If you can master B2B Lead generation, your sales team will love you and your business will thrive.
Yet only 32% of B2B marketers have a documented marketing strategy.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the key factors to setting up a successful B2B lead generation campaign.
B2B can be daunting, especially in the digital world.
But it’s worth it.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the key factors to setting up a successful B2B lead generation campaign.
Let me start with a quick summary.
- You need to determine where your customers are
- You need to determine the cost for each online channel to acquire the traffic
- Find out the conversion rate for each channel
- Go into the best performing option first
- Maximize it to the best of your abilities, until becomes more cost effective to go into another channel
- Move into additional channels and scale each one
- Make sure you look at social, SEO, paid media, email marketing and conversion rate optimization
Now, let’d dive into the details.
The Evolution of B2B Lead Generation
B2B is business-to-business, which is a model that’s set up to sell products and services to other businesses.
It differs greatly from a business-to-consumer model, and so too does its marketing strategy.
When it comes to B2B, your campaign must be geared towards lead generation. Which is exactly why 85% of B2B marketers report their top priority is to generate more leads.
But the strategy behind how they generate leads has changed drastically over the past few years.
Like almost every aspect of a business, the evolution of the internet has had a major impact on B2B selling strategies.
According to a study conducted by Google, some of those changes include:
- Nearly half of all B2B researchers are now millennials
- Now, 81% of non C-suiters (high-level executives) have a say in purchase decisions
- On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site, and 71% start on generic searches. Which means they’re looking for the product first, not for your business specifically.
- 42% of researchers are using a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process
With this new information on had, marketers must start planning their campaigns with digital in mind.
B2B Lead Generation Campaign – Define Your Target Audience
The first step is identifying a clear target audience.
Finding your target is a bit different for B2B models in that you generally want to divide your audience into segments based on “firmographic” features like company size, location, industry and job title.
From there, you can develop a more accurate buyer persona.
But this isn’t your typical B2C persona. When developing a person for B2B, consider the following traits:
- Role in the company
You can usually compile this information through surveys and interviews with customers, prospects and sales teams.
Develop a B2B Lead Generation Strategy
This part shouldn’t come as a surprise – any successful campaign, B2B or other, begins with a strategy.
A successful strategy will address the channels you plan to use, what purpose they will serve, and how will you use them to drive and capture leads.
Those channels may include:
- Social Media
- Paid Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google AdWords, Bing, YouTube, Remarketing, Programmatic)
- Email Newsletters
- Content Marketing
- Website articles
- Mobile apps
Not every channel will work for every business. And it doesn’t need to.
Sometimes, simplicity is best.
The much-sited Crow Horwath public accounting and consulting firm is a perfect example of a simple, yet effective strategy.
They narrowed their target down to C-level executives most likely to spend money on their business and developed a content plan that focused on four areas, supported by 48 pieces of content including infographics, video, case studies and executive briefs.
In the end, they fared extremely well.
This infographic alone netted a 70 percent open rate and 778 engaged contacts.
Their success goes to show that a narrow target and simple, well-executed strategy can go a long way in lead generation.
Effective B2B Website For B2B Lead Generation
A businesses’ number one tool is its website.
For most, it’s your customer’s first impression of your company and culture.
And we all know the importance of a first impression.
Make sure yours is helping to accomplish your goals by making it consumer-focused.
SmartInsights writes that a B2B site should be able to positively answer the following questions:
- Is the site credible?
- Is the site trustworthy?
- Is this a professional company?
- Is the company stable?
- Does the site feel welcoming?
- Does the site answer my questions?
- Is this a company I could do business with?
Let me focus on this for a second. One thing all businesses need to do create a list of the most important things prospects look for and the things they hate about the service category. Use this list to create the content for your landing page. It will covert much better than before.
Your site should be visually pleasing (no generic templates!), and tell your visitors who you are and what you do right up front.
Fill it with quality content – blog posts, videos, infographics – that will help establish your expertise and authority in your niche.
Lead Magnet Strategy for B2B Lead Generation
Unfortunately, great content and visuals doesn’t necessarily guarantee a repeat visit.
Which is why you need a way to gather lead data while they’re on your site.
That’s where a lead magnet strategy comes into play.
A lead magnet is an enticing offer you make to someone who visits your site, which usually appears in a pop-up or box in your site pages.
Ideally, you’re trying to capture your visitor’s emails.
And the best way to that? Is often to offer something in return.
It could be a how-to guide, case study or free trial, but visitors will be more likely to enter their contact information if they gain something in return.
Take this example from ConversionXL:
They offer a free download that shows off their expertise and use catchy language to do so.
A few tips to keep in mind:
- Incorporate forms into every page of your site
- Keep it specific – tell your viewers exactly how they’ll benefit from your offer
- Solves a problem – make sure your magnet addresses a real problem based on your buyer avatar
- Offer value – don’t skimp here; put together content that will be of real value to your reader
- Demonstrate your expertise – what you offer in your lead magnet should show your expertise and authority to increase readers likelihood of becoming buyers
SEO for B2B Lead Generation
These days, the benefits of SEO can’t be underestimated.
Just a year ago, 54% of B2B companies planned on increasing their SEO spend.
Which was a great decision, considering 90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases.
To take advantage of search engine traffic as a B2B, you’ll need to start by identifying 5 top search terms to target.
You can find these using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or the more robust SEMrush.
For B2B, you’ll want to focus specifically on a few purchase-driven keywords.
Depending on your product, these include anything from features and performance characteristics to specs and support features.
Once identified, use these keywords to optimize your website and plan your content marketing.
On your site, focus on incorporating keywords into:
- Your homepage – main business-related keywords
- Product or service pages – specific keywords to detail product or services offered
- Blog pages – informative keywords to address viewers’ motivations or concerns
The other component is link building: both internal and backlinks.
You do this for two reasons:
- To drive organic traffic to your site
- Improve your ranking with search engines
For more information, check out my complete guide to link building.
Social Media B2B Lead Generation Campaign
In today’s digital climate, social media simply must be a part of your marketing strategy.
In fact, 52% of small business marketers view social media as a critical enabler of their products and services.
While many may associate it primarily with B2C companies, it’s become equally effective to B2B.
The key is once again finding and producing the kind of content that your audience will like
Take pharmaceutical giant Novartis.
Not exactly the one you’d picture as a social media star, but they’ve managed to transform their Instagram account into a platform to bring attention and humanize worldwide diseases and put a spotlight on their community involvement.
For lead generation, use your social media accounts to establish thought leadership and encourage them to click through to gated content where they’ll be asked to submit contact information.
And don’t forget the importance of paid ads.
With its ability to target highly specific audiences, features like Facebook Lead Ads and LinkedIn Lead Generation ads are designed specifically to aid in your lead generation campaign.
Events for B2B Lead Generation
Simply put, B2B companies benefit from events.
That’s why 74% of B2B companies planned to increase their events budgets back in 2016 – and I’m willing to bet the numbers only growing.
Typical marketing events include trade shows, conferences, webinars and other networking events.
Each of these represents a unique opportunity to present your company and collect lead information.
But due to the emergence of digital, events now include webinars or live streaming events. These can prove especially useful for lead generation; ask viewers to register prior to your event with a lead magnet to collect their information.
Whatever the event may be, they represent opportunities to create landing pages, post social media countdowns and promote your business locally.
Video for B2B Lead Generation
Seventy percent of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase.
Which is a 52% jump in only two years.
Video represents a new – and valuable – way to attract leads.
Why? Because they’re useful.
“These videos are also helping extend the conversation: When asked what they did after watching, B2B researchers said they talked to colleagues, looked for more information, visited a brand’s website/store, or shared the video. Start to finish, videos are playing an increasing role for these researchers. That means you need to be producing content that helps them learn about, compare, and research their B2B purchases.”
The top video categories reported were:
- Product feature
- Professional reviews
B2B Lead Generation FAQ
1. What Are Some of the Best B2B Lead Generation Tools?
You’ll undoubtedly need to enlist the aid of one or more tools when you work to gather leads. Here are some of the best:
- Wistia – Helps you make videos specifically designed for B2B lead generation
- Zoom – Enables you to produce top-notch webinars.
- Canva – Graphic design made easy.
- Optinmonster – A library of popups to help you capture leads.
- Sumo – A tool that will help you grow your email list.
- LeadForensics – Provides info about companies visiting your landing page.
2. What Is B2B Lead Generation Software?
B2B lead generation software enables companies to capture and segment leads with the aid of information system algorithms. It’s an automated means of finding and targeting the best prospects.
A good lead generation system also supports “lead scoring,” or rating leads based on how likely they’ll turn into customers.
Some of the more popular lead generation tools available include:
3. How Does B2B Lead Generation Relate to SEO?
You can use SEO to find B2B prospects online. Here’s how to do that:
- Optimize your site for keywords related to your industry and business.
- When potential customers search for those keywords online, they’ll find your content.
- When they click on the link to view your content, use an exit-intent popup to offer them a freebie in exchange for an email address.
A tool like Optinmonster will help you create popups on your site. No coding skills are required.
Start Your B2B Lead Generation Campaign
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to B2B campaigns.
But remember: start simple, and start with a strategy.
Narrow down your target buyers, and choose which of the above channels you think will best reach them.
Do your keyword research, design your content, and you’ll soon be on you way to a successful lead generation campaign.