B2B Online Marketing: everything you need to know

B2B online marketing, just like regular online marketing, is a form of marketing in which online resources are used with the aim of promoting products and services. This involves collecting contact details, generating leads and selling products through online channels. As ‘B2B’ already indicates, B2B online marketing is aimed at companies that do business with companies. This distinction is important, since B2B oriented online marketing differs from consumer oriented online marketing (B2C). B2B online marketing consists of a wide range of activities. Which activities all apply is different for each company.

  1. What does online marketing include?
  2. Is B2B online marketing right for me?
  3. B2B online marketing tips
  4. Jelba as B2B marketing department

1. What does online marketing include?

Online marketing is an interactive and dynamic process and consists of several parts that are interconnected. Below you will find activities that are important for B2B online marketing. It must be said that every company is different, and hence the online marketing activities that fit the company also differ. We will always be happy to advise you.

1.1. Analysis
Analysis is, as many parts of the company, a very important component of B2B online marketing. There is a lot of activity on your website every day. Visitors come to your website and they leave your website. When do visitors quit? What do they often click on? Do visitors get stuck? Data that shows the behaviour of your website visitors is crucial for effective online marketing and has an impact on the health of your company. A website that is not functioning properly will result in frustrated visitors who are quickly inclined to quit.

1.2. B2B content marketing
Content marketing is especially important in the B2B sector. Business purchases are made less quickly than purchases made by consumers. It often takes a longer period of time before business purchases are made. Also, there are often more people involved in the purchase process and the purchases cost on average more money. Buyers of business products often read themselves carefully into the company and the products before making a decision. It is therefore crucial that good and clear content about your products and your business is available. Good content also ensures better organic findability.

1.3 B2B SEA
Successful advertising via Google with SEA (search engine advertising) is a profession itself. Knowledge and skills of Google Adwords are important to get the most out of it. SEA goes hand in hand with attractive landing pages. Advertising ensures that the traffic to your website is increased enormously but landing on irrelevant pages has the opposite effect on your company’s reputation. The effectiveness of SEA is closely related to the knowledge of the advertisers.

1.4 B2B SEO
When you produce content it is important to take into account search engine optimisation (SEO). Good SEO ensures that you are organically (and for free) at the top of the search results in Google. And this is important. Research has shown that 60% of visitors click on position 1-3 in Google, the remaining 40% click on lower positions. It should be emphasized that 92% of all clicks in Google take place on the first page. If your website does not rank on the first page the chance of a visit is very low.

1.5 B2B video marketing
Video marketing fits well with content marketing. A video can easily and interactively visualise the operation of a product, explanation or large pieces of text. B2B video marketing and video advertising is becoming increasingly important in B2B online marketing. Research has also shown that content enriched with visual images gets 94% more views. Visual content is also more often shared (40 times more) and 600.000 times better absorbed by the brain than plain text.

1.6 Conversion optimalisation
Analysing data is step 1. But after the data has been collected it must be interpreted and applied. Small adjustments can do a lot for the natural ‘flow’ of your website. Websites that are difficult to navigate only cause difficulties. This has negative consequences for your conversion. Through interpreting and applying user data, conversion optimisation can take place.

1.7 Data driven marketing
Data driven marketing is also very important for B2B online marketing. This means that online marketing strategies are purely driven by data and not by feeling. Data tells the facts. This can sometimes (strangely) deviate from feeling but it is actually how your target group behaves on the website. Data driven marketing is a discipline that can ensure the successful execution of online marketing activities.

1.8 Dealer marketing
Specifically suitable for certain companies is dealer marketing. Marketing activities for this purpose concentrate on increasing the sales of your products at your dealers. This also includes online marketing activities for the dealer himself. A win-win situation.

1.9 Design
A good design is very beneficial for the user-friendliness of your website. The important thing about design is the effect it has on your sales. Research has shown that if visitors have to choose between two similar companies online, 80% of the visitors go for the website that has the more beautiful design. After all, a beautiful design conveys quality.

1.10 Development
Good online marketing goes hand in hand with a website that works well. Of course this all has to do with development. Development must focus on the business operations of the company. Should some products be offered interactively? Or should thousands of small products all be able to easily enter a shopping basket, one by one? A well built site is the basis of a healthy online business.

1.11 Digital strategy
In order for B2B online marketing to run smoothly, a well thought-out digital strategy is crucial. A digital strategy consists of several components that fall under online marketing. Think of analysis, content marketing, SEA, SEO, design and development. A good strategy is based on data from your company. Competitors, opportunities and behaviour on the website are all included in a digital strategy.

1.12 E-commerce
Maintaining and optimising your webshop is also part of B2B online marketing. The main goal of companies doing e-commerce is to obtain more online transactions. There are a number of things that ensure a successful webshop. Think of product content, good product images and a simple check-out process.

1.13 E-mail marketing
E-mail marketing is an aspect of online marketing that is not suitable for everyone. If you want to communicate a lot with your (potential) customers, have interesting content or offers, e-mail marketing is a good tool. Important when sending e-mails is the privacy legislation (GDPR) and the frequency of sending the e-mails. Too much is not good but too little is also ineffective.

1.14 Feed marketing
If you have a webshop, feed marketing is indispensable. Feed marketing consists of the automatic transfer of product data to platforms and comparison websites. Google Shopping, Bol.com and Amazon are examples of this. Each platform has different requirements for the descriptions and columns that have to be filled in. Feed marketing is not always easy. Setting up a feed properly is crucial for the success of feed marketing.

1.15 Inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is a strategic choice in driving B2B online marketing. This is not about chasing after unwilling customers, calling cold leads and approaching people who may not be interested. Inbound marketing is all about having the lead come to you and not the other way around. This is achieved by offering interesting and relevant content, great products and good service.

1.16 Lead generation
The generation of leads is an important indicator of the success of B2B online marketing efforts. Lead generation is all about bringing products and interesting content into the spotlight in order to entice potential buyers to leave their contact details behind by, for example, filling out a contact form or a form to download a white paper.

2. Is B2B online marketing right for me?

If you have a company or work in a company where goods or services are focused on the business markets, B2B online marketing is right for you. It doesn’t matter if the company is big or small; online marketing is a way for any company to establish an online presence. The fact that about 98% of professional buyers first read online before making a purchase decision is reason enough to set up your online environment properly. You may not yet have the expertise to set up the online marketing for your business. In this case we recommend to outsource the online marketing. Some questions you can ask yourself to determine your online presence are the following: Is my company well found on Google (1-5 position) when searching for relevant words? Am I ahead of or equal to similar competitors online? Do I regularly post new (product) content? If the answer to these questions is no, B2B online marketing is an important step to help your business grow (online).

3. B2B online marketing tips

  • Outsource B2B online marketing
    If you do not have people with knowledge of online marketing in your company, it is recommendable to outsource B2B online marketing. The successful running of online activities is only possible if there is knowledge in house. A possible solution is to hire someone internally but you can also choose a B2B marketing agency to work with. The advantage of this is that you hire (for the same money as 1 FTE) a complete team of experts who work on the online positioning of your company. Choosing a suitable marketing agency is not always easy. It is good to look at an agency that is a specialist in the field of B2B. You can also look at which customers the marketing agency already serves. If your company fits in between these, you are assured that the marketing agency already has a lot of knowledge and experience with similar companies. More and more SME companies are choosing to outsource online marketing.
  • Proceed strategically
    Companies that start with marketing activities often forget to draw a line in their campaign plans. It’s crucial that all the different components we’ve outlined for you above fit together seamlessly. A good example of this is that the content on your website which ensures organic findability must match the paid campaigns you run and vice versa. For example, you can be at the top of Google with advertisements on a certain subject and be the first organic result for the same subject. There are countless other examples of the usefulness of a coherent and consistent online marketing strategy.

4. Jelba as B2B online marketing department

Jelba is a B2B specialist. We serve many clients in the agricultural sector, construction, industry, transport and logistics. We know how difficult it can be to effectively maintain a B2B webshop and a B2B website. To make this work, we always first develop a digital growth strategy for our customers. At Jelba we take on the role of colleagues: we are a team that is part of your organisation. We attach great value to our customers and find it important to be successful together. If you are curious about the online marketing opportunities for your company, we would like to carry out a free online scan. This offer only applies to B2B companies that sell products. Should you require other information or see more practical examples, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bart Strijker

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