10 min to read
B2B Marketing: A comprehensive guide with strategies to grow your business
Marketing to other businesses or organizations to sell your product or services to gear up their productivity and improve their operations need a strategic and practical approach. The objective of the customers in the case of B2B marketing is to improve the return on investment, efficiency, and expertise. Generally, several people are involved in the purchase, and the decision power lies in the hands of C-level executives, who have to agree before making a purchase decision. You could work with us, the leading digital marketing agency to assist you in B2B sales and marketing.
Things get a bit complicated because the people involved in the purchase differs depending on the product or service you are selling. As a business, you must outline a hypothetical process outlining every step from your marketing to the recipient's response and how they confirm with the other decision-makers and members of the chain.
Find this excellent article on online reputation management to take your brand image to the next level.
Nurturing your prospects in their buyer journey is vital!
B2B Marketing Funnel
The buyer's journey represents a customer's path to buy your product or service. In other words, in B2B, prospects don't take spontaneous action out of emotion. They go through a procedure of becoming aware of your brand, considering the pros and cons of your service, then evaluating and comparing it with your competitors. Finally, they move to the purchase stage, where they buy a new product or service.
This is where the B2B marketing sales funnel comes into play. The sales funnel helps you to nurture your client on different stages of their buyer journey.
There are five stages to a complete sales funnel. Let's go through it.
Stage 1: Awareness
Your marketing goal is to attract new potential prospects to your website in the awareness stage. Then, once drawn, you need to nurture them by providing valuable content in the field of their interest.
Here are key actions that are supposed to happen in this phase:
1. A potential prospect visits your website.
2.Watches your pre-recorded demo
3. Follows your brand on at least one social media platform
4. Sign up for a webinar or download free resources (eBook, guide, etc.)
5. In the exchange of free resources, they share their email id, which eventually gets added to an email nurture campaign
To monitor your marketing efforts in the awareness, you need to focus on the following KPIs:
- Number of new prospects to the website
- Growth of social media platforms
- Number of unique email subscribers
- The conversion rate for gated resources (webinar, downloadable)
Stage 2: Consideration
Once your ideal prospect enters the top of your marketing funnel, then they move to the next step of weighing the pros and cons of your product/service over the competition.
Your ideal goal should be to establish your brand as an authority in your niche in this stage to outstand your competition.
The key actions that are supposed to happen in this phase are mentioned below:
1. Potential clients start receiving personalized automated emails.
2. The prospect goes through the emails to learn more about the brand, its features, and its benefits.
3. Clicks the CTAs in the emails to read more details on the website
4. Product comparisons
5. Detailed pricing info
6. Signs up for a gratis trial or demo
You should be monitoring the following KPI s to understand your marketing efforts better.
- Email open rate
- Email click-through rate
- Engagement with informative content on the site
- The conversion rate for gratis trial or demo sign up
Stage 3: Evaluation
The evaluation stage is the most critical phase of your B2B marketing sales funnel. In this stage, along with your marketing team, your product and sales team also plays a vital role in converting potential prospects to hot leads.
The key actions that should happen in this phase are the following:
1. The prospect downloads a software trial or attends the demo
2. Installs/signs up for trial software or a free consultation service
3. Receives personalized automated emails to drive towards the action stage.
4. Clicks emails to read more details
- Current sales promotions
- Competitive benefits
- Key advantages
The KPIs to be monitored in this phase are:
- The conversion rate for downloading trial software or attending the free consultation service
- The conversion rate for completing setup and using software
- Engagement with a sales representative
Stage 4: Action
Now, the most awaited stage! In this stage, your hot leads are converted into potential clients.
In this phase, the acquisition marketing team comes into play. Your marketing efforts should focus on customer analytics to assist your accounts team. Personalized automated emails should be sent to the clients with tips and advice on getting started easily.
Your marketing campaigns should include emails and social media posts that remind the client of why your software supports their business to produce better results. Also, be sure to talk about new, upcoming features!
Here are key actions that should happen in this phase:
1. Purchase of your product/service
2. Onboarding new clients
3. Starting new customer nurturing campaign
4. Engaging upsell/cross-sell campaign
5. Renew / increase contract
6. Conduct customer satisfaction survey
The KPIs crucial in this stage are:
- The conversion rate for the initial purchase
- Client satisfaction during onboarding
- Engagement with new customer nurture campaign
- Rate of conversion for upsell/cross-sell campaigns
- The conversion rate for contract renewal
Stage 5: Re-Engagement
Recall those leads who self-identified as not holding the budget or not getting stakeholder buy-in previously?
Those leads are still potential prospects and are likely to convert. They just need a little push and nurturing to convert into ideal clients. That's why a re-engagement campaign is essential for lead nurturing, as these prospects are easier to convert but need a little more time and effort.
As a B2B business owner, your job is to help your clients move ahead in their buyer's journey.
Here are key actions that should happen in this phase:
1. Start receiving personalized automated re-engagement emails
2. Opens emails with an irresistible offer
3. Clicks CTAs on the email to learn more about offers
4. Engages with CTA to chat with a sales representative about an offer
5. Signs up for offer
The KPIs for this stage are:
- Email open rate
- Email click-through rate
- The conversion rate for a compelling offer
- Engagement with nurture resource
Your product must be remarkable and have a competitive edge.
B2B product marketing
Your product is the most crucial part of marketing. If your product or service is exclusive to the market, then a persuasive marketing strategy would do the work. On the contrary, if your niche has cut-throat competition or a low entry barrier, it would not be easy to convince your competitors' customers to switch to you. You presumably won't have a competitive edge or unique factor that could improve their return on investment tremendously. Find this resource on customer onboarding.
Dig deeper into the purchase purpose in B2B marketing. You will find that the executives want to have long-term solutions with other companies like yours, get the desired result over a long period, without handling the hassle, and outsource the work. Find this complete guide on digital marketing funnel.
Here is a complete guide on B2B lead generation.
Establishing yourself an authority in your niche could help you significantly earn the trust of your clients.
In many aspects of B2B marketing, take the case of cyber security, trust, and authoritativeness become crucial driving factors in the sales process because the other company can't afford to work with someone who has no proven track of success or reputation. In a cyber security case, there needs to be a significant exchange of credentials and access to the network that is crucial for the organization. Read this guide on PPC campaign strategy.
In such a case, working with a company that could misuse this power would affect the organization's profits, destroy their reputation, and even drag them to lawsuits.
A similar situation is with other B2B offers as well. An organization that has sufficient funds to hire the best in the market would never settle for less.
B2B marketing should be more professional because the client's purchase motivation is driven by logic and financial incentive rather than emotions. In such a case, the best bet could be to educate the customers and earn their trust. B2B content marketing comes into play at this stage. Also, most people go to search engines to find answers to their queries. If you had a content marketing strategy that allowed your brand to be available for your clients to answer every possible query, there is a great chance for you to earn trust and subconscious loyalty.
Here is how to skyrocket your B2B sales.
Email marketing is a crucial digital marketing channel for B2B growth.
Email marketing is crucial to nurture leads
Email marketing is one of the most important digital marketing channels to communicate with the audience base who has already subscribed to you and has some form of interest in your offer. The B2B sales tend to have a higher monetary value and are based on logic, and it also implies a larger sales cycle and authority being the driving factor.
Emails could be an excellent choice to nurture B2B leads by regularly delivering relevant and informative content to them. The attention span of people is considerably low. And also, many marketers will suggest you to have at least seven times communication with your audience to remain in their mind when they need an offer related to your niche.
You could segment your email list based on factors like the buying stage, industry, etc. If you could continually add value to your customers without asking for anything in return, you could set yourself apart from your competitors. You can use tables, graphs, infographics, add illustrations to ensure that your target audience understands the need for your offer and how your product or service could add considerable value to their business. However, make sure that you send relevant emails and add a personalization factor to earn the trust of your audience.
Take the following factors into consideration while sending emails to your audience:
- The subject line should be eye-catching and must persuade the recipient to open the email
- The opening paragraph is crucial to ensure that the recipient would read it further
- Segment your audience based on the factors that are critical to your business
- Have a responsive design, as the world is experiencing a mobile-first era
- Personalizing the emails is the key to success
- Ensure that you have the right call-to-action per email
Create a customer persona and empathy map to create compelling advertising campaigns
Focus on target audience
A customer persona is the fictitious representation of your ideal client who generally buys from you. It is critical to create a customer persona because the person a business wants to target would differ from business to business. Some companies would like to target C-level executives, while others would find HRs to be the ideal person. It is crucial because knowing the audience helps narrow down the target list and only focus on those who matter.
An empathy map would help you have a better insight into your customers and know the pain points, driving factors, thoughts, etc., to create ad copies that could be the most relevant to them and entice them to take action. Here is a complete guide on CRM implementation.
How to create a B2B customer persona?
Buyer Persona has been shown to increase email campaigns' open-up rates and increase click-through rates. Personalized emails based on customer persona can generate 18% more revenue than conventional emails.
Let's go through the detailed process of creating a buyer persona:
This information comprises who is the targeted person for marketing. Since this is a B2B buyer persona, it is obvious that the targeted client is an HR or C-level executive.
Essential elements to include:
- Industry of the targeted client
- Company size the prospect belongs to
- Job title or job seniority
To better target the prospect, also include:
- Age (generally age range)
- The highest level of education completed
Finally, you need to identify how and where to contact them:
- Social media platforms
- Other online spaces they can be contacted
- The preferred approach of communication
Identify your potential prospect pain-points.
- What are the problems they are facing?
- What is their search intent?
- Are they looking for informative content or the ideal product/service to overcome their problems?
Challenges or barriers
Identify the challenges faced by your ideal prospect. Are they satisfied with their current supplier? What is the barrier stopping them from purchasing your product/service?
This component of customer persona helps you better understand your customer’s nature outside the work.
- What are their hobbies?
- What is their field of interest?
- What are the activities they prefer to do?
Focus on search engine marketing campaigns to have greater visibility in front of the right audience
Search engine marketing
Not every potential customer is at the same stage. There could be some who don't even know about your brand, while others might be looking for alternatives in your niche on the search engine. Google and Bing are the big names.
Hence, it would be best to run search engine marketing campaigns or PPC campaigns to let your target audience view your offer and land on your landing page. SEM is the shortcut to jump at the top position of SERP for your preferred keywords. You must be careful with the target keywords, run multiple A/B campaigns, continuously track the performance and make real-time adjustments to have the best return on investment. Top digital marketing agencies like CodeDesign could help you run profitable campaigns, connect with the target audience, and be a step ahead of the competition.
There is no alternative to search engine optimization and content marketing.
Search engine marketing and content marketing is crucial to succeed
Creating quality content for your target audience would help you establish your brand authoritativeness, position yourself as the key player in your niche, and earn the trust of your audience by adding constant values to them. For B2B companies, engaging the prospects through a value-driven educational approach works the best.
More than 90% of the content doesn't get any traffic from search engines. Search engine optimization comes into play at this stage to help your content rank higher on the search engine results page for your target keywords to connect with the prospects and get more visitors. SEO consists of three primary components, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
On-Page SEO: It is the process of optimizing your web page's architecture to help the crawlers understand the relevancy of your content. Optimizing the title tag, meta description, ALT tags, interlinking, quality content, schema markup, etc., could signal the bots that your content is focused on a given keyword and should rank higher on the SERP page.
Off-Page SEO: If a website links to your content, the search engine algorithm considers it a vote for the quality and relevance of your content based on the anchor text. Off page SEO is the process of earning higher authority links from relevant websites to increase your credibility in the eyes of search engines. Guest blogging, outreaching to other web admins, directory submissions, etc., are some of the practices.
Technical SEO: It is the process to ensure that the search engine crawlers are successful in crawling, indexing, rendering, and understanding your website architecture. It is focused on ensuring that your website meets the technical requirements of modern search engines.
Advertise on the social media channel preferred by your customer persona
Social media marketing
LinkedIn and Twitter are supposed to be the better platforms for B2B marketing. However, you could also use Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc., if your customer persona spends time on them to build brand awareness.
Most B2B companies use social media channels to promote content, create brand awareness, educate the audience, and build credibility and trust. A successful social media strategy needs a proper goal and clear audience understanding to make effective campaigns. You could also use the remarketing technique to convince the audience who has already visited your website.
Social Media Marketing can be a game-changer for B2B marketers to engage with their prospects. Consistently posting quality content on social media platforms assists in better understanding your audience base and establishing your brand as an authority in the niche.
Social media platforms for B2B businesses :
- LinkedIn is the go-to B2B social channel developed to recruit, build thought leadership, and acquire new clients (with powerful social advertising capabilities).
- Twitter is the best platform for identifying trending content topics, engaging with customers, and delivering timely customer support and product updates.
- Facebook- the go-to platform for social advertising and connecting with other businesses through interactive communities in Facebook Groups.
- Instagram- the best social channel for visual-first content that educates and informs through infographics to video content to live broadcasts.
In B2B marketing, try to have a professional approach in your marketing strategies that could showcase the value of your product and the financial benefits of using them. As your target audience is the people working in a company or an organization, you must educate them and create authority.
A successful B2B marketing strategy builds credibility, adds value, have a niche-based approach, and a proper client onboarding process.
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- Amazon marketing agency, and
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