Five Things B2B Marketers Can Learn From B2C in 2018

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Keren Lerner, founder and Managing Director of Top Left Design, shares the trends that B2B marketers can learn from B2C strategy for 2018.

 

B2C naturally falls into the ‘exciting’ category when it comes to marketing, with big household brands that have the budget and audience for extravagant consumer campaigns – just take the Christmas Adverts as an example! But what about B2B? 

Contrary to what some might think, it doesn’t have to be ‘boring’.

The main sticking point for many B2B organisations is a tendency to forget that every one of their buyers and sellers is, first and foremost, a person. They experience personalised marketing in their day to day lives, so why not in their business? The face of marketing has changed significantly over the past few years, and going into 2018, B2B marketers could fail if they don’t move with the times.

Digital marketing and social presence are key, but there is still a lot that B2B marketers can learn from the world of B2C.

 

Engage with different media platforms

Twitter and LinkedIn are generally the best places to be for a B2B brand – it’s where prospects are most likely to be. They can not only be used to share links and your own content, but also as an interaction tool to engage with others. LinkedIn is a great tool to share industry insight and is the ideal place to research prospects.

With new social media habits and features popping up all the time, B2B should look to engage with various platforms to broaden their reach. Instagram is a great place to showcase your employees and culture, and it’s been shown that brands get 20 times more engagement on Instagram than LinkedIn. Traditionally perceived as a B2C dominated platform, Instagram enables brands to really create a human connection with their audience and showcase the ‘behind the scenes’ nature of the business.

 

Embrace influencers’ user generated content

One area that B2C has excelled in over the past few years is its utilisation of influencers to promote their products or services on social media. Bloggers now play a huge role in a brand’s PR and marketing strategy and recent research has found that blogs directly influence purchase behaviour. 65.5% of respondents who visit or read blogs say purchasing decisions are influenced if the author mentions or promotes a product on their blog.

User generated content serves B2B brands particularly well as it gives another window inside the business culture. Where employees or clients post photos on Instagram of their working day, B2B companies can repost the images. This user generated content also promotes the brand to a whole new audience.

 

 

Embracing, and engaging with, digital marketing

B2C companies have many tried and tested digital marketing strategies, including paid search, search engine optimisation, social media marketing and display advertising, which makes it very competitive in the B2C space. For B2B, digital marketing remains a largely untapped opportunity. But by adopting it, new customers can be reached that had previously been unattainable using traditional methods. New customers can be catered to with a well-designed e-commerce site that can increase the likelihood of a sale and visibility of the business as well, drawing in further traffic from digital marketing efforts.

But it shouldn’t stop there. In order to make the most of digital marketing tools such as social media, there actually needs to be engagement - Talk to others, listen to what people are saying, and adapt your communication accordingly. 

It’s all very well scheduling a set of fun tweets for the month, but B2B needs to engage with the replies and responses they receive.

Engaging on social makes a business come across as more human, which ultimately results in more engagement and potential leads.

 

Emotional engagement

With B2B strategies heavily focusing on the facts and features of products and services, many forget the successful B2C method of emotional engagement. Instead of a list of deliverables and features, the emotional benefits should be highlighted at the outset, tailored to the customer to remind them why they’re purchasing the service or product. Anything from added convenience or better delivery options can reduce stress and save time, which appeals to every customer. Creating a story around the benefits and engaging your customers’ feelings first could result in them picking up the phone.

 

 

Keep content fresh

Interesting and insightful content is paramount to a successful digital marketing strategy; topical and relevant content will keep audiences engaged and cut through the typical B2B jargon mixed with the streams of product information that usually clutters B2B websites. This B2C strategy will encourage people to stick around longer on your site and keep them coming back, upping both your ranking and your chance of sales.

To spice up content, B2B marketers shouldn’t confine themselves to in-depth, business related posts - holiday periods and other timely events should be celebrated! Encourage your employees to write a blog each month providing industry insight or keep your audience updated on regular topics.  B2B are usually overly afraid of being ‘too casual’ – and usually there is more leeway than you’d think. We are all human after all!

 

There’s no time like the present

B2B marketers will succeed if they learn from successful B2C marketing strategies and remember that prospects and customers are, first and foremost, people (with all those messy feelings!) - who will appreciate the same style of marketing they know and love from B2C organisations.