3 Ways B2B Web Marketing Is Different

by Brian Toomey, JB Analytics CEO

In a lot of ways B2B web marketing is the same as B2C. To get and benefit from high quality traffic, you’ll still need the basics:

  • Clean code, mobile friendly responsive design, and fast load times
  • Optimized page titles, tags, and text
  • Well-written content that provides value to the reader
  • Clear navigation and good user experience.

But understanding the differences between B2C and B2B can translate into big financial payoffs.

B2B Customers Are More Risk Averse

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Consumers most often are interested in the best deal or lowest price, which makes sense since they are spending smaller amounts of money. But businesses who are looking to purchase goods or services may spend several million dollars for a single purchase event are often less price sensitive— trustworthiness and security is more important.

A purchase of this magnitude often represents a significant investment in the company’s future, and the wrong choice can impact profitability and even business viability for years to come. For these reasons, B2B purchasers often don’t convert on the first visit. They are more likely to shop around and consider the options in detail. That can involve several sessions on your site before making contact or otherwise converting.

Make sure you understand what the risks are for your customers and potential customers. Is it security? Durability? Future-proofing? Expert support? If you know, you can lay concerns to rest as soon as they see the page. Build trust and don’t let it get compromised by small failings like broken internal links, slow load times, ugly forms, or spelling errors.

Much Higher Value Per Session

In B2C 1,000 sessions can yield $10 in revenue. In the B2B sphere, 1000 sessions on your site might only mean a handful of conversions, but give a million dollar contract. It’s not an exaggeration to say that B2B traffic is often 10,000 times as valuable as B2C.

Let’s say your company installs solar panels for domestic use. The market is large and so is the amount of search traffic available. But when your company installs solar panels for commercial use, the number of searchers is much smaller. Even the strongest ranked sites will see much less traffic than the big players in the domestic market.

The tradeoff is that a domestic lead might be worth a few thousand dollars. A B2B lead for that commercial solar company could easily net them a six or seven figure sum.

Each lead is worth more, so more energy needs to go into making absolutely sure every user—no matter what browser, platform, or device—has a seamless experience and sees everything they need to see.

More Technical Audiences

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With B2B customers, you can afford to be niche-oriented and detailed about your product or services. Of course, smiling faces and headlines are still good page design, but visitors will want to know that you have the expertise they need. That means more formality, more use of industry-specific terminology, and more detail—it doesn’t have to crowd product pages, but the nitty gritty should be clearly signposted and available to viewers.

Think cases studies, technical documentation, and hard numbers. Going back to our solar installer example, the perfect case study on a B2C solar installation site might show that the company is local, friendly, reliable, and delivers a good service at a fair price. The ideal case study on a B2B commercial solar site would be much more focussed on the technical specifications of the panels used, the type of tracking mounts, and the expected outputs in precise megawatt terms. A homeowner might not have a good feel for how much they could generate or even use in MW terms, but a utility company wanting to build a new solar array will know exactly what those numbers mean.

A knowledgeable B2B audience is also more likely to search for highly specific phrases. They will have done their research and know what they are looking for. Take care to do careful research into low volume, ‘long-tail’ search phrases with high potential value.

Next Steps

Unlike most digital marketers, we work most often with B2B clients: software as a service, consultancies, and large engineering and manufacturing companies. JB Analytics can help you both understand and reach your audience, no matter how niche or technically minded they may be.