B2B buyers differ in some significant ways from other consumers. With a longer purchase cycle and pressure to demonstrate ROI at different stages of the process, marketers face unique challenges in reaching them. Nonetheless, there is one important common factor between B2B buyers and consumers: you’re still marketing to people. Companies don’t respond to your ads; human beings respond to your ads. B2B decision makers consume media just like everyone else and are influenced by mass media channels, so it’s important to ensure that your brand shows up where it matters.
In this post, we’ll discuss the significance of mass media’s reach in influencing B2B audiences, and how you can use these channels to strategically target B2B buyers.
Choose Outlets with the Most Influence on B2B Buyers
Radio can drive significant awareness and consideration for B2B marketers. Research published by the Radio Advertising Bureau indicates that radio reaches 93% of small business owners and individuals who are self-employed. An analysis of 16 B2B campaigns showed that radio increased ad awareness by 128% for B2B advertisers. In addition, brand awareness increased by 64% for B2B buyers exposed to a radio ad and increased brand consideration by 37%. In mid-Missouri, talk radio stations KSSZ-Eagle 93.9 and KWOS are popular among business owners and decision makers.
With an audience of 1.75 billion in 2015, magazines continue to present good opportunities for reaching consumers, including professionals and B2B audiences. Inside Columbia Magazine, for example, appeals to readers who are well educated, socially engaged, and financially secure, and it has achieved the highest market penetration of any city/regional magazine in the United States. Inside Columbia’s CEO Magazine targets Columbia’s dynamic business community with articles on best practices and creative solutions to fuel the success of both large and small businesses across a wide variety of industries.
Leverage the Power of Storytelling
Radio, social media, and magazines present powerful opportunities to craft messages that address your B2B buyer’s unique challenges and pressures. Create content that presents a business case and personalize ads using the same techniques used to personalize B2C ads.
Resist the idea that B2B content must be dry, research-based, or overly analytical in order to reach B2B buyers. Remember, B2B buyers are people, and just like anyone else, they have problems for which they are seeking solutions. Don’t be afraid to get creative when developing your message.
For example, testimonials can be an effective way to build trust in B2C ads, and they can also be influential with your B2B buyers. Use testimonials that will resonate with your B2B buyers by incorporating audio snippets in radio ads and including quotes from satisfied customers across social media and in magazine ads.
Reinforce Other Targeting Tactics
Mass media advertising can and should be used to support more targeted efforts such as digital advertising and email marketing. Consistency in messaging across channels helps establish your brand and build both trust and authority. In addition, marketing is an area where the adage “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” applies. An integrated approach that coordinates your messaging across platforms will have greater impact and be more memorable than any one particular channel on its own. Consistency in your advertising is key for both B2C customers as well as B2B buyers.
An advertising strategy targeting B2B buyers requires consideration of their unique requirements, but the bottom line is that your B2B audience consists of buyers who, in many ways, have the same needs as B2C customers. More importantly, they can be reached through the same mass media channels used for other consumers. Traditional formats, particularly when used in conjunction with your digital strategy, provide valuable opportunities for B2B marketers to reach and engage their audience.