(This is a guest post created by guest author Vikas Kalwani)
Lead generation is arguably one of the most challenging aspects of being a B2B business. A B2C brand can target customers from different demographics but B2B organizations have a far more limited market.
A B2B organization that wants to grow has to generate more leads, move customers along the sales pipeline, and boost the bottom line.
General advertising and basic marketing can get you a good start. But you need to really understand and invest in lead generation strategies to attract new customers.
Here are seven lead generation strategies that can help you attract more leads and grow your business.
7 B2B Lead Generation Strategies for 2021
1. Fix Your Website
The best place to start a lead generation-focused revamp is your website since it acts as a primary portal for potential customers. No one’s going to buy your product/service if your website is poorly created or takes minutes to load.
Starting with your landing page, the goal is to entice readers with effective CTAs and offers. Have a simple sign-up form as well. It’s an excellent opportunity to get the email addresses of potential clients.
Once you’ve got them hooked with the landing page, you can lead them through the sales funnel using content marketing.
The content on your website must match your brand image and tone. Simple things, like updating your B2B website to feature business English rather than a completely casual tone, can change the entire perception of your site.
Once you’ve got the front end sorted, analyze the backend. Is your website fast? Is the content on it indexed properly? What about SEO?… Your website doesn’t just have to look good; it has to function well.
All of these factors play a significant role in generating leads.
2. Be a Thought Leader
A majority of B2B brands have understood the value of content marketing and are trying to leverage content. The problem is that many of them are just re-hashing information and producing many poorly-written posts with just SEO in mind.
The best way to stand out among the noise is to be a thought leader. Don’t just rephrase what’s already there on search engine result pages (SERPs). Deliver informative content that shows companies you know what you’re talking about.
Valuable information gives your brand credibility. So, businesses are more likely to trust you to elevate their existing work processes.
Thought leadership content has a lower customer acquisition cost than most paid marketing strategies. You can establish your brand as an authority in the industry.
All your thought leadership content — blog posts, white papers, case studies, etc. — can also be repurposed as part of your email and content marketing campaigns. You can even host webinars and events revolving around these topics.
3. Get Your Email Marketing Right
Email marketing has been a B2B marketing favorite because it’s effective for generating leads.
CMI estimates that 77% of B2B marketers used email newsletters in 2020.
Email marketing lets you connect with your customers and create a win-win situation. You give them insightful content or enticing offers and, in return, earn a chance to gain a paying customer.
The key to good email marketing is segmentation. Every B2B brand will have buyer personas. Create an email strategy with each of your target personas in mind.
A segmented strategy calls for a deep dive into your target audience. This helps you better understand their pain points and how you can address issues to turn them into paying customers.
You have to personalize your emails if you want anyone to open them. Also, remember to have a clear CTA that is well-placed and easy to find.
4. Evolve Your Content Marketing
As mentioned earlier, B2B organizations rely on content marketing, not just to attract leads but also to build a community.
Content marketing is constantly evolving. You have to evolve with it. As CMI found out, 93% of successful B2B marketers in 2020 quickly changed their strategy during the pandemic.
That’s just one example. Most times, significant changes like the ones caused by the pandemic are not necessary. But, your content marketing strategy cannot be stagnant.
Another example of how your content marketing needs an improvement to support your lead generation strategy is the use of social proofs. By asking your clients to evaluate the service you are providing, potential customers that are still hesitating will be convinced to buy your product.
For example, SwagBucks masters this strategy on their hobby lobby coupons page, giving both stars and comments for those coupons.
Both examples require marketers to stay on top of the latest trends, identify and capitalize on channels that are on the rise, and create content that reflects what’s happening around the world.
5. SEO Is Crucial
SEO is a crucial inbound marketing tactic to attract, engage, and convert audiences. It’s essential when you’re trying to move the lead generation needle in a competitive environment.
Your SEO strategy must target specific keywords related to your products and services. You can also target keywords that directly address customer pain points and anything that helps your target audience.
This FAQ section on building automation systems is a good example of how inbound marketing can be useful for B2B lead generation. It’s informative without being too salesy and has the right CTA’s to gather leads (like offering a free ebook).
SEO also involves building backlinks on trusted websites. These links show Google that your website/brand is an authority in the niche.
There are several backend factors that impact SEO, including page speed, responsiveness, technical SEO, and user experience.
Well-planned and executed SEO strategies make it easier for other businesses to find you on search engines. Thus increasing your chances of attracting more leads.
6. Host Events
A recent study by First Page Sage ranked executive events as the most effective B2B lead generation strategy.
An executive event is specifically hosted for a group of executives or a peer advisory group. These events allow you to get face-to-face interactions with decision-makers from other companies. You can develop relationships that can be transformed into leads.
You don’t necessarily have to host the event either; you can apply to be a speaker at industry events. Alternatively, your company can be a sponsor for the event.
With the pandemic, executive events have also moved online. So hosting webinars with other experts is a good option for connecting with industry peers. Also, it presents an opportunity to learn and grow while simultaneously attracting leads.
7. Connect With Social Media Communities
Social media is the best platform to distribute content organically. It’s free to use, and there are specific hashtags on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to let you directly address your target audience.
Joining social media communities can be a good way to network. It also opens up new opportunities for leads. You can connect with existing customers and peers to create a new community to share your thought leadership content with.
If you can’t build a following immediately, you can join relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and engage with the community to build a dynamic network.
When you’ve built credibility, there’s a higher chance that other industry pros will read your content and share it, opening up new lead generation opportunities.
Lead generation is all about perseverance.
Every B2B brand would be a success if lead generation were easy. While the tactics mentioned above can help you, you also have to be ready for a few bumps along the way.
Lead generation, like many customer-focused strategies, is all about trial and error. Organizations must learn from their failures and persevere, either by changing existing strategies or by starting over.
Like most forms of digital marketing, B2B marketing and lead generation also requires constant learning.