The approach to decision-making differs greatly when the comparison is between buying a blue shirt and buying them in bulk for business. You’re probably not going to be swept away while making practical purchases such as invoicing software, which isn’t the case when shopping for your next holiday. This is why B2B and B2C digital marketing approaches are so fundamentally different.
B2C, aka ‘Business to Customers’ marketing, targets customers even if they don’t turn out to be buyers. B2C businesses stand to benefit by reaching the decision-maker in the household, especially for bigger items such as cars or vacations.
Business to Business aka B2B digital marketing, on the other hand, appeals to specific individuals that are the decision-makers in their business. So these ads are targeted at only those individuals whose heads are responsible for the final purchasing decision and this is crucial because it’s about business/bulk.
In this article, we are discussing significant, tested strategies for B2B digital marketing campaigns.
Successful B2B Digital Marketing Examples
People often feel that brands talk to them without really knowing what they want, making them feel unheard and unimportant. This is why business to business can become a troubling misnomer leading people to market to businesses instead of the people behind those businesses.
If you want to succeed in B2B digital marketing, then this barrier needs to be broken. Forming meaningful connections by striking authenticity and business relevance, are the keys to hit the mark with your B2B digital marketing strategies. Plenty of brands are doing this with fun and flair, making it seem like a cakewalk.
Know that both of these business models we have discussed here are not pure B2B models but have put such strategies in action that worked for them.
# 1 Dropbox Business — Launched a B2B Focused Plan
Email has become known as the spine of B2B and is predicted to remain so for the foreseeable future. Dropbox managed to achieve an ROI of 25:1 with just thought leadership. The idea may seem complicated for many to follow, but they made it quite simple.
Dropbox wanted its variant ‘Dropbox Business’ (which it calls B2B) to become apparent to a new audience, i.e., marketers. It built an interactive assessment tool that allowed marketers to find out what type of marketer they were. The results were intensely personalized and shareable that attracted entire marketing departments and agencies to get involved.
This was only the tip of their B2B marketing iceberg. The rest involved infographics, psychometric research, blog posts, and a 20-page ebook that was destined to blow away the competition, and it did.
# 2 Slack For Enterprises
Slack’s collaboration hub helps businesses increase performance efficiently but only because it has made life so much easier for those who use it.
The company’s messages are targeted at not just the decision-makers but other professionals as well who pushed for its deployment. Slack’s Twitter account is not just another robotic business feed, but their account @SlackLoveTweets amplifies the voice of every user who praises the product. Their blogs are made personal by focusing on people doing the work rather than the work itself.
The world is going places with innovative uses of B2B digital marketing, and with trendsetters like Google, Facebook and Amazon, there’s no saying what will happen next.
- Take, for example, Amazon’s ‘customers who bought this item also bought’ section, which is a classic example of a strategic and intuitive B2B campaign.
- Google has a matching concept where based on your previous search behaviors, you get customized recommendations specifically based on your search history. They know a lot so expect some heavily personalized stuff!
B2B buyers expect the vendors to know about them from the very beginning of the interaction. Google and Amazon have developed it into an art, and now it’s your turn.
B2B Digital Marketing
This is where you’re bringing awareness, converting, and selling to your target audience through a multi-pronged approach. A digital marketing strategy involves all the wheels, including blogs, video, pay-per-click, social and your website, to make it a successful campaign.
Know that every B2B digital marketing plan differs depending on your audience and business goals. However, the results must always be the same: the right person receiving the messages at the right time via the right digital platforms.
Your website is what brings your digital marketing strategy together hence making it the most integral piece of the puzzle. This will require funneling your audience to your website through your content marketing efforts because this is where your unique propositions dwell.
With time your website will become the most effective lead generation tool with landing pages and contact forms. Turn your website into an information cesspool and witness the transformation it brings to your B2B efforts.
SEO efforts are crucial for organic traffic since it determines whether you show up in the search results or not. Your research and planning stages are all done for this purpose so that you can blend Google trends, keyword search, your website analytics, and everything else to identify the terms you rank for.
The same goes for your presence all over the web, including LinkedIn and other professional platforms.
B2B Content Marketing
B2B customers are driven by logic, focused on expertise, and have a desire to grow and be educated. This brings to mind a tool that has proven time and again to be extremely effective: B2B content marketing.
B2B content marketing is based on developing engaging and informative content that increases brand awareness, engagement, thought leadership, leads, and sales and traffic for B2B companies. Some common forms of content marketing include podcasts, blogs, infographics, research findings, and newsletters.
The content for B2B buyers varies when compared to a B2C buyer making the strategy more effective if planned, particularly for this purpose. Unlike traditional PR marketing, where the customers’ day is interrupted with promotional material, and the discounts on new shirts and the new crafting stock running out, B2B content exclusively brings value to its audience, which is precisely what they desire. This can include webinars for b2b, LinkedIn marketing, and other professional platforms.
As part of B2B content marketing and SEO strategy precisely, professionals target industry keywords, especially the ones their rivals are ranking for. Naturally, a better ranking on search engine results does show the business’ credibility and ultimately improves leads.
Social Media Marketing for B2B businesses
According to research, social media advertising is being practiced by a whopping 83% of B2B marketers which means it’s here to stay. The social space has infinite possibilities for B2B brands that can mean anything from flexing your industry influence to nurturing customers. It is challenging to implement a successful social media marketing plan for B2B business, but here are some practical tips that can guide you along your way:
- Set out specific goals
The competition is no joke, with so many marketing channels available to everyone. However, you shouldn’t be on social media just because everyone else is. There are several points to prioritize when considering a robust social media presence:
- Education audiences
- Brand awareness
- Building trust and credibility
- Establish a customer-centered social strategy
This is a reiteration of the point to become more human towards customers. So put your customers in the middle when planning a digital campaign. Any form of engagement brings on a more positive vibe, no matter how technical or niche your product may be.
- Make sure your strategy is in full compliance with your business initiatives
This point is worth the repetition since many marketers fail to tie their performance to analytics to their social media. Social media is the ultimate place to tie everything in neatly, from product launches to PR.
Email marketing for B2B businesses
How well does your company use its leads? Many companies earn leads, but only a few of them are able to turn those leads into sales. So, where does the problem lie? They forget to nurture these leads. Email marketing is the answer when it comes to chasing leads and nurturing them. You can distill your audiences with the right messages. You can send special promotions for engaged people, the audiences that ask for special discounts or want a new product. This is the journey every buyer is hoping to experience when reaching out to your brand.
Difference Between B2B and B2C Digital Marketing
The three elemental differences between B2B and B2C marketing are listed below:
- B2B is generally a longer scale
The marketing time frame is different when talking about B2B and B2C marketing strategies. Relatively B2C sales tactics have a shorter lifespan. Companies need to attract, retain, convince and motivate leads to make a purchase within a short time. On the other hand, B2B tactics are longer lasting for months or years.
- B2B often has a higher cost per sale
B2B products are not available to the mass consumer market but to a limited commercial audience. There are multiple people involved in the buying process, making it a higher-cost-per-acquisition on a single sale.
- B2B holds a greater risk
Along with the longer duration and higher costs, B2B holds elevated risk, both at the professional and enterprise levels. B2C campaigns are considerably low-risk where a few underperforming products balance out the overperforming ones.
Trends to Look Out For in B2B Digital Marketing
Keeping up with changing B2B digital marketing trends will help you remain ahead of the competition.
- Account-based marketing: helps align sales and marketing with a 97% higher ROI.
- Marketing automation: as many as 44% of B2B brands have opted for marketing automation plans.
- Artificial intelligence: agents with AI chat-bots are able to solve complex problems.
- Video marketing: 70% of B2B buyers feel videos are an integral part of the research.
- Lead conversion: B2Bs are using more webinars, eBooks, and email newsletters for lead conversions.
- Marketing podcasts: B2B marketers feel this perfect way to engage with audiences.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn accounts for 80% of leads and over half of B2B social traffic.
B2B digital marketing is everything it promises to be and more. Though, no type of marketing is effective unless the audience is kept in mind while developing it.
All your efforts should be dedicated to exhibiting how your business can help theirs, which is what all boils down to with B2B marketing. Social media, PPC, content, SEO and email marketing are all parts of the puzzle and when put rightly together, can yield better results than expected.