Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is a process that involves selling a product manufactured by one company to another. It helps companies promote products to other businesses, establish brand awareness, educate brands about specific products or services, generate leads, and retain existing customers.

In this article, you’ll find out how B2B marketing works, the difference between B2B vs B2C marketing, and the best strategies. We’ll also explain what B2B content marketing is, review B2B marketing trends in 2024, and provide tips and examples.

How does B2B marketing work?

Before diving into the more complicated definitions and processes, you need to understand how B2B marketing works. In this section, we’ll tell you about it in short.

B2B marketing starts with identifying the target audience. Unlike B2C marketing, B2B marketing focuses on building awareness among decision-makers of specific businesses. It usually involves online communication across channels like LinkedIn. Marketers build connections and educate decision-makers about products and services to achieve the necessary results. The strategy varies depending on your industry, business type, and product.

For effective results, B2B marketing implies using quality content to prove that your product or service is a perfect fit for specific businesses. Blog posts, social media posts, and email marketing help you reach prospects and demonstrate your expertise, encouraging them to take the desired action.

In addition to the target audience, you can differentiate B2B marketing using other factors. In the next section, we’ll provide you with a table comparing B2B and B2C marketing.

B2B vs B2C Marketing

Although B2B and B2C marketers often follow the same guidelines and practices, there are some crucial differences between these terms. Having a complete understanding of each type will improve your business, attract new clients, and boost your income.

B2B B2C
Target audience Markets to other companies Markets to consumers directly
Examples Ad agencies, office furniture manufacturers, etc. Restaurants, hotels, retail stores, etc.
Communication Uses special industry jargon and terms Provides consumers with easy-to-understand information
Audience needs The audience is looking for professional expertise The audience is looking for entertainment and a good deal
Decision-making process The decision-making process can take a lot of time Consumers don’t need a lot of time to make decision
Products Products are designed for various types of businesses Products are created for personal use
Price tag B2B companies usually have a high price tag for sizable budgets B2C companies usually have cheaper products, but some of them can also be pricey
Selling cycle The selling cycle usually takes a lot of time and effort to complete

The selling process is fast and often with repeat purchases

As you can see, in B2B marketing, you work with specific individuals or small groups of people within a given industry. Your main goal is to establish relations with office managers or other higher-level employees of the business you want to cooperate with. After all, these are the people who decide whether the company will purchase your products.

Additionally, consider that, as a rule, B2C customers want to get valuable information about this or that service or product as quickly as possible. When choosing a company, they rely on reviews and social proof.

At the same time, in B2B marketing, people learn more about the services or products that interest them. As soon as they discover the potential benefits, they start searching for more specific details about your company and compare it with competitors. Also, these people may look for third-party reviews and similar products your competitors provide.

It’s time to explore some of the best B2B marketing strategies to help you convert more decision-makers into clients.

11 B2B Marketing Strategies

  1. Email Marketing
  2. Content Marketing
  3. Social Media Marketing
  4. SMS Marketing
  5. Web Push Marketing
  6. Messenger Marketing
  7. Search Engine Marketing
  8. Webinars and Online Events
  9. Influencer Marketing
  10. Referral Programs
  11. Customer Success Stories

Numerous B2B marketing strategies can help you attain your goals. Here, we’ll unveil the most effective ones suitable for various industries and business sizes.

Email Marketing

It’s a no-brainer that emails provide a great chance to reach prospective clients. You need an email if you want to maintain relationships with your partners and inform them about the news and deals. The statistics show that about 93% of B2B marketing specialists use this strategy to establish new business relations.

Your emails should include useful information to provide your partners with reasons to start cooperating with you. Tell users about the benefits of your product that will help your clients solve their problems. Consider adding some attractive offers, discounts, and rewards to encourage purchases. When relevant and personalized, these promos will entice subscribers and convert them into customers.

For example, Asana sends special emails to its prospective clients. They introduce the platform and show how it can help with business task management. There is a CTA button that gives a prospect the opportunity to start their project right after reading the email.

Content Marketing

All B2B customers want useful information from your website or emails not only to discover something new but also to assure themselves of your expertise. If you want to satisfy your partners' needs, it's better to mix useful content with SEO to ensure the clients will certainly find your website.

The majority of prospective customers prefer to get new knowledge from articles over ads. That's why it's a wise decision to create a business blog with topics related to your industry. This way, you will not only provide your clients with valuable information but educate and promote your products along the way.

A good example of a B2B content marketing strategy is one developed by STR Software. This company constantly tries to attract large organizations with big budgets and complex sales cycles. To get more leads, specialists from STR created "BI Publisher University."

This website includes tons of useful information for businesses. Each page has a subscription form to collect the data necessary for lead nurturing.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is an integral part of modern business. According to statistics, 82% of B2B marketers use Facebook. With the help of social media marketing (SMM), you can increase your number of leads and establish fruitful business relationships.

Furthermore, you may encourage your employees to create accounts on LinkedIn for B2B marketing. There, they can share information about your company and business achievements. And, of course, it's a great opportunity to increase the level of engagement with potential partners.

For example, Hyatt Hotels Corporation employees post news and interesting offers on their personal LinkedIn pages, mentioning Hyatt establishments. This allows them to establish relationships with customers and provide them with useful information in a friendly manner.

SMS Marketing

According to Mobile Marketing Watch, this type of message has an open rate of 98%. Given these impressive statistics, you should definitely implement an SMS marketing strategy.

Text messages allow you to establish direct contact with potential customers, improve engagement, and deliver time-sensitive offers. Since SMS are more visible to prospects, they help you attain wider reach and better conversion rates.

Web Push Marketing

Push messaging has revolutionized the modern marketing industry. According to Marketing Land, these messages have a high click-through rate (CTR), especially when personalized and sent at the right time.

Your web push notifications should be relevant, concise, and engaging to attract decision-makers and make them explore your offers. They should be straight to the point so that businesses can directly figure out what your product is about.

Messenger Marketing

Messenger marketing has already become popular in the B2B sector. As seen on Adlibweb, messengers have nearly 80% open rates and 20% click-through rates. And in case you don't know which messenger to choose, you should start with Facebook, as it is the most popular with business people.

You can also consider using a chatbot to help your decision-makers explore your product and provide more detailed information about it, as BDC does on its website.

Search Engine Marketing

Search engines invite you to implement various types of ads to boost your brand visibility and awareness. You can use pay-per-click campaigns on Google Ads to attract more traffic to your site and generate more leads. Besides PPC campaigns, consider incorporating retargeting, allowing you to re-engage with decision-makers who have already interacted with your site or content on various platforms.

For example, when companies search for something in Google, they might come across your product when you use sponsored ads. For example, once you look for website builders, you’ll instantly notice Wix, which will be at the top of search results.

Webinars and Online Events

Consider incorporating webinars and other online events to provide decision-makers with insights and solutions to industry challenges they might be facing in their companies. When doing online events, add Q&A sessions to communicate with prospects in real-time and identify their current issues. It’ll make it so much easier for you to resonate with their needs, find the right approach, and choose the right words when communicating your marketing message.

Below, you can see an example of a free webinar provided by BDC to other businesses. This particular webinar focuses on using AI for business.

Influencer Marketing

With opinion leaders, it’ll be easier for you to reach the right people with the right message promoting your product or service. If you manage to find influencers in your industry that have a big influence on their audiences, you can expand your reach and educate potential clients about your product. When being recommended by an opinion leader, you can get the credibility and trust of users. It contributes to more people exploring your brand and considering purchases.

Referral Programs

By offering discounts, special offers, and rewards, you encourage existing customers to refer new clients. These incentives will help you expand your reach without investing much in ads. When you turn your existing customers into your brand advocates, you can allocate costs on ads to some other areas of your B2B marketing strategy. This ensures that new customers will definitely perform a buy while optimizing some other points needing your attention.

Customer Success Stories

Sharing your customer testimonials allows you to demonstrate the usefulness of your product and the real change it brings to customers. They can describe the benefits, establish trusting relationships with leads, and build credibility.

Below you can see Amazon Business sharing customer success stories on its website to drive more conversions.

These are the most popular and effective strategies, yet it's impossible to describe all of them because marketing is constantly changing. New methods appear while the old ones lose their edge, so it is vital to keep a finger on the pulse. Now, let’s delve into creating a B2B marketing strategy for your company.

How to create a B2B marketing strategy?

Developing a B2B marketing strategy implies a structured plan covering your target audience, goals, and ways to reach them. Below you can find a detailed guide on creating the strategy for your B2B company.

  1. Develop a vision. Your business goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely). Then think about the B2B marketing strategy that will help you achieve them. When developing a strategic vision, answer the following questions: Who is your target audience? Where will you engage your audience? Who will hold your marketing campaign? What tools will you use? How can you increase engagement? How will you measure your success?
  2. Identify your primary goals. Define the objectives you want to attain when implementing your B2B marketing strategy. These objectives can include brand awareness, lead generation, and an increase in sales and income. Make sure that your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) so that your business can achieve them.
  3. Understand your target audience. Consider researching the market, industry trends, main companies, and market size. Divide your target audience into segments based on their industry, business size, location, and requirements. Then, create buyer personas representing your ideal customer. Outline their pain points, decision-making process, and channels for interactions.
  4. Conduct competitor analysis. Determine your main competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, positioning, and marketing strategies. Consider using this data for your further analysis and marketing efforts. It will help you out with the best marketing strategy and stand out competition.
  5. Establish your unique value proposition. Think of the points that make your product unique and the reasons customers prefer it over competitors. Afterward, outline messaging that will help you effectively communicate the benefit your product brings to other businesses.
  6. Create a content strategy. Determine the content types you want to use to successfully deliver your marketing message and encourage decision-makers to take the desired action. Depending on your product, you can publish blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, or videos. Consider developing a content calendar to effectively map out the creation and publishing dates for your content. Besides, when creating content, ensure that it meets SEO standards to take top positions in search results.
  7. Identify the best communication channels. Consider using online or offline marketing channels or a combination of them. Identify the most effective platforms for communicating with your target audience. In addition to traditional channels like conferences, trade shows, and other events, consider incorporating effective online channels, including sites, social media platforms, ads, email marketing, etc.
  8. Use lead generation and nurturing approaches. Add lead magnets to your website to encourage action from those who visit it. It can be eBooks, webinars, free trials, or something else providing value to your site visitors. You can also incorporate email marketing solutions like SendPulse to send personalized email campaigns with offers that might be interesting for your subscribers, guiding them down the sales funnel. With marketing automation, you’ll be able to run lead nurturing and follow-up on autopilot.
  9. Align your marketing and sales efforts. Give your sales and marketing team all the necessary tools, content, and information for proper communication between these departments. This will help you provide prospects with consistent information and move them through the sales process.
  10. Evaluate your key performance indicators. Determine metrics that help you evaluate the performance of your B2B marketing strategy. They might include lead conversion rates, ROI, customer acquisition cost, and many more. You should also find the right analytics tools for your convenience, including Google Analytics, CRM, and marketing automation solutions. They will help you track and analyze your strategy performance easier and faster.
  11. Launch your campaign. When your plan is ready and you've chosen the best strategies, it's time to take action. Make sure that your team members do their best to satisfy prospective clients. It is vital to get acquainted with the best marketing practices and implement some tips in your strategy. Also, remember that you should focus on targeting the right audience. Your main task is to create messages that provide information to a specific group of people who may become your business partners.
  12. Improve your strategy based on performance. Once you obtain data from analytics tools, use it to your advantage when optimizing your strategy. A/B testing will help you compare several campaigns and identify the best-performing one for your business and audience.

Now that you understand the process of developing a B2B marketing strategy, you need to find out how B2B content marketing matters for higher conversions.

B2B Content Marketing

Content plays a crucial role for all businesses, including B2B companies. It educates about products and influences decision-makers. In this section, we’ll explore B2B content marketing in more detail.

B2B content marketing is the process of creating and distributing useful content that draws attention and helps engage with other businesses. This content focuses on addressing the problems, needs, and preferences of business clients and decision-makers.

Now that you know the definition, let’s proceed to the importance content marketing carries for B2B companies.

Why is content marketing important for B2B?

B2B content marketing plays an important role in attracting prospects and converting them into paying customers. In this section, we’ll unveil even more reasons for you to consider it for your B2B marketing strategy. Content marketing for B2B is essential because it:

  • Helps establish authority and trust. High-quality, valuable content allows you to show your expertise and establish authority in the industry. When you have a lot of useful content helping customers solve their problems, you are more likely to gain site visitors' trust.
  • Generates leads. With informative content that provides real solutions to users, your company can attract more potential customers interested in your product. By addressing site visitors’ concerns and pain points, you can communicate reasons for potential customers to consider your product.
  • Nurtures relationships with potential customers. Useful, high-quality, and consistent content allows you to nurture relationships with prospects. Various content types help interest leads and move them down the sales funnel.
  • Improves customer retention. By consistently providing valuable information and following up with potential customers through email campaigns, social media posts, blog posts, and other content, you can establish trusting relationships with prospects and retain existing customers. The right marketing messages and attractive offers encourage customers to re-engage and take the desired action.
  • Boosts brand visibility. Content optimized based on SEO standards enables you to stay in the top results. High-quality content with relevant keywords improves your site visibility, driving more organic traffic to your website. It results in more potential customers.
  • Increases sales. Subscription forms with lead magnets, including case studies, whitepapers, and webinars, encourage site visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter. After obtaining prospects’ contact data, you can keep in touch with them and offer useful content. This can encourage leads to purchase from your brand.

Now let’s take a look at B2B content marketing strategy to understand how it works.

B2B Content Marketing Strategy

Your B2B content marketing strategy should be developed depending on the stage of the buyer journey customers are in. So we’ll review each stage and the type of content you can use to effectively reach your business clients and lead them down the sales funnel.

  1. Awareness stage. At this stage, consider creating blog posts, infographics, social media posts, short informative videos, podcasts, e-books, and whitepapers. They will all help you outline the pain points of your target audience, their common challenges, and solutions.
  2. Consideration stage. At this point, prospects assess different products allowing them to solve their problems. You should use the right content to show that your product is the best solution to the challenges they face. For this purpose, consider using webinars, research reports, email campaigns, case studies, online events, and whitepapers.
  3. Decision stage. This is when leads are ready to take action. They compare all the possible options to choose the best one. To become that one solution, your company should provide product reviews, testimonials, detailed product information, consultations with specialists or customer support, free plans, trials, or demos.
  4. Retention stage.  After customers buy your products, you need to follow up with them to ensure that everything works properly and they are satisfied with your brand. Provide them with onboarding documents, FAQs, and links to your knowledge base, and send them emails confirming that they successfully use your product.
  5. Advocacy stage. At this stage, you need to encourage your happy customers to promote your product to other business clients. Numerous incentives, such as referral and loyalty programs, special offers, and discounts, can help you achieve this goal. Consider encouraging your clients to create user-generated content and provide you with reviews, testimonials, and success stories.

Now let’s jump into B2B marketing trends your company should use to stand out.

Standing out in the increasingly competitive environment is crucial for every B2B company. That’s why in this section, you’ll find the main B2B marketing trends for 2024.

  • Chatbots and virtual assistance. Chatbots are widely used for various purposes, including lead generation and nurturing, customer support, product recommendations, booking management, and many others. By incorporating chatbots and virtual assistants on your site, you can provide instant support and assistance for all of your prospects and customers.
  • Predictive analysis. With its help, you’ll be able to analyze customer behavior and predict their needs. It results in a well thought out targeting and campaign optimization.
  • Personalized content.  By using technology for personalization, you can make your content more relevant and targeted to specific audiences and their needs, challenges, and requirements. The insights you receive will help you take the right actions to convert these leads into clients.
  • User-generated content. User-generated content contributes to a higher trust in your brand. After exploring positive testimonials, case studies, and customer reviews, prospects might decide to purchase your product.
  • Video streaming. Various video content formats, including webinars, product demos, and live-streaming events, enable you to interact with your audience and address their concerns regarding your product. Live streaming will help you educate your target audience about the product and unveil all its benefits to businesses.
  • Omnichannel marketing. It’s a must to ensure seamless customer experience across various marketing channels because it contributes to the competitiveness of your business. You can combine different channels based on your customer’s preferences. It can be email marketing, messengers, websites, events, and many more.
  • Eco-friendly practices. Showcase the proof that your business is sustainable and eco-friendly. People caring about the environment will be pleased to find out that your brand is environmentally conscious.
  • LinkedIn dominance. Start or continue actively using LinkedIn to communicate with your business clients. Consider sharing content, establishing networks, and generating leads.
  • Industry-specific opinion leaders. Collaborate with influencers with a wide reach in your industry. You’ll be able to quickly expand your reach and establish credibility.
  • AI content generation. Consider using AI to create high-quality content, personalize it, and optimize it for your social media, website, and other channels. This way, you’ll resonate with your audience’s needs and address their pain points.
  • Virtual networking. With virtual event platforms, you can ensure networking opportunities and engaging experiences for participants. Interactive events encourage decision-makers to consider your product.
  • Short videos. Creating short informative videos is perfect for educating audiences on social media. They are easily digestible and quickly shareable, encouraging users to send them to their friends on social media. These videos contribute to brand awareness, recognition, and visibility.
  • Advocacy programs. Happy customers are the best way to promote your brand to other companies. By encouraging satisfied clients to become your brand advocates, you are more likely to bring more customers who are really interested in your solution. It will help you expand your customer base, boost conversions, and increase revenues.

By staying up to date with technology, your company will have an advantage over others and automate repetitive tasks. One more aspect you need to consider for better efficiency is B2B marketing automation, which we’ll discuss in more detail in the next section.

B2B Marketing Automation

To automate the processes and eliminate human error, it’s useful to incorporate B2B marketing automation. In this section, we’ll tell you what it is and how to use it to your advantage.

B2B marketing automation is the process of using software and technology to automate and streamline marketing efforts to reach business clients and their decision-makers. It allows companies to boost efficiency, apply personalization, and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns by using the received information and running processes on autopilot.

B2B marketing automation is useful for various types of businesses and industries. Enterprises of all sizes, technology companies and startups, manufacturing and industrial companies, B2B ecommerce companies, educational institutions, financial services, healthcare, and marketing agencies can use automation to run marketing campaigns automatically, improve lead management, and boost efficiency. B2B marketing automation platforms help businesses generate and manage prospects, send personalized email campaigns, keep track of customer relationships, personalize and publish content, send follow-ups, retain existing customers, and analyze campaign performance.

Platforms for streamlining your marketing processes include SendPulse, HubSpot, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Eloqua, and many others. These platforms combine multiple marketing products and help manage various processes.

Now that you know the details of B2B marketing automation, it’s time to find some ideas and tips for better sales. Let’s jump in.

11 B2B Marketing Ideas and Tips to Improve Sales

Boosting sales in the B2B segment requires you to take effective steps and strategies. Here you’ll find the best B2B marketing ideas and tips.

  1. Create a well-thought-out content marketing strategy. Pay close attention to the content you create. It might vary in formats and cover blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, and case studies addressing customer problems and providing solutions. Consider creating video content for product demos, customer testimonials, and educational webinars for more interactions and visualization of your products or services.
  2. Implement account-based marketing. B2B marketing often depends on the key players you want to partner with. For more effective marketing efforts, you need to identify high-value accounts and craft content based on their needs and pain points. Your campaigns should be personalized to each one. For this purpose, you can use data and insights to align with their preferences and problems. When you target high-value accounts, make sure that your sales and marketing departments collaborate for aligned marketing and sales efforts.
  3. Use social media platforms. Consider using LinkedIn to find business clients and collaborate with them. Share your content, establish leadership, and interact with potential clients directly. If your budget allows, use paid advertising. It will help you reach prospects who are looking for similar products. Encourage your sales team to effectively use social media networks for selling because more and more people use them for this purpose.
  4. Optimize experience with your website. When optimizing your site, make sure that your unique selling proposition is clear. Site visitors should instantly understand what problems your product can solve. Consider building dedicated landing pages for offers or campaigns with visible CTAs for more conversions. Evaluate user experience with your site, including site speed, mobile-friendliness, and optimized images to reduce bounce rates.
  5. Incorporate marketing automation. Using marketing automation will help you score prospects and identify high-quality leads you can contact immediately and follow up with them. Besides, automation allows you to create email workflows to nurture leads with targeted content and personalized offers based on their behavior and buyer journey stage. With integrated CRM, you’ll be able to have all customer data at hand and align the work of marketing and sales teams.
  6. Conduct webinars. Consider hosting educational webinars in your industry concerning industry trends, best practices, and product demonstrations. They will help you introduce your product to a wide audience and educate prospects about it. Wth engaging Q&A sessions, you can address prospects’ concerns and answer all their questions related to your product or service. Virtual trade shows let you demonstrate your product and establish a network of leads.
  7. Use email campaigns. Use a special email marketing solution like SendPulse to apply segmentation and personalization. They will help you divide your audience into groups based on similar criteria and send email campaigns relevant to each of the segments. It will help you consistently engage with your audience and provide them with attractive offers.
  8. Consider influencer marketing. By collaborating with opinion leaders, you can increase your reach and improve brand visibility. As an option, you can invite famous experts in the industry to your online or offline events to become speakers and promote your product. This way, you’ll attract their followers who might be interested in your solution. You can also partner with influencers to develop co-branded content ensuring value to social media users.
  9. Encourage success stories. Case studies, success stories, and testimonials are useful tools for showing your products and how they can help business clients attain their key goals. Ask customers for testimonials and share them on your site or social media platforms so that potential customers can find out more about the products’ value.
  10. Take steps towards customer retention. Customer success programs, consistent post-purchase communication, and loyalty programs will help you keep existing customers and encourage repeat purchases. Show your customers that you care about each of them and appreciate their choice.
  11. Focus on providing relevant solutions to customers. When promoting your product, make sure to identify prospects’ pain points and provide solutions. Instead of focusing on your features, find out whether leads have financial, productivity, or support issues. After determining the problems, you’ll be able to come up with a relevant and personalized solution.

Before developing a strategy, you should explore some examples to implement all the steps right. In the next section, you’ll find some inspiring examples.

B2B Marketing Examples

Some companies use amazing B2B marketing strategies. It's definitely a great idea to get acquainted with some of them if you want to find a spark of inspiration and come up with your own method to attract new clients.

Adobe

Adobe, software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography, has everything needed to attract businesses to its products. On its website, you can see the solutions designed for business teams, consult with experts, and choose the right plan.

HubSpot

HubSpot encourages companies to buy its products in various ways. One of them is offering small businesses a demo of its premium marketing software. This way, teams can try the platforms and their products before purchasing to find out whether they suit the business’s needs and requirements. Besides the demo, HubSpot provides all the necessary tools for customers to test the service, including free HubSpot Academy, 24/7 support, and various apps.

Open Loyalty

Open Loyalty shares customer success stories on its website, establishing trust and credibility. It allows the company to show that many influential businesses already used the service and had incredible results. With their help, Open Loyalty demonstrates that its product is worth the try.

Amazon

Amazon, a large ecommerce company, focuses on developers and decision-makers. On its website, you can find information necessary for both. The platform provides all the needed information for organization leaders to consider the company’s tools.

Canva Events

Canva Events allows brands to attract new business clients and provide decision-makers with reasons to consider Canva. Potential customers can join real-time online events unveiling specific topics, including business presentations, internal communications, pro-designer workflows, and many more with Canva.

As you can see, a B2B marketing strategy is essential for any company that works with other organizations. Sometimes, it plays the main role in business growth. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider the tips and thoughts expressed here. Register with SendPulse and implement them right now!

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