B2B marketing, as with other traditional marketing strategies, requires proper research and planning to craft a marketing strategy that will work to attract the right prospects, and create loyal customer evangelists.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the key components to incorporate in a B2B marketing plan that will help you generate measurable ROI and establish your brand as the one to trust for the B2B buyer.
What Is B2B Marketing?
Simply put, B2B marketing is marketing to businesses that sell to other businesses. Oftentimes there can be multiple stakeholders you have to get on board before a purchase can be made.
This inevitably can complicate the B2B marketing process and may make the sale cycle even longer. In some instances, when more than one decision-maker is involved, sales reps should have to use highly personalized sales messaging that speaks to each specific persona’s pain points.
For example, within the same B2B company, the pain points of the CEO may be very different than for the IT Manager. The B2B sales rep will have to understand both (all) pain points and might have to speak to the challenges of each buyer to close a deal.
The key here is to understand your prospect(s) and leverage B2B marketing as a way to meet them where they are by addressing their most pressing needs and helping them see your product as the solution they’ve been looking for.Read this #GUIDE and learn the key elements of a #B2B marketing campaign with @GoVengreso's CVO @LinkedInExpert! ⤵️#modernselling #B2Bmarketing #marketing Click To Tweet
What is the Main Difference Between B2B and B2C Marketing?
The main difference between B2B and B2C marketing, as mentioned above, is the customers they serve. B2C marketing strategies are geared toward pitching or advertising products to the individual consumer or the general public. As mentioned, B2B marketing is selling products or services to a business audience.
In addition, the platforms used to reach potential customers can differ between B2B and B2C marketing. B2C customers are often easier to find using social media platforms, and advertisements online on consumer channels like Hulu or even radio.
B2B customers are often found or engaged on professional online platforms such as LinkedIn, through trade shows, via outbound sales calls, marketing automation, webinars, or email marketing.
In both cases, you might also see advertisements for B2C or B2B through mediums like billboards, strategic products or brand placement in large venues like a stadium.
And one can’t forget other digital best practices like writing blog posts, sharing case studies, creating white papers, B2B-focused videos, and other mediums that can be shared across multiple channels in an omnichannel approach.
What Can a B2B Marketer Learn from B2C Marketers?
As mentioned previously, with B2B customers, there may be multiple key decision makers for sales teams to meet with before a purchase is made. This can add more complexity to the process making the sales cycle possibly even longer than that of the B2C consumer.
Naturally, the question emerges: What can a B2B marketer learn from B2C marketers?
The answer: B2B marketers must learn how to master personalization.
A B2C marketer must personalize touch points in the prospect’s journey, whether digital or analog, to move them to want to buy. This same strategy can be used for B2B marketers as well as they try to engage multiple stakeholders who may have slightly varying motivations, needs, and interests.
7 Quintessential B2B Marketing Strategies
When it comes to an effective B2B strategy, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that works. Instead, it is important to tailor both your global marketing & B2B product marketing strategy to fit your ideal B2B buyer. Once you know their pain points, their needs, and their struggles, you can use this data to personalize your marketing outreach and marketing campaigns.
Although a custom marketing plan is essential, there are some specific ways that you can create and execute a winning marketing channel strategy.
The first step is to get clear on where the pain points are of your ideal prospect. What keeps them up at night? What have they struggled to solve? What gaps are they trying to fill in their organization?
These are questions to consider so you have a solid understanding of where your prospect is in their problem before they connect with you (or any other solution provider). From there, sales leaders want to map out the type of businesses that would benefit from their services or products that are currently experiencing the pain points or challenges outlined.
The more research a B2B marketer does, the more successful he or she will be at creating the correct campaigns to target the right buyers, driving home the right value statements that mean something to the prospect. A very common mistake B2B marketers make is not addressing the pain points of their prospects which makes them less likely to see the urgency in getting on a sales call.
2: Make your business easier to find online
Search engine research has found that 97% of people will look a business up online first, before deciding to reach out or to buy a B2B product. This is why having an online presence is key in being able to attract, retain, and engage with your ideal B2B company. Additionally, it’s a good idea to include geographically specific search terms in your website copy and in ads, if you serve B2B companies within a localized area or region.
Online marketers have also discovered that 46% of people search for local business information, further proving that having a website, or at a minimum a Google business profile, is an important digital marketing tool.
The power of the internet can help B2B companies target their ideal customers and increase both inbound web traffic to their site as well as increase the number of inbound leads in their sales pipeline.
As mentioned above, Search Engine Optimization is a crucial player in many B2B marketing strategies. They use keywords to help consumers find solutions to what they are looking for on the internet.
If you want your clients to find your website with ease, Google keyword SEO management is a must. The more relevant keywords you have, the easier it becomes for your brand to be found with a search engine.
It’s important to think about how potential businesses may search for your B2B offering – both on traditional engines and through voice-activated searches.
In some cases, the keywords a business may use could be slightly different if they are typing into a Google browser, versus using a voice-activated assistant like Siri.
According to Google, the average B2B customer conducts at least 12 searches online before engaging with a B2B brand to make a purchase. The higher you can continue to rank, the higher the likelihood that your brand will be continually positioned in front of ready-to-buy B2B customers.
Also, keep in mind that 50% of the content you create and post online helps to generate B2B brand awareness and highlights your credibility or thought leadership within the larger marketplace, and this could help you to increase your B2B sales.
The Pillar Cluster Model
For SEO we recommend you focus on a pillar-cluster SEO model.
Think of it as creating expertise around the main topic that generally has a large keyword search volume.
Then you research to determine all of the associated phrases, questions, and smaller keywords that could “roll-up” to it.
As you build the search out, make sure to interlink your clusters to your pillar article. This tells Google how to properly associate your blog articles to your pillar blog page and begins to give “weight” to the pillar keyword.
Minuttia’s topic cluster case study shows that relying on search volume alone might not be a good idea when it comes to the kind of pages you want to create — if your blog/ subtopic with those associated phrases and keywords are related to your core topic, then there is a need to create a relevant cluster page.
In the image below, you can see our pillar topic is “Sales Manager” which has a Google KW search volume of over 8,100 users. All of the important cluster topics that are related surround the pillar topic.
The green lines mean that somewhere in that article there is an interlink made from the cluster article to the pillar page.
2: Avoid the red lines when creating your clusters as they might confuse your audience and draw traffic away from your site.#B2B marketing requires specific #strategies, tools, and influencer tactics to work. 💡 See what's driving #sales in the hyper-competitive B2B #marketplace @LinkedInExpert Click To Tweet
However, it’s important to note that SEO, when used as an online marketing strategy, must go well beyond just keywords. B2B marketers will want to also take advantage of other SEO aspects such as:
Core Web Vitals have three key metrics that help score the user experience when interacting with a website. Components such as page loading speed, mobile usability as well as a secured URL (using HTTPS) are all important factors that search engines consider when ranking a website.
Generally, the higher the score assigned to your web vitals, the faster the website is likely to load and, generally, the better the user experience.
This also influences the ranking, because browser platforms (like Google) give preference to websites that are easy for people to navigate when searching for the information they’re looking for. You can check your Core Web Vitals on Google Search Console.
How your website is structured and how pages are linked to one another is an often overlooked component that influences a website’s ranking.
It is preferred to have a website architecture that makes it seamless for search engine crawlers to find the content on your website to be able to rank it high for B2B businesses that may be searching for your information.
The goal of your website arrangement is to enable easy navigation for both web visitors and for search engines to find the information they’re looking for. You should also focus on choosing the best-managed WordPress hosting and proper domain name to be found more easily.
This can be achieved by taking a highly-intentional and strategic approach to how you structure the hierarchy of your website. This is an important component as it will let search engines know what type of content you are featuring, how your pages are connected, and how to rank your website for various keyword queries.
In addition, these ‘hierarchical signals’ give web visitors a roadmap to navigate through your website and it enables search engines to find, index, and display your web content correctly and prominently on search engine results pages.
To effectively plan your website structure, it’s essential to consider:
- How URLs are created
- How navigation menus are designed
- How content is categorized
- How internal links are used
As you can imagine, credibility is an essential criterion for a B2B audience to feel comfortable buying online or engaging with a brand.
As such, backlinks from reputable websites that link to your content can help to drive higher brand awareness and engagement. The key is to have quality backlinks that can send traffic to your website and that search engines like Google or Bing will be able to use to improve your search engine query rankings.
These are just a few SEO-specific B2B marketing strategies that can be used to help businesses increase their website traffic and grab larger market share in the online B2B marketplace.
Within Vengreso we have created minimum criteria when looking for sites that could backlink to us. We recommend you set your minimum criteria as well. We have categorized links in two buckets when we are searching for sites that we would want to backlink to us. Here are our two buckets and the minimum criteria:
Your social media presence is essential. In a recent survey carried out by SproutSocial, online marketers found that 83% of B2B marketers have used social media to promote their products and services successfully.
B2B social media marketing requires the B2B marketer and seller to be as social media savvy as possible. According to SproutSocial, an estimated 3.6 billion people are on social media, a number projected to grow to 4.41 billion in the next four years.
Social media grants businesses access to the entire world. Research has proven that after following a brand’s social media page, 91% of consumers will click to visit the company’s website.
As a B2B marketer, having a digital or online presence is absolutely necessary. Whether it is a well-maintained website, an active LinkedIn company page, or a social media page that has a lot of interaction – if you’re not online, you’re invisible to the B2B customer.
For B2B marketers, using more professional social networks such as LinkedIn (and leveraging their employees’ LinkedIn profiles and advocacy) are often better for integrating your B2B content marketing strategy with your social media strategy.
It is designed as a professional space for key decision-makers, so leveraging the search tools and advertising options on LinkedIn can be an effective way for B2B marketers to get and stay in front of the key stakeholders that may already be looking for their business’ products and services.B2B marketing requires specific strategies, tools, and influencer tactics to work. See what's driving sales in the hyper-competitive B2B [email protected] Click To Tweet
4: B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy
B2B influencer marketing utilizes Influencers, thought experts, and subject matter experts within your business, industry, or market. Their expertise, as authors, speakers, and analysts lends credibility when promoting your business or product.
B2B influencer marketing is becoming increasingly common in the B2B space. Influencers use their connections and active networks within the market to promote your business and achieve your business goals.
74% of B2B marketers have found that working with has vastly increased their client base.
To find an influencer within your domain or industry you might consider leveraging Onalytica.
5: B2B Digital Marketing Funnel
A B2B marketing funnel is often aligned with the B2B Buyer’s Journey and follows the stages from Awareness to Consideration to Purchase. Whether targeting individual consumers or an entire business or company, the sales cycle and buyer’s journey can tuck neatly into the Digital Marketing Funnel.
The marketing funnel is often split into these parts:
- Top of the funnel or TOFU: the stage where clients are found and you begin to nurture them.
- Middle of the funnel or MOFU: the stage where leads are marketing qualified as buyers which meet your ICP and who must be cultivated as there is a possible interest that could warrant a sales engagement.
- Bottom of the funnel: the stage at which an expressed interest has been demonstrated and it must be cultivated and turned into a sale
- Customer evangelists: the point where clients are persuaded to do business with you again and are willing to refer you to their peers.
To be a marketing leader, an action plan must be developed around each stage in order to generate revenue and draw clients new and old.
What is a B2B Sales Funnel?
Very similar to the B2C sales funnel where you reach out directly to consumers to buy, the B2B sales funnel has multiple steps that take the B2B prospect through several stages to move them toward making a purchase.
B2B prospects may be aware of their problem and may be actively looking for solutions online. In this way, you can attract them to your website by highlighting the pain points your company solves as well as the types of organizations that you work with.
Your marketing team can leverage marketing content such as paid ads, social media posting, blog posts, case studies, or email marketing to gain stay in front of your ideal audience or buyers so that they can become aware that you are a potential solution for their needs. Your ultimate goal? To convert web visitors into a qualified sales lead!
Once the B2B prospect has established that your product may solve their problem, they’re more likely to reach out either through email or phone.
From there, it is important to provide detailed information that has a call to action (CTA) to move them along the B2B buyer’s journey. Once sales is involved we teach these sales messages to leverage the PVC Sales Methodology to construct the framework of each message.
- Personalize to your buyer, audience, consumer or buyer persona
- Add value by addressing their needs, fears, desires or challenges.
- Use a CTA or Call to Action to get your buyers to take the next step
By giving your potential customers the opportunity to download an e-book or sign up for a webinar, you can encourage them to engage directly with your company. This is a highly effective way to establish a funnel for lead generation.
When you have generated interest, leveraging the contact information provided is a great way to start nurturing the relationship.
For B2B prospects, this may require multiple follow-ups or touch points to get the prospect to take the next step toward either scheduling a sales meeting or making the final purchase decision.
In fact, here at Vengreso, our sales team uses a 12-step nurturer process. By the time our sales team has completed that 12-step outreach, our b2b buyers are sales qualified and ready to at least take a call from our sellers.
Now, with the prospects aware and interested in your product or service, it’s important to give them the information they may need to consider moving forward with buying your product or service.
This could be achieved by providing live demos of your product or service or through the use of webinars or virtual training. In this way, B2B prospects can get a feel for what you offer before they make the final decision.
During this phase, however, most forget the most important thing… It’s not what your product does or does not do, it’s how you make the buyer feel when it comes to solving their need or pain.
At this stage, the B2B prospect is ready to commit. As we would expect, today’s modern buyer would have likely engaged and received approval from other decision-makers, if applicable.
They may need some additional reassurances that they’re making the right decision, so check-in points or reiterating key benefits of your product can be helpful to provide this peace of mind.
Additionally, providing specification sheets and relating those specs to their stated requirements and providing client testimonials can also add more credibility to their decision.Find out the quintessential strategies you need for successful B2B marketing with @LinkedInExpert Viveka von Rosen Click To Tweet
B2B Marketing Channels
B2B marketing channels are used to generate leads for your product or service. Hopefully, these leads attract new clients.
It’s also important to note that not all of these channels work for every company.
Some of the standard channels you as a B2B marketer could use in your strategy are:
- Making use of B2B content marketing
- Sending direct mail to prospective clients
- Advertising your product or service at trade shows (make sure to follow the advertising statistics in your industry)
- Utilizing the power of email marketing strategy
- B2B video marketing
- Account-Based Marketing
- Account-Based Podcasting
- Account-Based Blogging
B2B Video Marketing Simplified
One area I like to highlight is our B2B video marketing. You don’t have to be huge or mighty to be effective in this area. In fact, our YouTube following has grown from zero to 5,000 followers in just 4.5 years because we’ve been dedicated to making videos!
Take a look at this video here which advertises FlyMSG, our newest sales mess
aging and productivity tool. You’ll get the idea of what we’ve done with video to make a giant impact:
Account Based Podcasting a Form of Account-Based Marketing
One of the areas of B2B Marketing that Vengreso has excelled at is Account Based Podcasting. What do I mean by that?
We very strategically target the accounts we wish to engage with, and key sales and marketing leadership within those accounts, to be guests on our Modern Selling podcast and Modern Sales Mastery show.
Using this marketing strategy we’ve closed millions of dollars in service contracts with companies ranging from the Fortune 200 to companies with as few as 15 salespeople.
It’s a win/win situation as our guests get exposure to our global audience and the mega reach of approximately 50M sales and marketers each year. They get to share their expertise and thought leadership within their peer community. They get to know us better and we get to know them better. This is the first step in the trust building process.
Inevitably, this makes it easy to transition the marketing conversation into a sales conversation. In fact, they will often proactively ask us how we can help them and/or what we do!
What Is Target Market Identification?
Now that we have covered the general ideas and concepts you may deal with in crafting your B2B marketing tactics, it’s time to discuss how to make a viable B2B marketing plan.
First, it’s essential to note that a strategy is not the same as listing out possible action plans. The process should be simple but effective, and consider all of the possibilities and obstacles that may occur.
For the strategy, some important points to keep in mind are:
- An understanding of where your business stands in the market
- Your target audience – who they are and what they want
- Gaps in meeting the target market’s needs
- Setting clear B2B sales goals and metrics
- The tactics you plan on using to implement your B2B marketing strategy
As a B2B marketer and B2B market influencer, you must carefully plan out your strategy and tailor it to fit your B2B marketing funnel and give it the ability to be as versatile as possible.
Without careful consideration and proper organization, your marketing plan will not generate the ROI you need to be successful.
What Are the Elements of a Good Marketing Mix?
Having a multi-channel approach to your B2B marketing campaign is vital if you want to have a winning B2B business marketing strategy that will help you make a B2B sale. The campaign acts as a systematic approach to help get to the end goal.
The campaign could include your business being promoted on social media and being plugged into specific advertising campaigns. You could also use it to create a buzz around an existing or new product or even used to rebrand an older product.
A leader in this market should consider the following:
- A straightforward design and description of your selling points will help your business and product stand out as it helps clients see what you have to offer instead of a vague description of what is being offered.
- Research is an important part of the plan. You need to understand the marketplace so you know how your product can fill any gaps in the market.
- A B2B marketer generally has much to offer, and as a marketing leader, your niche has already been found. What’s needed now is to properly execute your plan to make good use of what you’ve found.
- Is there a rebrand in the books? You may find that the current version of your product may be a bit outdated. Find a way around this by considering a rebranding or relaunch of products, new or old.
- Create a cohesive workflow. The B2B marketing funnel is essential in this aspect of the campaign. Make sure you understand where the campaign is going.
- Finally, set realistic and achievable goals. Understandably, you as a market leader have all the resources to make any plan go as smoothly as planned, but consider smaller goals to make sure that every planned and unplanned detail is brought to fruition correctly.
6: B2B Content Marketing for B2B Marketers
B2B content marketing uses your business content to grow the brand and expand your business to those who have yet to hear about it.
This process uses content or services such as stories in the news, blogs that are well known, trade shows, influencer advertising, etc., to promote your business. For a B2B market leader, having a well-executed B2B marketing campaign makes for a successful end.
The best way to market content towards another business instead of a target audience or consumer is usually what’s easily accessible to potential clients, such as products being promoted, making use of promotion at trade shows, or on a well-known business blog.
In addition, B2B market researchers found that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a B2B business that provides live video demos or other information-based content about how the product works before having to make the final purchasing decision.
7: B2B Marketing Strategy and KPIs
B2B marketing key performance indicators or B2B marketing KPIs are used to review the performance of your current strategy, and to know whether or not it’s being successful. This includes the effectiveness of your B2B marketing campaign and should show how the B2B marketing funnel works in terms of executing the process. Some common KPIs are:
- Revenue closed-won is at the top
- Daily or monthly website traffic coming from your potential buyers
- The products click-through-rate
- Lead-to-customer conversion rate
- Clients that have risen due to marketing
- Clients that have been around for a while
- How long the product or service will last
- How well the product is performing on the open market
In a recent Vengreso poll, 78% of marketing counterparts in sales agree that marketing teams should be held to achieving specific sales quotas to quantify their success.
Often quotas are not associated with marketing and instead are assigned to sales teams. However, the effectiveness of marketing has to be tied back to specific data to determine if marketing teams are hitting the mark to move the company forward toward their B2B sales goals.A successful B2B marketing strategy must be well-researched and executed with precision. Learn more from @LinkedinExpert Click To Tweet
B2B Marketing Examples Using LinkedIn
People STILL think of LinkedIn as a recruiting tool. But savvy and sophisticated B2B marketers know that LinkedIn, with its many branding and content features, makes it a great tool for B2B Marketing.
Some best B2B Marketing Best Practices.
How can a B2B company best use LinkedIn in the creation and dissemination of their B2B content? And how do we enable our employees, B2B marketers, and sales teams to use and amplify that content in a meaningful way?
Many people assume B2B marketing on LinkedIn is about company pages and ads. But LinkedIn is an excellent medium for both personal and company B2B marketing.
The content you create on LinkedIn; updates, native video, articles, and even LinkedIn Live, can be used to create greater awareness, attract new leads and hopefully encourage engagement. These are known as inbound marketing practices.
And it can also be used when reaching out to new prospects utilizing outbound techniques like messaging, InMails, and even replying to someone on a group or in an update.
When creating content, you can either create new, fresh content specifically for LinkedIn or repurpose existing content.
LinkedIn supports digital written, graphic, and video content.
Free content features on LinkedIn include native video, updates, Lives, and articles on your profile, shared links and media in group discussions, and company page updates, and native video.
LinkedIn also supports paid content sharing through InMails and ads. B2B marketing on
LinkedIn is not an either/or situation. You will likely find yourself using a blend of articles, updates, and video shared on your company page and by your employees, publicly and privately.
The best practice is to find a practice that works for your B2B company.
The Necessity of Aligning Sales and Marketing Efforts on LinkedIn
Aligning your sales and marketing efforts is crucial to the success of your LinkedIn Initiative. Collectively, your employees are going to have a MUCH bigger reach than your Company page. So you must try and engage your employees in your B2b LinkedIn Marketing.
That being said, it is NOT reasonable to expect your B2B employees to market for you on LinkedIn if you don’t give them the resources, training, and most importantly, an understanding of why they need to be active.
I believe that bringing marketing and sales together starts with the C-Suite. The more value marketing demonstrates, the more buy-in and therefore the more budget you’ll receive.
From brand awareness to prospect engagement and client retention, B2B marketers should be creating content to support Sales while they engage with prospects in the Buyer’s Journey.
5 Best Practices to Customize your Company Page Updates for More Engagement
Let’s take a look at the most obvious LinkedIn B2B Marketing feature – company page posts.
Your employees may not feel like updates are an important part of their social efforts. However, consistent sharing of posts on Company pages has a marketing ROI of expanded awareness and potentially a sales ROI of increased positive sentiment and engagement.
It simply comes down to this: companies that share content more often have greater visibility which could result in more business.
Unfortunately, a lot of B2B companies don’t even post on their company pages. Or they’ll just share job posting, ignoring the marketing potential entirely. And the B2B marketers who do post to their company pages, usually just share short tweet-like posts. But there is so much more you can do to make your digital posts interesting and engaging.
Good Examples of B2B Posts
In addition to uploading media assets or sharing a link to the article, you’ll want to spend some time describing the post. In fact, you have 1200 characters, so use them!
The Anatomy of a Good Long Form Post looks like this:
- Address your prospects by title or industry. (Personalize to buyer persona)
- Tell them what’s in the asset you’ve shared. (Add value with a PDF, PPT, link, video, etc)
- Add #Hashtags for find-ability
- Add emojis for visual interest
- @mention relevant companies or people
- If you have an image, tag relevant people
- Don’t forget a call to action to drive people to the link, video, or Document.
It may seem like a lot of effort for one little update, but taking just a few minutes more might garner significantly more engagement than that quick short post.
You don’t have to do it every time you post, but I would recommend creating a long-form post at least once a week. Although if you have the content and the time, daily is better!
Are You Hitting Your Marketing Goals?
A successful B2B marketing strategy must be well-researched and executed with precision in order to achieve the ROI you need to fuel the sales engine. As you can see, there are a number of unique strategies you can use and several considerations to take into account to create a B2B marketing plan that works for your target market.
The goal is to be open-minded to pivot as you get more market insights, so that you can rest assured that the B2B marketing strategies you’re using are optimized and generating the level of results you want for your business.
If you find that it is hard to identify, engage, or close B2B buyers, we can help!
Our innovative, virtual sales training programs will give you the proven sales strategies and tools you need to increase your B2B outreach effectiveness.
Tired of taking a “pray and spray” approach to your B2B marketing strategy?
Then the Modern Sales Mastery can give you incredible insights into what to do to get better results.