4 scalable types of digital marketing for business growth




So you’re a business in the post-startup or even the scaleup phase. You have financial resources at your disposal (perhaps from a few big clients or VC-backed funding) and obviously want the best ROI possible. You also want to go all-in on business growth, with very ambitious targets for the coming year. 


However, you might be overlooking something critical. 

Contrary to popular belief, 80% of startups actually make it through the first two years of business. However, 45% fail within five years (this figure is 63% for the tech industry) and 65% fail in the first ten. (source)

It’s not just a case of what tactics are the best match for your business, but how easy it is to grow these at scale with minimal manual effort. 


For example, promoting your content via a 3rd party B2B publisher on a mailshot might work wonders, but to run just one campaign in this way you need to create the following:

  • The copy for the main email
  • Copy for a second “resend to unopens” email
  • Images you can legally use
  • A downloadable resource, to be hosted on the 3rd party’s website or your own.

Additionally, any future campaigns will likely be marketing to the same database, so for each campaign you will need fresh material, and that takes a fair bit of manual work.


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I am not saying to avoid these channels. As a B2B Digital Marketing Consultant I know the value of reaching a highly relevant database via a 3rd party, especially in certain niches (I’ll cover this more at the end of the article).


The key to super fast growth with minimal manual labour is leveraging channels that are scalable.


By that, I mean channels where it is possible to see what is working easily and, based on that data, increase your investment by simply clicking a few buttons


This guide dives into 4 channels that can deliver this. Unsurprisingly a lot of these are digital advertising, but there are also some other important channels you need to integrate to help support these.


#1: Auditing and strategy

📈 Why it's scalable 
Auditing your existing resources and building a solid strategy should leave you with a backlog of campaign and content ideas, meaning the act of scaling up in an informed way is a lot easier. 


Alright, so this isn’t exactly a channel in itself but it is a critical facilitator of scalable digital marketing.


An important first step to take when considering channels that enable rapid business growth is to look at what you have already in your marketing arsenal.


Prospects need a compelling reason to convert and give you their data, so starting with collateral you can use as a call-to-action in campaigns is a good idea.


Funnels are over simplistic from a customer journey point of view BUT useful for categorising the types of content you already have based on your business objectives. 

funnel final-1

When people book a free consultation with me, I always ask them about this as part of a longer questionnaire, so that I have all the critical information I need when it’s time to speak face-to-face.


Here’s an extract:

Please explain what actions you are looking for your audience to take at each of the below stages (please note that your personas are not ready to buy until the last stage, so think about other lower-intent actions like signing up to a newsletter or downloading a free ebook):

  • Discovery (your audience ‘find’ your business for the first time)
  • Awareness (your audience have some awareness of your brand)
  • Consideration (your audience has a business problem to solve, and is researching options)
  • Intent (your audience is making a buying decision)


This is to get a measure of the objectives of the business and what action they would like to trigger in their target audience. Then after this I ask:


“Please let me know what existing content (blog posts, product pages, ebooks, case studies etc) you have that caters to each stage:

  • Discovery (your audience ‘find’ your business for the first time)
  • Awareness (your audience have some awareness of your brand)
  • Consideration (your audience has a business problem to solve, and is researching options)
  • Intent (your audience is making a buying decision)”


This allows me to see the disparity between what a business wants and to what extent the marketing collateral they have facilitates those goals. 


Clarifying this desired behaviour and comparing it to what you presently have is critical for finding where the gaps are. Then you can build out a digital marketing strategy that plugs those gaps and have a campaign ready to captivate prospects in each “stage” of the buying funnel.


Auditing other elements of your marketing, such as your website, can help identify any blockers that will hinder your campaigns (for example slow site speed).


With that done, you can explore the options below knowing you have resources and ideas in a backlog that you can tap into.


#2: Google Ads

📈 Why it's scalable 
When you have the correct targeting in place it’s easy to identify campaigns and audiences that are performing well and increase your budget to ramp up your efforts - all with a few clicks.


The Google Ads platform offers a range of targeting and advertising options. I will do a quick outline of the most relevant ones for B2B below but you can see a far more extensive breakdown here or by taking some Google Ads training.


Google Advertising Formats

Here are the basic ones:

  • Google search ads
  • Google display ads (upload creative or use responsive display ads)
  • Youtube ads
  • Gmail ads

For B2C there are also other formats like shopping ads and app install ads, but as we’re focusing on B2B I will concentrate on the types above in examples.



Some example target groups that are easily scalable include people who:

  • Visited a product page of your direct competitor.
  • Are searching for a particular topic or product, with your ad appearing at the moment they search for it (search ads only).
  • Have searched for a particular topic or product, with your ad appearing after they have searched (display ads and Youtube ads can also use this).
  • Spend time on a particular website (this is called placement targeting, and is done through the Google Display Network).
  • Have visited your website and behaved in a certain way. For example, they have viewed 3 product pages and spent more than 5 minutes on the site. (this called retargeting)
  • Have behaved online in a way that makes Google believe they are looking for a particular product or service (called in-market audiences)


Use this last one with caution, as it is heavily reliant on what Google thinks a user is looking for. It’s always better to target very explicitly (for example with phrase match keywords that are highly relevant to your product or service) or, even better, use your own 1st party data. The latter is becoming increasingly important, especially as Google have said they will stop using third-party cookies at the end of 2024.


Remember - specifying exclusions in your targeting is as important as the inclusions. Failing to do so is a great way to waste money accidentally targeting an irrelevant audience.


Minimum spending recommendations

Google will automatically provide you with a recommend average daily budget when you run a campaign, but remember that Google’s objective is for you to spend as much money as possible. So take any recommendations coming out of Google Ads with a pinch of salt.


As for the minimum amount you need to spend to get a decent ROI, there are several differing opinions depending on where you look. Pipiads, for example, suggest spending enough to generate 300 clicks on a campaign so you can measure impact and enable data-driven decision making. With the average CPC for B2B at around $3.33 for search ads that would put you at around $1000 to achieve 300 clicks. 


For new data acquisition I personally think a good starting point is £1000 per month - this will allow your campaign to gather data and generate some initial results. 


If you feel this is very expensive you can always use specific retargeting segmentations or customer match (list) targeting (note there is a minimum 1000 users needed). You can start by using very specific targeting and then broaden it as you see fit.


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How to scale up Google Ads campaigns

Firstly, you should be data-driven in your decision to scale up a particular campaign. Examine not only the cost per click and cost per conversion, but look at the quality of the leads being generated. If you use lead scoring in your CRM (Hubspot, Salesforce etc), it will be much easier to identify good leads from bad. When your salespeople are nurturing contacts, find out what reception they got from these particular leads.


Once you have made an informed decision, there are several ways you can quickly scale up a campaign - but mostly it comes down to:

    • Increase your daily budget - This allows you to compete more aggressively for impressions so your ads appear more often to your pre-determined audience. Make sure you are adjusting this per ad group rather than for your whole campaign, and only plug more budget into campaigns that are performing well.
    • Expand your audience - If you have been cautious with your targeting, you can also scale up by throwing your net a little wider or tapping into another target group. For example, you could target people visiting additional competitors’ websites, add some related keywords to your search ads targeting or add more people to the customer match list you upload.

The former option is more straightforward and can be done in just one click, whereas when you expand your audience you need to think slightly more carefully about how you scale up. Either way, you should continue to monitor the performance of your newly expanded campaign carefully.


#3: LinkedIn Ads

📈 Why it's scalable 
With a range of specific targeting options relating to company, education and job demographics, expanding the reach of campaigns is both easy and effective.


For B2B advertising LinkedIn Ads offers excellent targeting options, although it can be a more expensive channel.


LinkedIn Advertising formats

The formats on offer to you with LinkedIn include:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Text ads
  • Spotlight ads
  • Message ads
  • Document ads


If you want more of a full assessment on LinkedIn formats, including a deeper dive on lead gen forms, video ads and the newer document ads format, take a look at my other post here.



Some targeting options based on audience attributes include:

  • Job experience: Job title, Job seniority, Job functions, Years of experience
  • Company: Company name, Company revenue, Company size, Company industry
  • Interests and traits: Member groups, Member interests, Member traits
  • Education: Degrees, Fields of study, Member school


You can also target based on first party data through list matching (minimum size 400 contacts) and retargeting.


LinkedIn is a channel where it is very easy to waste a lot of money - so it’s best to start as specific as possible with your targeting and then gradually expand. 

Don’t forget to leverage exclusion options to make sure you get maximum bang for your buck. You might want to think about excluding:

  • Contacts already in your CRM through uploading a list and excluding it from your targeting (for new data acquisition campaigns only).
  • Job titles that are in a similar area to your ideal customer persona, but that according to your sales team never convert. One example of this could be in HR - perhaps you wish to target HR Directors but you know that job titles relating to “Talent” do not convert to a sale. Here it would make sense to explicitly exclude “Talent” titles, as the LinkedIn algorithm may understandably believe these titles to be similar enough to show your ad to Talent Directors. 
  • Job titles like “Founder” or “Owner” - this may seem like a strange one but let me explain. Let’s say you are targeting C-suite or board level prospects at companies that manufacture probiotics supplements. It’s possible that if lower seniority contacts in these companies also have their own freelance business or side hustle (let’s say in this example they own a life sciences consultancy business) and are listed on LinkedIn as the “owner” of this that they could be targeted. This is because at the moment LinkedIn “sees” both the job titles of say “CEO” and the “Owner” but cannot seem to put the roles into context with the company targeting. 


Minimum spending recommendations

As with Google Ads, recommendations for this vary but in general for new data acquisition campaigns most experts recommend a spend of £4k a month (as suggested here and here).


This is because a higher spend allows the LinkedIn algo to “learn” about your target audience and put together a profile of who is more likely to convert on your campaign more quickly. 


If this seems extreme, I personally have had success putting £500 behind a two week lead generation campaign with a very specific life sciences audience.

In this instance a managed to generate some high quality leads with an average cost of around £30 per lead. But your success will largely depend on the niche you are in, the quality of your content, how intriguing your ad copy and creative is as well as how effectively you utilise targeting options.


For retargeting you can spend a lot less and still get results. Around £400 per month for a campaign using multiple segmentation options to further qualify your site visitor audience might be a good starting point. 


This is especially true for SaaS businesses, where your product has a high ticket value - you will need more touchpoints to nurture your prospects and LinkedIn is a great place to catch people when they are in “work mode”. You can learn more about how digital marketing can aid SaaS businesses specifically here.


How to scale up LinkedIn Ads campaigns

Similar to Google Ads, increasing your daily budget is the simplest way to be shown more often to your desired audience. 


To expand your audience on LinkedIn you can add more company names, job titles or any other demographics to your targeting. Just make sure you do the research to ensure these audiences are relevant and will be receptive to your offer. 


LinkedIn will encourage you to leverage their audience expansion capabilities by automatically opting you in. My recommendation would be to remove this initially for the same reason I am cautious about in-market audiences on Google Ads. It is always better to explicitly state to the algo what you are looking for, rather than leaving it to decide who it thinks are similar to your desired audiences.


#4: Content Marketing

📈 Why it's scalable 
Whilst short-term actions like paid advertising provides you with results immediately, being an authority in your chosen sector is critical for building trust, shortening sales cycles and generating leads organically (i.e. for free). A solid content strategy gives you a backlog of topics and content ideas you can easily tap into.

We’ve focused a lot on paid advertising but it’s worth mentioning that a well-considered content marketing strategy can also be scalable, especially if you’ve followed the advice covered in chapter 1 of this guide.


Although it will take a longer time to see direct results from things like blog posts, these are critical for being discovered by new prospects who are looking to solve a pain point earlier on in the buying journey. They can demonstrate knowledge and trustworthiness, both to your potential customer and to the Google overlords. 


Content is a critical contributor to building your brand.


The below chart effectively demonstrates the sales impact of investing in long-term strategies vs shorter term tactics.

Consider performing a thorough audit of all of the topics that are of interest to your target audience and have some relevance to the product or service you offer. Look at what’s being covered at events and talk to salespeople, customer success managers and of course existing clients to find out what areas they are looking for guidance on. 


Then conduct some keyword research (or hire an SEO expert to do this for you) to get an idea of the appetite and search volumes for some of these topics. At this point it’s sometimes worth grouping the different keywords based on topics or even at two levels (category and blog post topic).


Then, start generating some blog post ideas based on your research and start prioritising them based on the following:

  • Direct relevancy to the product or service you offer
  • Whether they solve a pain points of your ideal customer persona 
  • What point in the buying cycle this would occur
  • Keyword volume
  • The intent behind the topic, and how much commercial intention it shows


You may also have your own criteria based on your business objectives.


Now you can easily put together a document categorising the different post ideas, with a “sprint” that contains the 10 most important posts to write, based on your criteria. 


This is now a backlog of ideas you can easily dip into and give to freelancers when you need more content. And if you want to produce more content, it is simply a case of finding the next most important topic in your backlog and briefing your freelance or in-house content writers. 


Of course, you can also seek the assistance of an AI content writer but I would exercise caution when doing this. Make sure either you or a selected editor are proof reading the content thoroughly and fact checking any statistics or historical accuracies. 


Don’t forget to ensure any content you produce follows SEO best practice and that your website is technically sound and user-friendly.


Things to keep in mind

I have covered a lot in the chapters above (this post is really much longer than I intended!) but when you go about implementing these scalable marketing tactics, make sure someone experienced in these channels is monitoring over the execution and results. 


This will save you a lot of time, money and general pain.


You could hire an in-house digital marketing manager, a digital marketing agency or a digital marketing consultant. If you want some further guidance on this, why not book a free consultation with me?


Remember that you should also consider your business objectives, where your target audience spends time online and your industry


Let’s go back to my example in the introduction of this guide on advertising via emails to the database of a 3rd party B2B publisher.


If you are dealing with an extreme niche, you may indeed wish to opt for mailshot or banner advertising via a 3rd party publisher that covers your specific area of interest. 


Exposure to these databases may be a wiser investment initially than hoping your paid search ad appears, given your target keywords may be very specific. 


This is especially true if you do not have a full understanding of how your audience is searching for your services or if you do not have access to a trusted digital marketing expert.


On the other hand, if you are scaling up your B2B SaaS business and you have direct competitors who are already in the market, Google Ads’ ability to target based on a user visiting a competitor page could quickly give you access to a relevant audience (I always suggest cross-filtering and monitoring your results to check this is really the case). 


Laying the foundations for scalable marketing requires some initial thought and investment, but will pay dividends when you require the agility and data-driven insight needed to grow rapidly. 


These tactics will not only help you stay one step ahead of your competitors, but also ensure you become a trusted authority in your industry and ultimately stay in the forefront of your target audiences’ minds.

Book a free consultation now and accelerate your business growth.

Digital Hydra

For the last 10 years I've been driving results in-house for B2B companies within a variety of industries. I'm a full stack marketer with specialist knowledge in SEO, paid advertising, content, data analysis and strategy. Whilst the majority of my experience has been in SaaS, I have also worked within the life sciences and publishing industries.