Marketing business to business, or B2B, is rather different than marketing to the general public. Yet many marketers act as if selling to a business is similar to marketing to the public, and they miss the mark because they don’t understand how to do it right or fail to avoid critical mistakes. Here are the do’s and don’ts of B2B marketing.

Do focus on solving their problem

B2B marketing needs to focus first and foremost on solving problems. Try to discuss how your technical product saves them money, improves quality of output, increases output or reduces problems.

And present your service as a way of saving money, meeting regulatory requirements or freeing them up to focus on more profitable endeavors. Don’t rely on emotional marketing unless it is presenting the potential after effects of not using a service like yours.

Don’t be frigid with your content marketing

When you write content marketing pieces, don’t talk exclusively about your topic. Instead, do talk about the issues your target market is concerned about. You can mention your products as some of the solutions they’d want to utilize.

Mix up the content by discussing issues in the industry and trends; this shows the reader that you truly understand their interests while giving you a stream of content that builds up your reputation as an expert. And reputation is critical since businesses typically cannot afford to pay for products and services that aren’t a match.

Do use experts as a reference

Try to leverage the experience of leaders and authorities in your niche as a source of content to improve your reputation with your audience. Mention their endorsements of your product or service but do it in a tactful manner. And create content that sells to people at every stage of the sales funnel. You shouldn’t assume that the content will always convert. Don’t ignore the importance of aiming sales content to people at the right stage of the sales funnel.

Don’t treat every platform the same

Do take the time to consider the message relative to the medium. Research on forums and social media sites that are populated with your target demographic and do reach out to them on these channels even if it isn’t a major social media platform. Take the time to answer questions and engage with customers on the brand, but don’t saturate these platforms.

Look for ways to build a relationship with members. Maybe you should offer discounts and incentives for small businesses on groups or sites dominated by small businesses, technical white papers and how-to advice for forums where the decision makers are discussing the product and case studies for the key corporate leaders. You can use a service like Zoom the List to find people looking for your best potential customers instead of trying to offer something to everyone.

B2B marketing needs to focus on those who will make their own business case to buy your product or service. You need to present your case to those who make the decision to buy without over-hyping your product. Show that you understand what they want and focus on long-term engagement.