The internet has changed B2B marketing forever. In the past, B2B clientele was established through personal relationships. B2B companies can today market to businesses located anywhere in the world with a simple click.
A plan is not a strategy. A budget is not a strategy. A tactic is not a strategy.
No matter how successful a B2B business is, it should have a clear marketing strategy in place. A strategy defines how you’ll achieve your goals. It clarifies how you’ll win against the competition. If you don’t have a marketing strategy, your efforts will probably be all over the place, without any direction, and won’t be very successful.
A marketing strategy is especially important for businesses that sell products or services to other businesses (B2B). This is because business customers are usually more sophisticated and harder to reach than consumers. B2B businesses typically have longer and more complicated sales cycles than B2C businesses, as well as longer decision-making processes. There are typically multiple individuals involved in a single B2B sale.
If you are eager to develop more effective B2B marketing strategies, follow the steps outlined below.
What Is a B2B Marketing Strategy?
A B2B marketing strategy comprises a set of goals which, once met, will result in a consistent stream of customers. It’s as simple as that.
Sorry, but advertising is not a marketing strategy. SEO, content marketing, WOM, email marketing, and PR are not effective marketing strategies. These are marketing vehicles that may support your strategy.
Although Google, YouTube, and LinkedIn may be popular, they do not a have a strategy. Instead, they are platforms.
The goal of providing the best customer experience is an example of a strategy. Your marketing plan will include a budget and tactics to help you achieve your goals. The platforms you use may include your website, resource center, microsites, marketing automation software, and customer support infrastructure.
Salesforce disrupted the CRM market by going all-in on a market disruption strategy. They used a variety of tactics to achieve that. When Salesforce made a deal with a taxi company to allow their employees to pick people up at the airport and sell them on the benefits of Salesforce during the ride, that was a way to activate their strategy. It was not a strategy in and of itself.
The Difference between a B2B Marketing Strategy vs. B2B Marketing Plan
It’s important to make a distinction between a B2B marketing strategy and a B2B marketing plan. A strategy is an overarching direction. A plan outlines the steps to take the strategy and implement it in the real-world.
B2B marketing strategy should be holistic, including taking account of your marketing goals, business opportunities, target audience, positioning/differentiation, and the competitive landscape.
A B2B marketing plan is a more detailed document that outlines the specific steps that will be taken to achieve marketing goals. Your marketing plan is the step-by-step process you will follow to achieve your marketing goals. It includes factors such as the type of channel used, the platforms on which it is advertised, the type of offer made, the messaging used, the creative elements employed, the budget allocated, the timing of release, etc.
It is important to have both a strategy and a plan when making B2B sales, but your strategy should be the priority. Once you have a strong online presence, you can develop a plan for attracting attention, connecting with your audience, driving engagement, increasing conversions, accelerating lead velocity, and more.
B2B vs. B2C Marketing
The main difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing is the target audience that each is aimed at. B2B marketing is aimed at businesses, while B2C marketing is aimed at consumers. B2B (business-to-business) companies are those that sell their products or services to other businesses, while B2C (business-to-consumer) companies are those that market their products or services to individual consumers.
B2B marketing is more complex than B2C marketing.
B2B marketing usually involves selling products or services that are expensive and require a lot of money from the buyer. B2B products and services are usually more expensive than B2C products and services, and the sales process for B2B products and services usually takes longer than the sales process for B2C products and services.
In B2B marketing, it is common to sell to various team members, rather than just individuals. The champion is the person who cares most and is willing to champion the change within the organization The executive buyer is the person who has the authority to make the final decision, however, there may also be other people involved in the decision-making process, such as the internal champion, main user, financial buyer, and technical evaluator. The internal champion is the person who is most passionate about the product and is willing to advocate for it within the organization. This means that B2B marketing is more concerned with creating long-term relationships with customers, while B2C marketing is more concerned with making sales.
B2B Marketing Strategies
The list of online marketing strategies you can use to market your B2B business is constantly evolving, but here are some popular approaches:
PPC advertising is a type of digital marketing where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Google AdWords is an example of a type of PPC advertising called “paid search advertising.” Paid social media advertising is a type of PPC advertising that is done on social media platforms such as Facebook.
PAID SEARCH ADVERTISING
You can place text ads on Google, Bing, and Yahoo’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Paid search advertising is an effective way to reach potential customers who are already searching for a product or service like yours.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
If you want your pages or blog posts to appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs) without paying, you can try using search engine optimization (SEO) to rank them organically. You typically won’t have to pay for each individual click when using paid search, but it usually takes quite a bit of time and effort to get a page to rank compared to other methods.
PAID SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING
You can run ads on most social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Paid social media advertising is a good way to make people who do not know about your business, product, or service aware of them.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social media marketing is a free and organic way to use social platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to market your business. Just like SEO, social media marketing is a great way to connect with potential and current customers. Organically marketing your business on social media requires more time and effort, but can provide cheaper results in the long term.
CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION (CRO)
Conversion rate optimization invloves improving your online user experience to encourage more website visitors to take a desired action. B2B businesses typically use CRO to increase the number of conversions (leads, chats, calls, sales, etc.) from their current website traffic.
Content marketing is another fairly broad digital marketing term. Content marketing is any digital marketing strategy that uses content assets to try to increase brand awareness or drive clicks, leads, or sales.
If you’ve ever reached the end of an article and seen a list of other articles that might interest you, you’re not alone. That’s native advertising. Most native advertising can be classified as content marketing because the ads are designed to look like normal pieces of content and attract clicks using catchy headlines. Native advertising is difficult to identify because it is frequently included with non-paid content suggestions. However, this is often intentional.
Email marketing is a very popular online marketing technique that is still used today. Many B2B marketers use email to promote special deals, content, or events.
In affiliate marketing, you pay someone else to promote your products or services on their website. Many B2B businesses form partnerships with affiliates that help market their business online (and offline, too). These partnerships can be extremely beneficial because they can help promote your business to a wider audience and help you reach new potential customers.
What Are The Main B2B Marketing Channels?
After you decide on your marketing strategy, look into the different channels and types of marketing that you can use to carry out the strategy. Here are some marketing channels for you to consider.
Your website should be at the core of your B2B marketing strategy. After all, your home base of digital marketing operations is where you should be able to generate the most leads. Many of your marketing efforts will ultimately aim to drive people back to your website, in the hopes that some visitors will convert into qualified leads. It’s essential to have a website that is tailored for generating leads from businesses, and that it has current information about your products and services. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what their specific needs are. Then, communicate how your product or service can help them in a way that is clear and easy to understand.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
There are few things as powerful as SEO when it comes to B2B marketing and your digital marketing strategy. You can improve your website’s ranking on SERPs by using B2B SEO tactics.
SEO allows you to reach your audience when they are most likely to be interested in your message.
B2B content marketing is another powerful marketing option. If you want to attract people to your website and educate them about your products or services, you need to create high quality content such as blog posts, research reports, videos, podcasts, ebooks, infographics and whitepapers.
Public Relations (PR)
PR can help raise awareness for your business through media coverage, building credibility with your target customers.
Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
Email marketing is an excellent way of maintaining relationships with your potential customers and with those who have already purchased from you. Email is a useful tool for sending informative content, such as blog posts, whitepapers, and ebooks.
Social Media Marketing on LinkedIn
There is no other social media platform that comes close to LinkedIn for B2B marketing. The reason LinkedIn is so popular among professionals is because it’s a platform where they can network with one another, share content, and engage in business-related discussions. LinkedIn differs from other social media platforms in that it focuses primarily on business content.
Live events can be an effective way to connect with potential customers and generate leads. Examples of live events include workshops, webinars, meet ups, and roadshows. Events that are live provide an opportunity to build relationships with customers that are targets. They are designed to lead your audience to have a greater recall and memory.
You ask customers or partners to recommend your business to others.
Skipping a layer of trust-building in the marketing and sales process is especially effective.
Customers or clients referring your business to their friends or colleagues is essentially a testimonial. This is much more effective than any type of advertising you could do. This is a more effective way to advertise than any other methods you could use.
A strategic partnership is when two businesses who complement each other join forces. For example, if you sell email marketing software and team up with a company that sells landing page creation software, you can cross-promote each other to your customers, and possibly even create bundled products that include both email and landing page software.
If your target audience is back in the office, you can use direct mail to generate new leads and nurture existing ones. Sending physical materials, such as postcards, gifts, and creative packages, to your prospects is a great way to get their attention.
Paid Media / Paid Search
Paid media is an effective way to reach customers who are at the bottom of the marketing funnel. This includes paid search, online advertising, and offline advertising. Paid media are online advertising platforms where businesses can pay to have their ads appear on websites and social media. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are two of the most popular paid media platforms.
Business-to-business online marketing is an effective way to reach potential customers outside of your local area. Following the principles in this article will help you be successful.
There is a wide range of strategies, platforms, tools, and tactics that can be used for B2B marketing. To maximize your marketing results, think strategy first. If you develop the correct strategy, you will have a plan for the individual steps required to reach your objectives.
A B2B marketing strategy is like a GPS for your business, helping you to successfully reach your destination.
In business-to-business marketing, it is important to identify your target audience and find ways to reach them effectively. After you have determined what that is, it is only a matter of finding the appropriate messaging.
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