Best Platforms for B2B Marketing: The Top 3 Paid Platforms and When to Use Them
To be successful at B2B marketing, you need to test—a lot. There is no clear-cut answer as to how, where, or how much you should spend marketing your products. Ultimately, it will depend on your audience: where they lurk on the internet and how they engage with your campaigns. There is no single best strategy for how you should launch your campaigns, but as you’re getting started, here are our recommendations for the best platforms for B2B marketing.
Our best platforms for B2B Marketing may not be the best for you.
Our agency specializes in marketing complicated niche B2B products like enterprise SaaS and cybersecurity. Our recommendation list is not the be-all and end-all, but it is based on what consistently leads to success for our clients.
If you’re interested in learning more about our B2B content marketing philosophy, download our comprehensive eBook.
Best Platforms for B2B Marketing
LinkedIn is by far the best platform for B2B marketing, and it’s our favorite. It works best for promoting content campaigns like eBooks and white papers. It provides granular targeting to ensure that you reach the right audience of new prospects and allows list targeting using the emails you already have for more personalized campaigns.
Plus, LinkedIn is constantly innovating its platform and regularly comes out with fresh new tools for targeting. We like to use these three:
- Sponsored content: These ads feature an image, video, carousel, or event on a standard banner within the LinkedIn feed and are marked as promoted posts. They use CTA buttons to send users to a landing page to download content.
- Lead gen forms: These are similar to sponsored content ads, but instead of sending users to a landing page, LinkedIn includes a CTA button that triggers a form pre-filled with their LinkedIn information and sends the content to a specified email address.
- Message Ads: These are direct messages sent from an individual on your team within the LinkedIn interface. This is a great way to push content with more personalized messages.
Search ads typically include text ads that appear at the top of search engine results and are often referred to as “Search Engine Marketing” or “SEM.” Most people instantly think of Google Ads, but this includes Bing ads as well. These ads are best for direct CTA campaigns like “Get a demo” or “Sign up for a free trial.”
The key to successful search ads is comprehensive keyword research. There are a plethora of tools that can help you with this research, like SpyFu, Semrush, or Google Ads Keyword Planner. We recommend starting with a small pool of exact match keywords, otherwise, it’s really easy to spend tons of money without getting good results. On top of that, it’s essential to take the time to look at all the search queries triggering your ads. Figure out the intent behind each query and regularly optimize with negative and exact match keywords, then expand to broad match.
Search Is More than Just Google
While Google is the most recognized search ad platform, it is not the only player in the game. Bing is becoming increasingly useful, and ads are around 20% the cost of Google’s. Plus, Bing’s ad platform, Microsoft Advertising, also serves ads for Yahoo and DuckDuckGo (which is particularly useful for audiences worried about privacy, like cybersecurity). Coupling the Google and Bing ad platforms together is a great way to increase reach, lift marketing qualified lead (MQL) volume, and decrease search ad spend.
Content syndication is best for content campaigns, as the name implies. It’s the perfect distribution channel for generating top-of-funnel qualified leads at a reasonable price. Content syndication provides an excellent opportunity to present your organization as a thought leader in the industry while also showing up on the publications professionals know and trust. This platform can also be leveraged to target specific individuals to effectively support account-based marketing (ABM). Syndication programs can be handled in two ways:
- Direct publisher syndication: This involves working directly with a publisher to promote content on industry-relevant websites you know your audience is perusing. Publishers promise a certain amount of traffic and conversions that can be specified based on filtering criteria to ensure you are reaching your target audience.
- Partner syndication: The secret of publisher syndication programs is that they often don’t sell all the traffic they promise. That leftover space is sold by intermediaries at a cheaper price. The catch is that you won’t know which publications your ads will appear on; however, you still get to specify your audience criteria for strategic targeting. The trick is these partnerships are mostly with agencies, so you won’t be able to take advantage of this platform if you are doing direct marketing for your company.
Get the Most Out of Content Syndication with Lead Nurture
Although the leads coming through content syndication are usually highly qualified, they are almost never ready to buy. Implementing a lead nurture strategy is the key to pushing them down the marketing funnel to get them ready for sales. This is especially important for products that have long sales cycles. Lead nurture helps maintain that relationship and stay top of mind while building brand loyalty and trust.
Using the Right B2B Marketing Platforms for Lead Generation
There is no perfect formula to know exactly where you should promote your campaigns or how much you should spend. The campaigns and platforms that resonate best with your audience can only be determined with experimentation. However, given our expertise in the B2B space, we think the platforms outlined above are the best B2B marketing tactics to start with.
To give you an idea of what you can expect, here are some of the typical results we see with our B2B clients:
|Platform||Campaign Type||Conversion Rate*||Cost Per MQL|
|Content||10% to 12%||$40 to $80|
|Search Ads||Direct CTA||6% to 8%||$120 to $250|
|Content Syndication||Content||n/a**||$50 to $70|
*These are considered optimal conversion rates
**Content Syndication leads are delivered based on a contracted amount. No data is provided to calculate conversion rate the same way as the other ad platforms.
Using the Best Platforms for B2B Marketing Is Just One Part of the Puzzle . . .
B2B marketing is complicated—especially when you are marketing complex solutions or products. While there is no one right way to do it, after 20 years of experience, we think we’ve developed a pretty solid results-based system.
To get you started on B2B content marketing, we have created a comprehensive eBook that deep dives into all the different platforms and how they should be used, as well as how to come up with content to write about in the first place.
Just drop your email below to get it delivered to your inbox.
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