What is a B2B growth marketing hack?
Sean Ellis is largely credited for coining the term “growth hacking” in his book, Hacking Growth. It generally refers to bootstrapping traditional marketing strategies with innovative, extremely cost-effective methods. Hacking B2B growth marketing involves looking at unusual ways to create brand awareness, acquire new customers and accelerate business growth.
The key to B2B growth hacking strategies is first and foremost, a data-driven marketing campaign. Innovative/non-traditional does not mean haphazard and unplanned, nor is it only for startups. In fact, it means exactly the opposite. A smart B2B growth hack comes from a careful study of the target audience (in this case B2B businesses), followed by an ultra-streamlined plan of attack using minimal and low-cost resources. These methods may be in the vein of more traditional marketing tactics like search engine optimization, email marketing and referral marketing - but they can be tweaked for the type of guerilla marketing techniques that growth hacking implements.
Here are five proven methods for B2B growth hacking:
- Hyper-targeting (clearly identifying your target customer and delivering extremely relevant messages in key places). For B2B marketing, the most important social media platform is LinkedIn. This is the gathering place for businesses, so targeting potential customers here with the right content marketing plan, can exponentially boost qualified lead generation.
- Freemiums get your audience in the door but make sure the free version has stand-alone value that creates brand loyalty and the desire to expand usage. A good freemium should quickly build a happy user base willing to be product evangelists for new user referral programs.
- Partnerships with influencers, bloggers and thought-leaders who resonate with your customer base. Successful growth hacking in B2B marketing is not necessarily about avoiding any traditional marketing strategies. Hosting a webinar or podcast with a thought-leader is a traditional marketing tactic, but a growth hacker will take that piece of content and make it work in multiple ways. For example, Welcome is a webinar platform with a built-in content creation studio. This means you can add music, videos and useful on-screen overlays to complement your webinar. A recently released feature allows you to put on-screen calls to action (CTA) for your attendees. You can also easily create splice-able clips for social sharing.
- “Branding over Botting” - personalization goes a long way in creating strong brand loyalty for both you and your customer base, especially in a world being overrun by AI content. An easy user interface that allows for customization is especially appealing for B2B marketing. The ability to brand your product with your customer’s logo can be a quick and easy growth hack.
- Build Integrations that work well with popular platforms that help optimize conversion rates (Hubspot and Salesforce are especially important for B2B integrations).
What works for others can work for you. So don’t be afraid of “copying” the competition - your B2B growth marketing strategy should incorporate historically successful tactics, vetted for your current needs. This means strong data analysis before and after you run your B2B marketing campaigns. Know exactly where to shoot your shot, then analyze your results and adjust future actions based on this data.
If you do this right, your B2B marketing growth hacks could result in an explosion of new customers, high-quality leads and new business. Surprisingly, this could be good or bad news - if you don’t prepare for the growth, you could end up floundering and disorganized, losing the positive brand awareness you worked hard to create. So make sure you have a plan in place to handle sudden growth. New users of your product will expect excellent service/follow-up and a UI that doesn’t break, for example. Your sales team will need relevant assets that can be disseminated quickly as well. Hopefully these will be “problems” for which you have prepared in advance and have to face, after a successful B2B growth marketing hack campaign!