Technology has changed the way businesses are conducted all over the world. And B2B sectors have to change the way they think, act and approach marketing.
Failure to adapt to this ever-changing modern world will leave your business behind until you’re forced to stop competing – then you’re on your way out of business.
It’s difficult to get the effective strategy right and in today noisy marketplace, marketers have to use the combination of direct and indirect marketing to reach and resonate with their audience.
In this article, you’ll learn what B2B marketing is, how to better approach them and how to convert your business audience into loyal clients.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is B2B Marketing?
B2B simply means business-to-business. Any company or business that sells product or service to other business (rather than individual) is regarded as a B2B company.
B2B Marketing is the marketing strategy or tactics that help you as a company promote your service or product to other businesses.
The way a B2C company will prepare and organize their marketing strategies is quite different from a B2B.
The new buyer’s journey
The human history always has an influx of improvement, changes, innovations and finally innovation.
Only those who successfully adapt to whatever history has in store succeed or more importantly – win.
However, I’m not a fan of human trampling on other humans and companies engaging in dirt strategies just to get the better of their competitors.
Nevertheless, there is a need for everyone to adapt to time – the adaptation that we cause ourselves.
And that brings me to the new buyer’s journey in this modern time.
Traditionally, B2B marketing plan as always being a cold calling, sales rep going to trade shows and conferences, sharing marketing bill and all businesses are conducted face-to-face.
While these strategies still work, they are not as effective as adapting to the digital transformation happening right in front of us.
- Most people including businesses use search engines to conduct research before purchasing product and services.
- Millennial hate cold calls.
- Businesses have been burnt numerous times while startups are avoiding been burnt so they usually take their time during the discovery and consideration phase of the sales funnel.
Here is the visual representation of the new buyer’s journey.
Before you find and implement the right strategies for your business, you need to have a well-defined buyers’ journey (sales funnel) which is guaranteed to convert business audiences.
Your sales funnel have to solve the following problems to be successful:
- Problem Identification
- Solution proposal
- Purchase motivation
- Supplier selection
- Consensus creation
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Top-of-the-funnel: This is where you create awareness for your product or service. At this part of the funnel, you must identify the client’s problem, propose your own solution, and motivate them with logical and financial gains.
Middle-of-the-funnel: This is where you start building a relationship with your business audience. Businesses need information, facts, logics and case study before they go ahead with the purchase. The drivers here is to educate and inspire them, let them supply you their information, validate and create consensus.
Loyalty loop: This strategy have one thing to do. Retain and turn business audiences into loyal clients. To do that, you’ll have to massively over-deliver and provide them with premium services.
B2B Marketing Strategies
Finally, this is the point where you put meat on the bone you’ve at hand. 90% of a B2B buying decision is made online.
Even if your strategy still has to involve face-to-face meeting have you read this article, clients will still go online research, check out your reputation and previous job before deciding to meet you (or your sales rep) in person.
That’s where the remaining 10% will kick in. Stuff like grooming, expertise, control of the meeting will make up the buying process.
But most of the time, your clients’ would have been sold with your digital strategies (if you build it) before you even come for the meeting.
Now, let’s jump straight into the strategies.
Here are the B2B marketing strategies you can implement:
- A website that converts
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Video marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Affiliate and Partnership
You don’t need to implement all these strategies at once but let’s go over each one to find is right for your business.
A website that converts
Who still doesn’t have a website in this modern time? If you’re one of those businesses that don’t have a website then I’m saying this with certainty – you’re currently experiencing low sales and will be on your way out of business.
If you really don’t have a website yet, stop reading this article and go get yourself a website. By the way, my digital marketing agency can get you one.
Back to the topic.
You must not only have a website but your website must be able to actively convert visitors into leads which you can then market to over and over again.
A website that converts is like a digital salesperson that is always on the lookout for potential clients. Every business must have one.
Social media marketing
Half of the human population are on social media. And facebook houses the majority of the population.
Do you even understand the effectiveness of using this platform to promote your business?
Whether you’re B2C or B2B, these channels are a must for you to exploit. Although, how B2C approaches their customers will defer from a B2B, social media marketing is nevertheless a must for every business.
Social media best practices:
- Audit your social media pages and complete all relevant field that can progress your business audience down the funnel.
- Define your target audience.
- Spy on your competitors and find out what works best and what doesn’t.
- Create a content calendar.
This is another strategy every B2B must implement. You want to build a relationship with your audience because they won’t purchase without learning and getting their hands on all possible fact before they buy from you.
Email marketing allows you to build and nurture the relationship in a way that’s specific to your business.
Also, you can do all these with automation, which significantly reduces the workload on your staff.
Content marketing will aid your relationship building and also emotionally connect your brand to your business audience.
Video marketing is just like content marketing albeit in a different form. Video is a visual representation of what your content is all about and individual responds to visuals better than just words.
You want to implement video marketing into your B2B marketing strategies but you might withhold it from the beginning especially if you don’t have an expert in video editing.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
Another must-have strategy in your B2B marketing strategies is SEO. In fact, I’d advise you to prioritize SEO the most because 90% of your clients will search for information regarding your business.
A B2B marketing strategy that doesn’t include SEO is not preparing for the long term and will be left behind by its competitors who embrace these strategies.
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising
PPC is a very effective way to build awareness for your product or service. If you’re running a social media campaign without social ads, your reach will be limited.
You won’t be able to effortlessly increase your brand awareness and promote your product but with PPC, your reach is as limited as your budget.
PPC and social ads give you the opportunity to know more about your target market.
And since most people won’t take action at the first point of knowing your brand, remarketing will allow you to reach them again and again.
The fun fact about remarketing is that it comes at a lower cost thereby giving you more room to reach your business audience.
Affiliate and partnership
One of my favourite story about using affiliate marketing is Amazon. Affiliate marketing allows you to fully stretch your limited and implement other B2B marketing strategies.
Affiliate marketing is when an individual (affiliate) promote your product or service in return for a commission.
This individual will only get a commission if he/she refer paying clients thereby removing the overhead cost associated with marketing.
At this stage, I believe you already know which strategies are most, which one you can afford for now and B2B marketing strategies for the future.
You’ve learned the B2B marketing strategies that you can implement and quickly grow your business.
Which strategy did you plan on implementing next? Let me know in the comment section.