Marketing is an inalienable part of the success of B2B companies, it’s their door to getting noticed and recognized.
Yet, for most of them, running a successful marketing campaign is a real struggle. Last year’s report by eConsultancy that surveyed mainstream B2B companies proves this point.
According to the data from this report:
- only 17% of B2B companies have the knowledge and skills necessary to support marketing operations
- 60% of respondents say they struggle with managing marketing data
- 58% of B2B companies have trouble resourcing marketing technology
Besides, B2B Marketing also reports that a whopping 94% of companies struggle to collect meaningful insights from their content. So, as you can see, challenges for B2B companies come from different aspects of marketing.
Surely, most of them might have good SEO results and a documented marketing strategy, but it’s not enough to run a successful B2B marketing campaign. The success of a marketing campaign is not just about being technical and calculating every move.
So, today, we’ll touch upon the essentials needed to achieve your B2B marketing goals beyond SEO and other basic strategies. These essentials come from B2B companies that made it to the top with their marketing campaigns.
1. User-Generated Content
B2B companies spend a lot of money on content development. On average, content marketing accounts for 29% of B2B marketing budgets, which can vary depending on the company’s size.
But regardless of how big your business is, you can’t afford to lose that money. That’s why you need to make sure that your target audience likes your content.
To achieve that, you can employ user-generated content (USG) in your B2B marketing campaign to make it more engaging and relevant for your customers.
The effectiveness of this strategy is proven by different metrics. According to the stats by Tint, user-generated content delivers 4x higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click. On top of that, posts with USG has 28% higher engagement than other company posts.
Prophix, a financial analysis solution, is a living and breathing example of how you can effectively adapt user-generated content to your B2B marketing needs.
On its website, Profix offers multiple case studies from its most prominent clients, including Floor & Décor, Senior Living Group, and Skanska:
All these case studies were written with the help of Prophix’s clients, who shared their stories and the metrics that prove their success.
This is not a traditional way of applying user-generated content in marketing, but it is quite fitting for a B2B marketing campaign. Since company executives are probably the biggest segment of your target audience, this content is more suitable for them because it helps them make a well-informed decision about a partnership.
Besides, if you make such content gated, you can also gain valuable contacts.
2. Gated Content
Similar to user-generated content in the form of case studies, you can also build your B2B marketing campaign around gated content.
What is gated content?
Such content requires a person to complete a form with their contact details, such as first and last name, and email address before they can access this content. Such content is usually considered a lead magnet, helping B2B brands acquire and nurture new customers.
There are different types of gated content that you can take advantage of, depending on the goals of your marketing campaign:
- white papers
- product demos
HubSpot is a good example of a B2B company that invests a lot into producing gated content, such as case studies and e-books on different topics:
Thanks to such content, HubSpot is considered one of the knowledge leaders in the digital marketing industry because it has turned its website into an educational hub for all their clients and simple users, who can get free information in exchange for a subscription.
3. Social Data
No matter whether it’s a B2B or a B2C business, a successful marketing campaign should always be data-driven. And the main focus of your campaign should be on the data coming from your audience.
Here’s where social data comes in. This is the data shared by your audience, mostly on social media. It describes different factors that you can later incorporate in your marketing campaign, including:
- feedback (likes, shares, comments)
There are different applications that you can find for social data in your B2B marketing campaign. For example, it could help you determine the demographic details of your target audience based on who follows you on social media:
However, this application is mostly relevant if your marketing campaign uses social media as the main channel for posting content.
Besides audience demographics, social data can help you track their behaviors. For example, you can review your audience activity to see when they usually check your posts:
This metric is essential because it can help you figure out the right time to make your posts. Thus, you will increase the visibility of your content by targeting your audience at the right time.
Be careful, however, as social data is constantly updated and depicts only real-time results. If you want a broader scope of data, you need to set a bigger timeline on the respective social platform, where you’re checking the data coming from your followers.
Also, social media is the channel that forgives no mistake as every typo you make upsets your audience. So it might be a good idea to cooperate with an essay writing service, especially if your resources are limited.
4. Influencer Marketing
Another effective approach to lure a new customer is a partnership with an influencer.
Influencer marketing has quite a few benefits for B2B companies, but most notably:
- Such partnerships establish trust. If your business is new on the market and you have quite a few competitors, partnering with an influencer will give you access to a relevant audience that trusts the influencer’s recommendations and hence trusts you as well.
- You deliver value to your audience. Influencer reviews can effectively demonstrate how your product can solve your audience’s problems without over-promoting it.
- Your marketing strategy gets more diverse. The problem with B2B marketing strategies is that they are often quite unengaging and unimpressive. By working with an influencer, you can show your product from a more creative angle and boost brand awareness as a result.
Bosch is a great example, how influencer marketing can be applied in practice. On its YouTube channel, the company launched a campaign under the hashtag #builtwithbosch, inviting influencers to promote its products:
As a result, Bosch managed to build an army of influencers, who created videos featuring their building tools. Notably, this campaign encompassed the whole world and included influencers from Spain, Latin America, and France:
If you decide to give influencer marketing a chance and include it in your B2B marketing campaign, make sure you have a tool that allows both you and the influencer to optimize the content you create.
For example, alongside using Google Analytics to track the performance of your content, you might also need to have an arsenal of SEO tools that will help you ensure your content is optimized and appears on the top of SERPs.
Also, you need to carefully choose the influencer to work with. They need to specialize in the industry relevant to yours and have the audience that you want to reach. Tools like Social Blade can help you keep track of all influencers from your industry and choose the one that fits your needs the best.
5. Connection to Real Life
Customers want companies to take a stand on various political and social issues. Reportedly, 76% of consumers believe that it’s important for brands to support the voice of the public.
Brands, no matter what industry they are in, have the power and influence to make a change, and consumers know that. That’s why, over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more brands get involved in certain social issues to support their customers.
Companies remain socially active by producing content that’s relatable and relevant to current life events. If you try this approach in your B2B marketing campaign, it most likely will get better results.
For example, a couple of years ago, IBM launched the “Every Second Counts” campaign aimed at elevating business data security and promoting cybersecurity in general. They produced a series of videos of short films, in which they show the consequences of poor data protection in all their horrible glory:
IBM launched this campaign when hacker attacks were getting more and more frequent, alerting both the business world and average customers about the importance of cybersecurity. Such a stand on an important issue showed that the company is connected to the problems of the real world and understands its part in fixing the issue.
You can take advantage of this approach as well in your B2B marketing campaign. It is important, however, that you choose the social issue that you’ll support according to the values of your business. You can also ask your employees and customers for recommendations directly.
Over to You
The main issue with B2B marketing campaigns is that they sometimes try to resemble B2C marketing campaigns. That’s why they often don’t work out, and B2B companies end up losing a lot of money.
But it doesn’t mean that you cannot use the strategies often used in B2C to the needs of your company. In this article, we’ve shown you many examples of such strategies – user-generated content, influencer marketing, and taking a stand on social issues, and the companies that successfully implemented these approaches.
Of course, all these essentials cannot be integrated without search engine optimization and other basic strategies, but they will significantly increase your chances of launching a successful B2B marketing campaign.
About Author. Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at GetGoodGrade with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.