As a business-to-business marketer, you have probably considered creating a B2B marketing plan that is specifically customized to meet your company’s requirements. A good B2B marketing plan does, in fact, bear a large share of the strain.
Everything else will go much more smoothly if you have your digital marketing strategy, including efficient B2B marketing automation, planned out.
How do you create a strong B2B marketing plan?
Let’s review it.
What is B2B Marketing
Business-to-business marketing, or B2B marketing for short, is the marketing of goods and services to other businesses and organizations.
Distinguishing itself from B2C marketing, which targets individual consumers, B2B involves distinct characteristics. Typically, the B2B sector entails lengthier sales cycles and employs diverse marketing channels. Consequently, online purchases, impulse buying, and physical retail outlets hold diminished significance in the realm of B2B.
What is a B2B marketing strategy?
When many marketers ponder B2B marketing strategies, their thoughts often veer towards inbound and outbound marketing tactics. However, it’s crucial to recognize that these are distinct concepts.
A strategy serves as the comprehensive plan guiding the pursuit of objectives, with specific measures strategically arranged.
A tactic, on the other hand, is one of the implemented measures designed to realize the outlined objectives in the plan.
Your marketing strategy defines your target market, your objectives, standards for measuring campaign effectiveness, and your brand’s positioning. Each of the various marketing strategies used helps to carry out this overall plan.
How growth is promoted by a targeted B2B marketing approach
After providing an explanation of “what is B2B marketing,” let’s move on to discussing strategies. You need to design your strategy with your target audience in mind.
It is imperative that you take into account your business, positioning, and unique value offer, in addition to the financial, team, and non-financial resources at your disposal for marketing. You’ll also want to consider how to target and reach your specific audience.
Additionally, it must be consistent with your company’s existing standing and circumstances.
It doesn’t sound very easy, I know.
It is imperative that you take into account your business, positioning, and unique value offer, in addition to the financial, team, and non-financial resources at your disposal for marketing.
Layout your position in the market
Explain your target audience and buyer personas
Describe your strategy when it comes to marketing and the steps you’ll take to make it happen (including targeting)
Although B2B marketing has a terrible reputation, it has undoubtedly become more complex in recent years.
However, it doesn’t have to be laborious or time-consuming.
Creating a marketing strategy is really just putting in paper and gathering the data that you already own and utilize on a daily basis for B2B marketing.
For that reason, we won’t delve too much into the details of our investigation and release of this data. Alternatively, we provide four simple stages for developing a winning B2B marketing plan.
4 steps to develop b2b marketing strategy
Step 1: Layout your positioning in the market
You must comprehend the market you’re in before you can decide how to create and attain appropriate goals.
Competitors: Where they stand in the industry, as well as their advantages and disadvantages
Unique value proposition: What makes your business different? Do you offer transparent pricing, better customer service, or more accurate data? What problem does that solve?
Your current position: Where does your company land among the patchwork of companies in the market?
Your competitive study can point to a specific market opportunity—price, for instance—that only your company can capitalize on.
That’s your unique selling proposition.
Step 2: Identify your target market and ideal client profile
Understanding your target audience—the who of your market—is the next step.
You should have, or find answers to:
- Who are you marketing to? How old are they? Where do they live?
- What do you know about them? What are their pain points? How does your business solve those?
- Do they all fit into different identities or buckets, or are they all similar?
- Are they different from the companies your competitors target? How?
- Where do they hang out? Where can you reach them, both on- and offline?
A detailed profile of the target audience is essential for B2B marketing; without one, you won’t know how to approach them.
Step 3: Set your B2B marketing goals
Setting your B2B marketing goals is now possible once you have gathered the essential data from the first two steps.
This is the fun part. 😉
While we could write an entire ebook on setting goals for B2B marketing, we’re going to keep it simple here. This is because your objectives will change according to your sector, growth stage, and a host of other variables.
- Here are four tips to creating more successful B2B marketing goals rather than creating a study on marketing objectives:
- They ought to be created in collaboration with the sales force.
- Establish a schedule, such as objectives for the upcoming month, quarter, year, etc.
- Objectives must to be simple to quantify and evaluate.
- The primary objectives should be broad in nature; the plan for each method will go into more detail on specific marketing success measures.
Step 4: Describe the focused B2B marketing strategies you’ll employ to accomplish your objectives.
Now it’s time to get down to business. How, exactly, will you reach your goals?
The tactics shouldn’t be pulled out of a hat. Your goals should dictate the tactics and targeting you’ll use to get there—and they can and should be an evolving mix that gets tested and tweaked and optimized.
Here’s a simple example: you probably don’t need to bother about advertising in traditional newspapers if one of your objectives is to raise brand awareness among Gen Z.
Additionally, you generally won’t employ knitting-related material to draw in target personas if they work in the technology sector. (Unless it’s a knitting-related tech tool; in that case, you do you.)
There should be a more detailed strategy established for each tactic. That includes:
- Channel-specific success metrics and goals
- A targeted plan for campaigns and assets
- An overview of how each strategy fits into the buyer’s journey and complements the other marketing initiatives you’re running to convert prospects into customers who pay.
B2B Marketing Channels
Prior to embarking on your marketing endeavors, it’s essential to equip yourself with the appropriate tools. In simpler terms, understanding the types of channels you should encompass and how to leverage them is crucial. Below is an overview of the key B2B marketing channels that warrant your consideration:
What: Creating and sharing valuable online content for a targeted audience, a crucial method for brand building and community growth.
Why: Effective content marketing yields exceptional ROI, relying on organic traction without heavy promotional investment.
How: Success requires great creative talent, whether in-house or outsourced, and stands out through bold, unique, and impactful content campaigns across diverse channels.
B2B Content Marketing Tactics:
Ebooks and digital assets
Webinars and virtual events
Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
What: Optimizing content for easy discovery by relevant users on search engines.
Why: Organic search is the primary driver of website traffic, providing sustained value by continually introducing people to your brand.
How: An effective B2B SEO strategy blends art and science, emphasizing high-quality content aligned with searcher intent.
B2B Search Optimization Tactics:
Keyword research and competitive analysis
Optimizing for voice search
Social Media Marketing:
What: Utilizing social media platforms to find new customers, grow communities, build relationships, and boost sales.
Why: Engaging on social networks allows brands to meet customers where they’re active.
How: Identify platforms where your target audience is present, employing a focused and consistent approach to gain visibility and drive engagement.
B2B Social Media Marketing Tactics:
Creation of company profiles (e.g., LinkedIn Pages)
Brand/executive thought leadership
Groups and communities
Participating in existing niche conversations
What: Using paid methods like advertisements and sponsorships to amplify content and messaging to a targeted audience.
Why: A reliable method to enhance brand impact, earn clicks, drive conversions, and reach otherwise inaccessible audiences.
How: Develop goal-oriented paid media campaigns with ongoing measurement for strong ROI.
B2B Paid Media Tactics:
Social media advertising
What: Collaborating with recognized individuals in your industry for mutually beneficial outcomes, either paid or non-paid.
Why: Influencers bring established credibility and audiences, offering endless growth opportunities when authentically integrated.
How: Carefully research and identify fitting influencers, creating valuable partnerships and blending brand and influencer expertise.
B2B Influencer Marketing Tactics:
Co-creation of content
Interviews and panels
Micro-influencers (smaller audience, tighter focus)
The Impact of Your B2B Marketing Strategy
As your website begins to attract inbound traffic, there’s a critical need to understand the hidden aspects of its impact within the B2B marketing funnel. Despite the hope for conversions, the reality for the average B2B company sees conversion rates hovering around 2%, leaving a significant portion of traffic unaccounted for. To assess the effectiveness of your marketing strategy within the B2B marketing funnel, it’s crucial to identify these visitors. Are they the right-fit companies aligning with your buyer persona? Why didn’t they convert, and how can you refine tactics to encourage conversion? Leadfeeder was developed, in part, to address the mystery surrounding the 98% of website visitors that typically go unnoticed. It empowers B2B marketers to link these visitors back to the specific tactics that initially brought them to the website. Utilizing the visitor identification tool within the B2B marketing funnel, you can discern companies that didn’t convert, alongside those that did. The tool provides comprehensive company details, source and campaign data, and behavioral insights into the pages they viewed, duration of their visit, and the number of company employees who explored your site.
This valuable data within the B2B marketing funnel allows you to convert missed opportunities into leads or make adjustments to your marketing strategy, especially if there is a significant influx of visits from companies that don’t align with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). In understanding B2B marketing within the context of the B2B marketing funnel, it’s imperative to emphasize intent over generic strategies. While many B2B marketing articles offer commonplace tactics, long-term success within the B2B marketing funnel requires strategies based on identifying prospects with an intent to purchase and guiding them through the buying process. It’s about precision, not merely testing ideas to see what sticks.