While the term B2B marketing sounds like it could be one of the latest Star Wars characters...this marketing strategy is the “simple” act of one company marketing its goods or services to another company.
If you’re a company needing to sell to another company, then you need a Business to Business marketing strategy.
Let’s Discuss your Business to Business Marketing Strategy
Let’s dive into why B2B Marketing matters.
What is a B2B Company?
A B2B company is a company that supports other companies by helping them operate and grow. Essentially, they offer the raw products, materials, or even consulting services that other companies need to function and prosper.
Think: supply chain.
Examples include payroll companies or industrial suppliers for a manufacturer.
Let’s say you disassemble a smartphone. The internal parts have come from a host of B2B manufacturers that support the smartphone functionality as a whole.
Now a B2B company differs greatly from B2C (Business-to-Consumer) companies. A B2C business markets strictly to the consumer. It’s important to note that the B2B and B2C entities scratch each other’s backs, because anytime a product or service is marketed to a consumer, it takes that B2B supply chain to bring it to life.
How do you develop a B2B marketing plan?
A B2B marketing campaign requires careful planning because it tends to be more focused and intentional than traditional B2C marketing plans. Here are a few B2B marketing plan development tips:
Understand who your target company is
This takes research and developing solid intel. Here are some questions to ask:
- What makes the company tick?
- Who are the individuals with the purchasing/decision-making power?
- What are the company’s growth needs and challenges?
- What is their voice and vibe?
- Who is their industry competition?
- What social media presence do they have, and what topics/conversations are they having on their networks?
- What industry events do they attend and can you try to create a presence there?
Once you’ve answered these questions, create a “buyer persona,” and share it with your company so everyone is on board. By learning and sharing these “nuts and bolts,” you can be more effective at conversing with your potential B2B clients.
Develop an overarching vision
Next, make sure you create measurable business objectives. Ask yourself, “What will success look like for my business?” Then, lay out the framework. We like this blog on LinkedIN for strategies on developing your B2B content strategy plan.
Demonstrate value to your target business
Every relationship is built on trust, and in the B2B landscape, it’s no different. Work to develop a relationship with the decision-makers of the company. Once established, focus on educating potential customers about your business value and their return on investment.
Illustrate their win, their gain, their bottom-line ROI...and you are much more likely to earn their trust and their business.
Develop a business-specific strategy
So, you understand who the company is, you’ve earned their trust, and now it’s time to kick a marketing strategy into high gear. Here are a few types of B2B marketing channels:
- Blogs: we love blogs and feel they are an essential part of any marketing strategy. You’re able to populate targeted communication around specific topics, plus generate conversations...all in one marketing effort. Our recent post “Tips for Small Business Blogging” highlights how to get started in the blog-o-sphere landscape. Use your blog to build growth!
- Search: At ALINE, we love data and believe in the power of SEO research and keyword strategy. We know it can feel like an overwhelming landscape to operate in for any business. Our experienced team can help you learn how to create your own B2B focused content, or we can strategically craft it for you. Here’s more about our SEO approach.
- Social Media: Social networks are a great way to not only research about your potential business, but share your value with them as well. You can post blogs, start a conversation about trending industry news, or share updates. You can also advertise your business on social media for additional brand awareness.
- Email: We know...our inboxes are full too! However, email is still a powerful tool for communicating with potential B2B customers. This worthwhile tool isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! Communicate weekly or monthly updates, case studies, and your latest blogs through these effective channels and work to add essential emails to your database for maximum reach.
Lastly, with any B2B Marketing campaign, you’ll want to ensure you have a dynamic, creative website that will do the heavy lifting from an SEO and content marketing standpoint. This is an essential step to targeting the right B2B customers for your brand.
At ALINE, we happen to know this landscape like the back of our hand, so don’t hesitate to reach out to our B2B experts to help answer any questions you may have.
In the meantime, we hope these tips about B2B marketing can help you broaden your reach, connect more effectively with other companies, and understand more about this important marketing strategy for your business.