Around the world, B2B businesses that are embracing digital marketing are generating a substantially better ROI with their marketing spending in comparison to businesses that stick to offline marketing methodologies. For example, online events and webinars generate an average return of 21%, which is a great deal higher than the 18% ROI generated through offline events and seminars. What’s more, traditional marketing generates a 74% success rate, while B2B marketing sits right around 88%.
These numbers speak for themselves. Digital B2B marketing generates more interest and facilitates better connections among other businesses than more traditional approaches.
While digital marketing is clearly important for B2B businesses, it is important to note that there are some major differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing.
First and foremost, it is important to truly embrace the fact that a B2B organization must approach its digital marketing efforts differently than a B2C organization.
Because business people seek information and services differently than consumers.
Strategies provide competitive advantages, so for your B2B marketing strategy:
- Determine your target audience
- Align content with the company characteristics
- Develop a SWOT analysis of marketing efforts to date
- Develop a business case with your sales funnel
- Plan your strategy using the 5S’s or the 5P’s
What are the best practices for B2B digital marketing channels?
Different channels are going to work better than others. Much of this is going to depend on your target audience. Generally, social media content is used 93% of the time for B2B marketing, making it one of the most important channels, and eNewsletters are used 80% of the time.
Other common strategies to consider and test are listed below:
- Articles posted on your website
- Illustrations and photos
- In-person events
- Branded content tools
- Mobile apps
These channels largely fall under a handful of digital marketing activities that have high commercial impact. In 2016, marketing automation had the highest impact, with content marketing following closely behind. Big data, mobile marketing, conversion optimization and SEO made the list too.
Once a business adds digital components to its B2B marketing plan, it needs to take stock of how effective those activities are. A B2B organization should use different KPIs to measure B2B digital marketing metrics.
Companies need to:
- Set up goals and funnels that each have an assigned value
- Use forward and reverse path analyses to show which content is most effective
- Establish event tracking to determine which content and calls to action work best
So, what are the goals that every B2B business needs to monitor? These eight are pretty common across the board, though each business might have something unique to add:
- Contact forms
- Quick entry forms
- Call-back requests
- Site registration forms or whitepaper resources
- PDF downloads using event tracking
- Product video views using event tracking
- Trial and demo requests
- Webinars and event signups
Although there may be differences in channels and measurement metrics for B2B marketing, the purpose of marketing for B2B and B2C companies is the same: to reach an audience with a message and facilitate them to take action. The main difference is in the approach.
For businesses that are struggling to meet the demands of digital marketing, a B2B digital marketing agency like Lever Interactive can ensure that all needs are met in the most effective way possible.