Most businesses sell their products directly to individual consumers (B2C), but some sell to other businesses, which is what we call business to business (B2B) marketing. Marketing to entire businesses is very different from marketing to individual people. It is a different target audience and a different buying process as well. Instead of serving individual shoppers, these businesses target companies and organizations, which requires new marketing strategies and applications.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
Marketing to an entire business won’t be the same as catering to the whims of individual consumers. People buying a product for themselves are thinking about their own needs and wants, and will let emotional influence affect their decision. Businesses are thinking very logically about their purchases, wanting direct ROI to get all of their money’s worth. They are also looking for efficiency and expertise, meaning that businesses marketing B2B need to have more credibility than they would for B2C.
Customers that are purchasing a product or service for their business are driven by financial benefit instead of personal gain. They want to know how your business will help their business be more successful. This means they have a different purchasing process as well. Business to business customers often need to confer with a line of coworkers before making a decision. They will often want to buy from a dedicated salesperson or account manager. They become aware of the possible solution, consider it or other options for a while, and then decide on a big purchase. Business customers are looking for a long term solution, and often a long term relationship with your company, making credibility more important than ever.
When buying for their business, customers want to be educated in every field that they’re purchasing in. So, companies marketing business to business can find a lot of benefit in content marketing to teach their customers. Content marketing informs customers instead of interrupting their days like B2C advertisements often do. This content can be in the form of podcasts, customer testimonials, ROI calculators, case studies, webinars, or industry reports. Showcasing all of these on your website will also bring in more leads and boost your website’s SEO.
Anticipating what your audience is searching for can decide what content you create. Educational content targeted at your audience’s needs will build the credibility that your audience is looking for. Businesses want to learn about what they’re investing in and make sure they’re buying from the experts. So having educational content on your website can teach them more about why your business will help theirs.
Some businesses cater to individual customers and to entire businesses, though. For example, an interior design company could design office spaces for companies, and also design individual rooms for home buyers. A tooth brush company could sell to individual consumers and also to dentist offices. These companies will need different types of content for all of their audience members. It is definitely possible to successfully market to other businesses and to individual users. This could look like having different forms of content going out at the same time, but maybe to two separated lists of different email subscribers.
B2B Email Marketing
Email marketing is a reliable and trustworthy strategy for business to business marketing. This is a platform that will reach your customers while they’re at work everyday. A good email campaign is how subscribers turn into leads who turn into customers. These emails need to have a very catchy subject line– about what you have that other businesses need. Then, it is important to have one solid purpose of the email, to make it simple and to the point. To make sure every customer is receiving relevant information, you can even segment your subscribers into different email lists. If subscribers are organized by their industry or what phase of the buying process they’re in (awareness, consideration, decision), you can cater to each audience member’s specific needs.
Aside from an eye-catching subject line, make sure each email newsletter looks good and can adapt between browsers, tablets, and mobile devices. Again, customers are looking for loyalty and credibility. This means educational newsletters can draw in much more attention than just advertising newsletters. The best way to build up a large list of email subscribers is by having sign up boxes on your website home page, about page, and blog or content page. If you want to market to businesses over social media, LinkedIn and Twitter are the best, where you can also link your website or email sign-up. By email marketing and putting out creative content, educating business customers about their needs and how you can help will be a very successful B2B marketing strategy.
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