According to HubSpot, lead generation continues to be the number one challenge for marketers at B2B businesses of all sizes. It's understandable that B2B marketing teams are so focused on generating new leads—leads are, after all, as necessary to your business as gasoline is to your car—said differently, without enough leads at the top of your sales funnel, your business could stall.
HOW CAN YOUR B2B BUSINESS GENERATE MORE LEADS?
Every business is different, with different customers and prospective customers, different goals and different marketing challenges. That said, some lead generation strategies will work for the lion's share of them. Here are 4 foundational components of a strong lead generation program:
1. CONTENT IS KING
Publishing content is critical to gaining visibility and attracting prospects. By offering useful, relevant content—in the form of blogs, infographics, eBooks, white papers and case studies—before talking sales, content marketing helps consumers answer their most pressing questions and solve their most protracted problems. In this way, content marketers build the trust that makes consumers more likely to buy their products and services. Because your target audience is diverse, content marketing success relies on offering a wide array of diverse content to appeal to the largest audience of prospective customers possible. The point is, regularly publishing content is an effective way to attract visitors to your website and capture potential leads.
2. GETTING SOCIAL
If you want your online marketing to succeed, you need to go where your customers are, and increasingly where they are is on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube. That's why, according to a recent study from eMarketer, B2B marketers across a wide swath of industries agree that social media marketing (especially though not exclusively on LinkedIn) is among the best ways to increase both the quantity and quality of leads. Social media marketers employ a variety tactics to generate leads on social media sites, including:
- Creating links to gated content in your social media posts;
- Sponsoring contests on social media sites;
- Posting ads (especially on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) that link to customized landing pages on your website;
- Posting gated videos and webinars (again, offering this content in exchange for contact information);
- Targeting social media messaging to key market segments); and
- Personalizing messaging to create a more powerful connection with prospects.
3. EMAIL MARKETING: STILL RELEVANT AND EFFECTIVE
Mark Twain once said, "the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated." The same could be said for email marketing. Far from being a marketing strategy that's seen better days, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to generate (and nurture) leads for B2B companies.
According to Search Engine Journal, for example, effectively leveraged email marketing campaigns can increase ROI by as much as 4,300%. The operative word is "effectively." The most successful email lead generation campaigns are that target with a laser focus (this based on robust, accurate data) the customers most likely to be interested in your products and services. It's also critically important to A/B test every component of your emails (including subject line, body copy and call to action) before launching your campaigns for maximum results.
4. EFFECTIVELY MANAGING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
It's important not only to generate new leads, but also to nurture them to the point of sale—and to offer them outstanding customer service from that point on. The right CRM—one in other words that's customized for your B2B business and affordable—will help you increase both sales opportunities and customer retention by doing all of the following:
- Help you track and manage all customer and prospective customer interaction with your business;
- Identify additional opportunities to nurture leads;
- Maintain a centralized database easily accessible to your sales, marketing and customer service teams;
- Organize all your contact data;
- Automate data entry;
- Provide prospect follow up reminders; and
- Provide valuable data for market segmentation
Creating and implementing a solid lead generation strategy will help your business increase conversions on your website, create more sales opportunities, boost revenues and profitability and grow. But it can also be both complicated and confusing.
Effective lead generation includes publishing content, sharing that content on social media sites, capturing leads, nurturing them with emails, and tracking and managing them through CRM. The process makes common sense and is actually quite simple, yet too many businesses are not doing it, possibly due to lack of time and resources. We can help with that.