“Business-to-business” marketing, also commonly referred to as B2B or trade marketing, is the act of marketing one business’ services or products to other organizations rather than to an individual consumer. B2B ads can range anywhere from office supplies and furniture to services like consulting or cleaning services.
Since the purchase of B2B goods or services are less driven by impulse and want as compared to Business-to-Consumer (B2C), it’s crucial to recognize what specific need you are marketing to and how you can satisfy that need consistently. B2B purchases require a lot more thought and evaluation because companies usually have a defined process to decide what products they are buying and who they are buying them from because of outlined budgets and necessary approval from management.
Although B2B and B2C marketing have some similarities, organizations tend to overlook the creativity and personal aspects of these ads. This can be detrimental, and companies must remember, even though they are trying to get the sale from the business, they are still marketing to real people with real emotions.
There are many different B2B marketing methods, and companies must choose the right ones for their brand to reach the audience they desire. Below are some B2B advertising methods companies use the most.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Organic and paid social media posts are both excellent at facilitating a relationship between potential and existing clients. B2B purchasers regularly use social media to evaluate potential vendors, so having a strong and enticing presence on various platforms can prove to be very successful for your business. With LinkedIn being the most effective social media platform for B2B marketers, professionals should consider utilizing the various marketing features it offers like sponsored content, lead generation forms, dynamic ads, insight tags, and sponsored InMail.
EMAIL AND BLOGGING
You’ve no doubt heard that blogging is crucial to maximize your search engine optimization and increase your website’s traffic. B2B marketers can’t overlook this factor because the more people clicking on your website, the more potential clients for your company. Email will always be around, and B2B marketers should take advantage of having this customer information to maintain relationships with existing clients while also reaching out to new ones. To avoid ending up in the spam folder along with hundreds of other advertisements, many professionals use LinkedIn InMail, which allows you to send personalized messages to members on LinkedIn, even if you aren’t connected.
Creating and showcasing your brand’s identity is essential to a good B2B marketing campaign. As mentioned before, there are real humans behind the logo of the company your marketing to, so brand awareness is still one of the most important concepts to consider. Television and radio spots provide an effective platform to showcase your brand and explain how your products will fulfill a company’s needs better than your competitor. Video ads on other platforms, whether it be blogs, emails, or social media, are becoming increasingly more popular and valued by B2B consumers. The key decision-makers within businesses crave effortless and quick access to information that will help guide their decisions that videos can fulfill. Videos allow companies to grasp the attention of buyers and develop an emotional connection to the brand.
Every company is different and will choose various advertising platforms, but each and every one should follow these key steps to achieve their desired results.
1. FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL
Going into any advertising campaign on a whim is never a good idea, and this remains especially true for B2B advertising. Instead, setting clear and measurable goals then using these goals to create a game plan will prove to be successful for your company and allow your campaign to run seamlessly.
2. KNOW YOUR MARKET
B2B organizations must clearly define and target their audience. Unlike B2C products, which are marketed toward a broader audience, B2B goods are typically marketed to a defined group of consumers who have specific needs and challenges. Identifying your audience will allow you to create relevant and targeted ads to facilitate a sale.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CHANNEL
Depending on the product or service you are marketing and who you are marketing to, some platforms will be more effective than others. Asking yourself questions about where the buyers spend most of their time online or what type of events they frequent will guide you to the right platform for conveying your message the most clearly and effectively.
4. CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE
Consistently measuring how well your content performs and using this data to adapt will allow you to keep pushing out your advertisements to the right people in the right places. A strategy that incorporates continuous improvement provides essential grounds for the success of your campaign and product.
Well thought out and clear marketing plans are vital to a B2B sale because of the nature of this market. Companies are advertising to schools, government agencies, hospitals, and many other large institutions that are often repeat clients, so developing and maintaining a solid relationship with these entities is crucial to the success of your organization.