By Annabel Thomas
B2B (business-to-business) marketing refers to the marketing of products, services or goods directly to other businesses or organisations, this is unlike B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing which focuses on selling directly to consumers. Depending on whether you are a B2B or B2C business, your marketing strategies, audiences and how you communicate to your customer will differ hugely. The key difference between the two is that B2B marketing targets the needs and interests of individuals who are making purchases on behalf of their business, rather than for themselves and their own personal needs.
So let’s look at some examples of B2B companies…
On the other hand, B2C businesses include examples we are all familiar with such as Netflix, Spotify and Nike. Some businesses operate in both markets, for example Google, who provide personal services such as Gmail and Google docs as well as a range of business email solutions and services. So now we know the difference between B2B and B2C, let’s talk about the B2B marketing strategies you need to consider to market yourself effectively.
It is important to understand the different motivations behind purchasing for both B2B and B2C audiences. B2B buyers are often driven by logic, financial incentive and profitability, whereas B2C consumers tend to be driven by emotion. Furthermore, B2B prospects tend to be looking for longer term solutions and contracts, this is because they want to minimise the time it takes to look for new suppliers. So what does B2B marketing look like in practice?
Social media marketing is not just a tool for B2C companies, in fact, there is a lot to be gained for the B2B marketers! 84% of C-Level and VP-level buyers look at social media before making a purchasing decision. Social media is a really powerful tool for building brand awareness, and platforms such as LinkedIn are a great place for B2B companies to operate in. Sharing informative content pieces is a great way to gain brand awareness, build up a community of followers and increase engagement. By posting regularly and interacting with your community you will gain a strong reputation in your industry.
Email marketing is the holy grail platform of B2B marketing, with 93% of B2B marketers using the platform! Devising a great email marketing campaign is key in turning prospects into warm leads and eventually clients. Email newsletters are a great way to regularly update your database on your news, share informative content and push sales messaging and discounts out. Remember to focus on how your product or service will save time, money and resources to other businesses. Take a look through our email marketing guide for a more in-depth look at creating a winning email marketing campaign.
B2B marketing creates the perfect opportunity to share amazing content pieces with your audience, and not only does this support your SEO efforts, it also increases brand awareness. B2B content marketing can be just as creative as B2C – think podcasts, blog posts, case studies, webinars, eBooks, video interviews and even virtual events! Testing out different content marketing strategies is the best way to find out what works best for your industry. By creating regular high quality content pieces, you will be well positioned as a trusted industry leader.
Utilising a strong PPC (pay-per-click) campaign is a great way to put your content in front of new clients, and gain wider recognition in your sector. A strong B2B PPC campaign starts with understanding and defining your target audience. You can use a whole range of platforms to utilise your B2B PPC marketing campaigns, from Google search, display, shopping and remarketing, to paid social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Remember, with B2B marketing your sales cycles are typically much longer than with B2C businesses. This is because businesses tend to shop around much more, especially when it comes to large purchases and entering into long term contracts. Therefore, you may see results further down the line than you typically would with a B2C PPC campaign.
If you need any help with your B2B marketing campaigns then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!
Part of The Digital Maze Group