Ideas

Irina Papuc

Activation Partner

Zach Boyette

Activation Partner

Four Must-Know Growth Hacks for B2B Companies

It’s 2019, and B2B startups are dominating investment funding in American and international markets. At the same rate that new B2B startups are popping up, mature B2B companies are becoming more digitally savvy, pouring more of their resources into unlocking digital channels and utilizing the internet as a growth engine.

 

In other words, B2B competition has never been more fierce. So how can you stay above the fray and make sure your company taps into online marketing channels without blowing through your reserves?

 

Given our close relationships to the industry, we have experience and real-world insights into the ways B2B companies have successfully hacked digital growth. We’ve compiled our top recommendations and examples here.

 

1. Invest in new and upcoming paid media channels.

The mature B2B paid media funnel looks something like this:

  • Capture high intent queries on Google Ads.

  • Target key accounts and job positions on LinkedIn

  • Remarket heavily across GDN, social channels, and native / programmatic platforms.

There are hundreds of guides on how to employ the above funnel effectively for B2B companies. Therefore the competition has never been higher - anyone can give it a whirl.

 

But the areas you should explore in 2019 and beyond are the more underserved, nascent channels. Quora and Reddit are quickly emerging as prime channels for B2B marketing. Given their relatively low advertiser adoption, competition in the ad auction is low, and CPCs are much cheaper than in the mature channels. Pinterest continues to grow their B2B inventory at a steady clip - in fact, some of the “most stalked” B2B brands on Pinterest are IBM, Oracle, HP, Microsoft, Marketo, and Cisco. Stay on the lookout for new social channels that are quickly growing in user base, but lacking in advertiser presence - these are often the best ROI you can find.

2. Explore influencer marketing to capture the hearts and minds of your audience.

Last year, MarketingLanding.com declared 2018 “the year of influencer marketing for B2B brands.” It’s projected that brand spend on influencer marketing will reach $100B+ in 2020, up from $81B in 2016. So what does this mean for B2B companies?

Traditional thoughts hold that “influencer marketing isn’t for B2B companies, because there aren’t influencers in my space. We have a long conversion funnel, and one person can’t convince a highly skeptical CEO to sign an expensive contract with my company.”

While this may have held true 10 or 20 years ago, the world of influence is rapidly evolving. Content shared from and created by influencers provided 11x higher ROI than the average display ad after 12 months (source). LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora, and other professionally-oriented social platforms have given rise to industry-specific thought leaders who can create product categories and buzzwords with a few effortless thoughts.

If you can identify these industry-specific influencers, and incentivize them to support your vision (whether by free products / services, or simply paying them), you’ll be reaching users through a high trust medium unaccessible from mature marketing channels.

 

3. Got an app? Don't neglect app-specific channels.

Sounds like a no-brainer, but chances are that if you run an app, various app-specific marketing channels like the App Store, AppExchange, and G2Crowd are as important as more mature digital marketing channels like Google and Linkedin. Research the G2Crowd profiles you compete with, and make sure to incorporate focus keywords from competing profiles into your copy. Don’t neglect the power of earning 4 and 5 star reviews to your app listing page. Make earned review-building a regular, ongoing part of your marketing strategy to boost the authority of our app listing pages.

 

4. Build neutral, information content tailored around your top user personas.

Look at your top-converting user personas, as well as high potential personas, and aim to build content focused around their buyer’s journey. Make sure the content is always neutral, informational, and authoritative. Avoid product placements and advertisements of the service or product. Intead, always strive to educate and delight. Choose topics that are both very on-the-nose high-intent such as “How to choose the best catering app” and topics that are more informational yet still specific to one of your user personas, such as “Best executive lunch catering ideas for your next corporate retreat.” In this case, the app might be a catering app, and one of the top executives might be company executives.

B2B competition has never been more fierce, and it’s important to look outside of established marketing practices if you want to make an impact in 2019. We hope these suggestions spark an opportunity for you and your team, and if so please let Metaforce know!

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