With the right strategy, it’s possible to substantially increase your company’s revenue. When I think of business-to-business (B2B) lead generation strategies that give the biggest bang for their buck, I have to focus on two words: capture and convert. One is just as important as the other.
The first part of the capture-and-convert equation refers to getting lots of leads and keeping your sales funnel full. The second part of the equation refers to identifying the best strategies for converting leads into sales. The more leads you capture, the more leads you have to convert.
Separating Browsers From Buyers
A great-looking landing page may be enough to get you a fair number of visitors. While your visitors are “just browsing,” what you’ll really need to do is harness your potential buyers, which are your leads. The focus isn’t really your landing page; rather, it’s your forms.
Beyond that, there are several different channels that you can navigate to as B2B lead generation strategies:
• Email marketing.
• Content marketing.
• Search marketing.
• Social media marketing.
Just a word to the wise: It’s more important how you use your lead generation channels than which lead generation strategy you choose.
One of the first lead generation strategies of the digital age was email marketing. Decades later, it’s still one of the best. Within the category of email marketing, let’s take a look at how the following three factors can boost your leads: using marketing automation, sweetening your pitch and cold emailing.
To understand marketing automation, think about how a cookie factory works. The dough gets dropped in 24 perfect proportions onto a baking pan, and then the pan gets sent to the oven for the perfect baking time and temperature. Finally, the cookies get automatically packaged and labeled with the right branding.
Marketing automation works much the same way. You can easily send batches of personalized emails to your leads by joining forces between marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Your leads get the right information at the right time to set up for conversion.
If you’ve seen the “sign up for our newsletter” call to action (CTA) once, you’ve seen it a million times. If you really want leads to sign up, you need to give them a good reason to, which is called sweetening the pitch. What makes your newsletter better than anyone else’s newsletter? What problem are you helping them solve? When you can answer these questions, you can sweeten the pitch by changing your ask to something like this: “Our client increased their organic search by 300%. Sign up to find out how you can do the same!”
What about cold leads? Don’t shy away from them because they’re a little harder to reach. I like to use a four-step approach to cold email marketing:
1. Make a good first impression.
2. Find a way to stand out.
3. Get to the point quickly.
4. Follow up.
I find humor that’s in good taste almost always makes a good first impression. Animated GIFs and memes are creative ways to stand out and keep leads from hitting the delete button. Make your point early in the email. No one likes to read a long saga just to find out they have no interest in the main character. Finally, send two or three follow-up emails in case they had a bad or busy day the first couple of rounds.
Content marketing is a huge umbrella over marketing tactics. The question to ask yourself is, “Do I do what everyone else is doing and hope for better results, or do I step outside the box?”
Social media, email newsletters, website articles, blogs, photos, videos and infographics are some of the more popular content marketing tactics marketers use. Alternatively, you could opt for some of the less common tactics like webinars, research reports and microsites.
Either way, you’ll be more likely to have good results by focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), adding diversity in your strategy and tracking your experiments to identify the best opportunities for business growth.
Getting the top listing on Google is becoming a lofty goal because of stiff competition. Nevertheless, organic search is still a valuable long-term strategy for generating B2B leads. My approach to search marketing is to do things well in all areas like design, conversion rate optimization, social media marketing and content marketing. I find that the sum of these parts can get you as close to the top as possible.
Social Media Marketing
Depending on who you ask, social media marketing is either one of the most effective lead generation strategies or it’s one of the least effective strategies. In my experience, when it doesn’t work is when a client has a poorly structured social media strategy. Take heed of these tips for establishing a fruitful social media marketing strategy:
• LinkedIn works well for many companies as a lead generator.
• Social media lets you refine and target your lead generation process.
• Social media advertising can be effective because it’s highly targeted (watch your budget so it doesn’t get out of control).
• Social media channels should lead to your website and other content.
The exciting thing is that there are a host of other lead generation strategies that you can try. That means that you have an endless array of experiments at your disposal. I’ve found that I learn a little something with each new experiment that ultimately helps generate a higher return on investment, and you likely will too.