It’s estimated that businesses spent nearly $5.12 billion on B2B ads in 2018.
If you own a B2B company, you may want to spend some money on marketing your business. But you might not know how to create an effective B2B marketing strategy. You might not even know what B2B marketing is!
Keep reading to learn more about B2B marketing and how you can use the concept to grow your business. Once you reach the end of this post, you should have an answer to the question – “What is B2B marketing?”
What is B2B Marketing?
The term B2B stands for ‘business to business,’ and refers to companies that sell specifically to other businesses and no one else.
Thus, B2B marketing is essentially a form of marketing that’s conducted by a business, to gain other companies as clients.
B2B is All About Educating Your Audience
B2B marketing relies heavily on educating your target market, before you ask for a sale.
You mainly do this with the help of content, such as a whitepaper, a webinar or even a conference call.
Your goal is to help your target market understand that they have a problem, and that your product is the best way to solve this problem.
A B2B marketing process can go on for many weeks or months. This is because it can take a lot of time to convince your target market, that you can provide the best solution for a specific problem.
Defining Your Target Audience
You can do this by creating something known as a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a document that describes the individual you’re trying to sell to. Your buyer persona should detail the demographics of your target customer, as well as their goals and fears.
If you’re struggling to develop your buyer persona, consider using a pre-defined template. Just fill in the empty fields, and you’ll end up with a thorough description of your target audience.
What Do You Want from Your Marketing Campaign?
Once you’ve defined your target audience, you then want to put some thought into what you want from your campaign.
Your goals are going to depend on the kind of product you offer.
For example, if you own a software company, then your goal might be to generate trial signups. But if you own a hardware company, you might want people to call you, and ask about the benefits of using your solution.
Once you know what you want, you can then create a marketing campaign that aligns with these goals.
That might mean you create a whitepaper that outlines how your solution can meet the needs of your target audience. You may even develop some case studies, that detail the positive experiences other businesses had, as a result of using your product.
How Are You Going to Reach Your Target Audience?
Once you’ve defined your target audience, and you know what you want them to do, you then need to think about how you’re going to reach them.
The easiest way to go about this is to think about where your target audience spends their time.
Suppose your target audience is made up of IT professionals.
If that’s the case, you need to identify a list of websites that these individuals will visit. Once you’ve done this, you can then buy ads on that website, so that you can get your marketing in front of these people.
Should You Use LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a platform designed specifically for B2B audiences. Because of this, it can be helpful for anyone that’s looking to run a B2B marketing campaign.
If you want to promote yourself on this platform, there are two methods you can use.
One option is to go down the organic route.
This is where you manually reach out to people and ‘connect‘ with them.
If you connect with someone, it means anything you publish in your newsfeed is going to appear in their newsfeed too.
You can use this as an opportunity to get your content in front of your target audience. Following this, they may read your content and then reach out to learn more about your offering.
The other option is to use LinkedIn Ads.
If you want to succeed with LinkedIn Ads, it’s vital you target your ads with precision.
Make sure you provide LinkedIn with the information from your buyer persona. If you can do this, your ads should be put in front of your target audience.
You also want to make sure your ads are engaging.
If you don’t know how to create engaging ads, take a look at some of the ads that are already on the platform. You can study these ads to figure out how you should word your ads, as well as the kinds of images you should include.
Should You Hire Help?
As you can tell, there are a lot of moving parts associated with a B2B marketing campaign. If you’re busy running your business, managing all these moving parts can be tricky.
To help you overcome this challenge, you might want to hire a marketing agency. Ideally, you want to work with an agency that deals specifically with B2B companies.
You can often tell how much an agency knows about B2B marketing, by reading the content on their blog. If you’d like to see an example of blog content associated with B2B marketing, you can find out more here.
If you’re short on cash, you may want to speak to several marketing agencies. In doing so, you should find one that best aligns with your budget.
Can B2B Marketing Help You?
After reading this post, you should know how to answer the question, “What is B2B marketing?”
If you want to see how B2B marketing works in the real world, you may want to look at how other companies are marketing themselves.
If you try to run some B2B marketing campaigns of your own, and things don’t work out, consider hiring some help. Though taking this step can be expensive, you’ll find that an agency’s ability to generate clients for you, will cover the cost of hiring them.
Interested in using social media to promote your company? Check out this post to learn how you can run an effective social media campaign.