Integrating Digital Marketing into the B2B Sales Mix
Marketing for B2Bs has never been easy. Your audience is different than the general consumer market, and your product or service is esoteric, technical, and industry-specific. If your company is like many B2Bs, your marketing efforts are limited to industry trade shows and networking, if you do any marketing at all; if you make or do something super niche, you might be relying on limited competition and industry reputation to garner sales. In the digital age, those strategies are no longer as effective as they once were–integrating digital marketing techniques into your marketing strategy can help keep your company competitive as the marketing landscape changes.
If you have an unsexy, complicated product, how do you market it? There’s a reason your product exists, and a reason that you produce it: businesses in a specific industry need it. So what you need to do is educate your potential clients on what your product is and why they need it. Digital marketing for B2Bs comes into play when you create informative, educational content on your product/service and make that content available to prospective clients where they can find it–online, when they’re searching for your product or for solutions to the problems that your product solves.
Content serving consumers throughout the buyer’s journey
Since buying cycles are long for B2B purchases–if the equipment you’re selling costs $1M+, you can expect a long consideration stage before a customer commits to purchasing–you can keep your brand and your service or product top of mind for your potential customers throughout their buyer’s journey by providing content that addresses their needs, questions, and concerns at each stage.
Your awareness stage content will inform readers about what your service or product is and does, consideration stage content will show the value of investing in your product or service, and decision stage content will prove why future customers should make this purchase now, and why you’re the right supplier to purchase from. You can tailor content format to buyer’s journey stages, as well; perhaps a e-book to provide them awareness information then a free trial when they’re in consideration.
Addressing each of the decision makers
Additionally, when it comes to B2B purchases, there are numerous decision makers. Often there is a long chain of necessary approvals before a business purchase can be made. Creating content that addresses these different audiences and expedite this process. The person who is purchasing your product or service will need informative content on how your service or product works, and how that will improve their process or efficiency; those who the purchaser needs approval from will be interested in information on cost vs, benefits: ROI, impact on bottom line, etc. Type of content matters here, too. While purchasers will be interested in long-form content like e-books and blog posts, a purchase approve is going to want something that is easily digestible and understood, like an infographic.
Marketing in the world of B2Bs can seem impossible, but digital marketing provides new opportunities for B2Bs to reach their ideal audience and provide them with the information necessary to make informed purchase decisions.
If you have questions on how your B2B company can develop a digital marketing strategy, contact us. For more information on optimizing your B2B’s digital marketing strategy, check out our case study of a cleanroom manufacturer we worked with below: