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What is B2B Marketing?

Business to business (B2B) marketing is the marketing of products to other companies. Learn about B2B marketing strategies here.

Marketing is a crucial component of business success. Through marketing, businesses can engage with their customers to promote new products and services. But marketing to other businesses is much different than marketing to customers, and both are equally important for a brand.

Business to business marketing, or B2B marketing, refers to a business marketing its products or services to another business, rather than to individual consumers. B2B marketing is important for a myriad of reasons. It’s how other businesses can become familiar with your brand and potentially even convert them into customers.

B2B marketing is much different than marketing to customers, as it requires different strategies and conversion tactics to turn leads into clients. If your business relies on the business of other companies, it’s important to know how to create promotions and advertisements that target other businesses to win them over.

To learn more about business to business marketing and how to market your business in ways that will drive revenue, continue reading this article.

What is B2B marketing?

Business to business marketing is the marketing of products or services to other businesses and organizations. In order for businesses to successfully sell products or services that are of use to other businesses, they will need to implement B2B marketing strategies rather than business to consumer (B2C) marketing strategies.

The ultimate goal of B2B marketing is similar to B2C marketing, which is to sell your product or service and drive revenue for your business. However, the strategies that a business uses to get there are quite different.

What is the difference between B2B and B2C marketing?

There are several key differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing that every business owner should know. If you’re starting your own business, you need to determine exactly to who you’re selling your products or services. Is it people, or is it other businesses? If you’re selling to individual people, you will use B2C marketing strategies. But if you’re selling to other businesses, then you need to use B2B marketing strategies.

B2B marketing targets organizations and their needs. With B2B marketing, the organization is the customer, and someone is purchasing from your business on behalf of their organization rather than for their own needs. There are many different forms of B2B marketing, such as a financial software company that sells their software to other businesses to manage payroll or a fulfillment company that sells office supplies, for example.

B2C marketing, on the other hand, targets individual consumers and their needs. With B2C marketing, the individual is the consumer, and they are purchasing from your business for themselves. Some examples of B2C marketing include a store that sells food to individuals, like a grocery store, or a streaming platform that sells TV/movie subscriptions to people, like Netflix.

The marketing strategies that a business will use for B2B marketing will also differ greatly from the strategies used for B2C marketing. With B2B marketing, customers care more about efficiency and are driven by logic. With B2C marketing, customers care more about getting a good deal and are driven by emotion. B2B marketing is straight to the point and based on facts, while B2C marketing can be more fun and creative because it needs to appeal to a customer’s emotions.

Additionally, B2B marketing has a long buying cycle, as businesses are often looking for long-term solutions to improve their efficiency and workflow, such as an e-commerce company looking for an inventory management solution. These relationships work on a continual basis, as software, for example, may update periodically or new features are introduced. With B2C marketing, the buying cycle is much shorter, as most customers aren’t looking for long-term solutions, but immediate results, such as buying a new pair of headphones to replace a pair that recently broke.

6 B2B marketing strategies

So now that you’re more familiar with what B2B marketing is and how it differs from B2C marketing, let’s explore different ways you can market your business to other companies. There are various B2B marketing strategies that you can use, so it's important to find one that works for your specific business and your target audience.

Here are six B2B marketing strategies that you can try out for your business:

1. Market research

Conducting market research is crucial for any business, regardless of who your customer is. Market research is how you can find gaps in the market, identify your customer pain points, and see what competitors are doing. You need to figure out what your customers’ obstacles are and what they need to overcome so that you can ensure your products or services meet their needs.

By conducting marketing research, you’ll get a better idea of exactly who your customers are, including their pain points and desires. But market research will also give you insight into how your competitors are performing and what they’re doing right and wrong.

You want to create a picture of your ideal customer, known as a buyer persona, which in the case of B2B marketing, would be another business or organization. Research their demographics as well as their interests and behaviors so you can get a complete understanding of who they are. You can do this by interviewing other people in your industry or creating surveys to send out to current customers.

Market research will help you figure out what marketing tactics are right for your business, such as different types of social media content to create that can help you market your business more effectively online and ultimately drive sales.

2. Reviews and testimonials

Establishing credibility is essential for organizations looking to grow because it lets your current and potential customers know they can trust you. There are several ways you can improve your business’s credibility, such as by attracting high-quality reviews and testimonials. Conducting case studies is also important, as it allows you to show your customers your success with real-life data.

Word of mouth is a great way to promote your business, and often that comes in the form of a review. If your business has negative reviews, that can seriously hinder the likelihood of a customer choosing you over a competitor. If a customer is faced with two extremely similar businesses that offer the same products at the same price, but one has better reviews, they’re most likely going to choose them. This is why it’s so important to focus on getting high-quality reviews and testimonials from your customers as this improves the credibility of your business.

Make sure you include positive reviews on your business’s website, as this is a great way to convert website visitors into customers. If potential customers can see raving reviews about your products or services on your website, they’re going to be more likely to purchase from you in the moment. Positive reviews can go a long way for your business. You can also include case studies on your website so your customers can see for themselves how your business performs.

3. SEO

For your business’s website to be successful, it first needs to be discoverable, which you can do with SEO tactics. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of driving organic traffic to your website by using different tactics, such as incorporating keywords in copy and target links.

Your website is the first impression of your business, so it needs to contain quality content. Your website should be well-organized, easy to navigate, and functional, making it easy for users to browse.

SEO can either be on-site or off-site, both of which are important for B2B marketing. On-site SEO is the practice of optimizing a website, such as using targeted keywords that tell search engines about the content of your website so that customers can easily find you. Off-site SEO includes SEO tactics that occur outside of your website, such as obtaining links to your website from other publications and sharing your website on social media. These are both crucial tactics to utilize in order to optimize your digital presence and ultimately drive traffic to your website.

There are various SEO tips that you should use to gain visibility on search engines and drive traffic to your website, such as:

  • Using alt-texts on photos: An alt-text is a description of an image that appears if the image fails to show up on a website, which gives you another opportunity to use target keywords.
  • Adding meta descriptions: A meta description is an element of the HTML that summarizes a page’s content. Having meta descriptions is important because they can improve your website’s click-through rates.
  • Improving page speeds: Your website pages should load quickly so users can easily navigate the website. If your website lags or takes a long time to load, readers are much more likely to click the back arrow and visit another site.
  • Creating a relevant blog: Having a blog gives your business a space to talk about relevant topics in your industry, which can boost your visibility.
  • Having a strong home page: Your home page is typically the most visited page of your website, so it should be engaging and contain pertinent information about your business.

SEO can be as simple as using plain language on your website that is easy to understand and creating high-quality, valuable content that your readers will engage with. Try to implement as many SEO tactics as possible so you can boost the discoverability of your business.

4. Referral system

Referrals are a great way to drive interest in your brand. If someone mentions a brand to you, you’re most likely going to choose that brand over a competitor, simply because someone you trust referred them to you. That’s why having a referral system for your business is so important.

Referral marketing can take many different forms. Your customers can simply refer your business to their peers, but you can also implement a formal referral program. Incentivizing clients to refer your work to their network can improve lead generation efforts. In fact, 78% of B2B referrals help generate leads for the business, so it’s crucial to implement a referral system to encourage customers to promote your company.

There are many different ways you can incentivize clients to refer your work to their peers and colleagues, such as offering them 10% off their next order, giving them a free item, product, or service, or providing them with a credit on their account.

5. Social media

Social media is important for all types of marketing, including B2B marketing. In order to promote your business to the right audiences, you need to have a social media presence. Social media plays an integral role in society, and there are numerous platforms that you can take advantage of to increase brand awareness, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, and LinkedIn. Before joining a platform, conduct research to determine which platform your audience uses most frequently.

In addition to building a social media presence for your business, you also need to be active on social media. Simply creating an account won’t do much for your brand—you need to consistently post on those accounts and engage with your customers in the comments.

There is a lot you can do for your business on social media. You can run digital ads, connect with new audiences, and create content that further develops your brand. To start, you can create a profile on one platform to publish regular, engaging content. From there, you can branch out and post across multiple channels to reach more audiences. With the help of social media management tools, you can ensure you’re maintaining a consistent posting schedule that reaches your audience and generates leads.

6. Email

Even though social media has become a very popular way to market businesses, email marketing remains an essential marketing tool. To successfully market your business, you need to use both social media marketing and email marketing, as it allows you to directly speak to your customers in a way they trust and are comfortable with.

As a business owner, you need to know how to craft the perfect email to other businesses. An effective marketing email contains several elements, such as:

  • A clear call-to-action: You should incorporate a CTA in every email you send. Your CTA is what you want your readers to do next. It can be as simple as asking them to click a link or sign up for an event or download a resource. Regardless of the action, your CTA should be concise, easy to understand, and located toward the bottom of your email.
  • Captivating subject line: Subject lines can be hard to think of, but they’re very important when it comes to email marketing. Your subject line is the first thing a potential customer will see about your brand, so it needs to be good. Your subject lines should be specific and straight to the point but still interesting enough to entice your reader to open the email.
  • Good copywriting: When it comes to the actual content of your email, the writing needs to be captivating. You should aim to keep your email as short as possible without leaving out any important information. Your writing should be engaging and easy to understand so you can quickly grab your reader's attention and get your point across. As always, proofread each email to ensure there are no grammatical mistakes or errors.
  • Personalization: If your reader feels like you wrote an email specifically to them, they’re much more likely to support your business. Personalizing emails might seem like a tedious task, but it really doesn't have to be. Personalization can be as simple as including the reader’s first name or writing a quick sentence that is specific to them or their business.
  • Visuals: An email that is all words can be intimidating to a reader, so it’s a good idea to break up your copy with visuals. Visuals are much easier for a reader to digest and will help make your email more interesting. Your reader should be able to quickly skim through your email and still understand the message, and including visuals is a great way to get your point across without using words.

Wrapping up: How to market your business

In order for your business to be successful, you need to use the right marketing strategies. But the marketing strategies that you use will ultimately depend on the type of your business and who your customers are. A B2B business will use much different marketing strategies than a B2C business because they’re appealing to an organization rather than an individual.

Knowing how to market your business to other businesses is crucial so that you can drive traffic to your business, increase sales, and ultimately be successful as a brand. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to market your business to other companies, such as optimizing your website with SEO best practices and building a strong social media presence and marketing on those different platforms. Or, you can take the more traditional route with email marketing. Different marketing strategies work for different businesses, so it might take some trial and error before you figure out a tactic that works for your business.

But if you need help with developing and implementing different marketing strategies for your business, you can use Mailchimp. Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers an assortment of helpful tools and resources that business owners can use to develop, launch, and grow their businesses.

Mailchimp offers resources to help with everything from behavioral targeting to content creation, so you can develop effective marketing strategies that work for your brand. So, whether your goal is to create more personalized marketing campaigns or create a website for your business, Mailchimp is here to help every step of the way.

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