Whatever be the type of business you are running or the industry you are from, generating leads is what it all comes down to. Without leads, a business has no profit, no revenue and ultimately, no business. However, generating these leads can be a major challenge for companies in the B2B space. Most B2B businesses operate in a very niche segment, which automatically reduces the number of potential leads that can be generated. To add to that, personal relationships with clients has always been the key deciding factor for companies in this sector looking to acquire new customers. These elements might make generating B2B leads more difficult than for other sectors, but it’s not impossible! With the right mix of proven techniques, your business can acquire high-quality leads through the digital medium.
So, as a business owner or an entrepreneur, how do you generate leads to grow your B2B business? Let’s take a look at few of the tried-and-tested ways.
As the age-old saying goes, Content is King. The biggest advantage of using content marketing instead of advertising as your lead generation strategy is that it reaches users who have activated ad blockers. Advertising your product through search engine-optimised content marketing also helps in boosting organic traffic to your website.
Let’s take a look at the various forms of content you can use to leverage content marketing for greater brand awareness.
Blogs have become essential for every business and are the best way to generate informative and educational content about your brand. Blogs are also a guaranteed SEO- friendly marketing method that generates organic traffic to your website. By consistently adding authoritative high-quality content on your blog, you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your domain. Over time, your blog will help build a strong community of interested individuals that you can tap into to generate leads.
If pictures can speak a thousand words, it is safe to say that videos present the viewers with a thousand pictures. They give viewers a detailed insight into the products and services offered by your company which plays a huge role in influencing their decision to convert into leads. Videos can also present complicated concepts in a very engaging manner that is easy to understand. This can help potential clients get a better understand of your products and services. From a whiteboard video explaining a solution to a particular problem in your industry to a product-centric video, opportunities are aplenty.
For Sundaram Business Services, we created a short explainer video detailing how accounting firms would benefit from outsourcing their routine tasks. This video encapsulates Sundaram Business Services’ USPs in a crisper and more compelling manner than any other medium would be able to.
E-book and white papers are excellent examples of content that can be a powerful tool for lead generation. There are two ways you can achieve this objective:
This method gives you a hand-picked database of clients who are particularly interested in your brand as they took the time and effort to fill a form just to read your content. To generate quality leads, make sure your content is extremely informative and educational with the right proportion of generic and promotional content. The best way to do this is to understand what your audience is searching for and write about the topic to cater to their needs.
Backing up your content with infographics, reports, graphs and other forms of research adds credibility to your claims. In order to explain your services and their advantages more effectively, take your content strategy up a notch and present your audience with an informative case study. Nothing convinces potential clients better than examples of how much you have succeeded in the past with other B2B clients.
Content marketing is all about being actively involved in the digital space. Bring out your brand name by conducting webinars or interactive podcasts on topics which are trending among your audience segment audience to spark interest. This will create awareness about your organisation and indirectly showcases your products and services for the world to see.
It isn’t just writing high-quality content that is important, but optimising it for search engine rankings. SEO is a guaranteed way to boost your brand image and increase your website traffic.
The logic is simple. Most people searching for B2B services on the internet are looking to close the deal. Presenting them with your website is a guaranteed way to effective lead generation for your organisation. As per a recent study, the close rate of an SEO lead is a whopping 14.6% while the close rate of a sponsored lead is a mere 1.7%. Additionally, of the overall local Google traffic, 67% of searches end up in a conversion. With such stunning numbers, there is no doubt that SEO is the most-effective long-term lead generation strategy for B2B businesses.
LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world, so when it comes to finding potential clients for your B2B business, it is indispensable. It offers more defined targeting options that Facebook does, helping you find your exact target audience, no matter how niche your segment is. The key to successfully using LinkedIn for lead generation is to adopt a ‘full-funnel approach’. Once you create a target audience, ensure that all your promotions are sent to this same template. This ensures that your brand engages with them right from the awareness stage to the final conversion step.
Read on to find out what are the tools you can leverage on LinkedIn to widen your clientele.
Promoting your blogs on LinkedIn through Sponsored Posts is essential to widening their reach. This tool allows your content to be seen by a highly-relevant target audience who might not have otherwise come across your brand or content. By promoting blogs based on topics that your audience will find useful, you can initiate a relationship with your audience. Being consistent with your promotions will ultimately increase brand awareness and improve your audience’s perception of your company.
We leveraged LinkedIn Sponsored Posts for one of our B2B clients – BijliPay. We promoted an extensive in-house blog on the benefits of choosing mPOS devices over the traditional POS devices. The blog gives the reader a detailed insight into the services provided by BijliPay and indirectly works as a lead generation platform to convert the reader into a potential client.
LinkedIn lead ads take lead generation for B2B businesses to the next level. They work like usual lead ads, except that when you click on the call to action, the browser takes the user to a pre-filled lead form. The form is pre-filled with information retrieved from the user’s profile, eliminating the need to fill it up manually. Apart from saving a lot of time and effort, this feature allows users to fill in the lead form in the LinkedIn page itself without the need to visit a landing page or website. These ads are particularly effective after you have been promoting your content to the same target audience. Since the audience is already aware of your brand and has started to trust you, they will be more likely to submit the form.
InMail Ads are ads presented in the form of emails to the LinkedIn inbox of your target audience. This form of marketing is extremely effective as you get to handpick your audience based on their LinkedIn profile and do not need their personal or professional email ids to reach them. Additionally, these emails have a guaranteed delivery rate as they are sent only to the active LinkedIn users. Apart from products and services, you can also use InMails to promote your content and initiate downloads of ebooks and promotional videos.
No lead generation strategy is complete without a landing page. A landing page is a single page website that collects the visitor’s information through a lead form. Whether you are promoting your product or allowing visitors to download content (ebooks, webinars and podcasts), building a landing page is often the solution. A targeted landing page will help you capture leads at a higher rate and will help the sales team initiate the lead nurturing process to ultimately convert the leads generated.
A good landing page, especially for B2B, needs to always have a clear headline, copy and direct call-to-action, so that the target audience understands exactly what they are signing up for. This is exactly what we did for one of our B2B clients, LatentView. The landing page for their downloadable white paper clearly conveys what the company does and what value audiences will get from the white paper.
So you’ve generated an extensive database, with the methods mentioned above, of potential clients who have shown interest in your services. But, what next? The B2B space has notoriously long lead cycles, which can prove expensive and time-consuming for companies. That’s when the tried-and-tested method of email marketing comes into the picture.
Email marketing is probably one of the first types of digital marketing, and it still remains a go-to strategy for many organisations. Since emails are one of the most personal forms of communication, they can help you initiate and sustain a strong relationship with potential clients. With email marketing, it’s generally best to keep it simple and use plain-text emails than designed templates. This makes it seem more personal, encouraging people to actually read them. Additionally, you can customise your email as per the preferences of your potential clients with various techniques of retargeting and make your services even more irresistible to them. All you need is a strong email marketing database and a fool-proof email campaign checklist for guaranteed lead conversions.
Sundaram Business Services is a business process outsourcing company headquartered in India, with operations in UK and Australia. As a B2B company, a majority of their leads came through referrals and by networking. To scale up, they needed a strong digital marketing technique that could help them acquire new clients faster and more effectively.
The target audience for Sundaram Business Services is very niche and difficult to identify. With such a limited audience, generating high-quality leads that had the potential to convert would be more difficult than it would be for a B2C brand with a widespread audience. Additionally, since B2B client relationships are longstanding and based on trust, convincing accounting firms to start outsourcing to Sundaram Business Services would be challenging through digital marketing alone.
Starting lead generation ads in isolation wouldn’t help for a B2B brand as it only targets individuals at the bottom of the funnel. To successfully acquire high-quality leads, we needed a full-funnel strategy:
The Sundaram Business Services blog is a complete knowledge repository, with the right mix of highly relevant and trending topics. We utilised this invaluable tool to its full potential by promoting the blogs on LinkedIn. This created brand awareness and developed our reputation as an expertise in the field of accounting.
We created a specialised landing page for Sundaram Business Services which provided concise details of the services and USPs of the brand. By bidding for high search volume keywords, we ensured that our landing page would show up for relevant searches. This further increased brand awareness.
Credibility and trust are the foundation of any B2B relationship. To build this for Sundaram Business Services, we created a client testimonial video and promoted it on LinkedIn. This showed our audience the positive relationship we share with our clients.
After building awareness and trust among our target audience, we started lead form ads on LinkedIn to actively start generating leads. These ads provided a clear picture of the service we provide and the benefit firms can gain by partnering with us.
Since the B2B space is so small, we knew we had to go the extra mile to ensure high quality leads. Content driven marketing is key to generating leads for B2B. Because of this, we promoted an authoritative white paper for which users had to submit a pre-filled form to download. This white paper was by far the best lead generation technique we used for Sundaram Business Services. The white paper was downloaded by CFOs from some of the top companies in India, providing us with valuable information we wouldn’t have been able to achieve through any other strategy.
Through the white paper, we were able to achieve an 800% reduction in cost-per-lead with 0 junk leads. In such a niche segment, these results were truly remarkable. It ensured an optimal use of advertising budgets and a large volume of premium leads we could use to initiate the lead nurturing process. These incredible results only prove that content is the only way forward for generating B2B leads.
If you are from the B2B sector, its time you implement each one of the above-mentioned marketing strategies in your workplace to take your business to revolutionary heights.