​Business-facing organizations use internet marketing tactics to generate leads online, and new data shows which practices are hardest to implement and which work the best.

​Online marketing comes with its share of challenges, and B2B organizations with clear strategic objectives must embrace tactics proven effective by their peers. U.S. internet users turn to the web for a variety of purposes, from shopping to product research to entertainment, and brands with active online presences can cater to each individual customer demand.

However, Brafton reported that 60 percent of B2B brands say their greatest marketing challenge is generating new leads online. Fifty-five percent say they fail to reach their audiences in the right ways, despite engaging in multiple marketing techniques. Businesses may see the value of high-quality internet marketing efforts, especially with custom content, but they may not have a defined strategy behind their campaigns. The flashiest website content in the world may draw readers in, but if marketing collateral doesn’t communicate anything of substance, then lead-gen opportunities miss the mark.

With many business-facing organizations focused on acquiring new customers via web marketing practices, Ascend2 and Research Underwriters conducted a survey to understand what practices help organizations achieve their goals. The study looked at most effective channels and most difficult to implement tactics.

51 percent of B2Bs say email marketing is the most effective practice for lead generation, followed closely by ​content marketing (38 percent) and ​SEO (38 percent).

According to the source, 51 percent of B2Bs say email marketing is the most effective practice for lead generation, followed closely by ​content marketing (38 percent) and ​SEO (38 percent). These marketing solutions put branded copy in front of prospective customers, allowing recipients or web searchers to make decisions on their own terms. Each type of content can also be accessed again in the future, further supporting campaign goals down the line.

As for the avenues most difficult to implement, 49 percent say B2B social media marketing is the hardest to use and see ROI. This is likely because many B2Bs struggle to identify which networks reach the right audiences, and it’s tasking to measure returns from social initiatives. It’s not impossible though, as Brafton has reported on B2B social successes.​ Thirty-nine percent of businesses say content writing and 26 percent say SEO are hard practices to perfect. Only 18 percent of B2Bs admit to struggling with email.

No one ever said online marketing is easy, but with the right resources in place and skills sets on hand, brands can see the results they want from content, email, social and beyond. In some instances, it may take a little trial and error for B2B organizations to understand how to compel their customers to engage online.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.