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What is B2B Lead Generation?
Your role as a B2B marketer isn’t just to build awareness. You’re also responsible for sending qualified leads to sales. If you’re not doing this, then your inbound marketing campaigns need improvement. According to HubSpot, marketers are prioritizing lead generation.
So if you want to maintain a competitive edge, then you should do the same. Let’s take a look at what lead generation is and the best strategies to use.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
B2B lead generation is a method B2B marketers use to drive prospective customers to its organization organically. This consists of various inbound marketing tactics that build visibility, awareness, and interest from prospects within a specific target audience. Examples of lead generation methods may include social media posts, blog posts, and SEO (search engine optimization).
Lead generation acts as the first step in the buyer’s journey and is designed to guide prospects through the funnel to the final sale. Lead generation campaigns begin by capturing leads (collecting their name and contact information) and then feeding them into the sales funnel (i.e., an email nurturing campaign).
The goal is to generate more qualified leads and increase sales and revenue.
What Are the Benefits of B2B Lead Generation?
Implementing a B2B lead generation strategy is vital today because many prospects want to control their buying journey. So no longer will ads and traditional marketing work. Today’s consumers are conducting their own research to find solutions to their problems.
If you want to drive more high-quality leads to your business, then finding ways to attract your target audience is key. This is where lead generation strategies come into play. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of B2B lead generation.
Build Awareness for Your Brand
People like to shop with brands they know and trust. But to get to this level, you have to build visibility and a good reputation for your brand. Lead generation efforts often consist of tactics to help with this. For example, you can use your blog to establish thought leadership. When visitors view you as an expert in your industry, it makes you more trustworthy.
You can do the same with social media — sharing insights and tips on these platforms (vs. selling and promoting products), you can generate a following.
According to Content Marketing Institute, 80% of B2B marketers use content marketing for lead gen. And according to a HubSpot report, 13% of blogs are 13x as likely to have positive ROIs
Increase Your Sales Opportunities
B2B lead generation strategies are all about building relationships with your target audience. You start by demonstrating your business as a go-to source for information. Then once you have the trust of prospects, they’re more likely to consider your products or services when it comes time to make a purchasing decision. This leads to more sales opportunities and revenue for your organization.
Provides Benefits to the Buyer and Seller
B2B lead gen is a win-win for both parties involved. On one end, you’re driving awareness and prospects to your business. And on the other, prospects are getting much-needed information about their problems and possible solutions to resolve them. This is why all of your lead gen campaigns should keep the prospects’ needs in mind.
Drive More High-Quality Leads
What sets digital marketing apart from traditional advertising is that you have more control over who sees your content. By using SEO, you can target people based on their interests and needs. By incorporating topics and keywords into your content, you can garner interest from prospects who are more likely to buy your product or service.
You can do the same with pay-per-click (PPC) ads. You can use retargeting and audience targeting to display ads to specific groups of people. In the case with B2B, you’d focus on firmographics (company size, industry, tech used, etc.) vs. demographics (age, marital status, income, etc.). When done right, lead generation can drive more high-quality leads. This is especially true when you adopt marketing automation tactics to drive leads.
One report shows 80% of marketers think marketing automation drives better leads. And 77% convert more leads than those who don’t use marketing automation.
Learn More About Your Target Audience
During lead generation campaigns, you’re gathering a lot of information about your target customers. With this intel, you can better understand their needs so you can improve your marketing message and content. For instance, you can learn about your audience’s questions and then focus on answering them on your blog, eBooks, social media, and other lead gen content. Analytics tools help capture data and even analyze it (with the help of AI).
Costs Less than Other Forms of Advertising
Advertising can quickly turn into an expensive endeavor. To get your ads in front of large audiences, you’d normally have to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. This is why you’ll only find multi-billion dollar companies advertising during the Super Bowl and NBA Playoffs. And it’s the same with billboards.
Even digital advertising can grow expensive. Partnering with big-time influencers can cost a pretty shiny penny and ad campaigns can be costly when you’re competing for high-competition keywords.
With lead generation, your marketing efforts are cost-efficient. You pay once for content creation (either with your time or money), and then it works for as long as it’s published. Numbers show content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing.
Appeal to Your Target Audience
People don’t like being advertised to, which is what makes lead generation efforts impactful. Rather than selling, you’re delivering value to prospective customers. So all of your promotion is done indirectly, making it feel like the decision of the user to look at or purchase your product/service.
Grow Your Revenue
The opposite of lead generation is outbound marketing. With outbound, you’re constantly looking for leads to pursue, and with lead gen, you’re getting prospects to come to you. This means you can increase your sales exponentially since it doesn’t rely on manual efforts. You have a limited number of salespeople who can do but so much selling during working hours. With lead gen, you can potentially drive thousands of leads in a given day and just as many sales by automating the sales process.
What Are Some Good Examples of B2B Lead Generation?
- Set goals: In marketing, it’s ideal to start planning with the end in mind. Knowing exactly what you want to get out of a demand generation campaign makes it easier to plan how to get there.
- Find your audience: It’s impossible to successfully market a product or service when you don’t know who you’re talking to. The more you know about your target customer, the easier it becomes to identify their pain points, so you can craft a message that resonates with them.
- Build content: You need content that matches each target group at each stage of the funnel. So for each group, you need top, middle, and bottom of the funnel content that speaks directly on their pain points. For example, you can produce thought-leadership content at the top of the funnel to build awareness and desire. For the middle of the funnel, you can create buying guides, whitepapers, and listicles to help make a purchase decision. Then at the end of the funnel, you want to offer brand-specific information, such as demos, case studies, and customer reviews.
- Distribute the content: Getting your content in front of your audience is key to building demand. So focus on delivering content on various platforms, such as email, video, live events, Stories, direct mail, social, and blog posts.
- Measure your content: The only way to know if your demand generation campaigns are working is to monitor the metrics that match your goals. This will guide you in continuing or discontinuing tactics based on their performance.
6 Demand Generation Marketing Examples
There are many ways you can develop B2B lead generation strategies for your company. Here’s a look at some examples of how B2B lead gen works.
Example 1: Using Push Notification On Your Website
Have you ever visited a website, and a popup window at the top appears asking if you’d like to allow or deny notifications from the website? If you accept, then you will receive popup notifications on your screen whenever you’re using the browser. Or, if you’re on a mobile device, then you’ll receive a push notification whenever there’s an alert.
Based on the top industries, business and finance have the highest push notification open rates at 5.46%.
This is an excellent method because your prospects are allowing you to connect with them anytime. You can use this advantage to notify leads of new blog content, product sales, and relevant company or industry news. It keeps people returning to your website and may eventually lead to a conversion.
Example 2: Popup Lead Capture Form
Lead capture forms are excellent for gathering emails and names from prospects who visit your site. There are various ways you can use them on your website. For instance, you can have a lead capture form pop up when a visitor tries to leave your site. Or when they scroll to a certain point on a blog post.
Example 3: Landing Pages with Signup Form
Whatever forms of lead gen you’re using (PPC ads, blog posts, social media), you need a place to send the leads you’re driving to your site. Instead of taking them to your home page, you can create a special landing page with a signup form to convert visitors into leads.
Ideally, you’d have multiple landing pages for different campaigns and customer profiles you’re targeting.
How Do You Use LinkedIn for B2B Lead Generation?
LinkedIn is the only social media platform today that’s widely known and used for B2B lead generation. In fact, the purpose of the platform is to help professionals and business owners network within their industries. It offers all sorts of features and data to help you do just that.
If you use it right, you can drive more (and better) leads to your business. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can use LinkedIn for B2B lead generation.
Step 1: Create a LinkedIn Company Page
Like with any B2B marketing strategy, you need a landing page to help your audience find you. On LinkedIn, this is your company page. You can create one for your business and it’ll be added to the searchable marketplace.
Once published, LinkedIn users can find your company page by looking for the keywords you use. So be sure to include industry-related keywords to optimize your description.
Step 2: Create Showcase Pages to Segment Leads
Let’s say you’re a B2B business with various products, events, or brands. You can use showcase pages to promote each one, making it easier to target specific audiences. Each one will be a part of a segment, making it easier to develop landing pages and content that caters to each group.
Step 3: Build Your Network of Connections
Don’t be modest either — connect with as many people as you can within relevant (and adjacent) industries. You can find people and companies to connect with using LinkedIn’s search tool. For instance, you can look for professionals based on the role, industry, or company they work in. And you can do the same with companies — you can find those that match your ideal customer profile and find individuals within the business to connect with.
For instance, if you want to target energy companies, you can find them and look on the page to see who works for them. You’ll be able to see the roles of employees, allowing you to target those in particular roles.
Step 4: Create LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is like any other social network when it comes to building communities. The only difference is the goals and intentions of the users on its platform. LinkedIn users are interested in business opportunities, training/education, and networking. So keep this in mind when creating a group to attract our target audience.
You can start by joining other LinkedIn groups and then create your own. Invite people you’ve connected with inside and outside of the groups you joined. Also, make an introduction (not to be confused with a sales pitch) before sending an invite so you don’t come off as spammy.
You need high-quality connections to make this work. So work on establishing yourself as an authority in your field. Contribute to the conversations in the groups you’re in so you can gain trust and respect.
Step 5: Share Engaging Content Everyday
Social networks are designed to be just that — social. So make sure you’re playing your part by regularly sharing relevant content. This includes newsworthy content, such as what’s happening in your industry right now. Then add your own thoughts to give your perspective and to start conversations.
It’ll give people a reason to follow you, especially if you’re finding interesting news stories and sharing high-value information.
Step 6: Share Thought Leadership Content
You want your LinkedIn followers to take notice of the posts you create. To do this, you can create thought leadership content, such as sharing intel, experiences, and opinions on hot topics. You want to come off as innovative, so avoid regurgitating what everyone else is saying.
See how you can switch things up by offering a unique angle no one else is talking about. This will drive discussions with people either agreeing or disagreeing with you. All conversation is good, so welcome the opposition.
Step 7: Include Solid Data with Your Content
Opinions are great conversation starters, but it helps to make your content more trustworthy and impactful when you add data into the mix. By finding solid data to back up your claims, you’re practicing good journalism, which is respected across the board.
You want to use data in any posts that are newsworthy to help build stories around them. It gives you something to talk about to evoke conversation. For example, if you’re in the HR field and find a news post on declining unemployment, you can find data on specific sectors that are seeing high growth. Then you can add your two cents on what you’re seeing with your own recruiters.
Step 8: Turn High-Performing Posts into Sponsored Content
Keep an eye on the posts you publish to see which perform well. You can use this data to recreate the success. Maybe there’s a pattern with certain topics generating more engagement.
Then for the posts that get a lot of comments, shares, and likes, you can turn them into sponsored content. All this means is that the post is “boosted” and shows up higher in your target audience’s feed. It works by selecting the post you want to boost and the groups of people you want it to show to.
So if you’re targeting specific industries, job roles, and company sizes, then you can use this to create your campaign. Since it’s an ad, you’ll have to pay per click.
Step 9: Use Programmatic Display Ads
If you want to generate more leads, then you can create display ad campaigns. These are larger than regular posts, which makes them more eye-catching. Since these cost more per click, you should target high-value leads, which are the most profitable prospects.
You’ll find many B2B brands using display ads to promote guides and other gated content to capture leads and their contact details. Do the same by creating eBooks, checklists, survey reports, and other informational content.
What Are the Best B2B Lead Generation Tools?
Every B2B marketer should have an arsenal of tools to aid in their lead generation efforts. Building a Martech stack will make it easier to deliver the results you want. Here’s a look at the different tools you can add to your lead gen strategy today:
- Email marketing: Platforms like Mailchimp make it easy to create segmented campaigns and automate lead nurturing emails. These tools also enable you to create popup or static forms to capture leads.
- Lead data collection: What about the people who don’t fill out your lead forms? In this case, you can use lead data collectors to identify the companies that visit your website.
- Chatbot: Having a way for people to reach out to your brand anytime is vital in today’s market where instant.
- CRMs: Managing relationships with leads and accounts is vital to turning prospects into customers, and customers into loyal fans. Customer relationship management platforms make it easier to track engagement with leads and accounts, and to segment sales and marketing outreach efforts.
- Calendar scheduling: Is booking calls or consultations with prospects an end goal? Then you’ll need a calendar scheduling tool, such as Google Calendar to enable people to book calls with you.
- Sales tools: Salesforce and other platforms can help sales steams to keep track of prospects throughout the sales cycle. Ideally, CRMs and sales tools should be integrated to help marketing teams drive qualified leads to sales teams.
- Prospecting and outreach: These tools help you find the best leads to reach out to and automates personalized emails. You can build targeted lists to ensure you’re connecting with the right people within an organization.
- Email address finders: What happens if you connect with a lead, but don’t have their contact information? If you can’t find it on their social media profile, you can use email address finders to locate this information for you.
- Customer data platform: With a CDP, you can combine customer data collected across all of your tools. Ideally, you want a platform that integrates with your sales tools and CRM to create transparency across departments. Choose one that’s AI-powered so you can model ideal customers, score leads, and automate customer data enrichment (finding up-to-date customer information, including contact details, company, job role, tech used, and so on).
- Landing page creator: Having a special page for prospects to land on after clicking an ad, social media post, or other link is vital to boosting conversions. With a landing page creator, you can quickly develop segmented landing pages for each group you’re targeting.
- Image tools: Adding images to your content, ads, and sales pages makes them more appealing. But you don’t have to be a graphic designer to pull this off. Instead, you can use imaging tools like Canva and Picmonkey to create quality photos, infographics, and memes for your marketing collateral.
Whatever lead generation tools you decide to use — make sure they integrate with your Martech stack, so you don’t have a bunch of siloes to wade through.
What Are the Best B2B SaaS Lead Generation Strategies?
Once you’ve gathered the right tools for lead generation, it’s time to create a B2B lead generation strategy. But what methods should you use if you’re selling SaaS platforms? We put together a list of methods you can use to engage your target audiences and drive more high-quality leads to your SaaS company.
Use Chatbots to Drive Leads
Both B2B and B2C consumers want the convenience of contacting brands on their terms. By adding chatbots to your website, you enable visitors to reach out and ask questions anytime, even during after hours. You can program chatbots to answer all sorts of questions and queries. Use machine learning to find new answers to the database over time. It’s also ideal to allow the chatbot to schedule calls with a human.
Set Up a Referral Program
Some of the best leads can come from customers you’ve done business with. So give your accounts incentive to refer others to you by offering discounts and freebies. For example, you can provide them with a discount on their next two billing periods. Or offer a free add-on service to their plan for several months.
Create Gated Content to Capture Leads
Sharing blog posts on social media is one way of getting people to visit your website. Once there, you can offer a free eBook or guide in exchange for their name and email address. Another option is to use sponsored posts or display ads on LinkedIn. This will give you more control over who sees the lead magnet since you can choose audiences you want to display them to.
Repurpose Your Content
Live events, podcasts, blog posts, infographics, webinars, eBooks, and videos are the various formats you can use for content marketing. Each one you develop can be repurposed into other formats for convenience and flexibility. For example, you can repurpose your videos into blog posts, eBooks, and audio podcasts. This way, you can cater to folks who prefer short content (blogs), long-form content (eBooks), and audio (podcasts).
The idea is to ensure your topics are shared in multiple formats so your audience can choose how they want to consume it.
Send Corporate Gifts and Company Swag
Building relationships with your leads is essential to gaining their trust (and business). By sending gifts and/or company swag gear, you’re setting yourself apart from competitors and making a great impression. There are platforms like Sendoso, which makes it easy to select, order, and track gift shipments.
Build an ABM Campaign
With the right tools in place, you can develop an account-based marketing campaign that segments leads. For instance, you can track leads through the buyer’s journey using the CRM and then identify the best people to contact within the organization using your CDP. Using this information, you can create email lists and send personalized messaging to each group. If you’re using a CDP with AI capabilities, then you’ll know which leads are sales-ready or need a bit more nurturing.
Create Display Ads On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a platform you don’t want to overlook using. By adding display ads to your strategy, you can target specific leads based on company, job role, and company size. The more targeted your ads, the higher the quality the prospects you drive in. Make sure to view your insights to see if your campaigns are working and who’s converting the most. You can use A/B testing to see if changing the headlines, ad copy, image, or lead magnet improves results.
Start Building Your B2B Lead Generation Machine
Creating a B2B lead generation strategy is all about using the right tools and strategies. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the best platforms and techniques to use to drive more prospects to your website.
If you’re looking for a sending solution, then you’ll find Sendoso to be an optimal choice. Our Sending Platform combines analytics, warehousing, and personalization to ensure your prospects are impressed with your gifts. Want to see how it works? Then request a demo with us today!