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!