Running a B2B business? One of the first things you’ll need to consider is how to run a B2B digital marketing campaign that drives results. You’re in the right place.
In today’s digitally-driven world, digital marketing is one of the most important points of contact that businesses have with their audience. Last year 56% of B2B marketers reported digital marketing as their top area of marketing spending.
Moreover, 50% of B2B companies invest 10% or more of their annual spending budget in digital marketing!
B2B digital marketing campaigns are a way to show your target audience why they should choose your product or service over your competitors. What’s more, they can boost online presence, build brand loyalty, and —ultimately— drive sales. You need to stand out from the crowd, and in today’s business-oriented world— the competition is stiff.
Every campaign will have unique goals and different methods of execution. However, there are some steps digital marketers can follow to ensure they run as smoothly as possible and achieve the intended results. This is exactly what we’ll be discussing today! Let’s go.
What exactly is B2B Marketing?
Before we delve into the art of running campaigns, let’s understand what exactly B2B digital marketing is.
B2B (business to business) marketing refers to marketing that’s aimed at a business or organization. If a company’s business goals revolve around selling products or services to another business or organization, they’ll usually use B2B marketing strategies to attract, convert, and delight their customers.
When we talk about B2B marketing campaigns, we’re talking about a targeted set of efforts carried out by digital marketers designed to achieve —or help to achieve— a specific business goal. What a campaign tries to achieve depends on your business’s goals. It could be anything from generating awareness about a new product or service, to lead generation and conversion, to a complete company rebranding.
B2B vs B2C Marketing
What’s the difference? It’s simple really. B2B refers to business to business marketing, and B2C refers to business-to-consumer marketing. B2B companies target their products and services to other businesses or —more specifically— the business decision-makers. Alternatively, B2C brands sell to consumers for personal use.
A clear example of a B2B business is Hubspot. Hubspot is a marketing software company that offers marketing tools, lead generation software, and tools for managing social media marketing to businesses and organizations.
On the other hand, an example of a B2C business is Amazon – which sells products to a consumer audience.
5 Steps to Run an Effective B2B Digital Marketing Campaign
Below we’ve outlined five simple steps to follow to run an effective B2B digital marketing campaign.
1. Define your target audience
Before you get carried away with the details of your strategy, it’s important to know your audience. 90% of top-performing B2B digital marketers put their audience’s informational needs first – so defining your target audience should come before anything else you do!
When you know who your target audience or buyer personas are, you can plan your marketing campaigns and goals with the right receptors in mind.
The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your strategy to meet their needs. Finding this out first will save you time and resources when it comes to executing campaigns that drive results. So how can you outline your target audience?
When defining buyer personas for your B2B digital marketing campaign, ask yourself questions like:
- Who is your product or service targeted towards? Startups, small-medium businesses (SMBs), enterprises, or businesses of all shapes and sizes?
- Who are the key influences and decision-makers in the companies that make up your target audiences?
- What are their pain points, needs, and questions? How can your product/service address those?
- Where do they spend their time online?
Perhaps you’re wondering how you can answer all these questions just by asking them. We don’t expect you to. Instead, do what marketers do best and look at the data! Talk to other departments (like sales reps) and start collecting customer data. You can also turn to Google Analytics to shape your buyer personas or conduct market research for better insights into what people in your target industry are looking for.
Can you picture them? Great. It’s time for the next step.
2. Outline SMART goals and KPIs
Next up, it’s time to outline what you’re trying to accomplish with your B2B marketing campaign. To do this, you’ll want to make sure you set SMART goals. Ah yes, that old acronym again! SMART stands for:
Think about the specifics of what you’re trying to accomplish. Broad goals like “generate more leads” or “increase traffic” aren’t SMART at all. Instead, think about the specifics of your goals, how you’ll measure whether or not you’re on track to achieving them, and what challenges might crop up along the way.
Create campaign goals that detail exactly what you want to achieve within a given period. For instance, if you’re releasing an eBook as part of your content marketing campaign, a SMART goal might be to generate 500 eBook downloads within three months.
Also, consider how you’re going to track your progress. If we use the previous example, you’ll want to use content marketing key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your efforts, determine what’s working, and outline areas for improvement.
3. Determine your offer
At the heart of any B2B digital marketing campaign is the idea that you’re offering something to your potential customers. Regardless of whether you’re running a campaign in the hopes of generating leads, increasing sales, or improving brand awareness – you’ll need to provide your target audience with something that’ll encourage them to convert.
It’s important to find a balance. Most people won’t want to speak directly to a sales rep. Instead, content marketing works well for B2B audiences. By providing customers with a piece of premium content (like a white paper, eBook, or a how-to guide), your audience is more likely to exchange their contact information and become valuable leads.
Consider conducting a content gap analysis to discover what you and your competitors haven’t yet offered your audience. For instance, maybe you find that none of your competitors are offering an informative weekly podcast about the latest trends in the industry. Then, you can snatch up the opportunity and use it to guide your target audience through the sales funnel.
Providing their contact details in exchange for content or signing up for an email newsletter doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to make a purchase. That’s why you’ll need to nurture your leads after your B2B marketing campaign has generated them. To do this, consider populating your editorial calendar with different kinds of content to reach your audience across channels.
4. Define your message, plan your resources, and establish a workflow
You’ve done all the thinking, now it’s time to make your plan actionable.
Every brand, industry, and customer is different—so your campaign must align with your brand. What works for a brand aiming to sell cloud-based marketing software won’t work for one that’s geared towards selling automotive parts. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to digital marketing campaigns!
It’s time to consider how you can adapt your brand’s voice and message to your business goals and what you have to offer. Your B2B digital marketing campaign should reflect your brand and what you’re offering. For instance, if a major message your brand agrees with is sustainability, make sure your offerings align with this idea.
You’ll also need to plan your resources. Determine what you’ll need and who you’ll need to help execute your strategy. Create a campaign workflow to ensure everyone involved is on the same page. This way, everyone involved in drafting, editing, and publishing your campaign efforts knows exactly what’s required of them.
Establishing a workflow can be as simple as planning your content with an editorial calendar, or integrating with project management tools like Trello, Asana, or Wrike. It all depends on your budget, the size of your team, and the scope of your business goals.
Your workflow should incorporate all elements of your digital marketing campaign including content creation, SEO strategy, social media marketing, and email marketing.
5. Measure results
You knew this one was coming! After all, what guide to marketing campaigns would be complete without data and analytics?
Your work isn’t over once your campaign goes live. The way you measure the success of your campaign is tied to the business goals you set out while planning your strategy. Ensure you’re constantly testing, optimizing, and testing again to meet your SMART goals. Consult with Google Analytics, Hubspot Marketing Software, or whatever else you might be using to better understand exactly how your campaign is performing. Once you know, you can take steps towards improvement.
Is your landing page not converting? A/B test with different CTAs. Social media posts not performing? Try a different tone of voice. Are emails not getting opened? Experiment with different subject lines until that open rate metric increases!
If you’ve been in the game long enough, you’ll know that marketing is all about experimenting to see what achieves results. Remember that every bump in the road is another opportunity to optimize and optimize some more. This way, you can make proactive changes that reflect the needs of your target audience, refine your brand voice, and achieve the business goals you set out to achieve!
Ready to Start Planning Your Next B2B Digital Marketing Campaign?
By following the steps we’ve outlined above, you’ll have a robust framework for your next B2B digital marketing campaign.
The world of digital marketing is dynamic—so be sure to keep up with digital marketing trends. This way, you can stay on top of shifting B2B consumer demands and achieve your business goals, whatever they might be.
Ready to get started?
Download our editorial calendar template and start planning your digital marketing campaign today.