In the world of B2B digital marketing, nothing is more important to get right than your target audience.
Without knowing who you’re serving, your marketing efforts may very well miss the mark. On that note, B2B marketing is completely different from B2C marketing! If you’re trying to learn how to do the former, keep reading this blog for our tips on B2B digital marketing best practices in 2021.
1. Create a buyer persona
Before you jump into any tactics, you need to first figure out who you’re talking to in the first place. At Ajax Union, we use a tried and true tactic called a buyer persona to address this. A buyer persona is a profile of a person in your target market that includes their demographic and characteristic info that allows you to look at the rest of your materials (messaging, ad copy, web design, and more) with the right eyes.
2. Make an engaging website
The world is digital! Give online users a basic touch point to get to know your company and what it does. The vast majority of buyers will visit your website before making a purchase. This couldn’t be more relevant in the world of B2B marketing. One of the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing is how many decision-makers you have to sell to. Your website will be the first impression teams of people will see before deciding on embarking on your product or service, so having a good website is absolutely essential. Already have a website? Audit it!
3. Three words: search engine optimization
If your company already has a website, you’ll need to make sure it’s engaging, sure— but more importantly, that it ranks on search engines like Google! Basic search engine optimization tactics like making sure images on your site have alt-text and meta descriptions and optimizing your site speed can go a long way in increasing the traffic your website receives. So even if your website already kicks butt, you have to make sure it’s discoverable first!
4. Start running and testing ads
Your online presence would be incomplete without pay-per-click advertising. The hard truth of it is, sometimes you just need to drive traffic to your website using paid advertising! When creating ad copy, it’s wise to use the research from your buyer persona to make it as effective as possible. Also, think critically about who you’re trying to reach— if you want to make a new customer, your ad should relate to a search that has less to do with your exact service (they don’t know who you are yet), and more to do with discovery, features, or local solutions. In short, your top-of-funnel leads will have to be nurtured before they buy your service.
So you’ve got a killer website that’s optimized for search traffic, you’ve defined your buyer persona and you’ve run ads that have driven a ton of leads your way— now what?
It’s time to nurture them! In B2B marketing, there are many ways to nurture your leads, but the three main ways are email marketing, content marketing, and social media. Keep reading to learn more about the best practices in each of these categories!
1. Better subject lines = higher open rates
Email subject lines are the most determinate factor in how many people will open your message. If you want your leads to get to know you, you’ll have to hook them in with an engaging subject line!
2. Don’t overdo it with the calls-to-action (CTAs)
Is there anything more salesy than too many CTAs? Click here! See how! Click there! Too many CTAs can overwhelm your lead and lead to them clicking on nothing at all. As a best practice, your emails should only have one CTA per email, but never exceed two!
3. Segment your lists
So you’ve got a huge list of people interested in your company or service— does that mean every person on your list should get every email? No! Of course not. Members of your list are likely at different stages in the sales process or interested in you for different reasons. Make sure to leverage these differences to create more pointed email campaigns that resonate specifically with what they want.
4. Always be mobile-responsive
We’re living in the age of the smartphone! It’s extremely important that your emails are mobile-responsive. If your email design looks whacky on someone’s phone, it’ll likely get deleted in seconds. If you want to reach your lead, make sure your emails are looking good.
5. Grow your email list
Use lightboxes and forms on your most highly-visited pages as another way to build your email lists! This is a great way to get organic traffic into your email nurture campaigns and optimize your lead generation efforts.
It’s all about trust. If you’re selling to B2B customers, this is the name of the game in B2B digital marketing. B2B customers are going to want to be educated, shown a logical solution, and see your expertise. This is where your content becomes extremely valuable. Here are the best content marketing practices we recommend:
1. Make different content for buyers at different stages in the sales journey
Some of your leads will know more or less than other leads. Make sure to create content for all kinds of these consumers, so that way they’re all finding a way to get educated and build trust with you no matter how much they know or need to be convinced.
2. Always address your buyer’s pain points
Don’t educate your buyers on your sale or service— educate them on the problems they’re facing and how they need to solve them! This is the most effective way to nurture a B2B lead.
3. Test different forms of content
Lastly: explore all the kinds of content there is to offer! Some tried and true content marketing tactics that tend to resonate with business decision-makers are webinars, ebooks, videos, white papers, case studies, blogs, and more. Test different kinds of content to see what resonates with your leads best.
Social media marketing
There’s a misconception that only individual consumers use social media to make buying decisions, but that’s not true! Social media is an extremely important tactic for building trust with business decision-makers and gatekeepers, too. While it won’t necessarily help them pull the trigger, it’s a great way to build credibility and brand awareness and shows your lead that you’re reputable. Here are our tips for creating a winning B2B social media strategy:
1. Post regularly
There’s nothing more that screams “not with the times” than a measly social media presence with hardly any posts. Make sure to post regularly to show that your business is active and show what you’re up to! Make sure to tailor your posting schedule to your target audience and follow it regularly. At Ajax Union, we follow an M-W-F schedule. Want more of our B2B digital marketing tips? Follow us on Instagram!
2. Make different kinds of posts
Mix it up! Some of your posts should inform, others should engage— maybe some should inspire! Whatever content makes sense for your audience is best, but be sure to create different kinds of posts with different purposes, so your feed isn’t too homogenous.
3. Optimize those hashtags
A great way to drive awareness for your content is by using hashtags! But there is a science to hashtags. You’ll want to use hashtags that are relevant, aren’t too high or low volume, and include a different amount of hashtags depending on the channels you’re posting on. For instance, you should use 3 hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn, 2 on Twitter, and up to 30 on Instagram!
All in all, your B2B digital marketing efforts should always keep the needs and concerns of your audience in mind at all times. At every step of the funnel, you need to consider what your target consumer is thinking and feeling and cater to that, whether it be through a blog post or an email subject line! If your business is looking for marketing support or any insights about how to grow your business, schedule a free strategy session with us!