7 Ways To Successfully Promote E-Commerce B2B Business
Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, embraces all trades and financial transactions realized via the Internet. In simple words, it is any transaction made from an electronic device connected to the network. The modern world of trading has undergone a serious digital transformation. According to McKinsey’s research, two thirds of buyers and sellers preferred digital self-service and remote human engagement over in-person interactions in 2022.
Even if e-commerce is mainly associated with a business-to-consumer (B2C) segment, B2B is also growing fast. B2B companies depart from traditional business practices, shifting toward online trading. A new generation of digital buyers boosts the operational transformation of B2B companies. However, how to stay afloat in this rapidly changing trading landscape? Let’s delve into the most efficient marketing e-commerce strategies for B2B businesses.
How does B2B business operate?
This e-commerce segment is the backbone of the global economy. While the intricacies can vary across industries, the fundamental principles remain consistent. In a B2B ecosystem, companies engage in buying and selling products, services, or solutions from other companies to meet their operational needs. In the B2B e-commerce model, sales cycles tend to be longer due to multiple stakeholders, larger order sizes, and higher costs (as well as other factors). Additionally, B2B buyers form partnerships and stay with their suppliers for long periods of time, whereas B2C relationships typically do not involve obligatory repeat purchases.
Moving your B2B business to an online sales model can be beneficial, but like any digital transformation process, it has to be finely tuned. The main goal of this step is to simplify the purchasing process for your customers and increase your sales. Building a successful B2B business is not only about quality products but also effective sales and marketing strategies.
How to grow your B2B business?
E-commerce is constantly evolving. Besides, the competition in this market is extremely high, so it is important to be aware of all the trends and strategies to attract buyers and increase sales.
Content marketing is a highly effective ways to attract new customers for the B2B segment. This type of channel involves running your own blog, creating original articles, infographics, optimizing your blog posts, guides, and eBooks. You can also create and share visual content, such as infographics, photos and videos. Content helps people learn more about your business, industry and services. It can also position your company as an industry leader. Customers will learn about your goods and services if they find your content engaging.
Do not forget about SEO. All purchases in the B2B segment begin with a search. So, you need to increase the likelihood of being easily found by a potential buyer. Instead of optimizing solely for what you’re selling, focus on optimizing for what your potential buyers are actively searching for. Delve into your customer feedback data, gathered from social media, surveys, and use it to perform NPS calculation to gauge overall satisfaction, customer support, link farming and various other sources, to gain a profound understanding of your customers’ needs and tailor your optimization strategies accordingly.
Digital advertising remains an integral part of B2B marketing. It offers a variety of advertising methods, including Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads, social media promotions, and search advertisements.
To make the most of digital advertising, it’s crucial to revisit your customer profile and consider on which websites and social media platforms your target B2B audience prevails. Furthermore, you should carefully tailor the language and content of your ads to ensure they resonate with the right audience, supporting a meaningful connection. Besides, it is a must to have well-designed landing pages to ensure a seamless transition to your website when customers click on an ad. This cohesive approach multiplies your chances of creating lasting connections with your audience.
Reviews and testimonials
Who are your best advocates? Of course, these are your existing customers. Make sure to use their support to promote your business. It’s not a secret modern buyers do a lot of research before making purchasing decisions. Thus, it is critical to establish trust with B2B prospects to convert them into buyers. In this respect, testimonials and reviews may have more weight than any other marketing materials. So, creating a special page for customer feedback on your website proves your customer care and product quality.
A savvy approach to boost the number of reviews is to offer discounts or vouchers in exchange for honest feedback. Ask your customers to share an honest review on social media or your website, and in return, reward them with a discount on their next purchase.
Studies show that 73% of customers typically use multiple sales channels during their shopping journey. This tendency works not only for the B2C segment; it also extends to B2B buyers who engage with their suppliers through various channels. An omnichannel approach to B2B e-commerce means building a unified system that connects all these channels, enabling you to broaden your outreach and connect with both your established customer base and potential buyers.
Irrespective of whether your customer is shopping online from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, your goal is to ensure a seamless experience in real time, particularly during peak time. Your customers should get access to all information, ranging from comprehensive product details to sales information, across all touchpoints.
Social media is often underestimated in B2B marketing. Social networks have already proved to be valuable for B2C businesses. Understanding the distinctions B2C strategies is crucial for identifying the appropriate social media platforms that align with the specific audience and goals of a B2B enterprise.
Similarly, they can become advantageous for any B2B e-commerce business. However, you must choose the right platforms. B2B marketing efforts usually bring no results on Instagram and Pinterest. In contrast, LinkedIn has established itself as exceptionally effective for targeting specific industries and professionals. Surprisingly, Facebook and Twitter can also serve as potent tools for promoting B2B offerings.
Build communities on social media platforms to run polls, organize contests, and initiate group discussions. All these activities encourage active interaction and user engagement. For example, Facebook offers powerful tools for creating engaging and interactive content. You can use Reels and Stories to create short, engaging videos that drive audience engagement through comments, likes, and shares.
Although influencer marketing is mainly associated with the B2C environment, it extends far beyond. Businesses change their buying patterns. In addition to ads and company presentations, buyers are now more likely to ask other people who know a lot about the industry for advice. Having an influencer that recommends your product is an immensely effective tactic. Unlike in B2C segment where it is the number of followers that matters, in B2B, the influencer must have an expertise in the product or service they advertise. By using an influencer marketing platform to find the right fit for your brand, you can:
- Build trust and reputation. Gaining trust in the B2B market can be tricky. With good feedback from influencers, you are more likely to be chosen by potential customers.
- Become more visible. When you team up with B2B influencers, your brand can reach all their followers and new, relevant audiences.
- Connect with the right audience. B2B influencers have followers who are into a particular topic or niche. It allows you to reach the right audience.
It is a big mistake not to use the power of AI when it comes to B2B e-commerce. Here are just a few ways you can attract buyers with this technology.
- Personalized marketing. Machine learning algorithms can analyze sales and pre-engage with CAs to provide personalized product recommendations to each customer.
- Chatbots and interactive support. Virtual assistants will flawlessly handle customer questions and help them in real time and round o’clock.
Outbound Lead Generation
While the strategies mentioned above are integral to promoting a B2B e-commerce business, one cannot overlook the power of outbound lead generation. This proactive approach is essential in reaching potential clients who may not yet be aware of your offerings.
Outbound lead generation involves directly reaching out to potential clients through various channels. Unlike inbound strategies that rely on attracting customers through content and SEO, outbound lead generation is about initiating the first contact. This can be done through methods such as cold calling, email marketing campaigns, and targeted social media outreach.
💡For more insights on how to effectively implement outbound lead generation in your B2B e-commerce strategy check out our strategy for e-commerce lead generation.
Hopefully, this article has equipped you with some B2B e-commerce marketing strategies. Now, you are to revisit the expectations of your target audience to understand which of these approaches will resonate with them. Remember that the secret to expanding your e-commerce business lies in addressing your customers’ needs. Find ways to optimize your website, provide more communication channels, and enhance the quality of your customer service to succeed.