For instance, up to 80% of B2B clients want the same buying experience that B2C clients receive. While this speaks to the overall experience, the approach is still different between these types of clients.
This is just one element of the shifting dynamics of B2B marketing pointing to the idea that the goalposts are always moving. As such, you need to follow the trends and stay up to date with the changing landscape of digital marketing.
What Is B2B Marketing?
B2B (business-to-business) marketing is the process of marketing goods and services to other businesses that can resell or use them. The reason to separate this from B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing strategies is that it requires a different approach.
B2C marketing is where the focus is on selling products or services to an individual who purchases them for themselves. B2B marketing is where the focus is on selling to an individual who is buying on behalf of the business and its interests.
The approaches to these business individuals should be unique. While taking into account the need to market the goods and services as a solution to the entire business, the B2B approach also needs to instil complete confidence in the buyer. This is because the buyer is often responsible for expensive acquisitions on the business’s budget. This target market is shifting, resulting in the need for your strategies to shift as well. For example, as of 2021, 60% of tech buyers are millennials. As the target market shifts, you need to implement new strategies that speak to these individuals.
The Top 8 Strategies for B2B Marketing
Buying trends are constantly changing. As such, your marketing strategies should always stay up-to-date and relevant to your target market. Certain traditional marketing techniques, like advertising, will always remain important. But, you should combine them with the latest trends and new strategies to elevate yourself above competitors.
1. Use Business-To-Consumer Tactics
While there is a reason to develop different strategies for individuals and businesses, it doesn’t mean you can’t mix them. As the target market of business marketing changes to a younger generation, you can implement certain B2C strategies.
Digital spaces are becoming increasingly competitive and this is another reason to rely on a wide range of techniques. In this space, you should:
- implement a personalised marketing approach
- provide access to relevant content, and
- invest in emotional marketing (more on this in the next point)
Personalised marketing extends beyond simply including names in email marketing. It means having an in-depth understanding of what your clients and their business needs are and using this knowledge strategically.
Moreover, allowing buyers to find the information they require easily enables them to be informed before they make a decision. This helps to instil confidence in your buyer that they’re making the right choice for their business.
2. Utilise Emotional Marketing
Traditionally, B2B marketing was strictly driven by rationality. Emotional marketing was exclusively for B2C marketing. However, those decisions made for the business are still carried out by individuals or a panel of individuals. Psychological scientists deem emotions to be a dominant driver when making meaningful decisions.
So, incorporating elements that spark emotion is beneficial to your marketing plan. These elements can become subtle additions to your marketing campaigns to convince buyers to purchase. Think of confidence, enthusiasm, passion, ambition, and drive.
Individuals who need to make decisions on behalf of the business entity are also driven by their goals. They want to improve the business and impress the bosses, after all.
3. Niche Strategies
Focusing on specialisation and niche areas is important to set your business apart from the rest. Finding a niche and dominating it will help reduce competition and will forge closer relationships with your clients. This type of B2B marketing strategy also allows your business to develop as an authority in the given area.
Small businesses and startups will benefit greatly from this strategy as it enhances the development of relationships with loyal clients. You can implement this type of strategy in various ways, such as:
- Sharing tailored-made case studies
- Sharing credible resources with plenty of niche information
- Creating relevant content with specific CTAs
- Finding online niche spaces to answer specific questions
4. Improve Your Website
Nowadays, your website is often the first impression your clients have of your company. Yet, some businesses may still view their website as unimportant when targeting businesses.
In addition to the digital revolution, millennials are more tech-savvy. Thus, they are drawn to websites for their research into your brand. Offering an in-depth and well-organised view of your company will impress potential clients. For example, informative content within blog structures and targeted offers can increase your lead generation and conversion rate.
The structure of your website should follow three steps to take users on a specific journey:
- Attract prospective buyers with eye-catching website design
- Engage with prospects by giving them structured and in-depth information
- Convert leads into clients through clear CTAs and offers
5. Include Live Chat Features On Your Website
As marketing shifts to a more personal approach, you need to converse with your prospects beyond email marketing. Some people may believe live chat features are just for complaints and feedback. Yet, you can actually leverage them to get to know your clients.
You should use the live chat feature wisely, by choosing prospects wisely. Develop criteria to choose which users will respond to this feature based on their movements on your website.
For example, if a user spends a lot of time on your product pages, you could send a chat message saying something like: “Need help choosing the right product for your needs?”
Also, be sure to show your prospects that they are talking to an actual human. This will create a better relationship than an automated chatbot or machine will.
6. Content Marketing
Consumers are becoming more independent in their research and decision-making - resulting in a desire to be informed. When customers are deciding on purchases, they tend to conduct extensive research. So, you should continuously update your website with informative and relevant information to assist your buyers. This includes your blog content.
According to research, 33% of millennials depend on blog posts to gain information before buying. As such, focusing on quality blog content will speak to these consumers.
Content marketing is also a great strategy for generating traffic and leads. Make sure that you have blog posts and website content that target a specific pain point for businesses. These should pitch your products or services as the solution. This way, people who are looking for a solution that you offer, can discover you through search engines.
7. Focus On Your SEO
When putting out content and designing your web pages, you need to focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Implementing SEO best practices on your website will improve visibility and increase your lead generation. To gain the benefits from SEO, your company should be continuously strategizing and implementing new SEO campaigns.
8. Case Studies, Testimonials, Reviews
Consumers trust other buyers when making a decision on their purchase. This is shown by the 81% of people who view ratings and read reviews. Focusing on these elements also plays into the trend of consumers conducting their own research before making a decision.
Prospects will appreciate easy-to-find and read case studies, testimonials, and reviews on your site as well as on other forums.
However, there is a fine line between honest reviews and paid for reviews. Consumers are becoming aware of the trend to pay consumers or provide free products in return for flattering reviews. It is important to be authentic and transparent with these elements as this will help establish trust with potential buyers.
Why Is It Important To Have A B2B Marketing Strategy?
Businesses can no longer simply rely on aggressive direct sales techniques to increase conversion rates - especially in a highly competitive data-driven marketing environment. It’s therefore important to get creative and find better ways to connect with their business clients.
Marketing to businesses is important as many companies depend on the goods and services from other companies to function. If your marketing strategy is not effective, you will lose out on a large market.
So, investing time to develop these strategies is beneficial to your company seeing as businesses will likely buy on a larger scale than regular customers. Depending on the products you offer, the purchases may also become a regular occurrence too. So, with good marketing, you can build a loyal customer base and steady streams of income for your company.
Grow Your Sales With Relevant B2B Marketing Tactics
B2B marketing is a dynamic field of your business in which you should continuously invest time and resources. This is especially true since marketing is not only about generating leads. It also extends to customer retention. Through these marketing techniques outlined above, you can generate more leads and develop lasting relationships with your business clients.