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Search B2B Lead Generation Ideas

If you are in the B2B world you already know the most significant challenge B2B marketers face, it is simple, and it is one word – leads.

In the business world, a lead is where it all begins. Quality leads are the lifeblood of any company – without leads, basically, there are no clients, no revenue, no nothing.

But coming up with new ideas on garnering or increasing leads can get really difficult, particularly for B2B companies.

B2B marketers have one of the business world’s most difficult jobs, and it is understandable why some become frustrated.

There is a lot of junk circulating about lead generation – try getting leads in a swirling maelstrom of misinformation, mistakes, and mystery. 

But this blog won’t be about the typical regurgitated garbage….I want you to get leads, real leads, regardless of your industry! 

In this blog, I’ll show you less common B2B lead generation strategies you should adopt, some of the heavily recycled techniques you should avoid and some less common ideas you should consider. 

The strategies and ideas listed below factor in the changing market and have worked for several companies. However, the effectiveness of any given strategy varies across industries and even by brand. Therefore it’s by no means a cure for all.

So to develop a consistent and predictable lead flow, you are better off implementing an amalgamation of well thought out marketing strategies that have been proven to garner leads instead of narrowing your focus on a single silver B2B lead generation bullet.

Speaking of what works, let’s look at some strategies that likely won’t work: 

*Using Social Media Channels That Don’t Work – Don’t keep putting effort in a social channel that isn’t working for you simply because everybody is doing it and you feel obligated to follow the status-quo.

Networks that are ideal for B2C engagement may not be most appropriate for B2B marketing.

Most social channels provide their own analytics, so continually test, measure, and check your engagement levels to determine which of your networks are getting the best engagement and compare those with industry averages.

*Creating Redundant Content – marketing repeated content that fails to offer a new perspective is ultimately useless. It may be convenient to merely repeat what B2B authority figures have stated, but it will be ineffective.

Leads are looking for valuable, fresh information, not regurgitated content they have seen elsewhere.

*Auto-generating Content – Platforms that automatically generate content based on a keyword can only find and rearrange content. It won’t create new ideas and insights, which means it will never produce outstanding content.

*Isolating Marketing Strategies That Work Well Together – even though digital marketing is rightfully taking over, it may benefit your company to not entirely do away with traditional marketing just yet.

Combining some traditional marketing techniques and strategies with more modern ones can maximize your B2B lead generation possibilities. When doing your marketing strategy assessment consider combining strategies into a single, cohesive, integrated campaign.

Now let’s look at what will work: 

Mobile Marketing

Most users access the web via a mobile phone, especially busy executives. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to optimize your B2B lead generation efforts for mobile.

Mobile Marketing - an effective B2B Lead Generation strategy

Believe it or not, a lot of websites, emails, and ads are not mobile friendly. Ensure that you’re not in this obsolete and unfashionable lot because 60% of B2B buyers admit that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase according to a recent BGC report on B2B buyers’ usage.

It’s typical for the business class to have a higher usage of personal computers, but B2B online queries are noticeably shifting towards smartphones. Google confirms that 50% of B2B queries are made on mobile phones and is expected to rise to 70% by 2020.

Optimizing your website for mobile can also help your users make business decisions more efficiently.

By increasing efficiency in decision making and enhancing, team collaboration mobile can accelerate time to purchase by 20%. The BGC report further reveals that 42% of the average share of total revenues are contributed and influenced by mobile.

But mobile marketing goes beyond responsive design for your website. As I have discussed in previous blogs, if it’s one thing every busy executive do consistently on a daily basis is check their email, and the majority of the times it’s on their smartphones.

Your email campaign should always be mobile-friendly – at least 20% of your email list will be accessing their email on their smartphones.

But note, due to email clients constantly updating, rendering of your email on mobile could change. So don’t just create an email template that works and forget about it. 

Email Marketing 

As I have stated in a previous blog, email marketing remains an effective way of acquiring executive level leads in the B2B world. It is significantly more effective than social media.

According to a June 2016 survey of US marketers conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and Demand Metric, Email had a median Return On Investment (ROI) of 122%, which is more than four times higher than other marketing formats, including social media and paid search.

Statistics aside, the only real predictable way to get in front of an executive today is to get into their inbox and to do so in a way that is not intrusive but compelling and intriguing enough, so they want to look at it.

So if you’re in the inbox of the right person with the right title with the right company consistently, you’re going to get their attention.

Once you have their attention what do you say, how do you say it and how do you present it. Doing this right or wrong will determine your success. 

Give Away Free Stuff

You should be giving away free stuff.

Regardless of your industry, people love receiving free stuff, as long as it’s of some value to them.

As lead generation goes, it’s a tested and proven method of gaining leads. The concept is simple:

  1. Create a resource that your target market wants – eBooks are the most popular.
  1. Give it to your target audience for free in exchange for their email address.
  1. They provide you their email address in exchange.

And then, if all goes well, you have a lead.

This marketing technique that harvests huge amounts of email addresses is very popular among B2B marketers.

The strategy is just one of the many iterations of content marketing. The idea behind providing free resources is that they can be delivered instantly in exchange for an email address. Therefore, the best option is a digital transfer.

eBooks, guides or handbooks, as they are referred to by marketers, are the most popular of the digital resource options. They allow you to directly meet the need of your target audience which makes them hard to resist. The better the reading material provided, the better you will gain the attention of your target audience.

However, eBooks aren’t the only digital tool you can provide. Whether its free vector images, royalty-free photographs, WordPress templates, whatever digital tool you choose to give away, make sure it’s directly relevant to the audience to which you’re marketing. 

Use Social Media Strategically

Though we warned to stay away from social media earlier in this blog, that’s for the ones that don’t work. Despite the full power of social media not being harnessed in the B2B industry, it’s still a source of leads.

Social media is a go-to sales channel for B2C, but it can also be effective for B2B lead generation.

However, don’t expect mere social media presence to be a source of leads. Having a presence is essential, but not inherently effective. But don’t completely neglect it, either.

Social media is the world’s water cooler – everyone is there everyone is talking, and wherever there is massive attention, there are potential leads. But you’ll have to have a focused strategy and stick to social media marketing via business-friendly networks.

Here are some strategic ways to capture B2B leads on social media: 

  1. A social media follower or fan doesn’t constitute a “lead” because there is no email address or another contact method is captured. Therefore, you need to direct social media visitors to your website from social media channels and make it easy. 

Provide multiple links to your website or landing pages with email signups that will capture leads.

  1. Invite newsletter signups directly on your social media channels. This way, you can gain the email addresses of social media visitors who want your newsletter.
  1. Don’t be afraid to promote your company on social media. Use call to actions, invite feedback, link to landing pages, or suggest the next step. 

LinkedIn Marketing - the most effective social media platform for B2B Lead Generation

While if you apply these tactics it will lead to an increase of leads, but likely not a flood just a trickle. You stand a far better chance with the best B2B marketing platform on the Internet – LinkedIn.

Use LinkedIn

As it relates to B2B lead generation value, LinkedIn consistently ranks the highest among social media platforms with 80% of B2B leads coming from it. No wonder B2B marketers use LinkedIn more than any other platform (Content Marketing Institute). 

LinkedIn is a massive gathering of professionals. It easily has the greatest number of professionals, the largest percentage of decision-makers and is viewed as far more mature and sophisticated as opposed to the looser nature of Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. 

LinkedIn is a B2B leads-haven, but again, like the other social media channels, don’t expect the leads to come automatically.

Here’s what you need to do to generate leads: 

  • Make sure that your company has a robust LinkedIn account – be present and active, connect with your colleagues and other industry professionals. 
  • Ensure your company’s presence is clear by correctly filling out the company’s profile so users who are unfamiliar with your brand can quickly understand who you are and the unique value you offer.
  • Join groups – LinkedIn has a large variety of groups that contains professionals who are likely to become your leads. But follow your buyer personas to groups related to their industries, and offer genuine, unbiased help. 
  • Post in-depth content either directly on the platform, or by linking to the company blog.

Do Video Marketing

Video is a highly-effective way to attract leads thus presents a very promising opportunity to reach your target audience:

  • More than 75% of Fortune 500 executives view video content regularly and around two-thirds of that number visit the vendor’s website.

Video content has also been a significant driver in purchasing behavior:

  • 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social video content.
  • Landing pages with videos increase conversions by 80% or more.

Video marketing is easily one of the most effective forms of content marketing because it provides a more entertaining and digestible form of content. So get your camera rolling! 

B2B lead generation is always going to be hard work, whichever method you apply. So you’ll have to keep your smart cap on as you proceed in your efforts. 

Here are some uncommon but effective B2B lead generation ideas and tips: 

  • Content diversity – your buyers have different consumption wants and needs so create variety in your marketing content. Your content should always be valuable and come in multiple formats as your buyers will also be at varying stages in the buyer journey so make sure you have content that speaks to each stage.

After creating helpful content that addresses the pain points of those personas, map the content to the stages of their buying cycle:

Early stage content – should address the problem.

Mid-stage content – should address how to solve the problem.

Late-stage content – should address who can help solve the problem.

Then you should promote that content wherever your buyer personas go to consume information, whether it is industry related blogs, forums, publications or social media.

  • Try to create a diverse mix in your inbound marketing strategies – to generate leads you should participate in both organic and paid marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your website.
  • Engage in active conversations with your sales team – make lead-scoring dynamic and behavioral. Ensure you’re aligned with and are actively getting feedback from the teams qualifying and converting your leads. 
  • Have a more targeted approach to B2B lead generation – by honing in on your ideal customer profile. At all costs avoid having an optimized site for the wrong persona. Ensure your site is geared toward the decision maker, and or someone who is helping them to evaluate your solution. 
  • Analyze the pitfalls in the buyer’s journey – use all available qualitative and quantitative data from your analytics software and live website tests to ensure you fully understand how your users interact with your website and what their goals are on each stage of their journey. 
  • Hire great CRO (Conversion rate optimization) experts and provide them with the tools and authority to continuously test and optimize your website. 
  • Use “exit detection” – when you suspect a visitor is about to exit your website, you give them a call-to-action (CTA), which should be anything of value to your target market. However, be very careful as you don’t want to come across as being overly-aggressive or annoying. Ensure the CTA doesn’t come up everytime the visitor visits your website. 
  • Speaking of calls to action, use more relevant CTAs on your website. “Let’s start your project” is more action-oriented and convincing compared to a “Learn more” which doesn’t prompt a professional to act.
  • A/B test your CTAs to determine which is more effective at converting leads. 
  • Map out the customer’s journey across your marketing funnel – after your users look at your services, where do you want them to go? Leave “breadcrumbs” like a valuable downloadable or invite them to sign up for your newsletter. Figure out then implement your customer journey, then measure where users drop off and improve on it accordingly.
  • Having one consistent message across all marketing channels is one of the most fundamental strategies marketers can do to increase website leads – content, email campaigns, paid advertising, social media channels, and every page of your website.

Value proposition and clarity of message need to correspond with the challenges and desires of your target markets. If you don’t hit prospects with the same message on all channels over and over again, your value proposition will not stick and will likely cause confusion.

Even if you have multiple and diverse target markets with different pitches to each buyer persona, you can still have one consistent message at its core.

A/B/ testing, asking friends, family, and customers if it clearly describes your company’s value proposition can help determine how to phrase it most effectively. 

  • Actively monitor the web for customer ‘pain points’ – social media is where most customers vent their pain points. Others do so on their blogs. You can generate leads by finding people that would benefit from the problems you are trying to solve with your products/services.

Of course, it’s way too tedious to search the web every day for people with problems, but you can set up a Google notification to get alerted when certain pain points keywords are used. 

One of the very best and most direct way to generate leads is to contact the person with a problem you can solve at the time of the problem. 

Retargeting

This is a marketing technique that is still underutilized by B2B marketers. But its catching on as about 70% of marketers allocates 10% or more of their budgets to retargeting.

To help with purchasing decisions, prospects usually visit several websites and comb through dozens of articles. But only 2% of buyers make a purchase on the first visit. Retargeting aims to reel the 98% back towards your brand.

So, if you haven’t already, start retargeting your website visitors now and increase the chances that they choose your brand over your competitors. 

Wrap up

Tired of the disappointing results of your B2B lead generation efforts?

Maybe it’s time to try a new strategy. The strategies, ideas, and tips I’ve mentioned above are some of the most effective you’ll encounter, regardless of your industry.

Take these and let them guide you in recalibrating your tactics so you can establish a consistent and predictable flow of leads.

Contact us if you need help in developing a more customized B2B lead generation strategy.