Have you ever fished in a pond with no fish?
Spoiler: You won’t catch anything.
If you want to catch fish (not just “go fishing”), you should fish in a place that has plenty of fish. It just makes sense, right?
Marketing in the right spots makes you far more likely to get results. To help you pick the right spots, we’ve put together a quick list of the best channels to target in 2021.
Please note, though, that you can only pick a “best” channel if you know what you’re trying to accomplish. In this article, we’ve adopted a default purpose of lead generation. But if you’re marketing for brand awareness, you would order these channels differently.
With that said, let’s dive in. Here are the best B2B marketing channels.
Email has been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, or at least since 1978. It’s still the best B2B marketing channel for lead generation, because it’s still the foundation of business communication.
Oberlo notes that there will be 4.3 billion email users by 2023. WordStream notes that 86% of business professionals prefer to use email when communicating for business purposes. A study by DemandWave found email to be the most popular channel for lead generation among B2B marketers.
The bottom line is that, if you want to sell a B2B product or service, there’s no better channel than email marketing.
2. Organic Search
Want to see something crazy?
Check out this page. It’s a live counter of how many Google searches have been made today. As I’m writing this, it reads over six billion. Talk about fishing where there are fish.
Organic search is how the modern world finds information. It’s also how people find products and services to buy – even in the B2B world. 89% of B2B buyers use the internet during the research process, and most won’t get in touch with a salesperson until they’re over halfway through their buyer’s journey. 90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases.
Email works the funnel and often closes the deal, but usually, it’s organic search that brings leads in.
3. Paid Search
According to PPC Protect, 79% of marketers say that paid search is hugely beneficial for their business.
That’s no surprise, given what we’ve just covered; I could use the same statistics I pulled for organic search to trumpet the power of paid search, too. The volume on search engines is insane, and as many B2B marketers will attest, this can be a highly effective channel.
So, why is it ranked below organic search? Two key reasons:
First, studies indicate that 71.33% of searches result in a page 1 Google organic click. In other words, you’re far more likely to get click-throughs if you appear in organic results than if you appear in paid results.
Second, paid search costs money and doesn’t build long-term results. You can certainly use paid ads to drive potential B2B buyers, but the second you turn off your ad campaign, you’ll stop driving traffic.
Most often, the best way to use this channel is to test which keywords work for your business, then build organic search traffic to cut your costs.
Here’s a statistic that might surprise you: LinkedIn is responsible for 97% of B2B businesses’ social media leads.
In other words, only 3% of B2B social leads come from any other channel. LinkedIn is far and away the best B2B social media channel to be on.
The reason is pretty simple: LinkedIn is focused on business. We’ve already seen that B2B buyers use the internet for research purposes; LinkedIn is a channel where buying research can happen. Other channels – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – can be used to build brand awareness, but they aren’t great for facilitating research.
We’ve written a pretty comprehensive guide to B2B marketing on LinkedIn here; the bottom line is that, yes, this channel is worth your time.
5. Other Social Media
Finally, I’m going to group the rest of the social media platforms together as our fifth and final channel.
I know that we’ve just noted that only 3% of B2B social media leads come through platforms other than LinkedIn. But the fact remains that other channels can play important roles. Facebook pages are proof of pulse; if a business doesn’t have one, they immediately appear less legitimate. And other channels – Instagram, Twitter, Clubhouse, Snapchat, and so on – can help to develop branding.
Given that roughly half the world’s population is on social media, it’s safe to assume that some slice of your target market is, too. The bottom line is that you should pick the channels your audience is on and then use them intelligently.
Want help using your marketing channels well?
We’ve outlined the places to fish – but to catch something, you need to know how to fish, not just whereto put your line in.
We can help. At New North, we’ve been helping B2B businesses drive measurable marketing results for over a decade.
Schedule a free consult today to discuss where and how your marketing can best drive leads, and give yourself the best chance at a valuable catch.