If you are a small business owner or B2B marketer, there’s a good chance you have struggled with generating leads for your business. One way to solve this problem is to have an online lead generation strategy to reach potential customers so you have a consistent flow in your sales pipeline. Gone are the days of cold calling!
Why? Because in the digital marketing age, business to business companies often connect with new prospective customers and key decision makers for the first time either through social media, a piece of free content (i.e. blog post), an email, or a Google search.
Studies have shown that 80% of a B2B sales lead come from LinkedIn. So, if you and your sales team don’t have a system and process to generate online leads, below are some advice and tips if you are new to the online sales process.
What is Online Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting a stranger into someone who is interested in buying your company’s products and services. Some examples of lead generators are coupons, free downloads, free webinars, or job applications. In recent years, lead generation has relied more and more on digital channels.
Why do you need an online lead generation strategy?
The buying process has changed in recent years. Buyers have become better informed, connected, and skeptical about the buying process. They don’t want to be “Pushed” into making a buying decision with a high-pressure sales pitch. They want to be “Pulled” and convinced you are the RIGHT company for them. Think of this process like dating. A high-pressure sales pitch on the first interaction with a new prospect is like proposing to someone on the first date. It makes people put their guard up and hesitant to interact with you.
Think about the last time you made a big purchase for personal use. You probably went to the company’s website to learn more about what they do, maybe asked for a referral on your social network, did a Google search, and/or a blog, read reviews. This is how you made your purchase decision.
Guess what? Your prospective customers are doing the same thing. If you are a B2B marketer, it is estimated that a customer reads 10 pieces of content before they make a decision to purchase.
It’s no longer beneficial to find customers through mass advertising. You need to run targeted lead generation campaigns where you connect directly to new customers or key decision makers who share common interests, passions, goals, and struggles. Inbound marketing tactics such as lead pages, blogging, social media marketing, emails, thought leadership content, and videos have a lower cost per lead benefit and are responsible for 90% of all clicks on the web.
What are the challenges for lead generation?
If online lead generation was easy, everyone would be doing it. B2B businesses face a number of challenges in doing lead generation. Most often, the challenges include time, resources, and having an effective strategy. The issues range from quality and quantity of leads, producing the right type of content that is relevant and publishing it at the right time, building a relationship with a prospect to having an effective follow-up process to convert leads to sales.
What are top 4 strategies B2Bs focus on that generate the most leads?
A great subject line is a key to hooking customers and increasing your email open rates. According to DigitalMarketer, subject lines that focus on self-interest, curiosity, news, special offer, urgency/scarcity, humanity, social proof, and compelling story produce the highest email open rates. For example, a self-interest focused subject would be “28 Ways to Increase Organic Social Traffic.” Don’t be afraid to repeat your call-to-action to let customers know exactly what it is that you’re offering. Honestly, in a long, wordy email where you leave your CTA (Call To Action) until the end, it’s going to be missed by a lot of customers. And over 70% of all emails are read on a mobile device. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. If you hook them in early on, by letting them know what you’re offering, it’s more likely that they will visit your site and take a better look at your products or services. For more examples of subject lines, download DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Subject Lines.
Social Media Marketing
It could be argued that the greatest benefit of using social media to generate leads is the ability to focus entirely on highly-qualified leads, as well as expanding the reach and awareness for your brand. The best social network for business professionals is LinkedIn, it’s the ideal place to meet and engage with potential B2B buyers. While Facebook advertising can be costly, gated content, that is content you won’t be able to view unless you pay or provide an email will help grow a sales pipeline. Webinars, tool sheets, white papers, and demo videos are perfect content for people who are interested in your product or service, but they require a bit more information before they’re ready to become fully-fledged customers. For more awesome ideas on how to generate leads via social media, check out this post on Hootsuite.
Content marketing focuses on the creation and sharing of online material to promote and build brand awareness for products and services. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top types of content used by B2B marketers are social media posts, case studies, produced videos, eBooks/white papers, infographics, and illustrations.
SAP BetterRunWorld video generated 30,000 views of the over a 10-week period, including nearly 9,000 unique visits each day
Search engine marketing (SEM) and PPC advertising are handy as they allow businesses to increase their site’s search engine ranking by effectively using the industry-related keywords that they want to target. Google Small Business also just released new free tools to help manage your business listing and create your own posts that show up directly on Search. When customers search for those keywords, they will find your content displayed higher up the search results and as a direct result of this customers are more likely to click through to your website. If your content satisfies their needs, then you have the all-important chance to convert those visitors into leads, and eventually make sales. Check out this post from OptInMonster for more advice on how you can increase your SEO rankings and gain more vital organic traffic.
If you’re interested in boosting your online lead generation strategy, we can help. To find out more about how Play Big Content takes the guesswork and confusion out of online marketing for organizations and entrepreneurs in all industries, contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!