When it comes to business-to-consumer (B2C) eCommerce, the approach we adopt is rather straightforward. We make use of extremely granular targeting options on platforms like Facebook and Google to reach our ideal customer, along with the usual strategies of well-designed web pages and easy checkout options.
B2C eCommerce folks can latch on to everyday trends and events. For example, is it a snowy day in Toronto? Might be a good time to push out ads for winter parkas, high-performance snow tires, rugged boots, or even skiing holidays.
Individual consumers aren’t constrained by external factors when they opt to make a purchase. But business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce is a different beast, which is why the types of digital marketing strategies you deploy have to be well thought-out.
B2B eCommerce Digital Marketing Strategies
Let’s take a closer look at strategies that will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
Find the right keywords
As we mentioned earlier, B2B buyers have to factor in the needs of their organization when settling on a product to purchase. That’s why B2B SEO keyword research is so pivotal — it targets the potential decision maker at each stage of the B2B sales cycle and helps move leads down the funnel quicker.
Let’s take an example. Both B2C and B2B buyers might be interested in safety gloves but the nature of their inquiry will differ. A B2C consumer probably needs safety gloves for conducting regular home repairs or while cleaning the kitchen. A B2B buyer, however, might want to purchase a bulk order of industrial strength safety gloves for the workers at their assembly line.
Notice how the search query differs? A B2B marketer simply targeting keywords like ‘safety gloves’ has the potential of attracting unqualified traffic that won’t convert in a large B2B purchase. However, a B2C consumer won’t search for ‘industrial gloves bulk order’ so it’s safe to assume that whoever is searching for this term.
Attract organic leads through content marketing
eC0mmerce marketers assume that paid spend is the best and fastest way to drive up conversions, but that’s a false thought. The fact is that content marketing can improve conversions up to six times more than websites who don’t leverage this tool.
Content marketing — that’s using tactics like videos, blog posts, infographics, product sheets, case studies, and social media posts — helps engender brand loyalty and trust. And with 89% of B2B researchers now turning to the internet when they begin their research process, the fact of the matter is that you need to have a robust digital presence just to stay relevant.
Content marketing isn’t just important for B2C — B2B marketers should use it to their advantage, too. For example, Caterpillar, the well-known manufacturer of industrial equipment, launched their Built for It campaign specifically to target the new millennial decision maker that’s younger, digitally-savvy, and demands a top-tier brand experience.
Renee Richardson, Global Marketing Services Manager at Caterpillar, explained the decision as an internal understanding that B2B brands need to be more human, more approachable, and more relevant. There’s no reason why your content marketing campaign shouldn’t try to achieve the same things.
88 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. That’s an incredibly powerful statistic and harkens back to the old days when B2B purchases mostly hinged on word of mouth and referrals.
It makes sense too. Businesses only want to work with suppliers, merchants, and others who they know can deliver a quality product or service within a stipulated time. And if they see that other businesses trust the merchant they’re considering, it’ll be far easier to convert them into long-term paying customers.
As a marketer, you must reach out to your existing customers and ask them for a recommendation. Feature their testimonial on a dedicated landing page — don’t forget to add the name, title, and a headshot of the person. It adds a very real human element and is a key vote of confidence.
B2B eCommerce will take more time than B2C eCommerce to get right, but that doesn’t mean you should give up easily. The strategies outlined here will supercharge your growth and help you lock in a steady stream of leads and customers.