Business-to-business marketing changed drastically over the last decade. While many B2B companies have been slow to catch on to the importance of SEO and PPC marketing tactics, their relevance to B2B digital marketing campaigns has only grown. Real or disputed, there are still several myths about B2B marketing strategies that endure that need to be busted. We’ve compiled a list of some of the common fictions surrounding B2B marketing and the real truths behind them based on a recent study by Millward Brown Digital and Google that I think will surprise you:
MYTH: Millennials aren’t making B2B business decisions.
BUSTED: Millennials make up almost half of the total B2B researchers active today, and that percentage doubled within a few short years. 46% of B2B researchers in 2014 were Millennials.
The Millennial generation grew up with the internet. They understand how to use it effectively and what it means for successful digital marketing. In today’s market, online relevance is crucial for any business. Most people will make snap judgments about a company’s credibility based on the quality of a website and its online presence. This is why effective SEO should be essential to any digital marketing campaign. Without it, you’re basically promoting your competition.
Look at the evolution of Google to see how much SEO matters to marketing today. The world’s largest company makes more than 67% of its money from the AdWords platform. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising isn’t just an enormous revenue generator for Google: the companies using AdWords are seeing definitive returns on their PPC investments.
MYTH: B2B marketing needs to target top-level executives.
BUSTED: Researchers below the executive level make most of the key decisions about B2B purchases.
Executives will, in fact, make most final decisions, but some of their direct reports will have that authority, as well. You must market to everyone who could be making decisions to do business with your organization—not just the executives. 81% of non-executives have some influence over B2B purchasing decisions, so have a plan to reach all of them.
MYTH: You need to focus on branded searches when developing a search strategy.
BUSTED: Research for B2B purchase decisions will begin with a generic search 71% of the time.
The internet isn’t just a major resource for B2B research—it’s the ultimate resource. Over recent years, the percentage of B2B market researchers using the internet as their primary research method for purchase decisions has hovered around 90%. This is part of the reason why content marketing is so crucial. It’s impossible to build relevance in today’s online marketplace without consistently releasing valuable content to your audience and visitors to your site. Thoughtful SEO practices will ensure your content stays at the top of search engine results.
[bctt tweet=”It’s impossible to build relevance online without consistently releasing valuable content.”]
MYTH: B2B researchers don’t rely on mobile devices.
BUSTED: B2B researchers use mobile for almost their entire process, and mobile usage overall is increasing dramatically.
Mobile growth has tripled over a few short years, and 42% of B2B researchers are relying on mobile devices for the entirety of their purchasing processes. They’re checking leads, but they’re also comparing them to competitors and ultimately purchasing through mobile platforms. This accounts for the astounding 91% growth of mobile usage throughout the entire B2B purchase process seen in the last few years.
MYTH: The main purpose of video content is only to raise brand awareness.
BUSTED: Video influences B2B research along the entire purchase process.
70% of B2B researchers and buyers use videos to help make purchase decisions. In 2014, clients viewed nearly 900,000 hours of YouTube content from B2B brands, and almost half of all researchers watch at least half an hour of content during the research process.
BOTTOM LINE: Creating engaging content is absolutely critical to gaining online credibility, and a polished site coupled with wise SEO strategies ensures your site will rank well in search results. If you want to grow your business, SEO is no longer an option—it’s a requirement. PPC advertising on AdWords will help you reach customers across millions of daily Google searches that may be using keywords relevant to your brand.
[bctt tweet=”…remember that the face of the B2B researcher has changed. #millenials #b2b”]
B2B marketers need to adapt to the evolving demands of the internet to remain relevant and competitive. You also need to remember that the face of the B2B researcher has changed. Almost half of them are tech-savvy Millennials, and most mastered the internet long before they entered the job market.