As a growing B2B enterprise, you’ll know that competition within your industry is fierce. To stay ahead of the curve, you should be consistently growing your accounts, playing to your strengths and developing a watertight business plan for exponential growth; one that focuses on both progress and innovation. However, as a B2B enterprise, simply planning for your success isn’t enough. You need to be proactive in targeting and effectively reaching your prospective audience, all whilst keeping your competitors at bay.
Targeting the right audience with a tactical B2B marketing campaign requires a different approach to traditional marketing strategies. As the simplicity of the traditional business to consumer journey is replaced with the longer sales cycles and lead-generation pressures of a B2B journey, selling business to business is a completely different ball game.
Promoting industry-specific products and services to B2B buyers who have their own intricate knowledge and expectations to manage, can quickly leave B2B businesses struggling to advance. And this is where a strong B2B marketing strategy and the influence of b2b SEO agencies come into play.
What is a B2B Marketing Strategy/What Does it Consist of?
B2B Marketing (Business to Business Marketing) is the marketing of one organisation’s products or services with the intent of selling them to another. These marketing campaigns are specifically targeted at purchasers or those who are responsible for purchasing decisions within a company. In order to create and execute a successful B2B eCommerce strategy, you’ll need to consistently measure and improve your marketing efforts, identify your target audience accurately and incorporate multiple processes to stand apart from your competitors.
While becoming a B2B expert overnight is unlikely, there are multiple approaches you can implement today that will ensure you’re marketing directly to other businesses, effectively.
What are the biggest struggles facing B2B Marketers/Businesses today?
Understanding the challenges facing B2B businesses today can help enterprises pinpoint areas that may require more focus, giving them the insight to adjust and adapt their B2B eCommerce strategy, identify and convert more high-quality leads, and create a better B2B buyer experience
- Lead Generation: As the B2B customer journey is much more complex and lengthier, lead generation requires the building and nurturing of meaningful relationships over time. Producing relevant content, asserting yourself as an industry authority and B2B search engine optimisation will help
- Staying Ahead of the Competition: Keeping ahead of the competitive curve is difficult in any saturated market. Building connections with your target audience with engaging content will humanise your brand and help you earn the trust of your target market, giving you the edge.
- Brand Awareness: The stronger your brand is online, the more leads you’ll generate, however, industry saturation can make this difficult. Brand awareness is an important factor in both b2c and B2B e-commerce marketing strategies. Creating original content, being active on social media and launching targeted campaigns can boost awareness.
- Reaching your target audience: Failing to target your specific audience is a real headache for B2B marketers. By focusing on B2B search engine optimisation and creating a high-quality website, you can extend your reach and directly target your chosen audience.
How Do B2B Marketing Strategies Differ from B2C?
Understanding the fundamental difference between B2C and B2B e-commerce marketing strategies can help you make better marketing decisions, tailor your campaigns and target your specific audience effectively. Let’s take a look at the fundamentals, below:
Business to Business Marketing
B2B Marketing is targeted towards purchasers, buyers or anyone who has control or influence over the purchasing decisions within a company.
- Sales are driven by logic, and ROI. Creativity and storytelling are not necessarily required.
- B2B Purchasers are looking for direct solutions and long-term relationships with reliable suppliers.
Business to Consumer Marketing
B2C Marketing is targeted towards customers wanting to make a purchase for themselves (business-2-consumer). Businesses will directly market their products to individual consumers to suit their personal needs or desires.
- Sales are usually driven by emotion or entertainment, playing on what potential consumers want.
- B2C Consumers like to be informed but also seek out engaging content – that isn’t always related to the products – to make a purchase.
- B2C Consumers are looking for entertainment, deals, storytelling and don’t often have long term goals.
Just as the needs and interests of B2B businesses differ from B2C applications, so do B2C and B2B e-commerce marketing strategies. Ensuring that your website is reaching your target audience is a persistent pressure point for all B2B strategies, together with recognising the importance of maintaining a prominent online presence and staying one step ahead of your competitors, all these elements are inherently crucial to your B2B eCommerce strategy and economic success.
Understand the Importance of B2B Lead Generation
One of the most important factors of B2B Marketing is lead generation. A fundamental cog within the B2B machine, B2B lead generation is fundamental to the success of your business. Businesses use B2B lead generation to help them identify and initiate interest within potential businesses that may be interested in your services or products.
One of the most important aspects of B2B lead generation today is a fully optimised and well-designed website that builds interest and engagement around your services. When your website is optimised and is seen by the right people, you can convert these high-quality leads into customers whilst having the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with other organisations for long-term success.
Understand the Importance of B2B eCommerce
While a powerful and attractive website goes hand in hand with B2B Marketing, today, it’s not enough for companies to simply invest in and develop an informative company website, hoping that other businesses will engage with them and convert.
Purchasers want some of the same elements of a B2C experience, such as a convenient and fast-paced purchasing journey, fast checkout processes, prompt deliveries, order tracking and the option to order on repeat to keep up with their own business demands at will. Therefore, developing a powerful B2B e-Commerce website to compliment your B2B Lead generation strategy should be a priority for any business that is focused on economic growth. B2B eCommerce transforms the customer experience and increases revenue, not just for today, but also in the long term.
How to Optimise Your Website to Enhance your B2B Marketing Strategy and Reach Your Target Audience
Our checklist will help you optimise your B2B eCommerce strategy, and ensure your website is reaching your target audience effectively.
Keep Your Website in Peak B2B Condition
Is your target audience getting what they need from your website? The right website design and features can help visitors convert and give your B2B search engine optimisation a boost, giving you much better results in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
- Good navigation: When your B2B website is easy to navigate, visitors can access everything they need as quickly as possible. Working with other B2B purchasers often means that standards are high, so if purchasers can’t find what they need promptly, you’ll lose the sale. Website navigation should be a seamless and straightforward experience, the easier it is, the longer their dwell time and brand recognition will be. Keep pages clear and concise.
- Fully Optimised Pages: Optimising your product, landing and services pages would be a recommendation from all B2B SEO agencies. Ensure your site is full of unique and fresh content that is littered with keyword phrases used by B2B purchasers. Create descriptive meta titles and descriptions and tags, internal links and utilise inbound links to boost your B2B search engine optimization and to enhance the visitor experience.
- Backlinks From Authority Domains: Obtaining high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites can help build credibility within your industry and improve your SEO performance.
- Better CTAs: When your website is full of Call to Action prompts, you’ll encourage site visitors into your sales funnel and are more likely to see a conversion. Don’t make these CTAs difficult to find, place them throughout your site and encourage B2B buyers to make contact.
- Mobile Optimisation: Access to a fully optimised mobile site is good for your B2B search engine optimization, it also enhances the customer experience. A mobile optimised site isn’t a plus, it’s considered a necessity for your target audience.
- Website Monitoring: Understanding visitor behaviour can help you make better decisions and tailor your B2B eCommerce strategy effectively. Exploring your site metrics can help you see if your pages are matching your buyer persona, which pages have the highest bounce rates and dwell time and where your buyer journeys are taking your site visitors.
Utilise B2B Geotargeting
By using real-time data, B2B businesses can take a personalised approach to B2B marketing, effectively driving targeted audiences to your website with high levels of accuracy. Helping to gain a better understanding of your potential customers, you can reach your target market by gathering location-based data to customise your message and as a result, generate high-quality leads and conversions.
- Gaining Customer Insights: The collection of accurate location data helps businesses understand the spending and buying habits of their target audience. Giving you the data and insight you need to customize your marketing strategies. This is useful for the long term marketing efforts required for successful B2B marketing.
- Right Place, Right time Marketing: With geotargeting, you can easily amend your marketing approach and omit areas with limited prospects or irrelevant areas. Increasing the accuracy of your results and boosting ROI,
- Gaining Competitor Insights: Staying one step ahead of your B2B competition is easier when you know where and how your competitors are advertising and how you can adapt your own strategy. Geotargeting gives you this powerful insight.
A B2B Blog
Using a blog as part of your B2B search engine optimization will increase your brand awareness, the quality of your leads and your conversions. B2B buyers are looking to build long term relationships with the right B2B business, which means they’re looking for information about products and services, authority within their industry and most importantly a business they can trust. A blog on your site can help you achieve this.
- Increased Brand Awareness: A blog is a perfect way to expand your brand awareness and increase trust around your brand. Catching the attention of B2B buyers and prospective customers, with high quality and engaging content, your blog can educate and provide an insight into the inner workings of your brand.
- Increased Industry Authority: B2B purchasers are looking to do business with brands that have high levels of authority within their industry. From guides and statistics to educational content, if you can utilise backlinks within your content or have your content written about on other authoritative sites, then you can expect more B2B buyers to flock to your website.
- Improved Search Engine Rankings: Keyword-rich content and additional pages on your site can all increase your B2B search engine optimization. By using long-tail keywords within blog posts to help answer the questions your prospective customers are asking, you can drive targeted audiences to your site effectively.
- Unique Voice for Your Business: A blog can give your brand a voice and can highlight its human side increasing trust. This can make a real difference to prospective customers who are looking for long term relationships with respected and communicative brands.
- Goes Hand in Hand With Social Media Campaigns: A blog provides you with engaging and shareable content that can be utilised across all social media platforms, extending your reach and complimenting your social media campaigns.
Use LinkedIn to Boost Visibility
Utilising platforms such as LinkedIn to increase your website and brand exposure makes sense. LinkedIn is B2B-Centric, making it a hive of activity and potential leads for your B2B eCommerce strategy.
- Publish Blog Content On Your Profile: By posting each new blog post (see point above) as an article on LinkedIn, you can assert yourself as an authoritative expert within your industry. This not only gives you more visibility on the platform but including a link to your website can drive more traffic there and help you identify potential leads.
- Share Your Industry Expertise Within Discussion Groups: You can use LinkedIn to showcase your industry knowledge and as a result, increase brand and website awareness. You can answer questions people have, or ask questions yourself and share knowledgeable opinions and content with your target audience.
- Use LinkedIn’s User Demographics: Using LinkedIn, you can converse and interact with your chosen market and potential leads in one place. You’ll be able to showcase your brand to a captive audience and increase traffic to your site, effortlessly.
Use The Right Kind of Content
Implementing the right kind of content on your website can encourage targeted visitors to convert and keep you ahead of competitors. B2B SEO agencies recommend a variety of different content to keep visitors engaged and to keep your bounce rate low.
- Use Video Content: Video content is easily engaging, and is much more preferable to reams of text. It also allows viewers to leave comments and start discussions on your site and helps you to convey useful information in an engaging format. These are also shareable pieces of content that help extend the reach of your website.
- Buyer Guides: Guides are informative and provide the answers to the questions your target market is looking for. This kind of knowledge can easily set you aside from competitors, setting you apart as an industry expert and gaining trust from your audience.
- Infographics: Infographics are another easy way for your target audience to engage and digest useful information. These are also shareable pieces of content that help extend the reach of your website.
- Industry Reports: Sharing industry reports on your website, highlights that you’re keeping up with industry trends, and focusing on where your industry is headed next. Again, these open up the floor to discussions and are great pieces of content to share on social media.
- Reviews and Ratings: In both B2C and B2B e-commerce marketing strategies, site visitors and your target audience are looking for reassurance and signs that they can invest in your business. Sharing your reviews and ratings as content on your site can help you achieve this, increasing conversion rates and building meaningful relationships.
Now It’s Your Turn…
With so many ways to ensure your website is reaching your target audience, it’s hardly surprising that many B2B businesses reach out to a B2B SEO expert to help them optimise their sites fully. Hopefully, with our helpful guide and checklist, you can apply many of these B2B eCommerce strategies yourself and reap the rewards of an intricate and strategic B2B marketing approach.