Blog Post

7 Outside-of-the-Box B2B Marketing Tactics

Publish date: Mar 26, 2024 | Reading time: minutes

Are you looking for some new B2B marketing tactics to test out and incorporate into your strategy? If so, then this article is for you. While traditional B2B tactics, like running LinkedIn ads to business stakeholders, doing account-based marketing, and placing ads in trade publications are still very relevant, there are some additional tactics we would like to shed light on. Depending on where your brand is at, this list of B2B marketing ideas might inspire you to try some totally new things or could give you a few new ways to approach marketing with a strategy or channel you’re already utilizing.

Specifically, we’ll be talking about 7 outside-of-the-box B2B marketing tactics:

1. Engaging in Reddit conversations

2. Industry podcast interviews (with video)

3. Postcard mailers with QR codes

4. Giveaway campaigns to boost engagement

5. Creating content nurture streams to prospects

6. Encouraging employee advocacy on social

7. Attaching incentives to webinars

1. Engaging in Reddit conversations
While Reddit has been a major social media platform since 2005, advertisers have traditionally stuck to reaching their target audience on platforms like Meta, LinkedIn, X, YouTube, Snapchat and, more recently, TikTok. While these platforms offer large amounts of users and robust targeting capabilities, Reddit also can and should be leveraged by B2B companies for running ads and even engaging in conversations taking place in subreddit threads. Reddit, too, has a large number of users and has been growing; according to the Business of Apps, Reddit had 850 million monthly active users in 2023. But before jumping in and engaging in conversations directly, you’ll want to read the subreddit rules to makes sure you aren’t violating any that might prohibit marketing.

One big perk to advertising on Reddit is that there’s not as much noise because fewer advertisers are using the platform; many believe it’s not where their audience is, some don’t understand its value, and others are put off by Reddit’s somewhat limited targeting capabilities. Despite not having some of the perks of larger social networks, Reddit can be leveraged to your company’s advantage. With fewer ads from other brands cluttering the platform, your ads stand a greater chance of being viewed, being clicked or even leading to a conversion.

To evaluate Reddit’s possible fit for your company, we suggest doing some research inside of the platform to see if there are relevant subreddits for your industry or product — you will likely find some. All you have to do is create a free account (if you don’t already have one) and search to find subreddits that are relevant to your product/service. It’s important to note that a subreddit will have to have at least 10K subscribers to be able to target it with your ads.

For example, here’s a few subreddits that could be relevant for your b2b business:

  • R/ConstructionManagers (14K members) — community for those in the construction management field to network and share ideas.
  • R/engineering (472K members) — a forum for engineering professionals to share information, knowledge and experience related to the principles & practices of the numerous engineering disciplines.
  • R/Architects (26K members) — a subreddit specifically for the professional practice of architecture.

Another great aspect of Reddit is the average cost to run ad campaigns is much lower than platforms like Meta and LinkedIn. With fewer brands currently using the platform for advertising, the cost per click is significantly lower because there’s more available inventory and less auction competition, which traditionally drives up the cost of an impression, view or click. So, get in there and do some digging. You’ll never know if Reddit is a valuable channel for your business-to-business brand unless you test it, so we encourage you to do so.

2. Industry podcast interviews (with video)
An effective way to reach a relevant segment of your online audience from an influential source is to work with a leading podcast in your industry. While spoken ads or podcast sponsorships can be good for getting your name out there, interview opportunities are often the most valuable opportunity. Interviews give you a lengthy 30 mins to 1 hour of time to talk about your brand and product, and the best part is that they’re not as salesy because the interviewer is asking you the questions, making the discussion feel more informational and less promotional.

Another great thing is that most of the people listening to your interview will be followers of the podcast you interview on. These podcast listeners are therefore more likely to consider your product or service when it’s being shared by a source they regularly listen to (podcast host), rather than hearing your brand tout its own features and benefits.

But let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this B2B marketing strategy: capitalizing on a podcast interview using recorded video. This is as easy as asking the podcast interviewer if they mind doing the interview on Zoom, Teams or whatever platform you use, and of course getting the go-ahead to record it and keep for future use. If they agree, then you’ll get a free video resource on top of the audio podcast. And this recorded video interview can be cut down into 15-30s snippets to run on social, and/or the full video can be uploaded to your website.

One idea worth testing is to create a few cut-downs of the video interview and run them as video ads on a platform like Meta or LinkedIn. These video ads could use a CTA button that leads people to a landing page with the full video interview embedded and accompanied by some additional resources, testimonials and, most importantly, a contact form.

3. Postcard mailers with QR codes
Not to diminish the power of digital, but traditional tactics like postcard mailers can be a powerful B2B marketing approach, in addition to the digital channels your campaigns are using. Just like running ads across multiple social channels can increase the reach, frequency and ad recall of your message, running ads using a blend of digital and traditional channels can accomplish the same thing. And for your most robust campaigns, you might consider running ads across a blend of different digital and traditional channels.

Let’s talk about QR codes. These scannable barcode-like squares give your brand an effective way to measure traffic coming from traditional print ads like postcard mailers or magazine placements. And by utilizing QR codes on your postcard mailers, you’ll be able to see how many people took the added step of scanning the QR code to learn more about your offering; something which wasn’t possible until the advent of the smartphone.

To get technical for a second, you will want to use a duplicate version of your campaign landing page with a unique URL that’s only going to be used on your postcard mailer so you can accurately see the data coming only from the mail campaign. As a tip, one great way to find a mailing list is to get it from a trade publication for your brand’s industry. Publications often will sell you a list of names and mailing addresses of their subscriber list. The gist is to find the trade publications that are most aligned with your product, service and/or industry, and to send your postcard mailers to the folks that subscribe to them, as the majority should be relevant eyes for your message.

4. Giveaway campaigns to boost engagement
Getting followers to engage with your social posts and to follow your page should primarily be an organic process that occurs because you’re sharing content that’s entertaining, educational and informative. However, it can be worth it to go off the regular posting pattern occasionally and do something like a giveaway campaign, which typically works best as a seasonal or holiday play.

Doing a giveaway can cause the stagnant member of your existing following to engage with your pages and will certainly help attract new followers that are eager to get free stuff. It’s a win-win — your followers will be happy to get prizes for completing the prompted actions, and your brand will win some favor with your followers, helping you stay top-of-mind. Not to mention the influx of page engagement and new followers a giveaway can bring.

Here’s an example of how a giveaway campaign might be executed:

Let’s say you do a 12 Days of Giveaways campaign leading up to Christmas, and each day you ask people to complete an action for a chance to win a daily prize. This could look something like:

  • Emailing your customer and/or prospect list(s) and asking them to follow you on social.
  • Telling people to tag a fellow engineer or architect in the comments of the post.
  • Prompting people to share a story of a time your product/service helped their business.
  • Asking followers to share their favorite holiday tradition or favorite holiday movie.
  • Commenting with a picture of your brand’s product going to work in the field.

There really isn’t a perfect way to do a giveaway, and it will certainly be different for every brand. It could be 1-2 posts that ask people to complete an action to be entered into a raffle, or it could be a 10-day-long campaign. The central idea of this B2B marketing technique is to veer off the typical content calendar every once in a while, and get people involved with your brand in a way that fosters more participation. Before setting your campaign into action, you’ll want to carefully plan the rules to make sure your giveaway campaign doesn’t impede on any state or platform-specific legal restrictions.

5. Creating content nurture streams to prospects
Because the nature of B2B consists of longer buying cycles with buyers more carefully vetting companies against each other, the emphasis needs to be skewed toward demand generation instead of quick-hit lead generation.

For example, a B2C buyer might go online to search for tires, compare options based on the style and price for 1-2 hours and then make a purchase. The process will be quite different for a business-to-business buyer, who might be looking for a machine to make tires; this is a more complicated purchase decision and will require significantly more time for the buyer to analyze your product and brand before taking any action.

This next B2B strategy is about proactively giving people the information they’re likely looking for, to help speed up this decision-making process. Most importantly, to help convince them that you’re the best possible option for what they need, whether that’s in efficiency, quality, support, price or all of the above. The “demand generation” approach shifts away from trying to get people to buy your product or fill out a form, and rather gives them value-added content like educational guides, white papers and infographics. And while it’s tempting to push your product on people like you would in B2C, you must put the emphasis on building rapport with B2B buyers first, which requires a bit more thoughtfulness.

Emailing educational thought leadership content to prospects who’ve shown interest in your company but have yet to convert is a great way to build trust and speed up the buying process. This can be done by building nurture streams through an email automation platform, like HubSpot or SharpSpring. What exactly does this look like? It means putting people who fill out contact forms on your website into a criteria-based list and enrolling them into an automated content nurture stream that goes to work on building a positive association with your brand while highlighting how your product can best meet their needs.

This could be a 6-part weekly email that gets sent over the course of 2 months. Let’s say 4 emails are aimed at providing them with a valuable industry-specific piece of content, and maybe 2 of them highlight your product’s features and benefits. The nice part is that these users can be automatically removed from the nurture stream once they’ve converted, or enrolled into another email nurture stream if they haven’t yet converted after the 6-email series.

6. Encouraging employee advocacy on social
Did you know that some of the most impactful spokespeople for your B2B brand are your employees? In fact, one study found that 63% of consumers trust what influencers say about a brand more than the brands themselves. And while influencers are traditionally thought of as people outside of your company, employees can serve the same function as “internal influencers,” so to speak. Ideally, your employees’ opinion can boost your brand’s reputation in a unique and trustworthy way that others can’t mimic. And because both your employees and customers are already spending time on social media each day, it makes sense to use this channel for advocacy; however, only 30% of companies have a program in place in 2024.

Here are 3 ways that employee advocacy can help strengthen your existing B2B social strategy:

  • Increasing brand awareness (reach) by employee sharing of company posts, messages, updates and promotions.
  • Giving outsiders a positive “inside look” at employee experiences and work life at your company to build credibility.
  • Allowing employees to act as experts in the field through recommending your company’s product/service to their followers.

Social media is where people go to share their experiences and opinions, and people look to see what others have to say from their personal accounts. If your employees are encouraged to post about your company in a positive way, their followers will passively ingest this content in their feed, which will help to build a positive association with your company over time. Not only is your company reputation strengthened, but one source (Sociabble) states that posts shared by employees went 561% further than the same messages shared on brand-owned channels, and that 65% of firms surveyed reported increased brand recognition after implementing a formal employee advocacy program. So, if your brand isn’t encouraging employees to advocate on social media, you’re likely missing out.

7. Attaching incentives to webinars
This brings us to the 7th and final tactic, which is around incentivizing people to watch your webinars.

Let’s start with a quick real-world scenario:

We’ll say you send out 100 emails inviting people to attend your webinar. 50 of these people register, 25 of them show up to watch the webinar live, and of the 25 that do show up, half of them bounce off before the webinar ends. According to one 2024 survey, more than half of all webinar participants drop off before 90% of it is completed.

While you don’t have control over how many people register or show up for the webinar, you can do something to prevent the people that do show up from leaving early. Besides having an engaging and informative webinar, you can raffle off a prize at the end of the webinar to hopefully prevent people from bouncing. Of course, this would need to be stated ahead of the webinar and included in any promotional content for the webinar and in the webinar description itself to harp on the fact that people will want to stick around to the very end for a chance at a prize.

As for what to offer a randomly chosen webinar attendee, this could be anything as small as a branded yeti cup, to a $100 Amazon gift card, or even a brand-new iPad. Often, quite a bit of hard work goes into promoting and putting on a B2B webinar, and while you can do everything you think will work to keep people engaged to the end, some people will still bounce off early. Offering a prize(s) to a randomly selected attendee(s) is an easy tactic to keep people tuned in for the entire length of the webinar. So, if you’re noticing participants bouncing off your webinars early, give it a try!

Now it’s time to try one of these 7 tactics for yourself.
If traditional B2B marketing tactics don’t always bring your business the results you’re looking for, or if you just want to test a new channel or approach to see what it yields, try one of the 7 tactics from this playbook in your next campaign or product launch. Running ads for your brand’s product or service on a less-utilized channel, like Reddit, or sending direct-mail postcards to a highly targeted list could help your message to cut through the noise louder than the competitors in your industry.

We also encourage you to try some of the customer-focused tactics as well — you might discover that the spike in engagement and added reach that typically comes from a well-planned giveaway campaign help grow your social following and brand loyalty. And why not try adding an incentive like a gift card at the end of your most important webinars and see if it gets viewers to stay the full length instead of bouncing early. Don’t forget to also capitalize on the easy wins where you can; this could be getting the host of your next podcast interview to agree to a zoom recording to use for cut-downs on social, encouraging your employees to advocate for your brand, or any other marketing strategy that’s a light lift with a big impact.

Godfrey can help your brand take a fresh approach to get your next campaign to break through the B2B clutter. If you're curious to see what we can do “inside the box,” look at how we helped Pixelle Specialty Solutions create a unique direct mail campaign.

Judah White - Digital Marketing Manager

Judah has a diverse background in SEO, PPC, paid social and other digital tactics, having planned, executed and optimized dozens of digital marketing campaigns for B2B and B2C brands.