Emails, industry forums, social media, blogs, events, tradeshows, direct mail, your website… there are a lot of different B2B marketing channels to select from, and it can be overwhelming. Social media alone is growing at an extremely fast rate and the social site that was popular last week could be passé tomorrow.
So, as a B2B business, which channels should you be using? While it may be tempting to try and use as many as possible or choose the most popular, this isn’t always the most effective solution. The most important thing is to research where your customers are, and how best to engage with them.
Some channels drive more traffic, whilst some have higher conversion rates. With limited time and resources, think about the time you have to dedicate to your marketing, and which channels are going to generate leads and ROI.
With this in mind, here are 6 channels to consider, and the benefits of each:
Websites / Landing pages
Company websites remain the top digital channel for B2B marketers, with 81% rating their sites as effective in helping accomplish key marketing goals – Regalix
It goes without saying that every business should have a website. However, consider also using personalised landing pages. They’re a fantastic tool for directing prospects to specific areas of your business, and giving prospects a good first impression of what you do. A well designed landing page will encourage visitors to read your content, increasing your credibility and establishing you as an industry thought leader.
- Obtaining prospect data
- Offering a tailored approach
- Linking with IP tracking software, such as Lead Forensics
71% of B2B marketers say email was effective in helping to achieve marketing goals in 2014 – Regalix
Email offers you the opportunity to nurture visitors and leads over a period of time, as well as generate fast sales from those ready to buy on first contact. The key to success with email is encouraging engagement by using content that is relevant and interesting to your target audience.
- Nurturing prospects and leads through the sales funnel
- Obtaining hot leads quickly
- Offering a low-cost marketing channel option
Content (ebooks, case studies, blogs)
70% of B2B marketers surveyed say content was highly effective in helping them achieve their goals – The State of Marketing 2015
Content like ebooks, case studies, tipsheets and blogs allow you to position yourself as a thought leader. Targeted content positively impacts on search results, so the more you have, the greater the chance of prospects finding your information useful and wanting to work with your company.
- Demonstrating thought leadership
- Nurturing complex sales cycles
- Creating demand for your product/service
84% of B2B marketers use some form of social media - Aberdeen
Whichever platform you choose, having an active presence on social media is important for your business. Using social media will allow you to easily promote your brand, engage with prospects and increase visibility.
- Driving traffic to your website and landing pages
- Building relationships
- Engaging with prospects
92% of direct mail is opened – Data Broker
Direct mail continues to be a valuable marketing tool. Businesses need to be clever and personal with their campaigns by integrating with digital channels and leading prospects to dedicated landing pages.
- Grabbing your prospects’ attention
- Delivering highly targeted campaigns in a novelty format
60% of marketing managers say telemarketing is ‘very effective’ for lead nurture – B2B Marketing Magazine
Telemarketing allows you to immediately gauge your customer’s level of interest and start to build a rapport. You can provide a more interactive and personal sales service, and explain technical issues more easily.
• Introducing the human element
• Converting people at the lower stages of the sales funnel
ROI is always priority
Some B2B businesses invest in different channels and try out different strategies to find out what works best. But does that mean you should do the same? Your priority should always be ROI. Therefore, your focus should be on the channels that have been proven to generate ROI for your business. The best thing you can do is use buyer personas to research the channels which will produce the highest ROI, prior to building your marketing plan. A multi-channel, integrated approach that mixes digital channels with traditional will generate the best results.
Remember, industry research is only a guide - the decision of which channels to use should be based on a number of different factors. For a more in-depth guide to improving B2B targeting and increasing marketing ROI using buyer personas, download our free ebook.