Having a solid online presence is no longer just a good idea for B2B companies — it’s absolutely necessary for businesses to stay ahead of their competition and distinguish themselves in the B2B realm.
Companies with subpar digital branding or style need a better site experience; it can be paramount to attracting new business. If your B2B company is struggling, follow the lead of B2C companies.
Because they’re consumer-oriented, B2C websites strive to be compelling and brand-focused to help consumers understand the company, its products, and its value. B2B companies could stand to adopt these basic principles of B2C sites to help their customers understand their organizations and products, too.
But B2B companies don’t typically allocate the necessary funds to make this a reality. A 2015 Content Marketing Institute survey found that companies are only dedicating 28 percent of their budgets, on average, toward content marketing.
How to Connect with B2C Strategies
With so much competition in the digital marketplace, identity and name recognition can significantly affect whether a site visit turns into an action. B2C tactics for these experiences can play a vital role in customer acquisition.
B2B marketers should take a cue from their B2C counterparts and develop a well-thought-out multi-platform online and social media persona. This ranges from selecting ideal brand colors to working on a voice for content to developing graphics and imagery. Keeping everything up-do-date and well-maintained is key.
Creating a unified brand sets your company apart from competitors by ensuring that your brand is the most easily recognizable and allowing consumers to experience your company digitally.
Instead of text-heavy marketing materials, allow customers to interact with your content. Design interactive webpages or send creative emails that embody the B2C spirit while keeping the messaging directed at your target audience. Social media accounts establish your brand and allow potential and existing customers to engage with it just like B2C companies.
3 Ways to Marry B2B and B2C Tactics
Typical B2B marketing practices rely on ample text and limited design, putting services before branding. But many companies have already begun the shift toward B2C practices.
Microsoft is leading the way in melding B2B and B2C marketing tactics with updates to its site that introduce personal employee and product content. This type of brand storytelling is important, especially when remembering that those shopping B2B products are still consumers who want to connect with a company.
According to Econsultancy experts, 80 percent of B2B consumers make their decisions prior to even contacting a company, which further illustrates the need to have a strong and professional online digital brand across all consumer touchpoints.
Here are three ways B2B marketers can use B2C strategies to deliver a satisfying experience and increase customer acquisitions:
1. Develop the right content.
Because B2B sites are traditionally more copy heavy, transitioning to a more streamlined website can be somewhat difficult.
But taking the time to find the right way to get your brand’s purpose across in a simpler way goes a long way when trying to create a B2C-like site experience. Start by outlining your brand’s purpose, key features, and any other pertinent information that needs to be displayed.
2. Enhance your mobile experience.
Constantly test and optimize your mobile pages. If possible, speed up your load times to less than one second.
Mobile provides many opportunities to make a profit that B2B marketers are struggling to latch onto. Gartner.com reports that B2B marketers generate only 19.4 percent of digital commerce revenue from mobile, compared to 22.6 percent for B2C.
3. Keep content fresh.
Keeping online content fresh is paramount to a successful digital marketing strategy. Topical, relevant, and exciting content keeps audiences from getting bored, which means they will visit your site more frequently and stick around longer. Good content also affects brand image.
Always take holidays and other timely events into account to spice up your content. You can also use storytelling to keep eyes on your business in an exciting way. For example, have someone in the company write a weekly column or discuss an important industry topic. Never shy away from funny or less-than-serious content; readers’ interest is what matters most.
And take a look at what your competitors are doing to help generate ideas — and maybe even learn what not to do.
Increasing leads and customer acquisitions depend on telling a compelling story and establishing a strong brand identity. These tactics are already being used in the B2C world, but B2B marketers should pull them into their marketing strategies to offer customers a satisfying digital experience.
What tools do you use to research your competitors and track the types of content they create?