A Guide to B2B Digital Marketing

May 22, 2022 | Lakshmi Venugopal | Branding Marketing

The digital age has undoubtedly altered how marketers communicate with their customers. Companies from a range of industries have increased their digital spend and adopted digital marketing as a growth strategy due to its demonstrated ability to provide results. Furthermore, the number of internet users has expanded tremendously around the world, making it the ideal location for businesses to expand and successfully engage their target audience. 
While digital marketing has shown to be a successful business strategy, how firms market to individuals differs significantly from how they promote to corporations. This guide will help you understand B2B digital marketing and some of the best strategies that you can adopt for your own business.

What is a B2B Business?
A business-to-business transaction or B2B business is one in which an organization sells its product or service to another. This is different from a B2C (business-to-consumer) transaction, in which businesses sell their products or services to individual consumers.

HP is a great example of an organisation that does both B2B and B2C transactions. When HP sells laptops and computers to businesses, it is considered a B2B transaction. A B2C transaction, on the other hand, is when they sell their products to individual customers. Therefore, the way they communicate and address the needs of both categories of customers will also differ. 

What is B2B marketing? 
B2B marketing techniques are utilized by those organisations that sell products and services to other businesses. While individual consumers are often the focus of B2C marketing approaches, B2B strategies address the needs and pain points of individuals who purchase a product or service on behalf of a company, making the firm the actual customer. 
Hence, any marketing approach, strategy, or material aimed at a business or organization can be called B2B marketing. Now that we have a fair understanding of what B2B marketing is, let’s take a look at the B2B buyer journey. 

The B2B buyer journey
For any marketing activity to be effective, firms must have a thorough understanding of their target audience and their buyer journeys. This can help them engage and convert potential customers more successfully using the most effective channel or medium. 
Understanding the stages of the B2B buyer’s journey will help you not only understand consumer behaviour at each level but also discover the most successful communication methods at each stage. This has the potential to affect your marketing approach and decisions. 
The B2B buyer journey is the entire process a buyer goes through, from brand awareness through product and service appraisal to finally making a purchase decision. The different stages of the buyer journey can be divided into 3 parts.

  1. Awareness Stage  : At this time, the customer is just learning about your company, products, and services. This awareness is usually the result of your marketing and sales activities. It’s critical to show that you understand the customer’s genuine business needs and pain points, as well as how your organization can help meet those expectations, at this stage. During this time, marketing teams will often focus on creating content for various digital channels such as websites and social media. Sales and account teams can then use these channels to engage with new and potential clients.
  2. Consideration Stage  : Consumers usually have a good understanding of their problem at this point. They are also familiar with your business and its offerings. They then carry out research in order to learn more. As a result, you must demonstrate how you and your company can assist customers in solving their problems in a way that builds trust in the quality and competitiveness of your product at this stage. Once potential clients are aware of your solutions, case studies, expert guides, educational blogs, in-person engagement, and comparative information can help your sales team generate leads and convert them.
  3. Decision-Making Stage : At this stage, potential customers would have done the required research and made a list of available solutions  Your potential customers will be deciding which products or services they are most interested in at this point. They may contact sales, but sales professionals may require marketing assistance in the form of product demos, testimonials, and product evaluations in order to move marketing leads into sales lead generation.

Building blocks of a successful B2B digital marketing strategy 
Before putting your strategy into action, here are a few factors to consider. These elements are essential for the success of your digital marketing efforts.

  1. FIND AND DETERMINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE : The first step to building any successful marketing strategy is to identify your target audience or the people who are truly interested in your brand’s products or services. Buyer personas can be constructed using this data to learn more about how people make purchase decisions, which is a great tool for any type of marketing.
    2. ANALYZE YOUR COMPETITORS :  Another important step in building an effective marketing strategy is to identify and analyze your competitors. A competitive analysis is a technique that comprises looking at the products, sales, and marketing strategies of major competitors. It has a number of benefits, including developing business strategies, finding market opportunities, fending off competitors, and gaining market share.  While conducting a competitor analysis, make sure to consider their product offerings, sales, and marketing tactics, and social media presence to name a few. This information can be used to perform a SWOT analysis and build an effective strategy.  
    3. ESTABLISH YOUR BRAND’S POSITIONING : A robust brand positioning strategy is required for any organization to be successful. Popular brands like Xerox and Band-aid are well-positioned brands that have become generic terms for all related items in their sectors. As a result, knowing your brand’s positioning will aid you in developing an efficient marketing strategy. Make sure to include a unique brand positioning statement that outlines how your brand is seen by your customers. 
    4. CONSIDER DIFFERENT CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION : After you’ve finished the previous steps, you’ll better understand the many communication channels you might utilize to engage your audience. An examination of your competitors will reveal the various channels that they have effectively leveraged as well as the channels that they have yet to explore. Based on your brand’s long and short-term goals and your media budget, this information can be used to select the most effective channels.

Best B2B digital marketing strategies (+ best practices)

  1. CREATE AND OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE : Businesses must have websites. Customers should be able to learn everything they need to know about your business within seconds of visiting your company’s website, which should also serve as an industry reference. That means you must make sure it highlights your expertise, offers solutions to potential clients, and serves as a convenient point of contact for customers.
  • Best practices to consider while creating your website. 
  • Monitor and update your website on a regular basis.
  • Make sure that the content featured on your website is valuable, informative, and relevant to your target audience. 
  • Categorize content on your website so that it is clear and easy to find.
  • Display updated testimonies from clients as well as company logos.
  • Feature clear calls to action that will encourage people to act and take the desired action. 
  • Include links to your social media handles. 
  • Clearly mention your contact information so that it is easy for potential clients to reach out to you. 

    You may have heard that SEO is essential for new visitors to find your business. So, what exactly is SEO? SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ and it refers to the practice of gaining unpaid, organic traffic from search engines, often known as natural search results. It’s a known fact that the higher your website is on the list of search results, the more people will see it. SEO does exactly that. It improves the visibility of your website on the search engine results pages. 

    On-page SEO and off-page SEO are the two basic types of SEO. On-page SEO, also known as technical SEO, is critical for helping your website rank higher in search engine results. This, when used with off-page SEO, can dramatically improve your website’s visibility. It may be wise to hire an SEO specialist or agency such as Infinite Media to help you through this process.

    Content marketing is an excellent way to engage your B2B audience who are driven by logic and have a desire to be educated. Your content can also improve your SEO efforts by using the most effective keywords and phrases that can help your business rank higher in the search results.
    Here are some of the different types of content that you can include in your B2B content marketing strategy
  • Website blogs: A blog is vital since it boosts SEO while also positioning you as an industry thought leader and attracting a high-quality audience. Your expertise can assist existing customers while also drawing new ones to your website. High-quality content can be used to showcase your thought leadership and build trust which will help customers progress to the end of the conversion funnel.
  • Guest blogs:  Guest blogging is when you publish content for another firm’s website or invite someone from outside your company to write for your website, usually a subject matter expert. This form of external contact, as well as guest blogging opportunities that link back to your blog and website, should be taken into account. It is an effective digital marketing strategy for enhancing content exposure.
  • Case studies:  A case study is a report on how a company implemented a practice, a product, a system, or a service to solve a real-world problem or achieve a goal. The case study can be viewed as a practical illustration of how effective the solution and the company’s approach are in the real world. Make sure to provide data and numbers to support your case. This provides potential customers the information that they need to make a decision about the purchase.
  • Whitepapers: A whitepaper is a document that an organization publishes to advertise or highlight the benefits of a solution, product, or service that it offers or proposes to offer. Whitepapers can be used as an excellent content marketing tool that educates and persuades customers. Therefore, they must describe a problem and offer a solution in a persuasive, authoritative, and detailed manner.  
  • Infographics: When you’re trying to explain complex concepts, it’s always a good idea to break down the information using infographics. They are graphic visual representations of data, knowledge, or information that are intended to communicate information clearly and easily. It’s a simple summary of a topic consisting of striking images and data visualizations such as pie charts, bar graphs, and minimal text.
  • Videos:  Video is a great method to connect with your audience and keep them interested. It entails planning, developing, and publishing your content in video format across multiple channels. Video podcasts, video demonstrations, social media videos, live streams, webcasts, and other video formats can be used for content marketing.

Best practices to consider while developing your B2B content marketing strategy:

  • Make sure that your on-page and technical SEO is up to date. Your website must be mobile-friendly and should have a low page load time.
  • Conduct proper keyword research and ensure that it is used across your website and content. 
  • Include well-researched, up-to-date, and industry-relevant information in the form of blogs and tailored landing pages. 
  • Generate high-quality and credible backlinks by pitching your content to relevant and reliable websites or through guest blogging. 
  • Keep the language simple and avoid jargon so that it is easy for people to understand and relate to your content. 
  • Regularly research your existing and potential customers to understand their needs and update your strategy accordingly. 
  • Review the various forms of content that you can use to engage your audience and choose the most relevant ones to utilize based on your goals and audience.

    B2B clients are driven by rationality, unlike B2C clients who are more emotionally driven. They’re basically looking at how your company can help their organization grow. Hence, your email marketing must always be relatable to your customers and focus on issues that they truly care about such as return on investment. Email marketing is also a great way to showcase your brand’s content in the form of newsletters, offers, and updates. This is why emails are considered a critical part of successful content marketing for B2B companies. 

Best practice for B2B email marketing:

  • Write crisp and compelling subject lines that will get your readers hooked at once. Make them want to open your email.
  • Keep your emails brief and concise. Avoid text-heavy content in favor of infographics and visuals that effectively communicate the point. 
  • Include a clear call to action in every email. It is recommended to stick to a single CTA per email. However, if you want to have it in different locations within your mail, make sure that it is consistent throughout. 
  • Make sure your email is mobile-responsive and well-designed. It’s critical that your email opens properly on mobile devices as more countries around the world transition to mobile-first economies.
  • Segment your audience and personalize your emails accordingly. Not every email is appropriate for all your customers. Make sure to convey relevant information to the right audience, at the right time. 
  • Use opt-in forms on your website and other such tools in order to grow your email list. 

    While SEO is a great way to generate organic traffic to your website, its performance can be enhanced using PPC ads. It’s also an effective tool to create brand awareness and drive leads. So, how do PPC ads work?
    Pay-per-click or PPC is an internet advertising technique in which an advertiser is charged a fee each time one of their adverts is clicked. This type of advertising is frequently connected with top-tier search engines like Google Ads, Amazon Advertising, and Bing Ads. Advertisers often place bids on keyword phrases that are relevant to their target market for their ads to be shown and only pay when their ads are clicked.
    Therefore, PPC ads are a great way to tailor your budget to your demands because you only pay if someone takes action or clicks. Get yourself a campaign tracker or make one that works for you to keep track of your advertising spend and performance. This will help you understand what’s working and make changes to your strategy accordingly. 

    Traditionally, we may not think of social media as the ideal platform for B2B marketing. However, social media has evolved over the years and has enabled businesses to reach a wide audience and engage with them in creative ways.   
    Original content on social media can be time-consuming and requires you to think outside the box. However, as new platforms such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, and Tiktok gain traction in the B2B industry, social media has become one of the most preferred channels of marketing after SEO. Linkedin, Twitter, and Meta are the top social media platforms that are used extensively to engage B2B audiences.
    Here are some ways in which you can leverage social media marketing:
  • Reuse blog content: The easiest way to create social media content is to make use of your existing blog content. They can be made into short, bite-sized pieces of information that can be put up as posts, reels, stories, and tweets on various platforms. The format of your content can be tweaked depending on the demographics of your audience on each platform. 
  • Cross-promote content: You can cross-promote the same content across different platforms. For instance, if you have posted a reel on Instagram, the same content can be turned into a post on Linkedin. Just make sure that the message is tailored to suit the audience of each platform, 
  • Industry tips and news: You can showcase your industry expertise by sharing social media content relating to industry trends and news. You can also share industry-relevant tips and tricks, making your social media handles the go-to destination for all industry information. 
  • Glowing client testimonials: Just like your website, glowing client testimonials on the appropriate social media handles can serve as a great tool to forge trust and persuade potential customers to get in touch. 
  • Employee generated content: Content shared by employee advocates is shown to receive more engagement on social media. It’s also an opportunity to reach a diverse audience. So, encourage your employees to create their own social media handles and share your company’s content. 

    A 5% increase in client retention can increase profits by 95%- Harvard Business Review. Therefore, if you have existing B2B customers, make sure that you practice retention marketing. Marketers understand that if a customer keeps buying from them, they’ll spend more, resulting in a higher marketing ROI. Hence, customer training, regular contact and support, customer gratitude, surveys, and testimonials are some ways in which you can maintain and nurture customer relationships. 

    While Instagram influencer marketing is still on the rise, it is no longer just for consumer firms. B2B organizations are also discovering the advantages of marketing collaboration with important industry influencers. Popular B2B brands such as Dell, SAP, and 3M among others have successfully used influencer marketing to increase awareness about their products and services. These companies collaborated with popular influencers from their respective industries to create social media content and podcasts to create awareness and generate leads for their programs. 

The best way to attract and engage a B2B audience is to learn how to use the most effective digital marketing platforms and tactics. It’s never too late to begin using digital marketing strategies for your business. With these B2B marketing strategies, incorporating digital marketing into your strategy will be a breeze