By Eric Dickmann

May 1, 2023

B2B Marketing

For any business to grow, the marketing strategies chosen must reflect a keen understanding of the customer's needs and preferences. Many B2B marketing channels are available for lead generation, but some may be far more effective for your particular industry. Digital marketing strategies are proliferating rapidly and becoming increasingly popular when it comes to cultivating quality leads. By testing different channels, you can see which ones are best for optimizing conversions and can then gear up your B2B marketing campaigns accordingly.

As B2B marketing trends change, the best marketing channels for B2B evolve each year, making a holistic approach necessary to capitalize on all possible combinations. This is where marketers need to create an integrated strategy that utilizes multiple digital channels to increase visibility and drive traffic; this could include utilizing blogs, email marketing, webinars, search engine optimization (SEO), content creation, and social media promotion, among many other outlets. The goal of such comprehensive approaches should be to reach audiences in as many places as possible, so lead generation becomes inevitable - both online and offline - letting customers find you with ease.

Thought Leadership Blog Posts

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an effective method for generating leads and promoting your business, but it takes time and effort to see results. Thought Leadership SEO combines thought leadership and SEO to establish your business and increase organic search traffic. By consistently posting relevant content, you can acquire a steady source of prospects. However, it's important to remember that this takes time, and rushing the process won't lead to success.

Thought leadership blog posts are good for SEO because they establish the author or company as an authority in their industry. By sharing valuable insights and perspectives on industry trends and issues, thought leaders can attract a loyal audience and gain backlinks from other reputable websites. This, in turn, increases the credibility of the company website and improves its search engine ranking. Additionally, thought leadership posts often cover less competitive long-tail keywords, making it easier for the website to rank higher in search results. Overall, thought leadership blog posts can help improve a website's SEO by increasing its authority, attracting backlinks, and targeting specific keywords. Using tools like Google Analytics allows companies to measure the effectiveness of these efforts and track SEO progress over time.


  • Thought leadership SEO is a proven, high ROI marketing tactic
  • It builds your credibility and presence online
  • The content is evergreen and provides long-term SEO value


  • It takes time before you see results
  • Thought leadership requires input from leaders who are often busy with other responsibilities
  • Finding a unique perspective can be challenging

Email Marketing

Email is one of the most important channels used by B2B marketers to reach their audience. Email is an excellent tool for reaching potential clients in a targeted way, which increases its effectiveness. For successful email campaigns, it is necessary to plan carefully, with segmentation and personalization at the heart of your strategy. This allows you to send tailored messages that will be more likely to engage the right people. For example, you can use segmentation by industry or buyer profiles and personalize emails based on individual customer behaviors or feedback they left in the past – this can make all the difference when it comes to boosting open rate and click-through rate.

To avoid your emails being marked as spam in a B2B email marketing campaign, there are several things you can do. Firstly, ensure that your email list is clean and up to date, with only opted-in subscribers. Secondly, personalize your emails and make them relevant to the recipient's interests and needs. Avoid using spam trigger words such as "free," "act now," or "limited time offer." Also, make sure your subject line is compelling and not misleading. Finally, include an easy opt-out option in every email, and honor any requests to unsubscribe promptly. By following these best practices, you can increase the chances of your B2B email marketing campaign being successful and avoid your messages being marked as spam.


  • Email is accessible and simple to use
  • Email marketing is still relevant and an effective outreach channel
  • It is cheaper to use compared to other communication channels


  • It can be tough to avoid spam filters
  • Emails can feel generic and impersonal
  • Response rates are often lower than other digital channels

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a method of digital marketing that involves paying for each click an advertisement receives instead of merely displaying the ad to users. This way, advertisers are only paying when a potential customer takes an active interest in their product or service instead of generating uninterested impressions like other forms of ad display. Here are some of the top PPC platforms:

  • Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords)
  • Meta Ads (formerly Facebook Ads)
  • Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing)
  • Twitter Ads
  • AdRoll
  • TikTok For Business
  • Snapchat For Business
  • Amazon

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a paid advertising campaign focused on promoting websites by increasing their visibility on major search engines such as Google. It can be costly, especially for startups and mid-sized businesses, but it allows them to push their brand out there and make a good impression.

PPC advertisements were among the first digital marketing methods deployed before Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and SEM strategies were invented, and social media platforms started popping up all over the internet. Today’s major players offer standard PPC ads to reach audiences across different digital channels at a much lower cost than traditional TV advertising, making it a great tool for marketers. Though this type of advertising can be expensive depending on the target market and competitors bidding for similar keywords or placement, the tactical approach of investing in pinpointed clicks instead of thousands of impressions often yields better results.


  • PPC campaigns are targeted and measurable
  • Search engine marketing can bring high-quality leads and traffic
  • PPC and SEM help brand to stand out against competitors


  • Without careful oversight, it's difficult to optimize your spend
  • Paid advertising is significantly more expensive than organic tactics
  • In a highly competitive space, costs can be prohibitive for smaller companies

LinkedIn Advertising

When it comes to utilizing social media networks in professional settings, LinkedIn is always at the top of the list. It's built specifically for professionals and business leaders, so it serves a population that is always looking to engage with higher-level content.

This effectiveness stems from LinkedIn’s specificity, allowing users to target specific audiences and scenarios more effectively than other platforms. However, it can be hard to justify the expenses associated with advertising on LinkedIn due to how expensive it can be, especially for smaller businesses. To get the maximum return on such an investment, you need strong prospect data coupled with highly impactful thought leadership content designed specifically for LinkedIn’s target audiences. Ensuring those components are all in place beforehand can ensure that your effort and resources aren’t wasted when using LinkedIn as part of your overall digital strategy.


  • Highly targeted
  • Multiple tools are available to help create and launch ad campaigns
  • LinkedIn's business audience is massive


  • It's very expensive
  • ROI may be harder to achieve than on other platforms
  • It's a more difficult environment for smaller businesses to navigate

LinkedIn Content Marketing

LinkedIn is a powerful business tool and could be an invaluable asset to businesses. Its mission of helping professionals connect with like-minded people and further their careers has created a platform that encourages collaboration, facilitates learning, and offers effective networking opportunities. With over 675 million users, the vast amount of user data enables companies to target prospective clients through a range of specific criteria, such as job functions, seniority level, and interests.

Furthermore, by taking advantage of content marketing opportunities using videos or images, businesses can increase the reach, engagement, and visibility of their social media marketing efforts. Additionally, LinkedIn’s algorithms should be taken into consideration when creating content aiming to improve the chances of it appearing in prospective customers' feeds. In summary, making use of everything LinkedIn has to offer will help to create visually striking content that connects you with B2B buyers at the right moment in their buyer's journey.


  • It's a free platform
  • Business customers are LinkedIn's target audience
  • It's a platform that helps you build connections


  • Advertising may be needed to expand audience visibility to your content
  • LinkedIn can get noisy
  • Creating attention grabbing content takes time and effort


Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Accounts-Based Marketing (ABM) is an innovative marketing strategy that combines channels to create the ultimate omnichannel approach. Instead of casting a wide net like traditional lead generation, ABM focuses on targeted accounts to turn them into customers. It starts by targeting ideal customers, then launching personalized marketing campaigns to nurture and convert them. This strategy flips the traditional lead generation funnel upside down, encouraging collaboration among the marketing and sales teams to identify prospects with the highest conversion potential.

The goal of ABM is to drive strong relationships with target accounts through tailored messages crafted for specific customer problems and needs. The team revolves its campaigns around crafting valuable content that speaks directly to these customers and can create interest in buying their product or service. By providing an effective solution that meets customer needs perfectly, they are more likely to convert into paying clients instead of just leads. Additionally, ABM offers better visibility on company investments because it is data-driven and results-oriented instead of randomized like other types of marketing strategies.


  • ABM is focused only on your target customers
  • It aligns your Sales and Marketing efforts
  • Marketing messaging is highly personalized


  • ABM can be costly and labor intensive
  • It works best for a select few accounts
  • The strategy isn't right for every kind of business

Webinars and LinkedIn Live

Webinars provide an interactive and educational platform for people seeking to increase their knowledge and understanding of certain topics. They are conducted in real-time, giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions through live chat if they attend during the presentation. It provides easy access to those who may not be able to attend the actual event by providing a recording that can still be of valuable use. Presenters have an opportunity to showcase their expertise without worrying about having an edited version of themselves. It's a 'live' version of video marketing content.

The great thing about webinars is that it allows presenters to truly engage with the audience since they get to answer their question as it is asked. This creates a more powerful learning experience for those watching since they can seek clarification on specific concepts at any moment during the presentation. The interactive style also creates a stronger link between the presenter and the viewer, making them feel connected with each other despite being far apart physically. It's also great content to engage audiences through social media channels.

LinkedIn Live is different than a traditional online webinar because it is a live streaming platform that allows viewers to engage in real-time with the presenter. Unlike webinars, which are typically pre-recorded and lack the ability for live interaction, LinkedIn Live enables presenters to connect with their audience in a more authentic and personal way. Additionally, LinkedIn Live is specifically designed for professional networking and business-related content, making it an ideal platform for thought leaders, industry experts, and entrepreneurs to share their knowledge and insights with a wider audience. Overall, LinkedIn Live offers a more dynamic and engaging experience for both presenters and viewers, helping to foster deeper connections and drive greater engagement within the professional community.


  • Less expensive than in-person events
  • Creates an asset that's easy to promote across social media channels
  • Can be pre-recorded or live


  • It takes effort to create an engaging webinar presentation
  • Zoom fatigue has hurt registrations
  • Scheduling can be challenging

Industry Trade Shows and Events

Events are an important channel to reach B2B buyers and allow companies to network with business prospects, talk to potential partners, and evaluate competitors. After all, having a physical presence at an event is one of the most efficient ways to talk directly to potential buyers and get your message across. Setting up a booth or giving a talk allows for large numbers of people to hear what you have to say in a relatively painless way; once you’ve put in the time and effort, success is almost guaranteed.

However, hosting 1:1 meetings with key customers should also be considered when attending events. This approach gives you more control over the conversation topics and connections made, allowing you to form more meaningful relationships between your organization and potential customers. On the marketer’s side, this type of meeting often yields higher-quality insights into customer needs and expectations that can help shape future campaigns and services.


  • Few things beat face-to-face interactions
  • Great opportunity to network
  • Works well for businesses with tangible products


  • It can expensive, especially with travel is factored in
  • The right networking skills are needed to maximize the time spent 
  • Without proper follow-up, leads won't convert

Speaking Engagements at Industry Events

While so much is written about digital marketing channels as the cornerstones of any marketing mix, speaking engagements are often overlooked as a way to generate leads for B2B businesses. However, they can be extremely effective in helping you reach new potential customers, build credibility in your industry, and create lasting relationships with your audience. By interacting with the audience and prospects, your brand gains more trust.

The key to making speaking engagements work is to find events that draw the right audience for your brand. B2B marketers can designate a company executive or hire an influential speaker or an industry expert to represent their business to help them gain credibility with their target audience while providing valuable information to attendees.

Speaking slots and sponsorships at industry trade events can be costly because they provide companies with valuable exposure and networking opportunities. These events attract a large number of industry professionals, potential customers, and investors, making them an ideal platform for companies to showcase their products and services. The high cost of speaking slots and sponsorships is also due to the fact that organizing such events requires a significant amount of resources, including venue rental, marketing, and staffing. Additionally, the revenue generated from sponsorships and speaking slots helps to offset the costs of organizing the event, making it financially viable for the organizers. Overall, the benefits of participating in industry trade events are significant, and the high cost of speaking slots and sponsorships is a reflection of their value because of their potential to generate highly qualified leads.


  • Participating in speaking engagements can increase your business's visibility and reputation
  • Being a speaker establishes your reputation as a thought leader
  • The impact on lead generation efforts can be significant


  • Preparing for speaking engagements can take a lot of time
  • Finding a speaking opportunity can be difficult if it's your first time speaking
  • Industry events can be expensive both for exhibitors and paid speaking opportunities

Public Relations

Public Relations (PR) is an essential aspect of any successful business. It involves actively managing the image and reputation of a business or brand to ensure they remain in good standing with media outlets, industry influencers, and potential customers. By utilizing PR tactics such as maintaining positive relationships, responding responsibly to crises, and creating positive perceptions amongst stakeholders, companies can create a favorable public image for their products or services.

Moreover, public relations plays an important role in B2B marketing by sharing important announcements about their product or service with potential customers, industry media publications, and business partners. Additionally, businesses that craft and share expert insights into relevant industry topics have increased their chances of building credibility and establishing thought leadership amongst their peers. As part of an overall B2B marketing strategy, PR tactics can be a great way to increase brand awareness and generate new leads.


  • PR can help you establish a strong brand image with your audience
  • It helps you build your credibility and brand awareness
  • Earned media is less expensive than paid advertising


  • PR can be hard to measure
  • Finding outlets willing to write about your business can be a challenge
  • Businesses have little control over the outcomes of PR efforts

Direct Mail

Direct mail can be an effective tool in a B2B marketing strategy, as it allows companies to target their potential customers more directly. It is often used when trying to reach out to new customers, as direct mail offers a tangible approach that can help get attention and drive business opportunities. If the right message is delivered at the right moment, it could help businesses appeal to this particular market segment. It also allows them to personalize the message better, making it stand out from a digital landscape that may be saturated with ads and sponsored emails.

With direct mail campaigns, marketers are able to track response rates and assess how successful the initial letter was at creating interest from prospects or clients. This information can then be used to further refine marketing strategies for future campaigns. Direct mail continues to be embraced by consumers because of its seemingly personal touch and timelessness; many viewers appreciate receiving something they can keep and remember long after an email lands in their junk folder or is deleted. Even though social media has undoubtedly taken over much of the communication sphere, major brands have still found success with traditional mail services – proving that old methods still hold value in today’s business world.


  • It can be a great way to leverage your contact list
  • In a digital world, good direct mail stands out
  • There are unique personalization options


  • Purchased lists can be outdated
  • Response rates are low and difficult to measure
  • It is usually less effective than other digital channels

The Best B2B Marketing Channels for Your Business

The best B2B marketing channels will vary according to the company’s objectives and marketing budget. Public Relations, Direct Mail, Email Marketing, and Social Media are all effective tools that can be used to reach potential customers and generate leads. However, it is important to consider each channel’s advantages and disadvantages when deciding which one is right for your business.

A fractional CMO can help companies build a strategy that utilizes the most effective B2B marketing channels by bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. They have worked with a variety of companies in different industries and know which marketing channels are most effective for specific target audiences. Additionally, a fractional CMO can help companies develop a comprehensive marketing plan that includes a mix of tactics such as content marketing, social media, email marketing, and advertising. They can also analyze the data to determine which channels are driving the most traffic and conversions and adjust the strategy accordingly. By leveraging the expertise of a fractional CMO, companies can save time and resources while still achieving their marketing goals.


In conclusion, the best marketing channels for B2B really depend on your target audience and industry. However, by using a combination of email marketing, social media, content marketing, and events, you can create a comprehensive strategy that reaches your ideal customers and helps your business grow. Don't be afraid to experiment and try new tactics, and always remember to track and analyze your results to improve your marketing efforts continuously. Happy marketing!

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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