What is vertical marketing in B2B?

As the internet becomes more and more saturated with generic content, there is a need for content marketing (or any marketing for that matter) to become more industry-specific and granular. While there is a natural movement towards this, the process of vertical marketing is also becoming more effective and highly prized. 

In this article, we take a look at what vertical marketing is and how you can use it effectively in your business. In short, it refers to the process of creating marketing content that addresses specific industry concerns while promoting your product or service as the natural solution.

What is vertical marketing in B2B?

What is a vertical marketing strategy? 

Traditional B2B marketing strategies were promotional; they promoted the advantages of partnering with a particular firm which was seen as relevant to any business in any industry. It was a" you come to us" philosophy, but this has changed in recent times. 

Instead of promoting a company's basic services to industry partners, there is now more emphasis on what those services can do for a particular company. Personalisation and tailored services are now expected, which is why vertical marketing works. 

Vertical marketing is the process of personalising the products, services and marketing content of your B2B business to align them with the precise requirements of your target customer. A focused B2B content marketing strategy, for instance, is more relevant than promoting general services.   

Vertical marketing is the process of creating marketing content that addresses specific industry concerns while promoting your product or service as the natural solution. ”

Does vertical marketing work?

There is a big difference between generic content and industry-focused content. The industry-focused content is more specific and more specialised. The aim of vertical marketing is to speak the language of your target audience meaning they’d be much more likely to trust that you know how to satisfy their needs.

If you're a procurement professional, for instance, are you more likely to read content titled "The Six Essentials of Cloud Purchase helper Suites" or "The Role of CPHSs in the Supply Chain and Logistics"? The latter is more compelling because it's specific and speaks the language. 

As the internet becomes more saturated with generic content, the quality of content becomes more important. Vertical marketing ensures that the marketing content you produce is targeted to specific industries and relevant.    

When to avoid vertical marketing

Although vertical marketing has some attractive qualities, it is not always wise to go down the vertical marketing route. Why is this? For one thing, vertical marketing takes more time and dedication for marketing teams who might already be working to a tight schedule and budget. 

There's more; if your company starts offering vertical marketing content for one client, every client will start to want it - after all, who wouldn't want higher quality, industry-specific content at the same cost. But, in some cases, vertical content is simply not sustainable. 

So how do you strike a balance? Depending on the capacity of your marketing team, you could offer vertical content to higher-paying customers, treating it as a premium service. But if the content is for your own business, it might be worth a little extra investment to increase engagement and sales.  

When to use vertical marketing 

So you've read about vertical content marketing, and you think it's a great idea; you want to get started with it as soon as possible - but is this wise? It might not be quite as smart as you think to dive in right away, consider the timing of your content operation. 

Take a look around, is your industry saturated with general content? In this case, it's time to get granular and vertical content is the best solution. Conversely, if your industry is still relatively thin on content marketing, you can still get mileage from generalised content that tends to be cheaper. 

The timing of your content marketing strategy is also linked to the overall success of your business. If you make big wins in your industry, it's a good idea to follow this up with some vertical content to capitalise on the momentum. It makes your money go further.  

The benefits of vertical marketing 

Although it takes a little more work and a little more investment, vertical marketing pays off if executed at the right time and in the right way. Vertical marketing tells clients that you know their industry well, and it inspires confidence in them that you are the best partner. 

Moreover, this effective sales message builds your brand in the right direction. When you inspire confidence in industry partners, your name starts to grow in recognition and popularity; before long, you will be a word of mouth favourite - but don't let your standards slip. 

Better content also means attractive, better clients with bigger budgets. Companies are able to tell when a potential industry partner knows the working of the industry or is creating generalised information to appeal to a broad audience. 

A vertical marketing strategy 

So, how do you create a vertical marketing strategy that works? The first thing you have to do is identify the industries you will be marketing to. Then, instruct your marketing team to research these industries thoroughly and develop a series of industry-specific headlines. This should be driven by keyword research to identify what specific personas within the industry could be searching for. 

The headlines, subheadings, and subject lines should be compelling, targeted and realistic. Anything generic won't be effective. Also, research industry keywords and use them for headings and themes in the articles.

Each set of content you create should be geared towards a specific industry in vertical marketing, even if it is promoting the same service. 

Summary 

Vertical marketing is the process of creating marketing content that's tailored to a specific industry. The content is far more granular and less generalised; it grabs the attention of industry people and offers better information that's more relevant. 

Vertical marketing strategies are the future; they provide better quality information and help to strengthen your brand and reputation as a B2B provider. So, get ahead of the game and instruct your marketing team to start creating vertical content. 

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