B2B marketing has changed significantly since the advent of the internet and all of the technological and digital innovations that followed. Today, it isn’t always about who you know – companies are able to market themselves to other businesses regardless of time, distance or location.
Though businesses have more tools at their disposal for B2B marketing, advertising your company to other companies isn’t always so easy. If you want to learn the ingredients to successful B2B marketing, keep reading!
What is B2B Marketing?
B2B marketing, or business-to-business marketing, is simply the marketing and advertising of products or services by one business to another.
Companies or organisations that sell and supply products or services to other organisations would implement B2B marketing. These are the types of companies that provide materials, products or services to another company that uses that product, material or service for their own product or service offering.
How is B2B Marketing Different from B2C Marketing?
The greatest difference between B2B and B2C marketing is the consumer base: the former advertise their product or service to other businesses, while the latter advertise to consumers.
The principles of both B2B marketing and B2C marketing are largely the same; they differ in execution. This is because the decision-making process behind the purchase differs between a business buyer and a consumer.
Organisations who are sourcing products or services from another organisation have quite a bit more to consider before making their decision, such as return on investment (ROI) and how that purchase will affect their bottom line, as these are two crucial elements of running a successful business.
In addition to that, a decision-making hierarchy often exists in B2B marketing, whereas in B2C marketing the consumer is usually the one completing the purchase. In B2B marketing, simply advertising to your target audience is not enough; your marketing and advertising efforts must reach the right part of the hierarchy to ensure that the decision-makers see your product or service.
Before You Start B2B Marketing…
B2B marketing is similar to B2C marketing in one regard: you probably have a LOT of competition.
Unless your industry is incredibly niche, chances are that there are a lot of companies like yours, all competing for the same customer base. This makes B2B marketing challenging and requires you to put some thought into your advertising efforts, as well as which channels to advertise through.
While businesses have a wide variety of platforms available to them to use for their marketing campaigns, picking the right platforms to use can mean the difference between ROI or wasted time and money.
Before you start B2B marketing for your business, take a look at the different types of B2B marketing available…
Types of B2B Marketing
Each type of marketing has its pros and cons, and while one form might work for you, it might not work for someone else. When it comes to B2B marketing, selecting and using the right platforms is extremely important to ensuring the success of your advertising efforts.
Digital marketing has taken the world by storm and is currently the most popular form of marketing, superseding its traditional marketing predecessors. According to Google, even in industrial and manufacturing industries, 67% of purchases are influenced by digital. Added to this is the fact that 70% of all B2B search queries are made on smartphones – chances are that your business’ target audience forms part of that!
Considering this massive shift to digital, it’s not surprising that most businesses utilise online and digital advertising campaigns.
B2B Marketing: Website
It takes about 50 milliseconds (so 0.05 seconds!) for a user to form an opinion about your website – completely throwing out the infamous expression, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
Because they’re judging the book. And this time, it’s your book.
Your business’ website is one of the most important tools you can use for B2B marketing. Your website is the face of your business, and speaks for your company when you can’t. Stats show that most buyers are more than halfway done with the purchasing process before even speaking to or meeting with a representative from the company from which they’ve chosen to buy. This is why it’s crucial for your website to:
- Provide enough information to ‘answer’ the searcher’s question, or appease their needs
- Be visually appealing
- Provide a good user experience
- Emphasize the difference between you and your competitors
- Represent your business’ values and goals
B2B Marketing: SEO
A well designed, responsive website can help you sell your product without you having to lift a finger – but not without SEO.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a worthwhile investment for businesses who want to increase their website’s visibility on search engines like Google or Bing. After all, having your website show up in the search results on page 1 will provide far greater visibility and traffic than if it were on page 6!
SEO is a necessity when it comes to B2B marketing. By being first in the search results, your website is guaranteed to receive more traffic – which is automatically less traffic for your competitors. It also helps create brand exposure and awareness, builds credibility with the search engine you’ve optimised your website for, and generates leads.
B2B Marketing: PPC
While SEO is an incredibly useful instrument for fine-tuning and improving your website, as well as driving organic search traffic, it’s a really slow burn. It can take months, or even years, for your SEO efforts to pay off, especially in more competitive industries.
In comparison, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is much, much faster: PPC website visitors are 50% more likely to make a purchase than organic visitors, and 75% of users say paid ads make it easier to find the information they are searching for.
This provides B2B marketers with fast-acting, lucrative advertising platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook ads that almost guarantee increased website traffic and a much higher potential conversion rate!
B2B Marketing: Social Media
Social media marketing is a free and easy way to advertise your business online. In B2B marketing, ‘free’ can seem suspicious, but building a brand presence and advertising your products on social media without incurring advertising costs is entirely possible. It’s also a great way to build an organic, genuinely loyal following.
However, most social media networks offer PPC advertising, and many businesses have found success with it. And with 45% of the world’s population using social media, it’s no wonder!
Whether you choose organic or PPC advertising for your social media networks, it’s always worthwhile to have some sort of presence on the platforms relevant to your business. This creates credibility with your target audience, and can make your company seem more authentic.
Need a Winning B2B Marketing Strategy?
We can help your business with a tailored, unique B2B digital marketing strategy that will promote your business, create brand awareness and generate leads and conversions.
Get in touch for a strategy session now!