B2B marketing strategies have intricacies that call for different approaches than the ones you’d employ selling directly to consumers. Business customers behave differently to normal consumers, and often make more expensive purchases.
While B2B buyers share some behaviours and traits with consumers, B2B marketing strategies need to take their differing needs into account.
Different businesses need different approaches.
Large businesses have several decision-makers in their ranks while a small business may have just one owner who is deciding what to buy, and marketing strategies need to tailor their execution to these audiences.
Marketing to B2B audiences is a constantly changing process, especially as technology and business models evolve over time. Here are some B2B marketing strategies and techniques to look out for in 2021.
Adopting a Mobile-First Strategy
There is no better time to customize your adverts for mobile devices. Google and other major search engines are adopting a mobile-first model because so many people are now using mobile devices instead of PCs, including business customers.
Google now has a mobile-first search index and mobile advert spending now exceeds £154.5 billion per year. Mobile adverts now represent 70% of all digital advertising.
Optimizing your mobile site and app development should be among your top priorities nowadays. If your website does not appear in the mobile search index and is not functioning well on users’ devices, it’s going to hurt your prospects.
In fact, poor mobile performance can now tank your SEO efforts entirely.
Even if your SEO survives, business customers are busy. They’ll buy from another company that offers a better user experience and facilitates purchasing as well as support and maintenance.
As digital marketing is shifting to put mobile devices front and centre, how you plan to deliver your content becomes an important consideration.
Cross-channel marketing is going to become a major concern.
The minutiae of your target audience’s daily activities will have an impact on how they search, but cross-channel marketing in this context means that the same user is using multiple devices.
This is particularly important for companies that furnish devices to their employees, or perhaps small business owners who are using their personal devices for business.
What category is your target audience most likely to fall into? What actions will you take to improve cross-channel targeting so that a business user will see the same advert on their work tablet and computer?
Voice Search and Semantic SEO
Voice search is more popular than ever, and it’s still growing. At least, more people than ever are conducting voice searches. Despite this, most brands don’t know how to take advantage of this.
Targeting voice search requires what’s known as semantic SEO.
This differs greatly from traditional SEO tactics. Additionally, since Google is trying to meet the needs of smart speaker users, traditional SEO has changed too. That is, what works for voice search now works for traditional text-based search too.
Effective semantic SEO strategies include:
- Focusing subheadings around long tail
- keywords and questions,
- Marking up key information in bullet lists,
- Providing audio files in your content,
- Optimising for passage ranking,
- Having a strong Google My Business presence.
Additionally, since most brands aren’t investing in semantic SEO, this is still a strong strategy for gaining a competitive edge in 2021.
B2B Content Marketing in 2021
Focus on the intent of your content. While long-tail keywords are important to place into your content, humans are the ones who are reading it. Keyword stuffing is now an obsolete practice for getting your search ranking to increase.
Business users are likely to be busy and don’t want to just read a bland sales pitch. Stuffing in keywords won’t get you far either.
What value does your content offer? What kind of problem is it addressing?
The intent of your content is what will get it shared, linked to, and bumped up in the search rankings as well as improving your targeting.
Business decisions can take an extremely long time, so make sure your content strategy reflects this. It can take anywhere from a few months to a year to get business prospects to make a decision on a major purchase.
Typically, this means capturing leads and feeding them educational content.
In today’s digital landscape, these prospects also come in at different points of the sales funnel so more content needs to provide upfront that establishes trust in your business and makes them more apt to want to consider making that purchase.
Ebooks and whitepapers are helpful in many cases, but what about other types of content like podcasts, webinars, videos, infographics, and even gamification and VR experiences?
Your competitors are probably already implementing these strategies, and you don’t want to risk falling behind the curve.
Social Media B2B Marketing Strategies
Don’t underestimate the power of social media when it comes to getting targeted traffic. While B2B social media has a longer lead time than B2C, it really cannot be ignored.
Using a mix of paid and organic social media growth can significantly grow your following and bring you the right kinds of leads. You can target social media users by keyword, location, and other demographic data.
Social Media Ads
Paid growth is not the same as paying for followers. When you pay for social media mentions, you are paying for traffic, not actual followers. Buying fake followers isn’t going to help you with prospects.
It’s best to start by organically gaining followers by following relevant accounts and searching for active and follower-rich accounts that frequently use relevant keywords.
Share quality content that is helpful, interesting, entertaining, or timely to your target audience so that they will share it and drive traffic to your site.
Put compelling calls to action in your social media posts. In order to make social media posts more effective, you need to post the intent of the link as well as a call to action that gets the reader’s attention. Put direct response buttons in your posts when appropriate.
Use calls to action that go well with the post’s intent, like “Learn more on our website!” or “Talk to us today!”
B2B prospects overall have a longer lead time than a majority of B2C prospects and require a little more targeting and finesse. But once you know how they search and use mobile devices, you can devise a digital marketing strategy that resonates with them.
Mobile Friendly Social Media Marketing
By adopting a mobile-first strategy for your B2B marketing strategies, you can reach out to more prospects with more efficacy than simply relying on social media, email marketing, and content marketing alone.
Your mobile site and any apps you have developed for marketing purposes need to be fully functional or else you will lose prospects.
Since the same users also own multiple devices, including separate ones for business and personal use, cross-channel considerations must be taken into account.
Most of all, because of the long lead time that calls for additional nurturing of B2B leads you will need to devise your strategies based around at least a 6-12 month timeframe.
What kind of content, email campaigns, and social media campaigns need to keep a prospect aware and interested over the course of a half to full year?