Everything starts with a lead. We are constantly looking for B2B lead generation strategies which will fill our funnel, and keep the conversions at an all-time high. There are many ways to get traffic to pour into your funnel, but they can often just go through, never slowing down long enough to see the conversion off ramp. Finding the right lead generation methodologies, which translate into reliable, predictable, and credible leads is the direct route to increased revenue.
Using Tactics from the “Olden Days?”
It’s important to know when a technique has passed its “sell by” date, and when its most beneficial to adopt the latest trends that don’t actually result in lead generation “gold”. There are many copycats, but in this case, you’re looking for strategies that work. When your marketing funnel isn’t yielding results, the idea is not to add more budget to increase bandwidth, as you might experience decreased results. You have to make sure you are deploying the proper lead generation strategies from the get go.
Do You Know Who You Are Talking to?
Before we leap into lead generation tactics, – do you know your target customer? Have you segmented them? B2B companies traditionally have a complex decision-making unit that comprises a range of experts from different departments, each with their own set of priorities for the purchase. This B2B company is focused on buying what they really need, as opposed to the B2C customer who purchases from a place of “want”. The drivers of B2B customer’s needs can be revealed by basic identifiers like: company size, volume purchased, or even job function, which will assist in accurate segmentation. The target audiences are often smaller for longer-term buyers. So, building relationships is critical. Once Segmentation has been clearly defined, it won’t change rapidly; – its evolution is slow, which makes it such a beneficial strategic tool for the long haul. You’re looking at an average of only 3-4 segments.
These could include:
• Price-focused segments
• Quality or brand focused segment
• Service focused segment
• Partnership-focused segment
Your lead generation strategies develop out of the understanding of your target segments.
Time to Deploy These 6 B2B Lead Generation Strategies
1. Optimize your forms. We know that they increase viable leads. However, this is different from traditional landing page email collection. The latter only serves to increase intelligence, not necessarily quality leads. You have to continuously test your forms efficacy. Is it too long? Are you asking for too much information? Are there too many fields? Are you using the best field type (button styles)? Is it a single or multiple step procedure? Is the design captivating the user? Does the submit button stand out in contrast to the background color?
2. SEO. The three letter word that strikes fear into the heart of marketers. It’s the drive to get your company listed on the first page of Google. If you rank high on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP’s) you are going to get the lion share of traffic. (75% of users never search beyond the first page). You have to ensure that your content is keyword driven (without being “spammy”). If you offer users authentic, relevant content, it affects your SERP’s rank as well. Search engine optimization (SEO) is high on the list of identifiable lead generation success.
3. Intent Signal Monitoring. This is Number one on the list of B2B lead generation tactics that puts you way ahead of the nearest competitor. Intent signal monitoring is able to “see” every webpage your target customer is visiting. It offers near real time evidence of searches, downloads, forum discussions, product demo’s, etc., that they are researching. The target is signaling their buying intent. You will be alerted when there is a surge of interest in your product or service, compared to the natural baseline activity.
These actionable insights are delivered straight to the B2B marketer, so they can initiate a personalized, relevant campaign, with content which solves their pain points, or offers insightful information, designed to assist with their purchase. Your B2B marketing playbook must be ready to roll out as soon as the intent signal is logged, in order to capitalize on the real-time information. Intent signal monitoring is instrumental in helping you determine all of your outbound messaging and targeting.
It’s important to understand that intent monitoring is NOT predictive analytics (future predictions based on past actions). It is, instead, a fact-based, descriptive solution offering near real-time evidence of buyer’s intent. It’s an integral part of any ABM strategy. You don’t require complex software installation, you don’t require models to be built, or algorithms refined, instead, there is an easy platform to operate which improves conversions by 450%.
4. The next best thing: email marketing. (it sort of shares the spot with automation). Some people would wrestle you to the ground saying that content marketing beats out email marketing. But for every research report putting content marketing first, there is another reputable survey with email in the lead. Perhaps it’s the choice of questions in the survey that are inherently biased? They both need to be part of your lead generation tactic arsenal. What is most important is HOW you use the lead generation channel.
Email marketing is one of the old pack horses still putting in the hours and reaping the highest, fastest results for the lowest cost. It still crosses the finish line in style, with almost four decades of non-stop service. When you combine a segmented target list with a personalized, relevant email marketing campaign using marketing automation, you’ll feel the rush of leads filling up your funnel with buying intent. Marketing automation connects with your CRM to send out your campaign at the right time and to the right target account, without you having to execute the actions manually. It provides massive time saving so you can lead score and lead nurture. The automation goes on to analyze the intelligence gleaned from the response to the campaign to help tweak content to draw in more quality leads.
5. Sharing “second place” status: content marketing. Creating content we actually want to consume, and that enhances our lives in some way, creates relevance and informative authenticity. Your white papers, case studies, blogs, microsites, e-books, webinars, videos, infographics, etc. should be crafted with care and originality. Make sure that your content is consistent across all channels, for maximum effectiveness. Tell us a great brand story; find our funny bones. Offer exceptional research that impacts the way we look at our B2B industry. With 89% of B2B marketers using content marketing, you want to make sure your offerings are of the highest quality to lure the leads.
6. SMM. Social media marketing for lead generation requires a precise strategy. Just having a presence on social media is not enough. A tweet a day is not going to bring leads in their droves. The entire world is online and what a key thing that is to remember. How are you going to be heard above the noise in the digital stadium? You have to take your social media visitor by the hand and lead them to your website. They aren’t going to find their way there on their own. Make sure its simple for them to click, and arrive, without multiple steps. They can arrive at a landing page designed for them or go straight to your site to interact. Let users sign up to your newsletter directly through your social media channels. When you do this, you have another way to “touch” them.
Always have a CTA. People love to know what they should do next. For B2B marketers, your social media lead generation nirvana is LinkedIn. It’s where the professionals hang out – the decision makers, along with the highest income per capita per user. You have to interact on this platform to maximize your success so join groups, offer comments, share helpful content, engage in conversations, ask for help, and connect (as your company, not a personal profile of the B2B marketer).
The Biggest Panorama Picture
These Lead generation strategies work best when integrated into one overall marketing strategy. They are not separate channels operating on their own. Consistency is key. Now that you are starting to see an increase in leads, you will need to manage your prospects. You will be able to see what tactics are bringing in the most leads, and replicate the success to allow for predictable growth. Having a clearer picture of what works enables you to budget with more accuracy year after year. Always be willing to experiment and test to find the tactics that best serve your organizations revenue growth.