In the business-to-business category (B2B), marketing is vital for sustained growth. Like any form of marketing, it’s extremely difficult to understand if you’re new to the field. There are all kinds of different strategies and traits that come with it, and if you’re primarily experienced in other forms of digital advertising, you and your in-house marketing team might not be able to adapt to this new style of marketing.
This is what B2B digital marketing agencies are for, as they can alleviate this stress and confusion by guiding you through the process and marketing toward your ideal target market. For any business owners that have considered getting into B2B marketing and want to make a greater push in the world of digital marketing, this is everything you need to know about what a B2B digital marketing agency can do for your company.
What Is B2B Digital Marketing?
If you’re especially new to digital marketing and are unfamiliar with terms like B2B, it’s important to clarify what they mean. Rather than business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing that tries to gain clients and consumers, business-to-business (B2B) marketing works to sell products and services to other businesses like wholesalers, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and other companies.
This is an important distinction to make in digital marketing since you usually need to use different platforms and channels to attract other businesses than you would a potential consumer. This means there’s much less of a focus on the entertainment and educational value in your advertising since your aim is instead to convince sales representatives and business owners that a purchaser will improve their bottom line.
B2B Digital Marketing Agencies
As with any form of marketing, there are plenty of agencies that specialize in B2B digital marketing to help your business grow. Their aim is to work with you to understand which B2B business, or businesses, you should be targeting, and then create B2B digital marketing plans to approach and advertise to these targets with a provable rate of success.
The best B2B digital marketing agencies will also have more experience than independent digital marketing agents, usually coming as part of a team to collaborate their experience and knowledge for your benefit. It’s possible to hire individual B2B content marketers, but agencies will typically offer a much fuller service and are much more likely to improve your business’s ROI.
What Do B2B Digital Marketing Agencies Do?
A B2B marketer helps market your company and create visibility in front of other businesses that might be interested in their services, but that doesn’t cover the full extent of what they do. You’ll typically find that there are a few specific strategies and actions that the best B2B digital marketing agencies do regularly, regardless of their client’s services and business structure.
Any B2B marketing agency will have a different approach to digital marketing based on what you’re looking for, but there are a few things you can expect from a B2B digital marketing agency if you plan to hire one. These are just a few of the things they will offer to do for you, in order to help your business market itself successfully:
Marketing Automation (Email Marketing On Steroids)
B2B digital marketing has to be much more direct, as it’s not as easy as wider SEO and social media campaigns that usually appear in B2C digital marketing. B2B requires you to cast a much smaller net, finding more specific targets and trying to convince them that it will benefit their business to purchase services or begin a partnership with your company.
One of the most effective ways to do this is through marketing automation. Think of this as email marketing on steroids – marketing to individuals rather than lists of people in an automated way based on their needs and online behaviour. You can do this by customized emails that are sent to individuals and more personalized emails to nurture specific targets. B2B digital marketing agencies not only find these targets, but they also create content that will appeal to these business employees and their goals, and their email accounts are often a prime space for your business to be seen by them.
On-site Content Marketing
Most digital marketing agencies will tell you that more website content is one of the most common ways to attract new clients, both in B2B and B2C marketing. That can be a great place to include many keywords to improve the SEO of your website, but there’s also a lot of potential for those reading your content to get a better understanding of your services and what you can offer for other businesses.
B2B digital marketing agencies will often help you produce content like web page content and blog posts that are designed to appeal to other businesses, while others might want to make video content to help show off things like your company’s professionalism and values. A B2B agency also may choose to edit your website to improve the language for incoming business clients to help your business seem like an opportunity for them, rather than just an expense.
Off-site Content Marketing
One of the biggest things that a B2B marketing agency will try to do is improve the look of your company’s brand, in order to make it seem like a more trustworthy business for other businesses to collaborate with. This B2B marketing strategy can include making internal content on your site’s blog to help create more resources for businesses to learn about yours, but also through creating content on other sites to help your B2B business seem larger and more expansive.
By having content on other sites advertising your business, you can have enough of an online presence that businesses considering your services will see your company as more successful and reliable. So will Google! This can include creating content for other websites, but also through passing links along to other websites that your business’ target demographics might visit frequently.
Social Media Marketing
Even though social media marketing is more popular in B2C marketing, there is a huge amount of value for many businesses to engage in B2B social media marketing for a more personal and friendly approach. This can include posts showing what your business is like during a given workday, which can give potential clients a look into how your business functions to see if it’s compatible with their own.
There are also plenty of ways to interact with businesses on social media, which can lead to great mutual publicity for both your business and theirs. Interacting with their posts is a great way to be noticed, and B2B digital marketing agencies will often keep an eye out for opportunities to comment or privately message other companies in ways that could get more guaranteed responses.
Why Should You Work with a B2B Digital Marketing Agency?
If the sorts of strategies above seem like something that would benefit your business, that probably means that your business can benefit from a B2B digital marketing campaign. However, that might not mean you specifically want a B2B digital marketing agency. These teams can sometimes be costly and take control of much of your digital marketing, so choosing to work with one is an important decision.
Thankfully, there are a few proven benefits to working with a B2B digital marketing agency, rather than working with an independent digital marketing agent or trying to teach your in-house marketing team how to create B2B strategies. These are just a few of the things you’re likely to find when working with a B2B digital marketing agency.
Even though a B2B digital marketing agency is meant to take the reins from you to help market toward other businesses, that doesn’t mean they’re going to be working completely independently from you. They’ll usually want to communicate with you frequently to better understand what your business offers and what values you want to pass on to other potential partners or clients.
The best B2B digital marketing agencies should always aim to support you and your business, and they want to provide a personalized strategy to help you accomplish your business’s goals. They might have some proven strategies that they wish to apply from their prior clients, but even if their past clients provide similar services to yours, you can expect a personal and collaborative process with any agency you work with.
Perhaps the clearest benefit to working with a B2B digital marketing agency is that you’ll be working with professionals who have a more guaranteed amount of experience than if you were to work with other digital marketing specialists. These will usually consist of full teams for you to work with rather than just single individuals, meaning their skills and experience are spread throughout the agency.
This means you’ll be able to have more certainty that their marketing efforts will be successful since they will go through multiple people to confirm whether your strategy will work. If it won’t, many different members of the team will be able to confirm this before using too much of your time and marketing budget.
Support And Clarification
Alongside its experience, a B2B digital marketing agency is usually willing to share its knowledge with you to help you understand what they want to help you with. If you’re significantly more inexperienced with B2B and digital marketing, it’s just as much the agency’s job to support your business as it is to help you understand how its strategies will benefit your bottom line.
This means the B2B marketing company can answer any questions you have and give you clear explanations of what it plans to do. It’ll usually share its plans, deadlines, and methods with you to make sure you know it’s putting your business first, and it’ll almost always be willing to prove it to you further if you’re unsure what the agency is accomplishing or working on.
Accepting Of Feedback
On the other hand, if you’re more experienced with B2B and digital marketing and might know a few more things than the average business owner, you might also want to use that knowledge with your B2B digital marketing agency. If you know details about your past B2B strategies, or there are certain things you think the agency is misunderstanding, the agency will usually be ready and willing to listen.
Digital marketing agencies should never want to disregard your opinions or concerns, and thanks to the structure and larger teams that you may be given with certain agencies, you can trust that someone will be able to hear you out. Even if the agency knows how to make your B2B marketing successful, it’ll always want to know how you want that success to look like, and the best B2B digital marketing agencies should make you feel welcome to share it.
On a more technical side of B2B digital marketing, something that’s especially important that can be harder to do without an agency is keeping track of metrics and analytic data. B2B digital marketing agencies can record and use this information much easier thanks to the tools they come into your business with, and this can help them ensure when a given digital marketing strategy is or isn’t working.
This also means the agency is able to show you how successful your B2B efforts are in real-time, rather than just implementing a strategy and leaving you uncertain if it is going to improve your company’s business in a more distant amount of time. Its goal is not just to plan, but to also implement that plan in a way that you can successfully recognize success from.
If it isn’t clear already, the most important reason you should work with a B2B digital marketing agency is that it can greatly improve your marketing ROI, as these efforts have been proven to work for all sorts of businesses. Digital marketing agencies are hardly the only way to do B2B marketing, but they’re one of the most effective ways since they have the experience and toolset to put together strategies that work.
This means that your investment in an agency is often going to be reliably successful, and it’s rarely going to be a waste of time or money. It’s a proven approach to marketing that can improve the number of business deals you make and help you offer your services to a wider audience beyond just consumers, and a B2B digital marketing agency is going to help you attempt it more reliably than any other digital marketer.
Do You Need a B2B Digital Marketing Agency?
If you’ve ever considered getting more into B2B marketing, it’s absolutely worth it to hire a B2B digital marketing agency to help you through the process. Digital marketing is becoming more and more important for all forms of service, and with how rapidly businesses and online marketing can shift, you need experts who are able to help you put together an efficient and reliable strategy for finding new clients and partnerships.
There are always other alternatives, and not every business is going to want to put the time into heavily marketing toward other businesses, but the ones that do will immediately feel relieved to have a team that’s ready to take care of their digital B2B needs. Your business cannot grow through B2B digital marketing without you doing it properly, and an experienced B2B digital marketing company will help you through it in a reliable and cost-effective way. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, start with a Digital Marketing Blueprint!