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11 Essential B2B Marketing Strategies to Supercharge Your Growth

There are countless marketing metrics out there.

Bounce rates. Click-through rates. Session duration.

But, ultimately, there’s only one metric that really matters: revenue.

According to Demand Gen Report, one in three marketers are striving to increase revenue by more than 20% in 2022.

To achieve that lofty target, they’re leveraging increased resources, with three-quarters of marketers saying their budgets for the year have grown by 1% – 20%.

But money alone won’t get the job done.

If you’re going to achieve ambitious business goals, you need to employ smart B2B marketing strategies. 

In this article, we’ll dig into what makes a “good” B2B marketing strategy, and explore 11 of our favorite B2B strategies that you can use to drive your own business growth. 

What are B2B marketing strategies?

B2B marketing strategies are about reaching, and building relationships with, buyers at a business or organization in order to sell products or services.

B2B products could be something physical — like office supplies — or digital, such as a SaaS solution like Encharge.

The aim of any B2B strategy is to target the pain points and objectives of individual buyers. By doing this, B2B marketers can position their product or service as the solution to overcome a specific business challenge or achieve a goal.

As such, B2B marketing is very different to B2C strategies.

Whereas B2B buyers make purchase decisions for their organization, in the B2C world, consumers buy for (or on behalf of) themselves.

That means the B2C user journey is typically a lot less complex, whereas B2B sales cycles can last for weeks or even months.

Indeed, research from CSO Insights discovered that almost one in five B2B companies take more than 12 months to sell to new customers, while just one in 20 close the deal in under a month.

B2B sales cycle length

With that out of the way, let’s examine some of the B2B strategies that you can implement in your marketing today.

11 B2B marketing strategy examples you can implement right now

Okay, so we know B2B marketing strategies are about reaching decision-makers at businesses or organizations.

And we know B2B sales cycles are typically pretty long and complex.

So it’s vital our strategies are sophisticated enough to reach, engage, and convert leads — or, potentially, multiple leads within a single organization — as they move through the buying process.

With that in mind, here are 11 of our favorite B2B marketing strategy examples…

1. Enable buyers to make decisions

It’s no easy task persuading an entire board of directors to fork over tens of thousands of dollars for a new piece of software or equipment.

But you’d assume that, given all the channels and technologies available to marketers and sales teams today, B2B sales cycles were getting shorter.

In reality, the opposite is true.

In a survey of over 250 B2B buyers, Gartner discovered that 77% rated their purchasing experience as “difficult” or “extremely complex”.

In other words, it’s not getting any simpler to get deals over the line, which makes it much harder to achieve our growth goals.

So what can you do about it?

It’s all about making it easier for leads to complete what Gartner calls “buying jobs” — that is, the specific tasks that are necessary to make a purchase.

Those jobs fall into six categories:

  • Problem identification. We’ve got a challenge; we need to do something about it.
  • Solution exploration. Which products or services can help us overcome this problem?
  • Requirements building. What functionality do we require from our solution?
  • Supplier selection. Does this product or organization fulfill our requirements?
  • Validation. How can we be certain this is the right option for us?
  • Consensus creation. We think this product is perfect; now we need to get everyone else on board!

There are numerous ways for marketers to support buyers in completing each of those tasks.

For instance, let’s say there’s a buyer at a SaaS company that struggles to convert free trial members into paying customers.

At the problem identification stage, you could target them with content that explains the difficulties SaaS brands face in driving conversions from free trialists.

Maybe that content could speak to specific challenges, such as over-reliance on generic, time-based emails.

Then you can show them videos or case studies showing how your solution helps solve the specific problem they’re encountering.

Once they’re sold on your solution, you could help them create consensus by crafting personalized marketing assets for them to share with colleagues, or co-presenting a product demo with them.

Ultimately, the more support you give to buyers, the fewer speed bumps they’ll experience during the sales process.

In turn, that means they’ll be able to make more confident (and, hopefully, faster) buying decisions.

2. Start doing account-based marketing

No doubt you’ve already heard about the power of personalization in marketing.

Nine in 10 leading marketers say it “significantly” contributes to business profitability, so if you’re serious about supercharging your business growth, personalization should definitely be part of your marketing toolkit.

But personalization has gotten a little more… sophisticated down the years.

Whereas once, it was enough to simply mention a lead’s first name and company name in an email, that sort of basic personalization just doesn’t cut the mustard any more. Especially if you’re dealing with high-value B2B leads.

According to Woodpecker, emails with advanced personalization — that is, those using merge tags beyond the basic ones like {{person.firstName}} or {{person.companyName}} — see an average response rate of 17%.

That drops to just 7% for emails without advanced personalization.

So we’re agreed: the more sophisticated your personalization, the better your results.

Which is why you need to take an account-based marketing (ABM) approach to reaching and converting B2B leads.

In a nutshell, account based marketing (ABM) involves tailoring your sales and marketing strategies to a single, high-value B2B account, rather than reaching thousands of prospects with the same messaging.

ABM isn’t for everyone. 

It’s a highly intensive approach that requires investing significant resources into each and every lead.

So it’s really only applicable to companies with high customer lifetime value.

If you’re never going to make more than a few hundred dollars from an account, ABM isn’t going to work for you.

Still, uptake of ABM is growing rapidly. In 2021, 70% of marketers said they were using it, up 15% from the previous year.

The results appear to back up their decisions. For companies with mature ABM programs, their account-based activities are responsible for:

  • 79% of sales opportunities
  • 73% of total revenue

That’s an astonishingly high contribution. Imagine if four-fifths of your leads came from just one source… Why would you bother with any other strategies?

For marketers, part of the challenge of adopting ABM lies in changing their mentality. For years, they’ve been targeted on lead volumes. But with account-based marketing, no one cares how many leads you generate — quality is everything.

Getting it right means narrowing your focus and laser-targeting your content to reach only the most valuable accounts that are most likely to convert.

3. Leverage B2B email marketing best practices

According to Campaign Monitor, companies see an average ROI of $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing.

That’s an unbelievable return; no other channel comes close.

But email isn’t a silver bullet for B2B marketers.

After all, there’s a lot of noise around. The average person currently receives more than 330 emails a day — and by 2025, that number is expected to leap to 375. That’s equivalent to one email every four minutes!

To give yourself the best chance of cutting through, be sure to leverage these email marketing best practices:

  • Write personalized subject lines. According to Experian, emails with personalized subject lines have 26% higher unique open rates than non-personalized emails. So get your personalization in early if you want to drive opens and clicks.
  • Get your subject line character count right. Sticking with subject lines, research from Backlinko revealed that emails with subject lines between 36 and 50 characters see the highest response rates, outperforming short subject lines (1 – 15 characters) by 32.7%.
  • Keep your email copy short and sweet. Length isn’t just important for subject lines; it matters for your email body copy too. According to Boomerang, emails of 50 – 125 words achieved response rates of 50% or more. So try to keep your copy to no more than two or three regular paragraphs.
  • Personalize your body copy too. Don’t limit your personalization efforts to the subject line. Backlinko’s research showed that emails with personalized body copy see 33% higher response rates than non-personalized emails.
  • Aim to drive one action per email. What do you want your prospect to do after they’ve opened and read your email — click a link? Write a reply? Watch a video? Include a single, clear call to action so your recipients understand exactly what you’re asking them to do next.

Further reading: 6 Killer Tips to Craft Compelling and Clickable Email Subject Lines

4. Plan keyword targeting around the buyer funnel

We’ve spoken a lot about email marketing up to this point — but email isn’t the be all and end all of B2B marketing.

If you’re going to drive results and grow your business, you need to nail your SEO too.

Because B2B user journeys are so complex and research-heavy, it pays to have content that ranks organically for each stage of the conversion funnel.

Funnel graph

That way, you’re not just giving buyers the support and information they need to make decisions; you’re also demonstrating your authority and expertise, keeping your brand at front of mind when they’re finally ready to purchase.

Unsurprisingly, buyers at the top of the funnel have very different motivations and requirements to those further down the funnel.

They might not even fully understand the problem they’re experiencing or the goal they hope to achieve; maybe they just have a vague notion that something’s not right.

As they progress down the funnel, they start to define their needs and research different options.

When they reach the bottom, they might be left with a straight choice between two potential solutions — now it’s your chance to demonstrate that your product is the right choice.

Let’s take a look at how this journey could work for a B2B marketing automation company:

Position in sales funnelBuyer motivation Example keyword
Top of funnelUnderstanding the problem they’re facinghow to introduce a new product to customers through emailhow to upsell existing customershow to promote a new product
Middle of funnelIdentifying potential solutionsbest marketing automation software customer life cycle marketing softwarelead nurturing software
Bottom of funnelMaking a buying decision[company / product name] reviews[company / product name] vs. [rival company / product]

5. Build a pipeline of B2B referrals

With a little gentle persuasion, your existing customer base can become one of your biggest marketing assets.

According to Intuitive and Heinz Marketing, 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process with a referral from someone in their network — a friend, a current or former colleague, or maybe just someone they follow on LinkedIn.

Not only that, but among sales leaders:

  • 75% believe referrals convert at a higher rate
  • 70% believe their close faster
  • 59% believe they have a higher lifetime value

Chances are, if you’ve got a great product and deliver excellent service, you’ll inevitably pick up referrals “organically” (that is, without your direct input).

But wouldn’t it be sweet if you could generate a constant stream of high-value referrals?

Fact is, you can. You just need to start asking your existing customers.

However, it takes a bit of thought to build a successful referral marketing program. Specifically, you need to figure out:

  • Which customers to target. Does it really make sense to ask your low-paying legacy customers for referrals?
  • When to target them. Do you ask for referrals once a customer has completed onboarding? When they’ve been using your product for a month? When they reach a certain number of accounts?

Unsurprisingly, the most effective referral programs focus on generating referrals from the very best customers.

If an organization loves your product, has dozens of users, and has recently upsold to a higher tier, it stands to reason that the people they refer will be excellent customers too.

6. Generate more reviews

In a similar vein to referrals, reviews work because they’re the honest opinion of someone who’s actually using — and paying for — your product, rather than a bunch of words from your marketing team.

That means buyers trust them.

G2 and Heinz Marketing asked 548 business professionals if reading a trusted review would make them more or less likely to purchase a product. A whopping 92% said yes. 

Yet despite this, only one out of five B2B companies are currently using reviews as part of their B2B marketing strategy.

That’s a big mistake, because generating reviews isn’t rocket science. There are lots of ways to do it, including:

  • Adding a dedicated feedback section to your website so customers can submit reviews
  • Emailing your existing customers and asking for a review
  • Offering some sort of incentive for leaving a review, such as an entry in a prize draw, or free access to a new product feature
  • Listing your product on an independent review website like Capterra, G2, or TrustRadius
  • Reaching out to publishers who’ve reviewed your competitors’ products and asking them to review yours too

Once you’ve built up a catalog of high-quality reviews, it’s time to do something with them.

Consider adding your best reviews to your homepage and key landing pages. Share them on social media and in blog posts. And build a dedicated reviews page to show off your top testimonials.

7. Build high-converting landing pages

When asked about their priorities for the year in SEMRush’s “State of Content Marketing” report, the most popular answer — cited by 79% of respondents — was generating quality leads.

But the last thing you want is to spend a bunch of time targeting potential leads and bringing them to your site, only for a poor landing page experience to let you down.

Generic, overly wordy, and badly laid out, a low-quality landing page can massively hinder your growth.

Want to build higher-performing landing pages? Follow these best practices:

  • Define the goal of your landing page. Each landing page should exist to accomplish a single goal, whether that be driving ebook downloads, capturing webinar registrations, generating demo requests, or something else entirely. If you try to drive multiple actions from one page, your messaging will be confused — and so will your audience.
  • Mention personalized benefits. Rather than relying on a single, generic landing page to capture all of your leads, build dedicated pages for each campaign or audience group. Then explain the benefits and use cases of your product that are most relevant to each audience.
  • Only capture the data you really need. Generally speaking, lead capture forms with fewer fields convert at a higher rate. So if all you need from prospects is a name and email address, don’t also ask for their phone number, company size, and the name of their first childhood pet.
  • Keep visitors on the page. If you’ve built a high-performing landing page, you don’t want people to click away from it and start exploring the rest of your site. So ditch the navigation bar and internal links.
  • Make it clean and uncluttered. Just like with email marketing, less is more when it comes to landing page copy. Your prospects are busy; they don’t want to read big chunks of copy. Indeed, data from Unbounce shows that landing pages with simple language and fewer than 100 words of copy have the best conversion rates.

8. Reach buyers on LinkedIn

Sure, using LinkedIn for B2B marketing is a pretty obvious strategy.

But with 80% of B2B marketing leads from social media coming through LinkedIn, the platform has a key role to play in your B2B marketing efforts.

There are lots of ways to leverage LinkedIn, from good old-fashioned networking to sharing content to engage your audience.

However, one of our favorite tactics is to run lead generation ads on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn lead gen ads look a little like this:

The beauty of this approach is that it makes for a friction-free user journey.

As a potential lead clicking that advert, I don’t need to leave LinkedIn — a platform I trust — to submit my information and request a demo.

Best of all, because LinkedIn already knows who I am, it auto-completes some of the form fields for me.

Just like that, LinkedIn has eradicated some of the biggest potential barriers to conversion.

9. Empower buyers through self-service

Empowering buyers hasn’t traditionally been much of a focus for B2B marketers.

Quite the opposite, in fact. As far as most marketing teams were concerned, their primary goal was to get leads in front of a sales rep as soon as possible. The last thing they wanted was for buyers to find out too much information for themselves.

But attitudes are changing.

Partly due to the pandemic making face-to-face interaction less of a “thing”, buyers have become increasingly eager to do more of the leg work on their own, without having a salesperson on standby.

In fact, research from McKinsey & Company found that 70% of B2B decision-makers are open to making fully remote or self-service purchases for products priced at $50,000+, while 27% would be prepared to spend more than $500,000.

What’s more, only one-fifth of buyers are eager to return to a world of in-person sales experiences.

Importantly, this doesn’t mean you need to lay off your sales team.

Remote and self-service sales might mean more free trials and DIY product demos. But your team should still be on hand to guide and support buyers via live chat, video conferencing, and other comms channels.

10. Use webinars to capture leads

Chances are you’re already using things like eBooks and videos to capture leads at the top of the funnel.

But why not give your lead gen tactics a more interactive edge by adding webinars into your marketing mix?

There’s a lot to like about webinars. Three-quarters of B2B marketers and sales leaders see them as an effective way to bring in high-quality leads, while an estimated 2% – 5% of webinar attendees will go on to buy.

However, if you’re going to generate results from webinars, they need to be good. That means following these best practices:

  • Tackle a specific pain point. Don’t confuse webinars for covert product demos. Your audience doesn’t want to hear about every single feature and benefit of your product. Instead, focus on tackling a specific challenge faced by your audience. If you can demonstrate how your product is part of the solution, all the better.
  • Choose the right webinar format. Would your topic be best presented as a panel discussion? A Q&A featuring questions from the audience? A single-speaker presentation? A one-on-one interview? 
  • Keep your webinar collateral concise. Again, brevity is key when it comes to webinar content. If you’re going to produce a slide deck to support your presentation, don’t fall into the trap of simply reading out every slide in full. Use slides to add context, not to tell the whole story.
  • Schedule a practice run. Don’t assume everything will go smoothly on the big day. Hold a practice run-through to iron out any technical gremlins. Is the sound quality good enough? Is the backdrop distracting? Do you need better lighting?
  • Promote your webinar. Sounds obvious, but if you don’t get the promotion right, no one’s going to show up. Send webinar emails to your marketing list in advance, and consider reaching new audiences by running social media ads (hint: LinkedIn lead gen ads work well here).

11. Automate your B2B marketing

It’s impossible to overstate the value of automation for B2B marketers.

Four in five automation users generate more leads than their non-automated peers, while three-quarters achieve more conversions. That’s not to be sniffed at.

So how should you be using marketing automation?

Well, there are lots of ways, and for more detail you should definitely read our guide on 8 B2B marketing automation strategies or tips to keep your pipeline full.

But as a minimum, you should consider automating the following processes:

  • Lead tracking: Without lead tracking, it’s hard for marketers to understand which campaigns are bringing in the most qualified leads. Encharge lets you leverage real-time website tracking, giving you a clear understanding of what prospects do when they visit your website.
  • Lead nurturing: We’ve spoken plenty about the growing complexity of buyer journeys. That means it’s more important than ever to keep leads engaged. Use automated lead nurturing campaigns to provide them with valuable information, answer their questions, and remove barriers to purchase.
  • Lead scoring: Not all leads are equal. Some are practically guaranteed to buy; others simply aren’t a good fit right now (and may never be). With automated lead scoring, you can assign points to leads based on the actions they take, such as clicking an email CTA, visiting a key web page, or registering for a free trial. The more points assigned to a lead, the warmer they are.
  • Welcome and onboarding: The first few days after a customer signs up for a trial or buys your product are crucial. Get it right and they’ll stick around for years; get it wrong and they’ll be gone in a month. Sending automated onboarding emails helps you guide them through that potentially tricky period. To make your emails as relevant as possible, use behavior-based messaging that automatically responds to actions they’ve performed.

Encharge can help with all that super helpful stuff, allowing you to improve your conversion rates, boost revenue, and drive retention without hiring a bunch of extra people to do all the hard work.

But don’t just take our word for it. Encharge is free for 14 days, so sign up and start enjoying the benefits of marketing automation right now.

Read next: 13 B2B Marketing Ideas For Your SaaS Startup

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