Lead generation. It’s basically what makes up the daily grind of digital marketers. And anyone who’s ever tried to increase their sales pipeline will surely agree that B2B lead generation is tough—exciting yes, but consistently challenging.
A survey showed that for 58% of decision-makers, lead generation is a key challenge. There’s no one-size-fits-all checklist. Each business requires a different approach. Each business has a different data set because they have different target markets.
A SaaS business cannot follow an eCommerce brand’s strategy to the dot. However, even if there isn’t a single success template, there are general and overarching lead generation strategies that B2B companies can implement this 2022.
What is B2B lead generation and how does it work?
B2B lead generation, put simply, is the process of identifying potential clients for your business. This involves collecting potential customers’ information so you can zero in on them and convert them into actual sales.
Some additional context: In B2C, products are sold directly to buyers. Like when an online shopper sees an ad, clicks on it, likes what he or she sees on an eCommerce site, and ends up buying.
In B2B, leads don’t necessarily mean income. At least, not yet. B2B leads take longer to convert because their decision-making process is longer and more complicated.
So it’s not just about increasing the number of leads. It’s also about improving the quality of leads. Your sales and marketing teams should only be attracting leads who will most likely convert after a thorough nurture campaign.
Importance and benefits of lead generation
When your sales and marketing teams are aligned, lead generation strategies can reap the following benefits:
Increase in brand awareness
Consistent branding can increase revenue by up to 23%. If more people are aware of your brand, the more likely you will reach your target market.
Lead generation results in brand awareness because of educational and informative campaigns. While not all online users will turn to leads right away, they will be exposed to your brand and what you can offer.
Boost revenue and marketing ROI
If you generate a large number of leads, you can fill your sales pipeline quite fast. Some of these leads will move forward to being a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) or a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
That’s why companies with effective lead generation strategies have around 133% more revenue compared to companies that don’t have the right strategies.
Additionally, lead generation via digital marketing is cost-effective. This is because you can control how much you choose to invest in which channel so you can target the most relevant audience and only attract those who are most likely to convert.
So you end up spending less but getting better results.
Access to results and data-driven insights
The great thing about digital lead generation campaigns is that you get access to all of the results. This allows you to measure the success of your campaigns, as well as take a deep dive into what didn’t work.
There’s no room for guesswork because all the facts and the numbers are accessible to you. This will enable you to make decisions based on results, and not just based on gut feel.
5 lead generation strategies for B2B companies
Not sure where to start?
Or maybe you’ve already started but you’re feeling overwhelmed?
Here are five proven lead generation strategies to look into:
Content marketing because content is still king
In the digital world where information can be accessed readily, content will be your unique selling factor.
Content marketing is an inbound marketing strategy, which means you draw your target audience into your marketing funnel by putting out valuable content that will make them want to learn more.
Some things to remember when planning to dabble in content marketing:
- Do not content create for the sake of it. Make sure that each piece you create has a purpose and can be tied back to your KPIs.
- Don’t be impatient. B2B customers typically consume around three to five content pieces before reaching out to a salesperson or giving their contact details via a lead generation form.
- Find a balance of quantity and quality. When you publish often, this shows your target market that you are consistent and committed to providing value.
- Create a content marketing strategy that contains content for various channels. The top types of content that B2B marketers use are social media posts, case studies, videos, ebooks, and infographics. (Content Marketing Institute)
- Don’t forget to have your share of evergreen content—content that will always stay relevant. While it’s important to engage in trends and news, evergreen content is a surefire way to make sure that leads continue to flock over.
Expand your social media presence
There’s a common misconception that social media is best for B2C marketing. However, recent numbers show otherwise:
- 80% of all social media leads came from LinkedIn, as reported by B2B marketers.
- 46% of B2B marketers use Facebook as part of their strategy.
- 25% of B2B social media marketers use Pinterest for marketing purposes
- Each new social media channel you use can increase ROI and effectiveness by 35%
Tips for B2B marketers on using social media for lead generation:
- You don’t have to be present on every social media platform out there. Choose two or three based on where your target market is and where they hang out.
- Don’t be afraid to try something unconventional. Take TikTok, for example. With 1 billion monthly active users, people come here to be entertained, to laugh, and yes—to learn.
- 68% of people shared that they feel brands don’t share interesting content. Be creative and always think from a customer’s perspective. What will interest them? What will grab their attention?
- Test out different content types to figure out what works best for your audience. For some audiences, it may be video. But for some, it may be carousels.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Did you know that organic search drives 51% of online users to websites? Paid search drives 10% and social contributes 5%. This isn’t that surprising, given that 61% of B2B decision makers start their process with an internet search.
It’s becoming clearer than ever that organic traffic should not be underestimated. B2B companies need SEO more than ever before—especially for lead generation. This was further proven during the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak when businesses had to cut down costs.
Businesses that already had a thriving SEO strategy were able to retain their visibility even without paid ads. As businesses are starting to bounce back, it’s important to put some focus on long-term strategies like SEO.
B2B decision makers are just like us. When they need to look for something, they type in search keywords on Google or Bing.
PPC allows you to jump the line of search results so you can be front and center of the people who are already looking for you. It’s a win-win situation—they’re looking for what you can offer, and you’re looking to help them.
One important thing to remember: when an online user clicks on your ad, that’s not yet a guaranteed conversion. The next stage is the landing page or the website—these channels should all work cohesively to deliver a personalized and seamless customer experience.
Website and landing page optimization
Your website or landing pages must be optimized for conversions. It’s no longer a “nice to have.” It’s all part of enhancing your target audience’s customer experience.
Additionally, B2B companies should have separate landing pages depending on their specific offers. Businesses with more than 40 landing pages generate 12x more leads than those with only one to five landing pages.
Some additional tips on how you can optimize your website for lead generation:
- Use tools like Hotjar or Mouseflow to determine where your customers are spending the most or least time on your website
- Explore using personalized CTAs. They perform more than 200% better than basic CTAs.
- Install a live chat service. Recently, this has become an in-demand feature because online users want something—and they want it fast.
- Videos on landing pages can increase conversions by up to 86%.
Remember that your website plays a huge role in lead generation. After all, all your other lead generation campaigns will land on either your website or a landing page.
Organize and attend webinars, events, and conferences
This strategy is divided into two: organizing your own events and attending others’ events,
Sure you have your lead magnets, ebooks, and downloadable guides. But with video content increasing in popularity, you may want to try organizing your own webinars.
More than half (53% to be exact) of marketers say that of all top-of-the-funnel channels, webinars generate the most high-quality leads. After all, if an online user puts in the effort to attend, the intent and interest are pretty high.
B2B companies usually follow up with webinar leads and nurture them after the event by providing some free resources, recording, free trials, discounts on the price, or even free audits.
Meanwhile, conferences are a prime source of leads. In fact, more than 50% of B2B marketers shared that in-person events were the best source for high-quality leads.
Additionally, you get to rub shoulders with leaders and decision-makers—84% of executives like Vice President or C-Suite believe that in-person events contribute to their company’s growth. Don’t forget to gather the contact information of the people you meet. Here’s how you can find the conference attendee list.
So while you may not convert an attendee on the spot, the potential of expanding your network and getting your name out there is pretty high. Exchange calling cards and just interact—then follow up after the conference.
3 lead generation playbooks for additional reference
Ready to boost your lead generation strategies? Our team has recently developed and implemented quite a number of different lead research and data enrichment strategies.
Here are three playbooks that you can use to help you zero in on your target prospects.
The Web Scrape Playbook
The Web Scrape Playbook helps you scrape structured data from websites with the use of scraping tools. Do keep in mind that some sources will have complete contact details and some will not. Just remember to run the data via your data cleaning process.
The Event Hijack Playbook
Attending a workshop, mastermind, or networking event? The Event Hijack Playbook will guide you as you research or scrape event-related data so you can zero in on quality attendees.
The “Clone” Playbook
Ever wish you can replicate yourself so you can accomplish more? The Clone Yourself Playbook will show you how you can “clone” your processes to achieve next-level productivity.
Wrap up: It’s time to maximize your lead generation strategies
Filling your sales pipeline can be daunting and overwhelming at times. With strategic lead generation techniques, you’ll get there soon enough.
The only thing remaining for you to do is to actually get started. On the other hand, it may be more beneficial for you to outsource prospecting and lead research so you can focus instead on building relationships and nurturing those leads.