In this, the first of two articles on this complex topic, we’ll be talking about the differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing, before covering some of the best B2B lead generation strategies that you should be taking advantage of.
There’s an awful lot to cover, so let’s get right to it!
What’s the difference between B2B marketing and B2C marketing?
When looking at B2B vs B2C, you’ll need to take an entirely different approach depending on your market.
If you’re looking at business to business (B2B) sales, you’ll need to adjust your tone, messaging, website and wider marketing depending on the industry you’re communicating with.
For business to consumer (B2C) sales, your approach can vary dramatically depending on your product, brand and target customer.
Generally speaking, B2B marketing is more professional & technical, whereas B2C marketing is friendlier and less formal, however, as with all things, there are exceptions to the rules.
What is B2B marketing?
Business to business marketing is where one business advertises a service or a product to another business, either for a one-off transaction, or as an ongoing deal. B2B marketing is usually done at a significantly lower volume, but for a much higher price per deal than B2C marketing.
B2B marketing usually has a longer sales cycle, and targets the audience’s growth goals, needs and more.
This style of marketing normally relies on:
- Building customer relationships (using content, outreach, events, etc., building rapport between businesses).
- Branding that positions your business as the answer to the target audience’s problems.
- Nurturing content and long-term strategies.
- Relevant industry terms and professional language.
What is B2C marketing?
Business to consumer marketing is where a business advertises a product or service to the wide consumer market. B2C marketing relies on communicating with a broad spectrum of people in order to sell a large quantity of goods at lower prices.
This boils down the opposite of B2B marketing; B2C relies on higher volume, but lower price per sale.
B2C marketing usually relies on:
- Transactional messaging – convincing consumers that they need
- your product to solve their problem.
- A shorter decision-making process, making the sales process as quick and easy as possible.
- Moving consumers quickly down the funnel towards a sale (take too long and they’ll shop elsewhere).
- A (generally) less professional and more playful tone of voice (depending on the brand).
- Non-perfect advertising - The rise in popularity of social media platforms such as TikTok has inspired a consumer shift towards organic, natural and unscripted ads finding huge success (unboxing videos, social media reviews, etc.).
You can read more about the differences between B2B marketing and B2C marketing by clicking the link below.
The 10 best B2B lead generation strategies in 2022
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of B2B lead generation strategies, we’ve cherry picked some of the most effective B2B methods that you should be using.
Generally speaking, we find that email, content and SEO are the three most powerful B2B marketing strategies, helping you to nurture leads over multiple touchpoints and ensuring that no lead is lost in your funnel.
1. Automate your email marketing campaigns
Email automation – every marketer’s best friend!
Marketing & email automation is all about automating your processes (clue’s in the name!). This means that you produce all of your content well in advance, and schedule it to go out to the right people at the right time, freeing up your time and nurturing leads simultaneously.
Automation is perfect for:
- Distributing nurturing content
- Welcoming new customers
- Recapturing lapsed leads/clients
- Consistently engaging large amounts of data
By using automation, you’re guaranteeing that when you reach out to a business/organisation, they’re already warmed up to the idea of hearing what you have to say.
2. Give away ‘free’ stuff
Free trials, demos, services and more, all incredibly powerful ways to improve buy-in without a financial commitment.
Offer a tantalising glimpse into what potential customers could have, then an investment down the line suddenly doesn’t seem like such a big step.
Just make sure that you provide ample opportunities to upgrade to your premium service while using your free version.
3. Referrals are king
Research from Review 42 suggests that B2B conversion rates are 70% higher when referred by a trusted party.
Encourage referrals at every stage, even if it means offering a discount to the referrer, or providing lucrative joining benefits.
This is one of the quickest and easiest way to improve B2B conversions!
4. Actually, content is king
Blogs, guides, infographics; the possibilities are endless with your content.
Providing genuinely useful, informative content that bolsters your business’ authority is a fantastic way to keep your offering front of mind.
As B2B sales are notoriously slow, this awareness is invaluable. The reader may not be ready to purchase right now, but a year down the line when they are looking to purchase, they’ll remember the content you’ve produced, and how you’ve helped them in the past.
5. Re-engage lost customers/contacts
Just because a customer has left you, doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the road.
Send them content and keep your business at the forefront of their mind; they can be added to mailing lists and receive newsletters, new blogs, whitepapers and much more.
Give it some time and you might find that they’d be receptive to a reconnection call down the line. This is especially effective in B2B as many organisations’ needs are constantly shifting.
6. Build out your negative keywords
Optimising your ad spend is absolutely invaluable in B2B marketing.
By including negative keywords (words that, if a user searches for them, Google won’t show your ads to), you can ensure that your ads are going to exactly the right people with the right search intent.
This will result in less clicks, but means that the clicks that you are getting are of far higher quality, and much more likely to convert into leads. Who doesn’t want a better cost per lead?
7. Create personalised landing pages
Generalised landing pages have their place, but producing highly focused, customised landing pages that specifically refer to users’ pain points will drastically reduce your bounce rate and will improve your form fill rate.
Landing pages can also be matched based on keywords, meaning that they’ll be automatically edited based on keyword intent.
8. Post varied, interesting social media content
It’s easy to let your business social media slip, but it’s another fantastic way of remaining front of mind. To improve your social media efforts, you should:
- Focus on the channels that your audience are definitely using (this can vary wildly based on industry/target audience).
- Create varied content on a variety of topics that will interest your audience.
- Avoid regularly posting sales-y content.
- Try out video content to improve engagement.
- Experiment with posting at different times.
- Promote your lead generation content (especially effective on LinkedIn)
9. Regularly reassess your SEO
SEO that was great a year ago may not be functional now.
Unfortunately, SEO is an ongoing battle, and you need to stay on top of yours to ensure that you don’t find yourself outranked by a competitor.
10. Conversion rate optimisation
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is the process of improving the rate that visitors to your marketing channels take the desired action.
We recommend conducting regular A/B testing, tinkering with your messaging, allowing you to see what works, and what doesn’t.
Need help improving your conversion rates? Talk to our CRO experts today for bespoke advice.
B2B & B2C digital marketing in Birmingham & London
At Catalyst, we work with both B2B and B2C SMEs, working to create precisely tailored, data-driven digital marketing solutions that are built to drive highly converting leads.
If you’ve got any questions, or need support with your own lead generation strategy, don’t hesitate to give our specialists a shout.
We’re here to help build out the perfect lead generation strategy for you, taking into account your business, target audience and much more.