There are thousands of B2B (Business to Business) companies across the UK, in fact, B2B companies make a combined £1.7 trillion per year, which contributes to 44% of the UK’s total business turnover and significantly contributes to the British economy.
All B2B companies require a solid marketing strategy to generate leads and sales and reach their target audience. One of the most effective parts of a B2B marketing strategy is advertising. B2B focused advertising, in particular, has boomed in recent years due to technological and digital marketing advances.
In this article, we’ll talk you through what is involved in B2B advertising and why your company should join the thousands of other businesses using it.
What is B2B advertising and why should you use it?
At its core, Business to Business (B2B) advertising is when companies market their brand, product or services to other businesses or organisations through advertising. It is an effective way to convert leads into sales, raise awareness of products, promotions and brand identity as well as build long-lasting relationships.
You can use B2B advertising to appeal to key decision-makers within your target audience. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily target the whole campaign at the company if you were selling office supplies. Instead, you would tailor certain elements of the advertising plan to the relevant persons (i.e. the buyers).
Continue reading to find out how your business can use B2B advertising to its advantage and generate new sales and connections within the industry.
What is the difference between B2B and B2C marketing?
Business to Business (B2B) is when companies aim their products and services at other businesses. Business to Consumer (B2C), on the other hand, is when companies target the end consumer.
Businesses generally make purchases with clear intent after spending time planning and trying to find products and services that can improve their business, generally speaking, there are several stakeholders involved in the buying process. B2C businesses, on the other hand, have no ‘middle man’ in the purchase decision. It goes directly from the supplier to the consumer.
Because there are more stakeholders involved in the final purchasing decision within a business, the overall buyer’s journey for B2B companies usually takes longer than that of B2C companies.
Your company’s marketing approach will be different depending on whether you’re B2C or B2B. Professional social media platforms such as LinkedIn is one of the preferred ways for many B2B companies to connect and interact with their target audiences. You might also attend conferences, trade shows and business events to reach your target audience. B2C companies, on the other hand, might use platforms such as TikTok or Instagram to reach a wider audience of consumers.
What are the advantages of using B2B advertising?
Around 40% of companies in the UK operate on a B2B basis. There are many reasons that businesses choose to use tailored B2B advertising. Buyers expect to be spoken to directly and tailored advertising can achieve this and offer a unique and personalised experience. Nowadays, most of the communications and sales occur online, so creating tailored advertising is easier than ever. With digital advertising, you can also track and measure your progress towards your goals throughout your campaigns and use it to help you improve future advertisements.
Your company can conduct in-depth research via social networks and data collection. You can then find out more information about your target audience (such as their buyer persona) and place adverts in key positions where they will receive the most exposure. Effective B2B advertising allows you to target specific businesses that epitomise your ideal buyer persona.
An effective B2B advertising strategy can help your company to build long-lasting, established relationships that are based on what the buyer actually wants to consume. Once you have made the initial connection through a structured marketing approach, you can concentrate on solidifying the partnership by advertising content that speaks directly to their pain points, offers personalised promotions and more.
B2B advertising tactics to attract your audience
It is important to attract your audience with your advertising. Whether it is to raise brand awareness, to promote relevant content or to showcase promotions, your B2B ads need to speak directly to your audience and offer what they want/need.
There are various tactics that you can employ to ensure the success of your advertising campaign.
Firstly, get clear on the purpose of your advertisement. Not only is it important to know the purpose for design reasons but it is also a way to measure the success of the ad. Does it do what it is meant to do? Is the purpose of your ad to raise awareness of your product or service? Or is the purpose to share knowledge and experience by sending someone through to relevant content such as a blog page or a free webinar.
Secondly, take the time to experiment with different designs of your adverts to find what works and what best speaks to your target audience. You can use A/B testing to trial different designs and see which ones have the most interaction. The layout, colours, text, location of the ad and so much more can be tested with A/B testing. Check out our article here for some inspiration to create your own display advertisements.
Thirdly, incorporate SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) practices in your digital advertising to improve organic reach. Use strategically selected keywords that speak directly to your target audience. Again, use A/B testing to find what works best for your needs.
How do you create a B2B advertising strategy?
Before you dive headfirst into your campaign, you need to come up with a clear advertising strategy. Advertising campaigns should be flexible and can change over time as you find what works most effectively. Below are a set of strategic B2B advertising steps that you can apply to your own advertising campaigns.
Set achievable goals
The best way that you can measure the success of a B2B advertising campaign is through a set of measurable goals. You can define your company’s long-term goals and then think of smaller steps and objectives that you can reach in the short term. Smaller objectives are easier to review and measure and they still contribute to the larger overall goal of the marketing team.
For example, you may want to reach a larger audience base and expand your online presence. To achieve this you could set out to build your social media presence and connect with companies that would benefit from your product or service. This could be done by publishing a range of sponsored adverts on the platforms that promote relevant content or showcase an offer or promotion.
Define your message
Every B2B advertising campaign needs a clear message that entices your target audience to work with you. In order to understand your client, you can conduct in-depth research by using focus groups, looking at their social media channels and collecting data from current customer surveys.
Your customer base will want to know how you can help them, which is why your advertising campaign needs to pinpoint exactly what you can offer them and how your services will solve their problems. This message should contain any values and attitudes that your company want to convey to your target audience.
Utilise social media platforms
Digital advertising is an easy way to appear directly in front of your potential customer base. Putting out content onto social media channels such as LinkedIn will help boost your profile and showcase the services and products that you have to offer.
Another great use of advertising on social media is that it allows you to connect with potential clients all over the world. It can be a relatively low-cost alternative to traditional advertising methods. Your goal may not be to generate sales through online platforms, but it’s still a good way to raise brand awareness, build your reputation in the industry and keep your clients up to date with what your company has to offer.
Organise a strategy
You need to base your campaign around a set of goals that you use to keep yourself on track. The whole marketing team should understand what they individually need to do to help achieve the bigger picture. For example, if the aim is to build your online presence on social media, you should set out to produce a range of suitable adverts for these platforms.
The whole strategy needs to be developed with a specific target audience in mind. This will help you to develop your advertising campaign and ensure that your adverts address specific pain points and challenges. This is a simple way to speak directly to your target audience.
Review the strategy
Now that your campaign is finished, you shouldn’t immediately move on to the next. Your B2B marketing efforts can give you important lessons in how you can adapt and change your angle and ideas over time.
Review the key performance indicators (KPI) to compare the results of your campaign against your objectives and goals.
Even successful advertising strategies have room for improvement, so take the time to study the feedback. Look at the click-through rates and the hover time, reflect on various A/B testing on design and keywords used in the ads.
Business to Business advertising is a marketing strategy used by B2B companies to present their products and services to a potential customer base. You can use an advertising campaign to achieve a number of goals, whether they are short-term or long-term.
Your marketing team should use an advertising campaign to target key decision-makers within your customer base. It’s important to find out what appeals to your individual audience and work out ways that you can convey to them how your company can provide a solution.
Using various tactics such as SEO and design, you can create the perfect B2B advertisement that your target audience can’t resist.