Choose marketing channels for B2B

1. Develop an ideal customer profile that describes a company that gains ​the most from using your product and services, and provides the most​ value back to you.

Include traits that can be observed from data or with basic research, such as: Revenue Region Company size Industry Technologies used

2. Create personas that detail individuals in your ideal customer who have the authority, ability, and desire to purchase your products and services.

Include a mix of demographic, behavioral, and psychographic traits that build empathy for each persona, for example: Age, income, title, and location. Goals and motivations. Attitudes and beliefs. Fears and doubts. Past and present buying behavior, including brands and channels. Publications and influencers followed.

3. Review your marketing budget and any past marketing analytics to understand historical return on investment for campaigns and channels.

Talk to other teams or individuals outside of marketing to understand differences in outcomes between channels for: Sales velocity Customer satisfaction Customer lifetime value.

4. Establish goals and KPIs for your B2B marketing strategy, including how and how often you will measure progress and performance, and take any necessary benchmarks.

Align your measurement with your current state, budget, competitive environment, and marketing goals. For example: We want to become the leading authority in our industry through content marketing, however we have a very small content library currently, and we have not promoted it heavily. As we increase the frequency with which we create and distribute content, we will look for month-over-month increases in traffic and engagement with our content. We are a small B2B business in a very competitive space, and our competitors have much bigger budgets, making certain paid search terms cost prohibitive for us. We have identified a short list of long-tail keywords we expect to drive a smaller amount of website traffic over a longer period of time, to stay within our budget.

5. Build a matrix in a spreadsheet outlining the most common B2B marketing channels to prioritize which ones to try and in what order. Consider cost, competitor presence, required return, relevance to your audience, and resources required in your prioritization.

Common B2B marketing channels to consider in your matrix include: Content marketing including webinars Direct mail Email marketing Events such as conferences, industry meet ups, and trade shows Digital advertising, including Web and social Influencer marketing, using industry experts Outbound prospecting Paid search/PPC Partnerships Podcasts Reviews, referrals, and word-of-mouth SEO Social media marketing Radio Television Video

6. Begin testing up to three prioritized B2B marketing channels. Evaluate and compare their performance to choose which channels will become part of your B2B marketing strategy.

Use all the criteria discussed in previous steps to choose up to three channels to test first. Define the parameters for your experiments, such as how long they should run, any volume thresholds that must be met for sufficient data, and success criteria. Use tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot for measurement, as well as reporting and analytics within email marketing automation and social media platforms, narrowing by date range to evaluate impact.  Make sure you have a recorded starting point for data (conversion rates, follower counts, page views) as a benchmark, before the start of B2B marketing experiments.

7. Add B2B marketing channels that pass your tests to your B2B marketing strategy, and continue to test new channels to meet your goals, as well as monitoring performance over time and removing any channels that stop performing well.