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What Digital Marketers Often Get Wrong about Marketing to Professional Audiences

Marketing to professionals, or B2B marketing, is a niche that doesn’t get as much love as B2C marketing. There are plenty of channels to reach regular customers. But professional clients can be hard to cater to.

It’s not unusual for digital marketers to use formal channels to reach professional audiences. Buying an ad space in a journal? Sending newsletters to all the law firms out there? These are old-fashioned tactics that may not work anymore. Read below to update your B2B marketing strategy to match the times:

Not All Professionals Belong to the Same Demographic Group

One of the biggest mistakes digital marketers make is treating professional customers as one large homogenous group. It’s not. B2B marketing hinges on targeting as much as B2C marketing.

Digital marketers should pay careful attention to the makeup of any professional customer base. For example, are you trying to reach professionals within a certain age group? For example, if your target customers are surgeons, then you are looking at professionals well over the age of 30. Web designers, on the other hand, are more likely to be millennials.

Therefore, use a strategy like Shout Agency to break down your professional clientele by demographic markers. This would play an important role in choosing advertising channels, as well as constructing the marketing messages. Millennial graphic designers, for example, would respond to social media posts about graphic design work. Surgeons are less likely to do the same.

Strategizing the marketing messages and outlets based on demographic information would help you reach the intended audience in a more effective manner. Don’t fall into all professionals are the same trap. Segment and target to actually reach potential B2B customers.

Professionals May be Confused about Services Available to Them, Just Like Other Target Customers

The Harvard Business Review, all the way back in 1984, pointed out that professionals are “timid” when it comes to using services intended for them. This stems largely from ignorance and uncertainly, the article goes. This was back when marketing to professionals was just becoming a thing. The same can be said about some professionals today.

Unlike in the 80s, professionals are bombarded with various B2B advertising content. So, it’s not the lack of marketing, but too much of it that could confuse professionals. Just like B2C customers, professional clients may not realise that there are specific services available to them either.

Digital marketers should consider this possibility when trying to reach professional customers. Avoid generic marketing language. As mentioned above, use specific targeting messages. Be as specific as possible to increase confidence in your service. Don’t focus on disinterest alone. Focus on lack of information as well.

Do Use Social Media (but Make Sure It’s the Right Platform)

Social media marketing is for B2C customers, right? Not quite. Social media marketing can certainly benefit businesses that want to reach professional clients. But there’s a caveat: it’s very important to choose the right social media platform.

Facebook is the go-to social media channel for most B2C customers. For B2B clients, it should be LinkedIn, the massive resume publishing and job seeking site professionals use. LinkedIn is a great channel for reaching clients with content. You can advertise on the platform as well.

Other than LinkedIn, some professionals may gravitate towards other platforms. Are photographers your target audience? Then include Instagram in your marketing campaign. Journalists, editors, and the like are always on Twitter. Likewise, seek out the best social media channel for the professional group in question and plan a campaign for that.

Video Really is a Great Way to Reach Professionals

Video content is no longer just a way to grab attention of Gen Z customers. Just about everyone consumes video nowadays. Take LinkedIn, for example. The site publishes short videos exclusively aimed at professionals, who consume the content in transit to work, conferences, and such.

So don’t ignore video in your B2B marketing campaign. Choose highly relevant, and ideally newsworthy, topics to reach a professional customer base.

Professionals are Not Hung Up on Sector-Based Publications Anymore

Spending too much money to get your advertisement or articles on trade publications and professional journals? That works for a very specific audience. However, keep in mind that professionals are no longer limited to reading publications strictly intended for them.

Scour the web for blogs, social media accounts, and YouTube channels dedicated to addressing job or personal related topics of professionals. These platforms can become excellent channels for reaching target customers, creating brand awareness, and ultimately attracting potential buyers. Therefore expand your reach online when it comes to publication platforms.

There you have it. Marketing to professionals can be tough compares to running a B2C campaign. But the above suggestions should help you reach campaign goals sooner and better.

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