eventually converting them to customers.
Of course, 80% of business decision makers would like to get informed of an article than an advertisement. Therefore, We would say that you have to put the same (or even more) resources in your content marketing than your normal ads strategy.
That’s because the B2B journey of the buyer is somehow different than the B2C journey. B2C buyer’s journey has fewer decision makers involved, and shorter sales cycle. While the content marketing strategy you offer to your B2B customer may differ more than the content you have seen as a customer yourself, as explained in the image below.
Before stating your content creation process, we recommend you to create a business blog. (developing your blog leadership is a lot easier than you think, so don’t worry) Your blog will be a place for all the content you create and offer as a home for visitors to read and subscribe as well.
B2B Social Media Marketing
For your information, more than 84% of C-Suite executives and 75% of B2B buyers use social media when they make a purchase decision. And that’s why social media marketing is not only for businesses that target individual customers.
A lot of B2B companies find troubles with their social media marketing plans. Also, it can be more difficult to use social media to target your business customers, particularly, as we have said before, that there is usually a longer chain of command and a lengthier sales cycle.
Actually, B2B social media marketing may not b where you turn the biggest number of the audience into leads, and that is fine. It will likely come into the way of the customer’s purchasing journey, as they want to know as much information as possible about your business.
Social Media is a strong tool for brand awareness, it humanizes your business and gives your company a personality online. These factors are very powerful when it comes to marketing and connecting with the potential customers. And like email marketing, social media is a very successful way to share your content and to enhance your brand’s presence, the matter that we agree that B2B customers prefer.
While your social media profiles may not turn your audience into customers as much as your email marketing or website content will do, they are still as important as them. And that is because followers are just as important, you never know when they would turn to sales or leads.
👉🏼A Tip That May Help: Why? Content posted by employee advocates receives more than 8 times more engagement than which was shared by brands. Therefore, include your employees in your B2B social media marketing strategy. Motivate them to make their own social media accounts and post about daily life at your company. Create an Instagram culture account, for example, to show people what is going on at work. Don’t just post what you are selling or offering. You don’t know what is the thing that will attract people more!
And you can check out HubSpot’s account as an effective example.
B2B Marketing Examples
A B2B marketing approach that will work for a business might not work for others. However, that is not to state that we can not learn something from the professionals, as there are a lot of successful B2B marketing examples that did it just right. We will show you some of them below:
Email Marketing: Mattermark, Raise the Bar Newsletter
Raise The Bar is a daily newsletter from Mattermark that displays insights from sales, marketing, and growth engineering leaders. It is picked especially by Mattermark employees and can easily be scanned, which is precious in a world of complicated, elaborate daily digests and newsletters.
It is a great example of B2B email marketing as Mattermark usually educates its subscribers without selling them blatantly. This also builds trust between them and their audience and while getting them ready and informing them with everything they need to know before making a purchase decision and turn to a paying consumer.
Digital Marketing: Maersk, Website Homepage
It is almost impossible to know the intention of everyone who visits your website. However, the home page design of Maersk’s website makes it a lot easier for visitors to know their ways and to select what they want.
By offering three main options (“Become a Customer,” “Access Your Account,” and “Start a Career”), Maersk clearly segments their audience and allows visitors to easily navigate to the site content that corresponds with their intent.
They created a design that offers 3 key options which are ‘become a customer’, ‘access your account’, ‘start a career’ Maersk obviously segments their audience, and allows its visitors to have a journey in the web site’s content that matches their intention.
This simple design is also made to help Maersk establish authority and trust between each of these different audiences, current customers, customers-to-be, and employees.
Content Marketing: LeadPages, Blog + Resources
LeadPages has been bootstrapped since its start in 2012, but it hit more than $16 million profit just 3 years later. The owner refers to the fast success of the content strategy that made an impressive example of B2B content marketing.
The company generates many various types of content resources, such as customer stories, a webinar, a podcast, and a blog. These different resources allow the business to reach more audiences where they can use the most resonating method for them, and the one that better achieves the requirements.
LeadPages provides a blog that covers themes, e.g. lead generations, A/B testing, and other topics that relate to the brand or the product, a podcast every week that texts entrepreneurs every day, and an informative guide to their pages, which educates the customer to use and optimize the product properly, and all for free.
Social Media Marketing: MailChimp, Instagram
Social Media is an efficient way to engage with people. Also, it’s an entertaining place to post amazing graphics and show off the personality of your brand by creative graphic designs. And MailChimp has been a pro at both on Instagram.
They post around less than 50% of their content about email marketing or the product of the MailChimp. However, the team uses the platform to always find a way to engage with their audience and followers, and make them relevant posts by displaying engaging, fun, and on-brand videos and images.
Moreover, MailChimp uses Instagram as a platform to feature the real testimonials and stories of their customers. And by this, they can have a great effect on turning their followers into customers in the decision phases. Last but not least, MailChimp uses a tool named LinkinBio that allows users on Instagram to click-through to the home page directly as Instagram does not allow links on the platform. This makes an obvious conversion way for customers who find or search for MailChimp on Instagram and what to know more from their official website.
Invest in B2B Marketing and Reach Your Business Customers
Marketing is not successful unless you make your audience your priority. And keep in mind that no other audience is unstable and critical more than business customers. Your marketing has to be relevant to know how your business can help their companies. And if it didn’t, you might not be marketing at all though.
Use these strategies and tips to know your B2B audience well, understand your buyer persona, and use B2B marketing strategies effectively to reach them. When you prioritize your audience, your marketing will do the same.