B2B Digital Marketing Strategies for 2023
We’ve spent the last 13 years testing various digital marketing approaches, and have identified the following four strategies as the most impactful for spearheading a new campaign. They are:
- Develop customer personas to effectively target high LTV audiences
- Create thought leadership content to engage and convert website visitors
- Invest in organic channels for high long-term ROI
- Utilize paid campaigns for short-term lead generation
Below, we’ll examine each strategy in more detail.
Strategy #1: Develop Customer Personas to Effectively Target High LTV Audiences
The first strategy we recommend for nearly every business is creating detailed personas to better target your highest LTV audience. These personas allow you to:
- Understand which products, services, or solutions are most attractive to different types of customers
- Segment your prospective customers by their expected LTV based on their needs, and target those with the highest LTVs
- Develop content for both organic and inorganic campaigns that speaks to your target audience
- Identify the optimal digital marketing channels to invest in, based on where your audience is most likely to engage
Here is an example of a customer persona:
To develop your customer personas, start by revisiting your current customer base and interviewing them to learn more about their pain points and needs, how they found your company, and why they decided to work with you. You should ask them:
- How did they come across your firm?
- What problems does your company help them address?
- Why did they choose your product or service over those offered by your competitors?
- Where do they go when looking for new items or services?
Their responses to each of these questions will serve as the foundation for their persona. Then, add pertinent demographic information to those profiles, such as:
- Their job description and official title
- What daily functions make them feel valuable
- KPIs that their bosses use to evaluate their work
- Obstacles to their work that make it more difficult
The more precise and complete the character profile, the better the rest of your marketing efforts will be.
Strategy #2: Create Thought Leadership Content to Engage and Convert Website Visitors
Whether your digital marketing campaign is based on SEO, PPC, or another channel entirely, your business needs to produce content for your target audience. Creating high quality content not only makes your website more attractive to visitors—leading to higher engagement rates and ultimately, conversions—but it also provides a foundation for every channel you choose to invest in (more on that later). A blog article written for SEO can be repurposed as a white paper or a webinar, and graphics created for a landing page can be used as eye-catching elements in an email campaign. For this to be effective, however, your content must be thought leadership. Here’s how to create it:
Each piece of content must begin with an introduction that grabs the reader’s immediate attention. A simple way of doing so is to present a unique observation relevant to the article’s primary purpose, thus setting its tone. The overall structure of the introduction should be as follows:
- Context. What drove you to write the blog?
- Thesis. What is the main argument?
- Orientation. What are your objectives, and how will you meet them?
This format does not limit innovation. Instead, it helps guide a busy reader to the substance of the article. Once you’ve communicated the article’s purpose, you can get more creative.
Skimmable elements within your content keep your reader interested – and in that sense, nothing is higher stakes than what’s above the fold. Engaging articles often include a bulleted list of the article’s main points, an estimated reading time, and a table or graphic that distills the major points of the article into a single graphic. Typically placed in or before the introduction, these all give the reader a sense of what they’ll find if they keep reading, and how much time they’ll have to commit.
The next step in engaging your visitor is ensuring the article’s sentences and paragraphs have a clear, logical flow that leads them from one section to the next. Many writers fail to guide their readers through these critical transitions, causing them to guess why you’ve taken a particular route to reach your conclusion.
Orienting statements, such as “I’ve just discussed why X and next I’ll explore Y,” might help you smoothly transition from paragraph to paragraph. However, I advise against a tedious reading experience replete with explanations. Instead, the content should flow more naturally, with each paragraph building on the one before it.
This type of high level content takes more upfront work than the content you’ll find on most websites, but it pays for itself in better engagement and conversions, and in streamlining your overall marketing efforts.
Strategy #3: Invest in Organic Channels for High Long-term ROI
B2B digital marketing necessitates a solid fundamental plan to help you achieve your marketing objectives. Selecting organic digital marketing channels that provide measurable outcomes to illustrate what’s working and what isn’t is a must for any effective strategy. Of course, it’s ideal to start by picking the channels that will yield the most MQLs.
The below table is taken from our 12 years of client data, and shows the cost and ROI of each digital marketing channel, along with each’s cost and learning curve:
Digital Marketing Channels by ROI
|Channel||Cost||Time Until Results||Learning Curve||ROI|
|SEO||$7,500 to $15,000||4-6 months||Medium||748%|
|Webinars/Video||$15,000 to $35,000||2-4 months||Medium||430%|
|$1,000 to $3,000||3-6 months||Easy||312%|
|Podcasts||$5,000 to $9,500||12-18 months||Medium||307%|
|LinkedIn Organic||$500 to $3,000||6-8 months||Easy||229%|
|LinkedIn Advertising||$5,000 to $20,000||3-4 months||Easy||192%|
|PPC/SEM||$3,000 to $30,000||Immediate||Medium||36%|
As the above shows, the highest ROI channels are all organic. This makes them the ideal for use as the “meat” of your marketing efforts, particularly when you can use them to leverage the thought leadership content we recommended creating in the previous strategy.
What you may also notice, however, is that the paid channels, PPC and LinkedIn Advertising both produce results that are quite fast when compared to most organic channels. This brings us to the next strategy.
Strategy #4: Utilize Paid Campaigns for Short-Term Lead Generation
Organic channels, as successful as they are for lead generation, have one major flaw: they are slow compared to paid channels and require a considerable initial investment before they start to pay off. In our comparisons of PPC and SEO, for instance, SEO results in significantly higher conversion rates but requires a greater initial time investment.
To bridge the gap, your business should make targeted, one-time investments in speedier channels such as PPC to support your organic efforts. Two examples of such investments are:
- A series of limited PPC campaigns. When there are no apparent top-priority keywords to target for organic marketing because your product applications are numerous and dispersed across various industries, running a series of PPC ads will help your team determine which will result in the highest ROI.
- A CRO-focused website redesign. A conversion focused web redesign is an excellent investment when your site is showing higher traffic from organic campaigns, but failing to convert that traffic into leads.
While the potential rewards may be significant, these campaigns should be limited-time commitments. If they become a common way of producing leads, your CAC will continue to climb as you pay for each new lead in an environment where rates rise each year. This is particularly true of PPC campaigns. Even if you’re in an industry that has avoided PPC inflation, your marketing budget must grow in lockstep with your business as you pay for each click—and thus each lead PPC generates.
Getting Help with Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategies
Finally, reach out to a digital marketing expert if you’re not getting the results you want. We’ve been advising companies in several industries for over a decade, and if you’d like our help, schedule a call with us here.
Evan Bailyn is a bestselling author and award-winning speaker on the subjects of SEO and thought leadership. Contact Evan here.