Breaking Down B2B Marketing
Most people will look at marketing from an outward perspective and think that it’s meant to be aimed solely at Business-to-Consumer (B2C) businesses. But there is two sides of this coin, and the other face is something called Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing.
B2B marketing simply stands for a firm directing its marketing resources at selling its products and services to other businesses. A classic example is office supplies. A company might choose to make a bulk purchase from Staples to make sure its 1,000+ employees all have pens, pencils, and paper. Or what about a firm enlisting a third-party cleaning service to make sure the offices are tidy at the end of the day? That’s all business-to-business.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the B2B eCommerce market alone is expected to reach $6.7 trillion USD by 2020. That means there is a massive amount of spending that will be taking place in B2B marketing.
While it can be deducted for obvious reasons that B2B purchasing decisions are largely based on factors such as price and profit to be derived from the purchase (i.e., How cheap can I buy 500 phones for from company A over company B?), it is still becoming increasingly clear that B2B marketing is about building relationships.
People, not businesses
One very important thing for marketers who run B2B marketing campaigns to keep in mind is that they need to run their campaigns with people in mind, not the organizations they’re trying to sell to. Afterall, the decision makers are humans, not robots (yet). That’s why Gary Vaynerchuk has said in the past that when companies are selling B2B, they need to be focused on talking to specific decision makers rather than sending bulk emails to companies (here’s the link to the video he says it in). And if Gary’s preaching this stuff you know there’s got to be at least some merit to it. Building relationships is key. That’s where B2B and B2C marketing is similar, in that you need to understand your audience, you need to implement strong strategies with KPIs (key performance indicators) that will help fulfill your main business objectives, and you need to include content creation and social media as a standard practice.
Social media is still a must
Please, please, please, still use social media if your target market consists of businesses. It’s a great way to open doors for communication and allows for people to find you on many different platforms. Even if you’re a small B2B company, think of how much greater your chances are of acquiring new customers when they can reach you on all of the most influential platforms. All of this effort helps with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) too when considering your search ranking on Google. Most importantly, your social media profile empowers you to stand out from the competition if used well. It sells your brand 24/7/365! Use these SM platforms to give leverage to your brand!
It may be hard to believe, but people in B2B businesses read blog posts just like consumers do! In fact, B2B people are more likely to read blogs than consumers are. The statistics on this are astounding, and you can read more about the value of B2B content creation on this infographic, here.
Tell your story
Curate content for your B2B blog, and try to affiliate your business with other supplementing businesses to help increase Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing. It’s very important from an SEO standpoint to be continuously creating content for your users to find you easier, but creation of this content also serves as a way for your readers to view you as industry experts and professionals in your field.
Our last point for this post is to use video. If your product is complicated or normally requires training or instructions to use, place emphasis on creating good quality video as an education tool. Be sure to put those videos on multiple platforms as well.
It’s so important for brands to always be telling a story, and that’s accomplished by creating helpful and educational content and conversations. This approach will have long term benefits for your business.
If you have any questions about the world of B2B marketing, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’d love to talk.