Creating a B2B marketing strategy
Do you work in B2B? Are you experiencing challenges in designing marketing activities that generate results? Then this is the guide for you. By focusing on the customer journey, recipients and objectives, you can create a strategy that not only makes you visible to the right company, but also generates relevant leads. With a few simple steps, you can get started with your B2B marketing - let's get started!
The days of B2B salespeople making cold calls, attending trade shows and handing out business cards are long gone. In recent years, the landscape for salespeople has changed drastically for a number of reasons. Partly because half of all B2B buyers are millennials, who are picky when it comes to taking calls from "unknown" numbers (they know what it's all about!). But it's also because we increasingly tend to do research on our own. So how do you capture potential B2B leads? We'll go through channel selection and strategy later in the article, but first let's sort out the difference between B2B and B2C marketing.
What's the difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing?
There are several similarities between B2B marketing and B2C marketing, but there are also differences. In order to create a successful marketing strategy, it is important to understand the differences. Let's go through the main differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing.
B2B marketing is primarily about building an emotional bond with customers. Studies have shown that as many as 50% of B2B customers are emotionally connected to their supplier, which is saying a lot. You should take this into account when designing your marketing strategy and content production. Work on soft values, preferably highlighting the team behind the brand and focusing on what added value your products or services can generate for the customer, rather than pushing too hard on prices and promotions. This will help you create deeper relationships with recipients as well as added value. Looking at B2C, only 10-40% are emotionally driven in their choice of brand, which means that the product or service should take a bigger place in the communication.
A B2B audience appreciates new knowledge, information and being challenged. This type of content is also useful for B2C marketing, but tends not to generate in the same impact as B2C customers usually make faster purchase decisions to solve an immediate need. B2B consumers, on the other hand, plan their investments in advance, calculate long-term needs and compare multiple suppliers before making a decision. We therefore recommend creating content that highlights useful data, statistics, knowledge and up-to-date information to inspire trust and need in recipients.
The customer journey
The B2C sales cycle is much shorter than the B2B sales cycle, which makes it easier to measure and optimise after the fact. Traffic to the website, click-through rates, video views, conversion rates and sales revenue are parameters that are easy to measure, proffering Compared to B2B marketing, we face a greater challenge. Budgets and purchases are decided well in advance, usually once a year. This means that measuring, tracking and analysing B2B marketing is a long-term effort, where activities need to be spread over longer periods of time.
Channel selection for B2B marketing
We now have a reasonable understanding of how B2B and B2C marketing differs. The next step is the choice of channels. As with B2B marketing, there are several options, both in terms of platforms, channels and formats. The following content is recommended to implement in your B2B marketing at the earliest possible stage.
In addition to resulting in a solid knowledge hub, articles are an SEO magnet for websites, which can help you increase your organic traffic from search engines. With 61% of larger organisations clicking through to the websites of potential retailers, it's important to offer the information that potential customers are looking for. Based on your industry and audience, your articles could be based on interviews, news, customer cases, press releases, information about a product/service, use cases or smart tips. Try to vary the content at first to track which categories are drawing the most traffic.
The job doesn't end after the ad is created and activated, on the contrary. This is when you have the opportunity to monitor the results and optimise the content and target audience as you go along. Therefore, don't forget to prepare your traffic measurement right up to the final goal. A click alone doesn't tell you much, you want to know where they have navigated on the website and if the visit has actually generated in a purchase. Often it's the small changes that make a big difference when it comes to social media advertising, so dare to adjust and try things out after the fact.
Email marketing has proven to be an effective strategy for B2B marketing, so it's no wonder that a whopping 87% of marketers are using the medium today. Email marketing allows you to send automated mailings, personalised recommendations and to follow up on a purchase. You also have the opportunity to highlight new products/services, offers and promotions. Read more about how you can design a results-driven email strategy here.
Having a presence on social media today is almost a must for businesses - regardless of the industry. If you're not visible - you don't exist. We recommend you to be mainly active on LinkedIn, which is the tailor-made medium for B2B marketing. Users are usually logged in during working hours with the aim of networking. Here you have every opportunity to share articles, company news and promote your employees. You also have the opportunity to send DMs to your potential customers in a relaxed way, to open the door to a no-strings-attached meeting. Social media in general is a powerful tool to build your brand and to express your personality in a more relaxed way. Dare to test different formats and categories, to see what type of content matches best with your target audience.
Sometimes organic traffic isn't enough, especially as a new user on social media. Sponsored posts or targeted campaigns can help you reach more relevant users and lead them through clear CTAs. You have the option to target your content according to everything from location, age, profession to interest, as well as control the budget according to your resources. Read more about paid social media marketing here.
Developing a results-driven B2B marketing strategy for your business can be challenging. Target audiences need to be defined, goals set, budgets allocated and channels selected. But if the strategy is designed correctly, it's worth it in the end. We'll go through step-by-step how to design your strategy and what you should consider at each stage.
Identifying your dream team
Who will work on your marketing activities and who will be responsible for what? Project managers, production managers, graphic designers, digital strategists and copywriters are relevant roles for content production, activation and analysis of marketing activities. One person can hardly pull all the strings or possess all the talents. Therefore, it takes a team of different skills and expertise to succeed. Assigning responsibilities is a natural first step. If you don't have the skills in-house today, we recommend working with a digital marketing agency.
Identify your target audience
In order to design relevant and accurate content, you need to know who the recipients are. Who is your typical customer? Design one or more personas that represent your overall customers. Don't skimp on the details here. Age, location, relationships, profession, education, interests, motivations and challenges are some of the points you should reflect on when designing your persona. This will give you a better picture of your target audience and what you should push for in your content to gain their trust.
You can also extract relevant information about your customers through your existing database or CRM system. Google Analytics and social media statistics can also help you get a clearer picture of your current customers.
Goals and budget
Without a goal and purpose, your content will be pretty meaningless. You won't be able to track whether the results were as planned, whether you reached as many people as you estimated or whether the activities actually generated in as many sales as they should have. The same goes for budget. Just pumping money without expectations into your ads can be both costly and a waste of time. Therefore, set up a clear plan and strategy for all of your marketing activities. Follow these up, optimise, increase or decrease the budget and dare to try something new - but always with the goal in mind.
A content strategy should include your organisation's objectives, the type of content that will be used to achieve them, what the workflow will be, what values will be measured and what channels you will be active on. It is important to document all the steps. Partly to give everyone in the team a clear basis in the production process, but also to create an understanding of what will be published, where and most importantly - why.
Although the implementation may look different for B2B and B2C marketing, the overall strategies are basically the same. In essence, it's about creating a need and building trust with consumers. For some, the CEO of a large company is the primary customer; for others, it's the guy running around town in search of new jeans. No matter who you are targeting, it is important to develop a tailored content strategy, adapted to your goals, circumstances and target audience. And if you can balance your relationship marketing with straight facts, you can expect leads to come in - without you having to pick up the phone.