Marketing to B2B audiences requires a different approach. B2B decision-makers rely on both logic and emotion to settle on a product or service. And this is why digital marketing, especially content marketing, adds a lot of value for B2B marketers.

Traditional vs. Digital Marketing: Which is Best for Your B2B

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“69% of the most effective B2B Marketers have a dedicated content marketing group in their organization,” as per Content Marketing Institute.

Digital marketing has changed how B2B marketers strategize their processes and spending. However, the important thing is that a purely digital strategy doesn’t guarantee success. 

Diversifying marketing spending across digital and traditional strategies lowers the risks and optimizes the marketing effectiveness. This article explains a few traditional and digital marketing strategies that work best for B2B companies, and how they differ in the context of B2B marketing.

Traditional Vs. Digital Marketing for B2B

Traditional marketing is vintage but no less effective. Digital marketing is all the rage but often comes with substantial investment. There’s no good or evil here. But before talking about why, let’s get some clarity on what traditional and digital marketing are, and how B2B businesses use them.

Traditional Marketing

In simple words, traditional marketing is all marketing methods that existed before the internet came about and changed marketing forever. It’s how baby boomers marketed the radio; how Bill Gates marketed Microsoft.

Contrary to what many believe, traditional marketing isn’t dead. Traditional marketing strongly underpins a B2B brand’s digital marketing strategy and forms a powerful confluence that brings in leads. 

It’s also untrue that traditional marketing is mostly used by small businesses. Big brands have successfully used traditional marketing strategies to spark chatter about their products and services.

Most traditional marketing methods are as relevant as they used to be. For instance, print and broadcast are still big for B2B businesses. Cold calls, though controversial, still generate ample leads for many companies.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is any marketing campaign that’s executed online. It’s what the modern marketer is more excited about. It’s where the needle moves quickly, and opportunities are endless.

Digital marketing is far less intrusive while still effectively getting on the target audience’s radar. However, it’s often an expensive endeavor that requires strategic planning and execution. 

“In 2020, digital B2B advertising spending in the United States amounted to 8.68 billion U.S. dollars. It is projected that the figure will further grow to surpass 14.5 billion dollars by the end of 2023,” writes Statista

Digital marketing is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. B2B brands that don’t play the digital game, lose… big time. Digital marketing may require an upfront investment, but the potential payoff is mind-blowing. This is especially true for well-executed marketing strategies. 

Best Traditional and Digital Marketing Strategies for B2B Brands

There’s no dearth of marketing techniques, but marketers can’t throw noodles to the wall and see what sticks. To move the ROI needle, it’s best to focus on traditional and digital marketing techniques that yield the best results. 

Following are the most effective marketing strategies you should consider when creating a confluence of traditional and digital marketing strategies. 

  1. Print Marketing

Print marketing was the equivalent of Instagram during the 2000s. Print marketing includes everything from posters to newspapers and billboards to magazines. Magazines and journals work particularly well for B2B folks because their prospects likely read at least a few of them. 

Posters and billboards also work excellently, provided the location is chosen strategically. Marketing through posters is particularly attractive given its low cost. If you want to give posters a try, click here to get started with poster printing today.

Don’t be fooled by the low cost, though. Posters can still produce good ROI over time. The key is to place them such that your prospects notice them. 

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For instance, say you’re a car glass manufacturer. Your clients are dealerships and repair shops. Pasting posters in the business district probably won’t get you much traction, but put some posters around the dealerships and repair shops, and they’ll at least take a peek.

Another potential place to put with posters is events that your prospects are likely to visit. For instance, industry conventions are a great place to showcase your services or products to a larger B2B audience.

  1. Face to Face Marketing

Let’s face it. Nothing beats face to face. You have the prospect right in front of you, you have their attention, and you can play off their reactions. 

However, there’s one caveat. Face-to-face marketing looks very different from what someone from a non-marketing background is used to. There are no salesmen ringing doorbells or standing with a product in their hand trying to sell you on it.

B2B face-to-face interactions mostly happen indoors, where both the marketer and the prospect are joined by the respective teams. The marketers need to make this experience more enriching instead of trying to impress the prospects with a smile and pleasant conversations.

The key element of face-to-face marketing for B2B is a presentation that knocks it out of the park. And guess what? It’s not easy! 

Traditional vs. Digital Marketing: Which is Best for Your B2B

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Everybody can make presentations, but it requires a collaborative effort to create a presentation that stands out. 

If you’re looking for something to make it easier, you should use an online presentation tool like Pitch. It’s an easy-to-use presentation maker with some beautiful templates to choose from. Pitch also lets your team collaborate on presentations so you can brainstorm ideas and create a top-notch presentation. 

Once you’re ready with your masterpiece, decide on an agenda for the meeting, so there are no awkward silences once the presentation ends. Be sure to prepare for a Q&A because it’s one of the most significant advantages of face-to-face marketing.

  1. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been the buzzword for almost a decade now, and it’s going to continue to receive attention from marketers for the foreseeable future. SEO is a pull marketing strategy that, when done right, can offer triple-digit ROI.

Why? Glad you asked.

Basically, SEO helps Google and other search engines to understand your website offers. When Google thinks your website is among the best sources of relevant information for a searcher, it will put your website on the first page of the search results.

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However, the first page is beachfront property. It requires time and money to get there. It’s advisable to hire an expert SEO agency, so they can deploy multiple techniques to optimize your website for search engines.

Even with its high costs, the long-term payoff is substantially favorable. Once your website starts ranking on Google, you’ll receive a ton of organic traffic. Essentially, prospects will come to you instead of you having to go to them.

  1. Content Marketing

B2B prospects like to study a product or service before deciding. Sure, there’s still a human making that decision, so the content marketing must still be geared to tantalize the reader emotionally. But contrary to B2C, B2B marketing focuses heavily on educating the target audience.

The need to educate makes content marketing the perfect tool to engage B2B prospects and add SEO value to the website. Marketers should create content across funnel stages to ensure all prospects can find what they’re looking for on the website.

However, content marketing isn’t only education prospects

It’s also an excellent way of establishing a brand as an authority in a particular space. Since many of your competitors are probably trying to do the same thing, you’ll need to create unique content that’s snackable, shareable, and provides truckloads of value to the reader.

The cherry on the cake is that content marketing is also a big asset when it comes to SEO. From link building to bringing in searchers with a specific search intent, content marketing checks a long list of boxes. 

Again, content marketing isn’t cheap. It does require an upfront investment, strategy, and most importantly, patience. However, once the efforts begin to compound, you’ll generate explosive ROI and bank on benefits that content marketing offers to a B2B brand.

Diversify Your Marketing

Never put all your eggs in one basket. If a website is currently ranking on Google, it’s probably bringing in enough leads. The marketer probably doesn’t need a lot of other sources for lead gen with the website ranking on the first page, but complacence is costly.

What happens if Google’s algorithm changes, like it has in the past, and the website loses its position? Starting a panic-induced print marketing campaign when disaster strikes can spell bad news for the brand, especially if the campaign looks like it’s been rushed through. 

Instead, always diversify marketing spending across traditional and digital marketing strategies to make sure if one channel closes, there’s another one to rely on. 

The good thing is, traditional marketing tactics usually cost no more than a couple of hours of brainstorming and a few dollars on print. A failed traditional marketing campaign, therefore, bothers a marketer far less than a failed digital marketing campaign that can cost the company a ton of money.

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Author Bio: Arjun Ruparelia

Email – [email protected] | LinkedIn

An accountant turned writer, Arjun writes blog posts for B2B brands across the globe. Arjun has five years of writing experience across verticals. He is a CMA and CA (Intermediate) by qualification.