When it comes to generating high quality B2B leads, there’s a ton of information out there on the Interwebs. Just place a Google search with the keywords “B2B Lead Generation” and you’ll be treated to an onslaught of confusing articles, all with varying levels of vague advice and even some contradicting suggestions to grow leads for your business.
Essentially, what it all boils down to is….we have no idea. Yes, we may be the marketing gurus, but lead generation isn’t a simple formula that you plug in for your business. Just like people, every B2B audience, circumstance and resource is different, which means there are endless possibilities when it comes to generating quality leads. There is no right answer or source to use to get leads for your business. Instead, consider it a lifestyle of consistent marketing efforts, networking and organic interactions that just work.
With that being said, there are some successful lead generation strategies that are effective across every industry, if implemented correctly. Here they are:
Getting Strategic with Social Media
When you speak with most marketers, they tend to get a twinkle in their eye when it comes to social media. “It’s great for lead generation,” they say, with a stepford wife-like tone.
See, according to most research, social media doesn’t produce the same lead generation quantity as other traditional marketing methods, like email or websites. But what it does have is a lot of people. That’s often where the confusion lies – followers do not equal leads.
A visitor to your social media page does not constitute a lead because you don’t have any valuable consumer data about them, like their email address or contact info. While they may see your updates, they will be less likely to convert into a customer just by following you.
That’s not to say social media isn’t valuable. You can convert followers into leads (then leads into customers) by following some simple marketing methods:
- Direct followers to your website at every opportunity.
- Use LinkedIn – out of the five major social media platforms, it’s the most effective for generating leads.
- Implement calls to action – your followers won’t know what to do unless you tell them.
Bottom Line: Social media can be a valuable lead generation tool if used correctly. It’s up to you to find a strategy that works for your business and engages followers enough to convert them into leads.
Creating a Consistent Content Marketing Plan
In the world of B2B lead generation, content marketing is kind of a big deal. It’s a tool that, if wielded correctly, can engage your readers and followers enough to convert them into leads.
However, for content marketing to be effective, you have to do it right. You can’t just push out copy and hope that something resonates with readers. You have to be strategic, you have to plan and you have to provide value with each piece of content marketing you put out.
If we’re honest, that’s easier said than done. Good content marketing is hard work, but it’s valuable. In fact, over 90% of B2B respondents are using content marketing, so there’s a lot of fish in the sea for you to catch with the right strategy.
But how exactly would that work? Content marketing consists of multiple outlets, so which ones are the best for attracting potential leads? Well, here are some pretty popular (and effective) content marketing outlets you can explore:
- Research Reports
Give Away Free Stuff for Leads
Another effective tactic for generating leads is turning to good old fashioned bribery. But, it’s not actually bribery – it’s the exchange of contact information for something of value that you created.
It’s a tried and true marketing method for generating leads that can be narrowed down in a three step process:
- Create something your audience wants: This can be anything they may find of value, like an ebook (bonus points if it helps to establish you as an expert in your industry).
- Give the thing away for free: People who are interested in the topic will sign up for it, so you’re catering right to your ideal market.
- Ask for their email address: After all, you need a way to send them the eBook. And, in exchange, they’re signing up for your email list in hopes of getting more valuable content from you.
Now, you’ve just earned a lead that has a high chance of conversion since you know they are already interested in your product or service.
Automating Your Lead Generation
Marketing automation is a fancy new term that will be sure to get you some props at your next meeting. Unfortunately, there’s still some confusion on what exactly marketing automation is and how it can help convert leads.
Essentially, automated marketing is software used to ensure the most relevant content reaches the most receptive audience. This means you’ll see more engagement with potential customers that are likely to convert. Since the program does most of the analytics and grunt work for you, it saves a lot of time and resources for the marketer. All you have to do is tell the software what you want.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that automated marketing is easy. A common misconception is that it’s just a program you turn on, forget about and it just works. What most people forget is that someone (usually the marketer) is the one who has to input all the initial details into the program in order to get the outcome they want.
However, the time and cost (it can be expensive) are well worth it when it comes to generating leads. Advanced systems even take care of some of the follow up processes, like managing and nurturing leads then transitioning the details for campaign analysis for qualifying future leads.
While these methods can definitely improve your lead generation strategy, remember that it’s going to be hard work. Make a plan and stay focus as you start putting your marketing strategy into action.
If you need help developing a plan, LinkedIn Lead Ninja has a solution for you. Don’t keep wasting your time with marketing efforts that don’t work. Contact us today for a 15-minute discovery call and start making your LinkedIn marketing strategies work for you.