As HubSpot defines it, Lead Generation is, "the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company's product or service."
B2B Lead Generation can be defined as, "the process of attracting and converting businesses into those who have indicated interest in your company's product or solution."
This is a vital process for any business when generating demand for your product or solution.
Why B2B Lead Generation Is The Key
Generating high-quality leads is a complex challenge that all businesses face, especially businesses in a B2B environment.
Connecting with potential businesses for prospecting, partnerships, collaboration, etc. can be a daunting task that many marketing teams struggle with.
As they say, time is money and businesses are not willing to give up their time or money unless they're searching for something you can provide value for.
Your potential clients are out there researching similar products to yours and that is precisely when the opportunity to grab their attention arises.
Although the tactics vary, a successful B2B lead generation strategy is derived from trial and error. However, according to HubSpot, the best three lead sources for B2B companies are SEO (14%), email marketing, (13%), and social media (12%).
In this article, we outline 9 out-of-the-box B2B lead generation tactics from different channels that actually work.
Email Marketing Is A Major B2B Lead Generation Tactic
You may feel that this is an overused, traditional, age-old digital marketing tactic. You're right. However, email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for generating leads.
In fact, according to Salesforce, email marketing has the highest ROI of 3800% among various other digital marketing channels.
Additionally, Wordstream stated that emails are the third most influential source of information for the B2B audience. That being said, your call to action in your email should be prominent and easily visible.
Having a single call to action drives more visitors and leads compared to multiple buttons.
Direct Messaging on LinkedIn is a Gold Mine
When it comes to delivering content and securing audience engagement, LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform. (LinkedIn, 2017)
Once you decide whom you want to reach out to, based on their company profile and other criteria important to your business, you could send them a request to connect and/or message them directly.
LinkedIn now encourages one to one messaging by displaying when the user is active on the platform using a colored dot.
This facilitates real 1-to-1 conversations with your prospects before investing in a phone conversation or face-to-face meeting.
Search Engine Marketing via Google Ads
Search Engine Marketing allows you to target users when they are searching for solutions to their business problems. Targeting the right set of keywords is key to generating a large quantity of high-quality leads.
The average conversion rate in Google Ads across all industries is 2.7% on the search network and 0.89% on the display network. (Wordstream, 2016)
Developing an optimized combination of highly relevant long tail and relevant yet more generic short tail keywords for your AdGroups is one effective method to generating high-quality leads.
However, you should simultaneously be eliminating negative keywords to determine exactly which keywords drive relevant traffic to your website and/or landing pages.
It is also of utmost importance that you create unique content for your landing pages, as Google Ads disapproves ads with a low quality score and low relevancy.
Tap Into Social Media Lookalike Audiences
A lookalike audience on Facebook or a matched audience on LinkedIn is an innovative way to reach new potential customers who are more likely than not interested in your business because they are similar to your existing customers.
They share similar interests, behaviors, and more likely than not have similar business problems that your solution can solve.
You can generate a lookalike or matched audience by uploading your existing customer list on the corresponding social media channel, and begin targeting them in just a few clicks.
The quality and accuracy of your lookalike audience depends on the size of audience you choose. Smaller the size, higher the quality or similarity of the lookalike audience and vice versa.
Assuming all of these ads have a good quality score, the ads shown to these matched audiences are bound to generate high-quality leads.
Don’t Underestimate SEO’s Role in B2B Lead Generation
Google receives over 68,000 searches per second.
47% of B2B buyers rely on content for research and making purchasing decisions.
Many marketers know that SEO is the key to driving relevant traffic to their website but very few treat it as a lead generation strategy.
However, the truth is that, with adequate planning and execution, B2B Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy that can prove to be a relevant source for high-quality leads.
In fact, SEO is the foundation of any successful digital marketing strategy.
The focus of your SEO strategy should be towards identifying the right set of long tail keywords for your website and working towards ranking #1 for this set.
Securing even a single #1 ranking for a keyword that receives high search volumes per month could result in a huge inflow of leads for your business.
Create Compelling Content More Frequently
‘Content is king’ was a phrase coined by Bill Gates way back in 1996.
Its 2018, and content continues to dominate the marketing industry.
Only the nature and types of content that are being created and consumed, has changed over time.
In a B2B scenario, marketers feel that whitepapers, webinars, and case studies are the content types that drive leads, closely followed by blogs, videos, and infographics.
Content establishes leadership and authority, and allows your potential customers to relate to your brand when they are looking for a solution.
Content frames your solution as compelling, intriguing potential customers to learn more.
This process typically, results in generating high quality leads for your sales team.
Intent Signal Monitoring Paves The Way
Potential clients or your target B2B companies would be leaving traces online while they are researching solutions for various business problems they are facing.
When they are searching, it’s more likely that they click on review sites and publishers like Forbes, Gartner, Reuters, etc.
These companies track visitors using cookies and then sell visitor online behavioural data to B2B intent data providers.
Analyzing the data from these external intent data providers would give you valuable insights and help you reach out to potential clients who are more likely to be interested in your solutions or business offering.
Intent Signal Monitoring, if utilized carefully could empower your sales team and catapult you miles ahead of your competition.
Spruce Up Your Re-marketing Efforts
Re-marketing is often thought of as a B2C tactic but it has proved effective for B2B marketers as well, as buying cycles are longer for B2B purchases.
However, instead of creating a universal retargeting audiences for your website and implementing generic retargeting, it would be beneficial to spruce up your re-marketing efforts by segmenting your audience based on the pages they have visited or the buying stage they are in.
For example, if your website visitor read information about your product but at a high level, they are in the mid of the buying cycle and you would have to retarget driving them to whitepapers, case studies, and webinars about your product.
On the other hand, if they are researching about pricing they are in the final stages and it would make more sense to drive them to request a demo.
B2B Review Websites or Platforms
Potential B2B clients start with a generic online search where they look for top vendors.
Hence having your business listed in these review platforms becomes essential for them to consider your products and solutions.
You should meet and build relationships with these review providers/advisory companies to make their team aware of your offering and the work your business does.
Such meetings would improve your chances of getting listed in their reports and in turn help you in generating leads.
For example, getting your business listed as a leading analytics player in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant would drive potential customers to consider your product offerings.
In a B2B scenario, lead generation is more about quality than quantity. This is because even few conversions may result in million-dollar deals. Hence, you may generate a few leads but they have to be of high quality.
Fine tune your lead generation efforts for improving the quality of your leads.
At the same time, you can’t afford to generate extremely less number of leads because if those don’t convert then you are at a loss.
Striking the optimal balance between quality and quantity of leads for your business is the key to B2B lead generation.