We often hear from clients that what they need is 'more leads!', and we all know that generating high-quality leads is crucial for business-to-business (B2B) success. It's a competitive landscape, and you need to have killer strategies in place to attract and convert potential customers - to stand out from the crowd!
But how is it done?
In this comprehensive guide, we will reveal the steps from the beginning of the buyers’ journey through to conversion. We will detail all the important elements that we undertake to help you grow your business and thrive in today’s digital environment.
From nailing down your target audience to implementing various lead generation tactics, we will give you the lowdown on how to boost your B2B lead generation efforts. Sound good? Let's begin!
There are two main types of lead generation. There are ‘inbound’ l and ‘outbound’, here we explain the difference.
Inbound lead generation focuses on attracting potential customers to your business through a variety of marketing efforts. This typically involves creating compelling content, optimising your website for search engines (SEO), and using social media marketing, email marketing, and other tactics to attract and engage potential customers.
Inbound lead generation is based on the principle of offering value to potential customers, which naturally attracts them to your business. This approach results in higher-quality leads who are genuinely interested in your products or services.
Outbound lead generation involves actively reaching out to potential customers to generate leads. This can include tactics such as cold calling, email outreach, direct mail, paid advertising, and other proactive strategies to identify and engage potential customers.
The first step in lead generation is understanding your target audience and the profile of your ideal customer. To do this we recommend conducting a thorough market research to identify the characteristics, preferences, and behaviours of your potential customers.
By understanding your target audience, you can create effective strategies to attract and engage them, resulting in higher-quality leads. This step lays the foundation for all subsequent lead generation efforts, as it informs the development of your lead generation strategy, content creation, website optimisation, and other tactics aimed at attracting and more importantly, converting potential customers.
Understanding the stages your prospects will go through before they convert is important. We call this the ‘funnel’.
As detailed in our earlier blog how to plan your SEO content marketing strategy. The awareness stage is about capturing the attention of your target audience and creating awareness about your offerings through marketing efforts such as advertising, content marketing, social media, and other channels.
At the consideration stage, it's vital to present solutions to the identified challenges from the awareness stage. Ensure that your content details the benefit of your solution and how it solves your users’ challenges.
This is the final step before conversion. It is key to provide evidence of how your solution solves the user’s challenges. So, consider evidence such as case studies, whitepapers, comparison articles, benefit-related content reviews, and testimonials that proves how your solutions, solve their problem.
You did it! You have taken your user through the stages, and they are now your customer – well done!
Now that your prospect is a customer it’s vital to keep making efforts to keep them! As it’s more costly to acquire a new lead than to nurture one you have already converted, this is the time to ensure your customers are staying with you. A well thought through retention program promotes a stronger customer lifetime value, fosters loyalty, reduces churn, and allows for upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
We are all busy people so working smarter will save you time and resources. Tracking activity provides valuable data for measuring your lead generation efforts. Analysing the data collected from your tracking code, you can gain valuable insights into which campaigns or channels are driving the most leads, which messages or offers are resonating with your audience, and where improvements can be made. This data-driven approach will allow you to make informed decisions and continuously optimise your lead gen strategies for better results.
By placing tracking code on your website, you can gather information on which pages users visit, how long they stay, and what actions they take. This data can help you understand user preferences and tailor your lead generation efforts to better target your ideal audience.
When a user visits your website and interacts with your content or products, but leaves without taking an action, you can use tracking code to capture their anonymous information and later serve them with relevant ads or content on other platforms they visit.
Example: User 1 visits your website, lingers but does not download your resource. Using the tracking code, you can re-target user 1 with new messaging to see if this encourages the user back to the resource to download it.
Tracking code can also be used to create custom audiences for more precise targeting. By collecting data on users who have engaged with your website or content, you can create custom audience segments based on their behaviours or interests.
Example: you can collate an audience of users who have downloaded a whitepaper, and then target them with specific lead generation campaigns to further engage them and convert them into leads.
To create killer content, you need to start with a strong value proposition and clearly communicate the unique value that your products or services offer to potential leads. Highlight how your solution can solve their pain points and provide tangible benefits. In the simplest of terms, every piece of content you create should be;
Your content should capture and maintain the attention of your audience with a compelling and captivating writing style or presentation.
Provide unique insights, information, or solutions that are relevant and useful to your audience, offering them something of value.
Ensure your content reflects your brand's voice, tone, and personality. Avoiding overtly promotional or internal technical language.
Thoroughly research your content and ensure you are referencing reliable sources, ensuring accuracy, credibility, and up-to-date information.
Images, videos, infographics, or other multimedia elements enhance visual appeal and will make your content more engaging.
Your content should inspire people to act! Include clear call-to-action (CTA) that prompts your audience to take the desired next step, such as subscribing, downloading, or purchasing.
Ensure that your content is designed to be easily shareable across different platforms and channels by incorporating social media buttons or other sharing options. This will encourage your audience to share it with their networks - further enhancing your efforts.
By delivering content that meets these criteria, you can effectively attract, engage, and retain your audience, ultimately driving your lead-generation efforts.
Your website is the online face of your business, and it's essential to ensure it is optimised for lead generation. By ensuring your website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and loads quickly you can minimise any obstacles that may restrict your user from completing an action.
Keep it simple. Limit, where possible, the number of clicks a user must make to reach the point of conversion.
Use clear CTA buttons and landing pages to prompt visitors to take an action, such as filling out a form or signing up for a webinar. By understanding the user journey and regularly optimising it, you can maximise the chances of your user completing an action.
Use your data to provide you with insights.
Example. As you review your users' journey and analyse the data, if you notice that a percentage of them are leaving the page before completing the desired action it’s evident that there's an issue on the final page of the user journey.
By using heat mapping tools, you can gain a deeper understanding as to why user interest is not resulting in conversions. Once you've identified the root cause and optimised your website accordingly, you should expect to see increased conversions.
Whilst the final conversion typically happens on your website or landing page, the channel in which you first hook the user should be tried, tested, and optimised. Let’s explore them.
Email marketing is a powerful tool and can be easily tested and optimised to improve open rates (ORs), click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates (CRs).
You need to build and maintain an email list of prospects and customers who have shown interest in your product or services. It is imperative that you consider how you use, manage, and store this data in adherence to GDPR.
Over time, your email marketing list can be segmented by various criteria such as demographics, purchase history, or engagement levels enabling you to create more tailored and relevant email campaigns. This enables you to send more targeted messaging to specific groups of users, increasing the chances of engagement, conversion, and customer retention.
Segmenting your email list also enables you to analyse and understand your audience better and identify trends or patterns. This will enable you to make data-driven decisions to optimise your email marketing strategy.
Overall, segmentation enhances the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts, helping you build stronger relationships with your users and drive better results. By testing compelling subject lines, personalising content, and adding clear CTAs, you can increase your open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
First, you need to identify the social media platforms where your target audience is most active and then create a strong presence on those platforms. There are a variety of social media platforms but for B2B the platform that usually performs best is LinkedIn.
Social media needs to be nurtured. By regularly sharing valuable content, engaging with your audience, and using social media advertising to reach potential customers, you can create a dialogue between you and your prospects. Most social media platforms use algorithms to decide how and when your content will show in news feeds. Spend some time researching how to get the best from your chosen social media channels.
You can use lead generation forms, polls, and surveys to collect data and capture leads on your chosen platform. Also, by regularly monitoring and analysing your social media performance you can maximise your lead generation efforts.
Paid advertising is an effective strategy for B2B lead generation when run effectively. We recommend using platforms such as Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads Campaign Manager to create targeted campaigns that reach your ideal customers.
You can create a targeted campaign by using keywords, demographics, and other targeting options, ensuring your ads are shown to the right audience.
Remember, to achieve success you need to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Create compelling ad copies and landing pages that encourage prospects to take action. Once live, you will need to monitor and analyse your ad performance to optimise your campaigns and get the best return on investment (ROI).
As with all marketing campaigns, you need to analyse the results of your activity to be able to gain insights that will enhance your lead gen tactics.
Set up key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, click-through rates, and lead quality metrics, and track your campaigns against them. This can be done using analytics tools to gather data on the performance of your lead generation strategies and campaigns.
Continually analyse this data to identify areas that need improvement. This will allow you to make data-driven decisions that will maximise your lead generation efforts.
Lead generation is an ongoing process that will require continuous testing and optimisation for the best results. You can test different lead generation tactics, channels, and strategies to identify what works best for your business.
Optimise all activity by experimenting with different content types, CTAs, landing pages, and ad copies.
By thoroughly analysing the data and insights obtained from your testing efforts, you can make informed decisions and continually enhance your lead generation strategies.
This data-driven approach will allow you to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement, which ultimately garner better results. By leveraging this data, you can steer your decision-making process, making your campaigns more effective, efficient, and successful in generating high-quality leads.
To effectively generate B2B leads, a strategic and multi-faceted approach is essential. By establishing a deep understanding of your target audience, you can create compelling content. Optimising your website, using email marketing, social media, and paid advertising, alongside continually testing, and optimising your strategies are sure to return high-quality leads.
By employing the tips and tricks outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can further your B2B lead generation efforts, drive consistent results, and foster business growth and success.
Is your website generating high-quality leads? If not, then you should take advantage of our FREE SEO and website audit, and we can advise you on any existing conversion barriers!