Identikit of a B2B marketing agency
Whoever has some marketing experience knows how different is the B2B world compared to the B2C.
Different logic, different objectives. Very different working methods.
Very often, however, when looking for external partners like a marketing agency, preference is given to the choice of a tactical rather than a strategic partner, capable of supporting you not with a product or service, but with a method.
So, although marketing is a process, partners are often chosen like buying a product.
But ask yourself:
What goals can we achieve with that product?
An example above all, the website.
What features should the website of a B2B company have?
- A nice design
- Clear and easy to understand
- Easy to navigate
- Well indexed on search engines
Correct? In part.
Surely the characteristics listed above are essential for a good website, but the main feature that sums them all in one is missing: the site of a B2B company must continuously generate leads.
When setting up a proper digital marketing strategy, the website is no longer just a place to showcase how good you are. Instead, it becomes the best salesperson for the company. Or at least, that’s the aim.
A good website should produce at least 30 to 200 leads/month, depending on the industry.
If you don’t build your website for lead generation, its value is $0; even if it’s the most beautiful and expensive site in the whole universe.
The above is just an example but shows how taking the wrong decisions can lead to catastrophic results.
Here are four good reasons to choose a digital agency that specialises in B2B marketing.
1. The B2B marketing objectives
Goals in B2B marketing are very different from B2C ones. The main one for B2B is indeed to produce high-quality leads.
Branding and engagement all take second place to the generation of business opportunities.
At the structural level, every B2B company must present marketing objectives in line with sales. It is important to stress this aspect also because many marketing tools, especially web marketing, such as social media, are mainly used as branding tools. However, in a lead generation context, the method is entirely different.
A B2B marketing agency has a specific focus on lead generation. They can structure projects aligned with these objectives and can make use of marketing assets, such as social media, to drive and convert visitors into buying clients.
Your and their experience will guide the strategy that is best result-oriented.
Even the choice of the approach, offline or online, will be strategic rather than tactical: you should not invest in digital marketing because everybody says you should. If it’s the case, you do because it will be the method to get the most customers at a lower cost.
The method is perhaps one of the most crucial elements. The buying journey of B2B buyers is entirely different from that in the consumer world.
The purchase is dictated more by rational motivations, generally weighted over time. Usually, it’s not impulsive.
It is, therefore, essential to developing an integrated strategy for marketing and sales.
For this reason, the way you make use of the multitude of digital marketing assets in B2B varies a lot: i.e. the same techniques aligned differently lead to profound differences in the results.
Content is one of the most important assets of every B2B marketing strategy today: the term content marketing is born with the primary focus on creating high-quality content, designed and structured according to the real needs and interests of the audience, rather than self-referential presentations of company and services.
In the case of B2C companies, the purpose of content is to create emotions, while in the case of B2B, it must have a more instructional approach, aimed at acknowledging the audience. As a consequence, great content positions the company as an authority in the industry.
Formats and contents in B2B are very different from B2C.
i.e. written contents (blog articles, eBooks etc.) is more articulated. Also, graphics are more aimed at the simplification and the explication of concepts, as in the case of an infographic or a video explainer.
The production of content is one of the activities marketing agencies are more involved.
B2B marketing agencies usually have developed a team suitable for the type of content required: sometimes the technical knowledge needed in specific industries is so relevant that is common to find agencies specialising exclusively in those sectors, with professionals very prepared on the topic.
Typical examples are cryptocurrency and ICOs, legal, accounting, IT etc.
Last but not least.
Each agency, having to deal with a growing and growing competition in the market, has had to adapt, evolving the level of its internal instruments.
Generally speaking, a B2B digital marketing agency working on a client has to bring the creatives plus the technology to maximise their marketing results.
The high complexity of the tools requires agencies to make clear choices towards the technology that can be more effective for their customers. Again, the means to maximise purchases for B2C and B2B are quite different.
The choice of a B2B marketing agency is a complex and delicate process and can determine the failure or success of a project.
This is why the analysis must be made thoroughly.
How to choose your B2B Web Marketing Agency
The millennium of digitalisation is knocking at the door, and the Web welcomes it by rewriting the rules of the market.
In this context, Inbound Marketing is an innovative approach that overturns the modus operandi typical of traditional marketing, becoming a fundamental part of the strategies adopted by any Web Marketing Agency.
Speaking of Inbound Marketing, we can not ignore the term “Lead”, the concept that is revolutionising digital marketing.
Today, a company must channel its energy into acquiring a list of contacts that are genuinely interested in their business, which is targeted and with a high probability of conversion.
To generate new contacts and to be found by customers, it is necessary to have a website, to be present on several channels such as social and blogs and to position themselves on search engines.
Elaborating and implementing a strategy to improve the online presence of your company requires specific skills and abilities: this is why it is advisable to rely on the experience and professionalism of a marketing agency.
But how to choose the right B2B marketing agency, able to meet the needs of your company?
To develop and implement a winning strategy, the exchange of information and the brainstorming between the marketing agency and the company must be continuous and as transparent as possible.
Partnering with a marketing agency is indeed a choice made by both parties.
If you are looking for an agency that can help you improve or develop your web presence, you must first establish, clearly and unambiguously, what your primary objectives are. After that, you can start the search for the marketing agency that best suits your needs.
Here are 6 steps that you will always have to keep in mind.
How to enter the world of B2B web agencies
What are your main goals? Depending on the phase in which your business is located you will aim at different goals.
For this reason, you will have to inform yourself about work previously carried out by the agency that testifies to its capacity and efficiency.
Set a budget. Don’t just go for the cheapest or the most expensive right away. Usually, a higher price means better quality, but it’s not always true. Find a way to balance your budget with the agency fee.
Communication is the key to success in every area, especially in B2B digital marketing: this is why the dialogue between your company and the web agency is of fundamental importance.
The agency you choose will have to make you feel at ease in an environment that is not familiar to you yet, showing itself available and attentive to your needs.
The website is an indispensable component of your strategy: it must be easily navigable, giving the broadest possible market coverage and offering the client an excellent online experience. Ask the agency to develop a plan to drive traffic to your website.
Set goals, achieved in six months. The goals must concern the following areas:
• Generation of sales requests
- Online sales
- Improvement of the product/brand awareness
- Creation of strategic landing pages, to propose special offers or events
- Use of call-to-action to drive traffic
SEO is also a fundamental process for the optimisation of any website: in fact, content is one of the leading factors that can influence the volume and quality of search engine traffic. Ask the agency which techniques will be used to ensure maximum visibility of the site: if SEO is not taken into consideration, blacklist the agency.
6. Build Authority
Finally, your company, through the marketing strategy you will develop, must convey a strong sense of authority and trust.
These values must underpin your desire to convert visitors into potential customers.
Ask the marketing agency to explain how they develop the strategy. If you adopt a pragmatic approach, able to bring results, respect deadlines and within the fixed budget, you will have found the right partner.
Learn, research, compare
Never be afraid to ask: the same agency will need to inquire about you and your business.
This continuous interaction between you and the marketing agency will be the backbone of the goals that you can achieve together.
Do not forget, moreover, that through the website of a B2B marketing agency you will have complete access to their history and you will be able to understand what are their primary skills.
There are several types of agencies out there that specialise in SEO, content marketing, social media management, marketing automation, digital counselling etc. You just have to elaborate all your options methodically.
If for your company digital marketing is a novelty, the development of your online presence may require various strategies combined with each other. To put it simply, try every possible thing until you find what really works for you: this is also known as Growth Hacking marketing.
If instead, you are already aware of your weaknesses, a more specialised agency could help to provide the necessary focus.
Remember that there are no guarantees in digital marketing, but you can keep the results under control.
Every respected marketing agency will be able to provide all the necessary tools: these can include keyword rankings, search visibility, bounce rate, clickthrough rates or conversion rates, to name a few.
Many of them will send you weekly, or even monthly report.
My recommendation is to opt for live analytics that you can access 24/7.
Consider these factors before choosing an agency.