Giving the reduced importance of B2B marketing is still a reality of the Romanian business environment. Unfortunately, except for the large- or medium-sized companies, often multinationals, in business services the interest for marketing remains secondary.
As a marketing and business development consultant, I meet many B2B entrepreneurs who understand why it is important to do marketing, but far fewer are those who allocate budget relevantly and who are concerned about having an effective marketing function. This is why I chose to write about the essential areas that all B2B marketing companies need to focus on to make the most of their efforts.
Few are business services or B2B companies that have no competition. Whether it is operating in a niche market or a general market, it is the brand that communicates the company’s promise of value. Moreover, a well-built and well-known brand makes it possible for a potential customer to decide sooner to open collaboration. Historically, B2B firms have never invested as much in their brands as in their B2C counterparts – especially service-based firms. Yes, all companies already have a logo, a color palette, etc., but as competition grows, companies are beginning to realize how much a distinct position in the market helps them.
What is the best thing for B2B companies to do? To begin with, they must return to the basic concepts of branding, whether they are in a position to establish them for the first time or to revise them. Many companies need to create more differentiating and compelling value propositions and messages, supplemented by an emotional element.
The brands with a “good enough” presence will become less acceptable, especially as small and medium-sized companies enter the market “with the big competitors”. Attention to the brand is also necessary because the new generations of customers will want a more sophisticated overall brand experience – from visual identity, website, signage, office environment, etc.
Video content has a majority share in Internet traffic and is expected to increase to 82% of all Internet traffic by 2021. Google research has found that 70% of B2B customers watch videos throughout the purchase cycle.
Video is an extremely powerful tool that B2B companies can use to deliver their message for a variety of purposes, including brand videos, product videos, case studies, customer testimonials, videos with recommendations, updates, just just to name a few.
Most companies do content marketing, whether they put content on social media or blog articles. However, the latest research conducted by Content Marketing Institute shows that 4 out of 10 B2B companies consider their company’s content marketing to be mature or sophisticated. This result highlights a trend: more and more companies that “do” content marketing are turning to a strategic and/or more sophisticated approach.
The content marketing of B2B companies aims to create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. Therefore, they should place less emphasis on the amount of content they produce and more on creating quality, original content that educates buyers and provides insight into the solutions a firm can deliver to customers.
Recommendations for B2B companies that want to successfully market:
- Invest in video materials whether they are short, long and/or live
- Perform live streaming events as an alternative to webinars
- Diversify content formats to include a wider mix
- Explore new ways to be on Instagram as it begins to play a bigger role for GenY and GenZ
- Campaign PPC and paid advertising to increase the reach of original material on social media platforms
- Understand the mechanisms of influencer marketing and native advertising to innovate and differentiate quickly from the competition