How to market your business to other businesses in the era of digital
May 15, 2017
Tangible growth and return on investment (ROI) pressures are nothing new when it comes to business-to-business marketing. However, innovation is a word that is becoming more common and is without a doubt applicable in the B2B marketing sphere.
While there is certainly variation when it comes to the topic of marketing your business to other businesses, there are some areas of focus that are becoming the foundation for growth and ROI, and still leave plenty of opportunity for innovation. Spoiler alert, social media is one of them.
So, at what point do growth, ROI and innovation all reach an apex and what concepts can you apply for B2B success?
Content marketing is growing in popularity and there is a great deal of conversation around that content turning into shorter bites with visual appeal. (http://www.nnbw.com/news/social-buzz-the-continued-evolution-of-content-marketing/ )
However, in the B2B world, there is research that supports longer content being more effective in B2B blog posts. (http://blog.strategic-ic.co.uk/b2b-blog-post-best-practices )
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For this format to be effective, it does require the content to be relevant and educational. Remember, content marketing is defined as the process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to stimulate interest in a brand's products or services.
Part of the reason longer format content marketing is successful is due to the research journey that occurs prior to purchase. Posting frequently, and balancing the topic of the posts also become important over time.
Mobile marketing is something that is more integrated into the world of marketing. As more companies tend to have responsive websites, mobile marketing is less of a trending topic.
However, like so many things in the marketing world, mobile marketing is now facing changes that could impact B2B marketing. For example, Google rolled out an algorithmic change that essentially impacted the performance of pages that serve intrusive mobile pop-ups. (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-pop-up-mobile-marketing )
How do algorithmic shifts like that apply to B2B? There was a time when B2B companies could assume their customers were doing research from a desktop, but that is no longer the case. Today, mobile access accounts for over half of web traffic. There is a new breed of business owner that lives and breaths on their mobile devices.
So, being relevant on mobile and being aware of changes to mobile platforms is important for marketing businesses to other businesses.
While social media is a part of content marketing, it is big enough to be talked about in its own right.
B2B businesses seem to find LinkedIn and Twitter the most effective. (https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Social-Media-Falls-Short-of-Expectations-B2B-Marketers/1015065) However, that doesn't mean skipping out on Facebook or Instagram. The most important thing to ask is, where is your target audience? Make it about your audience, not your business.
A best practice to always keep in mind with social media is to focus on quality, not quantity. That means honing in on whichever platform you think is important for your business. Don't make a profile on every platform just to be there. Hint: Revert to the question above if you are unsure.
Visual Content Marketing
As the drive to create content that is engaging, shareable and captivating continues, business-to-business marketing is still catching up to B2C, however, the need for visual content isn't going anywhere.
Video is here to stay, but don't worry, that doesn't mean full studio quality production. Video that is raw and real feels more genuine and less like a commercial or sales pitch, which users prefer these days.
Maybe you're an expert in your field or maybe you're opening a new location, sharing that with your target audience in the form of a video could be of value to your business.
Think about the possibilities of combining it with social media. It could be great!
The list of possibilities for marketing your business to other businesses goes on into concepts like native advertising and influence marketing, but getting the basics above polished is not only a great foundation but also a huge opportunity for reaching your audience, growing your business, gaging ROI and, of course, innovation.
Brook Bentley is the social media and content manager for Sierra Nevada Media Group.