Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Each and every part right from identifying the market needs to executing a well-drafted strategy is crucial when it comes to generating leads. If done the right way, a business will start blooming in no time, but if you fail in this endeavour, your business may not see a lot of daylights. I talked about the 5 biggest lead generation hurdles for B2B companies in the last post. It’s time to look beyond the challenges and come up with a lead generation strategy that works wonders for your business.
Here is what should comprise an effective B2B lead generation campaign:
Knowing Your Audience
The most important part of any lead generation campaign – knowing your audience. You need to identify and determine the businesses you are targeting before you start sending those messages with lucrative deals.
In simple words, telling them how you sell the best, fresh meat in the city, and offering them a discount of 50% won’t simply work if you are talking to vegetarians or non-vegetarians who don’t like meat.
It works the same way for all kinds of businesses. It’s mission critical to identify whom to target depending upon the products/services your company offers, before setting up a campaign or sending out bulk messages/mails.
I have seen a lot of times, that teams are working on lead generation without any master reference and documentation about their Target Markets, Target Industries, Target Personas (A lot of times, I see a blank face when I mention “personas”), what are the roles and responsibilities of your target personas, what problems are you or your products/ services solving in relation to their specific job responsibilities.
Without having trustable insights about these aspects, you are only shooting arrows in the dark and your lead generation efforts will only at best be a spark of luck.
Deciding on the Channels to Use
Will social media be the perfect platform to promote your services? Or e-mail marketing would be a better option? How about content marketing? Isn’t telemarketing the best way to reach business prospects? These questions are bound to pop-up in the minds of any marketer who wants to set up an efficient B2B lead generation campaign. And frankly speaking, there is no “silver bullet”.
Take, for instance, a study conducted by Chief Marketer’s Data that revealed that e-mail marketing works better than social media and content marketing.
On the other hand, Hubspot in its study about the best lead generation channels concluded that even though B2B companies dedicated only 12% of their budgets to SEO, it yields to 14% of the total leads for them, the maximum from any source.
It is clearly evident that the results of such surveys greatly depend upon the audience and the nature/products/services of the company.
The task is upon you to decide which channel(s) will work the best for your company. It is a good idea to combine all the channels and monitor them for some time before deciding on your main channels to use and allocate more resources to. The KPIs should be monitored at all time in order to modify the strategy, and thus, to increase ROI.
Again, having a complete and thorough understanding of your Target Personas and their digital consumption behavior would be crucial to decide the right channels. You need to answer one or two simple question about each segment or persona within your TG; how do they consume content, do they prefer emails, shout outs on Twitter, discussions on LinkedIn, or for someone to reach out over the phone?
Conduct a thorough channel assessment – put every metric in perspective like what is the possible reach over each channel, what are the possible conversion ratios on each channel, what would be the cost of acquisition through each channel. Off course, advanced post implementation metrics could include the life time value of your customer through each channel, the average ticket size, conversion cycles that can further help you continuously optimize and allocate energy and resources accordingly.
Leveraging the Power of Social Media
Hootsuite and We Are Social came about with a research in August 2017 that established that more than 3 billion active internet users out of the total 3.819 billion across the world were active on one or more of the social media, with Facebook quite clearly being the leader.
In the world of technological advancements, social media keeps the world abreast of the latest affairs. So why not use a medium that’s affordable, easy to use and monitor, and reaches any kind of target audience in the blink of an eye?
Again, spray and pray will not work especially if you are a B2B business. Social media can be leveraged in various ways – you could use it to reach your targeted personas and share relevant content that can be useful or promote content through paid promotion, or you can go the “long ball” – run direct lead generation campaigns.
Nurturing on Social Media is the key word; you have to focus on first building your community of relevant audience and continue to nurture them through engaging, fulfilling and usable content.
Don’t come across as a salesman in your community – how would you feel if in your next community meet you found someone continuously pitching his product.
Social media is as humane a community as you may encounter in the real world. Solve problems, be the source of answer for challenges that they may be facing in their specific job roles and this is how Social Media can be best nurtured for B2B businesses.
Building an Appropriate B2B Website
A website is one of the major tools for the growth of any business, and when you are into B2B, the importance just increases manifold. It is often the first impression of your company and if the website is not optimized for the optimum look and feel that your business should reflect, the visitors may never turn into customers.
While building your company website, you should look into all the factors that include the landing page, SEO, the call-to-action buttons, the subscription forms, mobile responsiveness, visual appeal, etc.
It is also important to have informative and product/service-related videos on your site for better engagement.
Lastly, the opt-in and enquiry forms should be made attractive and functional enough for the visitors to fill-out; a badly designed form is quite often the reason of dropped leads. If done properly, a site will be welcoming enough to the prospective businesses and can turn them into quality leads.
“YOUR WEBSITE IS YOUR VIRTUAL 24/7 CEO, NEITHER THE SALES MAN NOR A BUSINESS CARD.”
Designing a website is the most critical part of your success on digital channels. It represents your brand and business to the world and it is the host to your prospects even before you know them. User Interaction, experience, design, and conversion optimization define the success of your business online.
When you acknowledge that designing and managing a website is strategic to your business success, you will need a team that blends in creativity with analytics-driven insights about your customers and your differentiation. This is where you will need marketing, branding, design and communication consultants and business analysts, not just web designers.
Your website is the central hub for your messaging, content marketing and digital marketing efforts. This must be top priority on your list.
Organizing or Partaking in Events
Trade shows, marketing events, and seminars have a track record of increasing the overall exposure and brand recognition of B2B companies proficiently.
The digital age has made many marketers to believe that these methods of B2B lead generation are obsolete and less effective now, but it’s not the case. The power these events possess is immense, and that is the reason the biggest of companies do not fail to make use of them. Furthermore, webinars and live streaming sessions have added to the long list of benefits they can bring to your company’s lead generation strategy.
A B2B lead generation campaign is not a one-time “set up and watch” activity. It needs rigorous studies, advanced methodologies, planned executions, and timely monitoring.
This is the reason it also becomes very important to choose your B2B lead generation company wisely if you are planning to outsource it. I will talk about how to evaluate and select the right lead generation company/agency in the next article.
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