If you think all types of content marketing are the same, think again. Using content to market to other businesses or B2B content marketing is a lot different from marketing directly to consumers. This article will guide you if you’re looking for examples, trends, and ideas to update your marketing strategy in 2020. We’ll also look at B2B sales funnels and how agency professionals work their way to hacking them to get great stats for their clients.
The Difference between B2B and B2C
Business to business or B2B content marketing is promoting a product or service to other business entities. It’s different from business to consumer or B2C marketing. Both approaches try to sell something, but they have different audiences, so the tactics aren’t the same.
What are the specific differences between B2B and B2C marketing? Here are several notable distinctions:
The first one lies in the scope of their audiences. B2B targets business owners, which is a small audience segment. B2C, on the other hand, is directed at a broader audience. Even if the target market is a niche, the scope is still bigger than the former’s audience.
Despite having a smaller extent, however, B2B marketing can be a bit more challenging. Unlike in B2C that sells directly to consumer segments, B2B marketers sell to a team of buyers. This team is usually trained to get the best deals for the business, possibly making them a bit pickier than regular consumers.
Secondly, B2B is targeted at an audience that would ideally engage in a long-term buying cycle. B2C, on the other hand, aims for shorter buying cycle consumers, though repeat clients are also ideal.
Relationship vs Branding
Third and the most important, B2B aims to build a relationship with the audience who are most likely seeking expertise. It is therefore focused on lead generation. On the other side of the coin, B2C works to highlight products more than trying to have a relationship with clients. Thus, it’s focused on building a brand.
B2B Content Marketing Sales Funnel
Now that we know the difference between B2B and B2C, it’s time to familiarize ourselves with the former’s sales funnel.
Just like with B2C, buyers in this stage are seeking information about products that they need in the business. They become aware of your product through direct mail, social media, events, advertising, trade shows, blogs, and many other channels. Through this stage, marketers generate leads.
During this stage, buyers become interested in your product and include it on their list of choices. This is when the importance of nurturing leads becomes crucial. Aside from basic data, they look for more info about your offering through reviews. During this stage, B2B marketers sustain interest through emails, newsletters, and other forms of targeted content.
This stage entails buyers sharing information about the product to stakeholders or other members of the deciding team. During consideration, marketers offer more info to help the buyers decide to opt-in. Aside from added knowledge, marketers also offer experience through free trials.
The last stage under the lead nurture phase is the intent. During this stage, buyers request a product demo to try the product or service. This is the golden window of opportunity to convince them to choose your product for their business needs.
The sales phase begins in Evaluation. During this stage, buyers request a contract proposal. Often, the deciding team only needs to see that everything is how they expect it to be. It’s crucial for marketers to prove to buyers that their product is worth investing in. Doing this would give them the last push to decide to sign on the dotted line.
This last stage is when the buyers finally purchase the product after a process of going through all the phases of the funnel. However, a marketer’s job doesn’t end here. Making sure that the buyer had a pleasant experience would increase the chances of referrals and good reviews.
B2B Content Marketing Ideas in 2020
Here are a few B2B Content Marketing Ideas you might want to focus on to help drive sales up.
Know Your Audience a Bit More
B2C marketers are focused on individual people’s preferences and interests. On the other side of the coin, B2B is concerned with buyers’ organizational values. Increase sales in 2020 by getting to know your audience more. What are their goals and aspirations? What kind of offer would be irresistible to them?
Knowing your audience will allow you to craft effective copies and design that would appeal not just to buyers, but the whole deciding team.
Keep Your Content Relevant
According to studies, releasing irrelevant content is the top reason for buyers to stop engaging with brands. This only goes to show that simply producing content isn’t enough. You must release content that your audience is interested in.
So, how do you do that, exactly? The first step is always research. If you’ve done the first task of knowing your audience, you most likely have an idea of their preferences.
Another step to know what’s relevant to your audience is to study your statistics. Which content earns more views? Which ones gain a high click-through rate? Use the info you get from these questions to guide your content design and marketing plan.
Amp Up Your Email Marketing Plan
Email marketing will never go out of style – at least not within the next decade. In fact, account-based marketing statistics tell us that 6 out of 10 respondents see email marketing as the most effective campaign tactic. Needless to say, it’s crucial to create a strong email campaign in 2020 to make your business stand out from the rest.