How B2B Brands Should Reallocate Their Marketing Budget With Modern Day Strategies

How B2B Brands Should Reallocate Their Marketing Budget With Modern Day Strategies

The marketing landscape changes constantly and it’s almost a job in itself to stay up to date with industry trends.

I’ve been in the digital  marketing world for 10 years and I’ve observed some changes and have learned from experience how to yield great results for my clients. Strategies that used to work a few years ago aren’t as effective nowadays so I’m constantly experimenting and exploring new marketing tactics.

Because I work with so many B2B brands, I’ve created this post to download my industry knowledge and help marketers like you make the most of your marketing budget. 

Getting Set Up for Success

What Isn’t Working

Gone are the days that billboards and print ads were effective means of advertising. Consumers have gotten smarter and don’t like to be “marketed at.” Today’s marketing strategies are all about thought leadership and don’t embrace saelsy messages or pushy brands.

There are a few things that used to work but no longer does include:

  • Banner ads
  • Press releases
  • Print ads
  • Paid email blasts
  • Salesy social media ads
  • Text heavy websites

Set Clear Goals

Before you change up your marketing strategy, it’s important to define clear goals so that you can associate KPI’s with your goals and measure your strategies. Common goals include:

  • Lead gen
  • Revenue
  • Thought leadership
  • SEO
  • Earned Media

Once your goals are defined, it’s easier to designate your monthly KPIs. Knowing your KPIs is huge because they dictate your strategy and let you know what is working and what isn’t so that you can exponentially make your marketing better.

Let’s Dive into Tactics That ARE Working!

Virtual Conferences

I’ve been part of the digital marketing world for 10 years now. And when it comes to B2B marketing, virtual conferences are by far the most successful strategy I’ve ever implemented.

Virtual conferences are an all day event featuring webinar style presentations. The virtual conference environment mimics the functionality of in-person events with features like networking lounges, resource libraries, vendor booths, and more!

I use virtual conferences for lead gen but I know a lot of brands who monetize them. You have the option of charging attendees and charging sponsors to have booths. Or you can do something in the middle like making the event free to attend but charge sponsors to offset the cost of pulling a virtual conference off.

For my virtual conferences, I use vConferenceOnline as they are affordable yet robust. 

I won’t lie, pulling off a virtual conference is a lot of work. So give yourself 6 weeks from the day you can start working on it until it goes live. You’ll need to recruit speakers, create a landing page for your event, build out the virtual conference environment, promote your event, help speakers with their presentations, recruit vendors and sponsors, and make sure your conference streams without a hitch. 

Content Marketing

Marketing with content is a great way to establish thought leadership, generate leads and help move target consumers through the sales funnel. When it comes to B2B brands, a big part of what I do is content marketing.

The goal with your content is not to come across as salesy. It is supposed to be a resource and establish thought leadership and should be used as a means in your email and social media marketing. 

Downloadable content like eBooks and whitepapers should be gated with a lead capture form. Then, when your target consumers download your content, you can grow your email list and put them in a nurture campaign. 

Non-downloadable content like blog posts create brand trust and familiarity. 

Case studies are an important part of a content marketing strategy. They showcase a 3rd party’s experience with your brand and consumers respond well to that. Be sure to equip your sales team with your case studies so that they can share them with leads they are trying to convert. 

Influencer Marketing

There is a huge misconception that influencer marketing is just for B2C brands. However, I’m here to tell you it’s powerful for B2B brands. Usually influencer marketing is not super scalable for B2B brands but just 3-5 influencers can be extremely impactful.

Having influencers review your brand and publish about it on their blog is a great use of budget. It gets your brand in front of new target consumers, earned media can be used on your website, social channels and marketing materials. 

Consumers crave third-party brand recommendations as they don’t want to be “marketed” at so influencers that they follow carry a lot of weight when they make suggestions. It’s all about authenticity. 

Here is a piece of influencer generated content that I earned for one of my clients, CrewFire. 

User Generated Content

User generated content (UGC) is content created by one of your consumers. This could be a testimonial, blog post, social post, etc. 

UGC is so important because your current consumers can resonate with target consumers. This earned content can talk about your brand in ways that you can’t talk about your brand without sounding self-promotional. Consumers love third-party proof when they are making a purchasing decision.

Don’t take my word for it, 92% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations than any other ways brands market. That’s huge!

In my experience, a little incentivization can earn a lot of UGC. Consider giving away gift cards if your consumers leave a review of you online. Do a contest where your consumers give you a quote to use in the testimonials section of your site where a client gives you the quote and then they are entered to be in a drawing to win a $250 Amazon gift card. Bottom line, UGC is gold and it’s worth the budget to source this content. 

Consumers research brands on their own before purchasing. And they don’t want to hear from your brand, they want to hear from a third-party. So, it’s super important to make your UGC easy to find. Post it on social, use testimonials on your website, include quotes and images in your marketing materials, and use it as fodor for your email campaigns.

Create More Content

Pumping out content keeps your audience engaged and continuous content is good for SEO.

However, there is a delicate balance of creating a lot of content but not too much that it compromises the value. Do your best work with everything you publish and don’t get hung up on whether or not you are producing enough content.

If budget allows, you can always hire a freelance copywriter to help your brand put out more content. I personally like UpWork

Be sure that your posting on your company’s blog once a week, are creating downloadable resources frequently, post on social  media at least 3 times per week, and have frequent meetings with your sales team so that they can let you know the content they need to convert leads. 

Be Smart About Sponsored LinkedIn Posts

As you probably already know, LinkedIn is great for B2B brands. And there are a bunch of organic strategies that you can implement to grow your following on your company’s page. Sponsored LinkedIn posts are great for lead gen when done properly.

Consider using sponsored LinkedIn posts to market a piece of downloadable content. This way you are adding value to your target consumer and still generating that lead since they will fill out a lead capture form to access the content. Utilizing content in an ad is way more effective than a sales pitch.

LinkedIn is sophisticated and you can get really targeted with who your sponsored posts will get in front of. I recommend putting a lot of thought into your demographic and consult your buyer personas. This level of organization will  maximize the effectiveness of your sponsored posts.

One option you have is to A/B test LinkedIn posts. Put $100 behind 2 different sponsored posts and see which one does the best and then put your budget behind the highest performing post. 

Display a Video on Your Homepage

Consumers have the attention spans of gnats. And many consumers check out a brand’s website and if there is not a video in which they can learn about your brand on the homepage they will leave your site without digesting the content.

A high quality video that is 60 seconds or less will increase the amount of time consumers will spend on your site and it’s a great opportunity for you to tell your brand’s story.

Since it’s going to be on your homepage and because it’s geared toward potential clients, your video should be very professional. I recommend spending a decent amount of your budget on the video. I’ve heard good things about Videopixie so you may want to check them out for your video. 

You’re going to need to write the script for the video. As I mentioned, your video should be 60 seconds or less so you need to find a way to innovatively describe your brand in a condensed manner. Recruit your co-workers and collaborate on the script.

If budget allows, you can have 2 different videos created and then have your consumers vote on the one that they like best. The possibilities are endless so be very strategic. 

Final Thoughts

It can be daunting to keep up with marketing trends. The landscape changes quickly and strategies that worked yesterday don’t work today.

The key takeaway that I hope you have after reading this post is the value of third-party content. Whether it’s through consumers or influencers, your target consumer craves a third-party 

recommendation. Be sure to make your third-party content easy to find as consumers prefer to do their own research before reaching out to your brand.

Other strategies that have replaced traditional marketing include content marketing, virtual conferences, sponsored LinkedIn posts, and video. With all of these strategies, try to elicit thought leadership and authenticity in order to resonate with your target consumers. 

What is your most effective B2B marketing strategy? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!