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B2B Marketing – How To Appeal To Millennial Decision-Makers

by Olivia Williams | 04.03.2021

When picturing the person who has the final say on purchasing new software for a business, the image of an old guy in a suit might spring to mind. But a 2016 study found that 73% of B2B sales transactions involved millennial decision-makers and another from 2018 that over 45% of B2B technology buyers are 25- to 34-year-olds. One can only assume this number has increased since then, as more millennials reach senior positions in companies.

That means, when it comes to B2B marketing, we’re no longer appealing to people like our dads, but people like you or me (I’m assuming you’re a fellow millennial since you probably found this blog via social media or a particularly long-tailed keyword search).

Here’s what you need to consider when marketing your B2B brand or product to a millennial decision-maker.

Social media for millennial B2B decision-makers

You might assume that social media is the domain of direct-to-consumer and FMCG brands, who attract idle thumbs with enticing impulse buys, rather than B2B companies which often have a lead-time of six months or more.

But according to Lead Forensics, 57% of B2B buyers now use social media to research vendors, and 80% of millennial B2B buyers say social media influences their purchasing decisions.

Millennials are tech-natives, and they’ve grown up with social media. They use it for more than simply checking in with their mates – social media is increasingly the go-to channel for news, fashion, activism, humour, entertainment, and yes, business.

A B2B millennial buyer survey report found that millennials use social media for researching potential purchases, browsing discussions to learn more about products, and asking for suggestions and recommendations from other users.

Millennials have also been found to be the most brand-loyal generation, with 62% more likely to become loyal customers if a brand engages with them on social media. As well as connecting with brands, millennials also use social media to engage with thought leaders in their field, with 92% of millennial B2B buyers using social media to forge authentic business relationships.

Having an active social media presence is essential for B2B brands who want to appeal to millennial decision-makers. But getting social right for B2B brands isn’t always straightforward. Read our guide to creating great social content for B2B audiences or watch our video tutorial to learn more about making the most of this channel for your marketing.

SEO for millennial B2B decision-makers

The importance of SEO in B2B marketing can’t be overstated. 90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases and SEO is a huge factor in ensuring that your website is visible in search.

Many brands might assume that branded search should be the focus of their search strategy, but 71% of B2B researchers start with a generic search. Millennials prefer to do their own personal research into a product or company before speaking to a sales rep. Millennial buyers are generally 57% of the way through the buying process before they will engage with a sales rep, which means your website content will be a key tool to capture their interest early on in their purchase journey. Optimising for generic and long-tail keywords should be a part of your B2B businesses SEO strategy, which means creating content not only to target these keywords but to keep the decision-makers on your site when they arrive.

Rich digital content – blogs, infographics, white papers, landing pages and articles – should be a key factor in your marketing strategy, educating millennial B2B decision-makers about your product and how it can benefit their business. If you need help with your B2B SEO content, get in touch with Tug today.

Tone of Voice for millennial B2B decision-makers

Tone of voice is one of the most important aspects of building a brand, but all too often it’s an afterthought for B2B brands. With millennial decision-makers using social media and online search to find and research your brand, getting your tone of voice right matters.

Formal and corporate might’ve been the B2B language of the past, but today’s decision-makers are more likely to wear jeans and trainers to the boardroom, and your tone of voice needs to appeal to them, not their parents.

Millennials connect with brands they feel are authentic and align with their values. Creating a consistent tone of voice across your marketing – from your website to email newsletters to adverts to your social media – means that no matter how they interact with you, millennial B2B decision-makers will feel reassured that your brand is authentic.

Could your B2B brand benefit from improving your social media, SEO or Tone of Voice to appeal to the B2B decision-makers of today? Get in touch today to find out how Tug can help.