B2B lead generation is the process of identifying your ideal customers for your product or service, then attracting them to become contacts (otherwise known as sales qualified leads, or SQL’s) who will eventually buy. This process is fundamental to the success of your business as it’s how you generate new paying customers.
In 2021 the digital landscape is constantly—and rapidly—changing. New technology is regularly emerging and with it new ways of generating more (and better-qualified) leads. We want to show 7 effective strategies to make the most of the digital landscape and increase your B2B lead generation. These have all been tried and tested to provide a guaranteed ROI.
As a B2B organization operating in 2021, you’re losing out big time if you’re not using content marketing. In our digital age, content rules the online lead generation landscape.
Most brands today, both B2B and B2C, are investing in some form of content marketing. They recognize its importance for lead generation and have seen the positive results of it. But to do content marketing well, you need to have a content marketing strategy in place, or else your efforts could be wasted.
This strategy uses careful research to identify what type of content your clients enjoy, what type (and tone) of language you should use, and many other vital factors. Aside from generating B2B leads, content marketing also helps create more brand awareness and boost search engine optimization (SEO). The last ingredient to creating a successful content marketing program is to produce high-quality content. Content that your clients love to engage with.
This content can take many forms, including:
- Social media posts
- Email newsletters
- White papers
- And so much more
Hiring B2B content marketing experts to create a content strategy and run your content marketing plan for you can be one of the best options for many businesses. It ensures that you get the right expertise and can make the most of your lead gen efforts.
To see real results in your content marketing efforts, you need to master—or at least gain some proficiency—in SEO. It’s through SEO that your content gets ranked and positioned accordingly online in search engines like Google. SEO also allows you to understand and address what type of content your leads are searching for.
For all the hard effort you put into your content, it’s worthwhile to have an SEO strategy behind it to use for B2B lead generation. Even the most exciting content won’t get read if people can’t find it.
It’s important to note that SEO is not an overnight process—at least not organic SEO. It takes time and dedicated effort to improve your ranking, but if done correctly, you can expect to see results within three to six months. This means you can expect to get more leads in this time.
In 2021 it’s essential to keep in mind that every piece of content you create, including any audio like podcasts, must be SEO optimized to generate the results you want. If it’s not optimized, don’t expect it to rank.
Want to start to SEO optimize your content? Start with robust keyword research while also factoring in “user intent” (what your target audience is searching for online). We recommend investing in a good paid SEO tool like SEMRUSH or Ahrefs and combining it with some great free SEO tools like:
- Google Auto Complete
- People also ask feature on Google
- Keyword Rank Checker
- Keyword Sheeter
- Answer the Public
SEM (Search Engine Marketing)
SEM is the paid version of SEO, and many brands invest in a combination of organic SEO and paid SEO to boost their search results. A popular SEM strategy is PPC (Pay-Per-Click), where online ads are set up that link directly to your website and appear as boosted results in Google (quickly boosting you to the top of the page).
If you know exactly who your target audience is and the ad is done well, SEM can be an effective B2B lead generation strategy. It helps put your business in front of people already searching for what you have to offer. This naturally increases the chance of your product or service being purchased.
In addition, paid search can also help you target a broader set of online users who may not know about your business. One of the main functions of marketing is to create brand awareness and help your target audience realize they need your services or product. SEM can help do this by putting your brand front and center on their searches related to your offerings.
Keep in mind that many people are now using Adblockers, so there is always a chance that your ads won’t be seen. This is why we often still recommend working on organic SEO while using ads.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing allows you to refine your lead generation process through a more targeted approach. LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for B2B lead generation. As a B2B organization, you should be consistently investing in LinkedIn and growing your presence on the platform. Continue to invest in other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter if relevant, but dedicate more time to LinkedIn.
Another way to effectively use social media is to try advertising on the platforms as those ads can be highly targeted. You’re able to specify the location, age, gender, interests, and other attributes. One thing to note with this option is that though it can yield a good amount of leads, it’s not a straightforward process. It requires a thoughtful strategy, a reasonable budget, and a well-built ad (design, copy, call to action, etc.).
Before investing money into paid social ads, ensure you’re going to get a good return on that investment. Creating highly valuable content that gets shared (and hopefully even becomes viral) is one of the most cost-effective strategies.
Turning ‘Out of Stock’ Into an Opportunity
You’ve probably come across an out-of-stock message when shopping online when the product you were hoping to buy isn’t available, and it’s not the best message to see. It often creates frustration, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, through some consideration and proper messaging, you can turn your out-of-stock item into a lead generation opportunity.
A simple message like “Enter your email to get a notification when this product is back in stock.” can improve the user experience and encourage them to provide their information. It’s a simple but highly effective marketing tactic more businesses should use. This simple message can decrease your chance of losing customers to the competition and allows you to keep in touch with them through your email marketing.
Build your Email List
Every so often, clickbait articles suggest that email marketing is going the way of the dinosaurs, but this is still yet to happen. In 2021, email marketing is booming and doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon—especially for B2B lead generation. Most people across the globe check their emails daily. This makes it prime real estate to get your message across to your audience.
One of the most effective strategies to do this is by building an email strategy and list. Not all email lists are created equal, though; it needs to be highly tailored. Focus on creating value by offering highly relevant, targeted content that your audience actually wants to read.
Don’t spam them constantly with sales messages. Instead, build a genuine relationship that makes them feel like they are part of a valued community.
Applying scarcity, or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), is a tactic that has been around since the early days of marketing and advertising. It’s been proven to work time and time again. Humans naturally want what appears scarce if they’re interested in having that item so, messages like “Hurry only 5 days left” activate that fear of missing out.
Using scarcity in your content and marketing greatly increases your chances of generating leads eager to buy from you as they feel the pressure to buy quickly to get what they want. Use this emotion to your advantage and allow it to help bring more customers your way.
By implementing even a handful of these 7 strategies for your B2B lead generation, you’ll start to see a better ROI for your marketing efforts. Did you find this article helpful? Book a time with the team at Content Callout for more great tips and expert guidance on your content marketing.