As a B2B company, you don’t have always have access to the same tools for marketing your product or service that a B2C company has. There will be no aisle-end display of your product, no coupon in Target’s weekly ad, no Groupon for the service you provide. This can be challenging.
Even in digital marketing, a tool used by both B2B and B2C industries, the strategies that are most effective for each differ. B2C businesses may excel on social media platforms such as Pinterest or with product listings ads, but B2B must take a different approach.
As a B2B company ourselves, we know how different it is to promote a B2B brand and that it requires specific ways of thinking.
How Do B2B and B2C Purchases Differ?
To understand the difference between a marketing strategy for a B2B industry compared to B2C, it is essential to first understand how these purchases differ for the client or customer.
B2B purchases are more likely to be a service than a product, while the opposite is true for B2C purchases. B2B purchases are also much more likely to be the start of an on-going relationship – often involving an annual contract or recurring charge. For this reason, there is more at stake, both for the business and the individual responsible for the purchase.
With all of this weight resting on the purchasing decision, the next two characteristics that distinguish B2B purchases from B2C should not come as a surprise: more people involved in the purchasing decision and a longer buying cycle overall.
What Does This Mean for the B2B Marketer?
A consumer visiting a website in order to research a purchase is generally looking for concrete information: hours of operation, products specifications, reviews, etc. They may open several tabs for competing websites, read them all over a few minutes, hours, or days — and then make a decision.
Someone looking into a business purchase, however, could remain in the research stage of the buying cycle for weeks to months. In order to gain their business, you need to keep them engaged with you throughout a much longer period of time. A major part of this strategy is your website content. A diverse offering of fresh, relevant content can cause your brand to stick in the visitor’s mind, enticing them back for more as they continue to research their purchase.
An easy way to keep new and relevant content on your site is to create a blog. This way the potential consumer feels as though the company itself is guiding it through the purchase cycle. Companies that blog 15 or more times per month get 5x more traffic than companies that don’t blog.
Even if this effect doesn’t happen immediately, engaging content pushed across the web through SEO and off-site content marketing efforts will make your brand ever-present in the user’s search, keeping your company at the top their mind.
B2B content is often crafted as a resource for the purchaser. This content serves two purposes: to inform the user so that they are better prepared to make a decision, and to persuade them (either directly or indirectly) that your hiring your company is the right decision.
It’s not just us who believe that custom content is the future of B2B marketing, 78% of CMOs agree and are on board with content marketing.
If you work for a B2B company and are having trouble with your digital marketing strategy, consider allowing Cardinal Web Solutions to help you. We are experts in marketing many different types of companies across all digital platforms, and can provide insight into your unique marketing plan.