The B2B world isn’t always an easy one to market to. Many businesses remain stuck with their old systems simply because it’s the easiest thing for them. The businesses that do exist in the space are highly competitive, which is why a strong B2B marketing strategy is important.
But just as it’s important to develop a strong B2B marketing strategy, there are plenty of mistakes that marketers frequently fall into. Worried your B2B marketing may be driving business away rather than generating leads? Here are a few mistakes to avoid in B2B marketing.
Some B2B marketers fall for the misconception that their brand is not as important as it would be with B2C marketing. This could not be further from the truth. It might be true that branding looks different with B2B marketing, less focused on flashy and new; but branding is still very important. Because the B2B space is so competitive, it’s important that your business stand out. It’s important that your brand presents you in the right way, and sends the right message.
B2B customers are looking for reliable business partners. They want to make connections for the long term, rather than purchasing a product or service once and then moving on. And they need to be able to see that your business fits that description at almost a glance. That’s what your brand is meant to do. Your brand should put your product or service forward as the answer to their problems, smoothing their workflow, and dependable enough to last.
On the one hand, B2B marketing means that you are marketing to fellow industry people who might be more likely to understand industry jargon. It can be easy to try to show off how knowledgeable you are by stuffing your content full of specific industry jargon. There’s just one problem: no human person wants to read that.
B2B customers are often administrators and executives, but they are, at heart, still people. Your marketing should have a human touch. It’s always a good idea to show that you know what you’re doing, but make sure your marketing content is clear, approachable, and engaging. For the most part, plain language will serve you better.
Sure, telling your audience how experienced and skilled you are at what you do is a good way to inspire confidence. At the end of the day, however, that’s not what’s important to them. B2B customers want to know how you can help them. In that way, it’s more important to be relevant than it is to market yourself as “the best.”
The “80/20” rule in social media marketing has generally been found to be the best and most effective practice. It means that only 20% of your social media content should be promoting your brand. The other 80% should be spent providing helpful content to your audience. This can apply to other forms of marketing, as well. The greater portion of your marketing should be focused on your audience and how you can help them, not on your own accomplishments.
User experience (UX) is all about making sure that navigating your website is a seamless experience for your audience. It’s one thing to have smooth UX on desktop mode. But over half of online traffic comes from mobile usage, rather than desktop usage. If your website is clunky and difficult to navigate on mobile, you can easily end up chasing customers away.
Test the user experience of your online presence both on desktop mode and mobile mode to make sure that your audience gets the best possible experience — no matter where they come from.
It’s important to know the audience that you’re trying to reach. What do they look like? Where do they work and what are their priorities? Why is your business a good fit for them? You can find this out by conducting market research, studying data on your target audience, and getting a sense of what marketing strategies work for them and what don’t.
But this is not a one-and-done strategy. The B2B landscape is constantly shifting. As technologies advance, priorities change. Your target audience now may have different needs than they did ten years ago. You may even have a wholly different target audience now.
Only by continuing to keep up with market research can you continue to understand your target audience and what they need. Only then can you continue to present yourself as a solution to them.