How to Craft a B2B Digital Marketing Strategy to Generate Leads

Tips on how crafting a strong digital marketing strategy that generates leads.

We’ve often discussed the importance of a strong digital marketing strategy for B2B firms. The core function of a well-crafted B2B digital marketing strategy is mainly to generate qualified leads. Sounds easy, right?  

While it’s not rocket science or chemical engineering (those are hard!), creating a digital marketing strategy to generate leads is doable. Here is what we’ve gathered from our experience drafting and executing digital marketing strategies for B2B clients in various markets.  

Define what a qualified lead looks like 

If you don’t know what you are looking for, how will you know you’ve found it? A great place to start is to go lead by lead with your sales team to review the outcome of the sales evaluation and proposal process.  

When going through this process with our clients (which we do monthly), we often have “aha!” moments. This is where insights are revealed that aren’t necessarily part of a buyer persona profile. We might uncover things like actual decision-maker titles, compliance requirements, entry-level services that lead to bigger deals, or even the most profitable industries.  

It’s important to remember that qualified leads can include buyers at various stages of the buying process – from just starting to ready to take a demo or review a proposal. Don’t discount a lead as “not qualified” if they are in the beginning stages of determining their budget and requirements – often they just need a bit of nurturing. Another thing to keep in mind is the sales timeline. For many B2B firms, the sales process can take anywhere from three to four to 12 months from the beginning to the signed sales agreement.  

Understand what your ideal buyer needs 

This often means getting a clear idea of the buyer’s journey and the challenges they face. Again, talking to your sales team is a great way to ferret out these details. For example, while you think a prospect needs more robust accounting software, what they need is accounting software that provides automated reports. These may seem the same, but they are stated differently.  

If you aren’t able to access your sales team, even recordings of sales calls can be eye-opening. In many cases, hearing a prospect describe their situation and their needs can change how you position your products or services.  

The one thing we warn B2B marketers about when considering buyer needs is not fitting the buyer’s needs to match the product or service offerings, but the opposite. You must first understand your buyer’s challenges, and then offer a right-fit solution that addresses them. All marketing should speak the same language as the buyer and forego any company-speak that isn’t widely used in the industry. This includes tailoring the way you speak to different decision markers and different industries – since the needs may be similar but have their nuances.  

Create a strong digital presence 

Central to any effective digital marketing strategy is a professional B2B website design. This acts as the hub for all your marketing activities and provides a helpful, up-to-date resource center for your ideal buyers to visit and get the information they need.  

In addition to building a professional, robust B2B website, consider tactics like the right social platforms, paid ad campaigns, directory listings, industry associations, and review sites for showcasing satisfied clients. The key phrase in this section is “the right,” meaning that you don’t have to put your company everywhere online. Instead, carefully curate where it makes sense to have a presence and focus on building out your brand in those targeted spots.  

When building out your presence on social media, directories, and review sites, be sure to be consistent with the same message and branded visuals. Keep in mind that if a prospect is doing their due diligence on your company, they may visit multiple online platforms. You want their experience to be fluid and consistent – not jarring or confusing.   

Optimize your digital presence to attract your ideal buyers 

Whether you are launching a new brand or promoting an established brand with a rich legacy, it’s critical to optimize your digital presence. Optimizing your presence is more than just a nice website and great branded visuals. It starts with SEO research to see whether what you think buyers are searching for is actually true. It also includes competitive research to see what your existing or up-and-coming competitors in the space are doing.  

What this research all boils down to is ensuring that you are speaking the same language as your buyers. While you may sell healthcare compliance software, your ideal buyers may be searching for HIPAA hospital software. Now you may be thinking you can change how the industry talks about the software, but it’s unlikely to happen until you become an industry leader. When optimizing your digital presence, avoid internal jargon that means nothing to your clients and prospects.  

Capture leads early and accompany them through the buying journey – before you even talk to them 

Why should a potential buyer trust you? Because you understand what they need and are happy to educate them, of course. When crafting a B2B digital marketing strategy that generates leads, you need to be sure to address leads at all stages of the buying process (see “Define what a qualified lead looks like” above). Offering an educational library on your B2B website enables you to educate and nurture leads while also earning the trust of a potential client.  

In many B2B industries, the first mover often has the advantage, regardless of how long the sales process takes. As such, it’s important to consider leads that are in the early stages so you can educate them about the buying process, then give them the tools they need to secure budget and the resources to make a case for the purchase.  

Blogs, guides, case studies, videos, explanations, infographics, long-form articles, research, and white papers are all great resources to ensure you are not only capturing late-stage leads ready to speak to sales but also early-stage buyers looking for the right solution. Keep in mind that early-stage leads may know they need your solution but may not have the funding yet or may be stuck in an agreement they are waiting to expire. Getting your brand in front of them early ensures they choose you first when it’s time to bring in your rockstar sales team.  

Promote your content to extend your reach 

This is stating the obvious but there is a lot of digital noise out there, meaning that most industries have a lot of competition to get in front of their ideal buyers. And let’s be honest, most of the competition isn’t even on par with your products or services, they just have a better presence or (digitally) speak a bit louder.  

Promoting your content helps to even the playing field and ensures that your ideal buyers know your products and solutions exist. Once you have created valuable content in the form of guides, blog posts, or case studies – amplify your reach with paid and organic promotion. For paid promotion, think social ads on LinkedIn, search ads on Google or Bing, display ads across various platforms or industry-specific websites. For organic promotion, be sure to share your content on social media and send regular newsletters to your clients and prospects.  

Generate leads with a dynamic strategy 

B2B digital marketing strategies that generate quality leads don’t rely on just one channel or tool. Rather, an effective strategy draws on a robust, multi-faceted strategy that knows and understands the ideal buyer, creates an optimized digital presence across multiple channels, greets the buyer with valuable content at every stage of the buying process, and gives a boost to all content to put it before the right eyeballs.  

Often, even though a buyer fills out a contact form after clicking on a digital search ad, it’s because:  

  • They first saw your post on LinkedIn seven months ago,  
  • then signed up for your newsletter,  
  • came back after two months to download a guide,  
  • then saw your sponsored post on Instagram,  
  • came back to read your monthly blog post,  
  • and then downloaded four of your case studies to convince their boss to switch vendors, 
  • were told to get three quotes so they Googled your product or service 
  • then selected you as one of the vendors since they were familiar with you and only chose your two top competitors to round out the three for a quote even though they plan on championing your solution.  


Get the right B2B marketing agency to craft a killer strategy. Download our guide on selecting the right agency or save yourself some time and schedule a call today with our team of digital marketing experts – who know B2B. 


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