Every B2B company needs quality leads to sustain its existence in the market. But if you want to thrive, you need a strategy that increases and automates lead generation. But how do you go about achieving this? Or better yet, what can you do to boost the number of high-quality leads coming through your campaigns?
Your role as a B2B marketer isn’t just to build awareness. You’re also responsible for sending qualified leads to sales. If you’re not doing this, then your inbound marketing campaigns need improvement. marketers are prioritizing lead generation.
So if you want to maintain a competitive edge, then you should do the same. Let’s take a look at what lead generation is and the best strategies to use.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
B2B lead generation is a method B2B marketers use to drive prospective customers to its organization organically. This consists of various inbound marketing tactics that build visibility, awareness, and interest from prospects within a specific target audience. Examples of lead generation methods may include social media posts, blog posts, and SEO (search engine optimization).
Lead generation acts as the first step in the buyer’s journey and is designed to guide prospects through the funnel to the final sale. Lead generation campaigns begin by capturing leads (collecting their name and contact information) and then feeding them into the sales funnel (i.e., an email nurturing campaign).
The goal is to generate more qualified leads and increase sales and revenue.
What Are the Benefits of B2B Lead Generation?
Implementing a B2B lead generation strategy is vital today because many prospects want to control their buying journey. So no longer will ads and traditional marketing work. Today’s consumers are conducting their own research to find solutions to their problems.
If you want to drive more high-quality leads to your business, then finding ways to attract your target audience is key. This is where lead generation strategies come into play. Here’s a look at some of the benefits of B2B lead generation.
Build Awareness for Your Brand
People like to shop with brands they know and trust. But to get to this level, you have to build visibility and a good reputation for your brand. Lead generation efforts often consist of tactics to help with this. For example, you can use your blog to establish thought leadership. When visitors view you as an expert in your industry, it makes you more trustworthy.
You can do the same with social media — sharing insights and tips on these platforms (vs. selling and promoting products), you can generate a following.
According to Content Marketing Institute, 80% of B2B marketers use content marketing for lead gen. And according to a HubSpot report, 13% of blogs are 13x as likely to have positive ROIs
Increase Your Sales Opportunities
B2B lead generation strategies are all about building relationships with your target audience. You start by demonstrating your business as a go-to source for information. Then once you have the trust of prospects, they’re more likely to consider your products or services when it comes time to make a purchasing decision. This leads to more sales opportunities and revenue for your organization.
Provides Benefits to the Buyer and Seller
B2B lead gen is a win-win for both parties involved. On one end, you’re driving awareness and prospects to your business. And on the other, prospects are getting much-needed information about their problems and possible solutions to resolve them. This is why all of your lead gen campaigns should keep the prospects’ needs in mind.
Drive More High-Quality Leads
What sets digital marketing apart from traditional advertising is that you have more control over who sees your content. By using SEO, you can target people based on their interests and needs. By incorporating topics and keywords into your content, you can garner interest from prospects who are more likely to buy your product or service.
You can do the same with pay-per-click (PPC) ads. You can use retargeting and audience targeting to display ads to specific groups of people. In the case with B2B, you’d focus on firmographics (company size, industry, tech used, etc.) vs. demographics (age, marital status, income, etc.). When done right, lead generation can drive more high-quality leads. This is especially true when you adopt marketing automation tactics to drive leads.
One report shows 80% of marketers think marketing automation drives better leads. And 77% convert more leads than those who don’t use marketing automation.
Learn More About Your Target Audience
During lead generation campaigns, you’re gathering a lot of information about your target customers. With this intel, you can better understand their needs so you can improve your marketing message and content. For instance, you can learn about your audience’s questions and then focus on answering them on your blog, eBooks, social media, and other lead gen content. Analytics tools help capture data and even analyze it (with the help of AI).
Costs Less than Other Forms of Advertising
Advertising can quickly turn into an expensive endeavor. To get your ads in front of large audiences, you’d normally have to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. This is why you’ll only find multi-billion dollar companies advertising during the Super Bowl and NBA Playoffs. And it’s the same with billboards.
Even digital advertising can grow expensive. Partnering with big-time influencers can cost a pretty shiny penny and ad campaigns can be costly when you’re competing for high-competition keywords.
With lead generation, your marketing efforts are cost-efficient. You pay once for content creation (either with your time or money), and then it works for as long as it’s published. Numbers show content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing.
Appeal to Your Target Audience
People don’t like being advertised to, which is what makes lead generation efforts impactful. Rather than selling, you’re delivering value to prospective customers. So all of your promotion is done indirectly, making it feel like the decision of the user to look at or purchase your product/service.
Grow Your Revenue
The opposite of lead generation is outbound marketing. With outbound, you’re constantly looking for leads to pursue, and with lead gen, you’re getting prospects to come to you. This means you can increase your sales exponentially since it doesn’t rely on manual efforts. You have a limited number of salespeople who can do but so much selling during working hours. With lead gen, you can potentially drive thousands of leads in a given day and just as many sales by automating the sales process.
What Are Some Good Examples of B2B Lead Generation?
So, where do you begin with your demand generation strategy? And where do you go from there? Here’s a quick overview showing how to break down a demand generation plan:
- Set goals: In marketing, it’s ideal to start planning with the end in mind. Knowing exactly what you want to get out of a demand generation campaign makes it easier to plan how to get there.
- Find your audience: It’s impossible to successfully market a product or service when you don’t know who you’re talking to. The more you know about your target customer, the easier it becomes to identify their pain points, so you can craft a message that resonates with them.
- Build content: You need content that matches each target group at each stage of the funnel. So for each group, you need top, middle, and bottom of the funnel content that speaks directly on their pain points. For example, you can produce thought-leadership content at the top of the funnel to build awareness and desire. For the middle of the funnel, you can create buying guides, whitepapers, and listicles to help make a purchase decision. Then at the end of the funnel, you want to offer brand-specific information, such as demos, case studies, and customer reviews.
- Distribute the content: Getting your content in front of your audience is key to building demand. So focus on delivering content on various platforms, such as email, video, live events, Stories, direct mail, social, and blog posts.
- Measure your content: The only way to know if your demand generation campaigns are working is to monitor the metrics that match your goals. This will guide you in continuing or discontinuing tactics based on their performance.