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The differences between B2C and B2B digital marketing and how businesses can utilise online strategies to win new interest and convert to sales.
How to Succeed At B2B Digital Marketing
Traditional B2B marketing relies on building a strong long-term relationship between companies.
This bond is the result of rapport and trust, as well as demonstrations of the capability of your business.
Digital B2B marketing is similar to the traditional marketing route in that it is not concerned with the hard sell.
Instead, digital marketing supports traditional B2B operations. It provides a multitude of additional avenues for engaging with both potential and existing customers.
Why Is B2B Different To B2C Digital Marketing?
When businesses are selling to customers, they typically only have to convince one person, or potentially one family, in order to secure a sale.
On the other hand, the process of selling to a business is much more complex.
Budgets have to be signed off, evaluations must be carried out and approvals need to be acquired.
This is a lengthy and delicate procedure and much of it is based on the rapport with the sales point of contact.
Potentially, it might seem difficult to create such a B2B bond with digital marketing.
After all, the Internet is open to far more anonymity than traditional face to face business meetings can offer.
However, there are many ways to learn about the habits and preferences of your customers from their online activities.
Connect With Your Customers
The critical first step to finding out what motivates your customers into a purchase is to create and share some content.
Regular, fresh content in the form of social media posts, blog comments and articles allows you to connect with your target audience.
This will build brand awareness and give you the opportunity to establish your business as a leading authority within its niche.
Apply the 80/20 rule to your content creation.
80% of your content should be aimed at providing your visitors with value in the form of relevant trending topics or demo videos.
The remaining 20% can be used to promote your products or exciting company news and developments.
Micro Convert Any Interest
Provide opportunities to convert any potentially interested businesses into sales.
This is not the right time to hard sell.
Rather, you should now gauge interest in your business by gently encouraging other companies to follow you on social platforms.
Share some of your content with them. Or perhaps, give them the opportunity to download some of your guides.
It is essential that your digital activity is aided by quality insights and analytics systems that allow you to identify new customer trends.
This will enable you to figure out what is working in your B2B digital marketing strategies.
Convert Interest to Leads
Interaction with potential business customers is key.
Once you have their details stored from the micro conversion stage, you can then reach out to them.
For instance, you can launch special business offers to your new and existing social followers.
Better still, you can provide a free trial of your services.
Hold On To Existing Customers
As B2B is based on loyalty, it is important that digital marketing is utilised to great effect in order to keep hold of your existing customers.
Use email newsletters and social media to stay in touch and promote special offers to ensure that you experience plenty of B2B repeat sales.
You could also provide exclusive online content to customers who have made more than one sale with you.
Once you have a truly strong B2B relationship, turn that company into a brand advocate: ask them to write a positive review on your site in return for some free digital promotion.
B2B digital marketing might require more long term effort than B2C targeting.
However, if you concentrate on developing an online presence and digital strategy, then you will reap the rewards in sales.
About the Author
Karen Harding is the marketing manager at Objective IT, one of the South East’s leading web and software development companies.
License: Image author-owned