One of the crucial steps towards developing a marketing strategy that works is audience research. When you know who you're targeting, it automatically becomes easier to make the right marketing decisions. But the thing with B2B is that many companies still aren't sure what digital marketing strategies they should be using to boost sales.
According to a 2015 research study by Google, almost half of B2B researchers are millennials. Moreover, 40% of B2B revenue was driven by mobile traffic in 2017, and this number is only expected to grow.
With these pieces of information in mind, it becomes clear that in 2020, B2B marketing requires a more contemporary approach. If you're ready to invest in the growth of your business, consider the following marketing strategies.
Optimize for B2B users
Before you start doing anything else, it's crucial that you fully optimize your e-commerce website for business users. Consider their needs and their buying journeys. Do your best to design a flawless user experience. In addition to choosing the right e-commerce platform, you also want to pay attention to technical details.
First, make sure that all your listings are designed with the B2B customer in mind. This means adding plenty of visuals, but not disregarding information either. Your customers are likely to require more in-depth knowledge about your products. So do your best to give it to them. Don't shy away from technical specifications, PDFs, or user manuals. You can even add video guides for your B2B customers, like LFA Capsule Fillers does in the Videos section of their website.
image source: lfacapsulefillers.com
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to business customers is that they are likely to require specific payment and shipping options. So provide them with a net terms program that will offer them flexibility, while still giving you peace of mind.
Use social media intelligently
One of the best ways to drive e-commerce sales is to employ various types of marketing and synchronize them into a uniform whole that's in line with your company's branding and mission.
For starters, this means choosing the right platforms for your business and target audience. According to Statista, the most popular platforms for B2B marketing include LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube. But, that doesn't mean you should disregard other options. Having a strong presence over a variety of different platforms gives you a much wider reach. And, it may prove to be the secret to tapping into new opportunities.
Now, as consistency is key to developing organic social reach, make sure that you choose the right tools to guarantee you've got all your bases covered. A calendar scheduling app that synchronizes with Google will help you plan and share your posts by allowing all team members to collaborate. This way, you can take full control over your social media marketing. You'll be able to make sure that each post goes live at exactly the right time according to your audience insights.
Moreover, sync your social efforts with other marketing strategies, including blog content and email campaigns. This way, you'll get the biggest bang out of your buck with every single piece of content you share.
Give equal focus to both paid and organic traffic
Unless you already have a well-established brand authority and base of customers, you'll have to invest in widening your reach. More than 70% of B2B buyers start their journey with a generic search term. This means that appearing on top of SERPs should be one of your main priorities.
For short-term results, this is going to mean spending on PPC advertising. Investing in these types of ads can help you improve visibility and boost business, especially when you're just starting out. But what's more important is to always use your paid advertising efforts to maximize the returns you get from SEO.
Combined with analytical data from your website, Google Ads insights can give you valuable information about the keywords your audience is searching for. Furthermore, it can help you optimize your pages, including copy, layout, and CTAs. A paid marketing campaign can also be of great help when coming up with your content strategies. In the end, these are the main driving force behind your website traffic and conversions.
Improve (and market) your customer service
Whether your focus is on B2B or B2C, remember that great customer service unquestionably drives sales. And you can easily make it part of your marketing strategy.
For one, look for ways to emphasize the customer support you offer on your website. Dropbox Business does this by pointing out that their users receive priority email, live chat, and phone support. Alternatively, you can use social listening software. It will help you extend your customer service efforts to your social media accounts, making you more approachable. Or, you could start dedicated support groups where your users can ask questions and get answers directly from your team.
Of course, don't forget a happy employee makes for a happy customer. So, take into consideration the role that company culture plays in driving sales. Research shows that collaboration and continuous learning both positively influence profits, as does employee job satisfaction. Look for ways to build a positive culture, starting with taking good care of your team. Encourage rest, learning, and healthy lifestyle changes in your employees. This way, you'll open up room for increased productivity and, consequently, sales.
In addition to using various marketing strategies to reach new people who could turn into clients, don't forget that customer retention plays an equally important part of running a business. In fact, statistical data shows that 65% of a company's sales come from existing customers. Moreover, the likelihood of selling to a returning customer is far greater than acquiring a new one. Naturally, this means that customer retention strategies could very well be the key to boosting sales.
And the fortunate thing is, you can use your existing marketing strategies to ensure your buyers come back. To maximize retention, focus on social media engagement, email, and loyalty programs.
Of course, don't forget to add user satisfaction monitoring to your retention strategy. You can do this with a simple survey, such as the one below by GoDaddy. This type of approach could help you develop future products and increase lifetime customer value, making every one of your marketing investments more profitable.
As you can see, the basic principles of B2B marketing don't differ too much from a B2C business model. In both cases, you have to do your research, invest in content creation, engage with customers over multiple platforms, and work on developing an excellent user experience.
What's different, however, is that with B2B, the stakes are much higher. This means that there's less room for error, especially when it comes to customer satisfaction. For this reason, make sure that all your marketing efforts are backed up by company culture, customer service, and expectation management. Because, in the end, there's no better marketing than that which you get from a satisfied customer.
How to drive B2B eCommerce sales?
- Optimize for users
- Use Social Media
- Use paid and organic search
- Improve Customer Service
- Focus on customer retention