How do you get new B2B customers? Is there some “secret method” that always results in dozens of leads, all of whom turn into customers?
Unfortunately, B2B online lead generation is a little more complicated, though it can very effectively impact your bottom line if done correctly. The problem is that most marketers pour their time and money into a leaking ship, which means they never see the results they want from their lead generation activities.
There’s a reason why 65% of businesses say generating traffic and leads is their biggest marketing challenge.
You can’t just keep trying to get more and more website traffic and assume it will translate into more leads. Instead, you need to build a solid lead generation strategy that uses tested channels, effective tactics, and various dynamics to be truly effective.
But, before we jump into how you can get more leads, let’s dissect what B2B online lead generation is and why it matters to you.
What Is B2B Online Lead Generation?
B2B online lead generation is comprised of a group of marketing activities that need to work hand-in-hand. Getting that click doesn’t necessarily mean getting a qualified lead in the B2B world. You need to guide that lead through a process of pinpointing their needs, sharing valuable insights that address them, then shedding light on how to solve those needs, and finally exploring how your specific product or service is exactly what can help fulfill them.
With that in mind, here are ten practices that will boost your B2B lead generation efforts.
1. Host A Webinar
One of the key benefits of webinars is that they can get you in front of a large audience, giving you a great opportunity to attract a lot of new leads at once, and all at a relatively low cost. In fact, 73% of marketing and sales leaders say webinars are one of the best ways to generate quality leads.
HubSpot is a great example of a B2B company that does webinars the right way. They regularly host webinars on a variety of topics that fit within their company’s strategic focus of social media marketing, ecommerce, online marketing, etc.
Your webinars should be free to attendees, and the content you deliver should not be focused on selling your product. Instead, choose a topic that appeals to your target audience—perhaps focus on a common pain point your customers shared before they found your product, or design a webinar around a certain feature of your service that can help them overcome an obstacle. Your main goal is to inform your audience about a current interest, need, or challenge that they need to overcome.
2. Create Gated Content
Gated content refers to any content (like an ebook, whitepaper, report, presentation, etc.) that potential customers need to fill out a form in order to access. The goal with every offer is to collect more information about the lead and thus turn it into a sales qualified lead. Since site visitors who are interested in this content must provide some of their details to get it, gated content is a popular way to generate leads from your website.
On example is OptinMonster’s built-in content locking feature, which has been proven to get results. According to their case studies:
- Photowebo, a photography education website, saw a 3806% improvement in conversions using gated content.
- Whole Whale, a marketing agency, saw a 100% increase in email signups.
Here’s a tip to keep in mind regarding gated content: Generating leads using this tactic is a highly passive activity that relies mostly on the chance that your site visitor will find your content relevant to their needs at the time, and valuable enough to hand over their details. You’ll increase the number of leads you obtain through gated content by personalizing it.
How do you personalize gated content? One method is by making the personalization user-driven—you can ask the site visitor to specify what sort of content they’re interested in when they arrive on your site. Another approach is by employing some content marketing software, like Scoop.It that can use content performance to offer up the right piece of content for your audience.
Scoop.It helps you research and publish the best content by making it easier than ever to curate, share, and read content on private hub. By employing this software you can simplify the process of filling your website with relevant content that you can then send to your audience to personalize their experience.
3. Create Sequential Content Offers
Giving your prospects one-off pieces of content every so often is one way to generate B2B leads, but there’s a more effective way to use your content: sequentially.
Providing your prospects with a series of sequential content pieces that become increasingly more valuable is a uniquely powerful way to generate B2B leads. Sequential content allows you to draw your prospects further and further into your sales funnel.
But more than this, by moving your prospects along a specific path you’ve designed, you’re actually creating a relationship with them. They’ll end up feeling more like an existing client whose needs are being addressed rather than a lead who’s being nurtured.
Keep the buyer journey in mind as you create sequential content offers for B2B online lead generation.
For example, for your site visitors in the Awareness stage, you could offer a downloadable ebook that can be accessed by filling out a simple form with name and email address fields. Once that site visitor fills out the form and becomes a lead, he enters the Consideration stage of the journey.
Then you can create a more detailed content offer, like a webinar or case study, that can also be accessed after filling in a slightly more complex form. After the lead completes his research on his pain points and possible solutions, he will enter the Decision stage, where you can provide a highly valuable offer that can be accessed by providing even more information in a form, like a free trial.
When you dive into creating a process for sequential content offers, consider using content like videos, quizzes, infographics, and blog posts that fill in more pieces of the pain-point puzzle. You can use content creation tools, like Canva, Animoto, and PlayBuzz to make unique and engaging visual content pieces.
Keep your focus on the value that the overall content series is designed to provide for your audience.
4. Perform Lead Nurturing
Studies today are finding that companies that employ lead nurturing can generate as much as 50% more leads. However, 48% of businesses admit that their leads require a “long cycle” of nurturing to get to where they need to be.
Why is lead nurturing so powerful? Because when you nurture your leads by regularly sending them emails that contain valuable information, they are guided through the buyer journey. It also enables you to keep the conversation between you and your leads alive and create a relationship with them.
Consider setting up multiple nurturing channels based on your leads’ industry or company size, depending on what’s most suitable for your company or offering. Just keep in mind that your emails should be brief and informative, and be sure not to overwhelm your leads by sending them too many emails too often.
5. Use Exit Detection
Have you ever visited a website and, just as you’re about to click to close the tab or window, a pop-up appears with a call to action (CTA)? That’s exit detection, and it’s a great tactic for generating more B2B leads. Beeketing reveals that an exit-intent popup can recover 35% of lost visitors.
When you’re implementing exit detection, you need to think creatively about what your target market would find valuable enough to follow through on the CTA, despite being on their way off your site. One tactic to grab their attention is creating a sense of urgency with a (very) limited time offer. Grab their attention with something that’s free for the next 24 hours but that otherwise has a price tag on it, for example.
But don’t be too aggressive. Use exit detection only once per site visitor so it doesn’t become annoying. Most plugins for exit detection know how to differentiate between new and repeat visitors and adjust accordingly.
6. Guest Post For Industry Publications
Guest posting has a number of benefits that go beyond being a great lead generation activity. For example, it can help you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and it even supports your SEO efforts through link building.
But when it comes to B2B online lead generation, guest posting provides great rewards. When you publish valuable content on sites your prospects visit and trust, you’re gaining visible credibility that will attract them to doing business with you. This is a great tool for expanding your reach and drawing in new business.
7. Live Chat On Important Product Pages
Just the other day, I sent an email to a support team and expected to wait a week to hear back from them. To my surprise, I received a reply within five minutes. There’s a reason why live chat is expected to grow 87% in the next 12 to 18 months.
Instant feedback and service goes a very long way toward creating a happy client or attracting a prospect. Live chat is a tool you can use to engage with leads in real-time and save some that might have otherwise disappeared. That’s why 49% of companies have seen an increase in conversions by adopting live chat.
Moreover, by keeping track of the questions prospects are asking you through live chat, you can look for trends and discover areas where you can improve your website communication and content to better meet their needs.
8. Actively Monitor Social Media
It’s not uncommon for people to voice their opinions online - both good and bad. But you can increase your B2B lead numbers by getting tuned in to the complaints people are sharing online that your service or product can somehow address.
Monitoring social media for different pain points you can address is easy to do. You can start by setting up Google Alerts to notify you any time specific keywords are used.
For example, if your company provides a digital signature solution, you can monitor keywords like “signing,” “signature,” and “workflow.” You might find prospects voicing their annoyance over how long it takes them to get anything approved simply because they need a signature from someone who’s located in a different time zone.
Join industry-related groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, and actively check what people are communicating about on a daily basis. Look out for the pain points you can address. Being timely about when you contact prospects through this method will greatly improve your chances of generating some new business.
9. Use Targeted Landing Pages With Strong CTAs
Landing pages play a key role in your lead generation efforts. Your landing pages are the gateway between your gated content offers and creating new relationships with potential leads, so you need to do them right.
The average landing page conversion rate falls around 2.35% with the top 25% of sites converting at 5.31% and the to 10% converting at 11.45%. That’s a huge range of conversion rates and you want to land at the top.
One way to make your landing pages more effective is to sure they’re targeted in both their tone and the item they promise. Make sure your landing pages address the correct audience at the right place in their buyer journey and are relevant to the offer that caused the user to arrive on the landing page in the first place. That means:
- Your form needs to have the appropriate fields for the user’s stage in the buyer journey.
- You need to briefly explain what the offer is all about.
- You should also include an attractive image of the offer.
- Your landing page message needs to match the ad that leads to it, so you decrease bounce rate and increase conversions.
Also, don’t skimp on your call to action with something boring and non-descriptive like “Click here.” Use compelling CTAs that tell the user what they will achieve by clicking. This is the key to B2B online lead generation.
Check out our landing page for a free ebook called “The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas” as an example.
10. Showcase Relevant Testimonials
Recent studies have shown that nearly 90% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That just goes to show how powerful testimonials can be at helping you generate more B2B leads.
But for testimonials to work in your favor, they need to be real and believable. That means displaying a name, company, and photo of the reviewer for each testimonial you showcase. A creative and visually pleasing way to display testimonials on your site is through the Spectoos Faceboard widget that makes your testimonials look like this:
In addition to the beautiful layout, Spectoos connects every testimonial to the reviewer’s online profile, so site visitors can be certain the testimonial is from a real person.
Want more tips on how to get more B2B leads for your business? Download our free ebook “The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas”, and get started today!