When it comes to generating leads for your B2B business, there’s no room for a basic cookie-cutter approach. What works for a telecommunications company won’t necessarily work for a logistics company. B2B marketers have to be present where your ideal customers are.
Leads are people (or companies) that have expressed interest in your product or service. Typically, they hear from your company after they’ve submitted their personal information to you for an offer like a free trial or subscription.
Lead generation is the process by which companies attract and convert strangers and prospects into leads, or potential customers. It involves:
- Discovery: A visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels, such as search engine optimization (SEO), your social media or blog.
- Click Through: That visitor clicks on your call-to-action (CTA).
- Landing Page: That CTA takes the visitor to your landing page, where you offer something in exchange for the lead capture – whether it’s a free report, video series, ebook, or trial.
- Lead Capture: The visitor fills out the form in exchange for the offer, and now they’re a lead. But, leads aren’t just email capture. Depending on your strategy and workflow, leads may also be people who agree to a phone call, sign up for a demo, or make a product purchase.
Building a strong lead generation strategy ensures you are laser-focused on attracting the people who are most likely to purchase your product or service. You’ll spend less time with leads who aren’t likely to convert, and more time building relationships with potential customers.
Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Before you can build any kind of effective B2B lead generation strategy, you must understand how your business is different from your competitors. As your primary selling point, your UVP should appear on your landing page and in all of your marketing campaigns. Your UVP is a clear statement that describes what you offer, how you address your customer’s pain points and what makes you different from your competition.
Having a solid UVP helps separate the quality leads from those that aren’t likely to convert.
Build your UVP with a cost vs. benefits formula. Balance the perceived benefits with the perceived costs. As long as the perceived benefits outweigh the perceived costs, prospects will be motivated to act.
Regardless of which lead generation tactics you decide to use as part of your strategy, it’s important to test metrics so you can easily determine which tactics were the most effective. Metrics to test include:
- Traffic: How many people are coming to your website? Where are they coming from? Track where your leads originate, and focus your efforts on your most successful lead generation strategies: paid, organic, referral, or social media.
- Conversions: The number of website visitors who are taking your desired action – whether it is making a purchase, signing up for your email list, downloading your software, etc.
- Conversion rate: The percentage of people who are converting out of all the visitors. To calculate conversion rate: Number of conversions / total interactions. For example, if your site had 1,000 visitors, and 30 of them converted, then your conversion rate is 3%.
Online Lead Generation Strategies
Personalized Landing Pages
Personalization is proven to increase conversions. By adapting the website experience for each visitor, you show them the perfect content that gets the visitor to opt-in. . We practice what we preach – and the results speak for themselves. When we implemented personalized landing pages, we saw a 50.77% increase in demo trials and a 31.44% increase in new trials for our B2B social proof product, Pulse.
Keep your navigation simple, because the harder it is for people to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to leave your site and go elsewhere to get what they want. Focus on the user experience, then optimize for search engines. Clearly divide your categories. Make all navigation elements clickable links. Use ALT text on all clickable images. Make sure your site’s search feature works.
Clear, Customized CTAs
The more you know about your buyer personas, the better you can target your inbound marketing campaigns. Customizing your CTAs will influence conversions the same way serving a personalized landing page does.
Your web pages and blog posts may cater to more than one of your buyer personas at once, but using the CTA for each of them neglects a portion of your audience. Using a customized CTA serves all your audience, increasing the chance all of them will click.
Website Chat / Bots
Using a conversational bot will lead to conversational user experiences. Ultimately, using a bot helps to keep your prospect engaged with your brand, going from a site visitor to a viable prospect. Want to see a chatbot in action? Test out the chat on the Experiences product page that our growth team has optimized over 3 months and tens of thousands of interactions.
Referral campaigns can turn your email leads into more email leads. A referral campaign gets your current base excited about sharing your product or service with others. In exchange for something your current base wants or needs, you have them out there advocating for your brand.
Your customers will likely review your product or service on any number of review sites. Take time to claim your profiles on those sites and respond to those online reviews both positive and negative. This shows your potential leads that you pay attention to and care about what others have to say about your company.
Influencers are people who have already built the target audience you’re looking for. By connecting with them, you are leveraging the relationship they have built with your target audience in the hope that some of them will want to connect directly with you. When choosing influencers to work with Focus Less on the total number of followers and more on their engagement rate. The more people that engage with them, the more cost-effective your investment will be.
According to a study from BrightTALK, 91% of B2B professionals say webinars are their preferred learning format.
Running a webinar can take a lot of work, but with automation, it can become one of your most effective lead generation strategies. After you do the work, automation means all you have to do is track performance and make occasional adjustments.
Our product launch webinar for Experiences, “Discover very effective strategies for website personalization,” is a highly successful strategy that brings in a lot of qualified leads.
A virtual summit is a collaborative online event where speakers are interviewed. Is essentially an online conference with a collection of presentations from numerous experts on a topic. It’s a great marketing tool for both new and experienced business owners.
Good virtual summits can attract hundreds of attendees who can learn from the speakers for free without needing to book travel or a hotel. Using this strategy, you can get the attention of potentially thousands of prospects without the risks and costs associated with hosting a physical event.
If you’ve got a podcast people are listening to, you can Leverage CTAs. It’s important to remember that not all of your listeners are going to stick around to listen to your entire podcast so you’ll want to include these CTA throughout. Keep your CTAs consistent with the topic of the podcast. Use them to demonstrate value.
You’ll see a demonstration in our podcast, “Scale or Die,” where we interview the founders of fast growing tech startups. Scale or Die has been hugely successful, sparking hundreds of thousands of downloads and over 300 5-star reviews. On every show, you can hover over our logo and subscribe to our channel.
Beyond CTAs, you can build and strengthen relationships by inviting your customers on to your show. Create podcasts on your customer pain points and use the air time to explore ways to overcome the issues both with and without your product or service.
Content marketing is a cost effective way to generate leads. By creating high-quality content that is relevant and useful to your prospects and customers, you are marketing your brand without directly pitching your products or services. Content marketing focuses on distributing that content to channels where your target audience is most likely to be found online.
Content marketing encompasses more than just blogging. You can use infographics, case studies, white papers, and more.
Email is one of the oldest and most effective marketing channels in the B2B world. It works well with marketing automation to help you generate more leads in less time and keep those relationships nurtured.
Pay per click (PPC) advertising on Google AdWords will display your website in the search results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords based on your bids. You can choose to pay for the number of impressions (times the ad is shown) or pay for clicks (only paying when someone clicks on your ad to go to your website.)
Social media platforms like Linkedin and Facebook are often thought of for top of the funnel marketing only, it’s also a good source for lead generation as long as you use it strategically. Add links directly to the landing pages of your highest performing offers. Tell visitors you’re sending them to a landing page so you’re setting expectations.
Also, consider using social media advertising the same way you use PPC on Google AdWords. You can create retargeting campaigns to market to your website visitors on Facebook based on the actions they took on your website.
Partnership marketing is an efficient way for both parties to grow and increase profitability while also building visibility. Ideally, invest in opportunities such as co-marketing programs that increase brand awareness for both companies.
If you want to build a sales team, but are worried about being able to pay a salary, using a reseller or affiliate program is the way to go. With a reseller program, you authorize people to sell your product as their own, with a portion of their profit going to you.
With an affiliate program, you pay a percentage of the sale to the affiliate whenever they make a sale. This means, if people aren’t reselling your services or getting affiliate sign ups, you don’t owe them a thing. But, if you have a successful program, you have your own sales army out there working for you.
We have over 7,000 affiliates promoting Proof, and they earn 30% recurring commission on every user they recommend.
Product Hunt Launch
If you’ve got a new tech product, launching it on Product Hunt helps get it in front of your audience. A successful launch helps to dramatically increase your website traffic, increase press coverage, get potential users, and more.
Our Product Hunt launch for Experiences got over 600 upvotes and ranked the number #5 product of the day. It was our single highest traffic day for months and drove a lot of leads.
Offline Lead Generation Strategies
Not all lead generation has to come from digital marketing efforts. The most comprehensive B2B lead generation strategies use a combination of both online and offline tactics.
Events / Trade Shows
Event and trade shows are a great way to connect with people in your audience. Whether you’re hosting these events or sponsoring these events, you can get your brand in front of your prospects. Product demonstrations or expert presentations can help new prospects discover your product or service.
Work with Sales Team
you can put your phone number on physical Flyers, brochures, car wraps, and other physical marketing pieces. Your sales team can be there to respond to the inbound phone calls accordingly. You can also work with your sales team to have them make outbound calls based on lead information that you have available for warm leads.
People still enjoy receiving mail. Design a visually appealing postcard and send it to your most targeted prospects. Assign your promotion unique promo codes to track how your prospect or customer found you. When used properly, direct mail can help you stand out from the competition. Direct Mail has a median ROI of 29%, behind only email and social media marketing.
Billboards offer a form of outdoor advertising to catch your prospects when they are away from their devices. With the growth of digital billboards, this form of advertising is now more affordable and more cost-effective than advertising in print, on TV, or radio.
Your overall marketing strategy should include offers for various stages of the sales cycle. Not all of your visitors are ready to speak to your sales team or see a product demo. Someone who’s just starting their buyer journey may be more interested in a guide or an ebook with more information about your industry or something related to your product or service. The demo or free trial, however, would be more appealing to someone who is more familiar with your company or closer to making a purchasing decision.
Mix and match tactics. Use A/B testing to see what works best for your audience. Invest in marketing tools to make marketing automation and running multiple campaigns easier for you and your sales team.