Five Misconceptions About B2B Advertising and Marketing
It’s easy to justify why your B2B company doesn’t focus on advertising and marketing strategies. Your audience is niche, and you rely on word-of-mouth and longstanding relationships, not snappy headlines and zany campaigns.
But you’re short changing your business’s overall growth potential when you don’t put the same amount of effort into advertising and marketing as you put into your products and services.
We’ll debunk five common B2B marketing misconceptions to illustrate what you’re missing out on.
Myth #1: “Our Clients Are Too Loyal to Work with Anyone Else!”
Reality Check: Nobody is doubting that you have an exemplary product or service. That’s how you’ve established decade-long relationships with certain clients. However, your complacency may cost you in the long run.
Everyone is susceptible to wanting more or wanting change. So, when a newer, shinier business with a strong online presence and a crystal-clear brand image pitches your life-long client with services similar to yours, you may be in for a costly surprise.
Your clients want to see that you’re on top of your game and putting effort into every facet of your business. If you’re behind on current marketing trends, who’s to say your product is up-to-date?
Myth #2: “Who Needs an Advertising Agency when I can Write My Own Content?”
Reality Check: B2B companies mistakenly believe advertising agencies will take them on a billing-infused goose chase. They don’t realize that an agency’s success hinges upon the leads, conversions, and profits generated by a successful campaign.
When you take your B2B brand’s website content into your own hands, you may as well be trying to write your online copy with a magic marker. Your competitors hire professional copywriters to write their web content for a reason.
Being an expert in your line of work is essential to creating the best possible product or service, but a hindrance when writing content that needs to speak to your audience, not your industry. You spend your career within the confines of an industry-jargon-filled box. Sadly, most people – including other businesses – won’t understand a single word of your internal lingo.
Professional copywriters will dig deep to understand your business and the problems you solve for your clients. They’ll develop clear and concise messaging that captures your audiences and gets them to say, “I need that! What do I do next?”
Myth #3: Social Media Marketing is Token
Reality Check: It’s no longer enough to just have Facebook and Twitter accounts–delegating them to be managed by your pimple-faced intern. Businesses are increasingly more active on social media, and the use of these platforms for B2B marketing reflects said growth.
If your motivation for social media is only to “keep up with the Joneses”, you aren’t capitalizing on its undeniable potential to grow your business. There are deeper social media layers to explore than your obligatory once-every-two-week post addressing your loyal followers.
LinkedIn is the #1 platform for B2B social media marketing. Your company profile can highlight your products, services, and available job opportunities. Increase your brand’s visibility on LinkedIn by posting press releases, relevant blogs, and corporate literature; this way, you’ll grab the attention of other business users (re: leads).
LinkedIn also has discussion groups where you can engage in organic conversations with your key demographic, forging otherwise inaccessible relationships with other businesses.
A Google Plus (G+) account is integral to any B2B brand’s position on search engine results pages (SERPs). Naturally, Google allows its own social media platform to hold the most SEO weight. Internet researchers have learned that URLs shared via G+ are instantaneously crawled and indexed by the search engine.
Facebook is the largest social media platform and whether you believe it or not, your clients are using it. Facebook also knows everything about every user on it–their age, gender, job, income, geo-area, interests, and hobbies etc.
If you know who your target buyer is, they can be reached very effectively on Facebook–a platform that they’re most likely checking daily.
Myth #4: Businesses Aren’t People
Reality Check: Some B2B brands act like they’re marketing towards faceless entities instead of people. But businesses are made up of people that make that business run. People that need your services.
The main message of your advertising strategy should clearly illustrate who you are to those individual decision-makers.
Your business needs to reach those people, get their attention, and communicate with them so that they’re asking to do business with you!
Myth #5: B2B Ads Must be Dry
Reality Check: Your B2B campaigns don’t need to be drier than the Sahara Desert. Of course, making your content information-based is important, but that doesn’t mean business-to-consumer advertising should have all the creative fun!
Check out this Xerox ad from 2015:
Xerox’s goal was to show businesses that they were no longer only about hardware, but B2B services as well –which now makes up a large portion of its revenue. The genius tagline “Work Can Work Better” means the right solution shouldn’t be so hard to find–and it isn’t hard to find with Xerox.
Xerox’s successful foray into the business solutions sector is aided by their humour and understanding of the target: executives bombarded by complicated nonsense posing as solutions. Xerox keeps in mind that executives are people too, facing a set of problems its services can solve. Instead of being just another company offering boringly complex B2B solutions, Xerox’s lighthearted, simple tone matches its message of making work easier.
Effective advertising for B2B companies requires a keen understanding of current online trends to connect your business with real people who need your services.
Eden’s team of B2B marketing experts can help you make that connection. We’ll get your brand in front of your audience, and they’ll be knocking at your door– er website — to do business with you.
Contact us if you’re ready to take your business beyond referrals!