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Updated: February 21, 2022

Digital Marketing For B2B Companies

The shift to digital and remote engagement has been embraced by retailers and consumers worldwide. In the early stages of COVID-19 and up to now, B2B sales leaders have realized digital is the way of the future. Personalization, global reach, measurability, and high ROI, constitute many reasons why B2B digital marketing is vital for success.

Conceivably, the simplest reason of all is that most prospective clients are already online, so it’s a no-brainer that B2B companies should follow suit. B2B buyers are somewhat more predictable than general consumers, which is advantageous as Google Analytics provides high-quality market intelligence, enabling companies to meet the market’s needs with unsurpassed accuracy and detail.

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What is B2B Marketing?

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is the marketing of products and services to other businesses and organizations. It utilizes similar strategies and tactics as business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, except its approach is more informational and straightforward than B2C.

This is primarily because corporate purchase decisions are based on revenue impact. Return on investments (ROI) is seldom a consideration for the ordinary consumer — in a monetary sense — however, it’s the chief focus of business decision-makers.

B2B markets sell directly to buying committees with various stakeholders, which produces a challenging landscape as decisions filter through multiple persons and processes. Therefore, digital marketing tactics have to reach both influencers and decision-makers at the right time and place.

Digital marketing can improve the sales funnel by identifying specific opportunities or touchpoints to enhance brand awareness and customer loyalty. And onboarding the right marketing team will certainly invigorate and transform outdated, dry, and unengaging marketing strategies.

What Makes B2B Digital Marketing Different?

Marketing software company HubSpot offers a succinct explanation of the difference between B2B and B2C digital marketing strategies:

“B2B and B2C marketing differ primarily in terms of their audiences and how they communicate to them. While B2C marketing focuses on quick solutions and enjoyable content, B2B marketing is more concerned with building long-term relationships and providing a product’s return on investment for a business customer.”

Compared to B2C companies, B2B companies take longer to make purchasing decisions since they are larger, more expensive, and done by committee. This presents a challenge for B2B marketers tasked with addressing several personas within a single sale. Each has unique needs, concerns, and goals related to the purchase and often joins the decision-making process at different stages.

Why Do B2B Companies Need Digital Marketing?

digital marketing b2b

99% of companies search for suppliers online, seeking options in the market, comparing characteristics and prices, so they can purchase from the best supplier. Companies that don’t invest in an effective digital marketing strategy are definitely missing out on their share of the market.

The pre-COVID prevailing wisdom that eCommerce was for smaller-ticker items and fast-moving parts is no longer relevant. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that notably, 70% of B2B decision-makers say they are open to making new, fully self-serve, or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27% would spend more than $500,000.

The best digital marketing strategies offer cost-effective outreach and personalization on a mass scale to reach more customers within your business niche. Companies already leveraging a digital marketing strategy report up to 280% better revenue growth expectancy, as opposed to those that are yet to adopt digital transformation.

For B2B businesses operating in the global marketplace, staying on top of the game and retaining a competitive advantage is nearly impossible without B2B digital marketing. Automated and integrated B2B digital marketing technology helps re-orchestrate the customer experience and align the sales process in real-time to attract and convert leads into paying customers.

70% of B2B decision-makers say they are open to making new, fully self-serve, or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27% would spend more than $500,000

Examples of B2B Digital Marketing Strategies

#1 Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing work together to drive quality traffic to websites and landing pages. Content marketing relies on SEO to boost website visibility in search engines, and for SEO to work, content has to be of high quality. Both these strategies are integral to B2B digital marketing.

Content will keep an individual customer segment on the page, and SEO is a way to get individual consumers there in the first place. Combining SEO and content marketing increases traffic, strengthens authority, and ensures you offer a better online experience with relevant information to your core audience across search engines and devices.

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#2 Inbound Marketing and Automation

Traditional outbound marketing interrupts audiences with content they don’t want, whereas inbound marketing attracts leads by creating valuable and strategic online content and experiences tailored to their specific interests. Because they are already searching for answers online, the goal is to publish content that speaks to every stage of their buying process to capture where these potential customers are naturally online.

Implementing inbound marketing entails a thorough understanding of your target demographics and the development and publishing of quality content on effective digital marketing channels. Having an SEO-friendly digital website, clear and measurable KPIs, and a savvy digital marketing team is a must. Because inbound marking is not a tactic but a methodology, it affects every facet of a B2B business.

#3 Solid Branding

Maintaining coherence when building brand awareness requires design consistency across all digital channels. Beyond eye-catching logos, branding increases the value of a company and allows your organization to build meaningful relationships with B2B customers. Branding isn’t just a visual identity, but rather the “perpetual process of identifying, creating, and managing the cumulative assets and actions that shape the reception of a brand in stakeholders’ minds.”

Branding helps B2B companies distinguish themselves from competitors and represents how organizations wish to be perceived. Developing solid branding benefits many business areas like advertising, customer service, reputation, visuals, social responsibility, and company culture.

To quote chief strategy officer Niel Parker: “A good definition of brand strategy is the considered intent for the positive role a company wants to play in the lives of the people it serves and the communities around it.”

#4 Analyze The Competition

Before any company develops a B2B digital marketing strategy, they should conduct a digital marketing competitor analysis to understand their competitor’s strengths and weaknesses and identify gaps in the market it can capitalize on. A competitor analysis will always reveal how to keep the attention of new clients and where to outdo competitors.

It’s a great tool to help organizations stay relevant and improve their offerings. An analysis will empower your company by helping:

  • Evaluate the viability of new products and services
  • Rating the effectiveness of your marketing
  • Uncovering market trends
  • Establishing a brand benchmark
  • Identifying potential threats

#5 Utilize Different Marketing Channels

Since the disruption of COVID-19, B2B customers now use ten or more channels to interact with suppliers. For instance, face-to-face, videoconferencing, online chat, online marketplaces, and social media platforms have all become critical engagement touchpoints at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

#5.1 B2B Video Marketing

Over 50% of consumers prefer video to other types of content. However, B2B companies new to video content marketing might struggle to conceive how to convey technical information via instructional videos without coming across like a talking head.

The key is to make content engaging and accessible with storytelling and strong visuals. The best marketing videos share the human story within their product, creating engaging and informative content that’s on-brand. Some B2B marketing content videos might include; product demos, explainers, expert interviews, customer testimonials, and company news, for instance.

#5.2 B2B Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is about building relationships with your target market. Rather than focusing on selling, B2B companies should use social media platforms as top-of-the-funnel marketing channels to publish digital content and promote awareness.

While it might be appropriate to share technical information now and then, the primary focus should be on how-to information, trends, tips, and strategy related to your services or products. Social media is the perfect place to develop through leadership. When companies accrue notoriety through a high level of thought leadership, they become trusted brands, ultimately leading to increased sales.

#5.3 B2B Referral Marketing

According to Harvard Business Review, 84% of B2B sales begin with a referral. Referral marketing can happen via word of mouth or through a planned marketing referral strategy. The latter is more reliable, as organic referrals tend to lack frequency and predictability. And, marketing automation in the digital age makes it easy to track Referral Sales from customer bases.

The benefits of referral programs outweigh the costs because they attract high-quality leads without draining the marketing budget. Using B2B referral marketing software can; increase conversion rates, help collect data for future referral projects, and lower the cost of customer acquisition. With appealing incentives, it’s possible to attract four times potential clients, compared to other marketing methods.

Using B2B referral marketing software can; increase conversion rates, help collect data for future referral projects, and lower the cost of customer acquisition.

#5.4 B2B Email Marketing

Email newsletters are the gold of content marketing, and often the most critical component. It’s the only time B2B companies can completely control their audience. Think about it, while social media marketing appeals to a target audience, it still doesn’t quite possess the same personalization as an email address.

On average, B2B companies send out one email marketing campaign every 25 days, and with good reason. Marketing products and services via email are fast, flexible, and cost-effective. Emails reach your target audience and retain existing customers by encouraging repeat purchases. What’s more, email drip campaigns are super effective for B2B businesses and customers who typically engage in longer sales cycles.

#6 Segment Your Efforts

Segmentation is an oft drummed-in and repeated phrase that isn’t always applied correctly in B2B online marketing. To break it down, it’s the process of dividing a customer database into groups based on single or multiple criteria. Sure, every B2B company has a niche they appeal to, but even within this small group, there are sub-sets, which is where segmentation can optimize marketing efforts.

Segmentation helps improve marketing campaigns and generate quality leads by targeting the right target audience, at the right time. When B2B companies understand their target audiences, they better tailor their messaging to resolve their pain points. Effective segmentation can power product development cycles for different segments, like middle managers vs. high-powered executives.

#7 Always adapt

If anything, the pandemic has demonstrated the importance of having a flexible marketing team and agile digital strategies. Staying relevant in a competitive marketing landscape comes down to adopting evolving technologies, embracing changes in consumer behavior, and tweaking strategies to meet market demands.

While the principles of digital marketing strategies remain the same, the tactics are always in flux. Real-time feedback from Analytics demands any B2B digital marketing strategy be capable of tweaking engaging content, PPC ads, and social media channels to engage prospective customers as their wants and needs change.

Get ahead of the game. Optimize your website for maximum revenue growth
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Conclusion

Every B2B business should have a digital and social media presence comprised of paid ads, search engine optimization, a mobile-friendly website, and paid search ads that tell a brand’s story and generate leads. With a little time and effort, digital marketing can yield highly profitable results for B2B companies.

Of course, if you don’t have the time, or the skill set to truly leverage the benefits of online marketing, you can always hire professionals to execute and manage everything for you. Comrade Web Digital Agency is a full-service digital marketing company offering everything from website development to the management of PPC campaigns and search engine marketing. Call us at (312) 265-0580 or contact us here to jump-start your B2Brevenue-driven digital marketing strategy.

FAQ

What are the Benefits of B2B Digital Marketing?

B2B digital marketing offers increased exposure, nurtures existing relationships, and generates quality leads that convert into loyal customers. In a nutshell: It promotes business and improves profit.

How are B2B and B2C Digital Marketing Different?

B2B marketers sell to other businesses, so their marketing efforts are aimed at a niche group of professionals who purchase on behalf of their organizations, whereas B2C marketers advertise directly to consumers, resulting in the adoption of different digital marketing tactics.

What are the Best B2B Marketing Strategies?

A niche-driven, data-backed digital marketing strategy with measurable goals to convert a specific target audience is a winning formula, alongside marketing team agility and expertise.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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About the Author
Stan Bogdashin
Stan co-founded Comrade Digital Marketing and serves as its marketing strategist and IT expert recruiter.
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