B2B Marketing for Technology Companies: 10 Strategies for 2024
B2B marketing for technology companies, it's a world of constant flux.
With so much change, where do you even start?
That's where we come in!
Whether you're a B2B tech marketing veteran or fresh to the industry, this guide will set you down the path to success.
Keep scrolling for this year's ten winning strategies!
1. Email marketing
Email is a constant in B2B marketing for technology companies. Global email users are estimated to reach 4.5 billion by 2025.
Want direct communication with your audience? Email is what you're after; it gets you straight into their inbox.
You own your email list in a way that's not true of other channels. If LinkedIn went down tomorrow, you'd still have your email list.
Yes, building an email list requires time and effort. However, the payoff is an open line of communication with prospects and existing customers.
Email marketing isn't a difficult marketing strategy. It won't break the bank, either, if you're using the right marketing tools.
Email enables you to share your value drivers as you nurture your leads.
Segmented email lists mean better personalisation and more conversions.
And what makes email effective?
An upbeat tone wins every time. Positive and friendly emails boost your response rate.
Keep your emails short.
Often your reader is on the go. Condensing your copy ensures that every line serves a purpose.
Highlight your value too; it pays to stand out. You could link to ungated content, webinars or throw in a freebie.
Can you get email marketing wrong?
Yes - avoid e-blasts at all costs!
An e-blast is an untargeted "spray and pray" approach to email marketing.
You email as many people as possible and hope that something sticks.
E-blasts are invasive, impersonal, and worst of all, ineffective. You're spamming people who often have no interest in your product.
So what does effective email marketing look like for tech companies?
Let's explore some examples:
You've got one shot to make a first impression.
An introductory email aims to:
- Introduce yourself and explain why you're reaching out.
- Add value in a way that comes across as both creative and informative without being too focused on selling.
You can build strong relationships with leads using a drip campaign.
An introductory email, as discussed above, can trigger a drip campaign.
What does it consist of?
Usually, a couple of email sequences that offer your leads some value without pushing for a demo.
If your content is useful, the leads will consider you a valuable contact.
And the purpose of a drip campaign?
To warm up the lead until they're ready to convert.
But not all drip campaigns are equally effective.
Tim Hughes, Demand Generation Manager at Cognism, said:
"There's a drip campaign in a lead gen world and a drip campaign in a demand gen world. They both have different goals."
Let's take a deeper look 👀
Lead gen world goals
A typical marketing funnel is the foundation of a drip campaign in a lead gen world. The stages are awareness, consideration and decision.
"The aim of a lead gen campaign is to push from awareness content to consideration and decision content. The marketing team considers them sales-ready if they engage with all of this."
The lead is pushed through a marketing funnel to become a marketing qualified lead (MQL).
What's the issue?
You're forcing the lead down an artificial funnel. Often, they're not ready to buy!
Demand gen world goals
The objective is completely different in a demand gen world.
Tim told us:
"The goal is simple - keep them engaged. Get them within what Cognism CMO Alice de Courcy calls our 'value loop'. It's about keeping them involved in our media machine."
How is this different?
They come to you when they're ready to buy rather than forcing it.
And the result is greater efficiency.
Our inbound nurture provides engaging and value-led content in a variety of formats.
We use colourful copy to spark the imagination - we want to bring people into the fold.
Take a look here.
Rekindle nurture emails
What about those promising leads that never worked out?
This is where the rekindle nurture comes in.
Here, you can convert lost leads by offering them a discount or special gift.
The goal is to get them thinking about working with you again.
See below for some examples of good rekindle nurtures 👇
Essentially, the aim is to stay in contact with the lead. It's to keep giving them value rather than pushing them into anything.
"In a demand gen world, it's not about forcing the lead back into the funnel. It's kind of saying, 'we're still here'."
"Don't trigger this immediately - you should create six months of breathing space."
Here is our closed-lost nurture. Note the playful, value-driven tone - it maximises engagement!
No-shows to meetings booked
The purpose here is to recapture those who did not attend their demo request meeting.
There are three core objectives:
- Try and rebook them.
- Re-engage them.
- Get feedback.
Looking for more email marketing advice? Watch this video featuring Alice 🎬
2. Social media
This is the place to grow an audience and nurture relationships.
You can build a presence through your personal profile or company page. Both are good!
Liam Bartholomew, VP Marketing at Cognism, said:
"The best thing about social media is that it scales - you can build a following at pace."
"Your followers can share your content quickly and easily with their followers. It's much more shareable than email."
But social media isn't all about what's clear to the eye. 77.5% of buyers share links through dark social channels.
Wait, what is dark social?
It's a term for the "invisible" shares via private channels. This includes messaging apps, email and text.
Embracing dark social is the way to go, rather than worrying about how it affects your marketing metrics. Focus on creating content that's worth a share.
A B2B e-commerce store could use QR codes on social media images to take potential customers directly to the product page. QR codes can be easily created using any of the best QR code generators.
Which social media platforms are best?
Digital marketing for B2B companies is overwhelmingly focused on LinkedIn and Twitter.
The stats speak for themselves:
93% of B2B companies use Twitter, while 91% use LinkedIn.
This is because, in B2B, it's where your customers are.
So what kind of content works for marketing a technology company?
Here's one of our top-performing LinkedIn posts:
Why did it work?
For starters, video performs well on LinkedIn, especially when the subject talks directly to the camera.
It's also value-led - you become a trusted advisor by providing value without expecting anything in return.
This video snippet is actionable too. You can easily understand the advice and apply it to your working life.
The high production value helps capture attention in a noisy feed. In tech B2B content marketing, it's good to stand out.
Isn't this content difficult to produce?
At Cognism, we film our social videos in batches. The result is a steady pipeline of engaging content.
This is another winner 👇
Infographics are popular on LinkedIn. They can outline effective workflows or techniques in an easy-to-digest way.
LinkedIn and Twitter are great, but don't forget about younger buyers. 73% of millennials make purchasing decisions at their technology companies.
At Cognism, we're expanding into TikTok. It has a young demographic as well as underpriced attention.
Costs are low on the channels marketers don't understand yet - it's underpriced!
Gary Vaynerchuk, Chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia, said LinkedIn and TikTok are the platforms with the most underpriced attention.
Here's one of our recent TikTok posts 👇
You might have noticed, but TikTok is a bit different to LinkedIn.
The content that blows up isn't quite the same.
Humour is important on TikTok; it adds personality to your B2B tech marketing.
Jumping on a relevant trend can work wonders; timing makes a big difference. Pay attention to trending sounds.
Educational tips and hacks are also good ideas, but keep them brief.
YouTube Shorts are on the up. In effect, they are YouTube's answer to TikTok.
At Cognism, we repurpose TikTok posts for YouTube Shorts - this boosts exposure.
3. Brand awareness
Investopedia defines brand awareness as:
"The degree to which consumers recognise a product by its name. Ideally, consumers' awareness of the brand may include positive perceptions of the qualities that distinguish the product from its competition."
Too often, brand is ignored in digital marketing for B2B companies.
Yet, there's real power to a memorable identity. You might have the best tech product in your niche, but it's going nowhere if nobody knows it exists.
Some studies have shown that an excellent B2B brand shortens the sales cycle and creates loyal customers.
Lippincott claims that a positive brand reputation influences 39% of B2B buying decisions.
Building a strong brand is about building trust. You don't get a reputation overnight; developing lasting connections with your audience takes time.
How do you generate brand awareness?
- Tell captivating stories.
- Have a distinct personality.
Walnut's #weareprospects campaign is a masterclass in B2B branding.
Walnut is a SaaS sales experience platform that creates personalised product demos.
Their founders set out to simplify the B2B sales process - and #weareprospects brings this to life.
They decided to tell the story of buying a shirt and the seller treating it like software.
The campaign appeals to emotions through humour. They take a real pain point and exaggerate it.
B2B has a reputation for being dry. By bucking the trend, they stood out.
The result was a memorable, viral campaign that put Walnut in the spotlight.
Check it out for yourself 👇
4. Webinars and podcasts
As of January 2023, there were 464.7 million podcast listeners globally. The prediction for 2024 is 504.9 million listeners.
Podcasts are popular with younger audiences. They're a growth area in B2B marketing for tech companies.
They're accessible; you can listen to them anywhere, anytime. They also provide prospects and customers with value-driven content.
The format length allows you to explore complex subjects in real depth.
The podcast themes should centre around your ICP's interests. The goal of the content is to help your target audience perform better in their roles.
Webinars and live shows can act as a catalyst for other forms of content. For example, we run cold calling lives, which we repurpose as content for the media machine. This could be: organic social, paid social, blogs, podcasts or a newsletter.
At Cognism, we have the Revenue Champions podcast. The hosts are Alice de Courcy, CMO and Jonathon Ilett, VP UK & I.
Leaders, experts and entrepreneurs in the B2B space discuss forward-thinking topics. Sales and marketing are our two target personas, so we cover topics in both areas.
Press ▶️ to hear the latest episode aimed at our marketing audience.
5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Think SEO is dead?
Here's a stat for you:
Around 82% of B2B buyers will start their purchasing journey using a search engine like Google.
SEO is still one of the best strategies for B2B marketing in tech.
But why is it so good?
You can affordably capture prospects' attention via organic search. It enables you to rank for keywords you'd have to pay for using PPC.
If you do SEO well, you'll be at the top of Google for key search terms, meaning you'll grab the lion's share of your market.
Not only that…
It's also how you develop an understanding of what people are searching for when looking for the type of product you supply.
You can either manage the SEO process in-house or outsource to an agency. Assigning it to your marketing team gives you more control. However, this can be expensive and requires in-depth expertise.
At the beginning of 2022, Cognism implemented a more focused and strategic SEO plan. The basis was keyword clusters; we focused on relevant terms that would bring in the most organic traffic.
Want to know what the result was?
Our organic traffic grew from 32.8k to 87.7k in a year. Below is a graph showcasing this explosive growth:
SEO tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Search Console help measure growth. They're helpful when presenting your findings to stakeholders.
It's true; SEO isn't a quick fix. It requires a dedicated team and consistent work over the long term. But it can generate real results and get you ahead of the competition.
6. Account-based marketing (ABM)
Grab yourself a coffee; it's time to talk strategy.
What is ABM?
It's a growth strategy where marketing and sales align to target key accounts. These are your best-fit, highest-value accounts. Marketing campaigns are highly personalised, thanks to B2B data.
85% of marketers say ABM delivers higher returns than any other marketing approach.
Here are some of the core benefits:
- Revenue growth.
- Larger deal size.
- Better reputation.
- Improved customer relationships.
How does ABM work?
First, sales and marketing meet to agree on the target accounts. Sales then add a prospecting list to the CRM.
At the same time, you can integrate ABM software to help scale the campaign.
This tech helps to run targeted account based selling campaigns. These campaigns reach buyers on every marketing channel they use.
Personalised ads ensure the message will resonate. Marketers use A/B testing to confirm this.
7. Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is the strategy of paying for ads to appear in search results. You can drive clicks to your website or landing pages by bidding on specific keywords.
It's an effective technique for generating marketing leads for technology companies.
At Cognism, we take a demand generation approach to PPC. We split our paid advertising into two: demand generation and demand capture.
Social sites, like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, are for demand creation. The objectives are brand awareness and audience education.
For demand capture, we focus on Google search ads. This is where conversion happens; the goal is to capture the demand we've been creating!
Canberk Beker, Global Head of Paid Acquisition at Cognism, says:
"We allocate around 30 to 35% of our paid budgets for demand capture and around 65% of the budget for demand creation."
How has PPC advertising affected pipeline?
"At a high level, 50% of the marketing pipeline is organic. The other 50% comes from paid ads from either Google or Bing."
"Our PPC strategy is not geared towards generating leads for the sake of generating leads. We focus only on high-intent keywords and base our PPC strategy on generating leads that can actually bring pipeline."
"Therefore, we measure PPC success by pipeline generated rather than the number of leads."
If you're serious about pipeline, don't let PPC slip your mind. It might be what takes your digital B2B marketing to the next level!
8. Video marketing
Over the past few years, video has become increasingly important for B2B tech marketing.
High-quality video is no longer expensive!
Video gets excellent engagement on LinkedIn, and YouTube is the second-largest search engine on the web.
YouTube has enormous potential for B2B marketers; you can build a thriving community around your brand. It's a platform for both education and entertainment.
"SEO-optimised written content used to be the focus for B2B marketers. Attention and decision-making have now moved to social media channels like LinkedIn and YouTube."
"Therefore, video has become increasingly popular. It's now the job of content marketing teams to create as much video as written content."
You can amplify your reach by leveraging content creators with their own established audiences.
For example, here's an educational video featuring sales expert Morgan J Ingram on the Cognism YouTube channel.
9. Human-to-human (H2H) marketing
Human-to-human marketing, rather than one specific technique, is a general concept. But it should underpin how tech companies market themselves.
The idea is pretty simple; you're always marketing to another person.
Whether you're targeting a sceptical lead or a loyal customer, they're not robots.
Going forward it's about delivering a more human experience. Empathy is key.
You should seek to understand the pain points and challenges that lead prospects to look for solutions.
Remember that buyers are people! Emotions fuel B2B purchases.
There aren't hard and fast rules when it comes to H2H marketing™.
But here's a pointer: communicate like a real person and tell stories. Boring digital marketing in B2B doesn't connect.
10. Influencer marketing
Think influencer marketing is just for B2C?
B2B influencer marketing is on the rise.
Nearly 40% of B2B marketers plan to use influencer marketing more in the future.
Regardless of the industry, customers often seek the advice of an expert before purchasing.
Yes, the exposure is beneficial. But it's not just about that.
By using an influencer, you benefit from the loyalty, credibility and influence they have established.
When choosing an influencer to work with, it's essential to understand your ICP. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are their pain points? You want your influencer to be confident in talking about these subjects.
- Where do they hang out online? You want your influencer to have an audience on the platform(s) where your prospects are.
When reaching out to influencers, it helps to have already established some credibility. This creates a win-win scenario.
At Cognism, our influencers work as contractors.
We need them to produce a ton of content - not attend the odd webinar.
Regular content output is vital for B2B marketing in tech. Here are some examples:
- Speaking at live events.
- Hosting a podcast.
- Filming video snippets.
- Posting on social networks.
"The worst thing you can do is hire an influencer and then just say, you've got it in your contract, there are your deliverables, off you go."
You need an internal push!
At Cognism, we pair influencers with a demand generation manager and a content manager.
The content manager ensures the influencers deliver the right content that's on-brand and on-message.
The demand generation manager ensures the content goes out to market. It should hit the audience in as many different ways as possible.
Liam spoke recently about B2B influencer marketing at London's B2B Marketing Expo.
Check out his full speech here 👇
Cognism's secret sauce
B2B marketing for technology companies isn't easy.
Want to level up your knowledge?
Cognism CMO Alice breaks down how she achieved record-breaking revenue growth.
Click 👇 to download her 3 Secrets to CMO Success playbook.