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B2B Marketing Guide: Strategies and Tools



With B2B marketing on the rise, the burning question many marketers have is simply – how. How to do it, how to be successful in their campaigns, and how to utilize the strategies and tools they have in order to scale their business. Both novices and veterans in the business can sometimes feel lost in the fast-paced environment of the industry, and often overlook simple things they can do, so let’s delve into the ins and outs of B2B marketing, the best strategies, and the tools that make the job so much easier to do.

What is B2B Marketing?

b2b marketing


The first thing we need to address is the definition of B2B marketing. B2B stands for business-to-business, which means that the products and services marketed are aimed towards businesses and organizations, unlike B2C which is primarily oriented towards the end customer. B2B marketing is for businesses such as SaaS companies, office supplies providers, various services, tools, and products any organization is looking to sell to another.


In a nutshell, B2B marketing is a set of techniques that companies use to sell their services or products to other businesses. The key difference from B2C marketing is that the decision-maker is not an Average Joe, but most likely an executive in a company who needs to take all the pros and cons into consideration when purchasing, and doing so with a long-term collaboration in mind.


Type/Value

B2B

B2C

Customer

Business

End-User

Relationship Length

Long-term

Short-term

Focus

Relationship

Product or Service

Buying Process

Long

Short

Decision

Planned and Researched

Emotional, does not require a lot of research

B2B Marketing Examples of Top Industry Leaders

what is b2b marketing


Talking about B2B marketing in broad terms is fine, but to really understand the behind-the-scenes of such practices, it is best to search for prime examples of companies who do it right.


Let’s take Marketo as an example, one of the prime content marketing experts in the business. Recently, Marketo started promoting Definitive Guides, top-notch content pieces that delve deep into the, sometimes complicated, topics business owners struggle with.

They have guides on web personalization, digital advertising, social media, email marketing, customer nurturing, etc. They present these guides as premium pieces that will help executives reach their goals and learn everything they need to know about the topic at hand. By using words such as “definitive” they are creating a sense of authority and appealing to basic human attraction to quality and professionalism only the best industry leaders can offer.


Another great example is Hootsuite, a company made famous for its fantastic blog which drives sales. They always keep their content fresh and exciting by including many case studies, deep insights into high-profile institutions such as the University of Cambridge, and witty remarks with a business twist of pop culture events.


Finally, rare are the content marketers that have not heard of HubSpot and its Academy. HubSpot utilizes developer documentation, video courses on sales and marketing, and top-notch educational materials as a way of promoting their product. The content they produce is evergreen, which means that even their older articles are still relevant and useful to the reader, and they are a prime example of a company committing to what they do best and not changing their content as trends change.

B2B Marketing Best Practices Fast-Growing Companies Use

b2b marketing strategies


Since the world of marketing is faster than ever and every day is a struggle to find a new way of creating and managing relationships with customers and prospects, many businesses are turning to experts and implementing their best practices into their own organizations. As planning and maintaining one on one communication with each prospect is impossible when you are looking to scale your business, implementing marketing automation is the new norm and something every successful business should do.

Marketing automation will allow the company to automate, measure, and streamline all the workflows they have set up, which results in faster growth and efficiency when it comes to tasks that need to be done. So, what can companies do?


  1. Define the buyer persona. There is no point advertising ice to an Eskimo, so why should a company spend time and resources targeting a wrong prospect? One of the best practices any business can implement early on is defining their buyer persona, a fictitious prospect that would benefit from the service or a product they are promoting. From there on, companies can tailor their marketing activities such as content and workflows to the needs of their specific buyer persona.


  1. Personalize the workflows based on the buyer. Different buyers have different issues, different needs, and different ways of making a decision. This means that when they search for a solution or a product, they will all use different queries to find what they are looking for. And that is where companies need to construct their workflows to follow their buyers' purchasing journeys. Creating the content that caters to each step of their journey will greatly increase the chances of them choosing your product or service since they will get the right message at the right time.

  2. Offer valuable content. We live in the age of information, which means that a potential customer is overwhelmed with the clutter of scattered info they are looking for. To combat this issue, it is of utmost importance to offer valuable content that will target each stage of the buyer’s purchasing journey, and offer worthy facts and tips they can appreciate while they are solving their problem.

    A great example of such practice is Moz, a company that has one of the best blogs aimed towards SEO. Even if a potential customer does not purchase their services, they will still keep them in mind whenever they need reliable information. Creating a sense of expertise and appealing to authority in a subtle way will yield results and keep your company in the minds of the buyers.

B2B Marketing Goals and Strategies that Drive Growth

b2b marketing definition


Every successful marketing campaign needs to have two crucial components: its goal and its strategy. But how does one figure out exactly what they are? Take a look at some prime examples of what to do and when to do it.


Start with the funnel. The traditional sales funnel is, as the name says, shaped like a funnel. It starts with the buyer’s awareness, then leads to interest, after that desire, and finally a sale. However, it might be time to rethink the traditional sales funnel and think of it more as a mind map full of loops. But why is this the case?
The buyer has changed. Millennials do not appreciate cold calls, so step one is already jeopardizing the marketing funnel.

  • The buyer does the research online. Even though conferences and word of mouth are still effective to some extent, the buyers of today do their research mostly online, weighing the pros and cons of all the available options.

  • Buyers do not follow the streamlined journey through the sales funnel. They often loop back to one of the previous steps.

  • More decision-makers are involved. The CEO of today is not a micromanager but instead allows their employees to make rational executive decisions. Therefore, the buyer is not just one person anymore, it’s an entire team.


Once you figure out what your sales funnel or rather a sales map looks like, you can focus on your goals, making sales and retaining customers.


Focus on lead generation. B2B lead generation is basically getting the customers who are potentially interested in learning more about your product or service. Once these leads are collected, they can be taken through the sales funnel, making them customers, and ideally, promoters of your brand. The key thing to think about is value. Ask yourself these questions:


  • Why would the lead need your service or product?

  • How can your product make their business grow or their operations run smoothly?

  • What makes you stand out from your competitors?


Don’t forget the basics. In order to even have the lead generation to market to, every business needs to cover the basics before even thinking about hitting the market. So what are the basics of a successful campaign?

In the Internet era, a good, optimized website is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Studies have shown that people judge the website in the first 15 seconds of the visit, and if they don’t find the information they are looking for, they move on. Poor web design is the culprit for long loading, which means that the potential customer leaves without reading a word on the website. So what should you aim for?


  • Simplicity – Simple, minimalistic design always works and gets the message across.

  • Reasonable hierarchy – Make sure that the visitor finds what they are looking for intuitively.

  • Good navigation – Don’t make your visitor jump back and forth, make navigating simple

  • Optimization – Optimize your website for all devices

  • Clarity – Do not make the potential customer scroll through 50 pages just to get to the pricing.


Push content. There is a reason why content marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies nowadays. Providing value to a potential customer will not only increase the likelihood of purchase but also instill the sense of credibility and trustworthiness. What type of content should you produce?


  • Blog. Your blog should be the go-to place where anyone who wants to learn more about the niche you operate in can find useful information. Focus on delivering high-quality information on the pain points and utilize storytelling as a tool for humanizing your brand and connecting with the reader.

  • Webinars. Regularly host webinars on hot topics that your potential clients are interested in. A webinar is a great way of collecting data as well, so make sure to get their email and other relevant information. Q and A sessions at the end of the presentation will help the potential customer decide faster if they see that you are dedicated to answering all their questions and discussing their issues.

  • Visual content. Infographics, videos, images – all of them help bring your brand closer to the potential lead. Humans are visual animals and process images much faster than text, so make sure to utilize this medium in your marketing strategy.

  • E-books. Another great way of providing value and getting data is through e-books. However, make sure that these books go deep into the topic and provide actionable steps your leads can take to better their business.

  • Social media. Social media marketing is at the core of online marketing, simply because it is easy, accessible, and well-spread. However, the key to a great social media campaign is creating an eye-catching post that will interest the viewer in a fairly short amount of time.

  • Podcasts. Podcasts are great for gathering niche audiences and getting them interested in what you have to say. Create a niche podcast where you can get loyal listeners whom you can invite on the show and show them that they are a worthy interlocutor and an expert in their niche.


Utilize ads. Getting the leads aware of your product is great, but retargeting the ones who already know who you are is even more important and effective. There are several ways in which you can utilize the ads to market your product:


  • Retargeting: These are the ads that the visitors of your website will see across the Internet so you are always on their mind. You can place the ad anywhere your visitor goes and keep reminding them that you exist and can solve their issue.

  • PPC: Pay Per Click advertising focuses on searches your potential leads make when they are looking for a solution. Identifying the right phrases and queries they use will reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of the ad.

  • Native: Native ads focus on content and not the flashiness, and its main characteristic is the ability to create a strong brand voice, which is exactly what you need if you are advertising to businesses.

Organize events. Over 40 percent of B2B marketers consider events to be the most effective channel, and 68% of them utilize live events for lead generation drive.


Master SEO. Use longtail keywords and phrases that your potential buyers may use when searching for the solution they need.


What about the goals of your B2B marketing efforts? Strategies are essential, but they are worth nothing if you do not have a clear goal in mind. There are numerous things you can focus on, for example:

  1. Brand awareness. A common goal in the B2B marketing sphere, especially if you are operating in a niche market where it is hard to stand out.

  2. Authority. Establishing your brand as an authority in the niche is essential for a successful campaign. Connect with industry leaders who are willing to do a guest post on your blog or appear on your podcast, use reliable information, and position yourself as the go-to brand for anyone who needs a specific solution that you are offering.

  3. More engagement. Customer retention and loyalty is a key factor of a growing business. An engaged customer base will lead to more referrals and testimonies, which results in more conversions down the road.

  4. More conversions. Naturally, every brand wants more conversions, and if this is the primary goal, the strategy will follow the intuitive route to achieve this result.

Best B2B Marketing Facebook Groups

marketing b2b

Facebook is still one of the leading platforms with the highest engagement when it comes to connections of any kind. While LinkedIn is fast approaching with the promotion of groups or clouds, Facebook is by far the easiest way of connecting with potential buyers through groups, where you can offer valuable content, share ideas, answer questions, and promote your product or solution effectively – to a real person who runs a business.


  1. Stacking Growth. Stacking Growth is a community of growth marketers and a place where top industry leaders, influencers, and brands come together to share insights into the industry. Stacking Growth organizes events that focus on marketing where they bring top-notch speakers such as Julius Dein, Jason Wong, the co-founder of Dank Tank, and Yuval Rechter, the creator of So Yummy and Blossom.

  2. SaaS Growth Hacks. SaaS Growth Hacks is a group created by Aaron Krall which gathers CEOs, founders, and marketing professionals in the field of SaaS operations. The group members offer useful advice focused on growth, starting, and running their businesses.

  3. SEO Signals Lab. SEO Signals Lab is a group dedicated to sharing the ins and outs of SEO when it comes to marketing campaigns. The members can share case studies, test results, as well as discuss trends and best tools they use to achieve the results they want.

  4. Growth Marketing & Outbound. Growth Marketing & Outbound is a group of industry professionals who can share their strategies, ideas, tricks, and hacks related to growth hacking, email and digital marketing, as well as their SaaS businesses, and the best way of converting a lead.

B2B Marketing Tools that Top Marketers Use

b2b marketing meaning


Running a successful campaign by hand and one on one is not just hard, but yields no results in the long run. Therefore, since we live in the age of automation, we must focus on some of the best tools marketers use to reach their goals faster and easier.

  1. Anyleads Prospecting. Anyleads tool allows you to find and verify the emails to prospects and leads. Its great feature is the Enrich Domains tool, which works by exporting a CSV file of all the employees working at the domains you enter. You can either upload or manually type in up to 100 domains and export all the relevant information on the employees such as their names, emails, etc.

  2. Snappa. Snappa is a tool that helps you create graphics for social media, ads, and blog posts in a manner of minutes, without the knowledge of graphic design. You can choose the optimal image size for all social media platforms and devices, and create infographics with the help of templates, stock photos, and text graphics.

  3. Phantombuster. Phantombuster is a cloud API store where you can get all the APIs to scape data, set up automated workflows, and extract contacts from LinkedIn, Slack, Facebook, and other platforms.

  4. Dux-Soup. Dux-Soup is a lead generation tool for LinkedIn you can use to automate the process of gathering leads. You can send automated messages, leave notes, scrape the profile details, and organize everything into a coherent list.

Successful B2B Marketing Process

Stranger

Visitor

Lead

Customer

Promoter

 

Attraction

Conversion

Closing

Promotion

 


Since lead generation is the main focus of any successful strategy when it comes to B2B marketing, companies should consider them a priority. However, leads don’t just magically appear in your CRM, they start off as complete strangers, outside of your sales funnel. There are four main steps in the successful B2B marketing process:


  1. Attraction. At this entry point of the sales funnel, strangers are attracted to your solution when they do their research and use specific keywords. Once they come across your website, your blog, and posts on social media, they become a visitor.

  2. Conversion. Visitors browse around your website, attend a webinar, read a blog, and listen to your podcast. They encounter landing pages and various calls to action. Once they fill out a form, whether it is a newsletter or webinar registration or something else, they become leads.

  3. Closing. Leads are put into a CRM, at which point they become a part of your automated workflow. Whether you are utilizing email marketing or some other form, once they purchase your service or product, they become customers.

  4. Promotion. Keeping your customers happy is the key to retention and more conversions down the line. By offering good account management and valuable content, you are ensuring that your customer is satisfied with the product they purchased. At that point, they can receive an NPS survey where they can express their delight, leave a testimonial, or refer your company to a friend in the business – thus becoming promoters.



Best B2B Marketing Conferences

b2b marketing

Event marketing is on the rise since over 20% of B2B companies utilize the power of live communication to build strong communities around their brands. Therefore, B2B marketing conferences are one of the surefire ways to gather leads, get unique insights into the industry, and connect with like-minded professionals in the business.


  • Forbes CMO Summit, November 13-15, 2019, Dana Point, CA. The Forbes CMO Summits gathers some of the top industry players to discuss strategies, innovations, and trends in the world of B2B marketing.

  • Argyle Marketing Leadership Forum, October 2019, New York City. The Forum will give visitors an insight into the industry and allow plenty of opportunities to discuss growth, optimization, and scaling.

  • Content Jam, October 28-29, 2019, Chicago, IL. Content Jam is where speakers and marketers can gather once a year and delve into the strategies, analytics, and promotion methods when it comes to content marketing.


Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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Extract subtitles of Youtube videos to create unique content.

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