If you sell your goods or services not to private customers but to other companies, you should learn the basics of B2B marketing. This sphere of activity is focused on promoting products to corporate buyers and it differs drastically from working with the B2C segment. From this article, you'll get to know about efficient B2B marketing strategies and familiarize yourself with some highly successful examples.
The term "B2B marketing" denotes the marketing efforts that you apply to sell your goods or services to other businesses. B2C marketing, on the contrary, is focused on selling goods to private users. You can either fully concentrate on the B2B segment or combine it with catering to B2C customers.
B2C and B2B marketing differ drastically in certain aspects:
Strategies and their applications
Ways of communicating with customers
When you target the B2C segment, you try to sell your product to people who're planning to consume your goods or services individually. B2B interactions suggest that your clients are organizations. They want you to provide them with solutions that will enable them to develop quicker and make more money.
B2C marketing is often based on entertainment. Your potential clients want to have fun and you should appeal to their emotions. They perceive education as a pleasant bonus but not their primary goal. Your clients will be grateful for the opportunity to make purchases directly, without talking to your salespeople. They will be more likely to buy short-term solutions and they will hardly be interested in building long-term relations with your brand or company.
In the case of B2B marketing, your recipients are indifferent to emotions. Instead, they would love to get to know facts, numbers and insights. They will be eager to read your emails if you educate them and base your communication on logic. Your B2B customers would probably prefer to interact with your sales team rather than make independent decisions. They will expect your account managers to share their expertise and make more informed purchases. B2B clients normally strive to build long-lasting relationships with providers of high-quality goods and services. This might lead to longer contracts and a longer sales cycle.
To reach your target audience, you might use four main B2B marketing strategies. Below, we'll analyze the specifics of each of them.
Let's have a look at the statistics:
93% of B2B marketers use email
83% of B2B organizations rely on email newsletters in their content marketing programs
40% of B2B marketers state these newsletters are crucial to their content marketing success
Compiling emails to B2B recipients differs drastically from writing messages to their B2C counterparts. The latter appreciate entertainment and emotions. The former look for ways of scaling their businesses, boosting the efficiency of their workflows and maximizing their revenues. Every day, B2B recipients get dozens of emails. You need to impress them in the first seconds and make them realize you're planning to send out useful content. Here are a few tips on what exactly you can do.
Write enticing subject lines. It might take you a whole hour to invent a line that will hook your audience from first sight — and it's fine. You have only one attempt at convincing the recipient to open your message. You should strike a very delicate balance: be creative and at the same time get down to business immediately.
Use only one call-to-action per email. If you use more, it would be tricky for the recipient to decide what exactly they should do first — and they might end up doing nothing.
Segment your emails. Analyze the demographics of your target audience and single out groups that differ by age, gender, level of income, preferences and other criteria. Some of your emails might seem worthy to all of these groups. But you might want to target a certain part of your messages only to groups with specific characteristics. You should know precisely which solution each of your customers is looking for and which phase of the buyer's journey they're currently at.
Stick to responsive email designs. The majority of your recipients will be likely to open your message on a mobile device but some will do so on their computers. Your email should adapt to any size of the display — otherwise, the recipient might close it without reading.
Some experts in building B2B marketing strategies might state that you should avoid cold emails. Yet in fact, they might work — especially if you follow the above-listed recommendations. Feel free to try this approach a few times to check whether it suits you.
If your business has any online presence, it means you're ready for digital B2B marketing. Here is what you might consider doing.
Build a website for your business. In the B2B segment, multiple gatekeepers and decision makers will scrutinize your site before making the final purchase decision. It's much more convenient to share a website link than send slideshows and presentations back and forth. Your site should contain exhaustive information about your company and products. The data should be well-structured and engaging.
Optimize your digital presence. It's not enough to create a website with a modern design and fill it with informative content. It should be easy for your potential clients to discover your site, which means you should fine-tune it to meet the requirements of search engines. For instance, you should ask your IT team to increase the site loading time, your copywriters should enhance all texts with meta descriptions that contain popular keywords, all images should be accompanied with alt-text attributes and so on. These measures belong to on-page SEO and technical SEO tactics. The tactics that take place on third parties' web resources are known as off-page SEO (this approach involves social sharing and external linking).
Define your target audience. You should accumulate demographic and psychographic data about your potential customers. When generating marketing content and selecting channels for sharing it, you should take into account the specifics of your client base.
Run PPC campaigns. This acronym means pay-per-click advertising. You pay the search engine to display the link to your content on top of its first page when users search for keywords that are relevant to your business. Plus, you can make use of other advertising platforms in an identical way. PPC campaigns will deliver the most impressive results if you use them to promote not your products but brands, your business tagline, blog or social media content. People who have never heard about your company or products won't search for them. Instead, they might be looking for product features or location-based solutions — and this is how they will come across your offer.
When generating content for the B2C audience, you should pursue two goals: grasp the client's attention from the first second and let them have fun. Your content can interrupt your clients' daily routines and they won't mind that. When targeting B2B customers, you should never distract them from high-priority activities. Instead, you should offer them some valuable information that can increase their productivity.
To guess which type of information your B2B clients will be particularly happy to receive, you should carry out research and try to anticipate people's wishes. Plus, you need to take into account the stage of the buyer's journey that each recipient is currently at and personalize your messages accordingly.
Let's consider a situation when a potential B2B customer knows nothing about your business and products. When you establish contact with them for the first time, you should avoid talking about yourself. Instead, you should concentrate on the client's problems. Maybe, they don't fully realize the essence of the issue yet — but they feel they could perform better. They will appreciate your assistance if you clearly formulate the essence of their pain and explain how to handle it. Only then, you should start talking about how your business could contribute to the improvement.
Now, let's consider a company that has been using your goods or services for a couple of years already. You have gathered their feedback several times, you know their typical pains and the ways your products help them. Such a client would be glad to know that you have launched a new version of your product that is slightly more expensive but significantly more powerful than the previous one. In this case, you don't need to remind the client who you are and why they should choose you over your rivals. From the onset, you can focus on the features and competitive edges of the new version of your product.
Each time you prepare a new message for your B2B audience, it would be wise to test it on a small number of clients. Try different formats: pre-recorded videos, interactive webinars, eBooks and so on. Measure the efficiency of each format. When you identify the most efficient one, start using it for the majority of your audience.
Around 80% of decision makers in the B2B segment would love to receive valuable news from articles rather than ads. Consider starting a blog for your company — it should be relatively easy and cost-efficient to attract a large B2B readership to it. You might want to share the following types of content in your blog:
Industry news, trends and statistics
Your personal opinion on what's going on in the industry
Cases from your daily work
News and updates on your goods and services, including promotions and discounts
A considerable part of B2B readers might subscribe to your blog for the sake of analytical materials, infographics and other materials that might be relevant for their companies. But when they visit the blog, they will come across your business news as well — and they will perceive it positively because they value your expertise.
Over ¾ of B2B buyers and C-Suite executives rely on social media when making purchases. But some companies might find it tricky to organize high-quality B2B marketing in socnets. Everyone understands how to please private clients in TikTok or Instagram: look cute, be funny and turn on cool music! But in the B2B segment, sales cycles are longer and the most important information can hardly be presented according to show-business standards.
You shouldn't expect to generate a large number of leads thanks to your B2B social media marketing. Don't worry, your rivals won't be able to do it either. But social media presence will enable you to achieve the following goals:
Boost brand recognition
Humanize your business
Give your company an online personality
You'll be regularly reminding subscribers about yourself. They will see that your company is developing actively and staying in touch with its audience.
No matter which type of B2B marketing attracts you the most, you might want to use dedicated software to enhance your performance. For instance, you might try to install Bitrix24. It is available in on-premise, cloud and mobile formats. You can try it for free first and switch to a paid plan later.
Bitrix24 is a powerful and versatile solution that over 10 million companies from all over the world trust. It features a CRM that can store all the information about your customers in a well-structured format. It enables you to plan your email and social media activities ahead. You can use it to create tasks, distribute them among your staff members and monitor their performance. Once the work is done, Bitrix24 can generate reports that will enable you to estimate your team's productivity. You'll be able to estimate the efficiency of each communication channel and personalize your interactions with clients.
Now, let's consider real-life examples of excellent B2B marketing strategies.
Mattermark has a top-notch newsletter, called "Raise the Bar". Every day, subscribers receive a digest of insights from sales, marketing and growth engineering experts. Mattermark executives hand-pick the content and structure it comprehensively. This letter never features any long or complicated passages. It doesn't strive to sell anything — instead, it is dedicated to educating (however, the recipients get to know how to make a purchase). "Raise the Bar" is a brilliant example of email marketing because it enables the sender to build trust with its audience.
The homepage of the Maersk official website is a masterpiece of digital marketing. When you open it, you need to choose one of the three options:
Become a Customer
Access Your Account
Start a Career
You make just one click — and Maersk understands your intent. Thanks to smart segmentation, visitors can conveniently navigate the site and quickly find the necessary content.
When it comes to content marketing, LeadPages sets the bar high. This business share a lot of useful information in the following formats:
In the blog, LeadPages experts might talk about lead generation, A/B testing or other relevant topics. In their weekly podcast, they chat with entrepreneurs who are eager to share their experiences. Also, they can teach you how to optimize their product, build a stunning landing page and complete other important tasks. You won't need to pay for any of these guides.
To get a notion of efficient social media marketing, you might want to check MailChimp's channel on Instagram. Only less than 50% of the content is related to the product itself. The rest is devoted to information that can educate users and facilitate their workflows. Plus, MailChimp often shares real-life stories and testimonials submitted by their clients — this type of content perfectly motivates other people to try the product as well. Besides, you should pay attention to the LinkinBio tool of this account. There, you can find links to the MailChimp homepage or other digital content. These links come in handy for people who are not too familiar with the brand and would like to learn more about it.
You don't necessarily need to copy the B2B marketing strategies of these companies — but you can use their cases as sources of inspiration and study them together with your team members.
To motivate gatekeepers and decision makers for the purchase, you should appeal to their logic and not emotions. You should show them how they can benefit after buying your product: their ROI will increase, their workflows will accelerate, customers will come back to them for repeat orders more often and so on. Make the most of B2B marketing, by building a comprehensive website for your business, learn how to use email and social media efficiently and follow the recommendations from this article.