It’s important to remember that there isn’t a single B2B lead generation strategy that can be implemented across every business in every strategy. Instead, it’s important to find strategies that will work the best for your team. Achieving good B2B lead generation depends on many tasks, which will need to be consistently updated and analysed to see which method works best for you.
A marketing strategy is not a box ticking exercise. How you build a bespoke strategy will depend on your ability to understand your market and personalise your content. The following five tactics are all standards of B2B marketing. To stand out from your competitors you need to own your niche and be prepared to throw conventional wisdom to the wind. What you do is not so important – what makes a difference is understanding the results you need and how each approach gets you closer to your target.
1) Building Relationships on Social Media
You would be unlikely to find a business that doesn’t use social media as a lead generation tool. In fact, it’s an incredibly powerful way to create and nurture relationships between businesses. To use social media effectively, you shouldn’t rely on your profile as a sounding board where you simply advertise new information. Instead, use it to connect to different communities and engage with your target audience.
Use LinkedIn as an example, as it’s the most useful B2B social media platform today. You’ll want to find up to 3 different communities where your potential prospects are active and ensure that you’re making an impression. You can answer questions or ask questions in the group, build relationships with other networks, and connect users to the tools they’ve been looking for.
Marketing orthodoxy suggests that businesses establish profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and give them more or less equal attention. Most business social media users will adopt this approach. However, to get real results on social media you need to look at the platforms your audience depend on most. You may find that your target buyers use LinkedIn only minimally, but they are keen users of Twitter, or Instagram. Target your content and marketing efforts accordingly. Also, don’t be afraid to diversify and experiment with other platforms, such as Snapchat, if analysis of your customers suggest these are good ways to connect with your audience.
2) Webinars & Seminars
Face-to-face discussions are one of the most effective strategies you can use to generate B2B leads, and it has been for decades. It gives you the ability to form a connection with prospects that is unlike any relationship you could form online because it is in-person. Has online marketing put an end to traditional relationship building? Not at all. Video marketing platforms like YouTube, Facebook Live and Twitter Periscope have reinvented direct marketing by giving all businesses easy access to webinars and seminars.
During your webinars or seminars you can answer questions to provide solutions to challenges your audience may be dealing with. This will help to establish you as an industry expert and leader, a position you’ll need to gather the most prospects.
You can also use your webinar and seminar platform to build trust around any upcoming products, services, and/or projects, as well as generating a buzz around your events.
3) Dynamic & Behavioural Lead Scoring
Knowing how prospects are likely to behave is as important, if not more so, than understanding ‘who they are’ as people. The two don’t always go together. By using information aside from the standard demographics (age, gender, pay bracket etc.), you’ll be able to make lead qualification work better for you. You’ll get a better understanding of where the lead came from, how they found your website, and the actions they’ve taken while on the site.
This important information gives you an insight on what is involved with the journey of the buyer and what motivates your prospects. As an example, did they find your website through a backlink and go through every page on the site? Or did they enter the site from a search engine and go directly to your product page?
Armed with behavioural data, you can set up a targeted email marketing programme that sends them relevant content based on behavioural triggers.
4) Working With Sales
Take a moment to consider the benefits your marketing team would experience if you were to combine information and data with the sales department. It’s important that you collaborate closely with sales as it will help you to determine how to arrange your marketing strategy. Sales and marketing are ultimately not two distinct functions, as they deal with the same people at different stages of their relationship with your business.
What is required is a combined, ‘Smarketing’ approach to your leads. With the sales team’s direct insights from the ‘sharp end’ of customer interaction, you can tweak your nurturing programme to better engage your prospects. This strategy alone is essential to improving your overall return on investment, particularly in terms of marketing materials. Above all, it helps to ensure your top-line growth is on a steady upward climb.
5) Optimising Web Conversions
According to current industry trends, an optimised website should be converting up to 14% of their visitors into leads. Many business owners believe that the more beautiful a website is, the more effective it is, but that’s not always the case. In fact, a less aesthetically pleasing layout with increased functionality can be equal to, if not more, successful in converting leads. The X Factor is user experience, or UI.
To optimise your website for conversions it’s important to create a concise and easy access site that won’t risk customers losing interest and walking away. Pay close attention to your calls to action and ensure your site navigation is optimised, with your most popular content displayed where it can be found most easily. You also need to give prospects an appropriately easy way to take action, through downloadable content and signup forms.
Thinking Outside The Box
There is no longer a hard and fast rulebook to consult when engaging in B2B lead generation. Anything goes really, so long as the golden rule is followed: content should be driven by user behaviour and targeted to achieve a specific goal. We’ve written a guide 30 Lead Generation Tips to help you approach new strategies and think about established practices in a new light. You can download a copy by clicking here. To find out more about B2B lead generation, please get in touch with one of our marketing specialists to discuss a bespoke strategy.