It’s understandable for certain niche B2B businesses to presume they will find difficulty in marketing their products or services using digital marketing campaigns.
Maybe because they can’t envision their customers engaging with them on social media or blog.
But this presumption is far from the truth:
B2B businesses that experience the full benefit of their digital marketing efforts do a few things well:
They strategise their marketing and communications holistically, incorporating and aligning all their digital marketing platforms.
They embrace the role of digital marketing in B2B and use it to create solutions that answer their customer’s needs.
There are plenty of digital marketing strategies that can be utilised for B2B businesses for both acquisition of new business, as well as retention.
Some of these include:
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Paid Search Marketing
- Affiliate Marketing
- Content Marketing
Each digital practice has its own benefits that can be leveraged for different B2Bs.
But how do you know which will suit your business and deliver a return on investment?
B2B Digital Marketing Best Practices
To use digital marketing to earn more traffic and leads/sales & ultimately experience the full benefit of your efforts, you need to follow a B2B digital marketing strategy, just like our B2B SEO Agency uses, that is full of best practices.
But first… you need to identify your audience.
Speak to Your Audience
Who is your customer and what is the nature of their business?
If you’re not communicating to the right businesses in the right way, you are throwing money into a vacuum.
B2B customers have a very specific requirement.
Taking the time to understand who these customers are, what it is they expect from you and what their pain points are, will help you craft meaningful marketing strategies that align with their needs.
Often B2B businesses don’t have a dedicated resource or team of people whose sole responsibility is managing digital marketing campaigns.
If this is the case, outsource your Digital Marketing.
It’s imperative that each strategy is implemented properly, managed effectively and optimised consistently for yielding optimal results.
According to a lead generation report compiled by BrightTALK, “Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers.”
Not only do you want to communicate in a tone and manner that is consistent with your brand, but you also want to have a consistent plan in place.
Newsfeeds and search results are managed by complex algorithms that feed relevant content to users at the right time.
By doing short bursts of marketing activity, every now and then, your content has less chance of gaining the traction, momentum and stickiness it needs to stay in front of your customers.
Monitor Your Progress
Dedicate enough time to tracking, monitoring and optimising your digital marketing campaigns.
As a B2B business, unless you are operating in a very niche line of work, the competition is fierce. You have to constantly be willing to adapt according to what your data dictates.
Use proper analysis of your marketing campaigns to see what’s working, what’s not and where you can optimise further to get better results.
How Digital Marketing Can Benefit B2B Businesses
Now onto the good stuff! Provided you’ve got all the above right and you’re ticking along nicely… these are some of the benefits that your B2B business can experience from properly executed digital marketing strategies and campaigns.
Greater Brand Awareness
If you’re not a major player on the B2B scene, chances are people have yet to learn about you.
With strong branding and consistent messaging, you can create awareness about how you are changing the face of your game.
You will also stay top of mind if you’re constantly targeting and re-targeting the appropriate channels.
More Business Opportunities
Exposing your business to the right channels will help potential customers learn more about what you offer.
Even if you are only gathering potential leads from your digital marketing strategies, you can nurture those leads further down the line and convert them into customers.
Word Of Mouth Testimonials
People will start talking about who you are and what you’re doing.
Customers who have experienced a great service from you will be more inclined to recommend you, when an opportunity arises.
Lower Advertising Costs
Traditional advertising methods, both above the line and below, typically come at much larger costs than digital marketing.
The sky is the limit with regards to how much you want to put into your digital marketing spend, but you should receive a lot more value for your money.
Gain Insightful Data
The data and insights you gain from your digital marketing campaigns is gold.
By being able to see exactly how many businesses engaged with your strategies and in what ways, you can learn from each campaign and use that information to improve with every month.
B2B Digital Marketing Trends For 2018
For your B2B business to experience the full benefit of digital marketing, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of the everchanging landscape.
Some of the noteworthy digital marketing trends that you can investigate for your own use include:
Focusing On Customer-Centric Content
Focusing on customer-centricity is not reserved for B2C businesses alone.
The businesses you deal with also expect a level of attention to be paid to them, even if it’s in the way that you market to them.
According to a Demand Gen Report, “96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders.” Know who your customer is and use your leverage as professionals in your field to create content that these businesses are seeking out.
If you can position your B2B as the holy grail of relevant information in your business sector, customers will appreciate the lengths you go to in order to keep them informed, which enhances levels of trust.
Creating Multimedia Content
Article content is a primary focus for B2B businesses, and for good reason. According to Statista, “49% of B2B marketers say articles are the most effective type of content for moving prospects through the sales funnel.”
But with so much technology at their disposal, businesses want more.
Video, Live video, podcasts, infographics and creative graphical content all have a place in your B2B digital marketing campaigns.
We all live on the run these days, so making content easier to digest via video or podcasts can only prove beneficial.
Make use of multiple channels to continue the conversation from where they initially contact you.
From social media to Facebook Messenger, to LiveChat and email.
Creating a cohesive strategy that links all your communication channels will allow customers to contact you at any touchpoint in their journey.
Influencer marketing has also been viewed as strictly B2C. Nevertheless, businesses also seek out the viewpoints of individual influences within their industries.
Market your products or services by using the following and popularity of an influencer or industry leader to help drive buy-in from your customers.
Getting B2B Digital Marketing Right
If you’re investing your marketing budget in digital, getting it right is a non-negotiable.
Here are a few tips that will ensure that you receive the most benefit.
1) Refine your audience
Key point: Take some time to identify your different typical customers as well as their needs.
There is no point in tailoring marketing strategies to people who won’t be interested in them.
Benefit of this: You will attract the businesses that you know you can provide value to
2) Determine what digital marketing strategies and content types will best fit your business
Key point: Don’t try and be all things to all people / channels. Focus on where you can add value and invest in quality, not quantity
Benefit of this: You can raise brand awareness to another level by delivering quality at every turn. Customers will associate you with going the extra mile to do something to 100% of your ability, rather than simply churn out watered-down versions of epic campaigns
3) Develop a solid overarching strategy for the year or quarter ahead
Key point: Be clear on who the strategy is targeting
Benefit of this: You are creating content, information and resources that you know your customer wants. This should answer their questions and make them feel comfortable with your business
4) Create content that speaks to pain points experienced by existing customers
Key point: Use the insights at your disposal to do better by your current customers, while attracting new customers who are after the same solutions
Benefit of this: You’re not simply shooting in the dark. You are following a targeted path that you know will be received in a positive light by like-minded customers
5) Engage with potential customers wherever possible
Key point: Businesses are made up of human beings too, and all humans want to know that they are catered to and appreciated
Benefit of this: Your business takes on a human appearance, which is easier to relate to and buy into