B2B stands for Business to Business. B2B is the sale, purchase, and exchange of products or services between businesses, so if a company calls itself B2B, it usually doesn’t produce direct-to-consumer goods.
When it comes to marketing, B2B companies face many challenges. They need to be able to produce content that is engaging, informative, and relevant to their audience.
B2B businesses also need to keep up with the market’s ever-changing demands. B2B companies must deal with more complex sales cycles, higher prices, and competition.
To help B2B owners with their marketing, let’s cover our bases first.
Marketing B2B vs. Marketing B2C
B2B marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on business-to-business transactions. The goal of B2B marketing is to generate leads and sales for a company. The company’s target audience is other businesses.
B2C marketing, on the other hand, is aimed at consumers. This type of marketing focuses on generating leads and sales for a company by targeting individual customers or households.
There are some critical differences between B2B and B2C marketing. For instance, B2C marketers are more focused on the customer experience than their counterparts in the B2B sector because they sell directly to the customer.
On the other hand, B2B businesses usually have niche approaches to match their target audience better than the general audience might find unapproachable.
These differences between the two will dictate the marketer’s approach since they’re dealing with different types of audiences and other products.
Understanding Your B2B Marketing Funnel
The B2B marketing funnel is a process that helps B2B companies to convert leads into customers.
The B2B marketing funnel is a marketing process that companies use to turn leads into customers. It’s the phases that a lead goes through until they manage to become customers for the company. The funnel has four stages at the minimum: awareness, consideration, decision-making, and lead nurturing.
Different parts of the B2B marketing funnel will determine how your target customer sees your business and affect the approach you have to take for that potential customer knowing what you do about how they see your company. With that said, let’s first cover the Awareness stage.
1st Stage: Awareness
The awareness stage is the first stage in the marketing funnel. This stage aims to get the customer to recognize that they need a product or service. Your product or service, in particular, but you shouldn’t make it too much of a hard sell yet.
At this stage, marketers will make contact with potential customers and inform them about their product or service.
To engage with a customer, a marketer must first understand what they want to achieve from this interaction. This precaution will help them determine what information they need to provide to their customer, who they need to talk to, and how they should communicate with them.
A key component for marketers in this phase of the funnel is creating a compelling message for customers to resonate with their needs and interests. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to mention your business. What’s important is that the customer is aware of a problem they have and that there is a solution for it (that you so happen to provide).
2nd Stage: Consideration
The consideration stage is the stage in the marketing funnel where prospects are trying to decide if they should purchase from a company or not.
The consideration stage is crucial in a B2B marketing funnel. The reason why is because it’s when prospects are deciding whether or not to buy from your company. The main goal of this stage is to turn prospects into customers by convincing them to buy your product or service.
In this stage, prospects are looking for information about your product or service specifically and how it can improve their business. They will also evaluate your company’s credibility and expertise on the subject.
The consideration stage is where your B2B marketing strategies would be most impactful in pushing someone to be a customer, so make sure that you pay special attention to prospects within this stage of the funnel.
3rd Stage: Decision Making
The decision-making stage is the second-to-the-last stage in the B2B marketing funnel. It is when a customer decides to either finally buy or not buy a product or service.
Marketing professionals must do everything they can to make this decision-making process as easy as possible for their customers. The tasks here include providing all the information they need to decide and ensuring that you don’t push them into buying something before they are ready.
You generate leads from various sources like webinars, email campaigns, events, etc. Once you’ve developed them, you nurture them by providing them with content relevant to their needs and interests.
This nurturing process continues until the lead decides whether or not to purchase a product or service.
If they decide to buy, they become customers and enter into the conversion phase where they get converted into actual buyers who make purchases regularly.
4th Stage: Lead nurturing
Lead nurturing is establishing and maintaining a business relationship with a prospective customer. Lead nurturing starts by capturing the prospect’s contact information and then following up with them to offer relevant content, offers, and other information that will help them decide.
Lead nurturing is building relationships with prospects and converting them into sales-ready customers. Lead nurturing starts with collecting contact information from potential clients and continues through the entire sales process.
Lead nurturing is a continuous process, which means that you can start at any stage in the B2B marketing funnel. Still, you need to carry it out consistently throughout the conversion cycle.
Seven Effective B2B marketing strategies that will help your business succeed:
Now that you know the different B2B marketing funnel stages, it’s time to figure out the best B2B marketing strategies to help your business succeed.
1. Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based marketing is a strategy for marketers to create and maintain long-term relationships with their customers. It is a way to focus on what the customer needs rather than what the company wants.
It focuses on building meaningful relationships with those customers.
The strategy focuses on the following:
- Understanding your target market and the needs of that market.
- Building a list of potential clients who are likely interested in your products or services.
- Directly engaging with those potential clients, usually through phone calls, emails, or social media posts.
- Tracking the success of your efforts with analytics and by looking at metrics such as return on investment (ROI).
A B2B outreach strategy for easy wins can benefit from account-based marketing strategies because it’s easier to find prospects to reach out to because you’ve narrowed it down to more specific people.
2. Content-Centric Marketing
Content-centric marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on creating and distributing content rather than promoting a product.
It is an approach to marketing that promotes a company’s products and services through the use of content across multiple media types, including blogs, videos, case studies, etc.
It is an emerging trend in B2B marketing. It is proving to be quite successful for many businesses from all industries, even the more niche industries, with content that will not be relatable to the general public.
3. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website or a web page to show up higher on search engine results.
It is the process of affecting the visibility of your website or webpage in search engine results pages. SEO is a set of strategies that you can use to improve rankings in organic search engine result listings.
According to Integrate UK, SEO should be a part of every business’s marketing strategy but modified depending on what type of business you are. A legit SEO strategy for B2B businesses is more than just keyword insertions in an article, but it is a massive part.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a powerful tool for B2B businesses. It helps them build a solid customer base and create brand awareness.
You can use social media marketing for various purposes/marketing goals like:
- Creating a solid customer base
- Generating leads
- Building brand awareness
- Generating traffic to the website or landing page
- Providing valuable content to the audience
B2B pay-per-click marketing is a form of online advertising that enables companies to promote their products and services to other businesses.
It can be an effective method for B2B companies to reach out to other firms within their niche.
Companies that sell products or services not available in stores do this strategy. Companies that provide consulting, advisory, or professional services also apply this approach.
Pay-per-click marketing can be very cost-effective because it only targets people actively looking for information about a company’s product or service.
6. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s marketing efforts.
In the context of B2B businesses, affiliate marketing is a powerful tool to generate leads. If your company is looking to generate more leads, you should consider using an affiliate program.
7. PR Marketing
PR marketing is a great way to get your business noticed by the media and potential customers.
One misconception about PR marketing is that it’s just about how to turn the negative press into a positive PR opportunity. Although that’s a critical part of crisis PR, that doesn’t mean that that’s all you’ll ever need for your business.
It often involves you reaching out to these media companies proactively instead of waiting for them to come to you and creating a connection with them.
Although B2B marketing might not be as familiar to many because we’re so often the subject of B2C marketing, that doesn’t mean that finding the best marketing strategy for your B2B company has to be complicated.
With the tips and strategies above, you should be able to start spreading the word about your B2B company to the right people in a more efficient manner, so make sure that you incorporate them as soon as you can.