Growth marketing is a marketing approach that applies the principles of growth hacking to the B2B marketing funnel. Instead of sticking with a single set of marketing tactics, companies use B2B growth marketing tactics to quickly test numerous marketing strategies, optimizing those tests as they go. Growth marketing is data-driven, using objective metrics to determine the right paths forward.
This approach sounds exciting and full of potential. But how do B2B organizations like yours get started with it—and start seeing results?
Use these 5 strategies and tactics as you begin your growth marketing journey. And when you’re ready, our growth marketing agency is here to take you to the next level.
1. Develop a Customer-Centric Strategy
B2B growth marketing starts with developing a strategy centered on customers: both the ones you have and the ones you want to have.
Of course, “focus on your customers” is a little obvious and not all that helpful, so let’s break it down a bit.
Focusing strategy on your customers starts with understanding who your target audience is and isn’t.
You’ve already narrowed your scope to other businesses; you don’t sell primarily to consumers if at all. But there’s a huge range contained within the second B in B2B, and not every business type or size makes sense for you. If you sell logistics software, you probably don’t have a lot of laundromats or charter fishing businesses signing up—and that isn’t going to change no matter how much you advertise to those businesses.
Once you understand who you’re targeting, you’ll also want to identify the typical customer journey. How do businesses choose a provider of your product or service? Is it a quick purchase or a lengthy funnel? Is onboarding required after purchase?
Once you understand your target market and the journey they take with you, you’re ready to develop your overarching messaging strategy. This is key to your growth marketing strategy because the messaging approach you take will inform the next five strategies we’re going to look at.
How do you determine a messaging strategy?
If that messaging strategy is so crucial, you might be wondering how to get it right (or how to know when you’ve gotten it right).
Developing a messaging strategy might feel a bit like throwing darts in the dark, but it doesn’t have to.
B2B growth marketing is built on two key ideas: a north star metric and testing strategies. Once your business properly understands both of these, the path toward a successful messaging strategy gets a whole lot clearer.
North Star metric: this is a singular metric that trumps all others, guiding your path a la the North Star. As a business you already have numerous metrics, and you may develop others as you mature in growth marketing strategy. But at the core you need a single measure that guides you. This metric could be daily active users, new signups, products sold— you get the idea. Once you define your North Star metric, you can measure the success of a messaging strategy by its effect on that metric.
Testing strategies: Testing is another pillar of growth marketing. You may not be certain which messaging strategy is best. That’s OK: you can test your top contenders. Growth marketing is data-driven and embraces experimentation—a little like A/B testing, but bigger, bolder, and wider-ranging.
So let’s close the circle: Use your North Star metric to determine a messaging strategy (or two or three), then test those strategies to determine which approach is most successful with your target customer.
2. Leverage Content Marketing
Growth marketing prioritizes content in several forms because content (when done right) leads to both quick wins and long-term growth.
The first step is creating content that delivers true value to your readers (who should be, for the most part, members of your target audience). Content for content’s sake is an unfocused approach you want to avoid. Content that actually meets the needs of your target audience is much more strategic.
Once you’ve created valuable content, you need to get it in front of eyeballs. Optimizing content for search engines, a process called SEO, is one crucial method (and a B2B SEO agency can help far more than this paragraph can). This is the process of optimizing your content with the keywords your target audience is likely searching for—along with optimizing technical elements of your site so that Google and
Bing and others can read it easily.
You’ll also use various distribution channels to get that content in front of eyeballs. Your email list is a great place to start. Social posts are a no-brainer, and you may have other options like trade publications or sponsored posts.
If you’re wondering about performance marketing vs. growth marketing, here’s where we start to see a difference. Performance marketing cares mostly about ROI: are you seeing immediate results from your marketing?
Growth marketing looks at your entire marketing funnel, including long-range strategies like content marketing. These don’t always deliver an immediate ROI but are key to growth outside of an immediate market.
Not sure where to focus in your marketing funnel? Here’s a quick guide on creating one the right way.
3. Invest in Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Inbound marketing is an inexpensive, long-term approach. B2B growth marketing is also all about the quick wins, and that’s where search engine marketing (SEM) shines.
SEM uses paid search ads to drive traffic to your site. It’s a little more focused and aggressive than content marketing, even if it involves the same general framework (bringing people in via search).
Along with paid search ads, you’ll want to invest in conversion-optimized landing pages. When people click on those search ads, you don’t want them landing on some generic page on your site. You want them landing on a page that continues the sale or moves people through the funnel. It’s not just a generic “contact us”; it’s targeted to the audience and the keyword.
Last, remarketing is a great way to retarget people who’ve interacted with you in some way, such as clicking a search ad or downloading a free resource (like this great ebook on optimizing Google ads, which we can’t recommend highly enough). The sales journey can take time, and this audience has already expressed some interest. Capitalize on that interest.
4. Utilize Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
Account-based marketing (ABM) is the most focused of all, more like spear-fishing than like casting a net (content marketing). B2B ABM fits perfectly with growth marketing because it relies on that target audience you’ve already defined. You target this audience aggressively—even if they haven’t expressed interest—because you know you can solve their problems and meet their needs.
As you refine your ABM strategy, you’ll identify high-value accounts and start personalizing your marketing efforts to those accounts. The right technology can help you scale this—and the right marketing partner can help you scale it right.
5. Create a Social Media Strategy
Last, B2B growth marketing leverages social media, turning it from a glorified digital billboard into a results-generating machine.
Not every social channel is right for every business, especially on the B2B front. LinkedIn is likely a given, but choose your additional platforms carefully. Make sure you’re creating content regularly and that your content is helpful and engaging to your audience. You can use social to drive traffic to other content marketing efforts, too.
Don’t forget about social media advertising, too: the ability to target specific roles and demographics makes social media advertising a close relative to ABM.
Accelerate Your Growth Marketing with New North
Growth marketing is a powerful way to grow your business. But doing it alone? That might not be the strategic move.
Working with a growth marketing agency like New North is the simplest way to accelerate your growth marketing efforts. Cut through the noise and the false starts and jump straight into data-driven results.
Looking for more strategies for B2B growth marketing and lead generation? Download an eBook to keep learning! The Essential Guide to B2B Marketing and the B2B Lead Generation Playbook both deliver proven expert insights that will drive results!
Ready for a more hands-on approach? We’ve helped B2B businesses like yours experience unprecedented growth using our strategic mix of marketing approaches — including growth marketing. Contact us now to start your growth marketing journey.