How Does B2B Personalization Differ from B2C?

In 2021, personalization takes no prisoners among consumer products:

  • Supplements and vitamins
  • Facewash and skincare
  • Workout routines
  • Oreos
  • Sneakers
  • Makeup pallets
  • Protein powders

You might say, “These are customized products themselves, not marketing. Plus, custom acne cleanser has nothing to do with B2B marketing.”

Don’t be so sure.

People expect personalization everywhere – and not just any personalization. They demand accurate personalization.

Look at it this way.

What’s better than receiving an email containing a full line of curated skincare products from different brands, all picked with love (from AI) based on your needs and buying behavior?

Well, customizing your own made-from-scratch skincare line, of course.

It’s only the logical next step after personalized marketing with curated content and products.

The marketing personalization technology came first and it’s no doubt directly to thank for the rise of completely customized everything in consumer products.

Your business buyers are the same person whether they’re discussing workplace productivity problems on a Zoom call or searching Pinterest for a natural supplement to relieve their inflammation.

Despite all the advancements, only 22% of consumers are happy with brand personalization.

B2Bs look about the same: Only 20% effectively personalize at scale despite 85% of buyers expecting it.

Now that we know how important personalization is and how poorly most brands are managing it, where do we go from here?

First, it’s critical to understand how B2B differs from B2C in terms of marketing personalization. This understanding will let you build on personalization’s core overlapping factors while adjusting the context for business.

How is B2B Personalization Similar to B2C?

The idea behind personalization is remarkably simple: People want relevant and useful things to either fix problems or improve their lives.

In that way, it’s easy to see how B2B vs. B2C personalization should follow the same strategy:

  • Finding the top priority or pain point to help their audience.
  • Choosing the best routes, tactics, and content to provide that help.
  • Leveraging data to understand your audience, what they need now, and how/where to help.

How Does B2B Personalization Differ from B2C?

Most B2Bs struggle with effective personalization due to the last point on the list above: data.

Low-quality, siloed, outdated, incomplete, and otherwise incorrect data is the number one killer of every personalization strategy.

This lack of data also leads to a general misunderstanding of how to use personalization in B2B. How can you personalize a website visitor’s experience if you used bad intel to create the content? You can’t.

Lots of B2B marketers also seem to be applying B2C journey characteristics to their B2B personalization.

Always start with what you know about your audience. Specifically, keep these key ideas in mind to understand how B2B differs from B2C marketing personalization.

Gartner

Consumer Journeys are Linear – Buyer Journeys are Anything But

Aside from a few outliers, customer journeys follow a specific linear progression. It’s even easier to map customer journeys within verticals and market segments.

The B2B journey is convoluted and impossible to predict. That’s why AI real-time personalization tools are critical.

Buyer Journeys Last Much Longer Than Consumer Journeys

Not only are they shorter but each B2C industry’s journey sticks to a uniform length – except for high-cost industries like leisure travel.

Buyer journeys can drag on for months – or even years – as stakeholders research. Your best chance at journey uniformity lies within individual companies and you’ll use account-based marketing to personalize.

B2B Personalization Targets Several People – B2C is Individual

Consumer brands might factor spouses into the deliberation process and even then, only for high-value items.

With B2B, even one-to-one ABM content must consider how the individual uses the product/service within a team context. You’re usually personalizing for groups instead.

Consumer Products Usually Have One Use – B2B Use Cases Depend on Role

Personalizing for consumers usually involves picking one main pain point and how your brand can fix it. Most consumer products only have one main use case.

As B2B, however, you must market a unique benefit to each role at a company from end-users up to C-suite.

Customer Experience Matters More for B2B Marketing and Personalization

A holistic customer experience might not matter for water bottles, but it sure does for enterprise software. 86% of buyers are even willing to pay more for the same product if one offers a better experience.

That’s why it’s so important to demonstrate your commitment to personalization and service immediately.

B2B Personalization Needs More High-Quality Content Than B2C

Do you think an average consumer reads 13 blogs before buying a new yoga mat? One or two maybe, but the average business buyer reads 13 during their journey.

Use content personalization to streamline your buyer’s vetting process and you’re sure to make an awesome first impression.

Consumer Personalization Must Prioritize Timing – B2B Personalization, Trust

Half of effective consumer marketing personalization involves just showing up at the right time. Hit them with an email on payday letting them know the couch they’ve been eyeing is 40% off and you’re golden.

Emotion matters more in B2B marketing than most people think but it’s rarely impulsive. B2B buyers plan for years and decades so establishing trust via personalization is paramount.

B2B Marketing Personalization Shouldn’t End After the Sale

B2B companies must invest more into post-sale customer experience than consumer brands due to the high cost of acquiring new clients.

Use personalization to understand how customers use your product, how they can squeeze more value, and what they can improve for better results.

Choose the Tools to Build B2B Personalization That Rivals B2C

Whether B2B vs. B2C marketing, it doesn’t matter: Personalization is only available to marketers today thanks to technology.

AI-driven content, data, and website tools let you collect accurate information, create a seamless website experience, and offer personalized content suggestions for every visitor.

Countless B2B companies trust Hushly’s innovative suite of personalization tools because our tech is designed to keep your data accurate in the process. Plus, you never have to sacrifice the user experience to collect lead data – not even a tiny bit!

Learn what Hushly does and how easy it is to personalize your B2B website in just a few hours.

How to Choose a B2B Marketing Agency that Understands Human Behavior

B2B marketing agency

You’ve no doubt noticed that “customer experience” or “customer journey” is all the rage in B2C marketing right now.

It’s all about creating a seamless and humanized experience for leads and current customers across multiple platforms – but should a B2B marketing agency take a similar strategy?

Well, your B2B buyers are also consumers for the 16 hours a day they’re not at work.

They want you to treat them like individual human beings – not merely extensions of the company they work for.

Here’s how to choose a marketing company that understands the importance of forming a human connection with prospects, leads, and current customers.

How to Choose a B2B Marketing Agency

There’s a new concept in marketing called B2E (everyone) or B2P (people).

It means that at the end of the day, you’re marketing to individual people – even if you’re targeting full teams or entire companies as part of an ABM strategy.

In our digital world that relies on data, it’s easy to neglect that there’s a single person behind every email address and number. They deserve to be treated that way and your B2B marketing agency should understand that.

They Understand That the Line Is Blurring Between B2B and B2C

83% of B2B buyers – compared to 84% of consumers – say that the key to winning their business is treating them like a human being.

Personalization is vital for meeting B2B expectations now. 85% of B2Bs say that they might look elsewhere if a business doesn’t take steps to personalize the very first interaction – that’s a lot of pressure!

Features like adaptive content hubs, content bingeing, and self-nurturing landing pages can help you meet buyer expectations and create the personalized experience they want – whether they realize it or not.

An adaptive content hub offers personalized content recommendations to every visitor based on their browsing behavior. Here’s what it looks like in action:

Hushly

They Take Steps to Clean Up Your Data

Discouraging research shows that only 1 out of 5 organizations are running effective personalization strategies.

Why? Well, one big problem is that they’re not working with accurate data.

Business data starts to rot a lot faster than consumer data. People change jobs, get promotions, switch roles at a company – all of this impacts your personalization strategy (especially if you’re running an account-based marketing strategy).

In fact, up to 62% of organizations are working with data that’s nearly half incorrect.

Your B2B marketing agency should strive to help you collect genuine leads with features like human lead verification and clean up the bad data you already have so you can create a successful B2B marketing strategy.

A B2B Marketing Agency Should Help You Create an ABM Strategy

Frankly, not every B2B marketing agency has the skills or resources to help you develop an effective account-based marketing strategy. However, they should at least mention the topic and point you in the right direction.

When it comes to personalization, it doesn’t get much better than ABM because you’re personalizing content with a specific company and job role in mind.

They Understand the Importance of Integrated Marketing and Social Selling

What do the most lucrative industries have in common? They use effective social selling strategies.

Social selling involves much more than posting on social media. Your marketing company should understand that social selling involves the following:

  • Participating in conversations
  • Connecting with your best customers
  • Building a strong brand authority on the right platforms

Social strategies are important because they show customers and leads that you care about and value their opinions and problems.

Your B2B Marketing Agency Should Have an Effective Exit Intent Strategy

What happens when a lead tabs away from your website? If you’re throwing a form at them, you’re just pushing them away even further, faster.

Instead, give them more of what they came to your website for: great content.

No one wants to fill out a form as they’re trying to walk out the door. Instead, use personalized popups like this:

Hushly

A B2B Marketing Agency Should Put Mobile Experience First

Research from Think with Google shows that roughly 70% of all B2B searches will happen on mobile devices in 2020. Furthermore, B2Bs will spend between two and three hours each day researching from their smartphones.

A mobile-friendly website is a necessity – not a luxury – and there’s nothing less mobile-friendly than forms and fully gated content.

When a lead arrives at your website from a Google search result or a link they found on social media and they’re hit with a form before they can access your content, they’re not going to deal with filling out the form on their phone. They’re just going to hit the back button and look for the information somewhere else.

Instead, let your content breathe. Let your leads browse your website at their own pace and provide their email address when they’re good and ready.

They Mention Plans to Create a Customer Management Strategy

65% of business buyers say they’d consider switching vendors if a company didn’t start personalizing communication. Your marketing agency should track intent data so you can continue nurturing current customers before they jump ship.

The buyer’s journey doesn’t end after you close the sale. Give them personalized content to build your relationship in the long-term and maintain your customer base.

Level-up Your B2B Marketing Strategy with Personalization

A B2B marketing agency should immediately take steps to personalize the buyer experience across your website and landing pages. Forms and fully gated content have no place on mobile screens – they just push your visitors away and tell them to find the information somewhere else.

Instead, we recommend lifting the blockade on your content so your leads can self-nurture and educate themselves. It works, too. In fact, you can skyrocket your lead conversions by 51% and content engagement by 305%!

Want to see what a B2B marketing strategy without forms can accomplish? Check out our personalized exit-intent popups.

What Is B2B Marketing in the P2P Era? 5 Key Factors You Need to Know

When you ponder the question “what is B2B marketing,” what comes to mind?

A stuffy suit behind a Mac in a corporate office with you on the other end trying to get their attention?

 After all, you’re marketing to businesses, not individual people, right?

Not true. At the end of the day, you’re still engaging with real humans.

How do you know your B2B buyer isn’t a digital nomad working in her board shorts at a beach bar in Chiang Mai? The business landscape has changed, and your B2B marketing techniques need to keep up.

Traditional B2B Marketing Vs. Today

In general, you want to keep some B2B marketing standards in mind as you create a strategy.

  • The buying process – and subsequent lead nurturing process – is much longer and drawn out than B2C.
  • Several people of varying roles are usually involved in the buying process.
  • The B2B buyer faces a higher risk and pressure to make the right decision than a consumer.

That’s pretty much it.

While your strategy should accommodate the differences in B2B buying behavior, it doesn’t need to be rigid or hyper-formal. Your audience still expects personalized and interesting content that relates to them on a personal level.

What is B2B Marketing in the P2P Era? 5 Things to Know

P2P is a new concept called people-to-people. Instead of thinking of your B2B leads and customers as businesses, think of them as individual people.

1. Your Buyers Still Watch Stranger Things and Go Hiking on the Weekend

Your buyers are humans with personal interests, values, and hobbies.

Does this mean you should throw a nod to Stranger Things in an email? Maybe not – unless your data shows that it would work with your audience and brand.

The point is, your B2Bs are flooded with personalized and automated content on Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook in their spare time. Their expectation for high-level personalization doesn’t change when they go back to work.

2. Respect the Longer Buying Cycle

Yes, the drawn-out B2B buying process can feel frustrating. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to improve your marketing tactics.

As Justin Shriber, Vice President of Marketing at LinkedIn Marketing and Sales Solutions, says in Harvard Business Review, “They [B2B buyers] have little to no patience for ill-timed, generic pitches.”

Rather than rushing buyers towards a purchase, focus on providing high-quality and personalized content at each stage of the cycle. Use your content marketing to build trust and educate your audience.

3. Do What Your Competitors Aren’t Doing

Here’s a secret: your B2B buyers are bored. It’s just your job to give them something interesting.

Check out the content your competitors create and look for areas you could improve or add nuance. Analyze your data to identify problems your B2Bs face – or better yet – will face in the future.

By using your research, you can capitalize on upcoming marketing trends and get a leg up on your competition.

4. Create the Types of Content They Actually Consume

Some B2B marketers spend hours creating in-depth, personalized, and authoritative blog posts but still don’t manage to drive leads and conversions. Why?

Well, if your target audience prefers to consume video, but you’ve devoted your time to blog posts, there’s your problem.

49% of B2B buyers consume video during the buying process, for example. They don’t just watch 30-second snippets either: they spend over five minutes engaging with each video, on average.

Does this mean you should stop writing blogs and focus on video? No. However, it does mean that you need to research your own audience and create the type of content they consume, whether it be podcasts, infographics, blog posts, or video.

5. Don’t Forget About Loyalty

You still need to engage your B2B clients with personalized, relevant, and interesting content. If you don’t, someone else will. What is B2B marketing good for if you lose your clients to competitors later?

The key is to adjust your strategy. Focus on personalized event recommendations, industry news, and updates about your company. Make your current clients feel like they’re part of your organization and not just a number.

Create Content They’ll Actually Enjoy

Your B2B leads and clients expect personalized content that solves their problems and sparks their imagination. Once you nail down a personalization strategy for every stage of the sales process, you can watch your leads and ROI soar.

Hushly can help. Our user-friendly platform can help you create personalized content to boost lead generation by 51% and improve your retargeting efforts. Contact us to learn more!

How to Boost Sales and Nurture Loyalty with Big Data Marketing

While some tried and true marketing methods are still effective, look to the future, and you’ll see nothing but big data marketing.

Unfortunately, many marketers aren’t making the most of their data.

It’s not about having the flashiest tools and most modern automation. It’s about how you harness that data to connect with your buyers.

How to Improve Your Bottom Line with the Power of Big Data Marketing

Big data is here to stay – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t intimidating or frustrating for marketers.

Chinese company Huawei recently revealed a processor chip for servers that manages mass amounts of data from smartphones, video services, and more as part of its intelligence computing product lineup.

Every major technology company understands the value of data for marketing, but what good is all that data if you can’t use it to its full potential? The tips below can help you nail down some big data marketing strategies, so you don’t feel overwhelmed or get left behind.

Start with Specific Goals

Ask any B2B marketer what they’re focused on right now, and they’ll probably tell you “personalization.” That’s a great start. However, broad concepts like “personalization” or “content marketing” aren’t specific enough.

Start by segmenting your audience into different groups based on their locations, company roles, behavior, and buyer stage. Once you nail down some general groups, you can look for weak areas to improve.

For example, you may find that executives make up a large segment of your audience, but you’re currently creating content mostly for sales. Now you have a content marketing goal: create highly personalized and in-depth content for higher-ups.

Before you create the content, you could turn to data for help: should you create videos, podcasts, or authoritative blog posts? What types of content do they consume and how are they finding that content?

Getting hyper-specific like this with goals will help you make sense of your data and how to use it.

Check Your Inbox

You may feel overwhelmed with data already and think you don’t need anymore, but checking your archived emails is a great place to start an investigation and create your own data sets.

One study found that B2Bs can use their inbox to identify business data “clusters” and use the information to identify future trends and develop marketing strategies.

Data from your email inbox takes personalization to a new level because it provides real-life interactions with potential buyers and professionals. Once you cluster some of the information, you can use your intuitive insight to create content that solves buyer problems at every stage of the process and relates to them on a human level.

Expand Your Research

You may not market your product or services to consumers, but many of your B2B buyers may work in B2C. If you want your B2B buyers to think of you as a partner rather than a vendor, you need to familiarize yourself with their market.

One study found that B2Bs who engaged with their prospects’ consumer market (without creating competition) were better at innovating and responding to hot marketing opportunities.

Maybe you don’t feel comfortable or prepared to create a marketing strategy for this right away – that’s totally fine. However, you can still conduct some research on your B2Bs’ market as part of your big data marketing strategy.

Put yourself in their shoes, and your own personalization efforts will improve.

Nail Down Retargeting

B2B lead nurturing is a long and arduous process. How you engage with leads who have dropped off or cooled down makes all the difference.

Look at the data to figure out why your leads have run dry and use that information to create retargeting content. Maybe they switched roles or went with a competitor. Look at your insights and analytics in real-time to create hyper-specific campaigns on social media or in email.

If you find some gaps, surveys are great for nailing down missing data.

Even if they’ve chosen a competitor, this doesn’t mean you can’ provide them with valuable blog posts and emails about relevant industry insights. Use your data to continue creating personalized content while adjusting the CTAs accordingly.

Leverage Big Data Marketing to Its Full Potential

If you can learn how to manage and leverage your data, you can improve each buyer’s experience and see an ROI improvement in no time.

That said, B2B lead generation and nurturing is a long road. Hushly can help you harness data to improve lead generation by 51% and create personalized content at every stage.

Check out our Use Cases to learn how!

3 B2B Content Marketing Tips to Increase Exposure

b2b content marketing

Most marketers know that content is the essential ingredient for bringing visitors to their sites from Google.

That’s why B2B content marketing went from almost nonexistent among B2B companies about five years ago to a methodology that none of them would dare be without.

However, content can do a lot more than just improve search traffic for your site. Another important capability is its potential for increasing your company’s exposure.

3 Ways B2B Content Marketing Can Bring Your Business Greater Exposure

Greater exposure means more people see your content. When that happens, you don’t just see better search results. You see more traffic from more channels and enjoy B2B content marketing that converts much easier because those channels also bring you greater authority.

Here are three simple ways to make sure your B2B content marketing efforts get in front of more people.

1. Create Content Using Subject Matter Experts

There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your content-creation needs. There’s also nothing wrong with covering the occasional general topic on your site.

However, if your company’s subject-matter experts are never contributing, your content probably doesn’t bring in as many views as it could.

That’s because B2B buyers are far less interested in general topics. They often have the same background as many of the people at your company. A CFO understands accounting, so they won’t be impressed by copy written by someone who doesn’t have similar credentials. It’s when a company can create expert copy that speaks to the actual experience that the CFO will be engaged and more likely to convert down the line.

Furthermore, subject-matter experts have insights that can be truly helpful and even actionable. For example, if you sell hardware for data centers, it will help if someone on your staff used to work at a data center and can create content about it. They can make recommendations based on that unique experience.

You can still outsource or use your marketing department to polish up the copy a bit, but be sure you bring some of your content more views by having a subject-matter expert write it.

2. Test Your Efforts with Analytic Tools

As opposed to advertising copy that came before the Internet, one of the biggest advantages of B2B content marketing is that you can literallytest how well it does, often in real-time.

That’s why you should be using software to measure just how well your content is doing in objective terms. Just some examples of these tools include:

Every company should be using these tools, but, again, they’re especially important for B2B marketers. We need to know where our traffic is coming from and get a sense of why, or we can face extremely long buying cycles that kill ROIs.

When you’re looking to grow exposure, you want to see which sources are bringing you the most views, so you can go back to them again and again.

3. Do More Than Just Publish Your Content

Speaking of which, don’t expect your website to do all the work when it comes to increasing your exposure. Unless you already have a website that is seeing impressive amounts of traffic, your B2B content marketing efforts will need to include a bit of elbow grease.

Aside from organic traffic, amplify your copy by using paid media to bring you even more views. Over time, you’ll be able to reduce your budget, but for now, it’s worth spending some money to build that exposure.

B2B influencers can be extremely helpful in this regard, as well. Getting guest posts on industry sites is another phenomenal way to make sure your content is in front of the right people.

Does Your B2B Content Marketing Generate More Clients?

B2B content marketing should be a priority for every company. Over time, it builds a reliable channel for organic traffic and easy leads. It can also help position your organization as an authority and thought leader among your industry.

Still, none of those achievements will mean much if you can’t use that content to convert leads into clients. In fact, when your conversion rate is low, content marketing can actually cost you.

That’s why we created Hushly. Our platform actually works with the content you already have. There’s no need to make expensive changes to your current website, either. All you need to do is install it.

After that, we guarantee you’ll see your conversions improve by no less than 51%.

Name another company that can claim the same.

Sound too good to be true? Just contact us today and we’ll gladly show you how it works.

How to Use B2B SEO for Your Company’s 3 Essential Pages

B2B SEO

Everyone knows B2B SEO matters for bringing leads to your website.

However, do you know how to make it work best for the individual pages on your site?

If you treat each page the same way, your SEO efforts are going to fall flat.

Here’s How B2B SEO Work for Your 3 Most Important Pages

Instead of applying the same principles to each page, here’s how B2B SEO works best for each of your three most important pages.

1. The Homepage

B2B SEO for your homepage is actually relatively simple. That’s because, for the most part, it’s your other pages that will decide how well it does in searches. The better you optimize each page – which points back to your homepage – the better that all-important homepage will do with Google.

Still, there are two simple steps you can take to help it attract more visitors.

First, add your most important keyword to your homepage title. Make it something like “Anderson Co. – Corporate Consulting” or “ACME – Human Resources Software.” That will give Google more to work with when deciding about your page.

Second, do your best to ensure that not a single page on your site is more than three clicks from the homepage. Shorter URLs aren’t necessarily signals that Google relies on, but the search engine does appreciate sites that will be easier to navigate. If there are only two pages standing between a homepage-visitor and the information they want, you’ll enjoy better results.

2. Your Products and Services Pages

Similarly, B2B SEO for your company’s services and/or products pages mostly comes down to creating relevant blog posts that will rank well, so you can link to the pages that show off what your company actually sells.

Nonetheless, don’t waste any opportunity to put relevant keywords on your website. In fact, while you should have one main page for each of your products/services that are linked to your homepage, create multiples for even more opportunities to put those keywords on your site. Just be sure you don’t use any duplicate content and try to focus on different keywords for each page. Then, interlink those pages for even greater navigability.

3. Your Blog Posts

Every B2B company should publish blogs. Among other things, they’re your best bet for sending Google’s attention to your homepage and service/product pages, as we’ve already mentioned.

However, this will only work if you know how to use B2B SEO to attract that attention first.

You’re probably already familiar with SEO keywords. So, let’s look at how to use keywords in your blogs.

The first rule is to focus on just one keyword per blog, two at the most. After that, you’re chasing too many of them and your content runs the risk of becoming thin. Your blog posts will then always lose out to any blog focusing on just oneof the three or more keywords you’re chasing.

Once you have your one or two keywords, make sure they’re included in each of the following:

  • Title Tag
  • Meta Description
  • Headers
  • Content
  • URL

Think about the intent of your post, as well, because intent and keywords go hand-in-hand. Don’t try to shoehorn a high-volume keyword into a post that isn’t a good fit, or you won’t see any traffic. Take the time to understand why people are searching for the keyword, and you’ll know what to write to bring them to your page.

Finally, use your blogs to link out to other sites. Google loves this because it makes its job a lot easier and turns your blog into a better resource for visitors. Just be sure you link to high-quality sites.

Bonus: Everything Else

Obviously, your B2B website probably includes a lot more pages than the three types we just covered. You probably have an About Us, for example. Hopefully, you’ve included some case studies, too.

Whatever the case, the rest of these pages serve similar purposes. Where appropriate, include keywords. When Google scans your entire site─ the more relevant keywords it finds, the easier a time it will have identifying what it is your company does.

As we already covered, interlinking is important, but be sure that your other pages bring visitors to one of the pages above. A case study linking to another case study is fine. Just make sure it also links to the relevant product page.

Earn a Better ROI on Your B2B SEO

With the right B2B SEO plan in place for all of your site’s different pages, you’ll soon enjoy the reward: a lot more traffic.

However, will you be able to capitalize on it?

Make sure you turn those visitors into leads by leveraging the power of Hushly. Contact us today and we’ll show you how our platform increases conversions by 51% – guaranteed.