Navigating marketing strategies in the Business to Business (B2B) space can be significantly more challenging than the Business to Consumer (B2C) space. While B2C marketing attempts to cultivate a relationship between the product and consumer, B2B focuses on selling the product to organizations.
In this article, Mentor Works, a successful B2B company, will take you through current B2B trends that your business can tap into today.
Navigating B2B vs. B2C Marketing
It is easy to assume B2C marketing principles apply to B2B as general marketing strategies. Tactics such as bold graphics, up-to-date social media, and influencer marketing might be strategic for B2C campaigns; however, these techniques would do very little to market B2B companies.
The target audience for B2B companies are not direct consumers. Instead, B2B companies need to appeal to individuals who are making purchases on behalf of their organization. This means focusing on practical factors instead of aesthetic appeal, such as pricing, location, brand positioning, and professionalism.
A General Outline for B2B Marketing Campaigns
As a B2B company, there are some general guidelines your business can follow. B2B marketing emphasizes buyer persona, target audience, and target market. It’s not as simple as pushing out a social campaign to attract leads.
B2B products and services generally have a higher price point and often require contract negotiation. The sales cycle within the B2B sphere tends to be longer and less transactional – therefore, it is important for your company to prioritize nurturing the relationship between the company and the buyer.
Relationship building can include phone calls, events such as tradeshows and webinars, email campaigns, regularly scheduled newsletters, and email sequences. With these activities, you are fostering the communication to understand and match your buyer persona while assisting in the buyer’s journey. Your B2B marketing communication channels must be prepared to respond to the buyer’s inquiries and issues, while also anticipating any hesitancy or potential withdrawal from the buying process.
From a media perspective, a B2B company needs to be engaged across social platforms and its website. For example, an up-to-date LinkedIn page can help B2B companies find good leads, talk directly with executive-level personnel, and build a connection beyond emails. If there are articles and testimonials to back up a product or a service, the B2B company appears more reputable and reliable.
Social media channels can showcase existing blog links, website directories and client testimonials to promote your company.
With company values and mission in mind, a B2B business must define its marketing plan versus marketing strategies before developing any collateral so that the content is direct and there is no overspending on budget.
A marketing plan is the long-term road map which acts as a guideline and goal setting feature for all the marketing strategies in action or to be planned in the future. A marketing strategy involves developing and aligning company content with current market trends.
Current Trends in the B2B Marketing World
Our research identified noteworthy trends in the B2B marketing world. It is a competitive market and here are some tips on what your business can do to stay ahead.
Generating Leads Is the Biggest Challenge
With an ongoing recession, there is a stronger push to product selling across all marketing campaigns.
For B2B industry, this means companies are competing to ensure their messaging is getting through to B2B clients in the most effective way.
To keep up, companies must effectively deploy communication strategies across all their social media and email channels and reaffirm their connection with the existing client base. A widespread reach increases the chance that a lead will be identified. Keep in mind that the recession could lead to budget cuts in marketing departments. Decreased marketing budgets could result in quieter social media channels that businesses can use to their advantage.
Facebook leads in ROI and LinkedIn is Gaining Strong Popularity
While social media channels are crucial for marketing, businesses must evaluate metrics and decide which channels produce the best Return on Investment (ROI). Facebook is an effective tool in terms of providing the most ROI – for example, Facebook Ad Manager is designed to help you easily track ROI from your marketing efforts. 18% of B2B marketers stated that they plan to invest primarily in Facebook marketing.
LinkedIn gives access to a network of executive-level professionals who can directly influence the company’s purchasing decisions. 95% of B2B content marketers use LinkedIn for organic social marketing. By interacting directly with your target audience, you can bring in stronger and more reliable leads.
Video Content Ranks Better
Videos have increasingly become an important tool for B2B marketers. With the onset of apps like Tiktok, people prefer short 10-20 second videos for information. The short video format is supported across all social media channels – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok.
If you can make attractive video edits, move with current trends, and incorporate your product into the short clips, you are likely to get your company’s mission across much swiftly than you would by writing a blog.
Increasing Focus on Customer Experience
Customer experience has always been a top priority, but the digital marketing landscape has brought it further to the forefront. At the nucleus of customer experience is personalized messaging. Many businesses are implementing chatbots and AI to provide a fast and personalised experience.
As you tailor your content towards your audience, remember to refer them to your blogs, events, and resources.
Establishing Thought Leadership
It is crucial for a B2B business to portray themselves as a thought leader. The content produced should not only reflect the benefits of buying a product – it should affirm that your company is an industry leader. Most B2B companies, over the years, have changed their narrative and tone when it comes to content writing. It’s become less about them, and more about supporting the client. One way to do this is to create blog content showcasing industry insights rather than simply talking about company successes and wins.
Appearing knowledgeable and reputable in your field provides clients a sense of security in their vendors and products.
Accessing Marketing Support and Grants
Mentor Works understands that establishing a solid marketing plan requires a lot of resources, research, and creative thinking. Your company might be too busy to pursue your marketing efforts right away – but don’t forget, a marketing plan is crucial for generating leads. Without it, all you are left with are missed opportunities.
If your company is in the agricultural industry, we can support you with funding applications for SCAP – AgriMarketing. With this program, the Canadian government hopes to grow the economy by increasing the visibility of Canadian products worldwide and growing the capacity of exporting producers to identify and seize market development opportunities in targeted markets.
Contact us today to learn more about government grants offered to support or reimburse marketing costs. Our marketing articles also provide further specific insights and tips for developing marketing plans. You can also stay tuned with our newsletter for funding updates and business strategy guidelines.