Creating an effective B2B marketing strategy is more difficult for many brands, as the ultimate target in B2B Marketing is not the end consumer. There are many criteria to consider when developing a B2B marketing strategy, such as creative content, budget constraints, and channel decisions. However, the biggest determinant of your B2B marketing strategy will be your target audience, as in b2c marketing.
If you haven’t determined your target audience correctly, you will not be able to go beyond throwing a bullet in the dark. In most cases, it will fail. If you do get success, it will be just a coincidence. In other words, if you haven’t determined your target audience correctly, it is okay if you don’t do any marketing.
By the end of this article, you will better understand B2B marketing, the most effective B2B marketing strategies, and how you can reach and convert your business audience. The blog post also covers the trends you can expect in B2B in 2022, based on new research and expert tips. If you’re ready, let’s get started 🙂
What is B2B Marketing Strategies?
B2B marketing ((business-to-business) refers to any marketing strategy or content aimed at a business or organization. Companies that sell products or services to other businesses or organizations (to consumers) often use B2B marketing strategies.
The goal of B2B marketing is to familiarize other businesses with your brand name, the value of your product or service and convert them into customers. Survivor Digital is an example of a B2B marketing company. Survivor Digital’s customers are not individual consumers, but other businesses. Therefore, all our marketing efforts can be classified as B2B.
What are the Differences Between B2B Marketing Strategy and B2C Marketing Strategies?
B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing differ in their respective strategies and practices, their target audience and how they communicate with them. In B2B marketing, people make the purchase, but in these purchases, they take into account the needs and priorities of their organizations, rather than their own tastes and wishes.
- Comparison of B2B and B2C Marketing by Customer Buying Journey Stages:
- Purpose in B2B Marketing: Customers focus on ROI, efficiency and expertise.
- Purpose in B2C Marketing: Customers are looking for opportunities and entertainment (which means b2c marketing should be more fun)
- Purchasing Motivation in B2B Marketing: Customers make their purchasing decisions based on logic and budgetary advantages.
- Buy Motivation in B2C Marketing: In most cases, customers are driven by emotions when making their purchasing decisions.
- Leads in B2B Marketing: Customers want to be educated (this is where B2B content marketing comes in).
- Referrals in B2C Marketing: Customers value education, but they don’t always need it to make a purchasing decision.
- Purchasing Process in B2B Marketing: Customers want to deal with a real person for their purchase, they like to work with customer representatives and salespeople.
- Buying Process in B2C Marketing: Customers like to shop directly. They only need a customer representative when there is a problem or when they are unsure.
- Purchasing Persons in B2B Marketing: Customers often have to meet with decision makers and other members of the chain of command before making a purchasing decision.
- Buyers in B2C Marketing: Customers rarely need to talk to others before making a purchasing decision.
- Purpose of Purchase in B2B Marketing: Customers purchase for long-term solutions that result in a longer sales cycle, longer contracts, and longer relationships with companies.
- Purchasing Purpose in B2C Marketing: Customers are not necessarily looking for long-term solutions or long-term relationships.
- Although we talk about the B2B and B2C differences in the above comparisons, it should not be forgotten that in both cases, the person who makes the purchase is human. So no matter how different B2B and B2C marketing are, B2B marketers can always learn from B2C campaigns.
B2B Marketing Strategies
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, the target audience is very important in B2B marketing. In this section, we will talk about various B2B marketing strategies you can implement to reach your target audience. But before we get into the subject, we suggest you review the image below of the journey of the B2B buyer. Evaluate the journey of your B2B target audience according to these stages and apply your marketing strategies in the right places at these stages.
Now that you’ve started building your B2B marketing strategies, there are a few steps you should take before jumping right into implementation.
1. Brand positioning
To create an effective strategy, you must first position your brand correctly. What we mean by brand positioning; It is how your brand identity, that is, your brand, is perceived from the eyes of the customer. If you haven’t done any work on this before, first do a brand positioning study and be ready for the next step.
2 Target Audience Determination
Find out who is actually looking for your brand’s products or services. This information will help you identify your target audience and understand how they make purchasing decisions. If you’re a new B2B business, leverage your competitors to identify your target audience. A good competitor analysis will provide you with golden data about your target audience.
3 Analyze Competitors
Scope the market and see what other businesses are marketing with a competitive analysis. Things to consider when examining competitors are:
4. Identify marketing channels.
When you do competitor analysis, you will see through which channels your competitors are doing their marketing activities. Of course, it is highly likely that these marketing channels will be suitable for you as well. However, you should consider not only your target audience but also your budget in order to choose the most suitable marketing channel for your brand. The following categories are B2B marketing channels that will bring you together with your target audience. By determining your budget correctly, you can start your marketing activities with one or more of them.
B2B Email Marketing
Email marketing is a tried and true method of reaching both individual consumers and business customers. Did you know that 93% of B2B marketers use email marketing? If you are not one of them, you must be. Emails lead to engagement that turns subscribers into leads and then customers. Unlike B2C customers, who respond best to emotion and entertainment, B2B customers seek logic and positive ROI. Essentially, they are asking themselves: How can your business help my business grow? That’s why your email marketing should consistently resonate with your business customers, focusing on what’s important to them like time, money, and resources.
83% of B2B companies use email newsletters as part of their content marketing programs, and 40% of B2B marketers say these newsletters are the most critical to their content marketing success.
Email marketing is also a powerful tool for sharing your brand’s content. But today, with the constant spate of email flooding our inboxes, creating and sending effective marketing emails is more important than ever. Let ‘s take a look at B2B Email Marketing Best Practices:
Write compelling subject lines: The right subject line is the most important factor in getting the content of the email to be read. Think of your email subject lines as a Netflix trailer and spend as much time on your email subject lines as you spend on the content of the emails.
Stick to one call-to-action (CTA) per email: If you think the number of emails you receive is too many, take a look at the CTAs in those emails… some contain two, three, and sometimes up to 10 different CTAs. Yet so many options are confusing. Email recipients “What should I click first?” he thinks and doesn’t click any of them 🙂 With one CTA per email, you should let your audience focus on your email content and ultimately a single action.
Segment your email to reach the most relevant audience: Not every email you send will be suitable for everyone on your list. Your subscribers may be at different stages of their buyer journey or may be looking for different solutions. This is where email list segmentation comes into play. Remember, consumers always prefer email quality over quantity.
Make sure your email designs are responsive: More than 80% of email users access their inboxes from their phones, and emails that don’t appear correctly on mobile devices are typically deleted within three seconds.
B2B Digital Marketing
Every business, whether B2B or B2C, should have a digital presence. That’s why, instead of talking at length about why digital marketing is needed for B2B, we’re going to talk about a few tactics that can strengthen your B2B digital marketing strategy.
Define your target audience.
A strong B2B digital marketing strategy starts with defining your target audience or buyer persona. This demographic and psychographic information will ensure that your content and digital material reach the right audiences.
Build your website.
More than 80% of buyers visit a website before making a purchase. This is why B2B digital marketing cannot fully function without an informative and engaging website.
Optimize your digital presence.
Your website needs to be more than informative and engaging, but… most importantly, it needs to be discoverable. You can do this with SEO (search engine optimization) tactics.
Run PPC campaigns.
Finally, complement your digital presence with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which allows you to get your content and brand in front of new audiences through search engines and other advertising platforms. The best way to get a ROI from your paid ads;
Include your recipient personal data
It is to increase the content they can relate to. For example, a brand new consumer who has never heard of you is unlikely to search for your exact product. They may be looking for a location-based solution or product feature. To reach the largest number of potential customers, you should also try targeting relevant categories within your brand when promoting your products or services.
B2B Content Marketing
While a traditional marketing strategy interrupts a consumer’s day with promotional materials, a content marketing strategy adds valuable information and informs the consumer – this is exactly what B2B customers are looking for. In addition, content marketing is the most important feeder of SEO studies. 80% of decision makers prefer to get information from an article rather than an advertisement. Knowing this, we can say that you should devote more resources to your content marketing than to your traditional advertising strategy. So test your content and change the content type – use a webinar, an eBook or a video. Understand and measure which content format attracts the right types of buyers and concentrate on the right content type.
B2B Social Media Marketing
Did you know that 75% of B2B buyers use social media when making a purchase? Contrary to popular belief, social media marketing is not just for brands targeting individual consumers. Still, many B2B companies struggle with social media marketing . Using social media to connect with business customers can be more difficult, especially as there is often a longer sales cycle and longer chain of command.
But social media is a powerful tool for building brand awareness, giving your company an online personality, and humanizing your business – all very powerful factors when it comes to marketing and connecting with potential customers. Like email marketing, social media is an important tool to share your content and grab the attention of B2B customers. While your social media accounts may not convert as often as your content or email marketing, they are just as important. In this case, followers are just as valuable – you never know when they might turn into leads or customers.
2022 B2B Marketing Trends
According to a Hubspot study, 30% of B2B Marketers chose to “measure the ROI of their marketing activities” as their biggest challenge in 2022. Measuring ROI may be easier for some activities than others. For example, if you’re tracking sales from a Google ADS campaign, it’s easy to track the return on investment. Sales are a tangible result and Google Analytics allows you to easily track the ROI from your efforts. However, there are events where it is more difficult to monitor the ROI. Analyzing which social media or blog content results in sales can be a more challenging and complex process.
Most B2B marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing investments in 2022. As a result of the pandemic, we have seen a huge change in the way consumers shop, with the majority now shopping online and specifically purchasing products directly from social media. That’s why it makes sense for B2B marketers to want their products or services to appear on social channels with influencer partnerships. Influencer marketing is predicted to be a $13.8 billion industry by the end of this year and shows no signs of slowing down.
However, you have to make sure you choose partnerships wisely. While it can be tempting to find influencers with large audiences, many businesses have had more success with micro-influencers, so be sure to do your research to determine which influencers have the most authentic connections to your desired audience.
About half of B2B marketers plan to create more case studies in 2022. 42% of B2B marketing plan to increase their investment in case studies by 2022, surpassing interviews, ebooks and images. Businesses want to learn from other businesses. Case studies are extraordinary opportunities to inspire or educate your audience with real-life examples of other companies’ stories.
If you’re unsure of this content format, consider testing case studies on your blog and watch how it performs. Alternatively, try creating case studies in alternative formats, such as a YouTube video, to provide additional value to your audience.
The number one goal for B2B marketers in 2022 is to ‘raise brand awareness’. Brand awareness is critical for promoting trust, long-term loyalty and brand equity.
HubSpot’s Research found that 25% of marketers plan to stop leveraging podcasts and audio content; The rate of those who plan to stop using VR and AR is 23%. This does not mean that these activities are inefficient, but that some survey respondents found that the time, effort, and resources required for each of these efforts were not worth it. Ultimately, it depends on your audience’s preferences.
More than half of B2B marketers said ‘optimizing loading speed’ would be their most effective SEO strategy in 2022. Loading speed is directly related to how well your pages rank on Google because slow pages negatively affect a user’s experience.
One of the HubSpot research questions was on which social media platforms B2B marketers post video content. LinkedIn will become the most popular video channel for B2B marketers in 2022, followed by TikTok. Video content is the most popular format for most people when it comes to consuming content, so it’s vital that your marketing team uses video as the primary format. However, it can be difficult to determine which platform(s) you should publish this content on for optimum results. As shown below, nearly half (49%) of marketers say LinkedIn is the best platform to post their video content, followed by an audience of 28% who flagged TikTok as the most suitable.
B2B Marketing Examples
A B2B marketing approach that works for one business may not work for another, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the pros. Here are a few B2B marketing examples of businesses getting it right.
Social Media Marketing: Adobe
TikTok may seem like a difficult platform to stand out as a B2B brand, but some companies have managed to attract thousands of viewers to their videos with their understanding of high-quality content and apps. Take the software company Adobe, which has 262.3 thousand followers and 2 million likes on its TikTok account. When Adobe first joined the app, the company’s second video had over 2 million views. Adobe thrives on the app, especially because it creates engaging content that appeals to TikTok’s target audience. All of Adobe’s videos are short, fun, and easily digestible.
Content Marketing: Shopify
E-commerce company Shopify produces many different types of content resources, including blogs, business courses, and community events. But one of the ways of content that has helped the brand stand out is its podcast, aptly titled Shopify Masters: The ecommerce business and marketing podcast for ambitious entrepreneurs. The podcast focuses on entrepreneur-inspired stories and offers practical tips for starting an online business on Shopify.
main page of the Mailchimp website is easy to navigate and focuses entirely on their customers’ pain points. For example, think of the first large text you see when you click the page: “Get started and increase sales”. The small text below reads, “Engage your customers and boost your business with Mailchimp’s advanced, yet easy-to-use marketing platform.” The website content language focuses on the customer and how Mailchimp can help the customer achieve their goals: “grow their business.” Additionally, the website offers a header at the top of the page that allows customers to choose which language they would prefer to view the website in.
Influence Marketing: IBM, Influencer and Employee Advocacy Program The
IBM Systems business group has taken a leap forward by leveraging the growing importance of employee voice and the rise of employee influencers as a strategy in B2B marketing. In the words of Ryan Bares, Global Head of Social Programs, “In the world of B2B marketing, we have come to understand that buyers rely more on individual voices than formal marketing and advertising messages, so finding ways to optimize impact internally has become a focus.” Taking advantage of employees who are close to the industry in your company, have a deep knowledge of trending topics and your brand can be the key to establishing new relationships in the industry.
B2B Referral Program: Blackbaud, Blackbaud Champions
Blackbaud offers an incredible B2B referral program that encourages existing customers to become product advocates — Blackbaud Champions. Champions are encouraged to share their insights on how the implementation process works, what it’s like to work with the team, and how Blackbaud solutions help you advance their mission. “As you share your experience and expertise and help us spread our products and services, we will reward you with Champions-only benefits. By providing your feedback, participating in events such as referrals and case studies, and sharing educational content and events on social media, you will earn Rewards Points that you can redeem from Champions Rewards on the Blackbaud Champions Hub. These are the points Champions try to use, as they include incentives like gift cards and VIP experiences, and more. Referral programs are a great way to rekindle customer loyalty and allow advocates to spread the word about your business through the network.
How to Choose a B2B Marketing Agency?
No marketing effort is effective unless you focus on your target audience, and no other audience is as fickle and critical as business customers. Your B2B Marketing efforts should tell you how your business can help your potential customers, and you can only do this with the right marketing strategy.
In order to choose a B2B marketing agency that will create the right marketing strategy for your brand, you should not choose to work with an agency that appeals to you only in terms of budget. This would be a big mistake. We say this because many of our clients share stories of missing out on digital growth and revenue opportunities by getting stuck in the budget stage before they start working with us.
You should take the time to search for the best digital marketing agency with experience in B2B for your brand . For this, make a study of the questions you will ask the agencies with the information you have obtained from this article. Make sure you get answers to all questions when you meet with agency candidates. Give yourself plenty of time to find the B2B marketing agency that will provide the right service for your brand and help you achieve your goals.
If you’re putting together your shortlist of B2B Marketing agencies, be sure to include Survivor Digital . Our center is located in Mecidiyeköy, Istanbul. But wherever you are, we can get there. We have customers from various cities of the world: We are happy to offer you our happy customer references not only from Istanbul, but also from California, Canada, Berlin.