New tools to improve performance
on September 4, 2023 (last modified on September 7, 2023) • 19 minute read
With so many different marketing channels available today, B2B marketers can quickly get overwhelmed when picking the right ones for their specific brand.
And with each channel going through a major update every few months, the things that worked last year might not be so effective in the following one. Heck, things that worked last month might not be reusable sometimes.
So where should B2B marketers focus their attention? Which marketing channels should you prioritize in 2024?
To answer these questions, we talked to 160 marketers and got their direct feedback on the matter.
Here are the top 10 channels B2Bs should invest in 2024 based on our survey:
This article is part of Databox’s broader research with Lone Fir Creative on “What Marketing Channels Are Most Effective for B2B Companies Right Now?” We’re still open to contributions and would love to hear your insights. Take the survey now to access the preliminary results and have a chance to be featured in our final report. We also invite you to join Lone Fir Creative’s Google Analytics Benchmark Group for EdTech Companies.
In the ever-evolving landscape of B2B marketing, one channel that continues to stand the test of time is SEO.
Most of our surveyed companies stated that they plan to invest in SEO. Close to half plan to invest in educational content and blogging – thus showing a strong inclination toward content marketing.
However, investing in SEO isn’t just about ranking higher on search engine results pages. It’s about positioning your brand as a credible solution in your industry.
By consistently appearing in search results for relevant keywords, you establish trust and authority among your potential clients. B2B buyers often conduct thorough research before making purchasing decisions, and a robust SEO strategy ensures that your brand is there to provide the answers they’re looking for.
Another good area of focus here would be to work on local SEO efforts, which is what Colton DeVos of Resolute Technology Solutions plans on doing.
“Our team plans to build on this success going forward through additional local SEO efforts, including more link building, targeted content marketing, and expanding to ranking and hiring in more geographical areas.”
“We’re also looking at our content marketing from a broader perspective to see where there are new opportunities. As our service offering and keyword competition have shifted over time, it’s a good idea to revisit the inbound marketing strategy to see what subject areas are underrepresented through our content, offers, and link-building profile. After an internal review, keyword research, and competitor analysis – our team will likely select one or two focus areas to build out more blog content, service pages, content offers, and call-to-action messaging around.”
Joshua Wood of Bloc plans on investing more into SEO so that they can decrease their marketing budget.
“We spend a lot of paid ads, and we want to replace this traffic with organic traffic from Google. We also want to take advantage of Google’s AI Bard coming to Search soon. We will do this by increasing our authority by investing our resources into getting more paid backlinks.”
Joshua also mentioned that they’re planning to leverage AI to increase the number of blog posts they can publish, but “won’t rely on AI 100% as that won’t work well in Google’s eyes, but instead use it for planning and for the frameworks. We then have writers who will heavily edit the content to make it more human-generated. But we will still be able to publish more articles at a rate of about 3/4x.”
Want to track your SEO efforts better and get more insight into which approach works best, download Databox Google Analytics 4 (SEO Dashboard) Template for free and track metrics like organic sessions, views by page, and more.
It takes a lot of time and patience… but publishing educational content on your website and giving out advice that genuinely helps your readers is a fool-proof way to achieve your marketing goals.
In the age of ChatGPT, it may be easy to forget that blogging isn’t just about churning out posts – instead, it’s about creating a digital hub where your audience can find relevant information, insights, and solutions.
When you consistently create and share insightful content related to your industry, you position your B2B brand as a thought leader. With educational content, you demonstrate your in-depth knowledge, expertise, and understanding of the challenges within your field.
This is what Natasha Rai of Explainerd plans on doing in the next 12 months. She says that they’ll “significantly invest in content marketing. We’ll create valuable content addressing client needs, such as blog posts, videos, and case studies.”
“Social media and paid advertising will amplify our reach. SEO optimization will boost organic visibility, while email campaigns nurture leads. Tracking website traffic, engagement, and conversions will gauge success. Through strategic content creation, we aim to increase brand visibility, attract new clients, and establish ourselves as industry leaders.”
Vishal Dave of Meetanshi also plans on “doubling down on content marketing and educational content”.
“The AI revolution has brought us to an online world with tremendous superficial information. We need to drill down to details, we believe, to stand out, to be unique, and to establish authority. Looking forward, our prime focus is to create an in-depth educational content hub.”
Senior Content Writer at Meetanshi
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Search ads are still one of the most powerful ways to directly connect with your desired B2B audience actively looking for solutions.
With proper targeting, keyword research, and a persuasive landing page, B2B companies can go a long way with this marketing channel in the following year as well.
And while there will be some major updates to Google’s algorithm over the next few months, it seems that B2B marketers aren’t too worried about the potential implications.
Roman Milyushkevich of Scrape-It.Cloud is one of the respondents that plan to “invest significantly in paid search ads over the next twelve months.”
“PPC advertising is our focus to ensure that Scrape-it Cloud is found based on relevant keywords and search terms that users use to look for web scraping tools. Using Google keyword planner, we plan to analyze how much each keyword will cost per click and match with specific zip codes or cities where we want our ads to appear on the Google search network.”
Sunny Kumar of TheWPX says that “while organic SEO has worked wonders for us; we aim to amplify its effects with targeted search ads.”
“By studying keywords that bring us high-quality traffic, we’ll develop strategic ad campaigns that further increase visibility and direct potential customers straight to our SaaS solution. In addition to these top-performing channels, we’re also exploring ways to minimize customer churn rates.”
One strategy that he mentioned was “introducing discounts or special deals for users contemplating cancellation — a tactic intended to make them reconsider while adding value.”
Want to stay on top of your PPC metrics? Use this free Google Ads PPC Performance Dashboard Template to get a holistic view of your most important ad metrics, including cost-per-click, click-through rate, and impressions, and so much more.
Many of our respondents know that building a high-converting website can’t be done with a “build it once and leave it like that for years” approach.
In B2B marketing, a well-maintained and up-to-date website is a non-negotiable asset. Your website is often the first point of contact for potential clients, and it plays a crucial role in establishing your brand’s credibility.
Some of the main things you should test every now and then are the design of your website, messaging, published case studies, and user experience.
Even if you’ve seen good conversion rates so far, it’s a good idea to test new website copy and visuals every so often. Also, make sure your social proof, testimonials, and case studies are always up-to-date.
Erin Letson of Referral Rock says that he plans on investing more into his website in 2024 in order to “drive up the conversion rate and show more of what our products can do.”
His strategy is to “include high-quality product images and interactive demos, customer stories, and landing pages that match specific pain points and intent.”
AJ Alonzo of demandDrive mentioned how B2B companies should “view the website as a root path for all other initiatives”.
“You can’t run high-converting ads without a solid landing page. You can’t bank on SEO if your backend is a jumbled mess. And you can’t expect someone to fill out your contact us page if your CTAs and messaging don’t resonate. Investing in our site will help everything else fall into place, and it’s why we’re putting a lot of time and money into a full redesign.”
As for Lucy Hurst of Sherbet Donkey Media, the goal is to “carry out a ‘light rebrand’ of our website”.
“It’s not a complete overhaul but some fine-tuning to reflect how our business has grown. We are also redesigning and redeveloping our website to align with this. Brand consistency is another important factor that businesses should consider.”
Like most marketers and marketing managers, you want to know how well your efforts are translating into results each month. How much traffic and new contact conversions do you get? How many new contacts do you get from organic sessions? How are your email campaigns performing? How well are your landing pages converting? You might have to scramble to put all of this together in a single report, but now you can have it all at your fingertips in a single Databox dashboard.
Our Marketing Overview Dashboard includes data from Google Analytics 4 and HubSpot Marketing with key performance metrics like:
Now you can benefit from the experience of our Google Analytics and HubSpot Marketing experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template that contains all the essential metrics for monitoring your leads. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in marketing reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your HubSpot and Google Analytics 4 accounts with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
Over the past few years, B2B companies have had somewhat of a love-hate relationship with social ads.
But in 2024, many marketers are expecting to see some solid results from this channel – particularly LinkedIn.
With its advanced targeting options that allow you to advertise to upper-management individuals and company decision-makers, LinkedIn is currently a gold mine for B2B leads.
Of course, other ad platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are still worth experimenting with, particularly with retargeting campaigns.
Alex Cascio of Vibrant Media Productions talked about LinkedIn Ads and mentioned that the best thing about them is that they “can be targeted very precisely to our desired audience”.
“You can target your ads by industry, job title, location, and other factors. This means that your ads will be seen by people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. For example, if you sell software for the healthcare industry, you can target your ads to people who work in healthcare. You can also target your ads to people who have specific job titles, such as “Chief Information Officer” or “Marketing Manager.”
Another thing LinkedIn ads are also very effective at, according to Alex is “generating leads”.
“When someone clicks on your ad, they will be taken to a landing page where they can learn more about your product or service. You can then capture their contact information so that you can follow up with them. In addition, LinkedIn ads are very trackable. You can track how many people see your ads, how many people click on your ads, and how many people convert into leads. This information can help you to optimize your campaigns and get the most out of your investment.”
Jaya Iyer of Teranga Digital Marketing LTD says that LinkedIn ads have “led to the most closed deals due to the quality of the leads”.
“We’ve observed that leads from LinkedIn Ads tend to be highly qualified and ready to buy. Additionally, despite a decline in efficiency as we scaled up, LinkedIn Ads still offered a robust 3-4x return on ad spend. We are also planning on hiring a paid media specialist, especially for handling LinkedIn Ads, as the complexities increase with higher spending.”
If you want to gain more insights into your LinkedIn Ads performance, you can use this free, easy-to-understand, customizable LinkedIn Ads Dashboard Template to track your key metrics such as impressions, clicks, average CTR, average CPC, etc.
How often do you share industry insights, knowledge, or solutions on social media?
Whether it’s through a company page or a personal profile (such as the CEO’s), sharing educational content on socials has been one of the best ways to raise brand awareness and stay on top of mind in 2023. And it seems this trend will continue throughout next year as well.
If you decide to really dedicate yourself to this strategy and post several times a week, you can quickly gain a good following on socials and get the algorithm “on your side”.
Nate Nead of Marketer.co says that one of his main goals for 2024 is to “produce top-notch content on social media”.
“My main priority will be crafting content that’s both high-quality and speaks directly to my target audience. The content they can’t resist sharing or engaging with. I also plan on creating a consistent posting schedule. No slacking off here! To keep things fresh and juicy for my target audience, I’ll make sure there are plenty of posts rolling out regularly – plus try testing different days/times to identify the most active periods for my audience.”
Owner at Marketer.co
Goran Kezić of Play Media says that his primary channel will be LinkedIn:
“That channel is LinkedIn. I’ll invest more time in thought leadership content production, building personal brand and expertise, and relevant commenting on other thought leaders’ posts.”
Marketers generally don’t like to put all of their eggs in the referrals basket, but as an additional channel to your other marketing activities, it can be extremely powerful.
And while referral programs don’t lack popularity among businesses, it’s rare to see them executed properly.
Your main focus should be on clearly communicating the benefits of your referral program to participants and emphasizing how they and their referrals will gain value from the program.
For better organization, tailor your incentives to different types of referrers (clients, partners, employees) and their potential referrals to make sure there the process is straightforward for everyone involved.
Stefan Chekanov of Brosix is one of the respondents that will prioritize this channel going into 2024.
He says that they will “encourage our existing satisfied customers to refer their contacts or other businesses to use our instant messaging platform. We will execute this strategy by implementing a referral program where existing customers are incentivized to refer new businesses. For example, we could offer discounts, extended free trials, or other rewards for successful referrals.”
Good social media outreach is hard… but when done right, it can be very effective.
To maximize the chances of getting a response and conversion via social media outreach, try to warm up the prospects first using some of the previously-mentioned tactics.
For example, you can begin posting educational content on the platform and comment on posts other influencers’ posts. Don’t underestimate the power of online networking.
Once you warm up the audience and potential prospects, you can then use personalized outreach to get them into your funnel and increase the chance of conversions.
Charlie DeZube of WealthBiscuit plans on leveraging AI for personalized cold outreaches.
“Our approach will involve thoroughly researching our target audience and crafting personalized, compelling messages tailored to their specific needs and pain points. This will be achieved by using high-end AI tools in which will give us the chance to create a meaningful and personal message. We will focus on building strong relationships, maintaining authenticity, and providing genuine value in our cold outreach efforts to drive lead generation and foster meaningful connections with potential clients.”
Another respondent that plans on experimenting with cold outreach is Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers:
“Cold outreach. So far, we have mostly invested in inbound marketing but we plan to test new strategies such as cold emails and social media direct outreach.”
Referrals don’t always have to come from your customers – they can also come from your partners or industry influencers.
If you operate in the same industry or sell complementary services, partner referrals can be a great way to create a win-win situation where both parties benefit from the arrangement. You refer clients to each other, increasing the potential for both to gain new business.
As for influencer marketing, this is also a big trend that many businesses are taking advantage of in 2023 and it looks like the channel will only grow larger in time.
Overall, strategically collaborating with partners and influencers is one of the best ways for B2B businesses to tap into new audiences, boost credibility, and generate new high-quality leads.
Kiran Mehra of Goldspot Pens laid out his plan on how they will approach influencer marketing:
“First, we’ll identify the right influencers. We will extensively research and identify influencers who align with our brand values and target audience. Then, we will reach out to the selected influencers and try to develop authentic relationships with them. Our goal is to work together to create high-quality content that showcases our products or services. This can include sponsored posts, reviews, tutorials, or even live streams, depending on the influencer’s strengths and preferences.”
Peter Caputa, the CEO here at Databox, also outlined one of his main plans for next year – co-marketing.
He says that the strategy is to “scale up our co-marketing to 1,000s of partners. We’ll make it somewhat self-service for our partners to tap into our audience and introduce us to their contacts.”
Lastly, let’s go through one non-digital channel for your B2B – in-person events.
Events and conferences provide a unique environment for networking with potential clients, partners, influencers, industry experts, and even competitors. If you work on building these relationships, it can eventually lead to valuable collaborations, partnerships, and new business opportunities.
Plus, they offer access to a concentrated audience of industry professionals who are genuinely interested in the products or services you offer.
If possible, try to land some speaking gigs at conferences as well. This is a great way to accelerate your event lead generation efforts and leave an impact on more people.
Matt Freestone of Unmatched recommends attending “super-niche relevant events” and says that this strategy works for his business.
“Our customers are so varied, as a HubSpot agency, and can attend a variety of events. So thinking outside the box is important and we will invest a significant proportion of our spend by getting out and about and meeting people.”
Luke Tew of Maverrik also mentioned how they’ll focus on “investing more time into our event marketing.”
“Before the pandemic, we leveraged events as a way to network and engage with our market. Now we have the ability to ramp up the frequency, energy, and marketing into getting these events off the ground and flying like they were before.”
Nailing the right B2B marketing channel that’s both cost-efficient and gets you in front of your ideal buyers is no easy feat – especially if you’re on a tight budget with not much room for experimentation.
But finding the right channels doesn’t have to be a guessing game – not when you have 160 B2B marketers weighing in on what’s working for them in real-time.
And the thing is, we’ve only scratched the surface of this topic.
We’re still gathering feedback and insights from B2Bs in our survey and will release all of the most important data in a few months’ time with our partner, Lone Fir Creative.
And if you’re a B2B that has some interesting marketing channel insights to share, we’d love to hear them! You can still take the survey and get a chance to be featured in our final report.
Oh, and if you’re an Edtech B2B company, Lone Fir Creative recently launched a free Benchmark Group for Google Analytics Benchmarks for Edtech Companies. You can instantly benchmark your GA data with our Edtech businesses of similar size.
Even if you operate in another industry, you can still join our Benchmark Groups and instantly see how you stack up against other companies in your niche… in just seconds. Free of charge.
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