B2B industrial marketing has significantly changed in recent years. The industrial market has become more saturated with products, and technological advancements have made competition much fiercer. The rise of globalisation has meant that industrial marketers now have to compete with not only local manufacturers, but manufacturers from all over the world. In addition, more and more B2B buyers are in the 25-34-year-old age group, which makes them the biggest decision making demographic in the B2B sector.
This new generation of B2B decision-makers grew up with the existence of the Internet. As such, targeting these ‘digital natives’ means building a strong online presence. This is vastly different from traditional B2B industrial marketing techniques, which primarily involved attending trade shows and putting print ads in relevant trade publications.
B2B industrial marketing has been revolutionised by the Internet. Your customers are online, and you need to make sure that your business is too; otherwise, they are likely to find a competitor. Creating a strong presence online means more than simply setting up a website and posting to social media. In order to be successful with your B2B industrial marketing online, you need to take a strategic approach. The following are some of the best things you can do to ensure your B2B industrial marketing strategy gets results for your business.
Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition
Before you start any marketing strategy, you have to know the customers that you are targeting. If you don’t have a clearly defined picture of your target audience, you won’t know which tactics, messaging, and promotional channels to use for your marketing efforts.
The first step in understanding your customer is to create a buyer persona for them. This involves putting together ideas about your customer’s demographics, goals, motivations, pain points and thought processes. Your buyer persona should also outline where they obtain their information, how they research products and services, and the content that they are most likely to engage with.
You can then match up the target customer’s needs and challenges to the products and services that your business provides in order to create your industrial business’ value proposition. Once developed, the value proposition should be incorporated into all communications between your business and the customer.
Develop a Comprehensive Content Marketing Strategy
According to a recent report from Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers say they conduct some form of online research before purchasing a business product. It’s important that they can find information on your business and its products and services when they are in this research phase. The best way to do this? Content marketing.
91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers. This is an extremely effective way of communicating with the target audience, as 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information from a series of articles rather than an advertisement. Your content marketing can help get your business in front of your target audience early on in the research phase of the purchasing process. With effective content, you can communicate your relevance to them, build trust and demonstrate how your business can add value to them to move them further through their buyer journey.
Incorporate Video Into Your Strategy
videos are gaining more prominence as a content format, with 72% of B2B marketers using video. It’s proven to be an effective strategy for them. According to Aberdeen Group, marketers who use video get 66% more leads per year.
Video content is ideal for communicating with your target audience by delivering a unique experience, helping them solve a problem, creating personal and emotional connections, and sharing timely insights. More and more social media platforms are supporting and prioritising video. However, marketers, particularly in the industrial sector, are a little slower at adopting this technology. Industrial marketers who can master the medium will stay one step ahead of the competition in engaging their customers.
Dedicate Budget to Digital Paid Advertising
There are a number of paid digital advertising options available to today’s B2B industrial marketers, from Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads on search engines to Display Ads, social media ads and promoted social media posts. Search engine marketing is the highest-ranking channel among paid marketing options in terms of efficacy at 52%, while promoted social media posts come in second at 39%. As more marketers take note of this trend and the success that other businesses are seeing from it, paid advertising is likely to continue to grow.
B2B industrial marketers should be taking advantage of digital advertising and its ability to target a very specific audience so that they can reach their customers and increase their ROI.
Want to proactively plan for future success? Start developing your business’ strategy for next year with our blog on B2B marketing 2020 trends.