B2B marketing is a business-to-business marketing strategy specifically designed by an organization or enterprise for doing business with another organization or enterprise. This kind of strategy is deployed by businesses to market their product or service to several other businesses.
All in all, any company that is involved in selling products or services to other companies or businesses instead of consumers utilizes B2B marketing strategies. Read on to get a thorough insight into the world of B2B marketing-
What is B2B Marketing?
Definition – B2B Marketing is defined as the marketing of products or services to other business/businesses to generate leads and optimize conversions.
When businesses or service providers sell their products or services to any other business customers, they use business-to-business marketing as an effective marketing strategy for optimizing the presence of the business in front of its target audiences, building relationships, boosting lead generation, and increasing sales.
For instance, software-as-a-service provides the license and subscription of software to many businesses. Other examples could be security solutions, office supplies, financial services, tools, among others.
The strategy for B2B marketing puts the person with the decision-making power at the center and focuses on regulating their buying decisions across the sales funnel. From understanding buyer’s journey to creating buyer personas and designing b2b marketing content, decision makers need to incorporate different b2b strategies for increasing brand awareness in the target market.
Importance of B2B Marketing
Some of the key reasons because of which b2b marketing efforts are important for the marketing team as well as sales team are listed below-
1. Widened Distribution Span
B2 B’s marketing strategy enables businesses to stretch their reach and bring more customers under its jurisdiction. They don’t have to restrict themselves from venturing out to the corners of the world. Using the internet, they can reach all kinds of customers without any issue.
2. Reduced Cost of Products and Services
B2B strategy requires businesses to get to know the interests and needs of the client they are going to target. This increases the investment volume to a large extent. In addition, businesses must know their local suppliers and their customers. For this, interviews or surveys can be conducted.
3. Zero-Cost Marketing Techniques
Advertising now has moved beyond television and newspapers. With the help of the internet, you can target your audience worldwide. This is the age of innovation and creativity, so you need to make sure that the content is catchy. Advertising on social media platforms is the entire game.
4. Creates Space for Innovation
With e-commerce, businesses can market their products or services in a wide variety of ways. It further allows them to maintain a stable and sound market image. Virtual banking, online shopping, online business transactions, etc., all get eased up due to e-commerce.
5. Lower Operating Cost
Initially, the operating costs are way too high. Using new technologies, advertising, product or service expansion, etc., require vast amounts of investments to be made. In the short run, it may be expensive, but the benefits that the businesses get in the long haul outweigh the costs.
B2B Marketing vs B2C Marketing
The difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing occurs mainly in terms of their audiences, as in B2B marketing, the target audience is another business while in b2c, the target audience is the paying customer.
B2B marketing and B2C marketing also differ in the ways the communication occurs, as B2B marketing pays attention to building relationships and B2C marketing pays heed to offering quick solutions.
B2B marketing strategies are designed in a manner that they can prove return on investment for a business customer while B2C marketing strategies pay heed upon creating engaging content to convert the target audience.
Let us have a look at some of the other differences between b2b marketing and b2c marketing in the comparison table below-
|Basis for Difference||B2B Marketing||B2C Marketing|
|Meaning||The marketing of goods and services between two business entities is B2B marketing.||A type of marketing in which a business sells its products and services to the consumer is B2C marketing|
|Customer||An organization, business, company, or number of businesses||End-user|
|Focus on||Building Relationship with the target business||Selling product or service to the end-user|
|Quantity of merchandise||Large||Small|
|Relationship||Supplier - Manufacturer|
Manufacturer - Wholesaler
Wholesaler - Retailer
|Retailer - Consumer|
|Relationship goals||Long term||Short term|
|Buying and Selling cycle||Lengthy||Short|
|Buying Decision||Well planned and rational as per the requirements||Emotional as per the need or desire of the user|
|Brand Value Creation||Trust and Mutual Relationship||Advertising and Promotion|
B2B Marketing Strategies
1. Research and Analysis
In B2B marketing, businesses need to start with the research. Research goes into everything from industry to brand, and it is the cornerstone when it comes to a rational and sound decision making process.
Research allows you to find out the industry insights, know your client, their needs, and preferences to provide them tailor-made solutions. Market research provides you with ample scope to improve your performance.
2. Niche Marketing
Niche targeting is a crucial step for b2b marketing for ensuring faster growth. Targeting a particular industry area of which they have complete knowledge allows them to rise above players most efficiently.
The use of niche marketing in b2b marketing is associated with promoting and selling a product or service to a specialized segment of a market. It is one of the powerful advertising strategies that try to optimize brand presence on a unique target market.
3. Improved Website Performance
In this day and age, an organization’s website is nothing short of an asset for effective b2b marketing. The website determines the businesses’ visibility and allows them to convey their message to the visitors.
Your website should be such that your clients can find it without going in too deep. It should be treated as an essential business tool as the popularity of the business pins entirely on it. In other words, the performance of a website determines the performance of a business.
4. Search Engine Optimization
On-site SEO is the kind of practice that focuses on keywords. These keywords do the work of getting your content across to your clients; whatever services or products you provide should be reflected by the kind of keywords you are using.
On the other hand, off-site SEO refers to the kind of practice that takes place outside your website. For example, your business can provide guest articles to get the backlink in return. This will increase your business’s presence immensely.
The technical SEO practices in B2B marketing revolve around on-site SEO (Keyword research, relevant content, headlines, titles, inbound links, meta descriptions, alt tag images, etc) and off-site SEO (shareable content, influencer outreach, review marketing, social media, guest blogging, etc) practices to optimize the presence of the business in the search engines and different digital channels.
7. Effective Advertising
You can find endless channels to advertise your product or service. There are industry websites, social media, google ads, and retargeting cookies that keep track of your target customer through the web and advertise your products to them accordingly.
Paid search advertising is also one of the powerful forms of advertising that can be incorporated in b2b marketing practices to optimize the reach of one business in front of other businesses.
8. Referral Marketing Strategy
The way in which referral marketing strategy works has considerably changed over the years. Now, the best businesses are those that follow the trend.
Studies have shown a novel result that more than 81.5% of the referrals were made by those who weren’t in the business’ client base.
9. Customer Relationship Management and Lead Nurturing
Customer Relationship Management System is a software that organizations tend to use. They depend on it for organizing, recording, and maintaining their client data and information.
Lead Nurturing hinges on your website and email marketing strategy for forming strong and long-lasting relationships with your clients. Your email marketing strategy should be driven by analytics as it will help you to nurture your clients well.
10. Digital Marketing
Without a digital presence, businesses can never rise through the ranks. Being active digitally through a website, paid ads, SEO, etc., will help them establish their mark.
It is vital for both B2B and B2C organizations. A B2B digital marketing strategy should start by defining the target customer. This should follow by the creation of a website, optimization of digital presence, and finally running pay-per-click campaigns.
11. Content Marketing
Your leads are all over the internet. All you need to do is look for people who are searching for your website and offer them the content they are looking for. This way, you can convert into your potential customers.
A content marketing strategy should aim at informing and educating the buyer about your business. This is what makes your content compelling.
12. Social Media Channels
Everyone now prefers to make their purchases online, be it businesses or regular buyers. Designing a social media strategy is the key not only for B2B but also for B2B companies.
Even LinkedIn has got its prominence around the world as one of the first social networks for b2b businesses. Plus, nowadays, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram- all play a crucial role in b2b marketing and advertising.
13. Email Marketing
The fact is that email is used by 93% of the business to business marketers. It is an effective marketing tactic to reach other businesses and customers. Moreover, it helps in converting subscribers into leads who can then be easily turned into customers.
All you need to do is type out engaging subject lines and use only one CTA in every email. Send out cold emails as it is functional. Also, the design of the email should be effectively created.
14. B2B Influencer Marketing
Using influencer B2B marketing practices is useful in aligning the thoughts and ideas of industry experts and thought leaders with the vision of a business.
When businesses use industry influencers for promoting a business, it optimizes the credibility of the business and hence, it automatically optimizes the conversions of the business.
15. Inbound Marketing
The inbound B2B marketing practices are used for aligning the marketing efforts of your business with the latest decision making process of your buyer. It goes through awareness, consideration, and decision buying processes.
Inbound B2B marketing generates leads by attracting, converting, closing, and delighting customers via personalized campaigns. Sales automation strategies with the help of marketing automation software are one of the common ways of using inbound b2b marketing.
B2B Marketing Best Practices
As a B2B business, your main goal is to be the best in generating value. Adopt the following pillars to establish your business’ image in the industry.
1. Keep It Human
One thing to keep in mind is that even though your business is B2B, it does not mean that you are supplying your services to some buildings. There is a human element to what you are doing, and it should not be ignored.
A great strategy is to not only research about the companies but also about those who are running them. You are not dealing with robots, so try to make your marketing as human as possible.
2. Aim At Targeting
Don’t just start marketing your content to almost anyone. It would help if you had a proper targeting strategy that starts with you defining and segmenting your customers. This is a necessary step if you don’t want to waste your resources.
Make use of key messages to communicate with your target audience. Try to offer as many personalized services as possible.
3. Thought Leadership
This is a kind of content marketing that is considered extremely useful by the top-level decision-making body within an organization.
4. Revolve Around the Context
A business must cater to the needs of its customers by making its content more personalized. But more importantly, the content should be administered in such a way that it suits the context of the site where it is being displayed.
For instance, longer videos work wonders on YouTube, but they may not work equally well on other social media platforms.
Here is a video by Marketing91 on B2B Marketing.
Examples of B2B Marketing
1. STR Software
STR Software is a B2B company and is a part of the Enterprise Resource Planning Industry.
The Content Marketing Strategy:
- Mainly aimed at providing educational content
- Built gated content to get the information from their leads.
- Targeted and nurtured leads using this data.
- Leveraged email automation to send their content.
- Advertised their university using their website.
- Increased conversion rate
- More organic traffic
- Website traffic increased by 54%
- Pageviews increased by 67%
2. Simply Business
It is an insurance broker that is renowned and famous in the United Kingdom.
The Content Marketing Strategy:
- Instead of selling insurance, it is aimed at marketing its content.
- Increased email productivity
- Social media
- Google Ads
- A higher rank on the SERP
- More organic traffic
It is the largest dealer of Customer Relationship Management in the world.
The Content Marketing Strategy:
- Engaging sales and marketing videos.
- Created the world’s first stop-motion presentation.
- Used Prezi for building customer success.
All this was done to increase their paid traffic and search.
- Traffic increased by 80%
- 10000 eBook downloads
- 6500 newsletter signups
SAP has successfully established itself as one of the most excellent software providers and developers in the world.
The Content Marketing Strategy:
- It tailored its content marketing strategy for almost 19 different customer segments.
- Delivered tailor-made messages that focused on different topics according to the industry.
- Provided content based on the solution and explained their product benefits.
- It used the appropriate content for each of the targeted customer segments. It included tweets, blogs, virtual events, email, live events, etc.
So, it can be said that its strategy circled segmentation.
- Marketing ops equal to $3,675,000
- Marketing growth equal to $50,037,709
It is a kind of B2B business focusing on developing templates for landing pages as well as providing testing services.
The Content Marketing Strategy:
- Created a marketing blog for generating leads.
- Used A/B testing for developing content and effectively stopped the leads from leaking out.
- Provided educational content like eBooks, courses, case studies, etc.
- As a part of their educational marketing, they introduced and organized webinars on a weekly basis.
- Launched their own podcast, which is hosted by none other than Tim Paige.
Their marketing strategy mainly focused on competing and outperforming their competitor HubSpot.
- Their customer base increased by 35000 customers.
- They were able to achieve this within three years.
- In 2015, their overall revenue increase to more than $16 million.
B2B Marketing Wrap Up!
These are some of the essential points that are worth highlighting while concluding the post-
- B2B marketing enables a business owner to reach out to another business owner. Therefore, adding the human touch to your campaign can help you in forming strong bonds.
- The fundamental measures to take as a part of your B2B strategy are defining your goal and audience, choosing marketing channels, get started with content marketing campaigns, and consistently check the optimization.
- Social media, blogs, email, whitepapers, video, among others, are some of the most widely used marketing tools.
- B2B marketing should be engaging, participating, focussed, and one that revolves around the relevant context. Thought leadership is also an extremely valuable part of this.
- Businesses must have their LinkedIn accounts as this social media platform stands out as one of the greatest marketing tools.