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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Feb 28, 2017 6 min read

What Is B2B Inbound Marketing?

{}Many business owners mistakenly believe that there’s no such thing as B2B inbound marketing. They believe that inbound marketing only works when it’s targeted directly to consumers. At the very least, some think that their B2B companies couldn’t benefit from it; they believe that their companies are too technical in nature or too niche for such a form of marketing.

However, we’re here to tell you that B2B inbound marketing is real, and it’s actually highly effective, regardless of the type of B2B company you own. It just requires different drivers, methods, and campaigns. 

Keep reading to learn why it’s effective and how it differs from B2C inbound marketing.

You’re Still Selling to Humans

Even though you might be a business-to-business company, you’re still selling to humans. And those buyers behind the enterprises that you’re trying to sell to are looking for a lot of the similar information, brand relationship, and trust that consumers are looking for. And sometimes, they need even more of it, making B2B inbound marketing highly effective.


When it comes to highly specialized or niche industries, B2B inbound marketing can be extremely effective. That’s because there’s little competition. Using the right keywords and sharing the right kind of content that your B2B audience is seeking out can help you gain significant market share because the online competition for that type of information will be reduced.

Though you won’t get a very high number of leads with your ultra-specific long-tail niche keywords, content, and ads, you will get extremely qualified leads who will be far more likely to buy.

Due Diligence

Your audience might not buy your type of product or service online. If you own an electrical company, for example, you might get new clients through a bidding process. You might think that B2B inbound marketing doesn’t apply to you because of the way in which you sell your offerings.

However, it’s important to note that, even if your prospects aren’t buying online per se, they’re still likely going to do their due diligence online. They’re going to research your company before committing to a purchase. It just makes good sense to do so.

And your online reputation can make or break a deal. A potential client may readily agree to buy from you because you obviously display your thought leadership and expertise online and have taken the time to write case studies and post testimonials. However, they may decide against your business if they can’t learn about you because of your non-existent presence online or your poor reputation online.

The Differences between B2B and B2C Inbound Marketing

Though similar, B2B and B2C inbound marketing does differ, and these distinctions are important in improving results.

  1. Type of Content

When it comes to B2B inbound marketing, the type of content used differs considerably from B2C inbound marketing.

For one, consumers are often looking for entertaining and fun content online. They love videos, they love a very conversational tone, and they want content that gets straight to the point.

On the other hand, B2B inbound marketing content should be more detailed, analytical, and technical. Jargon is encouraged. These buyers are looking for expertise. They’re looking to enhance their knowledge on a deeper level. So they’re looking for longer, more in-depth pieces of content that drive into certain topics, rather than “fluff.”

  1. Drivers

When targeting consumers, it’s usually far more effective to target their emotions. That’s because their purchasing decisions are largely emotionally triggered, whether by desire, cost, status, or hunger, for example.

On the other hand, because B2B decision makers are seeking expertise and efficiency, and their decisions are based on goal achievement and budget, it’s usually best to focus on rational appeal. Content should be specific and detailed, with numbers and facts. B2B buyers are more likely to be driven by rational thought and logic, which is what inbound marketers need to appeal to in this sales environment.

  1. Nurturing

An important part of B2B inbound marketing is lead nurturing. In business-to-business sales, the chain of command is much longer. There are many people in on the decision making. Superiors and higher-level executives need to give their approval of purchases. And the buying cycle in the B2B world is typically much longer because purchases are meant to fulfil long-term objectives, rather than satisfy immediate wants and needs.

That being said, lead nurturing is far more critical in this sales environment. It will take longer to close deals, which means B2B marketers have to focus heavily on this area of inbound marketing.


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.