Let’s face it…
It’s no secret that a lack of leads can destroy ANY B2B business.
No matter how great your product is, if no one has heard about it, no one will buy it.
In fact, 61% of B2B business states that generating leads is one of their BIGGEST challenges.
In today’s guide, we will share with you 9 effective B2B lead generation strategies to help you establish a proven system to consistently generate new B2B leads.
Apply these step by step strategies and your business will continuously grow and capture new leads every week.
Sounds good? Let’s do this.
B2B Lead Generation – 9 Digital Marketing Strategies
1. Content Marketing
2. Facebook Advertising
3. Google Adwords
7. Free Online Course
8. Monitor Brand Mentions
9. Chatbot Automation
1: Develop A Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is a strategy where you would produce free content to showcase how your product can help your potential customers.
Content marketing still works in 2018.
To an extent that 83% of B2B marketers have used content marketing as one of their main lead generation tactic.
Content marketing is the best strategy to turn a complete stranger into a qualified lead.
Because your content is providing value up front for free to the customer. This would indirectly show your potential customer how your company is the authority in this space (without immediately pitching them for a sale).
However, there is a difference between simply using content marketing for the sake of it and actually using content marketing strategically to generate leads.
Avoid publishing content for the sake of publishing!
Here’s how you can develop an effective content marketing strategy.
Step 1 – Pick A Specific Challenge Your Ideal Customer Is Currently Facing
Find a specific problem your potential customer is currently facing and create useful content to help them overcome the problem.
For example, if you are a software company that sells email marketing tools, create a content titled “5 strategies to grow your email subscribers by 60% in 30 days”.
Notice how we are NOT immediately pitching how the software can help you or buy my software, but we are giving out free content and tips to help customers increase their email subscribers in 30 days.
Your content can be in the following format:
2. Blog post (including case studies, white papers)
Note: If your company has the budget, product ALL 4 types of content.
Step 2 – Run Targeted Ads to Your Content
There is an average of 2 million blog posts being published everyday!
Your content can be the best in the world, but if no one sees it, your content will quickly be deemed redundant.
We recommend running ads to drive visitors directly to your content page. The benefit of running ads is you can target your competitors’ customers and perform laser targeting based on your audience interest. You can get started with a budget of as low as $5 a day.
Use digital platforms such as Facebook and Google Adwords to start running the ad (more on these strategies later).
Step 3 – Giveaway a Valuable Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a bait you give out to collect their email address and follow up with them from there on.
For those who have read your content, offer them a lead magnet to download, and in exchange, you get their email address and/or phone number.
To capture the emails and create automated follow-ups, we recommend using GetResponse.
The lead magnet can be a template, cheatsheet, checklist, product demo, free webinar, or a 30-day free trial.
For example, referring to the email marketing software example earlier, your lead magnet could be a free checklist on items to tick off before running an email marketing campaign.
And once they have downloaded the lead magnet, they have RAISED THEIR HAND to say they have an interest in this topic and would want to find out more about how your company can help them.
Notice how the relationship between your company and the lead has shifted from an unknown stranger to a new friend who you can then nurture and build the relationship to turn them into paying customers.
Step 4 – Follow Up With People Who Have Not Downloaded The Lead Magnet
The money lies in the follow-up.
For those who have not downloaded the lead magnet, run ads to these group of people to show them the lead magnet again as some people need multiple touch points before taking an action.
You could also test using a different lead magnet to capture the leads.
Recap – Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing all about giving value first before asking, and in our opinion, this is a better way of doing business, rather just pushing hard for customers to buy your services without giving them any value upfront.
Here are the summarized steps:
Step 1: Pick A Specific Challenge Your Ideal Customer Is Currently Facing
Step 2: Run Targeted Ads to Your Content
Step 3: Giveaway a Valuable Lead Magnet
Step 4: Follow Up With People Who Have Not Downloaded The Lead Magnet
2: Run Facebook Advertising with Focused Targeting
With Facebook ads, you are using a push marketing strategy, much like radio, TV, and magazine ads.
The major difference?
You can target people based on their interests, job title, demographics, income (yes, creepy), and behaviour, something no TV or radio ads can do.
And Facebook ads is STILL much cheaper as compared to TV and radio, while giving you the ability to focus your targeting on the component that matters.
For example, targeting based on income:
Or targeting based on their job titles:
Or even targeting based on their area of interests:
Once you have selected your targeting options, create an ad and drive them to your content or product page.
The number one mistake people often do is pushing out ads and expect people to enquire immediately.
This will probably work for less than 1% of your audience as people will NOT take action at the first touch point.
The money lies in the follow-up and the good news is, you can automate these follow-ups and create multiple touch points with the person using retargeting.
Retargeting is a method where you show you ads to people who WENT to your website but LEFT without signing up for your free trial or scheduling a demo.
When they left your website and return to Facebook, they will see a retargeting ad to drive them back to your website.
By doing this, your chances of getting a lead increase exponentially.
This can be done by installing a Facebook pixel on your website. The Facebook pixel is a code that helps you track people who visit your website and you can then use the data to retarget these people on Facebook with a retargeting ad.
Here is a guide from Facebook on how to install the pixel.
With the pixel, you don’t need to capture their email address (although this would be a plus) since the code will help you track the user and remind them of your brand and product again when they are back on Facebook.
A retargeting ad will be different from your first ad as you show your product and its benefits to your website visitors in a different angle and creatives, for example, using different images or video to prevent ad fatigue and make your ad more appealing.
Retargeting is still incredibly underutilized in the B2B market as people visit your website, leave, and never return again.
You can also keep this retargeting list and push out new content to these group of audience, since they have already seen your brand before, and this will increase the chance of them converting into a paying customer.
Now you might be asking, why should you run ads when you can post on Facebook for free?
While strategy might work in the past, Facebook now has millions of paid advertisers and due to this, there is a limit on what they are able to show organically on the news feed.
You have to pay to play the game.
However, if you can reach the key decision makers via paid Facebook ads, it’s a win-win situation for your business while others are still contemplating on whether to invest in Facebook ads.
It won’t be long before ALL companies jump on Facebook ads and escalate the cost of Facebook ads.
Start running Facebook ads while it is still underpriced in 2018.
Recap – Facebook Marketing Strategy
Facebook marketing is not magic.
It’s difficult to convert an unknown stranger into a lead immediately. However, Facebook makes it easy to follow up with your prospects if you have installed the Facebook pixel.
Create the retargeting ad and you will increase the number of leads.
Here are the summarized steps:
Step 1: Select your audience targeting (interests, job titles, demographics)
Step 2: Run ads to Your Content/Product Page
Step 3: Retarget people who land on your website, but left without taking any action (sign up for the free trial, schedule for demo)
Step 4: Build up the retargeting list and deliver fresh content to these group of audience
3: Use Google Adwords to Pull Leads to Your Website
Google Adwords work well for most businesses as they are HIGHLY targeted.
Your customer already has a pain point and is now seeking for a solution by typing in their search query on Google.
By using Google Adwords, you can “pull” these visitors who are ready to buy and lead them to your product page to showcase how your product can help them.
For example, someone might be looking to work with a wine supplier:
This person is already searching for a wine supplier on Google and is ready to do business. The person may click on any or all of the ads to find a suitable wine supplier.
Unlike content marketing and Facebook marketing, where the lead capturing process is longer, with Google AdWords you can generate leads immediately as people are looking for a quick solution.
Due to this, Google AdWords is MORE expensive than Facebook ads as the competition is higher, with companies aiming to outbid their competitors in the Google AdWords ad auction.
To get started with Google AdWords, create a list of keywords your target customer might be searching on Google (e.g wine supplier in New York).
Once you have the list of keywords, you can start running ads and assess which are the keywords that give you the highest amount of leads.
Most website visitors would leave your page without taking any action. To get them back to your website, install a remarketing tag to capture the data and remarket to these visitors whenever they visit other websites.
Lastly, kill off the underperforming ads and allocate a higher budget to ads which brings you the most leads.
We recommend having a mixture of both Facebook and Google AdWords marketing strategies to have a fine balance between push and pull marketing.
Recap – Google Adwords Strategy
Google AdWords is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies to capture leads as your customers need a solution immediately.
However, the cost of running Google ads will get higher each year as more competitors enter the frame. Utilize Google AdWords today and start capturing those leads.
Here are the summarized steps:
Step 1: Compile the list of keywords
Step 2: Run ads to assess the performance of these keywords
Step 3: Utilize remarketing to drive people back to your website
Step 4: Stop underperforming ads and allocate higher budget to the best performing ads
Step 5: Continuously test, tweak and aim to reduce your cost per lead to get a higher ROI
4: Generate Unlimited Leads for FREE Using SEO
SEO is the techniques used to rank a website on Page One of Google.
With SEO, you are getting free traffic to your website and you can capture leads without paying for ads.
Back to the wine supplier example, instead of running ads in Google, with SEO, you are getting free traffic from a Google search.
For example, if you type “New York wine supplier”, these results will appear on Google:
If your website is new, it will take 6 months to 2 years of SEO to reach Page One of Google (depending on the competition level).
Getting to Page One of Google is a lot harder now as competition rises and Google is also constantly revising their algorithm to deter shady SEO tactics.
In the long run, SEO will be the more cost-effective option as compared to Google Adwords in terms of generating leads since you will not pay Google anything for each click to your website.
Fun fact: 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google. So if you are not on the first page of Google for the search term, your chances of landing leads from SEO are slim.
So what is the secret sauce of ranking on Google?
Three key ranking factors:
1. On-Page SEO
Include your keyword in the meta title, URL, H1 tag, H2 tag, and sprinkle your keywords throughout the article. Here’s a detailed guide that explains further on the anatomy of On-Page SEO.
2. Content is king
500 words article are dead! Make sure your content is actionable and at least 1,500 words.
More importantly, your content represents your brand. How well you deliver your content says a lot about your company. If your content is well-received, you will get more backlinks from other website, which is our 3rd key factor.
Backlinks are like a vote from other websites to your website.
The more high-quality vote you get from other websites, the higher you rankings are on Google (for most of the time).
Use tools such as Ahrefs or Link Miner to steal your competitors’ backlinks. Analyse where they are getting their links from, and email those websites to ask for a link.
If your content is good enough, your chances of getting a link will increase. If your competitor only writes 500 words for a certain topic and still get links, this is a great opportunity for you to cover that topic in greater detail, generate more backlinks and push up your rankings on Google.
Recap – SEO Strategy
SEO is the best method to generate unlimited leads for free once you are on Page One of Google.
Here are the summarized steps to perform SEO:
Step 1: Write detailed and actionable content
Step 2: Optimize for On-Page SEO
Step 3: Analyse competitors backlinks and replicate their links
5: Answer Questions And Help Your Customers on Quora
Quora is a Q&A online platform where people can ask anything they want and get free advice.
Chances are, your potential customers are already on Quora trying to solve a problem they are currently facing in their business.
Genuinely help people on Quora by providing actionable strategies. The more value you provide, the more people will take the initiative to approach you directly and these conversations would naturally turn into sales discussions.
For example, Eric Siu from SingleGrain generated $30,000 a month from answering questions on Quora.
Even Neil Patel, one of the world’s top marketer also actively answer questions and engage with people on Quora.
Establishing your brand presence on Quora will expose your business to a large group of people as you interact with high-quality leads while building your personal brand at the same time.
People don’t buy the company. People buy people.
Block out 30 minutes to 1 hour of your time per week to help the community on Quora.
One final Quora tip is to observe questions that get asked often. This will indicate that your potential customers need help with this problem. Create a long-form blog post on this topic and whenever this question pops up again, you would already have the most in-depth answer to the question.
6: Publish Blog Content to Avid Readers on Medium
You have done the hard work of writing content for your blog.
The next strategy is to repurpose your content and publish it on Medium. Medium currently has over 60 Million monthly readers and plenty of B2B company has jumped onto Medium to attract leads.
People who visit Medium are also generally made up of affluent and avid readers.
In terms of design, Medium has a slick and clean interface, making it easy for readers to enjoy long written posts without the feeling of unrest.
To succeed on Medium, only posts long-form content with actionable strategies and value for the reader. Short, mediocre 500 words article won’t cut it for this platform.
At the end of the article, you may then include a link back to your website to convert them into a lead.
Medium is another platform where you can generate leads for free. If you are already producing content on your blog, simply repurpose the content on Medium to get extra traction.
It’s a big miss of an opportunity if you don’t publish and promote content regularly on Medium.
7: Create A Free Online Course
People early in the B2B buying stage are not yet ready to make a significant investment.
But the good news is, they are willing to provide their contact information IF you have a compelling offer that deserves their attention.
What better way to do it than using a word everyone loves…
Creating a free online course is an easy way to incentivize new audience to try your product.
The main purpose of creating a free online course is to show your potential customers how your product can get them from Point A to Point B fast.
The key to getting this work is to integrate your product into the online course.
For example, Manychat is a company that provides visual bot builder for Facebook Messenger. To encourage leads to sign up for their service, they have created a free video training course on messenger marketing and chatbot mastery.
The course will go over how you can use chatbots to connect with your audience and drive sales for your business.
Besides providing value on how you can drive sales for your business using the chatbot, Manychat is also indirectly showing you how Manychat can help accelerate the process of getting to your business goal by using their Facebook Messenger bot.
By the end of the course, the leads will know two things:
1. To increase sales for their business, they need a chatbot.
2. To get started with the chatbot, they need Manychat.
Let’s look at another example.
Ahrefs is the leading SEO and marketing tool running on big data. To generate new leads, Ahrefs has created a free course on how to grow your blog to 100k monthly visitors and get thousands of paying customers.
The hook to the free course is “grow your blog and acquire customers” and NOT “learn how to use Ahrefs”.
By having this free course, Ahrefs will then show the leads how they use their marketing tools to grow their blog to 100k monthly visitors.
Don’t sell your product immediately. Sell the benefits of the course first, and if the course is good, your product will sell themselves.
The main benefit of creating a free online course is, your visitor needs to give you their email address in exchange for the course and they have displayed an initial interest in your brand.
There is a high chance those leads will turn into paying customers once they have finished the course as they would now be educated that in order to achieve their goal faster, they need your product.
Once you have created the course, publish it on your website, and get the word out using Facebook or Google ads to capture the leads.
So create an online course, collect email address, and voila, you will get leads on autopilot.
Important: While it may seem that you are giveaway something free for nothing in return, you are actually getting their time and attention.
The more time they have invested in your brand’s content, the higher the chance of them eventually converting from a lead into a paying customer.
8: Monitor Brand Mentions And Uncover Untapped Opportunities
As your brand grows, your brand name will get mentioned on the web and on social media.
Track your brand mentions and quickly jump into the conversations and attend to positive or negative feedback on your business.
Overtime, you will build a personal relationship by continuously engaging with existing customers and generate new leads through multiple follow-ups and touch points with your brand.
So how do you identify these opportunities?
If you only need to know brand mentions around the web, use the free Google Alerts tool.
Simply input your brand name and Google Alerts will email you whenever someone mentions your brand name.
If you would like to get alerts on brand mentions around the web AND social media, we recommend using Awario to track the mentions. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to set up an alert using Awario.
Another great hack for monitoring brand mentions is to track your competitors brand name. Set up alerts for your competitors and “steal” their customers who had left negative comments about their experience with the company.
If your company have a better solution, this can be a great opportunity to capture new leads.
9: Automate Leads Capturing Using Chatbots
A common problem for people who land on a new website is they won’t know where to navigate and find what they need.
Make it easier for every person that lands on your website by having a chatbot to engage with them and point them towards the right pages. This will increase your chances of turning them into a lead.
Another benefit of using the chatbot is you are taking the initiative to give the website visitors what they want and have personalised messages to tailor to their needs.
For example, with our Axcel Bot on our homepage, we are able to automate leads capturing and have different pre-existing messages based on the options they select:
Once the website visitors clicked to chat with the bot, they are presented with three options:
Based on the different selection, the chatbot will continue to automate the personalised messages and at the end of the conversation, it will help you collect the person’s emails or contact number.
To get started with using the chatbot, we recommend using Drift or Verloop. Both Drift and Verloop has free plans that you can sign up today and get started immediately.
There is no other way to say it.
Quality leads are the lifeblood of any B2B company.
Implement the 9 B2B lead generation strategies above and you will consistently generate leads to fill up your pipeline.
Here’s a recap:
1. Develop A Content Marketing Strategy
2. Run Facebook Advertising with Focused Targeting
3. Use Google Adwords to Pull Leads to Your Website
4. Generate Unlimited Leads for FREE Using SEO
5. Answer Questions And Help Your Customers on Quora
6. Publish Blog Content to Avid Readers on Medium
7. Create A Free Online Course
8. Monitor Brand Mentions And Uncover Untapped Opportunities
9. Automate Leads Capturing Using Chatbots
Test out all 9 tactics and assess which of them work best for your company before allocating a higher marketing budget for that strategy.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment below or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org