5 Things B2B Marketers Should Learn from B2C
It isn’t uncommon for B2B marketers to be faced with the challenge of creating exciting marketing campaigns around technical enterprise solutions.
B2C marketers, on the other hand, have a field day generating content that connects instantly with audiences. They use a variety of media such as images, audio, video, social media, and so on.
This is why we often think of B2B and B2C as being worlds apart. But they actually aren’t. In fact, many B2C techniques can be used to a B2B organization’s advantage too. These include:
- Engaging with customers at a personal level
- Audience-centric content creation
- Using real-time marketing
- Omnichannel marketing
- Leveraging social media.
1. Engaging with Customers
One area that many B2C brands are brilliant in is customer engagement. When it comes to keeping their customers involved with their brand, they have it covered. Whether it is counting on them for innovation, promotion, feedback or a recommendation, their customer engagement initiatives are all about solidifying their brand.
Most B2B marketers, however, don’t go all out to engage their customers. At the most, you’ll find customer testimonials put up on their website. The digital marketing space remains largely untapped. And that needs to change. Getting on social media platforms, connecting with a larger audience, asking them questions and listening to their answers, and then adapting your communication accordingly, can bring B2B brands better engagement, along with more leads and relevance.
2. Omni-Channel Marketing
For your omnichannel strategy to be successful, you need to have a thorough understanding of who your customers are, where they’re coming from, and which channel(s) they are using to access your content. They could be reaching you through your business website, app, social media platforms, catalogs, physical stores, and so on.
Mentioned ahead are few ways B2B marketers can do omnichannel marketing:
Nurture Leads with Email Marketing
When potential consumers visit your website, you will be able to capture some of their information like their name, location, and email address. Use this to your advantage and harness the power of email marketing. Use it as a personalized communication tool that can inform and educate people about your business and its offerings. Enable them to learn more about you by providing information that’s not available on your website. This should make it easier for customers to decide about purchasing from you.
Use Content Pertinently
The content you offer to some of your customers may not resonate with all of them. This applies to content formats as well. You will need to offer different kinds of content for first-time customers and repeat customers, or else they will be stuck in the same stage in the buying cycle. This can be detrimental to your business. Depending on the position of your customers in the buying cycle, using newsletters, white papers, social media, videos, podcasts, webinars, case studies, conferences, and so on to get them to move forward.
Use Screen Sharing Technology
This can work extremely well in involving customers with your business as you can share your customer’s browser and help them solve their problems. With the help of a webinar screen sharing session, you can enable remote customers to share your full or partial desktop/laptop screen to show them a business process or a product demo.
You can also share your screen or take control of a participant’s screen and operate it from your location.
Use SMS to Engage
The mobile platform is always changing. Technologies change, and apps come and go. But one thing that has stood the test of time is SMS. This makes it a timeless and effective marketing tool. You can ally with an omnichannel delivery partner with a solid SMS platform to begin your marketing efforts. SMS is a great way to reach and engage decision makers as it is available on all phones regardless of their operating system and model. It can, therefore, be used to tap customers where other marketing tools cannot.
Continue Marketing to Customers
Just because your customers have purchased from you does not mean that you cease to market to them after that. In order to create a solid customer base, your customers should become a part of your business’s lead nurturing initiatives. They should continue to receive discounts, special offers, access to promotional events, and even personalized goodies on special occasions. This way, you will continue to build engagement with your customers. They, in turn, will go on to become your biggest brand advocates.
Whichever channel a customer may use, the ultimate purpose of providing him/her with an omnichannel experience is to make the shopping consistent and seamless.
According to joint research carried out by CMO Council and Netsertive, 94% of marketers believe that providing an omnichannel experience is crucial to business success.
The report also suggested the channels that are most critical to omnichannel success. The findings are represented in the following image:
To find out who is using an omnichannel marketing strategy, Rakuten Marketing teamed up with the CMO Club in 2015 and surveyed 122 B2B and B2C chief marketing officers on their adoption of this technique. The responses revealed that 45% had already begun implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy. However, only 11% of those considered their efforts “sophisticated.” Of the respondents who hadn’t implemented it yet, 29% said they were in the planning stages and intended to roll one out within 6 to 12 months.
3. Audience-Centric Content Creation
Moving on from brand-centric marketing tactics, B2B marketers can make use of relevant content for audience-centric marketing, thereby building their loyalty and creating brand advocates of the future.
As per findings by Content Marketing Institute, only 53% of B2B enterprise marketers agree that their organization is focused on creating content for their audience rather than their brand.
To help you establish your target audience and enable you to create your content:
- Study existing customers with the help of case studies
- Elicit user-generated content
- Conduct very simple surveys and questionnaires
- Gathering information from your sales teams
- Keeping up with new trends and technologies
The best way to collect audience information (such as their name, age, social demographics, the area of residence, previous purchases, job title, industry, and so on) is by doing your own primary research. Combine it with secondary data (obtained through research) from competing brands, and you will be able to formulate top-notch audience-centric content.
4. Using Real-Time Marketing
Another area B2B marketers can focus on is real-time marketing. An increasing number of B2B brands are beginning to use every available opportunity to partake in social dialogue with their audience in real time. However, in doing so, they need to mitigate certain challenges posed by factors such as immediacy, messaging and timing.
Adryanna Sutherland, President of B2B marketing agency gyro: Cincinnati opines that implementing a real-time marketing strategy involves understanding a buyer’s journey and the brand’s target audience from a contextual point of view. She says, “If you’re going to engage in real-time marketing, you have to understand where the opportunities are. And that all begins with understanding the buyer. Very simple, basic strategies work, and buyer-experience planning is pretty essential.”
Real-time marketing can help B2B brands in the following ways:
- Position them as active and up-to-date
- Help create a sense of urgency when required
- Can be swift, spontaneous and save time
- Help keep content fresh, and therefore, relevant
- Provide insights into your audience’s mindset
- Help improve the overall quality of engagement and foster a deeper connection with your audience
5. Using Varied Social Media Platforms
According to the above image, LinkedIn and Twitter are the two social media platforms where B2B brands are most likely to find prospects. B2B marketers can use these platforms to share links and content about the brand, as well as interact with their audience. You can also use them to reveal industry news and insights.
Instagram is another great platform that B2B marketers can tap. Use its features to take your audience behind the scenes and introduce them to your employees and company culture. Doing so will humanize your brand and help you establish an instant connection with your audience – regardless of the nature of your business.
IBM’s Instagram account is a complete B2B brochure in itself, and that’s working well for them. At the same time, the brand is also active on other platforms. Other examples include brands like General Electric, HubSpot, and Adobe, all of which are well-known for making their presence felt on multiple social media platforms.
Now that it is clear that B2B and B2C marketing are essentially pursuing the same goals. It’s clear that B2B marketers can learn a lot from B2C marketers. This is especially true when it comes to using the digital marketing landscape to enhance their brand and strike a chord with customers. If you are a B2B marketer, adding B2C marketing tactics to your arsenal can open up a world of new opportunities for you. We hope that the above tips help you greatly in this regard.
Over To You
Can you think of other aspects of the 5 points mentioned above that you’d like to share? Do you maybe have a 6th point that you think people should know about? Please let us know in the comments section below. Thanks!
You may also want to read: Here’s How You Can Drive ROI with User-Generated Content
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