B2B marketing strategies aim to connect with a company’s decision-makers that hold purchasing power and sway them to choose your services or products over your competitor’s.
While your mission may be clear, creating innovative B2B marketing strategies can be incredibly difficult. You have to strike the perfect balance between being personal and professional while also addressing the pain points that your target audience is facing.
Even if you are satisfied with the success of your current B2B marketing strategies, you must always strive to improve, which can help you stay ahead of the top competitors in your space and reduce the cost of lead generation.
By taking advantage of the most popular B2B marketing channels, you can also improve profitability and maximize the value of each new client. With this goal in mind, we crafted this comprehensive guide to B2B marketing. Below, we’ll outline the differences between B2C and B2B marketing strategies to demonstrate why each form of advertising requires a unique approach.
In addition, our experts will show you how to improve B2B marketing strategies through data-driven processes.
What’s the Difference Between B2B and B2C?
Marketing your solutions to business owners is vastly different than selling products directly to consumers. Knowing the difference can help you to improve your messaging and bring in better returns.
Below are the primary differences between these two marketing segments:
The Essential Facets of B2B Marketing
Simply put, B2B marketing refers to the tactics and strategies that are designed to connect with an organization or business. B2B marketing strategies should incorporate ad materials that appeal to the challenges facing an organization.
B2B ad content should also target the challenges and interests of individuals who make purchasing decisions for their company. In this world, the company is the client.
B2B companies can either sell products, services, or both. A few examples of B2B companies include an organization that sells CRM management tools to large enterprises, a business that offers supply chain or warehousing solutions, and a company that sells bulk medical supplies to healthcare providers.
When developing a B2B marketing strategy, entities typically focus on pain points that their target audience is facing. They often utilize personalized ads directed at several clients who face the same common pain points.
Targeted ads do not necessarily have to be directed towards clients within the same industry, as long as all recipients have a similar need for the product or service being advertised.
The Basics of B2C
As the name suggests, B2C or business-to-consumer marketing is explicitly geared toward individual buyers. This marketing field is designed to help businesses connect with consumers by appealing to their unique interests, wants, or needs. A few examples of B2C companies include Walmart, Pandora, and Costco.
While B2C marketing should also leverage targeted ads and personalized marketing materials, the approach is quite different. Personalized ads should entertain consumers while also prompting them to take some sort of action.
Emotion plays a huge role in purchasing decisions within the B2C field. Conversely, clients in the B2B space will make purchases based on what will benefit their organization from a financial perspective.
B2C marketing relies more heavily on personalized mobile advertising than B2B marketing, as this tactic can reach consumers. At the same time, they browse social media or perform other leisurely activities on their web-enabled smartphones.
However, B2B prospects also respond well to high-quality personalized ads on mobile devices. Many of these decision-makers frequently travel, meaning they often rely on their mobile devices to stay connected and manage job-related tasks.
Types of B2B Marketing Channels
The most innovative B2B marketing strategies do not rely on a single channel. Instead, they leverage multiple mediums so that the marketing team can connect with prospective customers at various stages of the sales funnel.
The most common types of B2B marketing channels include the following:
Blogs are a staple of both B2C and B2B marketing. By regularly updating your blog with fresh new content, you can enhance the visibility of your website and drive organic traffic to your page.
When discussing blogs, most people think of short-form written content with a casual tone. While this is one common type of blog, there are many other formats at your disposal.
You can produce blogs in the form of case studies, infographics, videos (vlogs), and how-to guides, just to name a few. Occasionally, you can even add long-form content to your blog page.
However, it is essential to note that B2B blogging differs from content written for B2C organizations. B2C blogs should appeal to the reader’s emotions. They generally include phrases like “Don’t you hate it when” or “Avoid all that stress by.”
On the other hand, B2B blogs should be more logic-oriented. You should factually address the reader’s pain point, explain the downfall of failing to resolve that issue, and then paint your product or service as the optimal solution by highlighting its features.
When possible, support your statements using statistics. B2B blogs should stick to the facts so that you can educate readers and give them the ability to make informed decisions.
Keeping up with Google’s ever-changing algorithms and ranking practices can be a challenging task. However, your B2B marketing strategy must address this all-important issue. If you fail to do so, your company will fade into SERP (search engine results pages) obscurity.
In recent years, Google has been placing less emphasis on keywords. Instead, the algorithms have rewarded sites with high-quality backlinks, optimal page load speeds, and other performance factors.
A backlink occurs when another reputable site includes a link to your page within their content. The more reputable backlinks your site has, the better it will rank in the search results.
Your B2B marketing campaign should use search history data to create persona advertising strategies. While this can be more difficult due to the recent crackdown on cookies, you can still utilize targeted ads in your B2B strategy. To do so, you will need to rely on AI-based solutions — but more on those later.
Social media platforms are a great marketing tool for B2B advertising. Like other aspects of marketing, the approach to social media advertising for B2B organizations will be different from the tactics used by B2C companies.
Typically, B2C companies rely on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. While these massive channels can play a role in your B2B marketing strategy, LinkedIn is a valuable tool that you cannot afford to neglect. This professional platform is a great way to connect with high-quality leads and draw prospects deeper into the sales funnel.
Regardless of which platforms you incorporate into your B2B campaign, you must use a good mix of both paid and organic strategies to connect with your target audience.
Whitepapers and eBooks can be used to accomplish two main goals in your quest to generate new B2B leads. First, these documents can summarize the advantages of your company’s services. In addition, whitepapers and eBooks can be presented in a gated format so that you can obtain valuable contact information.
Gated materials require users to perform some sort of action, such as entering a corporate email address, before accessing the material.
These materials involve little — if any — promotional content. Instead, they should provide readers with a set of facts and statistics that demonstrate the value of a product or service. The document should also highlight the benefits and functions of your products or services in a manner that is free from hyperbolic statements or pushy verbiage.
Despite the rise of many other B2B marketing channels, email campaigns still have their place in your advertising strategy. Drip email campaigns are beneficial for B2B purposes.
Drip email campaigns, a form of drip marketing, is a strategy that is designed to nurture your leads over time. The clients that you target with this type of campaign will receive automated emails over weeks. Each pre-written message will provide more information about your company’s products and services.
Drip email campaigns can also be used to upsell existing B2B clients. If you attempt to convince an existing client to upgrade to the next service level or purchase additional products from your company, drip campaigns are a low-pressure way to accomplish that goal.
Everyone loves a great video, including the executives and thought leaders that make purchasing decisions for your prospective clients!
Quality video content can convey your message in a way that words simply cannot. Video advertising is helpful in many different categories of B2B marketing, including on your social media page, in emails, and on your website itself.
You can create videos for potential customers in various stages of the sales funnel. You can also craft video content for specific industries, which will help you deliver more personalized ads to your target audience.
Videos improve audience engagement while also demonstrating the human side of your company.
How to Improve B2B Marketing
Now that we have recapped the various B2B marketing channels available to you, let’s zero in on how you can improve the effectiveness of your business-to-business advertising efforts.
If you want to generate more leads, improve your ROI, and drive continuing growth, we recommend that you:
Define Your Target Persona
The phrase “target audience” is often used interchangeably with the term “target persona.” While similar, these are two distinct concepts and should be treated as such.
The concept of creating a target persona expounds upon the broader idea of tailoring your message to a target audience.
As a B2B marketer, your target audience includes other businesses that could benefit from your services or products. For instance, if your organization provides customer relationship management software for mortgage companies, then your target audience will likely include brokers, loan officers, and real estate agents.
When crafting target personas, you are breaking this broad audience into segmented groups, allowing you to create persona advertising based on their pain points, needs, and role within the organization to which you are attempting to sell.
While most decision-makers are in the C-suite, this is not always the case. Depending on your industry, you may also need to market your solutions to individuals in other leadership roles, such as mechanical engineers or IT supervisors.
Target personas allow you to address each pain point from that individual’s perspective. A C-suite decision-maker may be analyzing your solution from the standpoint of cost and value-added. In contrast, an IT manager will be concerned about the complexity of the roll-out and long-term technological implications.
For this reason, your sales team must address the concerns of both entities when they’re attempting to close a deal.
Deliver the Right Message
Identifying the right audience is a significant first step in jumpstarting your B2B marketing strategies. However, it is vital that you also deliver the right message. Otherwise, all of those efforts spent locating and targeting quality leads will be wasted.
Unfortunately, determining what the “right” message is has become more complex than ever before. Between the upcoming demise of internet browser cookie tracking and the new “opt-in” requirements for mobile device tracking, the advertising landscaping is shifting.
These challenges are compounded because paid search and social media platforms offer limited insights into how their algorithms are composed.
To overcome these high barriers to lead generation and client acquisition, you must refine your data. The best way to do so is through contact enrichment technologies. These solutions supplement your existing client database with thousands of points of additional information. They also utilize predictive AI models to identify the best contact segments for your company.
AI-based data enrichment will help your team determine which clients are worth spending valuable marketing resources on. This technology will also assist you in creating quality messaging that speaks to that client’s unique needs.
The result? Better lead generation capabilities and a higher conversion rate.
Use an ABM Approach
Implementing data enrichment tools will also make it easier for your organization to transition to an account-based marketing approach. Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy that utilizes highly targeted ads to foster new relationships and nourish existing partnerships.
When planning your ABM strategy, you must start by creating a list of companies that add the most value to your organization. Your marketing and sales team must work hand in hand to generate this list.
The clients that make this list are classified as “Tier 1” accounts. Once these accounts are identified, your team should list out essential points of contact for each client.
Your Tier 1 list should consist of current top performers and prospects you would like to acquire soon.
After creating your list, you should begin crafting B2B marketing strategies that target each account you identified. You should focus on expanding your relationship with current clients and nurturing prospects through the sales journey.
You can repeat the process for Tier 2 and Tier 3 accounts. However, priority should be given to prospective clients with the highest potential for producing returns.
When appropriately implemented, this methodology will allow you to improve your ROI and generate more revenue.
Choose the Right Marketing Channels
All B2B marketing strategies should incorporate a healthy balance of channels. However, that does not mean that you must use every channel available to you or invest in all mediums in equal measure, which is a common mistake that many marketing teams make.
If you attempt to incorporate too many channels into your marketing strategy, you will waste valuable advertising resources that could be better allocated elsewhere. This approach can also stretch smaller marketing teams too thin and impact the quality of content that is being produced.
When in doubt, trust the data. Analyze which B2B marketing channels are most likely to produce results and pursue those mediums. Look at what has worked in the past and assess the channels your top competitors are using. The data will reveal valuable insights that you can use to connect with prospective clients.
Demonstrate Your Humanity
Just because you are attempting to sell products or solutions to businesses does not mean that you should check your humanity at the door. While your client is a business entity, you are attempting to influence human decision-makers.
When creating your B2B marketing strategies, it is essential to avoid an over-reliance on emotion. However, it is equally important that your messaging does not feel rigid or forced.
Strive to build a relationship with the target audience while also demonstrating how your services benefit their company, which will allow you to appeal to their logical side while continuing to forge a human connection.
Innovative B2B Marketing Strategies
If you want to revolutionize the way you handle B2B marketing, boodleAI can help. Our solutions are cookieless and pixel-free, which means that you can access the data you need to create personalized ads that convert.
With our technologies, you can convert the contact information you have into a personal household and device targeting. boodleAI allows you to deliver personalized mobile advertising content to key decision-makers.
Specifically, our technology will help you connect with:
- Top decision-makers who are working from home
- Prospects that are similar to your best clients
- Prospects that travel often
- Those who respond well to B2C strategies
If you would like to learn more, contact our team to schedule a free demo!
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