If you sell a business-to-business product or service, you’re likely constantly searching for better ways to generate B2B leads. The simple fact is that B2B marketing requires you to take a distinct approach to marketing.
A digital marketing strategy that addresses consumers won’t necessarily appeal to business decision-makers the same way.
As a business owner or marketer, you need to adopt strategies for lead generation that are specifically tailored to the business-to-business environment. Continue reading to learn 10 effective strategies to produce more B2B leads with your digital marketing campaigns.
What Is B2B Marketing?
B2B marketing is the process of a business marketing its products or services to other businesses and organizations. The fact that the potential customers for a B2B lead generation campaign are businesses means that the content produced for these campaigns is typically more straightforward. Sales also often depend on the impact the product or service can have on the company’s bottom line.
B2B marketing campaigns don’t rely on emotion-driven purchasing decisions or adhering to the latest trend. Instead, these campaigns typically rely on the ability to show cost-savings or revenue production for the end user.
For example, a B2B paper company may sell its paper at a 20% discount compared to the average cost. As a result, the company can easily market cost-savings, an appealing concept for business owners and other potential buyers.
B2B Marketing vs. B2C Marketing
There are several differences between B2B marketing and B2C, or business-to-consumer, marketing. Here are the key differences:
B2C vs. B2B Marketing Leads: B2B customers are business owners and managers, while B2C customers are everyday consumers. Qualifying your audiences with segmenting based on insights and data science can help ensure you’re speaking to the correct users.
B2C vs. B2B Marketing Style: B2C marketing campaigns typically focus on trends or generating an emotional response that leads a consumer to want to take action. B2B marketing campaigns typically focus on what sets the product or service apart from either a performance or cost-savings standpoint. These campaigns are often driven by hard statistics rather than emotional messages.
B2C vs. B2B Sales Landscape: B2C marketers typically only need to appeal to the consumer that happens upon their ad. However, in the B2B world, the sales landscape is very different. B2B sales often involve multiple decision-makers, creating unique challenges. However, many of these challenges can be averted when you generate high-quality B2B leads.
Benefits of B2B Marketing
B2B marketing activities can be overwhelmingly rewarding. Of course, when you implement a meaningful B2B marketing campaign, you can expect to see sales increase. That typically results in improved revenue and profitability — in other words, business growth. However, that’s just one benefit of B2B marketing. Some other benefits include:
Getting to Know Your Customers: Building effective marketing campaigns requires getting to know your potential customers on a deeper level. That’s great news because when you know more about your customers, you have the knowledge you need to develop products and services that can serve them better.
Higher Retention Rates: Because you know more about your customers and have the tools to serve them better, you’re able to produce higher retention rates, eliminating much of your customer churn.
More Referrals: Everything above means that your clients are happier, and happier clients are more likely to tell their friends and professional networks. Therefore, one of the unsung heroes of B2B marketing is the opportunity to generate more qualified referrals.
10 Effective B2B Marketing Strategies for Lead Generation
A simple online search will yield countless B2B lead-generation strategies. However, these strategies aren’t all equal. The reality is that many B2B marketing strategies are ineffective, and chasing an ineffective marketing strategy can become a costly endeavor.
The good news is that we’ve put together a list of 10 effective B2B marketing strategies you can use to generate leads for your business.
1. Define Your Target Audience and Buyer Personas
In the past, marketing was a numbers game. The more people that saw your message, the more likely you were to get a response. Today, blanket advertising methods aren’t just ineffective; they’re downright annoying to the end consumer.
Instead, it’s important to define a target market.
Your target market should consist of multiple buyer personas, each of which will help you define your overall marketing strategy in B2B campaigns. Staying with the paper company example, some of your buyer personas might be:
The Cost Saver: Your largest buyer persona is likely business owners and operators who are interested in saving money. You’ll appeal to these buyers by showing them how they can save money with your product.
The Green Enthusiast: Many businesses prefer to take a sustainable approach wherever possible, both to drive positive impact and reflect well on their company. A recycled paper product could be a great fit for a green buyer persona.
The Quality Seeker: Some companies sell luxury products. Their messaging needs to appear luxurious as well. So, you may be able to appeal to the quality seeker by showing off your high-end collections for them to print their messages on.
These are just a few ideas. It’s wise to take some time to review your existing first-party and CRM data, leverage data science tools to help you gather insights from it, and use that information to help define target audience and buyer personas – of course, then consider how they apply to your messaging, and which products and services each of these personas tend to purchase.
2. Offer Educational and Relevant Content for Consistent Customer Engagement
There are several steps to an effective B2B marketing funnel. One of those steps is often to give something away for free. After all, who doesn’t like getting something for free?
So, what do you offer?
Consider offering an eBook that shows your potential customers how to use your products to appeal to their customers, explains how to use your products to save money, or even provides overall industry data and statistics. In exchange, all your audience needs to do is provide their email address.
This first step of engagement helps to push your potential customers through the sales funnel and closer to making a purchase.
3. Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Social media platforms are some of the most effective B2B marketing tools online today. That’s because just about everyone takes advantage of social media, sharing their lives on their profiles and connecting with friends. As they do, social media platforms gather significant amounts of data that you can use to sell your products.
Of course, this is often done through paid social media exposure. However, your strategy doesn’t have to be solely focused on paid social. With organic social, you can develop social profiles for your business and post regular content that provides value to your target audience. Think beyond just posting insights on LinkedIn and Facebook, and consider informative video content on platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok that can allow you to tap into a larger audience. Organic and paid social also have great synergy when used together – for example, you can pay to boost your organic reach on high-performing content, gaining more visibility beyond your existing audience into relevant segments.
4. Develop a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy
Members of your audience are likely to be closer to making a purchase decision if they find your website by using a search engine to find services that you provide. Since this audience is actively seeking a product or service, they’re typically further down the funnel. Consider developing an SEO strategy that will build your online presence and improve your search rankings. Some of the best ways to do this include:
Maintaining a Blog: A blog is an effective way to build content for your website that boosts your credibility while targeting keywords your potential customers may search for.
Guest Posts: Consider reaching out to other websites to offer expert content for free. All you need in exchange is a link to your website.
Code Optimization: Make sure your website loads quickly, as website load times play a significant role in search engine rankings.
You can also engage in paid search advertising to ensure that your results are seen at the top of specific keyword searches. With landing pages specifically tailored to these keywords, you can ensure maximum relevance and drive higher conversion rates from these results.
5. Explore New Marketing Channels To Increase Your Reach
Beyond social media and search engines, there are several other channels to consider, and it’s worth exploring them.
You can consider looking to thought leaders in your industry and offering them free services in exchange for a review of what you provide on their website. You may also want to reach out to professional, relevant influencers to determine what kinds of brand deals you can strike up. Both of these tactics let you leverage networking within professional communities.
The key here is to think outside the box and be sure to deploy B2B marketing analytics with each new channel to assess your ROI as you experiment.
6. Reach Out Directly to Other B2B Businesses Through LinkedIn and Other Platforms
As a marketer or business owner, it’s always a good idea to find your customers where they like to be. Since you live on the B2B side of the equation, you’re looking for hangouts for business owners and decision-makers.
What better place is there to find these personas than LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is filled with B2B companies and managers that potentially need your services. Consider taking a course to learn how to use LinkedIn to effectively attract B2B leads and put what you’ve learned into action.
7. Implement a Referral Marketing Program
Your marketing teams and sales teams can only do so much. Some people won’t pick up the phone, open an email, or consider an advertisement. That is unless they’re referred by a friend or colleague.
That’s why referral marketing programs are so important.
Referral marketing programs are a type of performance marketing in that you don’t pay a penny unless your marketing efforts yield sales. Simply tell your happy customers that you’ll either pay them or offer them a discount on your services to tell their friends about you. This gets the word-of-mouth engine rolling, which is one of the most trustworthy, particularly in a B2B environment where networking is crucial.
8. Implement an Effective B2B Email Marketing Strategy
Email marketing is another effective way to tap into your target audience. That’s especially the case if you’re gathering this kind of information by offering gated collateral or insights. This can help nurture your leads, boost credibility, and build relationships. As you build your email marketing strategy, consider the following:
Create Personalized Content: Use the information you gathered as you created your buyer personas to create personalized content for each persona. Doing so has the potential to increase your campaign’s conversion rate.
Send Seasonal Marketing Messages: Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C world, people love to save money. Consider sending seasonal marketing messages with holiday-related and birthday-related savings.
Offer Relevant Information: Every time you send an email to your downline, make sure you’re sending your audience information they can use. If not, they may unsubscribe from your mailing list, cutting ties between their email address and your brand.
9. Create a Consistent Posting Schedule for All Your Preferred Channels
Content is king in the online marketing world, and particularly in the B2B space. So, it’s important that you appeal to this figurative royalty. That means you want to create as much content as you can and commit to a consistent posting schedule for all channels you take advantage of.
When you create a consistent posting schedule, your audience knows when to visit your channels for new content from you. As they look for your messages, they’re moving further and further along in the buying process.
10. Incorporate a B2B Advertising Strategy
Although there are plenty of ways to drive organic traffic to your business, you’ll likely want to consider a paid advertising strategy at some point. After all, paid advertising campaigns often give you access to an audience you likely wouldn’t have had in the past.
Programmatic advertising through a partner like AUDIENCEX provides omnichannel access to display, audio, video, digital out-of-home (DOOH), connected TV (CTV), and more. Our advanced AI-driven tools can help you determine where your audiences are most likely to respond to your message, and recommend an ideal channel mix. These tools can help predict audience performance, creating custom segments, and leverage custom bidding algorithms to ensure you’re getting the most out of your spend. With ongoing optimization, campaigns continue to respond to performance and maximize your results throughout the lifecycle.
This can help you expand into new segments that are qualified and well-positioned to convert. While organic content is vital, and builds your company’s credibility and stature, it’s often necessary to deploy tactics that will proactively engage and draw in new prospects you may never have reached otherwise. Once these new audiences are on your channels, the efforts you’ve put in will pay off as they will immediately make it clear that you are an authority that can be trusted.
Take Your B2B Marketing Strategy to the Next Level with AUDIENCEX
There are quite a few moving parts to a solid B2B marketing strategy, and the best approach involves building up channels that impact performance across one another, creating an ecosystem that surrounds your leads in a true omnichannel approach.
Working with a partner like AUDIENCEX can help you access and deploy tactics to build your presence, draw in new audiences, and nurture them along their journey. With our privacy-safe, AI-driven data science tools, we can help you gather crucial insights from your existing audience data and leverage this information to reach into new expansion segments that are likelier to convert. Our expert Analytics & Insights team will monitor these technologies closely to ensure your campaigns are properly and fully optimized to drive results and improve your ROI.
With holistic custom strategies, tech-enabled creative services and game-changing AI solutions, we deploy successful campaigns throughout the digital landscape with our seamless, omnichannel media access. Anywhere your prospects are, we can reach and engage them effectively. To learn more about how AUDIENCEX can help you drive performance, reach out today. A member of our team would be happy to discuss your needs and goals.