Here is your complete guide to marketing strategy for b2b
Introduction to Marketing Strategy for B2B
When searching for B2B marketing strategies on Google, it’s all too easy to come across articles that simply provide a generic list of marketing strategies that we already know to be honest: SEO, PPC, email, social media, referral marketing, loyalty programs, and more. Many of the themes layered on top of these strategies are also repeated: know your target audience, personalize, and use your data. What is the marketing strategy for b2b? What you should know about marketing strategy for b2b? Here is your ultimate guide to marketing strategy for b2b.
The most effective B2B marketing strategies are as follows: general strategy
As the workforce evolves, new trends emerge from the pandemic, and major platforms undergo (major) changes (see you, cookies), the best ways to implement evergreen B2B marketing strategies will look slightly different each year. Following are some general approaches to recent reports. You might also be interested in the best marketing strategies that are currently producing results.
Millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce by 2025. According to Merit’s B2B Millennials Report, 73% of millennials are involved in product or service purchase decision-making at their organizations, with 30% being the sole decision-makers.
This means tailoring your B2B marketing strategies to the preferences of millennials, such as:
- response time (like through live chat).
- Mobile experiences that are simple (through formatting and geofencing).
- Social media participation (not just LinkedIn!).
- Marketing with a purpose.
Use a B2C strategy.
The distinctions between B2B and B2C marketing are becoming increasingly blurred. This is due to the increasingly competitive nature of the digital space, as well as the growing proportion of millennials among B2B buyers. Indeed, 80% of B2B buyers now expect a B2C experience, according to Foleon’s 2021 B2B Buyer Insights Report.
B2C strategies, such as:
- Marketing through emotions (more on that here).
- Aftidinesability of use (to educational content and self-service).
Provide for a longer buying cycle.
It has long been known that B2B marketing has a longer buying cycle than B2C marketing. However, according to a McKinsey study published at the end of 2020, the buying cycle for B2B businesses has gotten even longer since the pandemic.
With budgets tightening, B2B buyers are taking more care to research products and services and to calculate ROI more thoroughly ahead of time. As a result, it is critical to:
- Create content to supplement rather than disrupt buyer research.
- In your messaging, use language and data that are specifically focused on ROI.
AI can be used to supplement your automation.
Marketing automation and artificial intelligence (AI) are distinct concepts. Marketing automation software is designed to assist humans in performing simple and repetitive tasks. This still necessitates configuring workflows around various scenarios and manually optimizing them using data. AI, on the other hand, uses data to mimic human intelligence and reasoning in order to make predictions, suggest optimizations, and apply them dynamically.
Combining automation and artificial intelligence gives you the best of both worlds: the efficiency and time savings of automation, as well as the ability to recommend and adjust the automation based on data-driven insights.
Here are a few examples of how AI can help with automation:
- Tools that create highly personalized subject lines or portions of emails within your email automation platform.
- Using historical data to improve lead scoring in a CRM.
Now that we’ve covered the broad themes, let’s look at how to apply them in the most common B2B marketing channels: SEO, PPC, social media, and email.
Email is one of the most effective ways to convert leads into customers. It’s quick, simple, and personalized. It’s frequently used in tandem with other marketing strategies, such as content marketing and social media marketing.
For example, if you sell software to businesses, you could use social media to pique their interest in your product and then follow up with them via email when they visit your website or download one of your free resources.
Have an SEO keyword funnel
Because B2B buyers are doing so much research these days and are not yet ready to buy, having organic content that ranks at every stage of their journey is critical.
This strategy is well covered in Backlinko’s guide to B2B SEO. They use the example of a logistics services company.
Here’s what we can deduce from this image:
- Top-of-funnel keywords are very tactical, such as how-tos to assist buyers in performing their roles effectively (and to help you facilitate the identification of pain points).
- As the buyer becomes more educated, middle-of-funnel keywords can begin to use more strategy-focused and comparison keywords.
- Bottom-of-funnel keywords are specific to what the buyer (now) knows they want (thanks to your education along the way).
There’s a lot more to keywords for B2B marketing (intent and location modifiers, for example), but this is an oversimplified version to get the gist.
Use emotion in your advertisements.
I can’t tell you how many articles claim that B2C marketing is based on emotion and B2B marketing is based on logic.(We’ve even done it ourselves.)
However, science indicates that all decisions, including B2B purchasing decisions, have an emotional component. Despite the fact that businesses spend more time carefully considering options and even have decision-making committees, these committees are still comprised of individuals.
In Google Ads, combine broad match keywords with audience targeting.
This isn’t exactly a novel strategy, but it’s especially significant given the farewell we bid to our modified broad friend earlier this year.
You can’t be certain that you’re targeting the exact right search query in your PPC campaigns without this keyword match type (and without the helpful information that used to be available to us in the search terms report). But you can be certain that you’re aiming for the right person.
You can capture a large audience of the right people by targeting broad match keywords with audience targeting. And, because B2B marketing primarily targets company decision-makers, this is especially beneficial.