What to do – and not do – when it comes to B2B digital marketing for your business.
Here’s how to make sure your B2B digital marketing efforts are in the best shape.
Having a solid B2B digital marketing plan is an important part of any marketing strategy for any B2B business. B2B marketing can feel difficult, but understanding some basics dos and don’ts can help you set up a successful B2B digital marketing strategy.
- Remember the customer journey: Just because these might not be end use buyers and customers, it doesn’t mean they don’t go through a similar customer journey when it comes to recognizing a need, researching potential solutions, comparing products and vendors, and making a purchasing decision. To truly position yourself well in the market, you want to make sure you create online marketing for each stage of the customer journey.
- Understand your customers: B2B customers have a different kind of buying strategy than most B2C consumers. A good example of a B2B client is someone who uses HubSpot marketing software. The B2B buyer isn’t going to make an impulse purchase on a solution like that and they probably won’t purchase more than once a year. This is very different than a customer who might be buying coffee from a business every day or car insurance every 6 months. The messaging for B2B internet marketing can’t rely on emotional reasoning or payoff and should communicate long term benefits.
- Include B2B content marketing: Some marketers feel like content marketing – things like blogs and social media – won’t work for business to business marketing. But these content hubs can be solution oriented and offer resources to B2B customers.
- Keep it consistent: Make sure your messaging matches other advertising you have in market, whether it’s a print ad in a business journal, a digital banner on a website, or communications on social media.
- Make it clear: Sometimes clever advertising pays off, but make sure that your solution is clear to your customers. What problem are you solving? What service are you providing? Straightforward messaging that doesn’t rely too heavily on industry buzzwords can be a very effective B2B digital marketing strategy.
- Forget about social media: Plenty of businesses are on social media, but places like Wendy’s are B2C and are focusing on their end user customers, and so that social media relationship feels different than what B2B communications might look different. But the B2B businesses on Twitter and Facebook are still run by people, and they might have questions or needs that your business can meet. Also, you can focus more of your B2B web marketing in spaces like LinkedIn that are designed for businesses to communicate to each other.
- Ignore goal setting: Like any marketing effort, the goals of the marketing campaign should be clear. Do you want to increase sales? Grow positive brand awareness? Introduce a new product? Have a bigger lead database? Make sure your goals are clear from the start.
- Be too product focused: It’s easy to only every market the product or service you want customers to buy, but you should consider other messaging in your advertising. Can your product make someone’s job easier? Can it improve corporate culture? Work in the benefits of your product rather than just broadcasting a brand or product name to help distinguish your solution in the market place.
- Reuse B2C marketing: Some brands have products that appeal to end users but also B2B clients, like facility managers. It’s tempting to save time by simply reusing the same creative templates for both audiences, but it’s important to use different images and copy for marketing to truly connect with each kind of customer.
- Get stale: When creating consistent messaging and trying to really communicate value, it can be easy to fall into the same cycle of messaging, communicating the same thing to customers repeatedly. Remember to refresh your digital presence from time to time – changing social media headers, using different photography on digital banners, and not recycling the same copy tag lines on every ad – to help you stay fresh and relevant with potential customers.
You don’t have to dread B2B digital marketing. While it might be challenging to gain traction or see leads generated from your marketing efforts, if you start simple and have clear goals, you should be able to grow your B2B client base.