Lead Generation for B2B Businesses
Sales is a numbers game. Without enough leads coming in, you won't hit your sales targets. But how to get to those target numbers?
Marketing and Sales need to work hand-in-hand to understand what's possible and what's needed. That's both from the offerings that marketing can promote (information from sales) and also what people are actually interested in and looking for (information from marketing). By keeping the two departments in regular communication, both groups get better intelligence about what to promote, where, to whom and when. That 'closed loop reporting' is critical.
While this dialogue is clearly important for evaluating results and ad spend, it is also important to help generate an increased volume of leads. While we don't just want random people entering our sales funnel, raising awareness early in the sales process can be useful. Ultimately, that allows your organization to frame the conversation about how to make a decision later on.
But what are some of the best ways for a B2B organization to generate more leads?
Regular creation of targeted content that approaches your products or services from multiple perspectives will support your overall search engine optimization and your relevance to a wide range of audiences.
Be intentional, deliberate and consistent.
- Downloadable Offers for Lead Generation
If you plan your content correctly, you'll be able to repurpose it into downloadable offers through which prospects/ visitors to your website become leads. That is, you earn an email address which may permit you to continue the conversation with other content offers.
Be careful of GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (and other laws under development). Just because someone requests information does not automatically give you permission to continue emailing them.
- Trade Association Marketing
Many trade associations and related media sites have opt-in email addresses. Explore options for enewsletter advertising, making your downloadable offers available via the 3rd party association, as well as sponsored webinars (you present or get advertising recognition) which are promoted via the trade organization (versus building your own list). Don't forget website banners ads and trade shows which may be available via these organizations.
You can leverage the audience building the association has created and go after a targeted audience...plus benefit by being associated with that group.
- Google Ads
Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) provides a range of opportunities for getting in front of new audiences, as well as remarketing to people whom have visited your website before, yet haven't completed any forms on your site.
Google Search Engine Marketing (SEM) (as well as Bing and others) is especially good at growing awareness. With remarketing, you can work to convert someone. Depending on your budget, that conversion piece needs to be carefully evaluated. Ads can be on Google properties, along search results, or appear as banner ads on other websites, and on YouTube.
For this discussion, Google SEM is a great and relatively inexpensive way to gain brand awareness and to start making the association in peoples' minds that your organization offers a solution to their problem.
Driving people to a landing page with a downloadable offer which addresses their specific pain point is an ideal use case.
- LinkedIn Company Page
Be sure to post regularly and have members of your company like and share the posts. Don't forget tagging so that your post can appear when people search on certain topics.
- LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn offers an easy way to create and deliver targeted ads. Like with Google AdWords, be sure to offer a reason for someone to click, such as a downloadable offer (whitepaper, ebook, tip list, etc.).
LinkedIn offers an option to leverage the data already within a LinkedIn profile, which decreases friction and increases conversion. Just remember to regularly log in to LinkedIn to review the results, as they are not necessarily emailed to your organization.
- Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is growing. Disclosure: we are not fans of how Facebook conducts business and its data collection/ ownership/ usage practices. However, the growth of Facebook Messenger cannot be ignored.
Building out bots which request and deliver information is a solid lead generation process.
- Facebook Ads
Even with the negatives, there remain millions of eyeballs on Facebook which could be looking at your ads and responding to your offers.
Because of its rich behavioral data, Facebook can also provide exceptional 'look alike' audiences to grow your potential audience reach.
Do you have any technology or solution partners?
Consider working together for a webinar, a presentation at a conference or submit a jointly authored article. Be sure to work out ahead of time what your lead sharing process will be, and any expected revenue share.
Getting sign-ups for a webinar can be a way to capture a lot of leads at once. By offering a compelling presentation which addresses legitimate challenges people are facing and which has a very clearly defined audience, you can accelerate your lead generation.
Working with a trade organization or media publication which regularly presents webinars can be a great way to ensure the promotion and management of the event itself goes smoothly and presents your company in the best light.
This also helps your company appear as the expert it is, by leveraging the positive association the trade show has, that rubs off on you.
- Traditional Media
Print ads, radio, tv, billboards, direct mail, etc. - there are still places for these channels. The best option is to have a landing page for each, so you can complete the conversation with a form for the actual lead capture. This can show effectiveness and provides a better User Experience as the landing page reinforces the association of how they got there. For example, an ad on a radio station would reference a landing page which references the call letters on the landing page (and as part of the url on your website).
- Out of the Box
Well, it wouldn't be unusual if it could be listed here! We specialize, though, in coming up with "Logical Creativity" - that is, what is unique to your product or service which inspires a particular approach when reaching out to an audience.
Lone Armadillo recently doubled leads for an enterprise software company in 8 months...while cutting ad spend by $28,000! (They were better quality leads, too.)
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