Digital marketing has been a driving force for marketers for quite some time, with ongoing acceleration in the B2B space. It’s out with the old and in with the new as business appeals and offers turn to utilize digital techniques to reach their clients. This holds many benefits and if you’re looking to develop your B2B strategy, then look no further.
Traditionally, B2B connections are built on networking and relationships. These clients also represent a different type of consumer, where mass marketing is not required. But with the world adapting to new ways of operating and doing business, the focus on remote has impacted B2Bs too. Digital means are used to fill in the gap, which is why digital marketing has cemented its place in B2B marketing strategies.
There are other aiding factors too, of course. For one, B2B marketing has reinvented itself in recent years, taking a less ‘boring’ approach. You know what I’m talking about - dry info-heavy advertising fell away, with businesses appealing to other businesses with more zest than before. After all, people are at the heart of all transactions, so you’ve got to think of the face behind the brand when working with B2B clients.
Digital marketing may be the direction in which B2B marketing has shifted for its multiple benefits, but there are also many challenges facing this industry too. The market space is plentiful with businesses offering competitive rates, cross-sells, and upsells in an effort to make up for lost costs from the last 2 years. Businesses are also trying to cut costs wherever possible, which means marketing budgets have been spliced. That said, the road to recovery is stabilizing which brings with it promise and potential.
Digital marketing is the amalgamation of various techniques and channels to share your marketing messages digitally with your audience. The digital aspect allows for precise targeting and strategies are developed to guide consumers through their entire journey with a brand. This is crucial for B2Bs since the sales funnel is usually a lot longer with these clients. They conduct intensive research phases, though the sales are larger and if the business succeeds in meeting expectations, it is ongoing.
It is for this reason that many B2Bs are using CRM systems at their core. This allows you to observe and manage the entire process from a central platform. It aligns sales and marketing teams and improves your ability to successfully engage with clients. You’re able to learn and store important personalized information about each client and market products to them in a way that is catered to them and holds a better chance of closing a deal.
B2B Digital Marketing Strategy
Developing a digital marketing strategy is simply digital marketing directed toward your consumer. Your consumers are very different from B2C customers, so expect the techniques and mediums to be different.
Begin with an audit
Audits are a great starting place before you develop your strategy. This will give you an accurate picture of where you’re at, where you’re succeeding, and where you’re falling short. If you’re a new B2B on the market, you need to be conducting thorough market research so that you have an accurate benchmark to work from.
Setting your KPIs
Setting KPIs is key and will be the driving force of your digital marketing strategy. These need to be realistic and markers that you continually measure your efforts against. These goals are set from an informed position based on the information above.
Once you know what you’d like your marketing team to achieve, you’ve got to know exactly who you’ll be talking to to make them happen. Here’s a general overview, which your team will then need to develop further until you have precise buyer personas for targeting.
B2B clients are:
- Driven by financial and strategic factors (rather than emotion)
- Expertise and specialists to work with, and prefer to deal with a dedicated account manager
- Long-term solutions
- Solutions that will increase their ROI
Marketing mediums and channels
There are all sorts of ways to convert information with your consumers. This should include a multi-media approach, utilizing the best medium to share your message. As for the specific channels you use, consider the following for B2B marketing:
- Email marketing: Email marketing is highly effective for B2Bs. This should include cold email sending, newsletters, and personalized communication. The emails should be responsive, sent to segments with personalization, and focus on two key aspects, namely: The subject and the CTA.
- Content marketing: You’ll need a website and blog that are populated with informative content. This should be educational and present solutions to your target audiences. The goal should be to provide information that appeals to all of the potential stakeholders that a business may have, as well as what they are searching for. This is also a great way to boost your SEO ranking. For improved success, apply A/B testing, and focus on in-depth articles as opposed to overly assertive advertising. Finally, having cost and ROI calculators on your website is an incredibly helpful tool for your audience.
- Social media marketing: This is of less importance to a B2B marketer, but it still certainly has its place in the marketing mix. Social media channels can be used to explain concepts and share simplified versions of what you have on your site. It also provides you with the opportunity to humanize your brand and show first-hand behind-the-scenes glimpses. This is more so for awareness than it is for leads, though.
- Advertising: PPC adverts are a great way for businesses to appear at the top of searches on search engines. This can boost your visibility online and garner more leads. Other notable mentions when it comes to advertising include taking a more soft-selling approach, by having an informative session or series that people can follow like a webinar or podcast where you’re proving your place as a thought leader and plugging your B2B solutions accordingly.
Lead generation vs ABM
When developing your B2B marketing plan, be sure to have a theoretical underpinning to all of your efforts. That is to say, you should either follow a leads-based, or account-based marketing approach. The former targets a wider range of consumers and is great if you’re seeking growth or new clientele, while account-based marketing focuses on relationship marketing techniques among your existing client base.
Testimonials and case studies
It is imperative that you gather testimonials. These personal experiences are a highly influential factor for new clients and will help tremendously with referral marketing. As a company, you should also be creating case studies for B2Bs to peruse since these often include a testimonial and an overview of what your B2B was able to achieve for clients.
Upgrade Your B2B Marketing
There you have it - a guide to digital marketing for B2Bs. Understanding the scope of this type of marketing in today’s age, along with the steps in devising a strategy that will win is key for B2Bs.
Book a session with us at Nexa. We’re a digital marketing agency with tons of B2B experience to share to help grow your business.