Let’s cut to the chase! In this article, we will discuss the power of B2B lead generation and how it can greatly impact your business if it’s done well.
It’s important to understand what a lead is for your business. A lead is someone who you have established some sort of contact with. This means you made some form of connection, but you don’t have a sale yet.
The first step to making this happen is knowing what a qualified lead looks like. A qualified B2B lead is a company that has a genuine interest in your product or service and is ready to move forward to the next steps and ultimately a transaction. By using a better lead generation system, you can understand what leads are worth pursuing and how to generate more qualified leads for your business!
If you want to create the most powerful B2B lead generation system for your business, you need to consider the process. Lead generation generally follows four simple steps:
This process, when done well takes strangers of your business and makes them raving fans! Delighted clients are the goal for a B2B transaction since raving fans will generate positive word of mouth and more business at no cost. It’s important to understand your prospect in order to create your own lead generation system. For example, manufacturing lead generation often works best when content marketing through the right digital channels is the focus. When you’re able to automate your system and produce measurable results, you’re in a position to produce a fantastic return on investment (ROI).
An effective content marketing strategy will attract your ideal clients like bees to a honeypot. In content marketing, you will develop content that is useful to your ideal client and helpful in connecting with them. Content such as quality copy writing, makes the web go round so it should be a part of your marketing strategy! Your content can be anything from a blog post, an e-book and regular social media updates. Content Marketing also gives companies the opportunity to reach new audiences. Your content will be seen by people who previously wouldn’t have been aware of your business.
When it comes to social media marketing, LinkedIn is generally the best option for B2B organizations. With your content marketing strategy, you are able to share relevant information with your LinkedIn network. You have access to all of your contacts’ networks which is a huge advantage when it comes to targeting prospects and lead generation. LinkedIn is also perfect for creating valuable business relationships such as referral partnerships and strategic alliances that can last well into the future.
Attending networking events can be a great way to meet new people and get your brand in front of a larger audience. If you’re a small business BNI (Business Networking International) is run in many parts of the world so you may find a chapter in your local area. They have thousands of chapters all over the world and they work very well for BTL (Below the Line) lead generation campaigns because members are constantly attending events, giving you access to their extensive network that you wouldn’t normally be able to reach on your own. Industry events and the local chamber of commerce may also be good places for you to network and promote your business.
When it comes to paid advertising, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are often the best option when creating your own lead generation system. Pay-per-click ads can be cost effective because you only pay for actual clicks and can track the conversion rates to ensure a good return on investment. Paying for visitors that don’t convert into sales, doesn’t make sense so the idea is to spend your money on marketing strategies which have proven to be profitable time after time.
It can take quite some time for many B2B companies to close a sale so it’s important to stay front of mind for those that are interested. Retargeting ads are a great way to reach out and remind people who have already been exposed to your brand. Retargeting is one of the most cost-effective forms of lead generation for B2B companies because retargeted visitors can be anywhere from two to ten times more likely to convert into a sale compared with new website visitors.
Email is a cost-effective way to market to those that are already connected to your brand in some way. Emails are usually seen as more profitable than other forms of advertising because you know the email recipient has already expressed some interest in your company. There’s generally little cost in setting up a new email campaign once you have your systems in place however you’ll still need a strong strategy in order to be successful with email marketing. Email marketing is still one of the most powerful lead generation systems for B2B companies. Emails can be sent to people who have visited certain pages on your website or completed a form, but you should also be sure to follow any anti-SPAM laws specific to your region.
There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to lead generation systems. We’ve covered some of the most popular options that are proven to boost business growth however marketing automation is the ultimate goal. You should experiment with the tools you have available to you and see what works best for your business. You don’t need to do everything to become a success, find what works best for your business and systemise it.
To your lead generation success!
Not so long ago every company rushed to publish its own website, then sat back and waited for potential customers to visit it. Most even installed counters to keep up with the number of visits/viewings. With the exponential explosion of social media over the past decade, though, these same companies have increasingly felt the need to find new ways to “point” customers, both other businesses and consumers, to their website. It was an easy leap in logic to use the new phenomena of social media.
It’s become generally accepted that social media channels provide an excellent path for businesses to reach out to consumers. What’s becoming even more clear is that the lines between B2C and B2B are being continually blurred. What works for B2C markets often works for B2B markets, and vice versa.
The truth is that as businesses have become more present and active on social media, the utility of those networks for B2B and B2C marketing has grown in parallel. Three of the largest media channels are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Taken at face value, Facebook appears to be much more suited for consumer communications than for B2B or B2C. But almost every consumer is in some way connected to a business, and Facebook has over 900 million active users. Somewhere in that crowd you will find your target customer.
Many of the large companies whose names or symbols are household words have their own page or pages on Facebook. Don’t make the mistake of thinking only the GE’s and Intel’s of the business world have figured out that Facebook is the way to get the word out about their company, though. Companies like Blue Coat use Facebook to reach out to those consumers and other businesses that would ordinarily never find them. This is an example of a business whose product is increasingly in demand by both other business entities and individual consumers as well.
The power of Twitter shouldn’t be discounted as a B2B and B2C communication platform. Just because it’s a fast-paced, character-limited communication channel should not prevent you from making consistent, repeated impressions on your business’s followers. Plus, the power of re-tweeting multiplies engagement of potential clients geometrically.
A business that has already included Twitter as one of its growth engines is Constant Contact. Their customer base is made up of small businesses looking to build their own brands using email newsletters, surveys, events, promotions, online listings, and more. Constant Contact’s Twitter page clearly defines its brand, points users back to its website and Facebook page, and publishes helpful information for its small business customers. In addition, Constant Contact has a separate, dedicated Twitter page for customer questions and support.
Instagram is barely 5 years. It already has over 300 million monthly active users. Don’t think of it as an amateur photo gallery, either. Instagram is full of short videos, and 40% of the most shared videos are posted by brands. Videos are a great way of showcasing what your company does. You’re already using YouTube, right? Just post snippets of content you already have and point viewers followers to the longer versions.
One of the best Instagram examples to emulate is MailChimp. Their posts are always fun, maybe even frivolous. They use bright colors to make their branding stick, and they work to convince you that they’re a cool company. They manage to stretch their new product launches over a string of updates, using splashy color to make their brand stand out. They come across as fun and helpful. Getting your email marketing right while having fun doing it is their message.
Businesses are populated by employees who are themselves consumers. Impressions made on employees while at work are necessarily delivered to consumers simultaneously. B2B is not, then, limited to businesses; it’s already B2C, whether intentionally so or not. Using social media platforms leverages both.
For many retailers and service providers, the natural growth of your business often includes transitioning from solely business-to-consumer sales and into business-to-business. The business-to-business marketing world has changed over the last few years. A Demand Gen report found that 67 percent of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. Succeeding in B2B sales requires your organization to adopt different tactics and new strategies to reach this new demographic. As such, here’s a look at several ways you can make the transition into B2B and succeed.
Marketing to businesses requires different methods than one would use to market to consumers. Creating content that is valuable, relevant and consistent should be a key focus of your marketing strategy, but the type of content you create is different when you are dealing with businesses. The sales cycle is longer with businesses than it is with consumers, and many people are part of the decision to buy, which means your content should focus on educating your potential clientele.
While nothing beats a live one-on-one conversation, webinars can be just as compelling and educational for your customers. Webinars are not sales pitches for your product or service, but a seminar about your industry that shows the relevancy of your company within it. Share your upcoming webinar on social media and register emails from your audience members. You’ll have the leads you need, but remember to curb your expectations about attendance. Convince and Convert points out that half of those scheduled to attend won’t. If you record and offer your webinars on your website, you can offer downloads and get a second wave of leads from a single piece of content.
Social media is still the leading tactic among B2B marketers, and a study by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 92 percent of B2B use non-blog social media to reach potential clients. Your goal with social media to be seen by the businesses you will eventually be reaching out to, but simply having people see your company is valueless in the abstract. You need to create quantifiable interaction or your web presence will vanish when your social media marketing budget runs out. Good social media marketing is about immediate interaction, and companies like LifeLock are excellent examples of how your social media can serve as a marketing tool and customer resource. Businesses turn to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as a means of staying up to date with industry trends, and you can position your brand as a source of this information and create loyal followers that will translate into professional relationships easily.
Selling to businesses is different than selling to consumers, and all the marketing in the world won’t matter if your sales team is treating your business clients like individual consumers. Sales teams can often be left to their own devices to create their own content, but when dealing with businesses you must be sure your sales machine runs perfectly. Make sure your sales team has an updated brand bible that outlines how they will present your brand to other businesses.
Pinterest is not just another website where you can look at cute puppies and baked goods. Pinterest has become the newest and hottest social bookmarking site the web has ever seen. Sure at first glance it might look like Pinterest can’t help your B2B business grow but you are not looking at it with a big picture mindset. Just because you pin a blog post regarding LINUX server hosting does not mean that you will not reap some sort of reward from it.
If you are serious about your search engine optimization efforts than you should be pinning your blog posts on Pinterest. Don’t forget that Google & Bing really like it when websites and businesses try really hard to grow their brand online. Google has repeatedly come out and told the business community to try and build good quality links through social channels that can help build your brand online. Pinterest is one of those channels that can do just that. Each pin is a link back to your site and you know how much good quality links can help the SEO power of a website.
When conducting random search queries we are already starting to witness Pinterest boards and pins starting to rank in the search space more and more everyday. As Pinterest grows in power so will its ability to infiltrate the search results. With a properly optimized board you could see your Pinterest account quickly generating traffic. Remember that just because you don’t see immediate traffic from your efforts on Pinterest does not mean there will not be some sort of positive residual bi-products that occur down the road.
If you have a business that sells multiple products, services or solutions and you like talking about those products through your company blog you should have a specific board dedicated just towards those products. Make sure the title and description of that board is always optimized and well written. Each board comes with the ability to have a description written and the more quality content you can put there the better off you will be in the future.
More and more Pinterest images are quickly occupying Bing and Google image searches. Pinterest requires users to use images has the focal point of each pin resulting in a massive amount new images being indexed by the search engines, the better the image the better the visibility. With so many images making it into the search results your business has a good chance of generating visibility from the images you use in your pins if you require frequent quality images in your website content or data.