How to Select and Generate Success through Your B2B Marketing Channels

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When selling directly to other businesses, it’s important to understand which B2B marketing channels you’ll leverage to generate success.
Which channels you choose matters, as you’ll find that your target audience are very particular in how they engage with other brands. You won’t get closer to your customers if you spend your money in the wrong places.
All you’re doing at that point is spending money aimlessly in hope that it connects in the way you want it to.

It is very different to market to individuals customers than to business clients. Business tends to have more demands, so they are more focused on logic and ROI than entertainment and emotion.
In this post we’re going to help you find and leverage the right B2B marketing channels to help you generate success.
Let’s start by providing a bit of an overview.

What is B2B marketing channels?

B2B Marketing Channels describe how to reach your audience and interact with them.
Businesses won’t just seek you out simply for existing. It is important to be known by businesses in any way you can, using B2B marketing, traditional media, or a combination of both.
Online marketing via one or more social media channels is a great way to maximize your effectiveness. This is an economical way for brands to promote themselves at a larger scale.
And that’s not to say that traditional marketing (i.e. billboards and print materials) aren’t viable options. As you’ll come to learn, which B2B channels you choose will depend entirely on your buyer personas.
We can’t stress enough the importance of understanding who your customers are.

What does B2B marketing do?

B2B marketing serves the purpose of connecting with businesses and letting them know about your products or services in order to turn them into customers. While it may not always happen, knowing your customers is enough to make them part of your sales team.
B2B marketing can be applied to any type of sector and all businesses that operate in those areas. A software-as-a-service company (SaaS), for example, will utilise this type of marketing to sell products.
In terms of who you’re marketing towards specifically, B2B marketing campaigns typically aim towards any individual or individuals with control or influence on purchasing decisions.
Depending on what the company is, it could be the marketing manager or the founder.

Different B2B Marketing Channels You Can Use

In terms of the channels that you currently have, variety is the best thing about life. Many ways exist to get in touch with other businesses. Some are better than others. If we’re talking popularity, then B2B digital marketing is a big one.
It’s all in the details.
It’s worth noting that not every B2B channel will serve the same purpose. Some channels can be strictly used to build the brand’s identity. Twitter, a communication platform such as it is, can be used to relay information directly between customers and employees.
Since we’ve broken the seal and mentioned a social media platform (one of the B2B marketing channels available), we might as well mention them all:

  • Email Marketing
  • Digital marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Below we’ll be breaking down each B2B marketing channel in full to help you work out which is the most viable for you and your brand.
    Let’s start with email marketing.

    B2B Email Marketing

    The great thing about email marketing is how it can reach both individuals and businesses in one fell swoop, which is more than ideal if you’re one of those hybrid brands (B2B and B2C).
    Engaging with people via email is a great way to get them involved. Engagement is great because it converts your subscribers into customers. Because businesses are a lot harder to market towards, you’ll need to adjust your campaigns to suit them and their specific needs.
    It is important to focus on the things that they are passionate about.
    These businesses consider positive ROI the same as gold, and if they can see it in their emails, then you will have no problem getting them to interact with you the way that you wish.
    According to Campaign Monitor, the average person receives and sends 121 emails related to business each day. It’s hard to stand out in the inbox of others, unless you’re taking the necessary steps to cut straight through the noise.

    B2B email marketing success

    Writing subject lines that make it impossible for people to overlook is the best way to attract more readers to your email. It’s your subject line that readers will see first if they have email notifications turned on.
    Try to approach your subject lines in eye-catching and creative ways, doing so will ensure that they’re read, and not just shoved into spam. HubSpot suggests that your subject line should be as important as the email body. We agree.
    You can also segment your email lists to increase your business appeal. Each person will be able to benefit from every email you send. Not all emails will reach the same audience at the same time in your email marketing funnel.
    By grouping your email lists, you can avoid this problem by only sending emails they’d find relevant.
    Brands that don’t have a large pool of customers to segment can grow their subscriber base by adding opt-in forms on their websites. The opt-in forms allow for the collection of customer information, which will enable you to later segment them according to their preferences.
    Also, ensure that you optimise your email for mobile. The staggering 42% who will read, view and open emails from their mobile devices (Litmus) is the highest percentage of users.
    If your emails don’t load properly, or the images are way too big for the screen, then this could have a negative impact on your efforts overall.
    Email translation should not be lost!
    You can achieve B2B success in email marketing by:

  • Writing engaging subject lines
  • Segmenting your emails
  • Optimise emails for mobile
  • B2B Digital Marketing

    Digital presence is crucial. It’s how the majority of other businesses will discover and interact with you. Businesses spend a lot of money in digital B2B marketing, and it’s easy to see why when you consider the global possibilities.
    Here’s a quick rundown of what falls under B2B digital marketing for those not in the know:

    Although social media can technically be considered B2B marketing, it is so large that we decided to give it its own section. (More on B2B SMM in the future).
    B2B digital marketing is more of a requirement than a suggestion, ask any established B2B company turning over big money and they’ll tell you the exact same thing. Your digital marketing efforts can’t function without a website.
    It’s worth it.
    Where are you directing all of that traffic too if the businesses that want to find out more don’t live anywhere near a brick and mortar location?
    You might have a number to call but what percentage of B2B companies only reach leads by phone?

    Digital marketing success in B2B

    The first step in B2B digital marketing success is to have a fully-optimised website. This will make it much easier for you to find.
    Your site can be the most informative and engaging page on the internet, but it won’t gain nearly as much traffic if it doesn’t leverage on-page and technical SEO. This is what it means. This means that alt-text should be used on all images and on every page with meta descriptions.
    Learn more how toCheck out our checklist to help you create the best website.
    You can also strengthen your site with off-page optimization. This is a great way to make it easy for people to find you. Effective external linking strategies are required.
    Another thing to consider when deciding which B2B channels you’ll leverage is looking at paid advertising. Google ads, pay-per click (PPC) and other advertising options are effective ways to bring your product/services directly in front of the right audience.

    PPC is a game of keywords, in the same way search engine optimisation – or SEO – is, only your efforts are a lot more targeted.

    Without going into too much detail, brands bid on a variety of keywords, the top bidders will ‘win’ those keywords thereby appearing near the top of a Google search whenever those keywords are inputted.
    A brand can bid directly on keywords related to its products/services. Or, they can bid on keywords that loosely reference them in some way or another to grab the attention of people who aren’t searching for the brand name or its services directly.
    Here’s an example of this in practice:
    Let’s say you run a B2B business that sells cloud-based software. Bidding on keywords such as ‘data management,’ or ‘flexible work practices,’ despite being loosely related to your brand, will do more for your ROI than choosing keywords that are overly specific.
    You can achieve B2B success in digital marketing by:

  • Optimising your website
  • Running paid search campaign
  • Broad PPC Keywords
  • B2B Content Marketing

    We’re a big believer in content marketing and the benefits brands can draw from it. B2B marketing has even higher stakes.
    Businesses are much harder to attract to. They’re driven by logic, not emotion. Their internet navigation is much more strategic. This makes them ideal candidates for content marketing.
    Content marketing is, in general, an indirect type of marketing. It doesn’t disrupt them in the same way that certain B2B digital marketing strategies do. An effective content marketing strategy can provide valuable information that tells viewers A) you know what you’re talking about, and B) you’re someone they need to know more about.
    What’s more, content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand. This means you can get more traffic and, as a result, more leads.

    Advertising B2B Content Channels

    Content marketing is a term that refers to optimised blog content, which can be found on one website or the other. Here’s a quick rundown of what falls under content marketing:

  • Blogs
  • Newsletter
  • Ebooks
  • Videos
  • Social Media
  • Again, a lot of what we’re talking about in terms of B2B marketing channels does have some crossover.
    Many of these content marketing channels can be used in both direct and indirect ways. Take Facebook ads for example, those can be direct in how they’re presented, or indirect if you were to run a dark ad.
    An dark ad is an ad that’s visible on the platform, the brand behind it and to people who are viewing it.
    So going back to our Facebook example, a dark ad would define any ad that doesn’t exist as a published post on a profile page. They don’t exist as organic posts or boosted social content.

    Content marketing success in B2B

    You can create a blog for your website. However, how many of them are properly researched and address the pertinent pain points?
    The times have changed, and while having a blog that promotes the day-to-day happenings of the business is great and all, unless you’re an established brand with a big following, no one is going to engage with you because of this.
    It’s easy to create blog content that answers popular issues. This is even easier if the content can be structured in a way similar to your sales funnel.
    You can see that some blogs are able to help customers at multiple stages in your sales funnel. Your audience may already be in the prospect stage because your content has been optimized and is therefore easily found on Google.
    High quality blog content will convert leads and generate sales in certain cases.
    Brands should share this content via social media to maximize visibility. You can share this content in many different ways. Others simply send a link with a catchy caption to the post.
    Think outside of the box. You can create unique content that supports your brand and promotes it in innovative ways. You could get your audience to look at what an agency has created.
    Brands looking to engage B2B customers with engaging marketing channels can also consider video-based content.
    This content will help you market your business. It is much easier to share this type of content than blogs. You can also place this content on different parts of your site so it is more visible to everyone!
    Are you looking to increase brand awareness and build trust?
    This is how content marketing works.
    In summary, B2B content marketing can be a success by the following:

  • As their own funnel, structure blogs can be used
  • Share content via social media
  • Wherever possible, leverage video/imagery
  • B2B Marketing with Social Media

    Social media, like a well-optimized website is essential.
    You might think that platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all for your regular consumers, but there’s a decent number of businesses that operate on these channels.
    However, we should point out that these businesses won’t be as interested in your B2B social media marketing efforts, again due to how long the sales cycle is for businesses. That’s not to say that the platform is rendered useless as a B2B marketing channel.
    It is far from the truth.
    Your brand awareness goals can be met through social media. Brands have the opportunity to show off their personalities and connect with customers through these platforms.
    Another great thing about social media marketing is it’s mostly free (unless you run paid ads), and can be used to share other forms of content that you’ve created, as we’ve already touched on.
    It can be tough to keep up with the latest social media platforms, so here’s a current list of the top six in order of most relevant for B2B businesses:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • TikTok, the last platform in our list is an intriguing one. It’s also the new kid on the block compared to others in the list. It has the potential to succeed, with countless B2B marketers experimenting with the platform – including Adobe who got in early.

    Adobe Mastering TikTok Early

    Adobe is one of the first to adopt TikTok. It currently has millions upon millions of users. By appealing to the user’s habits, the second video was viewed more than 2 Million times.
    In the video, users were asked to submit their most innovative creators. Adobe got a flood response.
    Granted not everyone has the same level of clout as Adobe, but there’s lessons to be learned here. How brands can make the most of these platforms. By playing to the interactive nature of TikTok, the brand is able to continue its success on this platform.
    This methodology can be applied to all platforms, although some – like LinkedIn – are a lot more appealing to businesses, meaning some platforms are better than others at capturing leads.

    Succeed in B2B social marketing

    Let’s start there, by talking about the business-oriented social platform known as LinkedIn. Many B2B professionals use this website to find other people and make connections.
    The platform allows you to get other businesses in your sales funnel. Running LinkedIn ads is one way to do it, another is to grow either the brand’s official page, or the page/pages of those working for the brand.
    The first is organic, while the second is paid.
    Taking the organic approach does take longer as you’ll need time to grow your stock on the platform but the results could be monumental in terms of generating leads. It is easiest to exchange valuable knowledge and insight.
    This content can only be shared by your employees.
    When marketing to other businesses, it is important to place emphasis on your brand. It’s the reason why you see so many brands reserving most of their B2B marketing budget to promote themselves instead of, say, their products.

    “Brand is a long term sustainable competitive advantage that any business can create that is really hard to unseat. While someone can duplicate your product, another person can also copy it. These other things are all short term, whereas brand is a long term, durable, sustainable competitive advantage.”
    – Brad McGinity, CRO of 15Five

    Again, this goes back to the benefits of brand awareness, which we’ve touched on many times at Canny.
    You can achieve B2B success in social media marketing by:

  • LinkedIn can be used to reach other companies
  • Brand awareness and branding campaigns are important.
  • What are the best B2B marketing channels?

    It is important to have an idea of all the B2B marketing channels available. The hard part is now:
    Working out which B2B channels you’ll utilise to reach other businesses.
    Understand that every decision you make needs to be in service of whoever you’re marketing towards. You need buyer personas to better understand your customers.
    Buyer personas examine every facet of the audience to determine who they really are and what their position in the company is.
    You can then get a general idea of what they do. This should help you to highlight B2B channels most likely to succeed and encourage them to join your funnel. What’s more, you’ll have enough information to pivot if need be.
    It is only one method to determine which B2B marketing channels to use.
    You can also use other methods.

    Position your brand

    It’s important to understand where you’re currently positioned before you go spending money or dedicating time/resources on any B2B marketing channels.
    This can be avoided by creating a brand positioning statement.
    This statement will let you know where your business stands, taking into account customer personas and USP as well your competition and current pricing.
    When deciding which B2B channels to use, there are many important factors. Understanding where you stand in relation to the current business will allow for your best efforts.
    Brands that are low up on the hierarchy might be less able to do bold things, like a digital marketing campaign.
    They might choose instead to focus on blog content, knowing that it’s a cheaper option and could yield tangible results in time.
    Check out this blog to learn more about branding positioning and what you can do to find out where you stand right now.

    Check out the Channels that Competitors Use

    You can also look at what other companies are doing to determine which B2B channels you should use. Competitor analysis will not only show you the B2B marketing strategies that were used but also highlight any gaps or strengths.
    When scanning a competitor to see what B2B marketing channels they’re utilising, be sure to keep tabs on the following:

  • Language used to attract customers
  • They are pleased with the results of these channels.
  • Which social media platforms are they using?
  • You should do a SWOT analysis to find out everything. But yeah, there’s a lot you can learn from your rivals, just remember not to copy them too much as the businesses will notice something’s up.
    In your B2B marketing campaigns, be true to yourself.
    Authenticity is a selling point.

    How to Select and Generate Success through Your B2B Marketing Channels

    Are you confident at this stage?
    We wish you confidence in your abilities to choose the right B2B channels for marketing and success where brands often fall short.
    It’s easy to see why that’s the case when you stop and consider the number of B2B channels there are these days. If brands don’t have a clear idea of where they should market, confusion can result in more choice.
    Marketers are often faced with difficult challenges when marketing to small businesses. You can keep your marketing on track by analyzing competitors and writing brand positioning statements.
    Do you need help in creating content marketing strategies that link your business with other companies? Or a website that connects you with your audience in a way your competitors can’t?
    Canny is available for consultation
    We’re a creative agency that sets you up for B2B marketing success wherever needed. For more information, get in touch.

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