marketing for b2b tech startups
Jul 26, 2022

Marketing for B2B Tech Startups – The Complete Guide

By Matt Dodgson

Co-Founder - Recruiter & Marketer

As the Founder or Marketing Leader of a B2B Tech Startup, you likely know that marketing is important. But what kind of marketing should you do? And how can you make sure it’s successful?

This complete guide to startup marketing will answer those questions and more. We’ll cover why marketing is essential for your B2B tech startup, what you need to do before creating your marketing plan, the various types of marketing strategies available to you, and how to create a successful marketing campaign.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to develop a powerful marketing strategy for your business.

So let’s get started!

Is Marketing Necessary for a Startup?

The short answer is: yes!

Marketing is critical for any business, but it’s especially important for B2B Tech Startups. When you’re marketing for Startups you have to work hard to build awareness and credibility in the market, and that starts by creating a brand from day one.

Startups also have to differentiate themselves from the competition because the technology market is incredibly crowded right now. And you’ll rarely find yourself in a Blue Ocean.

So without a solid B2B marketing strategy, it can be very difficult for a startup to succeed.



How Is B2B Startup Marketing Different?

Marketing for Startups is different from marketing for more established companies in a few key ways.

First of all, marketing budgets in B2B Startups are often smaller which means that marketers have to be very strategic about how they allocate their resources.

A Startup marketing strategy will also have to be creative. Often because marketing budgets are smaller, marketers have to think of ways to build awareness with their target audience without it costing too much.

Another difference is that Startups will pivot regularly. That means that their product is constantly changing, or they may start to focus on an entirely new audience as they strive to achieve product-market fit. So marketers have to be very agile and be able to adapt their strategy quickly and be comfortable with feeling slightly out of control.

And finally, Startup marketing teams will be smaller, often with only one person to develop the marketing strategy and execute it. This means that marketers at Startups have to be able to work across a variety of areas including brand, content, demand generation, digital, marketing technology, data, and analytics. All while managing internal stakeholders.

We think marketing for Startups is one of the hardest gigs out there and you need a unique blend of marketing skills to make a success of it.



Why Marketing Is Important for Your B2B Tech Startup

As a B2B Tech Startup, you need to market your business to succeed. Why? Because without marketing, no one will know about your company or your products. And if no one knows about your company or products, you won’t be able to generate leads or sales.

In other words, marketing is essential to the success of your B2B tech startup. It’s the key to raising awareness of your brand, generating leads, and driving sales.

And there are many different types of marketing strategies you can use to achieve these goals. We’ll cover some of the most popular ones later in this guide. But first, let’s take a look at why each of these goals is important for your business.

the importance of startup marketing

Raising Awareness of Your Brand

If you want people to buy your products or solutions, they need to know that your company exists in the first place. That’s why raising awareness of your brand is such an important goal of marketing.

There are many ways to raise awareness of your brand. You can use traditional marketing methods like advertising, events, and PR. Or you can use digital marketing techniques like podcasting, video marketing, influencer marketing, SEO, and blogging.

Generating Leads

Once people are aware of your brand, you need to generate leads or as a lot of B2B companies call them, marketing qualified leads (MQL). An MQL or lead is a person who has shown interest in your company or product. They may have visited your website, subscribed to your email list, signed up for a webinar, or downloaded a piece of content like an eBook or white paper.

Lead generation is important because it helps you convert strangers into potential customers.

Driving Sales

Finally, you need to use marketing to drive sales. Once you’ve generated leads, you need to convert them into paying customers.

There are many ways to do this. You can use email marketing to nurture leads and eventually sell them your solution or product. Or you can also use retargeting ads to make sure they see your product even after they leave your website. And some companies even pass a lead or MQL directly to the sales team and get them to follow up with the prospect straightaway.

No matter what method you use when marketing for Startups driving and converting leads into sales is the ultimate goal. And it all starts with generating awareness for your brand.


pinja dodik talking about being the first marketer on the market mentors podcast
Further Listening – Making a Success of Being a B2B Tech Start-up’s First Marketer

Define Your Marketing Goals

So it’s clear marketing is important to the success of your B2B Tech Startup, but before you rush off and start creating a marketing plan, there are a couple of important steps to complete first. And the first one is defining your marketing goals.

smart marketing objectives
Smart Insights

Without smart goals, you’ll have a hard time measuring your progress and determining whether your startup marketing strategy is working. Keep in mind that your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, rather than setting a goal to “increase brand awareness,” you might set a goal to “increase web traffic from potential customers by 20% within six months.” By taking the time to define your goals upfront, you’ll be able to track your progress and make adjustments to your marketing strategy as needed.

Define Who Your Target Audience Is

B2B Tech Startups often have a difficult time marketing their products or services because they are not sure who their target audience is. So defining your target audience is essential because it helps you to focus your marketing efforts and allows you to better understand your customers’ needs. And the first step in defining your target audience is to identify the characteristics of your ideal customer or persona.

In B2B marketing this includes factors such as;

  • demographic and personal information
  • job and company information
  • goals, obstacles, and pain points

Once you have identified the characteristics of your ideal customer, you can then begin to create targeted marketing campaigns that are more likely to reach this group of people. By taking the time to define your target audience, you can ensure that your B2B Tech Startup can reach its full potential.

Now we’ve defined the audience and before we jump into executing marketing campaigns, it’s time to start creating the marketing plan.

Create a Marketing Plan

As a B2B Tech Startup, it’s important to have a well-defined marketing plan in place to ensure that you’re reaching your target audience and achieving your business goals. Several key elements should be included in your marketing plan, such as:

  • A clear understanding of your target market, including who your ideal customer is and what their pain points are.
  • A detailed analysis of your competition and how you can differentiate your product or service.
  • Well-defined marketing objectives and KPIs that you can measure and track over time.
  • A comprehensive strategy for how you will reach your target market through various channels, including online and offline channels.
  • And finally, a budget for your marketing activities.

By taking the time to create a detailed and comprehensive marketing plan or startup marketing strategy, you can set your business up for success.

Types of Marketing Strategies for B2B Tech Startups

Now that we’ve covered the importance of marketing for Startups and the first few steps to get started, let’s now take a look at the different types of marketing strategies available to you.

b2b marketing strategy

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is any type of marketing that isn’t digital marketing. This includes tactics like advertising, PR, physical events, and direct mail.

Traditional marketing can be effective for B2B tech startups, but it can also be expensive. And since more and more people are spending their time online, it may not be the most effective way to reach your target audience.

Plus it can be harder to measure the ROI, so if you have a smaller marketing budget it can be harder to justify given it’s more difficult to see whether or not it helped generate sales.

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is any type of marketing that takes place online. This includes methods like SEO, PPC, paid social, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Digital marketing is often more effective than traditional marketing because it allows you to target your audience more precisely. And since more and more people are spending their time online, it’s a great way to reach your target market.

Plus B2B buyers are spending more time researching before they decide to engage with a company. And that research is typically done on search engines, so investing in digital marketing will pay dividends.

Content Marketing

Every B2B marketer needs content. Content is King!

And that’s because great content can help you achieve so much. Content marketing can help you;

  • Educate and influence prospects
  • Be found when people use search engines
  • Position your solutions in crowded markets
  • Build awareness of your solutions with people who don’t know you
  • Cut through the noise with humour
  • Support your sales team

And the biggest benefit right now, as many people are suggesting we’re moving to a cookie-less future, is that unlike PPC you own content. And as you create more good content, it compounds over time helping you drive more and more inbound leads.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn to promote your company, product, or the content you produce.

Recently more and more B2B marketers have started to experiment with platforms like TikTok, which had until recently been the channel for B2C marketers.

Plus, social media platforms are a great way to connect with potential customers and generate leads and can also be used to drive sales if you include links to your product or website in your posts.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves sending emails to potential and current customers.

When marketing in Startups a simple tactic could be to gate some valuable content, and then when a prospect downloads it in exchange for their contact details, you can use email marketing to nurture them and eventually sell them your product.

On the flip side, for existing customers, email marketing can be used to keep current customers updated on your latest products or offers.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves optimising your website for people searching online. This includes optimising your website’s content, structure, and code so that you appear higher up the search results when people are using Google or Bing. And doing this will help you get more traffic to your website and generate more leads.

However, when marketing for Startups, you need to realise that SEO is a longer-term play. It’s not something that’s going to give you quick results.

Paid Advertising

Paid advertising involves paying for ads on Google, Facebook, and other platforms, and helps you capture existing demand in the market.

Paid advertising can be an effective way to reach your target audience and generate leads. But it can also be expensive, so you need to be careful with your budget.

With this in mind, a lot of marketers who execute paid advertising campaigns for their B2B Tech business start on LinkedIn because you can target people based on your ideal customer profile, and then re-target them on platforms like Facebook and Instagram where the cost-per-click is lower.

Marketing Strategies for B2B Tech Startups

Now that we’ve covered the different types of marketing strategies available, let’s take a look at some specific marketing strategies for B2B tech startups.

N.B. It’s important you select the right marketing strategy for your Startup, rather than using someone else’s playbook otherwise you run the risk of your Startup failing.

Generate Awareness With PR

One of the best ways to generate awareness for your B2B tech startup is with PR. Getting featured in publications like TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Forbes can help you reach a wider audience and get people interested in your product.

To get started with PR, you can create a list of publications that cover your industry and pitch them story ideas. You can also hire a PR agency to help you get coverage.


people discussing marketing campaigns
Further Reading – 6 Best Marketing Campaigns To Inspire Your Tech Startup

Use Content Marketing To Educate Your Target Market

Another great way to market your B2B tech startup is with content marketing. Creating helpful and informative blog posts, articles, eBooks, and infographics can help you educate your target market about your product.

Not only that, but creating content based around the keywords your audience searches for on search engines will help your website appear higher up the search rankings, which in turn could generate more inbound leads.

A popular marketing strategy for Startups is podcasting. Either create your own podcast or appear on podcasts you know your target audience consumes. This type of content helps you create brand awareness with the persona you want to target.

repurposing content examples

And you can then repurpose the content from the podcast into a variety of assets to use, including;

  • video snippets to use across social media
  • an infographic covering the key points
  • carousel posts
  • detailed blogs around one key topic
  • a blog with a write-up about the podcast
  • videos on YouTube or TikTok
  • email newsletters

Depending on how relevant the topic is to your product, you can also use the content to build out an entire marketing campaign.

Leverage Social Media To Connect With Your Target Audience

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are great ways to connect with potential customers. You can use social media to share your latest blog posts, articles, and infographics. You can also use it to answer customer questions, give product demonstrations, and offer special deals.

But social media can also be used to drive sales. For example, you can include links to your product or website in your posts. Or you can run paid ads that target your ideal customer.

Use Account-Based Marketing to Target your Ideal Customers

If your B2B Tech Start-up sells a high-value solution to enterprise customers, then using Account Based Marketing (ABM) to target those customers is a smart play.

ABM is when you target customers either on a 1:1, 1:few, or 1:many basis with highly personalised content. You must engage internally with your sales team on this marketing strategy because there needs to be aligned for it to work effectively.

Offer a free trial of your solution

Offering a free trial of your solution is one of the fastest-growing tactics right now in SaaS Startups. Companies like Canva use this to great effect to get people using their product quickly.

Commonly referred to as Product-led Growth, B2B companies can reduce the friction of buyers talking to sales teams and speed up the adoption of them using their solution by getting the prospect to use the product for free for a set time.

The very best companies that do this will enable a prospect to sign up, activate their account, and be guided through how to use the product, without talking to anyone or even putting in their payment details.

And provided your solution helps the prospect achieve what they want and they perceive the value, then it’s a no-brainer that they’ll decide to pay for the solution.

Conclusion

Marketing is essential for any B2B tech startup looking to succeed. By using the right mix of marketing strategies, you can generate awareness, generate leads, and drive sales.

So if you’re looking to take your startup to the next level, be sure to use the marketing strategies mentioned in this post.

And if you’re looking to hire someone who is experienced in marketing for Startups, then find out more here – Startup Marketing Recruitment Agency.