If there’s one thing marketers care about the most, it’s B2B lead generation. Without leads, their sales teams are left with nothing to do, and their businesses can’t grow.
Let’s face it, marketing is not all about branding anymore, it’s about getting results. And your primary mission is to obtain as many qualified leads as possible because your leads are the ones who are going to give you results.
However, you may want to take note that lead generation B2B is a bit challenging. What’s even worse is, there’s a lot of false information on the Web that might create confusion.
You would see some advice about purchasing email lists or making your sales team do cold calling — strategies that are far from what you’re doing.
That’s exactly the reason why we decided to create this article. We want to put an end to the stone-age approach and show you some effective B2B lead generation strategies.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
(Image Source: Cognism)
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting people who have shown interest in what your brand has to offer.
It is basically turning a stranger into a paying customer. This technique is also known as “Inbound Marketing.”
And like any other, obtaining leads isn’t black and white. You may encounter some leads who won’t make the purchase instantly, some may be very interested but have no demand, and others may not be interested in your offerings at all.
These leads that are acquired in different ways get sent to the sales team for conversion.
According to research, only 27% of leads sent to the sales team are properly qualified. As a result, you will get a lower conversion rate.
only 27% of leads sent to the sales team are properly qualified
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To avoid these problems in the future, you can divide the leads into two groups:
(Image Source: Chili Piper)
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
Leads under this group are relevant but are not yet ready to make the purchase. They might have already attended one of your webinars or downloaded one of your free offerings. Which means they’re already invested.
But the thing is, they are not yet looking to buy any of your products or services.
The majority of inbound leads are MQLs. That’s exactly the reason why many marketing teams are always called out for providing “rubbish leads” when they are handing them over too early.
Just because a lead downloaded your e-book or signed up for your webinar, doesn’t mean they are ready to buy from you yet.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
SQLs are quite the opposite of MQLs — or MQLs that turned into SQLs. The leads under this category have the intent to make the purchase.
They are actively looking and could have even requested a product demo or pricing. These are the leads that the sales team should be focusing on, so they can eventually convert them into clients.
Additionally, they are the leads who are happy to see you in their inbox.
Why Not Attract Only SQLs in B2B Lead Generation?
Apparently, you are thinking… “why not just attract the leads that have already made up their mind about making the purchase?” After all, SQLs can save you loads of time and can even make your sales team happy.
If this is the case, then we would be living the dream.
Unfortunately, 98% of your leads are not ready to buy on their first visit. Therefore, planning to focus on leads who have the intent to purchase can mean you would be leaving a lot of money on the table.
B2B Lead Generation Starter Kit
Before you start doing your B2B lead generation tactics, you will need the following first to get started.
An excellent marketing campaign always starts with identifying who you’re trying to attract and defining them. It would be impossible to attract customers if you don’t know them in the first place.
To create an effective buyer persona, you have to use a data-driven approach to determine their most significant pain points, the knowledge they need and the way they consume information.
If you don’t have one yet, you can follow this guide:
(Image Source: Evolvor)
After defining your target audience, you can start crafting content that can solve their biggest challenges or provide information on a certain topic.
Content can come in many forms. Here are some examples:
- White papers
- Free software
- Video series
However, creating content can be challenging, especially for B2B marketers. You don’t want to come up with boring content that won’t even entice your target market.
To make sure you develop winning content, you can follow this guide showcasing 10 ways to make your sales and marketing content more powerful.
Once you have your content, you will need a landing page that will house the content you created. This page will encourage your visitors to provide their email address in exchange for the valuable material you offer.
In LeadFuze, providing your email address would get you 25 fresh leads for free!
In the photo above, it shows statistics of what LeadFuze has to put to the table once you avail of their prospecting service.
Therefore, the job of a landing page in business to business lead generation is to illustrate the value of the company’s offer to make the visitor hit the ‘download’ or ‘subscribe’ button.
Form and Call To Action (CTA)
Now that you’ve got your landing page up and running, you would need a way to gate your offer. Gating means you will require your page visitors to enter their email address before downloading your offer or claiming your content.
When they successfully fill out the form, they would be converted from a browser to an MQL.
Best Practices in B2B Lead Generation
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In this section, we will cover several B2B lead gen strategies. But you may want to make sure that whichever you may choose for lead generation for B2B, you have a solid sales funnel that would not leak valuable leads.
If you’re not sure how to create one, you can follow this guide on how to build a lead generation funnel.
Now, let’s dig deeper into each B2B lead generation strategy in this list.
Automate B2B Lead Generation and Email Marketing Campaigns
One of the biggest trends today in email marketing is automation. It’s known to help B2B companies achieve great results.
Basically, automation is all about cutting the manual workload of targeting user behaviors, dealing with segmented lists and other email marketing tasks.
By making everything automated, your email marketing B2B lead generation strategy will turn from meh into successfully recovering abandoned carts or even increase sales.
There are many CRM (Customer Relationship Management) that offers email marketing automation. Make sure you choose a CRM software that can provide the features your company needs.
Build a Free Tool to Attract Leads
One of the best B2B lead generation strategies a marketer can ever come across is a well-designed, free tool that can reel visitors in.
You will typically notice this strategy being used by many big brands in different industries.
Your goal here is to encourage users to provide their email address in exchange for the free tool your brand offers.
And the result? The massive growth of your email list.
This is considered as one of the classic lead generation ideas for B2B. Unfortunately, not every company can pull it off.
Internet users these days are so used to seeing promises of free stuff that eventually, giving away freebies has lost its meaning. Not to mention that freebies are starting to be of less value that people may not be interested in claiming them in the first place.
That said, you have to make sure that you’re offering something of value. If you provide leads useful content, they will eventually become paying customers.
Create Referral Campaigns to Get More Leads
Nothing beats getting more leads with the help of your existing leads — especially when they’re the ones who will do all the hard work on your behalf.
What we’re talking about here is a referral campaign. It can work wonders for your business, especially when you know how to automate the entire process.
In this regard, you can use software like ActiveCampaign. It allows you to fully automate referral campaigns with the ready workflow it offers. You can even create your own if you want by basing options on the criteria of your choice.
The secret here is to offer an irresistible incentive to your existing clients when they refer your company to their friends and family.
To make it even better, you can offer a reward for both of them. By doing this, you can encourage more people to spread the word about your business.
Set Up Re-arrangement and Customer Retention Programs
Getting new leads is great, but bringing dead leads back to life is just as good. You might want to take note that it takes less than 24 hours before most of your leads turn cold. Through this, you will have an idea of how quickly leads lose their value.
One of my favorite examples is Grammarly’s re-arrangement email campaigns. It aims at people who haven’t used their software for a while. Grammarly even treats the campaign like a game by awarding their former users a badge.
(Image Source: Grammarly)
Create an Automated Webinar Strategy
91% of B2B professional prefers webinar as their main source of educational content — and you should listen to your audience.
Webinars have been constantly on the top of B2B lead generation techniques in content form. Unfortunately, using this strategy will require a lot of work.
Unless you automate the whole strategy, then you may find that it’s a piece of cake.
Once you’ve created a webinar that works, all you may need to do is keep tabs on your strategy’s performance and make occasional tweaks as needed. And then, just sit back, relax and watch the leads roll in.
91% of B2B professional prefers webinar as their main source of educational content
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Turn Blog Posts into In-Depth Guides
Here’s another classic B2B sales lead generation strategy that you should try. Since you’re already investing your time, money and effort in creating content for different lead generation channels you own, you should make the best out of them.
If you have several pieces of relevant content, you can combine them into one group to make a much larger piece of content. For instance, if you have blog posts about B2B marketing lead generation, you can combine all of them to create a comprehensive guide.
The guide can then be available for download for anyone interested.
You would quickly know that your target audience is interested in those topics because they are already obtaining traffic.
Moreover, you can also determine which of the topics they are most interested in based on the traffic rate of each content.
With the current data you have, you can create even better content that will aim to target a similar group of audiences on social media. Then, what they only need to do is give their email addresses and hit the download button.
Add Dynamic CTAs to Blog Posts
Coming up with in-depth guides is one thing but boosting the download rate is something else. With this B2B online lead generation strategy, you can turn blog readers into qualified email leads. And to make this possible, you have to utilize the previous generation lead B2B idea.
This is considered one of the most important B2B marketing lead generation ideas. That’s because you would want to convert as many blog readers as possible into legitimate leads. You don’t want to let them go back searching on whichever online platform they were using.
So, what are you going to do about that?
Simple — place CTAs on your blog posts to prompt the audience to download an in-depth guide on a similar topic.
Again, you will be using the interest that they have already demonstrated in the first place. By doing this, you are paving their way to a place where they can get further information about a certain topic.
What’s even better is you can automate this strategy. With automation, your CTAs will be automatically inserted into a relevant topic.
Obtain Email Leads From Video Views
When you create video content, you have to make sure that your viewers don’t just disappear. Instead, you have to find a way to convert them into leads.
Remember that you worked so hard to attract users to watch the video you prepared. It would be a total waste of time and effort if you just let them walk away.
There are tools on the internet that allows you to put sign-up CTAs on your video content so that you can turn interested viewers into legitimate leads.
You can even choose at which time of the video the form will appear. Will it be before, during or after playback?
Moreover, you can craft personalized messages to encourage more email signups.
Segment Your Content Strategy
When it comes to email marketing, you will typically hear the term “segmentation.” But of course, it’s also important for content marketing.
If you’re crafting generic content for an unspecified audience, you will less likely address the interests of B2B buyers. As a result, you won’t be able to encourage them to take action.
You must remember that your target audience is full of REAL people — each with a unique identity. It would not be enough to simply define them using their demographics. That can’t help you understand their interests and emotions.
Although demographics is a good place to start, you should do more than that.
Create content according to the needs of your potential buyers and develop segmented campaigns to help bring them on board.
You can attract unique audiences by using keyword targeting strategy and social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook. These platforms can help you pinpoint the most relevant audience categories.
Moreover, the tools are all there. All you would need is content and a campaign to make the most of the available tools.
Pack Content with Sharable Ideas and Data
A decade ago, you can publish anything you want, and it would rank as long as you have the technical SEO basics in place and you have placed a few links to your page.
However, you may want to take note that B2B technology lead generation is way different in 2020. Today, you have to exert a lot of effort if you want to earn a place in the SERPs.
Well, there’s one thing that never changed — links are still considered as one of the most important ranking factors.
And one of the best ways to generate links that would help put you in rank #1 is by packing your content with stats and data from trusted sources.
By doing this, Google’s algorithm can easily verify your content’s reliability and accuracy.
On top of that, your content would be sharable and more link-worthy.
Update Old Content
One of the SEO strategies in B2B lead generation campaigns that marketers typically forget to do is updating their old content.
According to Yoast:
“Cleaning up old content should be part of your content maintenance routine. If you don’t go through your old posts regularly, you’re bound to run into issues sooner or later. You might show incorrect information to visitors or hurt your own rankings by having too many pages about the same topic, increasing chances of keyword cannibalization, which is a lot of work to fix later on. Therefore, go through your old posts, and decide what to do: update, merge or delete.”
Chances are, the article you are reading right now has been updated several times since it was published — and apparently, it will be updated again in the future.
You may be wondering… “what’s wrong with old content?”
Well, bad things can happen with old content. For instance, you would see ranking drops, broken links and irrelevant or incorrect information.
Most importantly, it won’t generate leads if it’s not up-to-date. You have to make sure that your content addresses the needs of your audience today.
Make a List of Negative Keywords in Google Ads
Let’s take a break from SEO and discuss the paid search. Single keyword ad groups (SKAGs) have been a reliable tactic in targeting highly-niche audiences for B2B advertisers.
Basically, you can set up a specific keyword like “B2B digital lead generation software free demo” and create campaigns to target that keyword.
Or, you can even be more specific like “best B2B lead generation software for remote workers.” With this keyword, you can ensure that your ad would appear in front of the right audience.
Unfortunately, Google got rid of this feature over the years which means keyword match types are less strict. It is no longer possible to define a single keyword and expect that your ads will be seen by users who entered that exact query.
But, you can still get close by selecting a keyword and creating a list of negative keywords around it.
The regular keywords you choose will tell Google to show your ad to people who entered the exact phrase, while the negative keywords will enable Google not to show the ad to users who typed those negative keywords.
This is vital for any B2B business, especially if you want to target the right audience using Google Ads. When you do this right, you’re most likely to reel in qualified leads that are more likely to convert.
B2B lead generation marketing has been proven to be an effective strategy for different types of B2B companies that use lead generation.
However, for it to work its wonders, you have to go through a complex process. Yes — it won’t be easy.
From the first interaction of a person with your brand, it would take lots of time and effort before you can successfully build their trust and eventually turn them into a paying customer.
As a marketer, your job is to identify the content that can attract your audience for the first time, create a plan for promoting the content and determine which content can help in nurturing them to become your brand’s client.
With the help of LeadFuze and its search engine for leads, generating leads for your B2B company has never been this easy. You can make your search for your target audience as broad or as deep as you want.
LeadFuze can help you collect contact information (emails, phone numbers and social profiles) of a specific person in a company or industry you’re targeting.
You can finally build your list without doing all the heavy lifting!
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