14 Proven Digital Marketing Strategies For B2B Lead Generation In 2020

B2B digital marketing strategies generating leads and prospects
Generating leads is a top challenge for 61% of B2B marketers

For 85% of marketers, content is the most effective way of attracting leads to the sales funnel, but this is only one of many B2B digital marketing strategies for lead generation.

In this article, we’ll break down the best of these strategies that will help B2B companies generate more sales in 2020.

We’ll give you the research, the upcoming trends and tips on how to choose the strategies that will work for your business.

Let’s get right to it:

Looking to grow your brand online? Let us give you ideas.Request a quote

Top B2B Digital Marketing Strategies To Generate More Leads In 2020

Here are 14 highly-effective B2B digital marketing strategies that will help businesses across industries generate more quality leads in 2020. 

1. B2B Companies With Live Blogs Get 67% More Leads

Still not sold on blogging? Don’t trust us, trust the facts:

  • B2B marketers that blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t. (Source: HubSpot)
  • B2B companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month get 4.5 times more leads than companies who publish 4 or less. (Source: HubSpot)
  • 53% of B2B buyers read 3 to 5 articles or other pieces of content before reaching out to sales. (Source: Isoline)
  • Businesses with active blogs get 97% more links to their website and 55% more site visits. (Source: Business2Community)
  • 87% of US-based B2B companies use digital content marketing. (Source: eMarketer)

Blogs can feed into every stage of the marketing funnel.

  • At the top of the funnel, create posts that capture your audience’s attention and build interest by addressing their needs or pain points.
  • At the next stage, create lead magnet blog posts. You have addressed your audience’s pain points and gained some brand awareness, now offer solutions to turn your visitors into leads. Offer free downloadables, exclusive newsletters, trials and other freebies in-post. 
  • At the final stage, your audience is brand-aware and interested. Create blog posts that tip them over the lead-customer threshold by helping them make informed decisions. Position your products or services as the best solutions to their problems, compare your offering to others on the market and offer valuable insight.

And create content keeping in mind that 96% of B2B buyers want to see it well-researched and written from a standpoint of authority.

Now, here are some of the 2020 blogging best practices and ideas for B2B lead generation:

  • Include images to get up to 94% more views. (Source: Jeff Bullas)
  • Include calls to action that funnel traffic to the conversion pages.
  • Use the keywords that your prospects use to describe their pain points and needs.
  • Create research reports to position your company as an authority in your field and to build trust.

Companies with active blogs get 97% more backlinks and 437% more Google indexing

2. 66% Of B2B Companies Claim That LinkedIn Is The Most Effective Social Media Platform For Acquiring Leads

Sprout Social says that 77% of consumers that follow brands on social media are more likely to buy from that particular brand over the other.

Social media is a powerful tool for B2B lead generation

Research shows that 84% of B2B service or product buyers are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions. 

Furthermore:

  • 55% of B2B buyers research social media when looking for information on their next buy. (Source: Vividfish)
  • 83% of B2B marketers are using social media as an important part of their content marketing strategy. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for B2B lead generation, according to 66% of companies. (Source: Statista)
  • 9 out of 10 B2B companies are using LinkedIn, while over half of B2B buyers are using LinkedIn to make a purchasing decision. (Source: IDC)
  • In 2020, Instagram will be a social media platform used by more B2B companies, while YouTube is rated as important for 56% of B2B marketers, placing it after email, LinkedIn and print. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

Social media B2B trends that are expected to take over in 2020 are:

  • Social media communities to cultivate interactions
  • Social media micro-influencers and word-of-mouth marketing
  • LinkedIn dominates B2B social media marketing
  • Blending marketing and sales on social media for lead nurturing

84% of B2B buyers are influenced by social media when making a purchase decision

3. Millennials Are Now 73% Of B2B Buyers – And Almost 70% Of Them Experience The Fear Of Missing Out

A sense of urgency that FOMO creates is real: 56% of users are afraid that they will miss out on what’s happening on social media.

Even more dramatically, 69% of millennials experience FOMO and 60% make purchases because of it.

Why do we say this? 

Because 73% of all B2B buyers are now millennials! 

That is not to say that FOMO affects only this demographic. The tactic appeals to our basic need for inclusion and fear of making a wrong decision. As such, it affects everyone, but its impact seems to be the strongest among digital natives, mainly due to social media. 

B2B marketers use various FOMO techniques to attract more leads. These will be prominent in 2020:

  • Time-limited offers (ex. “40% off until the end of the month”)
  • Testimonials and other social proof on landing pages
  • Live sales updates (ex. “5 people are looking at this product”) 
  • Highlighting missed opportunities so that next time users will be on high alert
  • Live inventory updates (ex. “only 3 seats left”)
  • Live countdowns for offer expiration

Out of these techniques, customer testimonials and case studies are the most effective B2B marketing tactics, according to B2B Content Marketing Trends report

4. Landing Pages With Videos Can Increase Conversions By 86% Or More

68% of B2B businesses use strategically optimized landing pages to acquire leads.

So what are these optimized landing pages, exactly?

A landing page is where your user “lands” when they click on your campaign, be it social media, paid search, email marketing or other.

These are the pages specifically designed to drive traffic with the intent of generating leads or converting.

An optimized landing page is one that does a great job at converting your leads.

The two biggest landing page optimization trends in 2020 will be:

  • Videos: Inserting a video into your landing page can increase conversions by as much as 86%. (Source: EyeView)
  • Compelling titles: Not exactly a new trend, but still an important one. Question titles are expected to be on the rise as they can generate 14.1% more click-through than other types. (Source: Backlinko)

Some of other B2B landing page optimization best practices for 2020 are:

  • Providing something of value to the visitor, such as e-book, webinar or a tool download
  • Using trustmarks such as client logos
  • Clear calls to action as visual cues to guide visitors to the next steps
  • Removing navigational elements so as not to distract from content on this page
  • Using “Thank You” pages to share the offer on social media, download it and subscribe to blog or newsletter
Screenshot of TouchBistro's landing page with video
TouchBistro’s website makes most of lead generating potential of a landing page with a video

5. Search Marketing Is Highly Effective In Attracting The Competitors’ Audience. This Is How.

93% of B2B buying begins with online searches.

Also, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.

Although it’s true that optimizing content for organic search provides the biggest amount of high-quality leads, using search marketing is one of the most effective long-term tactics for generating B2B leads.

Search marketing can boost online presence via paid or organic campaigns on search engines.

A good search marketing strategy for 2020 is following what your competition is doing: 

  • Their target audiences
  • Their deals
  • Their campaigns 

Beating them at their own game is possible by launching search marketing campaigns that provide better deals to the same audience.

A business can monitor and tap competitors’ audiences via:

  • SimilarWeb, SpyFu and other web analytics tools: These market intelligence tools give you insight into your competitors’ web performance and insights into their audiences. You can use this info to build search campaigns targeting their users.
  • SEMRush, Ahrefs, Moz and other SEO tools: These give you insights into your competitors’ keywords and SEO strategy, allowing you to discover their strengths and shortcomings.

93% of B2B buying begins with online searches

6. Personalized Exit Intent Pop-Ups Can Boost Leads And Conversions By As Much As 200%

Exit-intent pop-ups are triggered when a user hovers their mouse over the X button on their browser. They present the user with an enticing offer to persuade them to stay on the site and convert.

Case in point: BeSmartee loan origination platform increased their conversion rates by 200% through such pop-ups.

These pop-ups can also increase lead generation via offers such as:

  • Free product trial
  • A freebie with any purchase
  • A consultancy or audit service free of charge

Some other particularly effective types of pop-ups and calls-to-action for generating leads in 2020 will be:

  • Click pop-ups that activate when a user clicks on a text or image
  • Scroll pop-ups which are triggered when a user scrolls down a certain amount of your page
  • Timed pop-ups that activate after a certain amount of time a user has spent on your page
Screenshot of WishPond's exit-intent pop-up
WishPond exit-intent pop-up alerts leaving users of a possibility to chat with their representative, prolonging their stay on site and potentially acquiring leads

7. 70% Of B2B Digital Marketers Say Video Marketing Is The Most Effective Lead Generation And Conversion Strategy

According to HubSpot, videos help 90% of customers make a buying decision, while 64% of them said that watching a video brought them closer to buying. 

88% of video marketers say that they are content with their video marketing campaigns’ ROI.

B2B companies are embracing this channel, 71% of them use video marketing to:

  • Increases sales 
  • Increases brand awareness and trust
  • Fortify the existing customer relationships by keeping them in the loop of the latest developments. 

In 2020:

  • Video marketing will be the favorite way of learning about new products for 68% of the audience.
  • Explainer videos will be the most popular type, while 360-degree showcase videos, shoppable videos, interactive videos and similar formats will be on the rise.
  • There will be a LOT more demand for live videos. As a result, more companies will include live streams in their video strategy, holding webinars and other valuable types of content that builds trust, provides value to their business prospects and generates leads.

Still not sold on video in B2B digital marketing? Consider these:

  • Almost 80% of B2B marketers said that video was an effective content marketing strategy. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • 1 in 4 clients lose interest in a company that doesn’t have a video and 4 in 5 consumers say it is very important for a B2B company to have a video that shows how a service works. (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • B2B marketers that use video marketing grow company revenue 49% faster than those who don’t. (Source: Vidyard)
  • 70% of B2B marketers say that video is more effective than any other strategy for acquiring and converting valuable leads. (Source: Content Marketing Institute
  • Video marketers get 66% more valuable leads per year, as well as see a 54% increase in brand awareness. (Source: OptInMonster

To conclude, the best video types to use for B2B lead generation in 2020 are:

  • How-to videos
  • Explainer videos
  • Webinars

88% of B2B marketers are satisfied with video marketing ROI

8. Mobile Marketing Is Still Very Much Underused, While Half Of All Internet Traffic Is There!

2019 was the tipping point that saw mobile traffic account for half of all internet traffic across the globe. 

2020 will see mobile overtake desktop in internet usage. Other stats to have in mind:

  • 87% of internet users are using mobile phones, while 43% of product research is done on mobile. (Source: Finance Online)
  • 50% of emails are opened through mobile devices, creating opportunities for B2B lead generation through email marketing and newsletters. (Source: Campaign Monitor)
  • 80% of B2B buyers use mobile devices for research at work. (Source: BCG)
  • The same study expects the amount of B2B queries made on mobile to rise to 70% in 2020.
  • Mobile usage per B2B worker will increase by 50% during the course of the year.
  • 49% of businesses still do not use mobile marketing in their campaigns! (Source: Campaign Monitor)

Some of the B2B mobile marketing trends for this year will include but not be limited to:

  • Mobile ad spend will reach $165 billion by year’s end.
  • Mobile ad platforms will provide better location-based targeting.
  • 5G creates opportunities for faster and smoother interactions, as well HD AR, VR and other video experiences.
  • Marketing automation will continue to help businesses offer hyper-personalized services to B2B customers, such as live chat on mobile, suggested products etc.

43% of product research is done on mobile

9. Retargeting Through Display Ads Can Entice 70% Of Website Visitors To Make A Purchase

According to a study, display retargeting performs better for B2B than B2C – it outperforms it by 147%

Retargeting works.

  • Retargeting ads have a 10 times higher clickthrough rates than regular display ads. (Source: Kensho)
  • Retargeting can convert up to 70% of visitors. (Source: Kensho)
  • 54% of B2B marketers are excited to use retargeting in spaces that are highly engaged, like social media, as a way of generating leads. (Source: IAB)

B2B remarketing tactics to consider in 2020:

  • Email drip campaigns for new leads
  • Mail campaigns with new offers for leads of high value
  • Retargeting GoogleAds search campaign

In addition to off-site retargeting, which means serving ads to the users who leave the site, businesses should also consider on-site retargeting.

On-site retargeting reinforces the users’ purchase intent while browsing through your offering.

On-site retargeting tactics to consider in 2020:

  • Micro or soft conversions: Send your leads exclusive and insightful newsletters, discounts, coupons and gifts to incentivize them to maintain interactions with your brand.
  • Personalization of messages: Communicate relevant messages to each audience segment and potential B2B partners from different verticals to give them more value and incentive to restart their customer journeys.

Retargeted ads have a 10x higher CTR than regular display ads

10. AI Chatbots Help B2B Companies Engage Every Single Lead

In 2020, conversational marketing will become a new buzzword.

Conversational marketing is feedback-oriented digital marketing tactic, providing unique experience to every customer at every stage of the conversion funnel. It is used to drive engagement, acquire leads and grow customer base.

Basically, it is moving customers through conversion funnels via real-time conversations. 

In 2020, 80% of all businesses will have chatbot automation – and yet, a measly 0.5% of B2B sites use chatbots!

What’s all the fuss about chatbots in business lead generation?

  • Chatbots can save up to 30% in customer support expenditures and users generally prefer chatbots over apps when interacting with companies. (Source: Invesp)
  • Studies show that B2B companies use chatbots more often than B2C (58% against 42%), usually in the first step in the lead generation process. (Source: Boomtown)

Chatbots are a great way to capture leads for B2B marketers as they help them engage every  single client. They do this by being available 24/7 – something that would be cost and energy-inefficient to achieve with a human workforce.

In fact, a human workforce may find this impossible to achieve as research shows that it is vital to respond to a lead within 5 minutes or, ideally, 5 seconds! HubSpot’s study suggests, similarly, that 82% of users expect an immediate response (within 5 minutes, also).

Chatbots use artificial intelligence to interact with customers, answering their queries and prolonging their time on-site.

Chatbots provide quick and to-the-point answers to questions. They can be programmed to resemble a human assistant, using conversational language to engage them and build better relationships. 

Conversational marketing that uses chatbots can collect lead contact info and other relevant data. Chatbots can store all the info gathered from a chat session with a potential lead in a lasting database

One of the main conversational marketing traits in B2B according to Drift’s Dave Gerhardt is that they can add value to businesses by balancing the “signal to noise ratio”, meaning it skips preliminary conversations and gets to the sale talk immediately.

82% of consumer say the immediate response is very important

11. SEO Is Among The Top Three Sources Of Leads For B2B Companies, But Remains Vastly Underused

Investing in SEO and building brand authority is a long-term road to lead generation success. SEO is becoming, more and more, a holistic, user-intent driven process reliant on the expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT) of the brands as well as their content. .

Hubspot found that B2B companies are getting 14% of their leads from SEO, placing it in top three lead sources, but are only investing 12% of their budget into it.

Other research on B2B SEO reveals that:

  • 89% of B2B buyers use the internet during B2B research process and 71% of them begin their research with generic search term. (Source: Think With Google)
  • B2B researchers will make 12 searches, on average, before contacting a business for a quote. (Source: News Cred)
  • For 72% of B2B marketers, the most productive SEO tactics is the production of useful content. (Source: Hubspot)

Some of the trends for B2B SEO in 2020 are:

  • Focus on credible content: Content will need to be more relevant and helpful to rank better. Updates like BERT will continue to push brands towards less SEO and more value in their content.
  • Off-page SEO still important: Off-page strategies like link building will continue to play an important role in SEO, but we can expect Google to become better at spotting black hat tactics.
  • Mobile SERP visibility: Google will continue to test and implement different types of in-search query resolutions such as FAQs. 

12. Quality Backlinks Improve Organic Rankings, Driving More Qualified Leads Via Organic Search

93% of B2B content gets no external backlinks. Aiming to be in the successful 7% can pay off big time.

One of the greatest benefits of link building for B2B is organic traffic growth. Some of the most effective tactics of link building are:

  • Backlinks from .edu and .gov sites because Google sees these as trustworthy and authoritative
  • Wikipedia links as another high-authority referring domain
  • Affiliate link building
  • Highly sharable content such as infographics
  • Guest blogging 
  • Help a Reporter Out (HARO) service

ShoutMeLoud points out that search engines discover pages to crawl and index by following backlinks;he sooner your page is discovered, the faster it will be crawled and ranked.

According to Backlinko’s research of 1 million Google search results, pages with more backlinks tend to rank higher than pages with fewer backlinks. 

Backlinko predicts that backlinking will still be a big ranking factor in 2020.

93% of B2B content has no external backlinks

13. Paid Search Ads Make It Easier For B2B Buyers To Find Relevant Content On Your Website

For 75% of users paid search ads make it easier to find the info they were looking for. 

Paid display ads are great for generating more leads because:

  • They boost brand awareness by 80%. (Source: Clever Clicks)
  • Users who come to your site through paid search ads are almost entirely the traffic that turns into leads. PPC traffic has 50% higher conversion rate than organic traffic. (Source: Moz)
  • General stats for PPC in B2B state that clickthrough rate is 2.41% and that 65% of companies are acquiring B2B customers through LinkedIn paid ads. (Source: Business2Community)
  •  In total, 78% or marketers advertise on Google Ads and social media while LinkedIn has 14.6% of the PPC market share. (Source: Formstack)

In terms of what’s in store for PPC in 2020, when it comes to B2B lead generation:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Machine learning can help marketers identify the bids that drive the most traffic, can predict the CTR of ads and how successful they will be in obtaining quality leads.
  • Responsive Search Ads: These can test different headlines and descriptions to find the optimal combo for a target audience, using AI. The content of the ad that is made for a specific target audience and adapts to the device’s width can improve the ad performance and generate more leads.
  • PPC Automation: Big amounts of data working on identifying the optimal demographics for every ad campaign potentially cuts down expenses on targeting audiences.

PPC traffic has 50% higher conversion rates than organic traffic

14. Email Marketing Can Generate As Much As $44 For Every $1 Spent 

That’s right – the almost unbelievable stat from the headline above is all true. Whatsmore, a study has shown that 62% of marketers are adamant that personalized messaging is the most effective type of email marketing.

There is enough evidence that supports the notion of email marketing effectiveness in lead generation for B2B to go around:

  • Email is still the most popular lead generation channel—77% of B2B marketers use email marketing to drive leads by sending personalized emails. (Source: Statista
  • SuperOffice’s own study confirms just how strangely underused this channel is: 59% of B2B companies do not use email marketing despite its known effectiveness! (Source: SuperOffice)

In 2020, email marketing will continue to generate a massive amount of leads and to convert, considering these stats:

  • Email converts 40x more effectively than Facebook. (Source: The Annutas Group)
  • Marketing emails impact the buying intent and decision of over 50% of customers. (Source: Salecycle)
  • Email marketing’s primary purpose is lead generation (85%) and lead nurturing (78%) (Source: Content Marketing Institute)
  • Video in email marketing campaign increases CTRs by 200%-300%. (Source: Digital Information World)

Some of the biggest email marketing trends for generating leads in 2020 are:

  • Minimalist email design makes email load time faster, focuses on the content and delivers a direct message.
  • Mobile-first email campaigns will be on the rise as 61% of emails are opened via mobile.

Email marketing is 40x more effective at acquiring new conversions than social media

How To Know Which B2B Digital Marketing Strategies Will Work For Your Business?

B2B digital marketing strategies for lead generation that have shown the most promise in terms of success rate are:

  • Email marketing
  • Search marketing
  • Social marketing
  • And, more broadly, content marketing

Studies show that social media, email and content marketing are the three best sources of lead generation for B2B companies, while direct mail and traditional advertising are the worst-performing channels for sourcing leads

In terms of business and company size:

  • Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and email are the best sources of leads for smaller companies
  • SEO contributes to 15% of leads to medium-sized companies

InnovatingB2B’s research confirms that, for B2B companies, SEO, email marketing and social media are the top three sources of leads. 

Forbes argues that social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing and search marketing are most effective B2B lead generators.

Of course, one thing is important to bear in mind: No matter what lead generation channel your business chooses, it’s more important HOW it uses it. A well-executed campaign will produce positive results no matter the channel.

Takeaways On B2B Digital Marketing Strategies For Lead Generation

Some of the main takeaways on B2B lead generation via digital marketing are:

  • There is a lot of untapped space in B2B digital marketing such as blogging, mobile use and SEO.
  • There are certain lead generation strategies, such as retargeting and email marketing, that have very high conversion rates

Whatever your choice of digital marketing tactics is, keep in mind that B2B lead generation is a long process. B2B products and services are costly and often require long-term commitment which is why your leads will strive to make informed purchase decisions. Support them in the process and you’ll have yourself plenty of happy customers!

Need growth-focused digital marketing services?Let’s talk