Communication experts will agree that we are up against the big challenge of how to best convey information to users and have an emotional impact on them. Yes, emotional: because in a market saturated with content, it is increasingly difficult to leave our audiences with a memory of us. This also affects business-to-business or B2B communication, which companies use when their customers are other companies.
First of all, I would like to emphasize that there are numerous types of B2B companies. Some have very similar sales objectives to business-to-consumer or B2C companies. Others are less related to these objectives and aim for more reputational perspectives. In either case, there are similar communication challenges.
What challenges do we face in the communication sector?
Many of the predictions we foresaw on this very blog have come to pass. If I were to ask you about more than five Instagram posts that you liked throughout the day, could you tell me five of them by nightfall? Users consume a lot of content in an ephemeral, almost automatic way. They don’t pay attention and quickly move on to the next video with just a swipe. How can we stand out from all that static?
Social networks are evolving in response to this, which raises many questions for communication professionals: what will happen to Twitter? What will happen to Meta’s Facebook? Will Tik Tok be the next platform for my brand?
Thanks to this evolution, technology is allowing us to get to know our users. The challenge is getting to know them and giving them the most personalized information or products possible, tailored to what each of them needs.
Adapting to new platforms, personalizing messages, and creating communication that adds value for our users will be the only way to compete in this market.
How to carry out business-to-business communication
Choose content that offers value
To bring information to our target markets, we must create attractive content that adds value. More visual and user-centered content. While this may sound groundbreaking, we must value the quality of content over the brand’s presence. Of course, everything around the content, such as the typography, the colors, and the channels where it is published, must all convey our brand. But let’s take the risk and focus on the content and the interest it may hold for the user. One example we’ve worked on is the podcast Sounds Like Infrastructure, where the content and the experts involved are the stars of the show. The theme, format, and channel reference the company.
Defining our target audience
We must have a thorough definition of our target audience. We can create a user profile or buyer persona: a fictional character with the characteristics of our client. In the case of B2B companies, which have such specific customers and a smaller market than B2C companies, this process is key in identifying how to reach them. Here, I’ll share an interesting article on how to create our buyer persona.
Once we know what the buyer persona/s is/are like, our communication steps must respond to the interests and needs we consider this person to have. We simply have to ask ourselves: What interests our potential persona?
The death of cookies is near. Long live proprietary databases.
Content personalization is a trend in communication. Users expect quality content tailored to their interests.
The future of analytics and data collection is becoming a major challenge for all companies. The forecasted death of third-party cookies by Google will create the need to generate our own data. Contact forms, newsletters, and e-mail campaigns will be more necessary than ever to create our own personalized databases.
We need to contact our customers in a more personalized way. Users will not provide us with their data if we don’t offer them something interesting in return. To this end, we are working on leading thoughts and expert reports that users can download from our website. But this process doesn’t end here: we have to keep our database constantly up-to-date with attractive content.
Hyper-segmented campaigns on social networks
In B2B campaigns, we can invest in communication campaigns on social networks. While the approach is different in this case, we want to reach decision-makers, the potential customers who we know are going to decide on whether or not to buy our product.
One strategy that works for us is hyper-segmented campaigns on social networks. We segment the campaign messages so that they reach high-quality users for us. They are expensive campaigns but have great results (very qualitative).
What does an ideal omnichannel strategy look like in a B2B environment?
We must consider that each of our platforms has different objectives and audiences. Some work in a more corporate way, like a website. Others, like social networks, aim to educate users about our business. Then, there are other platforms like blogs or podcasts that seek to entertain users.
For example, we are a global company dedicated to the design, construction, financing, operation, and maintenance of infrastructures and mobility. Our projects are roads, buildings, tunnels, innovative projects… so our challenge is to make our messages appeal to a wide variety of users. As a B2B and even a business to government or B2G company, our communication objective is a mix of the reputational impact of our brand and the goal of adding value to our business through our campaigns.