Many people believe that B2B marketing is much harder than B2C. When you think of digital marketing, most people consider B2C consumers; however, B2B buyers are consumers as well. If you think traditional mediums that reach masses, such as social media, are tough to utilize in the B2B space because your product or service is too technical, you’re wrong.
Bottom line: there is no such thing as advertising to a business, you're always advertising to a human i.e. the owner, decision maker, product manager, purchaser, VP, and so on.
These negative points of view and the mass amount of information out there can cause organizations to believe in superstitions instead of real facts. Here we will take a look at common myths surrounding B2B inbound marketing strategies and help you understand why they aren’t true.
1. B2B marketing strategies should only target top senior executives
Myth! If you're only marketing to the highest-level executives, then you could very well be overlooking the influencers who you need to notice your product or service. The B2B research process has drastically changed. Today, most organizations rely on B2B researchers who aren't at the C-Suite level to influence purchase decisions. While 64% of purchase decisions are made by executives, a collaborative nature of B2B is being seen, where two to five individuals are involved in the decision process. Don’t miss out on targeting an important group of people because you're shooting for the stars. Aim your efforts toward all influencers to receive the best results.
Negative. The majority of B2B customers begin their research with generic searches to find specific products; not your company. These researchers will most likely start with a generic search, and continue to narrow down their search at each stage. On average, B2B researchers will complete 12 searches before focusing on specific brands and websites. This means they aren't initially searching for your brand until a dozen searches later. Utilize SEO strategies and gain an in-depth understanding of how your customers research before making a purchase. Make it about your audience and what they're looking for. By focusing your strategy on a category and product type, your company will be identified early on and throughout their searching.
3. Social Media is pointless for B2B marketing
False. Many companies believe that B2B social media activity is not worthwhile because their customers aren’t leveraging it for business purposes. However, 77% of buyers say that they're more likely to make a purchase from a company whose executives are active on social media. People tend to work with businesses they trust and admire, and social media provides a prime opportunity to build relationships with potential and existing customers. Of course, you'll need to select which social media channels are right for your company and customers. For example, a LinkedIn profile can be used to share job posts, company news, or industry insights where an Instagram will showcase photos of culture, products, and events.
Also, social media doesn’t have to be solely about connecting and sharing content; your business can gain insight into what people in the industry are discussing and snag real-time feedback on products and campaigns. Though it used to be near impossible to tell if likes, follows, or tweets led to conversions or leads, social media management and monitoring tools, such as HubSpot, now help you to gain better insight. You can measure your activity with real data and nurture your leads more effectively.
4. There is no need for silly creativity in B2B marketing – it should be all business
Don’t be so serious. The truth is, B2B marketing can be just as imaginative and artistic as B2C. Traditional white papers and brochures can be necessary to your B2B inbound strategy. But, it's still possible to be business appropriate and provide valuable information while interacting with humor and generating other emotional responses. A great way to do this is to let customers see behind the curtains. Showing internal processes and methods behind innovations can give the customers a better view of who you are as a company. Adding humor and creativity to your B2B marketing strategies will give your customers something to look forward to viewing.
5. Pre-existing B2B marketing tactics are a wash
Yet another myth. If you take a deeper look at modern inbound techniques, you’ll discover these tactics actually aren’t that new, and are instead derivatives of old school strategies. Printed brochures and case studies once physically distributed can now be published online. Social media can act as an online tradeshow where businesses, customers, and partners can connect. The key to using old-school B2B marketing strategies is to put a modern twist on them to make these tactics more available to your target audience.
Don’t fall for the myths you hear about B2B marketing. This misleading information could cost you valuable targets and potential profit. It’s important to remember at the core of businesses are people who are searching for products they can connection with. Increase the success of your inbound B2B marketing strategies and convert your focus to your customers, not a business.