Some marketers and business owners think about leads as just random, potential clients. And while that might be true, they also represent a potential sales opportunity just a step away. Your only job is to grab their attention and show them that you can provide them with the quality they are looking for. Simple, right?
We know, it’s easier said than done.
Generating valuable leads is pivotal for every B2B website and to ensure that the leads keep coming, it’s necessary to create a great marketing strategy with a reliable pipeline that will be strong enough to maintain a stable growth rate.
What is lead generation and why it’s important for your website
Before diving into it, we should start by defining the importance of good lead generation. Simply put, B2B lead generation is basically identifying potential customers and initiating their interest in your products. It’s the first step towards closing a deal or making a sale.
In the world of B2B websites and businesses, it means finding a company who may be interested in your products or services. They are your target audience. Lead generation in this sense falls under the category of advertising, but it’s not a simple, one-way-paid-ad route like most people would think. There are several ways you can generate leads and you’ll learn about the best resources in this article.
Why do I need lead generation?
All in all, it’s safe to say that lead generation is a lot easier in theory than in practice. More precisely, it can be time-consuming but in most cases, your efforts will pay off.
If you’re a business owner, you already know why lead generation is important, but the thing is, with the growth of the digital realm, online sales and leads are also making a huge impact on the way companies think and market their products. By establishing a strong online presence and using the right resources, generating leads and turning them into sales can have a huge impact on your growth as a business.
Lead generation – the basics
We all know that in order to start, you need a highly optimized website where you showcase your service or product. You also need a compelling call to action on the platform to persuade your potential customers that you are their to-go business. For this, it’s best to have them complete a form so that you have their basic info and follow-up with them later.
BAM! This is lead generation in a nutshell.
However, to execute this simple plan, there are numerous steps you should take and a few valuable resources you need to use to gain that competitive edge.
Content is king
You’ve heard this from digital marketers countless times. In order to generate leads and make sales in the digital sphere, you need high-quality content that is catered to your target group’s preferences. Good content ultimately leads to a highly SEO-friendly website, meaning your website will be more visible for search engines, which will help generate traffic towards it.
A strong and targeted, audience-focused content marketing strategy can dramatically increase your success with SEO, and gaining new customers will become a much faster process.
Before you start pushing content on your website, make sure that your blogs and other copies are high-quality, optimized for search engines, contain the right keywords and are in tune both with your brand and your audience’s preferences.
After that, stay consistent because it has been proven that content is undeniably one of the best B2B lead resources out there.
Also, take your time and optimize all other aspects of your website. Here’s another article that may help you with that.
While in the domain of content and SEO, we should also talk about building trusted backlinks, a method which may also come in handy.
It’s simple: just get somebody “raving” about your business and you can instantly gain confidence in your product and trust from potential buyers.
How to pull this off? Find a trusted website that will send your potential buyers or clients your way. You can do this by simply having other websites sharing your content, by getting on a resource page, coming up with great content which other business will share or by writing blogs for other companies.
Whenever you’re building your backlink base, make sure you’re only sharing on trusted sites. Otherwise, you can compromise not just your lead generation efforts, but your site’s security as well.
Social media marketing
By using social platforms, you can reach huge audiences and these channels let you do it in a more refined way. May that be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn (which is one of the best B2B lead resources, BTW), you have many features and options to choose from to generate not just leads, but traffic and sales as well.
Pages like Facebook and Instagram are also very popular with fairly sophisticated advertising features. Ads on these networks can be highly targeted since you can set up a refined demographic filter that will make sure that your ads are visible to your potential clients.
While social media channels offer a great way to generate leads and raise brand awareness, to produce measurable results you need a paid ad budget, a well-planned strategy and most importantly, great content and outstanding services.
Also, try refraining from using a lot of third-party bots and automation features when it comes to social media marketing because a lot of professionals state that they will be more or less counterproductive.
Instead of relying on automation, why not try viral marketing? It takes only seconds, it’s for free and the results it can deliver can be fascinating. You only have to produce quality content then ask your audience on your social channels to share it. It may not work every single time, but you only have to pull it off once or twice to get the results you want. And considering the cost, it’s worth a shot.
Simple as that. However, remember: in order to pull this off, you need QUALITY CONTENT.
While SEO, content and social media marketing are more time-consuming, pay-per-click offers quicker results.
PPC can be really helpful and effective if you know who to target but can be an expensive endeavor for particular industries.
The other problem with this lead generation method is that a great number of your potential clients probably use some kind of ad-blocking program, meaning that chances are, they won’t even be seeing your ads.
The great thing is, you have numerous options when it comes to placing your ad. Like with Google Ads.
That being said, you can either put your ads
- In the Search Network – meaning, at the top of Google search results. This can be a good thing since it lets leads turn into sales faster. Why? Let’s say your potential customer’s already googling something with the intent of buying. Chances are higher that they will purchase on your website.
- The Display Network – your ads show up on the websites which previously agreed to display Google ads to website visitors. These are most often than not visual ads with automated features.
- Remarketing – your ads appear on the display network targeted to those who’ve already visited your website. This method usually brings higher conversion rates and can be launched in Google AdWords, but you can also use third-party apps like AdRoll.
Your good ol’ email list and cold email tactics
Spin your “Sign up for our newsletter” CTA around with something like “Join the largest growing family of marketing experts”.
You see where we’re getting at?
Add some social quality and some flare to the sentence and you’re halfway done already.
The ugly truth is, people don’t get moved by old sales pitches anymore. They crave content personalized for them, they need something that meets their preferences.
That being said, take some time to inspect your newsletter content and rewrite it to be more appealing, more personal, more focused on today’s marketing trends.
The same thing applies to your cold emails. Make a good impression by being creative and standing out. Be personal, do your best to be unique, funny even.
Make sure not to spam people with empty words, get to the point instead and make sure to include at least two follow-up emails, just to make sure that your message gets seen.
As said above, exploiting lead resources and turning them into actual sales is a lot easier on paper than they are in practice.
All of these strategies take time to plan and to execute, and what might work wonders for a company in a particular industry might be a huge waste of money and time for another business in another industry.
It’s safe to say that your best bet is to provide impeccable services or products in the first place, then produce quality content, and in the meantime, see who your target audience is, then research these strategies to see which resource you could exploit the most.
However, don’t forget – the quality of your products and content comes first.
B2B lead generation is hard because you can’t just copy and paste a strategy that works for someone else. Stuff that works like crazy for one business might fall completely on its face in another business.
The key is finding a strategy that works for you, and in most cases, the foundation of effective lead generation is some form of content. It all comes down to knowing your audience and how they interact with your business.
Do you have any other B2B lead generation strategies that work well for you? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.