As a B2B Marketer, you’re faced with a number of challenges – and potentially exciting B2B marketing solutions.
One of the most common challenges you’ll face is “how do you grow the business?” How are you going to bring in the leads that your sales team can convert into customers which translates into sweet revenue for the company?
It seems like I read about a new trend or top performing marketing solution every single day, but what are the real B2B marketing solutions that are proven to increase lead generation?
With so many options, it can be overwhelming to nail down a plan of action that works for you. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top B2B marketing solutions that you can incorporate into your own digital marketing strategy.
The Top B2B Marketing Solutions That You Can Implement Right Now
A Note Before We Get Started
Before we jump into the list, it’s important to understand that not every B2B marketing solution is going to work for every individual or company.
You’re probably well versed in the notion that you need to know who your audience is before you commit to a marketing strategy.
You need to know where your audience is most active, the language that resonates with them, and the type of content they’re most likely to engage with.
Without a rock-solid buyer persona, your marketing message is akin to wandering around in the dark with your eyes closed and your arms outstretched. Your might grab onto something, but you’re more likely to bump into a few walls.
Having a clear visualization of who your ideal customer is before you put together your marketing strategy will make your job significantly easier.
There’s no way that you’ve gotten as far as this blog post without hearing about inbound marketing.
Inbound has been the buzzword trend in the world of B2B marketing since about 2012, when it really started to pick up traction as a viable B2B marketing solution.
Since the practice is so ubiquitous, I’ll spare you the detailed rundown, but the core concept of inbound marketing is that you use your existing content as a lead driver. You attract people to your website with the content you create which they can engage with before completing a desired action.
The beauty of inbound marketing is that your leads find you, and – when done properly – no one feels “advertised” to. People consumed content that they searched for and were happy enough with it to complete a signup form to hear from you again in the future.
The inbound method is designed to take people from the ‘awareness’ stage, where they first learn about your product or company, through to the customer and ideally ‘evangelist’ or ‘advocate’ stage.
Inbound marketing is great, because leads that enter the funnel through this method effectively segment themselves – you know what type of content they originally converted on, so it’s reasonable to assume they’d engage with similar content in the future.
Plus, this method costs you nothing but your own time. However, this is also inbound’s biggest downfall.
Inbound marketing requires constant content creation, so between all the keyword research, content planning, content creation, publishing and sharing, inbound marketing can be quite the time consuming B2B marketing solution.
Content marketing and inbound marketing are virtually synonymous, but because there are so many different types of content marketing, it warrants its own section.
Your content is your biggest lead driver – it’s the reason that most people are going to find themselves on your website.
Think about how you use the internet for a moment. How many specific URLs do you type into your address bar? Or do you search for [x company’s] pricing page? My guess is none and no.
More likely, you’re typing a query into a search bar to help with a problem that you’re experiencing. “How can [x] help with my B2B lead generation?” or “What are the best B2B marketing solutions” for example.
You’re not alone…this is how everyone uses the internet these days, so you need to create content that’s going to account for this.
This is where your buyer persona is going to come in handy. What is your audience searching for? What content can you create that’s going to entice them to click.
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Different Forms of Content
The written word is always going to be the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to content creation, but make sure your blog content is quality. You’re not going to get many people sticking around your website if your articles are sloppy, poorly edited, or under-researched.
Video is king right now. A quick explainer video can accomplish as much or more than a lengthy blog post and people are more likely to engage with it. With the availability of video editing software and virtually everyone having a smartphone capable of capturing high-quality, 1080p footage, there’s no reason not to be investing time into video as part of your content strategy.
Podcasts are also having a moment right now. Not only are podcasts relatively cheap to produce (all you need is a decent microphone and recording software is free), they can be great lead magnets. Adding a podcast to the top of a blog post can improve engagement on the page, and detailed, audio breakdowns of a complex topic can help position you as an authority in the space.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Like content marketing, SEO is intertwined with inbound – it’s how you ensure your content is discoverable enough for people to actually find their way to your website.
This is where your keyword research and keyword placement will come into play.
It’s worth referencing your buyer persona to come up with a list of topics that you can realistically envision your ideal customer searching for, then hit the books…so to speak.
Using tools like SEMrush or even a good old fashioned Google search should allow you to see what kind of competition your chosen keywords are up against. While it’s not impossible to dethrone a titan, a piece of content is likely to be drowned out by an established voice that’s using the same keyword.
Instead of broad keywords, try aiming for more specific, long-tail keywords. You’re likely to attract a smaller audience, but one that’s hungry for exactly the type of content you’ll be publishing.
Once your content is created is when the real fun begins. In order for your content to be discoverable when people search for your keyword, you’re going to need to place it throughout.
Just be sure not to jam the keyword in with reckless abandon. This is known as ‘keyword stuffing’, an outdated practice that will likely deliver the opposite result that you’re hoping for.
Instead, use your keyword where it feels natural throughout your content. I find it helpful to imagine a search engine’s algorithm as a person with no prior knowledge reading your content and attempting to assign it a classification afterwards.
For example, I’ve managed to use the chosen keyword for this blog post eight times, but I’ve taken care not to force it where it doesn’t make sense.
If you’re producing video content, be sure to write a detailed description that mentions your keyword at least once, and use the appropriate tags to make it easier for people to find you. It’s also a good practice to embed your video along with your script as a post on your website.
Similarly, you might use a podcast as an accompaniment to an existing blog post, but it’s important that you give each podcast episode a detailed description about what topics are covered in the discussion, and be sure to hit on your chosen keyword.
A full rundown of SEO is outside of the scope of this article, but you can find a deeper dive on the topic right here.
One of the most efficient ways to capitalize on the leads that have converted on your inbound content is to keep up communication with them via email. Email allows you to send personalized messages to converted contacts, so you can nurture them until they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.
However, as I noted, since inbound marketing can be a slow going process, so you might look to outbound email marketing to add new leads to your funnel.
Outbound email marketing allows you to reach a purchased list of B2B contacts with a targeted message, so you can convert them into warm, opted-in leads.
This way you’re reaching a much larger, opted-in list than you would be with exclusively inbound efforts.
Keep in ming, opted-in and purchased lists are different, and should be treated as such. You’ll need a specially designed bulk email sender, like Clickback, to reach your purchased list the right way, with 100% CAN SPAM compliance.
Email marketing is one of the most effective B2B marketing solutions because, on average, it returns around $38 for every $1 spent. A strategy that incorporates both cold and opted-in email can allow you to keep your lead funnel topped up, so you can consistently nurture and convert.
Social Media Marketing
The knee-jerk response to social media might be that it’s a B2C marketer’s game, but that isn’t the case at all.
Social media presents an opportunity for you to connect with your audience on the platforms that they’re using. And I don’t just mean LinkedIn.
Yes, LinkedIn might be a valuable resource for you, but remember, just because you’re marketing a B2B product, doesn’t mean you’re directly communicating to a business. You’re communicating to a person – a decision maker – at that business. And that person, like most people, uses social media.
Social media advertising in the form of sponsored posts, image, carousel, and video ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to reach your target audience even when they’re not sitting at their desk working.
Being able to reach a targeted audience based on a set of parameters that you identify, or an audience that resembles your current base of customers, means that you’ll reach a group of people who are primed to engage with your message and product.
Time to Build Your Strategy
There’s really no shortage of B2B marketing solutions, the real challenge is selecting which ones are going to be right for your business and audience. As I mentioned before, no two audiences are going to respond to a marketing strategy the same way, so it’s all about experimentation.
Don’t be afraid to test different methods and strategies and change and pivot where necessary to come up with the perfect digital marketing strategy that works for you and your customer.
The world of B2B marketing is always changing and evolving, so the ability to change along with it is paramount for success.