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The success of a company also depends on its ability to communicate. A company does not only consist of halls, machines and products but is a cooperation of people to generate turnover. Only the exchange of information, values, wishes and hints between employees and customers makes a company workable. The more attention you pay to the different communication channels, the better you will be able to reach your customers and position yourself in the market. Never before have so many and so different channels been available to you as a B2B company as they are today.
Email & Newsletter
While messenger services and social networks increasingly make up the “mainstream” of communication in the private sphere, emails are still among the most important means of communication in the business sphere. Through well-prepared e-mail campaigns, you can draw the attention of your customers and contacts to new products and special offers in a targeted manner. E-mail newsletters can be used for internal communication by informing your employees about important developments and promoting exchange between departments.
The mobile internet is one of the reasons why emails are still an attractive B2B communication channel. Today, many people read their e-mails in between and on the go; with just one click, you can redirect the reader to your website or other information media. The email has lost its character as a stand-alone medium. You make the best use of this communication channel when you link it with other digital media.
Communication channels such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn are becoming increasingly popular in the B2B world. Their advantage lies in the very low costs and the high communication speed. However, it is precisely this speed that carries a certain risk for you. Communication in social media cannot be controlled in the same way as in other media. You do not control such communication, you only participate.
Furthermore, you should carefully consider whether your specific B2B target group is present in the social network used – at least about professional matters. In terms of importance for B2B communication, LinkedIn is in the lead in the USA, followed by Twitter and Facebook.
A corporate blog can be an important part of a company’s website. Companies with good blogs have up to 97% more visitors to their websites. Blogging thrives on continuously updated content. Therefore, you should only set up a blog if you can guarantee regular maintenance. Then, however, a company blog offers great opportunities for your B2B corporate communication.
A great advantage is the high degree of topicality and the individual approach. A blog post has a recognisable author and addresses the individual reader, not the anonymous masses. You can give your customers an insight into your daily business, report on new developments, and trade fair experiences but also provide interesting industry information or tips & tricks.
Your blog should not be an advertising platform. In a good company blog, your customers get to know your company in a more personal way; at the same time, you can offer interested parties added value in terms of content.
The digital revolution of our communication and information intake has by no means made the good old print magazine obsolete. The print has changed, however. Whereas in the past all written corporate communication was in print – simply because there were no other options – print is now a conscious choice. In a way, print magazines have been upgraded as a result. Digital is every day, print can be special again.
Print magazines are a way to give content a highlighted meaning. As a company, you can use this in two ways. On the one hand, as an internal employee magazine and is a motivational support for your corporate culture.
On the other hand, you can use it as a high-quality customer magazine with which you can show your customers a special appreciation. Score points with interesting content, further information and interesting news. A regularly published company magazine cannot be realised on the side and is therefore especially interesting for larger companies that can provide a team of authors and graphic designers.
Even in the digital age, print magazines are still of great importance in your choice of communication channels.
Professional articles & white papers
B2B companies often sell sophisticated, complex products and services. With a B2B company, many customers buy more than a product – they buy knowledge and consulting expertise. Show this expertise and position yourself as a competent business partner. It is not enough to know about something, you must also be prepared to show and share some of your knowledge with professional colleagues and customers. By writing professional articles in independent industry magazines, you draw attention to your expertise in front of a specific target audience.
You can offer interesting professional articles as whitepapers for download on your website or send them to your customers by e-mail. Instead of annoying them with unsolicited advertising, convince them with knowledge.
Web video has become perhaps the most important communication channel on the Internet. This is equally true for B2B. 75% of all executives watch a job-related information video at least once a week, 92% of all B2B organisations use video and 73% report an increased ROI (return on investment). Video is becoming a mainstay of online marketing.
There are many ways to use your video productions as a B2B communication channel: explanatory videos about your products and services, documenting case studies or image films about your company and your employees.
Networks & personal contact
The basics and framework conditions of successful corporate communication are similar, no matter what industry or company size. Good communication always follows the same rules, and there are often no major differences between B2C and B2B. The aim is always to address potential customers emotionally, to interest them in terms of content and to convey messages.
However, there is one relevant difference between B2C and B2B that should have an impact on your communication channels: The more complex and high-priced your products and services are, the more indispensable personal contact becomes. In B2B marketing and sales, this communication channel can hardly be replaced. In the B2B sector, spontaneous purchases are rare, and the sales processes are more protracted and involve different decision-makers. You don’t convince through a single action, it’s about building a relationship of trust; be open to detailed discussions and repeated enquiries.
Trade fair appearances
Trade fair appearances are an important forum for establishing and maintaining these personal contacts. A well-planned trade fair appearance integrates existing communication channels and connects them with personal conversation. At a trade fair, you will meet an audience that is fundamentally interested and willing to talk. Here you make contacts that you can deepen into valuable business contacts in the follow-up to the trade fair.
In addition, a trade fair is always an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with regular customers and to inform them about current company developments and products. Your own small presentations and trade fair events, to which you specifically invite customers, convey appreciation and increase the chance of repeat business or an expansion of business relationships.
Workshops with customers and interested parties can be a very good B2B communication channel, especially if you sell products that require a special explanation. With workshops, you show your customers how to get the best out of your products. You increase the value of your company’s offering through specialised training and the transfer of valuable practical knowledge. Customers will thank you through loyalty and recommendations.
Show your interest in the company with good workshops and consider it not only as a paying customer but as a partner whom you help with your know-how. Such a relationship of trust is an important basis for the success of a B2B company.
In the early days of the Internet, websites were little more than a digital business cards. A few photos, a brief introduction of the company and a contact address – in many cases that was all that was available. These times have changed thoroughly. Today, the website is the first port of call for anyone who wants to find out about a company. A bad website that does not meet the expectations of customers or does not correspond to the desired image of your company will damage your success.
A company website is much more than just another communication channel – on your website, you should combine all other channels and make them accessible to visitors. Ideally, your digital presence should pick up and bundle all offers like the hub of a wheel: a regularly maintained company blog, videos, newsletters, registrations for workshops, downloads of white papers, trade fair dates, and personal contact information. If you are active on social media, you should link your posts on the website – as well as your email campaigns. All B2B communication channels should be present on your website.
Your digital communication with the central contact point of the company website turns the individual B2B communication channels into a combined communication strategy. Especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, it is advisable not to get bogged down, but to gradually expand the use of different B2B channels.
As a B2B company, you should certainly not forego the possibilities of personal customer contact. It is best to test different channels first to get a feel for which ones are feasible and make sense for your own company. Do not choose too many, especially at the beginning. Try to combine two or three B2B communication channels, for example videos with workshops or a company blog with social media.