B2B is not a musician, artist or the latest app to go viral. Sorry to disappoint.
B2B companies stand for Business to Business. It means their ideal target customers are other businesses and not consumers. Don’t be offended by it, their products just work with regular people like us. For example, do you need a crane? or roll off equipment?. Chances are no. However if you are in need of that equipment….you get my point.
Whether you are a business owner or a digital marketing agency, learning the important of B2B Marketing can help you in a variety of ways. Our goal for this article is to outline the the business model and importance of B2B Businesses.
B2B Company? Elaborate Please….
With Pleasure. As previously mentioned, B2B stands for business-to-business (B2B) where a business is looking to provide a service or product to other businesses. Their products are meant to help other companies in a variety of ways and improve their bottom line. We can provide all types of examples for this one but I think you get the point…
Let’s use the example of one of our good clients: Dump-Squad. They happen to be in the business of renting out Disposal Bins across Toronto, Canada. Their ideal clients: Construction Companies and Home Builders. Dump-Squad is a B2B Company
I know what you are thinking. It is a nice niche business that is specialized in a specific service. How in the world are they really going to “Sell” to other businesses. Let me start by saying – You have no idea how busy they have gotten thanks to our digital marketing efforts for them.
As you can see…they have invested heavily into SEO and PPC Campaigns which are time consuming but have paid off in the long run. B2B is a lot more common than you think. Some of the biggest companies in the world happen to be B2B Companies such as Dropbox, GE and Xerox.
So if a B2B company is to successful, they must have a great product right?. Of Course. Know what else they need? Exceptional customer service and loyalty that can significantly help their clients. But who then are clients of B2B companies you ask? Other Business of course!
B2B’s Target Audience?
B2B Customers are basically other businesses. Now they are hard to define because businesses come in all shapes and sizes. Unlike their counterpart, B2C (Business to Consumer) where people are the ultimate target audience, B2B Customers come in all forms. Businesses can vary in size from Joe the Plumber on main street to Apple purchasing parts for their iPhone from another business. Instead of marketing directly to the consumer, B2B businesses have to strategically reach out to other businesses.
A Business owner or decision maker will only purchase a B2B Product if it is in the best interest of the company. Therefore, marketing plans as a B2B business must be outlined clearly and engaging. As we have covered the basics of a B2B company, let’s take a look at some of the strategies used by Digital Marketers to market their product. Our goal is to outline the various marketing tactics as well as use example of successful B2B Companies!
Digital Marketing Basics: B2B Companies
B2B companies need to sell their product or service to other businesses. Great. Now what? Time to build a concise and precise marketing plan that will outline their digital marketing strategies. As complicated as Digital Marketing for B2B companies is, it’s simple to get caught up a couple of campaigns and strategies.
The best way to create an effective digital marketing campaign is through trial and error as all businesses are different and have different needs
However, here are some key points that may help you building your digital marketing strategy:
Define your Audience
Yes. We get it. Other businesses are your target audience. However, you must outline specifically the TYPES OF BUSINESSES that you want to target. Let’s use the example of Dump-Squad above. We specifically targeted construction companies, home builders, roofers and landscapers in order to drive in RELEVANT traffic.
Can you imagine what would happen if we went ahead and targeted Pizza Stores, Mechanic Shops or perhaps an ice cream store? The results would have been devastating and we would have blown their budget while getting fired! All businesses are not the same and it is important to define your audience. Also did not intend on making anyone hungry by mention Pizza and Ice Cream…Sorry guys.
Similar to any marketing plan you may have done, outlining who you are going after is crucial to your success. If you ignore this step, you might as well no do thing because you are wasting time. All B2B marketing strategies (good ones) have a target audience outlined.
Marketing to all businesses as you can see is a complete waste of time. Focus on your target. Refine them. Build Relationships through amazing customer service and loyalty pricing. Less is always more…even in the B2B Digital Marketing world.
Don’t spread yourself too thin…like pizza sauce. Ok. I will stop. Promise. I couldn’t help look at that goodness above. You get the point though. Be focused, precise and know exactly where each dollar goes.
Create Context and Content for your Target Audience
You know who you are targeting. We know what to do. Time to create content? Correct. Time to create content. In the case of Dump-Squad, we built a lot of content focused on home renovation attracting several contractors in the area. Once they see and believe that you are and authority in your industry, chances are they are more likely to choose your B2B company. Human instinct is such that we like to trust what we see (Atleast at first glance) and B2B Digital Marketers are experts at this. The content you create again has to be RELEVANT and helpful towards your target audience.
As is the case with any sales, you need to give the buyer what they want. But what if they don’t know they want it yet? Create the demand. Remember that scene from the Wolf of Wall Street?
Stand out from the competition. Give your target audience what they want.
Learn what they want and give it to them. Simple. You don’t need to follow your competition, you want to beat them!.
More Quality Content
Now that you know what works, do more of it. Content is king and that goes for any industry in the world. B2B Company or B2C Company, content is king.
Mentioned above was the importance of RELEVANT content but not the type of content needed. Different forms of B2B companies need to create different forms of content based on their target audience. Therefore the first key element of all content marketing is to create awareness. Why do they want to choose your company over your competition? All content must be educational based on a set of keywords around the niche of your business.
Some of the most common form of Quality Content:
- RELEVANT Blog posts and articles on your website
- Guest Posts on other blogs
- Featured articles on established platform like Forbes, Huntington Post etc.. (if applicable)
- Testimonials from your existing customers.
- Reviews about your business.
Once you have established your brand awareness, its time to offer up your Unique Proposition. Clients more than likely will want to know your story and facts about your organization. If you cannot provide them with a reason of what sets you apart, you don’t believe in your own brand and should therefore not sell that product to anyone!
Businesses needs tend to change from time to time. Therefore, your client list will continue to evolve as well. What happens in the mechanic shop mentioned above needs to renovate their shop? They need a bin. Dump-Squad is the answer. Always keep an eye out for changes around you either in your product or client base.
Just because a business doesn’t need your service currently, does not mean they don’t need it in the future.
All digital marketing strategies should be scalable. You want to maximize the ROI (Return on Investment) on every dollar spent. Effective scaling is one of the biggest reasons why B2B companies and all companies in general are able to survive and thrive.
If you ask any start up entrepreneur what their plan is to market their business, 80% of the time you will hear the words – Social Media. Believe us. We hear this all the time. So what’s wrong with that answer? Everything.
While Social Media is awesome in several ways, marketing for B2B might not be one of them.
A lot of B2B businesses believe Social media is the answer for two reasons – lack of exposure and because it is “cool”. Know what’s not cool? Losing money. Name the last time you saw an ad for heavy duty equipment on Instagram? or that Heavy Duty Tractor you have always wanted?
You get my point. Social Media is important but it is not the optimal method to market your B2B Business. Obviously the answer will vary based on your product. More often than not though, Social media is not optimal for B2B campaigns as it is very difficult to pin point your target audience.
That being said, Social Media is not all that bad. Moderation is key is all we are saying…..
B2B Companies That Are Killing It and Why
These are some of the thought leaders and golden examples of B2B businesses!
WeWork is a company that founded in 2010. The company focuses on shared office spaces for entrepreneurs of all sizes. Their website is the ultimate tool to market their business. While they have a strong social media presence, it is nowhere near the amount of money invested into their SEO Campaign.
While their digital marketing efforts are clearly working, so is their product and commitment to their clients. They encourage open spaces and are trying to sell “healthier workplace” and “the workplace of tomorrow”
They have done an incredible job establishing themselves in this real estate niche. Based on their past and current clients, WeWork has insider knowledge about the ins and out of what different companies need at different stages. They are using this information to their advantage and appealing to business owners from all backgrounds. They know what their clients need and they are providing it. Like that dude who sold the pen to Leonardo Di Caprio.
If you are a small business, they really appeal to your need for cost effectiveness, flexibility and style. If you are a medium sized business, they appeal maybe the lower overheads and multiple location functionality. If you are a large enterprise, the comfort and proximity to their workforce might be another selling point. What their customers need, they provide. Hence they are successful.
Invision is a company focused on digital product design to create the world’s best customer experience. They work with some of the biggest companies in the world such as Amazon, Netflix and Spotify. Can you even imagine the types of sales pitch it took to convince Amazon that they are the right fit? Crazy.
As is the case with several other B2B businesses, Invision is heavily invested in several digital marketing platforms such as SEO and Adwords.
Obviously they have done something right in order to land all these big clients. They have a very niche specific product and they are doing a fantastic job with their customer service.
Workday is an American company that provides on-demand Financial Management and Human Capital Software. As the world continues to evolve companies like Workday become more and more crucial in helping other B2B companies expand and thrive around their competition.
Salesforce is one of the largest B2B companies in the world and continues impress with its growth. As you can see, SEO tends to be one of the largest ways for B2B businesses to market with. Not the biggest fan of their product but clearly they are doing something right with numbers like these.
LinkedIn needs no explanation. It happens to be one of the biggest platforms for professionals to network and grow. LinkedIn might be the one exception when it comes to Social Media Marketing for B2B Companies.
Why? Because it appeals to the masses and is something everyone needs in order to optimize their network and career growth. Hence, Social media campaign is very relevant to their business.
The company ensured that people feel a “need” for it. Looking for a new job? Chances are you have a LinkedIn profile and have updated it. Therefore, this company deserves to be one of the biggest companies in the world.
What do they have in common?
Amazing Digital Marketing Strategies
All businesses that we have highlighted above have amazing digital marketing strategies along with a niche product. Majority of them do not have the need for major Social Media campaigns in order to achieve this success. They have all given other businesses solutions they need for the problems they have. Supple and Demand. Similar to Sages Marketing, they are there to help companies like yours succeed. We have worked with countless number of B2B Businesses and have implemented successful campaigns over the years.
All B2B businesses only succeed when they are able to make lives for their clients easier and more efficient. In the event you are a startup B2B business owner and are struggling with ideas to market your business, think about how you can help them! It all starts with a demand for your product.
Digital Marketing for B2B.
In Conclusion, you now know a thing of two about the needs of B2B Marketing. Everything mentioned here is obviously not applicable to all cases. However, it is just meant as a solid guide.
Additionally, if you are in need of B2B Marketing help, you can always contact us and we take care of it for you!