4 Efficient Lead Generation Strategies for B2B Marketers
There are a number of channels for generating B2B leads: email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per click (PPC) advertising, remarketing, social media marketing, direct advertising and even lead generation via traditional media.
However, not all leads are created equal and not all lead generation channels give as much value. If you want to get the biggest bang for your B2B marketing bucks, then you need to stop guessing and start measuring what actually works best.
A research study by the LinkedIn B2B Technology Community benchmarks a variety of B2B lead generation ideas based on survey results from over 800 B2B marketers. The findings are shocking (at least, to me) as much as they are illuminating.
The study found that the 3 least effective B2B lead generation methods are PPC advertising, social media, marketing and direct advertising. I personally would not have guessed that correctly but that only shows why guessing (rather than measuring) the ROI on B2B marketing channels is dumb.
And now, the meaty part of the study. The 3 most effective B2B lead generation methods are website optimization, search engine marketing and email marketing. This is revealing.
I’d like to look deeper into these 3 finest B2B lead generation methods and how you can make them work for you. But before I get into these 3 tactics, there’s one more I consider as the foundation. So, in all, I’d discuss 4 efficient lead generation strategies you should implement to get the best results from your B2B marketing efforts.
1. Pinpoint your ‘ideal customer’ profile
I believe this is the foundation. The 'ideal customer' is a principle which underpins all decisions about ways to allocate B2B marketing spendings. You’ll need data from both your sales and marketing units to correctly design or identify what your ideal customer looks like.
Take a good look at your client database and you should be able to work out which are your best and most profitable costomers, and those which are least valuable to your business. Understanding this helps you streamline your lead generation efforts and target only those leads which are very likely to convert into valued customers.
It’s not just traffic you want; it’s targeted traffic. And it’s not just leads you want; it’s qualified leads. How does it benefit a company doing internet marketing in Singapore for instance, if all they do is paid advertising on The Telegraph – a predominantly UK site, or WebMD – a site in the health niche?
Of course, these are very popular sites with millions of users, but they aren’t targeted. It’s a case of valuable dollars flushed into the oceans.
2. Optimize your website to acquire and nurture prospects
If the last time you worked on your site design is more than 3 years ago, then chances are that it’s not optimized for lead generation. Right here are 5 suggestions for better lead generation optimization.
- Implement customer-focused navigation that targets prospects’ needs and pains so they can find exactly what they’re looking for.
- Provide customer-focused content that targets each stage in a prospect’s decision process so you can attract and convert potential customers at each stage.
- Use several calls to action with different levels of commitment from subscribe, to download, to get a quote, to contact us and more.
- Create sales readiness qualification pages consisting of your pricing or quote request form. This is content that virtually all prospects look for.
- Use lead generation page design templates with dynamic, mobile optimized content.
3. Optimize your website for search engines
When you do this right, people looking for information online with keywords related to your website content can find you. This is a great way to get traffic that’s consistent, targeted and free.
The better you do SEO, the more visible your website becomes in the search engines. And that translates into more leads for your business.
How do you do SEO?
Basically, you have to develop very valuable content that use keywords your ideal customers often use to search for information about what you do. Then market the content to get people talking about it and linking to it from their own websites.
But I’ve probably made it too simplistic. This beginners’ guide by Moz breaks down everything.
4. Capture and nurture leads via email marketing
The traditional B2B email newsletter has actually lost much of its marketing effectiveness.
Today, it’s not sufficient to get into a prospect's email box every month with dull or salesy newsletter content. That will tell them you only care about your bottomline.
To create and nurture genuine B2B leads, you need to engage your prospects with the ideal content that educate, entertains and empower them every time. You need to take the extra mile of finding out what their pain points are and how you can help.
They need to know, like and trust you or they won’t buy from you. Before attempting to close the sale, make them see you as an expert. And if you can consistently come across as a likeable and caring expert, that’s even better.
B2B marketing that delivers results cannot be hinged on guess work. You cannot simply adopt and drop strategies based on your whims and caprices or what you see other marketers doing.
You need to gather data and study analytics to know exactly what’s giving you the highest ROI for your B2B marketing efforts. From available industry wide figures, website optimization, search engine optimization and email marketing are the most effective ways to generate qualified B2B leads. You should give them a priority to get value for your money.
But again, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in B2B marketing. As you start with the above lead generation methods, you need to gather and study your own data and see how to tweak your marketing efforts to constantly get better result. You’re the driver, not a passenger, and you want to make you act as such.
So go do it – and get the amazing results your marketing efforts deserve.