BEST PRACTICE

4 Lead Gen Tactics For B2B Success

Lisa Redburg By Lisa Redburg, Senior Project Manager & Meticulous Cat Wrangler, Extra Mile Marketing

My dog sheds. My office is covered in dog hair. My clothes are covered in dog hair. My co-workers are covered in dog hair. So when someone says, “Did you hear that commercial on the radio about dog shedding solutions?” I’m all in. I immediately jump on my phone to look up their website. They have data sheets and links for each and every ingredient. There’s a before and after video. There’s vet recommendations. There’s over a 1000 reviews of the product. There’s even a radio discount code for free overnight shipping. And they ask for the sale every step of the way until I buy. This company knows how to generate leads and close a sale.

This is the customer experience we go through every day as consumers, but let’s look at how a B2B company generates their leads.

Our agency needed to find a new phone system. It’s a big purchase for us, with many factors involved and an extended timeframe. Phones aren’t our business, and it’s been over a decade since any of us purchased a phone system. We needed help. So, I searched website after website after website for information. I tried to compare different solutions and figure out what would meet our needs and budget. I read all the sales brochures that I could find, but everything is written in phone industry techno jargon that I don’t speak. That means I have to translate everything myself when I want another team member’s input. Needless to say, the search was frustrating.

We spend our days at EMM helping B2B companies nail their customer journey, so I have high expectations. Search results for “phone service” got us to several websites, but nothing moved us along a buying path from there. There are no videos. There is no eBook called “What to Look for in a Phone System for Small Businesses.” No chat, no blog, no infographic, no gated download of anything. But there were e-newsletter sign-up boxes and “Call for more information” buttons. That’s the best they could do. I’m not even a millennial and I’m not going to call a salesperson.

Why can’t B2B companies take a lesson from the consumer side of business and fix their customer journey? It’s a different space, but it doesn’t have to be a worse space.

Your future customers are out there searching for a solution to their problem. How do you turn them into leads and close the sale? The advantage you have in a B2B sale is time. Your prospects aren’t going to make a $10k / $50k / $100k decision with one quick visit to your website, and they probably have more than one person involved in the decision making process. If you can engage them at the right point in their journey, you can improve your chances of closing.

There are companies out there today that have a problem you can solve. Even better, they’re actively searching for your solution. How do you help them find you and, more importantly, get them to buy? In B2B, these are the 4 best ways to capture leads today.

#1: Search

93% of B2B buying processes start with an online search. (Pinpoint Market Research and Anderson Jones PR)

If you want to start with low hanging fruit, this is the tree you’re looking for. Placing high on search results means more traffic to your website and great brand recognition. Make sure your website is optimized for search with the right keywords placed strategically and organically throughout the site.  If you have the budget, you can add paid search engine ads to the mix.

#2: Content Marketing

85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal. (Content Marketing Institute)

Once you have them on your website, now what? Robust content positioned artfully at the different stages in the customer journey is the key. Use a video early on in the journey to quickly show how your product can solve their problem. Once they’ve shown interest, offer a one-page data sheet with C-level messaging that they can share with stakeholders. Better yet, turn your data and statistics into an interactive infographic to make your solution memorable. Find ways to engage your leads at every step of their journey, and you’ll be that much closer to closing the sale.

#3: Email

96% of visitors who come to your website aren't ready to buy (yet). (Marketo)

Once you have generated some leads, make sure you do something with them. An automated, personalized email nurture program can help move your prospects through the buying cycle. They may not decide to buy the first time they visit your site, but with regular reminders, they’ll think of your company above all else when it is time to buy. Be sure to send professionally designed emails at careful intervals to improve responses and conversions.

#4: Social

Outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads. (HubSpot)

Social marketing tends to have a bad rap for B2B. But when used the right way it can be very effective. Social media is not about selling your products, it’s about selling your brand and building meaningful relationships with current and future customers. You can use social media as a forum to deliver intriguing content like articles and videos. Or, use it to listen to buyers. Find out what they are looking for and why they’re not finding it. Take into account that each platform has unique advantages that require distinct approaches. Post light-hearted, people-centric stories on Facebook, industry-specific content or current events on LinkedIn, and quick updates or testimonials on Twitter. With a well-executed B2B social media strategy, you’ll have leads coming to you!

Customer expectations are increasing as 2020 approaches

Generating leads and then closing them will always be a challenge. Start with those companies that are already looking for your solution and put together a strategy to walk them through every step of the customer journey. Look for inspiration in your everyday consumer purchases. Make sure you’re keeping up with customer expectations. When push comes to shove, every one of your marketing efforts should be focused on lead generation. With a well-designed and executed lead gen strategy, your marketing ROI can only increase.

And when it comes to being #2020ready, EMM can help you put lead generation best practices into action. If I can help, contact me at lisa@emminc.com.

 

Are you #2020ready? Find out by taking this 5 minute quiz, and we'll send you our exclusive eBook: "9 Outdated Best Practices in B2B Marketing (And How to Evolve by 2020)"

 

 

 

STATS & FACTS

68% of businesses report struggling with lead generation. (CSO Insights)

85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal. (Content Marketing Institute)

63% of consumers requesting info on your company today will not purchase for at least 3 months. (Marketing Donut)

70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they even reach out to sales. (Pardot)

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