Even in the B2B space, everyone is a consumer. There are typically many people involved in the B2B purchase decision and every single one of them is going to go online to research your business and your brand.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from B2B companies that their potential clients would never look for them on social media; it’s almost as if they don’t know how the Internet works.
Perhaps in the past you could get away with not having a social media presence, but it just doesn’t make sense anymore. You need to have a brand voice and show potential clients that others like doing business with you.
Where do you think they will go to learn about whether other companies are happy with your work? Certainly not your website. Other people’s opinions of your business are going to play a big role in the decision process and it is in your best interest to be in on that conversation.
What Would the Consumer Think?
Not only should you consider your B2B clients as consumers – but you should also be thinking more about the actual end users. The Internet has increased the number of ways we can interact with brands and as consumers we can have a direct impact on B2B companies. Many B2B companies are even creating their products and services in direct response to what the consumers are asking for.
In our upcoming Lunch & Learn we will discuss more about Listen-first Marketing, which is something that every business should be doing. If you listen to conversations within your industry, you can gain the insight about consumers that will help lead you to better business decisions.
In a recent campaign from the packaging company Tetra Pak, they promoted a new design for a bottle cap by addressing the needs of consumers on the go. Even though the end consumers will not have direct interaction with Tetra Pak, they are presenting the product with them in mind. This type of marketing has become more prevalent as B2B companies start to use consumer data to appeal to potential buyers.
Tetra Pak learned about an issue for consumers, developed a product to solve for it, and then presented it to potential buyers as a story about giving the consumers what they need: “Small. Sustainable. Stylish. Just what millennials are looking for.”
You Have to Personalize Your Brand
Personalization is an important part of how you present your brand because, at the end of the day, you’re talking to individuals.
In a given B2B transaction there could be any number of people looking into your business. Mike from accounting might check out your Facebook page to see how people are interacting with you. Shirley from marketing will go straight to your Instagram page because she’s hoping to catch some ‘behind the scenes’ pictures from your office. Meanwhile Billy from customer service signs up for your email list to check out how you connect with your audience.
There are so many touchpoints for individuals that ‘B2B’ really becomes a misnomer – you have to maintain conversations at a personal level no matter what type of business you have.
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About Nicole Castelblanco
Nicole Castelblanco is Manager, Research & Analytics at Liquid. She leads the department in the planning, implementation and management of online lead generation programs which include paid and organic search, display, social media, email marketing and analytics.