B2B marketing refers to the techniques and best practices used by companies with products and services sold to other businesses. Unlike many B2C marketing efforts, B2B initiatives must consider that a number of executives likely weigh in on a single purchase decision, so campaigns must address multiple audiences within the same enterprise. Additionally, B2B marketing must cater to (generally) long transaction periods.
When businesses are in the market for new solutions or methods aimed at improving their operations, the demonstration of value of is vitally important. Research from Alinean shows that economic justifications are now required for 90 percent of B2B purchases. Moreover, promoting product usability and easy integration options are key components of B2B marketing campaigns. Still, B2B marketing requires flexibility aimed at customizing product and service pitches to the purchasing company.
While trade events are often cited as a top avenue for B2B marketing, internet marketing is also becoming vital as recent figures show that 93 percent of business buyers start their product research on search engines.
Reaching Business Buyers Online
Target markets must be carefully selected in the earliest stages of marketing a product or service to an enterprise. B2B marketers must consider the sizes, industries, budgets, revenues, etc, of the enterprises they target.
Of course, targeting business buyers also demands marketers know where to find them in an increasingly digital world – and studies suggest that decision makers are increasingly accessible via search, social, email and other channels.
Search is a prominent channel for B2B marketing. Because the B2B sales cycle is often longer than consumer-facing sales cycles, B2B marketers might accommodate prospects with longtail keywords and optimizing for phrases (and with content) that include “[product name] case studies,” “[service name] solution comparisons,” etc.
It is also advisable for B2B companies to use brand names as keywords in an effort to catch clicks from those further in the buying cycle looking for business-specific information. Using a brand name across a site also increases the likelihood that a company can own the first Google results page for a search for their business.
B2B Content Marketing
28 percent of B2Bs in 2014 reported spending more than half of their overall marketing budgets on content, and 63 percent will increase their spend over the course of the next year.
B2B marketing departments are often aggressive in their consideration of innovative forms of marketing. Content marketing has become more popular as a result of this. 28 percent of B2Bs in 2014 reported spending more than half of their overall marketing budgets on content, and 63 percent will increase their spend over the course of the next year. Content marketing addresses the trend of “B2P marketing,” which recognizes that B2B marketers must address the needs of buyers, thereby practicing “business-to-person” marketing.
As such, B2B content can address key questions that trigger people to purchase, such as: Why does your company need this? Why can’t an enterprise afford not to make this purchase? How will products, services, expertise, etc, make professionals lives easier?
Additionally, content can be published on websites to fuel SEO and shared through email newsletters and social campaigns to reach decision makers across the web.
Rise of B2B Social Marketing
Social media marketing is gaining traction among B2B companes looking to reach buyers online. With more than 1.44 billion monthly active users on Facebook alone, businesses find social is an easy way to engage prospects. And Facebook is not the only valuable platform: 41 percent of B2B marketers say LinkedIn is their social network of choice. Here’s a look at some successes our B2B clients have seen on social media:
The Content Marketing Institute reported that 92 percent of marketers are creating social content in 2015. Business-to-business social budgets are rising, and platforms like Instagram and Pinterest prove that even “boring” industries can have an engaging presence on social media.
- 10 Brands proving B2Bs have a place on Instagram
Learn more about our clients’ B2B content marketing strategies: