Plus How B2B Marketing is Different from B2C Marketing
Effective B2B marketing, like any marketing, can be difficult to get right. There are creative demands, copywriting, and budget constraints. Each part is just one piece of the puzzle.
Despite all the pieces you have to juggle while developing and executing your digital marketing strategy, there is one thing that you need to keep in mind the entire time–the bigger picture.
And that bigger picture is your audience.
Marketing to other businesses is very different from marketing to an individual consumer, which is why we are delving into how to create a winning B2B digital marketing strategy.
One of These Things is Not Like the Other
B2B (business-to-business) marketing differs from B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing in all aspects, from respective strategies to execution and application.
B2B marketing targets the needs, interests, and challenges of companies or the individuals who are making purchasing decisions on behalf of the company they work for. B2C marketing, on the other hand, focuses on fulfilling the needs and interests of individual consumers.
A good example of B2B marketing is a commercial contractor who is looking to provide building or renovation services for other businesses. They may be helping them renovate an old building to suit their needs or building a new location for their expansion.
A good example of B2C marketing is Target selling home goods to an individual looking to decorate their new home.
B2C marketing tends to be more fun and it focuses on consumers seeking deals and entertainment. B2B marketing customers are on the other end of the spectrum, focusing on ROI (return on investment), efficiency, and expertise. They are also driven by logic and financial incentive. This means that B2B marketing is presented as very professional and thought leadership is of high value, but we’ll look at that more in a minute. Now let’s dive into how to create an effective B2B digital marketing strategy.
1 | Do Your Research
Every effective digital marketing campaign begins with some research. If you don’t know who you are marketing to and what their needs are, you’ll just be talking into a void rather than reaching the right target audience. Ask, “Who is really looking for my brand’s products or services?” This can help you begin to identify your target audience. Remember that as you run your campaigns, your target audience may change a little or their needs may change. So always adjust your campaigns based on your audience.
2 | Develop a Plan of Action
Once you know who you are marketing to, you can begin to formulate your strategy. Start by determining your brand positioning. This is the who, why, and how of your brand identity. In other words, it’s how your brand is perceived by the customer. Develop a brand statement that your team and prospective customers can believe in.
3 | Meet Them Where They Are
Once you’ve done your research and developed a strategy, it’s time to figure out where to deploy it. You need to meet your customers where they are. For many B2B companies, this is on LinkedIn, through online searches, and directly in email inboxes.
Create a company profile on LinkedIn, making sure to use eye-catching images and complete your profile. Ask your employees to create personal profiles with you and encourage them to share company posts and updates.
You can also share your company’s blog or other thought leadership articles here. Thought leadership articles share expertise, insight, and valuable perspectives in your industry. It positions you and your company as knowledgeable and ahead of the curve.
You can also pay for advertising on LinkedIn. Like other social platforms, there are many different types of ads you can choose to run. LinkedIn is definitely one of the more expensive platforms to run ads on, however if your audience is here, it is certainly worth the investment.
Another great way to reach other companies is to utilize PPC (pay per click) advertising. Google is the largest platform for online searches and you can pay to have your ads appear in the top of searches, in sidebar ads, and in ads as people move about the internet on other pages that allow advertising. Don’t just advertise your services or products here, but also invest in advertising your brand personality, blog, and even social media content. Be sure that you are keeping your audience and their needs in mind to get the best ROI.
Finally, don’t forget email marketing. This is a great opportunity to directly reach customers in a highly personalized way. Creating segmented audiences and personalizing the greeting or subject line with their name can help your email stand out and get noticed by people making the purchasing decisions on behalf of their company. It can also be a great way to develop your brand identity by sending out company updates, sharing blog articles, and other educational and informative content.
As we’ve noted, it is highly important to always keep your customer in mind when developing and deploying a marketing strategy. Always try to solve their problem or fulfill a need. Meet them where they are online and align your content to where they are in the buyer journey. Use a multichannel approach and consider a holistic, integrated strategy that incorporates your marketing and sales for the most effective digital marketing.
If you’d like to have a partner help you create an integrated B2B marketing strategy that breaks through, Attuned would love to help! We are fully invested in your success and take a holistic approach to marketing. Contact us today to learn more.