B2B MarketingUncategorized

23 Best B2B Marketing Strategies For Explosive Growth In 2020 (+Pros, Cons, & Best Practices)

best B2B marketing strategies 2020

Want some intel on the best B2B marketing strategies?

Then you are in the right place.

The world of B2B marketing changes at a rapid pace these days. It takes a savvy marketer to sit down and observe which marketing tactics produce results—and those that are a waste of time. That’s why I created this post to save you the time of studying every B2B strategy under the sun. This compilation of the 23 best B2B marketing strategies is a roadmap to successful campaigns in 2020 and beyond.  

Let’s get to it.

Table of Contents

What Is B2B Marketing?

Business to business (B2B) marketing refers to any marketing strategy directed toward another business. It’s marketing used by brands that sell products and services to other businesses.

B2B VS B2C Marketing – 5 Major Differences To Know

While they’re both marketing strategies, B2B and B2C marketing are different. They are different in their strategies, applications, and audience types. Let’s quickly take a more granular look at these differences, shall we?

1. Audience

To begin with, B2B marketing targets decision-makers responsible for sourcing products and services on behalf of a company. This makes the company the target customer. On the other hand, B2C marketing targets individuals who are the end-users of the service/product.

2. Personas

Next, B2B marketing focuses on personas whose major goal is to increase ROI and efficiency in their organizations. This means purchase decisions are mainly based on facts and logic.

In B2C circles, emotions drive personas and influence purchase decisions so the deal happens fast.

3. Strategies

Generally, because B2B buyers usually decide based on facts and logic, marketers build tactics around educating your target audience. While B2C marketing also involves educating, it’s not always necessary. In this vertical, edutainment that tugs at the emotions works better.

4. Purchase Process

Fourthly, B2B buyers have to confer with decision-makers before making a purchase and usually prefer working with an account manager during and after purchase. By comparison, B2C buyers rarely have to discuss their purchase decision with anyone and prefer to purchase directly.

5. Sales Cycle

Finally, since there are more people involved in deciding and buyers have to research options thoroughly, the B2B sales cycle is longer. This means you need more marketing touchpoints to clinch a sale. 

The B2C sales cycle is very short, resulting in fewer marketing touchpoints as compared to B2B marketing.Click To Tweet

Now that you’ve seen the major differences between B2B and B2C marketing, let’s dig deeper into our topic of the day – the B2B marketing strategies to know and implement in 2020. 

23 Best B2B Marketing Strategies You Should Be Using

With more startups entering the B2B vertical, competition has become very stiff. That, and that B2B buyers are evolving, means you need to play your A-game when marketing to other businesses. Here are 23 best of the best B2B marketing strategies to help you win more customers and boost your bottom line: 

1. Content Marketing (B2B Marketing Strategies Foundation)

To start off, content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and distributing valuable and relevant content consistently to your target audience. The purpose of the content is to:

  • Attract
  • Engage
  • Educate
  • Convert
  • Retain

In a nutshell, content marketing helps generate leads and turn them into loyal customers. And because it works so well, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing as part of their marketing strategy.

That’s because it works so well. And it forms the foundation of other B2B strategies.

Pros of Content Marketing

  • Helps in ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs) 
  • Drives targeted traffic to your website
  • An excellent way to build authority in your industry
  • Generates qualified leads
  • Helps build trust and thus increases conversions
  • Fosters customer loyalty through the use of valuable content
  • One of the best ways of online reputation management

Cons of Content Marketing

  • It can take time to see results
  • Can be complex and time-intensive
  • ROI can be difficult to calculate
  • It’s not a complete strategy on its own
  • Can be a money pit if not run by professionals

B2B Content Marketing Best Practices

To get the best out of your B2B content marketing strategy, follow these B2B content marketing practices:

  • Conduct thorough keyword and competitor research
  • Create high-value evergreen content
  • Don’t focus on one content format – diversify into formats your audience loves
  • Understand your audience well -especially the platforms they frequent
  • Promote your content – heavily

Content is the backbone of all online activities. Therefore, content marketing must be one of your main B2B marketing strategies. Especially since research shows it brings in 3X more leads (and costs 62% less) than traditional outbound marketing.

2. Paid Advertising

Another great B2B marketing strategy you can’t ignore is paid advertising, commonly known as PPC or Pay Per Click. With customer journeys beginning (and ending) online, you need a fast way to get found by your target audience.

Enter paid advertising.

Paid advertising involves creating short, hyper-targeted ads to drive relevant traffic to your website. It is a way of “buying” traffic to your site without having to earn that traffic organically. And with research showing that search ads can increase brand awareness by as much as 80%, there’s no reason you shouldn’t pay to play.

Pros of Paid Advertising for B2B Brands

  • Specific and granular targeting
  • Fast results
  • You can display ads on various platforms
  • Easy to track and analyze campaigns

Cons of Paid Advertising for B2B Brands

  • Costs can quickly escalate if poorly managed
  • Stops working when you stop paying
  • Success is not guaranteed
  • Needs high-level campaign management and close monitoring

Paid Advertising Best Practices

To avoid your ads flopping here are a few best practices you need to adhere to:

  • Do proper and thorough research – always
  • Optimize your keywords for optimal relevance
  • Craft engaging ad copy
  • Create optimized landing pages
  • Pay attention to your quality score

Because B2B marketing is highly competitive, you must do everything in your power to gain the upper hand. Even if it means paying to get attention. 

3. Email Marketing

Despite all the headlines you’ve seen announcing the death of email as a marketing strategy, email is still relevant today. Yes, email marketing is still one of the best B2B marketing strategies you can implement today (and for the foreseeable future). 

So powerful is email marketing as a B2B marketing strategy that a staggering 93% of B2B marketers use it.

email marketing b2b stats

Studies showing that email marketing has ROIs as high as $44 for every $1 spent. This makes it stand out as one of the most effective digital marketing tactics you should be using.

Pros of Email Marketing for B2B

  • Cost-effective
  • Allows you to create targeted and personalized messages
  • Permission-based, making it one of the most direct marketing strategies available 
  • Campaigns can be highly personalized, resulting in higher conversion rates
  • Easy to track and measure campaign results
  • Can be automated, resulting in up to a 320% increase in revenue

Cons of Email Marketing for B2B

  • Can be complicated
  • Emails render differently across devices and platforms and make it difficult to design the perfect email.
  • People’s inboxes are cluttered. This increases the chances of your email being missed.

Email Marketing Best Practices

  • Always segment your email list for improved personalization
  • Clean your email list regularly
  • Always get permission from your recipients before you send marketing material
  • Never buy email lists
  • Craft catchy subject lines and interesting CTAs
  • Monitor delivery and deliverability rates
  • Ensure your emails are compliant

No matter what the naysayers may say, email marketing is here to stay. That’s why 59% of B2B marketers say it’s their most effective revenue-generating marketing strategy.

4. Chatbot Marketing

Marketing is all about striking meaningful conversations with your prospects. Conversations that guide them into making the right decision – to purchase your product or subscribe to your service. 

But with your prospects living in different time zones, you’ll need an army of reps to engage your prospects and customers in conversation, right?

Fortunately not.

You just need to integrate chatbots into your B2B marketing mix.

What is a chatbot?

In brief, it’s a computer program that can automate certain tasks for you – like conversing with prospects and customers. 

While chatbots help streamline lead generation and nurturing, adoption is still low, standing at a paltry 0.5% among B2B companies in the US. That means if you can adopt chatbot marketing for your business, you’ll have an edge over your competitors.

customer service communication preferences

Source: Landbot

As shown above, customers are open to chatbots in a business context.

Pros of Using Chatbots in Your B2B Marketing Strategy

  • Offer real-time communication
  • Speed up the sales cycle
  • Make it easy for you to scale your marketing efforts
  • Available 24/7
  • Increase customer service’s efficiency
  • Excellent lead generation capabilities

Cons of Using Chatbots in Your B2B Marketing 

  • Designing content and triggers can be difficult, leading to limited responses
  • Complex chatbots could cost more
  • Can’t truly replace human interaction
  • Require human intervention when the conversation becomes complex

Chatbot Marketing Best Practices

  • Set Expectations from the start. Know what you will use the chatbot for and understand its limitations.
  • Give your chatbot a personality. Your chatbot must be as “human” as possible. 
  • Let customers know your chatbot’s functionality. This will guide them into knowing how best to interact with your bot.
  • Have extra resources your bot can use. When conversations become complex, make sure your bot can redirect customers to relevant resources.

Optimize your bots for different platforms. Chatbots have the advantage of being ubiquitous on the internet – they work on any site, platform, and medium. Configure them to work optimally according to each platform’s protocols.

If you don’t leverage chatbots in your B2B marketing, you’re leaving a glaring gap in your strategy. That’s because they encourage website visitors to engage with your brand more.

5. SMS Marketing

When people think of SMS marketing, they associate it with B2C marketing.

Why?

Because a person’s mobile phone is very personal, making SMS marketing ultra-personal. Yet that’s exactly why you should use it in your B2B marketing. Remember, you may sell to other businesses, but at the end of the day, the person you communicate with is still human.

SMS marketing is great for generating leads and nurturing them, alerting customers of promotions, and a lot more. That’s especially as 75% of millennials say they’d rather communicate with a brand via text than a phone call.

millenials texting stats

Notice also that millenials text 10x a day and a good number send messages over 50x a day.

Pros of SMS Marketing for B2B Brands

  • No need to download an app
  • Very high engagement rates
  • Cheap compared to other marketing channels
  • People always have their phones with them (47% can’t live without them),  this makes SMS marketing excellent for time-sensitive messages
  • A direct method to reach customers

Cons of SMS Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Your messages have to be very short and can get diluted
  • People are wary of receiving unwanted texts 
  • Can take time to build a list of relevant contacts

SMS Marketing Best Practices

  • Get permission to text
  • Always adhere to privacy and data protection laws
  • Be clear about your intentions from the onset
  • Keep your messages professional
  • Watch your cadence
  • Provide value – always
  • Be courteous – text during normal work hours

With open rates as high as 99%, SMS marketing is a strategy to embrace. Yes, even as a B2B company. 

6. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) 

For years, the goal of most marketing teams has been to bring in as many leads as possible. However, while tons of leads may look like an enormous achievement, the defining question at the end is how much impact they have on your bottom line.

It’s not the number of leads that matters, it’s the quality of the leads.

Account-based marketing (ABM) helps you make sure all your lead generation efforts affect your bottom line.

How?

It ensures that you target prospects (accounts) that will probably convert. It also offers more opportunities to create personalized customer experiences, which convert more than non-personalized ones.

Research shows that 87% of marketers say ABM outperforms most other marketing strategies in ROI. Plus, it works for new brands and yields better results the more experienced you become.

b2b account based marketing statistics

Pros of ABM for B2B Brands

  • Targeted, therefore, produces better results
  • Aligns sales and marketing teams, resulting in increased revenue
  • Easy to measure ROI
  • Less waste of resources
  • Improved lead quality
  • Personalized customer journeys result in higher customer satisfaction

Cons of ABM for B2B Brands

  • It’s risky because it targets a narrow pool of customers
  • Labour intensive as each account requires a unique approach
  • Slower funnel
  • The technological requirements needed can be pricey for smaller companies

ABM Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Invest in creating positive experiences 
  • Identify and pick your target accounts strategically
  • Build relationships with the account’s buying committee
  • Analyze your results and use the data to create better campaigns

With brands that have adopted ABM marketing citing at least a 10% increase in revenue within the first 12 months, it’s impossible to ignore this marketing strategy.

7. Video Marketing

No doubt, video marketing is one of the best B2B marketing strategies out there.

92% of marketers say video plays an important role in their marketing campaigns. That’s a testament to the effectiveness of video. And that’s why you must have a video marketing strategy in place for your B2B brand.

Video marketing is the use of videos (created by or for your brand) to market your services or products. It’s a brilliant strategy for brand awareness, onboarding new clients, product demos, and more. With over 1 billion hours of video content watched on YouTube alone in a day, video has proven to be a favorite content format.

Pros of Video Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Increases engagement
  • A simple way to build trust and authority
  • Improves audience retention rate
  • Can be used on most platforms
  • Great way to compliment your blogging efforts
  • Boosts website traffic
  • The easiest way to overcome buy-in barriers

Cons of Video Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Video overheads can be costly
  • It’s difficult to keep video content evergreen
  • Producing high-quality videos is time-consuming

Video Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Keep your videos short (2-3 minutes is the optimum length)
  • Don’t skimp on production
  • Create different videos for each stage of the funnel
  • Optimize your videos for each platform
  • Focus each video on one specific topic
  • Always include subtitles 

Videos enable you to explain and express your message with clarity, but they also have the power to give your audience an immersive experience. That makes it a powerful marketing tool.

8. Visual Marketing

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. That’s why visual marketing is an excellent way to amplify your message.

What is visual marketing?

It’s the use of visuals to engage and communicate your marketing message more effectively. Like video, visuals make it easier for you to connect on an emotional level with B2B buyers. And if you’re wondering, yes, emotions also play a role in B2B buyers’ decisions. 

role of emotion in B2B marketing

Examples of visual marketing include infographics, gifs, memes, presentations, and more.

Pros of Visual Marketing

  • Improved brand recognition
  • Higher engagement rates
  • Increases engagement
  • Increases conversions
  • Higher chances of being shared on social media
  • Helps drive traffic to your website

Cons of Visual Marketing

  • Limited flexibility compared to written content
  • Creating visual content can be time-consuming
  • Can sometimes require a higher budget than written content

Visual Marketing Best Practices

  • Mix up your visual content
  • Leverage user-generated content (UGC)
  • Use visuals that evoke emotions, spark curiosity, or highlight an answer to a question

Grabbing attention is crucial to a successful marketing campaign. And visuals are one of the best ways to do just that.  

9. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

You can’t compile a list of the best B2B marketing strategies and leave out AI and ML.

A study by Adobe revealed that 41% of leading businesses use artificial intelligence (AI) for most business functions including marketing. You can use AI and ML in B2B marketing in several applications that include (among others):

  • Keyword research
  • Data analysis
  • Building buyer personas
  • Onsite personalization

This results in enhanced buyer journeys as deep data backs content creation.

Pros of AI and ML in B2B Marketing

  • Speeds up data interpretation and saves time and money
  • Drastically improves personalization
  • Improves lead quality
  • Gives deep customer insights
  • Speeds up customer’s buying decision
  • Better customer experiences lead to increased customer loyalty and customer lifetime value
  • Can help predict trends

Cons of AI and ML in B2B Marketing

  • Lacks empathy, a critical component for effective marketing
  • Purchasing AI and ML-powered marketing tools can be costly 

AI and ML Marketing Best Practices

  • Outline your goals and strategy
  • Start small and test performance
  • Identify and prioritize areas

Ignorance (or fear) of AI and ML in your B2B marketing strategy is tantamount to self-sabotage. You miss out on a strategy that can get you an increase in qualified leads like Epson who enjoyed a 75% increase. A study by Quanticmind shows that 97% of leaders believe that the future of marketing lies in machine learning tools.

10. Podcasting

Podcasting is one of the most under-used marketing strategies in B2B circles. Yet 25% of B2B buyers use podcasts (and webinars) to compare different vendors. 

While podcasting has been around since the early 2000s, people saw it as a hobby. However, with over 44% of decision-makers on LinkedIn saying they listen to podcasts, it has become a viable marketing strategy for B2B brands.

best b2b marketing strategies in 2020 podcasts

Podcasts are creeping up the best B2B marketing strategies charts.

Pros of Podcasting for B2B Marketing

  • Boosts thought leadership
  • Fosters trust and builds authority
  • A superb strategy for building a loyal fanbase
  • Captures and keeps attention
  • Boosts brand recognition

Cons of Podcasting for B2B Marketing

  • Need resources to create episodes consistently
  • Building an audience can be difficult
  • Easy to lose your audience if you’re not consistent

Podcasting Best Practices for B2B Marketing

  • Create high-value informative content
  • Be consistent and stick to a publishing schedule
  • Heavily promote your podcasts

With a few B2B brands using podcasts in their marketing strategy, it’s another avenue that you can use to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

11. Social Media Marketing (SMM) 

Social media marketing (SMM) for B2B brands?

Yes, SMM is a superb B2B marketing strategy that can move your marketing needle up. While it may be like its B2C counterpart, they are different in style, content, and goals among others.

In the B2B context, SMM is magnificent for:

  • Networking.
  • Customer support.
  • Increasing thought leadership.
  • Deepening customer relationships.
  • Traffic and lead generation.

Don’t forget that social media is all about being sociable so don’t be boring.

Pros of Social Media Marketing for B2B Brands

  • A cost-effective way to promote content
  • Drives targeted referral traffic to your website
  • An excellent way to expand your brand reach
  • Great way to build meaningful relationships
  • Gives you deeper insights into your target customers through social listening

Cons of Social Media Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Difficult to measure return on investment
  • Slow results
  • Easy to tarnish your brand image if not handled properly
  • Needs qualified personnel

Social Media Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Choose your platforms wisely
  • Be social – engage in conversations
  • Connect with influencers
  • Don’t be overly promotional
  • Study the best times to post
  • Mix up your content types and don’t be afraid to curate content from other sources 
  • Don’t be afraid of being controversial 

Remember, no matter our titles and positions at work, we are human beings first and foremost. And as human beings, social interaction is one of our basic needs. That’s why social media is a powerful marketing avenue – even for B2B brands. 

12. Search Marketing

Search marketing is an online marketing strategy used to increase a brand’s visibility on search engines. This includes organic methods like search engine optimization (SEO) and paid tactics like PPC.

To have an effective search marketing strategy, you must invest in both organic and paid methods to gain visibility faster.Click To Tweet

Think about it. What’s the first step you took the last time you wanted to buy something?

If you’re not from Mars, you probably first researched the product online – including reading several reviews. That’s the same process B2B buyers make. Research shows that 89% of B2B buyers use search engines to search for a product/service.

And that’s exactly why you must have a strong online presence which results from an excellent search marketing strategy. 

Pros of Search Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Increases your online visibility
  • Drives targeted and relevant traffic to your website
  • Helps establish your authority

Cons of Search Marketing for B2B Brands

  • It doesn’t guarantee results
  • Higher long-term cost
  • Ads may be expensive, particularly in competitive niches

Search Marketing Best Practices for B2B brands

  • Understand your target audience
  • Create high-value content for your campaigns
  • Design optimized landing pages
  • Craft high impact ads
  • Create seamless transitions between your digital assets
  • Optimize your website for SEO
  • Run organic and paid campaigns in tandem

It’s impossible to run a successful business without a good search marketing strategy. After all, all your customers expect you to be online. And if they can’t find you, they’ll go to your competitors—simple.

13. Webinar Marketing

Webinars, once solely used for educational purposes, have become a powerful marketing tool, particularly in B2B circles. A webinar is a video workshop or presentation hosted online. 

Because B2B marketing involves a lot of education, webinars are one of the best ways to educate your audience on your product or brand. Webinars are a great lead generation strategy if used well. And one way to do that is to discuss a hot topic in the industry you serve.

Here is an example from Invesp.

b2b marketing strategies webinar marketing example

Pros of Webinar Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Help you demonstrate your thought leadership
  • Great way to attract leads – from all around the globe
  • Interactive nature makes them highly engaging
  • You can repurpose webinar recordings into other content formats

Cons of Webinar Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Can take a lot of preparation
  • Getting a good number of participants can be difficult
  • Finding a time that works for your participants is difficult, especially for an international audience

Best Practices for Webinar Marketing

  • Promote your webinar well in advance
  • Research trending topics and create original content around them
  • Involve your audience
  • Study the best times to host your webinar (avoid Mondays and Fridays)
  • Limit the length of your webinar to 60 minutes for maximum engagement 
  • Invest in good webinar hosting equipment and hosting

B2B buyers are hungry for in-depth knowledge. Host an information-rich webinar and watch as your target audience signs up. Used well, a webinar can also help B2Bbuyers decide whether your product/service is a fit for their organization. 

14. Event Marketing

Traditionally, no list of the best B2B marketing strategies is complete without event marketing.

Event marketing is a marketing strategy that involves the promotion of your brand, product, or service through in-person interactions. These can be events you host or those you attend as an exhibitor. Examples include conferences, seminars, trade shows, and any other live event.

The primary purposes of event marketing are to educate your prospects and customers and to build stronger relationships. With 87% of C-suite executives saying they plan to invest more in event marketing, it’s a strategy to take seriously. Another study showed that 41% of B2B marketers found event marketing to be their most effective marketing channel.

most effective b2b marketing strategies

Source

Pros of Event Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Strengthens brand recognition and boosts local visibility
  • Provide a platform for you to interact with your audience
  • A great way for building your pipeline
  • Builds trust fast

Cons of Event Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Organizing (or preparing for) an event can be time and resource-intensive
  • Lead quality is not guaranteed

Event Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Offer free giveaways to encourage participation
  • Invite the press to cover your event
  • Create a framework for reporting and determining ROI
  • Have a post-event marketing plan in place
  • Try to schedule as many one-on-one meetings as possible

Whether you host one or attend, events are great places for networking and showcasing what you offer. If there’s one thing humans crave, it’s interaction with other like-minded people. That’s what makes event marketing so powerful.

15. Affiliate Marketing

Next, let’s look at affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing tactic in which you set up programs that reward other businesses or individuals to:

  • Promote your products/services
  • Drive leads to your business

It’s like having an army of mercenary marketers helping you achieve your marketing and business goals.

Affiliate marketing gives you an army of eager soldiers of fortune willing to go to battle on your behalf and come back to share the juicy booty with you.Click To Tweet

With hard-working affiliates working alongside you, you can scale your business faster. 

Pros of Affiliate Marketing for B2B Brands

  • A cheap way of getting the results of performance marketing
  • Easy to track and prove ROI
  • Reduces customer acquisition costs
  • Brings unique business opportunities

Cons of Affiliate Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Takes time and energy to set up
  • Results may be slow to come in
  • Hard to source affiliates aligned with your brand and business 

Affiliate Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Invest time and other resources to attract the right partners
  • Offer enough motivation and incentives to your affiliates
  • Equip your affiliates with marketing material
  • Train your affiliates

While most brands view affiliate marketing as a primarily B2C marketing strategy, it’s also a very potent B2B marketing strategy. Executed well, it can bring your brand in front of an audience you otherwise could not reach alone.

16. Remarketing 

On average, only 2% of website visitors convert on the first visit. That means a whopping 98% of people who visit your site leave without giving you their details, let alone purchasing your product or service. Ouch!

Remarketing is attracting previous visitors back to your website with the hope of them completing the conversion process. In B2B circles, this usually means leaving their contact information. Studies show that remarketing converts up to 50% of the traffic campaigns bring in.

Pros of Remarketing for B2B Brands

  • Reminds prospects of your brand
  • Improves conversion rates
  • Improves ad relevance
  • Recaptures lost leads

Cons of Remarketing for B2B Brands

  • Prospects can deem it creepy or annoying
  • It doesn’t always guarantee results
  • Can backfire if you don’t set it up correctly

Remarketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Don’t use the same landing page twice
  • Add remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) to existing ad campaigns
  • Create remarketing lists
  • Personalize your remarketing funnel

Remarketing is popular with B2B marketers because it produces significant results when executed well. Partner with experts when you run a remarketing campaign and you’ll certainly reap the rewards.

17. Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is the silver bullet of B2B marketing. That’s because it’s one of the few marketing methods that bring warm leads.

What is referral marketing?

The referral marketing strategy uses word of mouth and recommendations to generate business. It involves motivating your customers to spread the word about your brand, product, or service.

Up to 84% of B2B decision-makers start the buying process with a referral.

best b2b marketing strategies referral marketing

Pros of Referral Marketing

  • Reduces the work involved in vetting leads
  • Reduces the length of the sales cycle
  • Referrals have a lower cost per lead (CPL)
  • Improves lead quality
  • Can be automated
  • Referrals convert better than other types of leads
  • Higher customer retention rates

Cons of Referral Marketing

  • You don’t control your growth
  • It takes a while to gain traction
  • Tracking impact is tough

Referral Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Set up an easy-to-use referral strategy
  • Create exceptional customer experiences 
  • Don’t be shy to ask for referrals
  • Nurture brand ambassadors

For warm leads that convert in a shorter space of time, look no further than referral marketing. With a wonderful program in place, you can have a steady stream of precious leads on autopilot.

18. Speaking at Events

Speaking at events is another great B2B marketing strategy that’s great at drumming up business. While in the past focus was on meeting people face to face in conferences and roadshows, things are shifting. Online events like online summits are gathering steam.

Being a speaker fast-tracks you and your business to star status. It helps you underline your authority faster than most marketing strategies.

Pros of Speaking at Events

  • Builds credibility and authority
  • An uncomplicated way to get media coverage and increase brand awareness
  • Gives you access to an audience you would otherwise not have access to

Cons of Speaking at Events

  • Speaking engagements don’t come often
  • Results aren’t always easy to measure

Speaking at Events – Best Practices to Follow

  • Don’t wait for invites – research upcoming events and pitch yourself
  • Carry some marketing material with you (brochures, business cards, etc)
  • Don’t use the opportunity to sell, provide value
  • Research your audience and find out what they need
  • Go with a team to increase networking opportunities

Basically, speaking at events is a B2B marketing strategy that few are using. Leverage it and give yourself an edge over your competition.

19. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing was ranked as the 4th most effective B2B marketing strategy in 2019.

b2b tech marketers adoption trends

This is a testament that it’s not just reserved for B2C marketing. Influencer marketing is a tactic that leverages celebrity/thought leader endorsements to boost your brand’s credibility.

One reason influencer marketing is so powerful is that B2B buyers are overwhelmed by information and the wide choice of solutions available to them. A trusted voice helps cut through the noise and come to a decision faster.

Pros of Influencer Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Great for generating top of funnel leads
  • Humanizes your brand
  • Increases engagement
  • Expands your reach
  • Boosts SEO through cross-promotion

Cons of Influencer Marketing for B2B Brands

  • Takes time to set up
  • Tracking campaign performance can be tricky

Influencer Marketing Best Practices

  • Use social media and influencer marketing apps to connect with influencers
  • Vet your candidate and make sure they’re a good fit for your brand
  • Focus on building long-term relationships
  • Create short-form content for your influencer marketing campaigns

There’s no denying it. Influencer marketing is effective. Find an influencer in your niche and get to work designing revenue-boosting influencer marketing campaigns.

20. Employee Activation

Employee activation is a marketing strategy that encourages employees to create or share content organically. Inspiring your employees to take part in your marketing messaging helps establish your business as an authentic brand.

Employee activation turbocharges word-of-mouth marketing since 90% of people are more like to trust and buy from a brand endorsed by a friend.

power of word of mouth marketing

Pros of Employee Activation for B2B Brands

  • Cost-effective
  • Increases organic leads
  • Brings in targeted leads
  • Builds credibility trust
  • Improves customer engagement

Cons of Employee Activation for B2B Brands

  • Comes with an element of risk as some employees reputation may hurt the brand
  • Results may take time to show

Employee Activation Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Create guidelines to direct employees on what kind of content to create
  • Allow your employees to genuinely share their experiences
  • Invest in your employees’ professional growth to inspire a mutual trust
  • Equip your employees with the right tools and platforms
  • Design an employee activation program that’s easy to use and encourages participation

Your employees are a marketing army awaiting deployment. Give them the opportunity and they can be a very instrumental lead generation force.

21. Case Study Marketing

Case studies, or customer success stories, are another great B2B marketing strategy you must consider for your brand. Research by Hawkeye showed that 71% of B2B buyers in the awareness phase said testimonials and case studies are the most influential types of content.

The same study showed that 77% of B2B buyers in the evaluation stage considered testimonials and case studies as their go-to form of content.

Pros of Using Case Studies in B2B Marketing

  • One of the most preferred content type
  • Provide proof of your capabilities
  • Position you as an industry leader
  • A great way of educating prospects on the value you provide

Cons of Using Case Studies in B2B Marketing

  • May take time to produce, especially if you’re starting out
  • More expensive than other forms of written content

Case Study Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands

  • Showcase your case studies on your website
  • Promote your case studies on social media
  • Create video-based case studies
  • Create different case studies targeted at different personas

As I have shown, customer stories are a powerful marketing tool. They help you connect with your prospects on an emotional level while you educate them about the solution you offer at the same time. Way to kill 2 birds with one stone.

22. Postcards

One way to break the mold in marketing is to go old school. And there’s nothing more old school than using postcards to communicate with prospects.

Yes, postcards still work their charm in B2B marketing. 

They are effective for prospecting.

Pros of Postcard Marketing for B2B

  • Different therefore stand out from all other marketing material
  • Memorable
  • Generate high response rates
  • Can cross-sell, upsell, or generate repeat sells
  • Help you stay on top of your customers’ minds
  • Being visual and physical, it has an insane impact
  • Great for building long-term relationships 
  • GDPR-friendly

Cons of Postcard Marketing for B2B

  • Design and mailing costs can compound as your list grows
  • Limited in use as delivery is not instantaneous 
  • Getting recipients mailing address may not always be easy

Postcard Marketing Best Practices for B2B Marketing

  • Select your mailing list carefully and target decision-makers
  • Watch your cadence- marketers recommend once a month
  • Your messaging should highlight the benefits of your product/service

To give your brand an advantage over your competitors, you must pull out all the stops. And sending postcards will give you that edge.

23. Direct Mail Marketing 

Direct mail is a marketing strategy in which you send a physical letter, package, mailer, etc. to your prospects or customers. With research showing average open rates of 85% and read rates of 42%, direct mail is still a viable marketing strategy that should be part of your marketing you must use.

Of all the fine B2B marketing strategies available, direct mail is one of the most underused ones.

Direct mail is alive and kicking. 

Because not many brands include direct mail in their marketing mix, using it gives you a tremendous chance to distinguish yourself from competitors and reap all the benefits of its power.Click To Tweet

Pros of Direct Mail for B2B Marketing

  • Better response rates compared to email
  • Lots of personalization opportunities
  • Affordable
  • Can deliver detailed information
  • A simple way to keep your brand top of mind

Cons of Direct Mail for B2B Marketing

  • Competition can be stiff in this space
  • Lower ROI than email
  • Has a higher environmental impact than other marketing strategies

Direct Mail Marketing Best Practices for B2B Brands 

  • Send something out-of-the-box (like gimmicky toys)
  • Collaborate with sales to create a highly targeted list
  • Have a clear call-to-action
  • Engage everyone on the buying committee

In summary, with buyers’ emails inboxes flooded (with an average of 121 emails a day), direct mail is like a breath of fresh air to most B2B buyers. And that’s what makes it effective as a B2B marketing strategy.

Customer Experience (CX): The Golden Thread That Ties B2B Marketing Strategies Together

23 innovative B2B marketing strategies!

Whew!

That is a lot. But they all have one common thread that ties them together – customer experience (CX).

CX is the overall impression your customers have of your brand from every touchpoint on their buyer journey.

A positive CX can result in more than just a sale, it could win you a loyal brand ambassador.Click To Tweet

With research proving that CX is now the biggest brand differentiator, you just can’t afford to ignore it. Especially since 80% of B2B buyers say they base their purchase decisions on CX. Only 20% make their buying decision based on the product or price.

That’s why every B2B marketing strategy you implement must put your customers first – not your product. And to pull it off well, you must blend your B2B marketing strategies well. They should complement each other and give your customers a seamless and pleasant journey down your funnel.

To ensure your CX remains positive throughout the buyer’s journey (and beyond), use a customer experience management (CXM) program. Survey and analyze customer interactions with your business to enhance them through it. 

Ultimately, CX should form the backbone of your customer journey. It should influence your marketing strategies.

B2B Marketing Strategies: Choose Yours Wisely

In conclusion, with so many B2B marketing strategies at your disposal, knowing which ones to use can be overwhelming. The rule of thumb is to go for strategies that:

  • Align with your business goals.
  • Don’t strain your budget.
  • Best reach your target audience where they are.

However,  regardless of which tactics you choose, to win you must do more than your competitors.

So, take your pick and move ahead of the competition.

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