There are a variety of B2B lead generation tactics out there today, but knowing which will work well for you, how to properly execute each and constant maintenance based off data will determine your success or failure.
Keep in mind, about 70% of your experiments, campaigns and/or tactics will fail but the 30% that succeed will be lean mean lead generating machines.
Speaking of machines, technology is changing at a rapid rate and so is how data is being processed. Terms like artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning, machine learning, internet-of-things (IOT) and data science seem to appear everywhere nowadays.
It's important NOT to lose focus or get lost in the sea of trends and high-tech software that over promises yet under delivers. You will waste a lot of money and time doing so.
So we wanted to discuss with you some of the more useful advanced technology and combined them with power classic tactics to provide the most effective lead generation campaigns for your B2B company.
Keep in mind, there is no one size fits all formula when it comes to lead generation, because every company is different based on a variety of factors. Therefore, every campaign should be well planned, executed, A/B tested, tracked, analyzed and focused towards one specific goal. Also, diversify your marketing channels, so when a few start to slow down the others can pick up the slack.
9 Most Effective Tactics For B2B Lead Generation
- Become Social
- Automate Marketing Process
- Create Compelling Content
- Diversify Digital Mediums
- Retargeting Opportunities
- Mobile Friendly
- Test Everything
- Build Relationships with Influencers
1. Be Social, Don’t Just Have A Social Presence
Being social online means more than just having a presence. Unless you are a celebrity, the only way to build your social following organically is to activity become the trusted authority for you niche or industry. You accomplish this by talking to your audience, responding to comments, offering advice, etc.
Be as human as possible. Put a face and voice to the brand or product. You need to show your audience that you are not some chat bot. You're a real person and you truly care about their needs and concerns.
This will definitely help you to develop better products, provide better services, improve your customer service, increase word of mouth and even help you with create sought after content.
So, don’t just post something on social media and think your job is done. Listen, reply, help, grow and always remember that those are humans on the other side of the platform. Humans that buy products and services, as well as, complain to anyone who will listen publicly.
It is also important to like, share and comment on other related social media profiles. Don't be afraid to give your expert opinion, ask for constructive feedback, and make sure you are presenting yourself as a professional. Build personal connections with your audience and it will generate leads and sales both directly and indirectly.
B2B lead generation is often linked to educating your consumers on the topics concerning your industry and business. Providing them with the latest information on updates, trends, promotions, tips, features, benefits, comparisons, etc will make them more confident to make that final decision.
The more consumers are knowledgeable about your brand, product or service the less buyers remorse they will have. This helps lower returns and complaints, while increasing loyal promoters, reputation and sales.
That’s what being social is all about. It’s about connecting, giving a little and gaining a lot in both directions. Optimize your time by focusing on just a few of your best channels and driving content to them.
Facebook is hands down the best for generating affordable leads with their in-depth targeting, via its variety of strategic campaign types, at every stage of the buyer's journey. Using special characters and emojis will increase your click-thru rate and keeping your in-app form fields under 6 will increase your conversion rate.
The Ultimate Facebook Guide For B2B Lead Gen
Linkedin is best used for branding, recruiting white collar and education leads because it gets very expensive around $69 per click. Should only be used for obtaining customers with a minimum lifetime value (LTV) of $15,000. Other good uses include getting the word out to current customers about subscription renewals and product updates.
2. Automate Your Marketing Process As Much As Possible
As far as buzzwords go, marketing automation is up there with the best of them.
According to the American Marketing Association “marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Marketing automation is the process of delivering the most relevant content to the most receptive potential buyer for the product or service, which the content is centered around, on a constant and timely basis.
Basically, if you know there are certain segments of your audience that will be most receptive to certain content, marketing automation allows you to pinpoint that segmented audience and market directly to them.
Messages are sent automatically through workflows, which are instructions connected by sales pipelines. Think of it as an if/then/else flowchart that passes the potential lead down the marketing funnel, based on their responses or actions. Automating this process can push out more content to your target audience at the right time and at the right place of their buyers’ journey.
When a marketing automation tool is integrated with a CRM tool the opportunities to reach your target audience are endless. Not to mention that B2B companies who implement marketing automation increases their sales pipeline contribution by 10%.
Automate as many of your repetitive marketing processes as possible by creating workflows for email:
- Topic workflows triggered by page views or content downloads
- Subscriber workflows triggered by blog sign ups
- New customer workflows triggered lifecycle stage
- Evangelist workflows triggered by visits, clicks or submissions
- Lead nurturing workflows (most popular) triggered by top of funnel conversions
- Re-engagement workflows triggered by inactive contacts
- Event workflows triggered by registration or attendance
- Abandoned shopping carts (very effective), speaks for itself
- Upsell workflows triggered by past purchases
- And more
Here is a great example of a lead generation workflow for a free trial we got from HubSpot.
SaaS use case - Generate Free Trial Leads workflow
Enrollment criteria: Contact property is Started Trial = no
Step 1: Send email: “Start Your Trial Today”
Step 2: 5 days later: “5 Ways Your Trial Will Help You Do _____”
Email is a powerful tool for reaching your B2B leads directly. Integrate your CRM with your email process using an automation tool such as MailChimp or HubSpot. These tools were built to send customizable messages to the masses in a personalized way.
3. Create Compelling Content (CCC)
Content is still KING! It’s known that, B2B buyers depend on at least 5 pieces of content to conduct their research and to aid in decision-making at their organizations. You want your content to be clear and concise with a strong call-to-action (CTA).
Your content shouldn’t just be about topics, it should tell a compelling story. Go even further and describe how this product or service has helped people in the past, the value it brought to their life and how it can help the viewer also.
When developing your content, you have to have the potential lead in mind and strategically customize your content to them. Come up with attention-grabbing headlines, so when the target lead sees it they will want to click on it to learn more. Use vivid imagery in your content that summarizes your story and keeps the viewer engaged .
Posting frequently to your social media, website and other online platforms is a reliable strategy. The more you post, the better you will get at it and understand which type of post your followers engage with more. This will allow you to focus your efforts on the creative content which benefits you more and curtail the content which doesn’t.
A general rule of thumb for social media publishing is 4 times a day on Twitter, twice a day on Facebook, and 2 times a week on Google+ and LinkedIn.
It should be noted that content and search engine optimization goes hand-in-hand. So, before creating your content, take SEO into consideration. Research the key phrases and topics you need to build a pillar strategy around. This is an important aspect of your content strategy and shouldn’t be taken likely.
4. Use Diverse Digital Mediums
In the digital universe, it’s wise to diversify your content offerings by creating content using different mediums. These mediums or types of content include blogs, slideshares, videos, webinars, white papers, expert guides, infographics, podcasts, research papers, comparison charts and anything else you can creatively think about.
The point of using varying digital mediums is to spread your content to as many people within your target audience as possible, in the format they want it and at the time they want to see it.
Because your target demographic is using multiple platforms simultaneously, it is necessary to deliver your content to different media channels such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, your website, third-party sites, LinkedIn Slideshare, eBlasts, Quora, etc.
It's important to understand that your audience is interested in specific content at each stage of their buying journey. It doesn't make sense to show them a case study of a service you provide if they are in the awareness stage and are not even sure exactly what the problem is yet. A blog article or eBook would be a better fit this early in their journey to attract their attention and you can then push them further down your funnel.
Another important thing to understand is how busy people are today. It is all about educating your audience at their convenience. They may not want/able to read an entire research paper when they're driving home from work, but they may be willing to listen to a webinar on the same topic because it's more fitting at the point in time.
Do your research, learn where your audience is spending most of their time, when are they most likely to engage with you, know the advantages & disadvantages of each channel you market on, and how to effectively utilize each.
Focus on diversifying your B2B content and spreading your message via various digital mediums. This tactic is a major key in your lead generation strategy's success.
5. Retargeting To Draw Leads In
Once you have an understanding of your audience, content strategy, how to automate our marketing and how to distribute everything; let’s talk about what happens after the potential lead receives the content.
There are two things that can happen when a potential lead receives your content through marketing channels such as search engine, email, social media, print material, TV, radio, etc: They can either engage with your content or not engage with it at all.
In the former case we achieved our objective, but in the latter we’ve missed our target goal. That means a missed opportunity. Does this mean we give up and move on? No! we use retargeting.
Retargeting is a wonderful tactic used to place an offer in front of someone who has shown an interest in your brand, product or service but have not engaged.
When someone clicks thru to your landing page, visits your website, abandoned their shopping cart, or something along those lines they leave behind a footprint. Research has shown that only 2% of consumers visiting your website will make a purchase on the first visit. That equals a 98% missed opportunity for your business, which means a lot of lost revenue. This is not the position you’d like to be in, so exploit this useful tactic and catch the fish that escaped the net!
6. One Word, ROBOTS
We’re nearing the era we’ve all grown up believing we’d be living in. The era of the Jetsons where people communicate on mobile devices & the internet across the planet, cars turn into helicopters & drive themselves, and our pets are robots. The combination of AI technology and robots now make it possible to mimic human behavior in both real life and also on the web. When it comes to a website, this is known as chatbots.
Chatbots are driven by artificial intelligence and created to interact with your website visitors in a human like way. They welcome visitors on your site and engage with them by answering questions, providing them with valuable information and guiding them through the funnel via live chat.
A website widget like this can be automated and powered by bots to combine live chat and messaging app like Facebook Messenger. The idea here is to use chat windows, you typically see when visiting a website, and turn them into a powerfully automated humanlike communication channel. Most users can't even tell the difference.
So instead of a constantly bothering a human agent all day, the conversation with the visitor could be automated using a chatbot, and if the conversation gets too complicated a human agent will be notified to step in and continue the deeper conversation.
Many live chat software companies are already experimenting with chatbot; Some great examples could be Intercom with Operator or Drift with Driftbot.
Now, you’re able to employ what seems like an entire army of company representatives to communicate effectively with your potential leads and customers.
Chatbots are growing in popularity and most of the major marketing platforms have them built into their software, so when you use these platforms you can deploy these robots. It’s the way of the future and can come in handy when you launch your campaigns and need something to help manage a lot of traffic to your website.
7. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
Everyone in the world has a smartphone now, even people in some of the most remote regions on earth. Trends have consistently shown a major shift away from desktop as more and more people are adopting mobile communication devices such as cell phones and tablets.
In fact, with some developing nations the younger generation labeled Gen X has never even used a desktop computer due to the cost. It is much cheaper for them to use their phones and easier for them to move around in order to get a better internet connection. This is astonishing as most of us who were raised in developed nations have used both desktop and mobile devices throughout our lives.
Needless to say, mobile is the now and later. It’s here to stay and that won't be changing anytime soon. You have to make sure your website is adaptive to as many mobile devices and screen sizes as possible with an easy to use interface. Keep in mind, it needs to load fast, no exceptions!
Before you start optimizing your site for mobile though, check out this article to save yourself some headaches.
Also, make sure your utilizing lead generating assets such as CTA buttons and expansive forms on your B2B websites. Everybody has a phone and is on it most of the day, so just think about their experience while using your website or application. Put yourself in their shoes and experiment with it.
12 Powerful Mobile Marketing & Mobile Lead Generation Statistics:
- Consumers spend more than 5 hours per day on their smartphones and mobile usage for B2B workers are expected to increase 2 more hours a day by 2020.
- 52% of all online traffic is from a mobile device, up 50% from previous year.
- 61% of emails are opened on their mobile devices.
- 69% of smartphone users say they are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions.
- 46% say they wouldn't purchase from a brand again if they had a poor mobile buying experience.
- 40% of all online transactions are now completed on mobile devices.
- 70% of smartphone users who bought something in-store actually did their research beforehand on their phone.
- Mobile drives or influences an average of 40% of revenue in leading B2B companies.
- 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile devices at their work and 50% of their search queries are made from their smartphone.
- More than 60% of B2B buyers report that mobile played a role in their recent purchase decision.
- 87% of Facebook's advertising revenue comes from mobile.
- 53% of mobile shopping carts are abandoned if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
(Statistic source = Blue Corona)
8. Testing Is Your Friend
Yes, that’s right! Testing is your friend and should be treated as such. Therefore, build a relationship with testing. Test everything.
- Apply A/B testing to the features of your website including the color, position and wording of your call-to-action (CTA). This will improve conversion rates.
- A/B test email subject lines to improve open rates.
- Tweak and test meta titles or ad headlines to improve your click-thru rate (CTR).
- Test your website across different browsers, as well as devices, to improve user experience.
- Use statistical analysis to test the variances among your data.
- You can test the impact of each ad campaign against your return on investment (ROI). This will help cut out wasteful spending and help you determine which to move forward with and which should be stopped.
- And much more!
There are many opportunities to run test while dealing in the digital universe. It’s important to understand your data and track it, up to a level where you understand how different variables relate with each other and how they communicate. Also, they call it A and B testing for a reason, you should only change one variable at a time so you can isolate the positive or negative change.
Remember, your potential lead is a human and humans have behavioral patterns. So, the better you understand your data, which is the patterns of humans, the better you understand your target audience and the better you will get at selling to them.
With hypothesis testing you can test a Null Hypothesis against an Alternative Hypothesis. For example, if you would like to test if one of your variables has an effect on another you can do so with hypothesis testing. The null hypothesis will be that there is no relationship between the two variables and the alternative will be that there is a relationship between them. You then extract a sample dataset from your population of data and run a hypothesis test on this subset of data.
The result will be a probability which is calculated by the test. This probability will determine if there is a relation between the two variables. If there is a high probability that there is a relation between the two variables we reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative.
There are many types of statistical testing. It’s wise that you are familiar with them because we operate in the digital world and data is everywhere.
9. Build Relationships with Influencers
One of the most overlooked aspects of marketing is building solid relationships. In a highly digitized world where everything is done via a cell phone, tablet or computer and everything is becoming more and more automated, it’s easy to get lost and forget that relationships matter.
Relationships matter because when you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place it isn’t a computer who’s going to help you up. It is going to be a human. We’ve all been there before.
We always need more leads, more customers, more business. Building relationships with others in your industry or influencers to your target audience can be a huge advantage that pays major long-term dividends.
If you wrote an eBook and an industry leader can direct people to it, you can bet the traffic to that page will skyrocket, giving you the ability to earn new leads that you would've never got before. How about a celebrity like Oprah, if you're selling a product and a major audience influencer mentions it like she on her show, you better believe your sales will boom.
Same can go for someone with a largely engaging social media following, because if they posted a picture of themselves with you, the curious people will start looking you up and following you also. This opens the door to hit them with multiple pieces of content down the road. You can even utilize relationships as partnerships. If you are in marketing and you know someone in financing, you both know lots of business owners, and you can refer them to each other. Referrals are great, because people are more likely to buy from people they know or someone close to them knows.
If you understand business, you’ll understand that you need people to operate a business and consult you on things you don't know. It’s the human capital that keeps the boat in motion. The waves are obstacles and the people within the organization keep it afloat.
Your network is your net-worth. Build a solid network full of influencers and leaders to watch your traffic, leads, and sales take off. Make sure you maximize these opportunities by treating them with respect, nurturing them from lead to sale, and providing them with someone that exceeds their expectations.
Some Next Steps & Tying It All Together
B2B lead generation can be a daunting task that requires a lot of effort and know how. It’s not a one size fits all methodology. There is a lot of strategy, tactics and research that goes into these ongoing processes.
It’s a model that takes a considerable amount of time, structure, patience, and adaptiveness to effectively crank out campaigns and nurture leads even after they have been converted. That’s why it may be wise to hire an external marketing company instead of handling your own marketing in-house. Learn more about hiring a marketing agency vs in-house here.
At Tag Marketing, we specialize in inbound marketing including social media, email campaigns, content development, pay-per-click ads, tracking & analysis, lead capturing, automated workflows, CRM nurturing, and more.
We love to partner with local B2B companies that want to unlock their true potential and accelerate their growth (short-term & long-term) with focused, creative, growth-driven, well-executed inbound marketing plans. We believe in the results, not just random numbers. In doing so, we validate ALL inbound leads based off your criteria. We close the gap by looking at conversions and sales to report your true ROI.
Our success is built in direct relationship to your success. Call Tag Marketing today for a free consultation at 773-680-6952.
If you’d like to learn more about lead generation, check out our Beginner’s Guide to B2B Lead Gen. It is packed with the top lead generation channels you should be using, maximizing & optimizing content, best practices, making social media work for you, helpful free tools, and much more.
You can also download our free guide, the 30 greatest lead generation tips and tricks below.