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B2B Ecommerce Marketing Tips and Tricks
People often poke fun at military jargon for being over-abbreviated. DFAC means dining facility. IAW means “in accordance with.” XO means executive officer—not to be confused with the way your mom used to sign your brown paper lunch bags.
That being said, the digital marketing world isn’t much better about saying full words and phrases. SEM, SEO, SERP, CTR, CPA—acronyms we all know and love. And let’s not forget the most heroic of the bunch:
B2B ecommerce is shorthand for business-to-business electronic commerce. It refers to online transactions between businesses. WordStream does this, actually. We sell pay-per-click advertising software through our website. You can’t buy WordStream Advisor at Pottery Barn.
The B2B ecommerce industry is in its infancy and growing rapidly. Only about 25% of B2B businesses sell their products online, yet the global B2B ecommerce industry is projected to surpass $6.5 trillion in the year 2020. In the U.S. alone, the industry is already right around the $1 trillion mark. Again, this is only a fraction of total B2B sales, but the numbers are rising.
Speaking of numbers, try this one on for size: over 90% of B2B marketers incorporate content marketing into their strategies. Those that use blogs in particular generate 67% more leads than those that don’t. The message is clear: B2B ecommerce marketers should use content marketing to drive their growth.
Here’s the idea: you offer valuable content—blog posts, whitepapers, videos—for free to prospects who visit your site. Ideally, this content is awesome enough to leave a favorable impression of your company and clever enough to demonstrate the value of your product. With a strong off-site SEO strategy—earning links, sharing content across social channels—your content will become prominent on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and generate tons of organic traffic for your site.
Of course, it’s not super likely that a prospect will convert after consuming just one piece of your content. After all, we’re talking about B2B here—purchasing software isn’t like purchasing a coffee machine. That’s why your company needs to remarket. Thanks to the expanse of the Google Display Network (GDN), you can target the people who have previously visited your site with attention-commanding banner creative. That way, while your prospects go about their typical Internet activities, you can keep your brand at the top of their minds. Ideally, the next time they search, they’ll click on your ad.
Conduct a quick Google search for “landing page optimization” and you’ll get bombarded by all kinds of articles about changing the colors of your CTA buttons and testing different background images. What these articles often miss is one of the most fundamental tenets of successful landing pages: making sure they carry the messaging of the search ads that precede them. Think about it—what shuts down a customer journey faster than a landing page that seems completely disconnected from the ad that led to it? This is a jarring experience, and it’s guaranteed to destroy your conversion rates if you allow it to happen.
The transition from ad to landing page isn’t the only thing you want to be seamless—you should aim for the same smoothness when prospects are navigating between your social media channels. If your company Instagram account paints a picture of a fun, personable workspace, your tweets shouldn’t be buttoned-up and formal. This demonstrates an incoherent brand identity, and it’s not appealing. Instead, cultivate one confident voice across all your social channels. Use Instagram to show off your happy, relaxed employees. Tweet to provide valuable insights in a funny, relatable fashion. Create short Facebook videos that both inform and attach friendly faces to your brand. Finally, use LinkedIn to share content and grow your network.