Simplified Guide to B2B Marketing

Whether you’re brand new to the B2B scene or just looking to brush up on the basics, our simplified guide to B2B marketing will get you up to speed on all of the necessary information you’ll need when planning our your organisation’s business to business B2B marketing strategy. Let us help you plot out your most effective marketing strategy!

Below, we’ll be offering B2B marketing examples of efforts that your company can undertake, ranging from digital marketing such as social media marketing and uses of marketing automation software, various B2B marketing strategies across a series of marketing channels, search engines marketing and many more. By reviewing your B2B marketing strategies, we’re confident your marketing and sales teams will thank you!

In addition, our B2B loyalty programs are great ways to reward existing customers, capture the attention of new ones, and align your marketing and sales goals. We’ll be including how our reward programs Australia and New Zealand-wide can assist with each step of your B2B marketing strategies in this article, but reach out today if your company is ready to take the next step in boosting customer engagement!

KYC – The Importance of Knowing Your Audience

In “The Art of War”, Sun Tzu says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”. While you shouldn’t consider your customers your enemy, the sentiment applies here – by knowing your brand and knowing your audience, your organisation has nothing to fear!

While this may seem philosophical, this knowledge should come naturally through your B2B marketing strategy plan. In a B2B (business-to-business) organisation, your potential customers aren’t made up of individual consumers, each with their own individual ways of reacting to products and buying.

One of the benefits of marketing to a B2B audience is that your potential customers are made up of other organisations, with specific internal hierarchies and decision makers. This means that the buyer’s journey in business to business marketing, while often longer than a business to consumer (b2c marketing) model, can be more easily anticipated.

As such, your first step should be to review your B2B customer journey by preparing a B2B customer journey map. As your business customers’ and potential buyers will likely have the same reactions and responses to the buying process with your organisation, you should be able to effectively map this out with little change for each instance. This is also valuable for defining your B2B marketing funnel. The B2B customer journey can be boiled down to the below stages:

  • Awareness stage
  • Research stage
  • Decision-making stage
  • Onboarding stage
  • Usage stage
  • Support stage
  • Renewal stage

If you address each of these stages, your organisation will now have an effective view of what potential buyers will encounter throughout the buying process. This will allow you to optimise your B2B marketing stages throughout each section of the customer journey. However, you may be asking how to align marketing content to ensure that your business to business clients will respond in a way that you can anticipate?

The next step in ensuring that your marketing goals are met is to define your potential business to business buyers persona. This can be done via interviews with customers and decision makers throughout the stages of the buyer’s journey, reviewing marketing trends in your industry, enlisting the help of a B2B marketing consultant or research firm. Regardless of the measures taken, your organisation will need to ensure that your buyer personas address the below points:

  • Demographics
  • Career info
  • Interests
  • Buying behaviours
  • Pain points and challenges
  • Goals and objectives

By defining the customers most likely to engage your product or services, this will allow you to participate in account based marketing. Account based marketing is a strategic approach to sales that uses highly targeted and personalized communication to win new business from a specific company.

Rather than launching a broad campaign in the hopes of attracting a wide net of prospects, even though only a few will likely fit, you can utilise account based marketing to identify specific prospects in a target market. This increases the likelihood of lead nurturing by providing a specific message, allowing your sales teams to target business decision makers for lead generation.

Once you have your B2B customer journey map and buyer personas down, you are now able to create relevant content in your marketing materials at the appropriate stages, which has a greater chance to ensure customer engagement and brand loyalty.

Providing educational content such as white papers or testimonials across your social media platforms or a relevant blog post on your website, search engine optimisation to ensure your product is appearing where your target audience needs it, and using email marketing to prompt your audience to keep your brand front of mind when getting sign off from those important business decision makers is integral to nurture those qualified leads into valid sales opportunities.

An additional way to gain insight into the customers using your product and their preferences is to consider a B2B loyalty or incentive program. B2B programs often create additional touchpoints with your customers, incentivise them to voluntarily provide you with additional data about themselves and their purchasing habits, and increase the share of wallet and acts as valid B2B retention strategies with your brand.

Creating Campaigns for your Target Audiences

Now that you’ve defined the sales process and your target audiences, it’s time to turn to your marketing technology to find ways to create content for that target market!

In this section, we’ll be discussing the role that marketing automation tools can play in creating effective marketing strategy across multiple channels, ranging from digital marketing strategy for your social media channels and social media platforms, search engine marketing via search engine optimisation, or account based marketing for lead generation from a more direct target market. By following current marketing trends and adapting them to your brand identity, you can set your organisation up for success!

It’s important to maintain a consistent message across your campaigns through all marketing channels, from social media posts all the way up to email marketing sent via marketing automation software.

This can be done by clearly defining your target audience, your marketing goals (such as content marketing, digital marketing, influencer marketing, etc.) as customers can sense and reject inauthentic marketing efforts. Keeping your content marketing strategy harmonious is a great way to demonstrate alignment with your message across the entire organisation, which give your potential customers confidence that they understand what you stand for.

It is also essential to ensure that your business is using the right channels to communicate with your target audience. Certain channels are better suited to reaching specific audiences, such as LinkedIn for business decision makers, while Twitter and Threads are better for thought leaders. As you’ve spent time on your B2B marketing strategies defining your target audience, it is also integral to consider the ways to reach them!

You can also monitor the success of your online marketing campaigns with your website visitors by using the marketing technology – specifically customer journey mapping tools – as listed below. These can also be used in the above-mentioned B2B customer journey map process for your buyer’s journey by seeing where your customers spend most of their time on your website, and can assist with providing relevant content to customers in the correct stage of the buying process (i.e. educational content within the awareness stage):

  • Heap
  • Touchpoint
  • Hotjar
  • Google Analytics

B2B Marketing Strategies in Educational Content

As previously mentioned, the B2B sales process will take a lot longer than a business to consumer buying process. The buyer’s journey will require more research to satisfy the questions of the business decision makers, rather than with individual consumers who may be more likely to make purchases based on emotional states. This means that any effective marketing strategy for B2B marketing will need to address this within its content marketing strategy, providing relevant content in the early stages of your B2B marketing funnel.

This relevant content will take the form of educational pieces in your inbound marketing (search engines optimisation, email marketing through mailing lists offered on your website, and social media marketing through your digital channels). By positioning your brand as a thought leader in your industry, and supporting this with relevant content, this will increase your brand awareness with potential customers, stand apart from other businesses, and increase the likelihood that qualified leads will spend a greater customer lifetime value with your organisation.

You can create content out of white papers, think pieces, and testimonials from existing clients. This provides information to potential customers that you clearly understand the pain points they’re facing, is an effective marketing strategy and is a valid way to nurture leads– let them know everything upfront and instill confidence, and they’ll trust your brand and product!

Finally, a fantastic way to address your B2B marketing strategy framework is to consider a B2B loyalty or incentive program. We work with you in designing the project to ensure that it addresses any potential pains that your business is facing, and will assist you in ensuring that your program is effectively communicated across a variety of your marketing channels. We often tell marketing teams that we don’t need their budget, as we can provide programs that are fully self-funded, allowing you to put extra effort into your content plan to compete against other businesses. If you’re interested in seeing what a B2B loyalty or incentive program can do for your business, reach out today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Inbound marketing is efforts shown across your marketing channels to potential customers visiting you, and is primarily digital marketing which is interested in conducting business online. This includes marketing content such as SEO, social media marketing, influencer marketing, blogging and referral marketing. This will likely take place within the research stage of your B2B marketing funnel and early stages of the buyer’s journey. Alternatively, outbound marketing is marketing content you share external to your company to attract potential customers within your target audience who may not be aware of your business, such as TV and radio ads, trade shows, print ads and email marketing from your automated marketing tools. An effective marketing strategy is to utilise both of these B2B marketing strategies in order to stay competitive against other businesses, as you will capture knowing and unknowing customers who have an interest in your product, or alternatively solving specific pain points in their business.

  • Marketing automation is software that handles routine marketing tasks without the need for human interaction. This can take places across a number of marketing channels, such as social media marketing with scheduling posts or email marketing through systems such as Hubspot or Salesforce. Marketing automation allows you to provide relevant content to potential customers within your target audience at appropriate stages of your B2B marketing funnel and your customer’s buyer’s journey, and can be an additional way to educate individual consumers. Utilising marketing automation tools are great B2B marketing strategies to stand apart from other businesses and increase brand awareness, and a great way to get more eyes across your B2B marketing efforts.

  • In the B2B marketing process, it is important to factor educational content into your content marketing. The B2B buyer’s journey is a longer sales cycle than B2C, due to the fact that your potential customers have more decision makers than purchases made by individual consumers, which can be a more impulsive decision. By providing educational content earlier in the B2B marketing process, you provide potential customers with confidence that your organisation understands their pains and that your product can solve it, and provides information that they can then pass along to the higher up decision makers who will need to sign off on the decision. Educational content marketing will allow your marketing and sales teams to be aligned when constructing the pieces, increase brand awareness and provides your B2B marketing efforts an extra punch in sealing the deal when it comes to lead generation.

  • Some valuable marketing tools your B2B marketing team can use to attract and retain your target audience include: – Email marketing automation tools, such as: – Salesforce – Mailchimp – Hubspot – Social media marketing across Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc It is important to consider these and many more when planning our your B2B marketing strategies!

  • Content marketing is the development and distribution of relevant, useful content, such as blogs, newsletters, white papers, social media posts and email marketing, to current and potential clients. Content marketing should be considered when planning out your B2B marketing strategy examples, as this will communicate what your business is about, and set you apart from other businesses in the eyes of individual consumers and competitors alike. Content marketing can also be a valid form of lead generation, as providing additional information to your target audience in your content such as your email marketing and presenting additional touchpoints throughout the buyer’s journey. When planning your B2B marketing strategies, ensure that your email marketing and content marketing are addressed and factored in, as they’re far too valuable to miss!

  • For any digital marketing team in the B2B marketing sphere, search engine optimisation is essential. By creating web pages that feature key words and terms relevant to the topic that you’re covering, your website is more likely to rank higher in search engines. By participating in search engine optimisation, you increase the likelihood that your target audience will come across your page – and therefore provide an additional customer touchpoint to assist in lead generation!

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