8 Most Effective B2B Lead Generation Methods
“Lead Generation” is a funny buzz term that means nothing to most people. In short, leads are potential customers and the lifeblood of a business. How do prospects find your business or product? They may find you from an online search for your product, through promotional materials, or by word of mouth.
Generating leads is not easy. One proven method to get leads is to offer genuinely valuable information. Marketing analytics can help you to determine what to offer. The idea is to draw prospects in with information, by using behavioral data, and then converting that interest into a sale.
Every b2b lead agency would like a formula to create the perfect lead generator, but every business is different. Lead generation marketing needs to be linked to the type of business you run as well as the type of customers who will buy your product. There is no one size fits all approach to online lead generation.
Knowing both your product and your potential customer is important in figuring out the right marketing strategy. B2B lead generation services can be an important component in that strategy. The following 8 steps, when tailored to your niche, can help you to develop a winning B2B demand generation program.
1. Offer something different
Any business can offer quality products at a fair price. Even lead generation companies! The reality is that your message needs to stand out among a seemingly endless number of choices. That goes for business to business lead generation as well as business to consumer.
A unique product, special service, customized information or truly exceptional customer service can set you apart from the pack. Give prospective customers a reason to select your product or services.
One way to find opportunities is to reverse engineer what other successful businesses in your niche offer. Who are their customers? How do they generate leads?
It may be a good idea to copy a successful business’ marketing methods but never their marketing message. Unique messages get attention. If coming up with a unique message has been a struggle, then a B2B lead generation agency may be able to help.
2. Give your lead a route in
Every lead needs an open door or at least something that draws them in. Inbound marketing puts a focus on helping customers find your company. There are many ways to get attention, like offering:
- An informational ebook—give your leads valuable information relevant to their business needs.
- A business newsletter—weekly or monthly newsletters can offer business tips and insider information to your leads.
- Blog posts—updated posts offer a great way to answer your lead’s questions in a helpful and interesting way. Blogs also offer a great way to get search engines to recognize your website.
- Videos—people enjoy dynamic presentations. Record valuable information in an interesting format and offer that to potential customers.
- Webinars—these informative videos let you teach, train, and spotlight experts in your field. Use these to your advantage.
The common element to all these inbound marketing tools is they offer an up-to-date and on-going way to connect with others. And they give you the chance to share information with prospects.
Make sure to keep the tools you offer fresh and interesting so that leads feel they need your information. Filling a need is a great way to entice leads to sign up on your website.
Remember, your open door gives you the opportunity to gather B2B email data about your leads. When they sign up for your newsletter, for example, get contact data, including what company they work for and what questions they have.
This information helps you to not only collect behavioral data and track leads but to tailor your information to their needs.
3. Network with others (promote and be promoted)
No business operates in a vacuum. Many companies sell products similar to yours or products that can compliment yours.
Contact these companies and ask about their products. Offer to help promote their products or tools in exchange for some promotion yourself. When businesses help one another, both have the opportunity to gain more visibility and a wider audience.
Promotion is a great way to get your name out there and to gain the trust of others. Trust is an invaluable resource in the business world.
To promote other businesses you can
- have a link to their website on your site
- share their newsletters with others
- mention them in your social media campaigns
- spotlight them in a video.
In return, ask them to promote your business!
4. Use an email campaign
Email campaigns are a successful way to target leads that have shown initial interest in your company. In fact, email campaigns are one of the top lead generation strategies.
Emails are fairly easy to craft. They are easy to send. And best of all they can be customized to each recipient using your B2B email data. A customized email really helps potential customers to feel they are important to you!
The key to crafting emails is to
- Gather individual lead information
- Learn what you can offer your leads
- Send each lead an email that answers a business question for them.
You become an expert giving them business guidance.
Common B2B email mistakes include sending too many emails, writing emails over 3-5 paragraphs, attaching useless files, ignoring your email data, and of course writing mass emails.
Remember, you are building a close relationship with each lead so they look to you as a trusted advisor or business acquaintance. Use emails to make the most of lead scoring.
5. Have a social media presence
Social media is free and heavily trafficked, making it a great place to put your business. You can gain leads from a strong social media presence.
LinkedIn can be a great platform for generating leads. Businesses see your LinkedIn account then can go right to your website.
To be truly successful on Linkedin, you need a robust company page, not just a just a brief company profile. Update the account frequently. Publish content there. Join groups to interact with other businesses. Emulate what the leaders in your category are doing.
You can also put together Facebook and Twitter accounts to interact with customers and answer questions. Be sure to keep these accounts up to date. Check them daily to respond to customers, add new posts, and monitor traffic.
6. Optimize your website
SEO (search engine optimization) is a phrase that comes up frequently in forums when debating the need for a lead generation service. What is SEO? It’s Search Engine Optimization, which makes your website highly visible to your potential client base.
Strong SEO can have a highly positive impact on reducing your cost per lead.
What can you do to make your website rank highly on Google, Bing or Yahoo?
Have a well designed structure—a well designed structure allows it to be crawled by search bots.
- Provide a site map
- Put in internal or navigational links to lead from page to page
- Make signs throughout your website that point customers to your CTA (call to action)
Quality content—Your content needs to draw leads in. Empty blogs, useless words, and boring paragraphs full of keywords don’t rank highly. Leads stay on sites that have a clear format and relevant information.
External links—Your site needs to link to other websites. Link to quality sites that compliment your business as well as your social media accounts. This is vital to your SEO.
Keywords—Put the words you want leads to find your site within your content titles, subtitles, and meta tags. Carefully choose keywords that potential visitors would use to find your products or services.
7. Create a dialogue
You have several options to create a dialogue such as sending an email, making a phone call, or visiting in person (if possible).
Since you are guiding a prospect towards a purchase, make the dialogue with them positive and information driven. Become a trusted advisor who gives them business advice and tools to improve their sales.
Leads want value. And they want to see genuine care in their best interest. When you offer advice on an ongoing basis, along with your product, customers continue to buy from you and recommend your product to others.
8. Continue to offer quality and value
Once you have created a product, continue to improve it. Your product should adapt to your customer’s needs like a tailored piece of clothing.
Show leads that your company is innovative and offers regular updates and improvements. Announce on your social media accounts what’s new. Show both leads and customers that you care by responding to their feedback.
Also, communicate that you believe in a higher standard than the competition. Add value through a quality product, great customer service, or continued business advice.
Integrate these top lead generation methods into your business marketing practices. Experiment with the approach and style to get the best mix that really generates leads for your specific business.
And don’t underestimate the power of your website and tailored contact. If you need guidance, turning to a lead generation agency can be key.