Effective B2B Lead Generation Strategies
Marketing to other businesses differs from marketing to consumers, and successful implementation requires special attention to intentional strategy and tailored tactics. Specifically, considering the audience from a strategic standpoint and tactical value propositions helps ensure fruitful B2B lead generation initiatives.
Top B2B Lead Generation Strategies
Developing an effective B2B lead generation strategy means defining strategic goals and audience characteristics. There is no magic formula here, but critical strategy and audience dimensions should be included to benefit tactical execution.
Strategic goals should be familiar to most seasoned professionals, but when creating specific B2B lead generation goals, be sure to rely on data like past performance and the capturable market as strategic dimensions to ensure achievable goals.
Audience dimensions are more numerous and can be differentiated into two primary categories – company characteristics and employee characteristics.
In defining the audience from a company characteristic standpoint, four company dimensions are typically foundational:
Strategically, each of these dimensions helps create the right strategy and complementary processes to develop aligned marketing materials and implementation plans. The target industry is the most apparent dimension but needs to be considered to narrow the strategy to a manageable focus.
For example, a company pursuing B2B leads among technology companies will benefit from a more specific focus to delineate strategies for segments like SaaS software companies, gaming application companies, and technology hardware companies, among others, depending on the applicability of their solution to each segment.
Establishing a range around company revenue, employee count, and a company’s maturity phase further helps marketing create messaging and materials that resonate with the intended audience and sales to understand more clearly the problems and opportunities to discuss with incoming leads.
Some employee dimensions may follow from the established company characteristics, but in general, it is important to know the following:
- Media Habits
When defining the position, marketing benefits from knowing the issues they should be developing messaging around, which often vary meaningfully from an executive to management. Including where the decision-making is happening by position will also benefit the sales team.
Tenure, location, and media habits are dimensions primarily important to deciding exactly what messages should be published, the ideal timing, and where they should appear in order to be most effective.
With established goals and audience characteristics, selecting tactics that have been shown to work best for B2B lead generation should receive first-order attention in building out the rest of the strategic marketing plan. The tactics that follow are typically the most effective in B2B lead generation.
Content marketing in B2B lead generation strategies is most helpful in establishing thought leadership and demonstrating innovative solutions. Content marketing is also an SEO tactic that keeps a business relevant and noticeable to search engines.
Developing straightforward and value-oriented content is best for grabbing the attention of B2B leads. Most importantly, content messaging should primarily focus on the problems the audience is trying to solve and the value of the product or service in solving those problems rather than featuring every bell and whistle.
Despite all the changes made to email over the years, email marketing still has significant value, particularly when managing B2B lead generation strategies. Like content marketing, email marketing must convey value. Use clear and engaging subject lines that clarify value or get to the heart of an offer.
Unlike content marketing, email marketing provides the opportunity to segment lists so that messages can be curated with more intention. Companies may collect email addresses by providing gated access to things like value-added content, free trials, or special offers.
Many companies find that live chat is a productive way to connect with site visitors. SEO or ad campaigns can generate site visitors, and the live chat can help convert by providing answers or overcoming objections in real-time.
B2B leads looking for a service or product often have questions. A live chat quickly puts any concerns to rest and ensures they get the answers needed. On the flip side, if this is a new feature, it will require front-end work to ensure the right solution is implemented, including whether chatbot technology is used or service representatives are assigned to respond to incoming messages.
There are many ways to use multimedia presentations to the company’s benefit, from live videos on webinars or social media to video courses set behind an information gate or paywall.
Most buyers are more comfortable with a business they have a personal connection to; video content can provide this and make it easier for the company to decide. Moreover, well-made video content is rich and engaging and has the potential to influence brand perception significantly.
Social media works well for B2B leads as well as B2C leads. For companies interested in marketing to other companies online, it’s worth focusing on social media. One of the more popular options for businesses is LinkedIn.
Every business should maintain its own account, which is valuable as a recruitment tool and brand awareness builder. It’s also important to reach out through the platform and, depending on workforce capability, do so through individual sales accounts. LinkedIn ads can also generate leads with high intent through promoted posts.
Online advertising is often, and mistakenly, thought of as a shotgun approach. Even Google ads can be tailored to the target audience, providing that the aforementioned strategic audience dimensions are well-developed.
Facebook ads are still going strong, as well. Many companies still use Facebook for their own business, but aside from that, their employees are frequently on the site. A Hubspot study showed that 74% of consumers are on Facebook in a professional capacity.
What to Avoid in B2B Lead Gen Strategies
The lowest-performing sources for B2B leads are traditional advertising, PPC, and direct mail. These methods work less well for B2B marketing since they typically lack effective targeting and require generic messaging. However, as part of an integrated marketing strategy, these channels can bolster a B2B lead generation initiative by increasing awareness of a brand and its products or services.
The best first step is starting with the most effective B2B lead generation options and evaluating responses to determine which methods return results for the selected audience segments. Some lead generation techniques are more useful for specific audiences, and it may take a little trial and error to determine which are performing most effectively.
Setting a Budget for B2B Lead Generation
A company’s budget may play a part in determining what types of tactics are feasible. Fortunately, the methods mentioned above are usually quite economical. This is one of the benefits of building a thoughtful strategy inclusive of goals and audience data that guides a B2B lead generation strategy – spending is targeted, trackable, and adjustable in response to data.
The key to a right-sized budget is that it allocates enough resources to accomplish the established goals. Leaving room to scale up depending on the initial results is an important consideration. However, it may be necessary to scale down if the volume of leads overwhelms the sales team. Consider general marketing budget factors and segmented initiative budgets when determining proper allocations.
B2B lead gen strategies may be slightly different than those used for consumers, but in the end, value is still the name of the game. Businesses that provide value to their prospective clients at the right time and place will find greater success in generating qualified leads. From content marketing to social media connections, an integrated B2B lead generation strategy aligns efforts to build a substantial lead generation pipeline.
Interested in learning more about B2B Marketing strategies? Contact Madison Taylor Marketing today to find out how we can help strengthen your efforts.