Tips for B2B Search Engine Marketing

Posted by Gabriella Sannino - June 11, 2010 - SEM, SEO - 6 Comments
Today, strong search engine marketing strategies are a survival necessity for any business, be it a small or big show. Even using this as just a general rule, the fact remains that B2B (business-to-business) marketers will have to think and act slightly different from other marketers.

The more prevalent marketing, known as “business to consumer” or B2C marketing, is almost as old as Man. B2C marketing can probably be traced back to the day cavemen first realized they could trade bits of colored stones for bigger bits of sharp rock. “Uggh?” “Ugh.” The first B2C deal was done.

Let’s flash forward thousands of years to today, where marketers use the Internet as a medium. Although marketing mediums have drastically changed throughout the years, the basic focus of B2C is still on the consumer. Albeit through the newer medium of the Internet, most of the time-tested methods can still be used to attract customers.

Today’s B2B Marketing

B2B marketing is different than B2C, typically involving larger volumes and smaller targets. B2B is mainly centered on transactions of unfinished products from one company to another, the transfer of goods from wholesalers to retailers, or just marketing of raw materials to potential customers. B2B marketing may also be used for social marketing of tangible or intangible goods. As well, it’s important to search out new marketing opportunities, of which there are more and more each year.

A common rule…

One common rule for B2B and B2C marketing is that the content of the marketing website or the blogs used to promote the product should be excellent. This is a paramount rule in all businesses, whether the focus is on other businesses, individual customers, or organizations like the government. With business to business, this has to go one step further. It’s not enough to just state the utilities of a finished product, as is done while offering a product to the end consumer.

The B2B marketer’s duty…

Whether it’s social marketing or marketing of consumer durables at various stages of completion, the B2B marketer has a duty to tell other businesses how they can continue the chain and profit from the product on a long-term basis. The other company needs to build a lasting relationship based on the information provided in the blog or at the site and, as such, the data provided there should be highly analytical. Where a blog is used for the purpose, the blog must have a link that leads to the corporate site, which provides exhaustive details of the product’s possibilities and business potential.

Researching target companies…

The B2B market is typically small, so the marketer can afford to do a little research on target companies. Target companies can be located through Internet searches and well known social networking sites, among other places. Once the target companies are identified, direct email marketing can also be utilized for each company, streamlining the content differently in each mail, if necessary, to satisfy the expectations of the target company.

Choosing the Right Keywords

While choosing keywords, a B2B marketer has to remember that different people from the target businesses might search for companies like his. For example, if he is marketing a machine part, those from the engineering team of the company may search for it using a particular keyword, whereas those in their financial team could use a slightly different keyword to get at the same thing. So while doing B2B marketing, the marketer will have to produce the same information after dressing it up in different ways with different keywords.

The keyword may also need to be changed in B2B marketing after a certain stage, since the selling cycle could be fairly long. What is relevant in the early stages of the selling may not be equally important at a later stage. The rule applies in relation to social marketing as well.

The B2B Start Up Business

With a B2B start up business, the challenges are more or less the same as for any other business. The main difference is that they cannot expect results as fast as in a B2C business. In a B2C business, even a single visit can sometimes generate a sale (though not always). With a B2B start up business, a single visit from a prospective client is unlikely to generate a sale. The client will need to know too many things before they will enter into a relationship, and one complete cycle of transaction may take much more time than B2C marketing.

B2B marketing experiments can be conducted by focusing on a small group of businesses and testing the results, then widening the focus if the experiment turns out to be successful. Ideally, whether it’s a start up business or not, companies should not hesitate to be innovative with B2B marketing. Not all new strategies may be successful, but it’s often found that demand generation is achieved in totally unexpected ways.

About the Author

Gabriella Sannino

For the past fifteen years, Gabriella has held various positions, from SEO consulting and web development to business development and creative directing. At the tail end of her corporate career, after working with BStudio she decided it was time to go on her own and opened Level 343, providing copywriting and SEO services. She fancies herself an Italian rocker, rebel and SEO geek. She loves singing in the shower and keeps a notepad next to her bed.