Differences in Link marketing for B2B and B2C.
The link marketing discipline has two main components: links and marketing. What matters is the combination. Pure link building is a waste of resources (both because Google could classify it as a manipulation attempt, partly because the target audience is not targeted), pure marketing is a different discipline.
Link marketing is not a production line work either because every customer is different. In order to make the link building successful, it is absolutely necessary to intensively deal with the customer.
What are his strengths, weaknesses, how informed is his target group, who are his competitors, how is the market structured on which we want to successfully assert ourselves.
For good, effective link marketing there is no template that is suitable for all customers – from the dentist to the online shop for unicorn stuffed animals to the developer of complex management software. Well, whoever wants it can, of course, cover any industry with a template. We do not claim that it is not possible.
We only say that it does not make sense. Why? As an illustrative example, imagine a shoe store and a shop software developer. So that the customers become aware of the stylish shoes in the assortment, the shoe shop prints 200 flyers and distributes them around.
To win new customers, this is quite a chance for the shoe business, for the developer of shop software rather less. If he distributes 200 flyers in the same area, the probability is that one of his target group is here, vanishingly small. B2B marketing and B2C marketing are two different pairs of shoes.
We’ll tell you the specifics and possible approaches to off-page optimization.
Differences B2B vs. B2C
B2B is more difficult because
- The target group is smaller and harder to reach,
- There are fewer topic-relevant platforms that are suitable as a source for link marketing,
- It requires more expertise.
But B2B is also easier, because
- The number of competitors is smaller,
- The scatter losses are lower.
B2B is just different than B2C. In the B2C sector, the market is highly competitive. It is much more difficult to stand out from the crowd of competitors. But as compensation, B2C companies can enjoy the benefit of greater demand.
For products/services that address consumers directly, they tend to appeal to a significantly larger audience. This is also reflected online. What moves the crowd, is also extensively discussed in the vastness of the Internet.
Let’s stay with the example of the shoe seller and the shop software. It is in the nature of things that shoes are more exciting to most than a technical report on how shopping software works. Shoes have fans, shop software has users. For the shoes I can reap enthusiasm, joy and a few hearts from a large field of blogging fashion friends.
The field to bloggers for the shop software, however, is seeded rather meagre and these may be my product as practical, but certainly not as a must-have summer. But that is not necessary. After all, my competitors are the same.
Which is why in the B2B sector, often fewer links can have a positive influence on the position in the search results.
However, there is a great deal of commonality between B2B and B2C companies: the key to successful marketing knows the product, the market and the target group!
The “more comfortable” pair of shoes are B2C websites in most cases. The product is easier to understand, easier to define, and often easier to reach.
In order to enlarge the link profile, numerous ingredients are available, from which a colorful, balanced, healthy salad can be created from links.
This can be achieved from the following possibilities:
- Sectoral Books: Whether B2B or B2C, links from industry books are standard. This does not mean flooding the link profile with links from business directories. As everywhere applies here: in moderation instead of in masses.
- Links from forums: Even if it sounds simple, it is still one of the basic ingredients. Forums should by no means be exploited to throw out cheap links. Anyone who sells shoes has no business in an aquarium forum. Consideration and respect for the forum users are as much a matter of course for forum links, as that they do not spice up the forums but are meaningfully integrated into the forum.
- Guest articles on blogs / advice pages etc: Whether fashion, furnishing, fitness, nutrition – for most B2C topics has often formed a large circle of bloggers. Very handy to combine link building and marketing is when products can be made available for testing. This increases the awareness of the product and gains high quality links. There are also advice pages and magazines. In the search for a cooperation partner in the B2C area, you are often spoiled for choice. The articles are usually more emotional. Since one wants to address a broader mass, highly complex articles in this area are less relevant.
- Suppliers Links: Every company relies on collaboration with other companies. Thus, the shoe salesman purchases his goods from wholesalers, works with selected brands, etc. Based on this, it can be seen whether one or the other source for link building can be deduced thereunder.
- Job portals: In order to make job applications public, there are also commercial job portals as well as free ones on which not only the job advertisement, but also a link to your own company can be published.
In the B2B area, specialist knowledge is the keyword for successful marketing. As a supplier of special tools for the industry or management software for companies I can hardly distribute test products. But I can trade with expertise.
By spreading this knowledge on relevant pages, I can draw attention to myself and at the same time create a high-quality link. The difficulty is finding the right home for the knowledge.
The selection is usually rather poor. Normally, only a limited circle will deal with the specific issues that are of relevance to the B2B sector. The advantage, however, is obvious. You are active exactly where the target group moves.
B2B companies can consider the following options in the link marketing strategy:
- Sector books: Sector books serve to present essential information (such as contact data, offer) about a company in a compact and clear way. This is a great way for both B2C and B2B companies to introduce themselves and create links. The important thing is not to overdo it.
- Customers, cooperation partners & suppliers: B2B business relationships are usually more durable than with the customer, who is looking for a new pair of shoes in the shoe store. Satisfied regular customers may not be averse to expressing their business relationship through a link. Similarly, suppliers or cooperation partners can be requested for a link.
- Guest articles in trade journals: The functionality of the shop software depends on my business. So, as a retailer, I strive to find a supplier who understands the requirements, the typical issues and operations, and provides me with an appropriate product based on that experience. This means: Customers from the B2B sector do not want to be addressed emotionally; they want to be convinced technically. Specialist articles are a means to an end, to distinguish myself as an expert, to prove that I have an idea of the subject matter and the industry and at the same time to gain a link on a topic-relevant page.
- Job portals: Many vacancies, too few applicants. If you are looking for new colleagues, this should definitely be taken into account in the link marketing strategy. By spreading the vacancy on relevant portals good links can be won and at the same time more applicants can be achieved. Various universities also publish job applications for their students on their pages. Very often, B2B is linked to in-depth expertise in technology, IT, etc., so that a university is a valuable contact point to look for new blood.
- Wikipedia: B2B is often associated with in-depth expertise in their field. Do you run a blog where you explain complex issues or evaluate self-created studies? Occasionally new information can be found on this, which forms a good basis for a Wikipedia article. Then you can specify your blog as source.
Our Small Tip at the end:
Spitting was perhaps forbidden in school. But with the Link marketing belongs a look at the competition to it. Bless over to your neighbour in the market and look what drives your competition online. How is the link profile composed? The linkers of your competitor may also be interesting for you.