Consumer-facing businesses get the most attention. After all, that’s what readers are interested in. But company-facing brands often make the most money. Businesses are willing to pay enormous fees to firms that solve their problems. We’re talking millions of dollars per contract.
However, unlocking the secrets of online B2B success is a mystery to many entrepreneurs. While there are reams of articles and mountains of books exploring B2C success, B2B remains relatively neglected.
Bocain Designs is a B2B web designer involved in this space and knows some of the problems entrepreneurs face.
“B2B web design is nothing like traditional web design,” the company says. “The former always puts the emphasis on business results and benefits. In that sense, it is more mercantile than conventional marketing. It’s about who gains and who loses, not how people feel. Emotion can work, but rarely.”
The first step to success as an online B2B entrepreneur is to understand the audience. Many CEOs fail at this hurdle because they don’t do the proper research before jumping straight into making large investments.
The research process always starts with figuring out who a brand is targeting. Any website needs to reflect the intrinsic needs of the people using it. For business-facing pages, this means providing plenty of content, contact details, and market analysis. Companies need to understand how a particular tool or service is going to help them.
To facilitate this, many brands split their sites up by stakeholder. Some ask visitors to select their role in the company to determine which content they wind up seeing. Companies don’t want to get into a situation where they are talking to the wrong people and are creating content for individual staff members who can’t make decisions.
Website optimization is another secret to online B2B success. Companies need to ensure their pages can cope with the volume of businesses using them.
Many firms fall into the trap of believing that only a handful of users will ever access a B2B brand website at any given time. However, that isn’t always the case. Websites can find themselves shutting down just as their potential for generating revenue is at a maximum.
The trick here is to organize websites properly and deal with the backend. The technical aspect of web design is what trips up many entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs find it hard to get to grips with things like page loading times, bandwidth, and encryption. However, all these elements can have a profound impact on sales.
Website optimization also includes creating proper sales funnels. Businesses need to clearly understand the value proposition and be able to find relevant information.
Companies that don’t guide business customers through their sales processes are liable to lose revenue to firms that do. It’s a matter of encouraging brands to take the next step and experiment with your product offering. Most B2B websites don’t optimize these priorities.
Social Media Presence
Another key to unlocking online B2B success is to build a strong social media presence. Firms that become well-known and respected online are highly likely to thrive. Critically, many B2B entrepreneurs underestimate the level of activity and engagement of other online brands. Firms believe that social media is consumer-facing, but industries also use it because it is such a useful tool. Discussions regularly take place on Facebook and X threads, allowing companies to build rapport and position themselves more effectively.
Unfortunately, building an extensive social media presence takes time, but even the most uninteresting B2B enterprises can do it if they know and understand their target audience. It’s just about positioning. Companies that get in right are most likely to be the ones that thrive.
Related to social media is email marketing, another powerful tool brands use to build deeper online relationships with business customers. Long-form emails are an opportunity to build authority and give decision-makers in companies more confidence.
“Email marketing implementations are another essential ingredient of online success,” Bocain Design says. “Companies need to leverage it for better outreach and to reduce their reliance on social media platforms that could shut them down at any time. The main value of email marketing is the ability to build deeper relationships with client businesses. Many companies appreciate product- and service-related literature because it helps them make the case to the board or decision-makers.”
Naturally, CRMs also play a role in the success of online B2B businesses. Companies that can organize their clients and provide a more seamless service are most likely to win the competition in the marketplace.
Modern CRMs are helpful because they provide AI-powered assistance. Many tools, for instance, automatically follow up leads at the optimal time and send reminders to agents to pursue a particular path toward conversion. These tools also seamlessly share customer information across agents, meaning company representatives don’t need to keep explaining themselves every time they interact with the B2B company. It makes the entire process significantly more efficient.
Finally, case studies are also a potent tool for driving conversions and making sales in the B2B space. It’s something that professional business-to-business web designers implement on their clients’ pages all the time.
Case studies are an opportunity for B2B firms to display their expertise in their niche. They provide believable, visual examples of what firms can do and how they can help prospective clients.
You can think of them as a portfolio for service businesses that don’t have any physical things they can show, like newly decorated bathrooms. Case studies give leads confidence because they can always contact the customer and ask if the case study is true
Case studies also provide insights into the type of results that companies can expect. Unlike consumers, firms often have specific results they need to fit their brand or business model. Case studies provide real insights and examples of the kind of performance companies can expect when choosing the B2B service.
So, there you have it: some of the secrets of online B2B success. Getting it right requires following best practices and trying many different approaches.