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The Ultimate Guide to Online B2B Marketing

Effective marketing is difficult to get right. Between creative demands, budget limits, and channel decisions, B2B marketers have a lot to juggle when developing a marketing strategy.

The biggest determinant of effective marketing, however, is your audience.

If you’re not properly targeting the right audience, your promotions and advertisements will likely fall on deaf ears.

Marketing to businesses is very different than marketing to individual consumers. That’s why an entirely different marketing method exists when it comes to B2B marketing, and that’s why we found this guide for you to read. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of B2B marketing, the most effective B2B marketing strategies, and how you can tap into and convert your business audience.

What is B2B marketing?

B2B (business-to-business) marketing refers to any marketing strategy or content that is geared towards a business or organisation. Any company that sells products or services to other businesses or organisations (vs. consumers) typically uses B2B marketing strategies.

B2B vs B2C Marketing

B2B and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing are very different. B2B and B2C marketing differ in their respective strategies and applications, as well as in their audiences and how they communicate to them.

B2B marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of individuals who are making purchases on behalf of, or for, their organisation, thus making the organization the customer.

B2C marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of individual consumers who are making purchases on behalf of, or for, themselves, thus making the individual the customer.

B2B Marketing Strategies

B2B marketing depends on the audience. Here are a few online marketing strategies that you can use to entice and grow your B2B audience:

B2B Email Marketing

Email marketing is a tried and true method of reaching business customers. Did you know that 93% of B2B marketers use email? Are you one of them? You should be. Emails lead to engagement which turns subscribers into leads … and then customers.

Unlike B2C customers who respond best to emotions and entertainment, B2B customers look for logic and positive ROI. Essentially, they’re asking themselves, How can your business help my business grow? Because of this, your email marketing must consistently resonate with your business customers and focus on things that matter to them — like time, money, and resources.

Email marketing is also a powerful vehicle for sharing your brand’s content. 83% of B2B companies use email newsletters as part of their content marketing programme, and 40% of B2B marketers say these newsletters are most critical to their content marketing success.

With the constant barrage of emails flooding our inboxes today, it’s more important than ever to create and send out effective marketing emails.

B2B Email Marketing Best Practices

  • Write enticing subject lines
  • Stick to one call-to-action (CTA) per email
  • Segment your email to reach the most relevant audience. Not every email you send will be appropriate for everyone on your list. Your subscribers may be at different stages of the buyer’s journey or be seeking different solutions.
  • Make sure your email designs are responsive
  • Don’t be afraid of the cold email. 

B2B Digital Marketing

Every business, whether B2B or B2C should have a digital presence — which is comprised of paid ads, search engine optimisation (SEO), a website, and any other place your B2B company is active online.

a. Define your target audience

A strong B2B digital marketing strategy starts with defining your target audience. This demographic and psychographic information will inform almost every other marketing activity thereafter, ensuring your content and digital material is absorbed by the right eyes and ears.

b. Create your website

Secondly, digital marketing can’t quite function without an informative, engaging website. Over 80% of buyers visit a website before making a purchase. Moreover, since the typical B2B sales cycle often involves many key players, websites are easy, straightforward ways for influencers to share information about your product or service.

c. Optimise your digital presence

Your website needs to be more than informative and engaging, it needs to be discoverable and found on search engines like Google. You can do this with on-page SEO and technical SEO tactics. These include everything from image alt-text and meta descriptions to structured data and site speed, just to name a few. 

d. Run PPC campaigns

Finally, rounding out your digital presence with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising will allow you to get your content and brand in front of new audiences via search engines and other advertising platforms

The best way to see an ROI from your paid ads is by 1) incorporating your buyer persona data and 2) boosting content that they can relate to. For example, it’s highly unlikely a brand new consumer who’s never heard of you is searching for your exact product. They may be searching for a location-based solution or product feature. To reach the greatest number of potential customers, pay to target relevant categories within your brand vs. promoting your product or services.

B2B Content Marketing

We’ve talked about how B2B customers are focused on expertise, driven by logic, and desire to be educated. What better marketing tool to satisfy these priorities than B2B content marketing?

A content marketing strategy adds valuable information and informs the consumer — which is precisely what B2B customers are looking for. Not to mention that content marketing supports SEO efforts, which involves anticipating what your audience is searching for, helping them discover your website and content, and potentially converting them to customers.

In fact, 80% of business decision makers prefer to get information from an article than an ad. Knowing this, you should be putting the same (if not more) resources into your content marketing than your traditional advertising strategy.

B2B Social Media Marketing

Did you know that 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-Suite executives use social media when making a purchase? That’s right — social media marketing isn’t just for brands targeting individual consumers.

Many B2B companies struggle with social media marketing, though. It can be harder to use social media to connect with business customers, especially because (as we mentioned above) there’s typically a lengthier sales cycle and longer chain of command.

Honestly, B2B social media marketing might not be where you convert the greatest number of leads, and that’s OK. It likely comes into play near the beginning of your customers’ buyer’s journeys.

Social media is a powerful tool for building brand awareness, giving your company an online personality, and humanising your business. Like email marketing, social media is also a highly effective channel for sharing your content and enhancing your brand expertise, the latter of which we know B2B customers appreciate.

While your social media accounts might not convert as frequently as your content or email marketing, they’re just as important. In this case, followers are just as valuable — you never know when they might convert to leads or customers.

Invest in B2B Marketing and Reach Your Business Customers

Marketing isn’t effective unless you keep your audience in mind, and no other audience is as fickle and critical as business customers. Your marketing should communicate how your business can help theirs, and if it doesn’t, you may as well not be marketing at all.

Use these tips and strategies to understand your B2B audience, round out your buyer personas, and effectively use B2B marketing strategies that reach them. When you’re focused on your audience, your marketing will do the same.

Click on the link below to read the full article: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/b2b-marketing

Written by: Louise Coetzee

Louise Coetzee is a digital marketing specialist and a director of Evergreen Media. She has worked in the publishing industry for 30 years, primarily in B2B, and is an expert in SEO, digital advertising, content writing and website planning. Evergreen Media focuses on SME’s in the industrial sector. All three directors and our team understand that B2B in this sector is highly specialised and needs a focused and well-planned approach in order to succeed in the digital space. Get in touch if you would like to find out more.

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