4 Effective B2B Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

10.19.2023 Sara Brasfield4 min

When compared to B2C strategies, B2B digital marketing faces a far different set of challenges. The biggest difference? Most B2B brands are targeting a very small audience, and potentially a short list of businesses that fit the profile of an ideal customer.

The list goes on: B2B marketing can be particularly complex because of the challenges these lean organizations face. Small payrolls and limited staff often mean that B2B stakeholders at small businesses fill a number of different roles in the organization, creating distractions that can pull their attention away from the marketing sales funnel.

B2B marketers must contend with budget constraints, concerns about business continuity, and other obstacles that can deter businesses from investing in valuable services and vendor relationships.

By taking a proactive approach to understanding your buyers’ current challenges and needs, B2B businesses can create digital marketing campaigns that convert new clients and fill your company’s pipeline with incoming revenue.

Here are four strategies we recommend for any small business with B2B marketing ambitions.

1. Embrace Automation to Improve Performance Across Your Marketing Campaigns

Use cases for marketing automation continue to expand, creating opportunities to enhance B2B digital advertising and marketing with cost-efficient, performance-optimized campaigns that require less manual setup and maintenance.

Automation can be a slippery slope: while this technology can support your social media marketing, paid search campaigns, programmatic advertising and other B2B marketing efforts, the true value of automation often depends on your expertise to tailor these tools to your specific marketing goals and needs.

Still, automation is one of the biggest B2B marketing trends because of its potential to increase campaign ROI—especially for small businesses with limited resources. For best results, team up with a small business marketing consultant to pair automation’s capabilities with experienced experts who know how to put this technology to work.

2. Expand Your Social Presence to Engage With B2B Buyers

LinkedIn B2B marketing has long been a reliable—and successful—digital channel for connecting with B2B buyers.

More recently, though, B2B brands have been finding success using B2C mainstays like Facebook, Instagram and other social platforms to achieve their B2B marketing goals. These social platforms have proven effective because they offer a different channel for engaging with buyers, vendors and other professionals in the B2B space.

From niche audience targeting with paid social ads to engagement with consumers and buyers on these social networks, B2B brands are embracing a broader spectrum of social networks to generate leads and touches among prospective buyers.

3. Adjust Marketing Campaigns to Account for Longer Buying Cycles

According to Forrester, 75 percent of buyers say their buying cycles have increased over the past two years. These buying processes are also growing more consultative and collaborative, with buyers involving a greater number of voices to thoroughly vet decisions before they are made.

As buying cycles grow longer, buyers expect B2B brands to stay digitally engaged through B2B advertising, marketing, and sales engagement. Small businesses targeting a B2B audience need to plan marketing campaigns that anticipate a higher number of touchpoints to successfully convert a new customer.

In addition to lengthening these campaigns, B2B brands should consider upping their investment into remarketing campaigns that will keep your company top-of-mind throughout a longer consideration phase.

4. Target Campaigns and Messaging to Different B2B Stakeholders

Longer buying cycles are increasing the number of individuals providing feedback during the consideration phase of a potential purchase. With this collaboration drawing in stakeholders from different departments and backgrounds, B2B businesses need to prioritize diverse messaging and campaigns that speak to different roles.

A single B2B technology company, for example, might find it helpful to create distinct campaigns for a product targeted to experts in operations, IT, finance, and other departments. Diverse messaging and segmented campaigns can work parallel to one another to create multiple touches across the key stakeholders at an account your business has targeted, improving your ability to build consensus among the group informing the final purchase decision.

Keep in mind, too, that the demographic profile of these buyers has changed in recent years. As Insider Intelligence notes, 65 percent of B2B buying committees are Millennial and Gen Z professionals. These younger buyers are digital natives that want to take control of the customer journey and be proactive in conducting research on their own.

For this reason, your company’s B2B content marketing strategy should be in lock-step with paid ad campaigns to make sure the messaging buyers see on your blog and elsewhere is consistent with what they’ve learned through your ad campaigns.

With precise audience targeting and a patient approach to interacting with buyers, your business can turn B2B marketing into a catalyst for long-term growth. Cox Media’s experts can help optimize your audience targeting and buyer engagement across the best-fit B2B marketing channels, outfitting your strategy with the latest best practices to boost your campaign ROI.

Find out how we can help your B2B business grow—contact us today to get started.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is a Marketing Manager on Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than nine years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the office, Sara loves spending time running, reading, and supporting her favorite sports teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

View All of Sara Brasfield's Blog Posts

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