As every aspect of our world becomes integrated into the digital space, digital channels have become the best place to help B2B businesses grow. As more companies turn to digital strategies as a way to stand out, marketers and businesses are feeling the push to keep up with a wave of modern best practices to avoid becoming drowned out by competitors.
According to Gartner, digital channels will evolve to be homebase for 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers by 2025. The new digitized version of the B2B buying journey will now be led through exploration of the business’ social media accounts, website, and top organic search results.
Although online buying and selling was making an impact before COVID-19, needing to move operations online during the global pandemic accelerated digital sales media to the forefront. Adapting to current trends and the needs of the target audience is the most important foundational piece of any selling strategy. B2B marketers must remain fluid with the ebb and flow of buyers’ habits as they shift between digital and traditional channels to keep up with the competition.
This also means that, despite current economic uncertainty, it is still necessary to invest in effective digital strategies that can capture audiences turning towards digital media to make their decisions. As discussed in my previous blog post, “Playing the Long Game During Challenging Economic Times,” reinventing the way that you use your marketing spend will provide smoother waters for your business during uncertain times.
You Have to Spend Money to Make Money
The consumer purchasing funnel is a useful tool for understanding the different stages of B2B buying behavior. It outlines the journey from awareness to purchase and helps marketers identify where they can best target their efforts. Paid search and paid social are two of the most effective channels for reaching potential buyers at the awareness and consideration stages of their journey.
Sounds easy enough, right? Promote content to raise awareness, drive your captive audience toward conversion, and make sales.
Simply putting marketing dollars behind your content and website won’t provide the ROI you are expecting. By understanding consumer psychology, marketers can create targeted campaigns that will appeal to your core target audience and increase conversions. Additionally, running campaigns in digital channels provides you with robust analytics. This data can help you understand B2B buying behavior and identify which channels are the most effective for reaching your target audience and optimizing campaigns for maximum ROI.
With a paid digital strategy, you get the best of both worlds. In using paid social ads, companies can raise awareness with their target audience and generate engagement for brand content, while paid search ads allow you to capture your potential customers while they are actively researching and making decisions about who to work with.
It’s clear how effective these tools can be in reaching potential customers during every stage of the B2B buying journey. By making an effort to invest in digital campaigns, you can effectively enlarge your digital footprint and make an impact with the growing number of decision-makers who are shifting online.
Leveraging Paid Search
Paid Search is the most popular online activity, with 90% of people searching for information on a daily basis. Users search for products and services across multiple devices, including desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets, providing marketers a plethora of knowledge of not only consumer demographics but the most common way in which an audience prefers to research brands and make purchase decisions. With this new knowledge, advertisers can reduce wasted spend by using optimized paid search marketing programs that target specific keywords and geographic regions, and by using remarketing strategies to serve ads to their most engaged audience in different channels based on previous engagement.
B2B purchasing behavior through online search has changed drastically in the past two decades. With the introduction of smarter search engines algorithms, buyers are now able to find solutions they’re looking for more effectively and efficiently. This has led to an increase in research before buying, as customers are now more informed about the potential options available for their purchase decisions.
One way that marketers can view the analytics of their paid ads and measure the effectiveness of campaigns is with the help of Google Analytics (GA). GA allows businesses to gain insight into their paid and organic traffic sources, the performance of their campaigns, and in-depth information about the people interacting with their website from multiple channels. Understanding what keywords people search for before landing on your website can lead to a discovery of potential challenges that your buyer faces when making decisions, or enlighten a business to what consumers are exactly searching for when interacting with their website.
Google Analytics is one of the most important tools used by businesses to understand their customers’ purchasing behavior. It helps them track and analyze customer data, such as keywords used for searches, time spent on a page, and other metrics that can help them better understand their target audience. By using this data, businesses can tailor their marketing strategies to maximize ROI from paid search campaigns.
Google Analytics is also integrated with Google Ads, which helps businesses manage their paid search campaigns, as well as understand how their results impact revenue. Businesses can use Google Analytics to get deep insight into their website traffic, audience engagement, and conversion rate for SEO and AdWords campaigns.
By understanding B2B purchasing behavior through paid search, businesses can make informed decisions on how to best allocate their budget and resources for maximum ROI.
Capitalizing Off of Organic and Paid Social
The concept of social media has been fundamental in building global online communities that help companies make connections with prospective customers who are reaching out to both large and small businesses alike.
As businesses increasingly move towards digital marketing, paid social media is becoming an important tool for B2B companies to reach their target customers. With the help of social platform’s paid advertisements, B2B companies can create a strong social presence and increase their visibility.
By leveraging the power of paid social media, B2B companies can gain insights into consumer behavior and preferences. This data can be used to craft targeted campaigns that are tailored to their target audience’s needs. Additionally, they can use this data to better understand how their customers interact with their products or services and make informed decisions about future purchases.
In a survey conducted by IBC, “75% of B2B Buyers and 84% of C-Level/VP Executives surveyed use social media to make purchasing decisions,” making an even stronger case for keeping your business’ social media presence active, as buying behavior is proven to source from social platforms.
Not only do these platforms provide a space for customers to express themselves and interact with your brand but they also provide an opportunity for sales managers to engage potential clients on an individual level.
With the rise of social media, B2B sellers have a unique opportunity to reach their target audience and influence their purchasing behavior. By leveraging the audience analytics and insights available on social platforms, B2B sellers can better understand their target audience and create more effective campaigns.
The analytics capabilities built into social platforms provide businesses with an essentially free view into the behavior of B2B decision-makers on social media. These paid social campaigns can be used to build relationships with potential customers and nurture them through the buyer’s journey.
Funneling Down to a Digitized Solution
Understanding and capturing the B2B buyer is essential. With the help of digital marketing strategies such as paid search and paid social, businesses can gain valuable insights into the behavior of their target audience. By leveraging the audience analytics provided by social platforms, businesses can gain a better understanding of their B2B decision-makers and create effective branding campaigns that will capture their attention. Additionally, they can use these insights to develop more effective strategies for targeting buyers and driving conversions.
By understanding the buyer’s needs, wants, and preferences, companies can create targeted campaigns that are tailored to their specific audience. This allows them to reach out to potential customers in a more effective way and increase their chances of success. Additionally, by using these strategies, companies can also gain valuable insights into how different types of buyers interact with their products or services.
In today’s digital world, B2B buyers are turning to social media and digital search to help them make informed decisions when it comes to purchasing. With the rise of technology and the availability of information, buyers are more likely to research a product or service before making a purchase or even interacting with a sales manager.
This means that they are looking for more than just price and product features, they want to know what other customers think about the product or service, as well as how it fits into their overall buying strategy.
By understanding buyer psychology and consumer behavior, B2B companies can create better marketing strategies to target potential buyers on social media and digital search platforms.
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Ashley Morales is an Account Coordinator at Spire, one of the country’s most-awarded B2B branding agencies.