When you’re trying to sell your product or service to another company, the most effective way for your sales and marketing teams to convert potential customers into paying customers is to identify leads -- decision makers in other businesses who have shown some level of interest in your content output or your actual offerings.
The role of leads in B2B marketing strategy
A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is someone who has demonstrated interest in your product or service offering as a result of your marketing endeavours, or is likely to become a customer for other reasons. If your marketing team can identify leads like this, they are then in a position to nurture leads with advice, proactive engagement, and valuable content as they make their way along the buyer's journey.
At a certain point in this lead nurturing process, potential customers may transition to become a sales qualified lead, or SQL. Such leads are in a position where direct contact with your sales team can push them through the sales funnel to become paying customers.
Having leads to interact with in this manner is the ideal for B2B companies. So putting measures in place to actively generate leads is a winning strategy for B2B. In this article, we’ll look at six effective lead generation campaign strategies that can keep your sales and marketing teams furnished with a continuing supply of high quality leads.
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1. Identify your target audience
Closely study your target market to identify the company decision makers of your potential customers. This will enable you to create accurate and detailed buyer personas, and to map out the buyer journey of each persona in your ideal audience. Such knowledge is vital in enabling your marketing team to create successful landing pages, social media posts, video content, and other content materials that engage with your prospects and act as lead magnets.
2. Use search engine optimization (SEO) for your lead generation strategy
B2B buying processes typically start with via search engines – and the majority of searches usually end on the first page of results.
Positioning your brand for B2B lead generation success therefore depends to a large extent on associating your offering with high ranking keywords that speak to the needs and pain points of your target audience.
3. Optimise your content marketing efforts to generate leads
According to research conducted by First Page Sage, inbound lead generation efforts that attract potential customers through appealing and valuable content provides B2B companies with a high degree of exposure to their potential leads at a relatively low cost. What’s more, effective content positions B2B companies as trusted advisers, thought leaders, and valued resources, in the eyes of potential consumers.
For lead generation or “lead gen” purposes, B2B content output needs to be both immediately relevant to the consumer, and of very high quality. Some lead generation tips:
- Offer free content such as eBooks, training courses, and webinars, in exchange for key contact information.
- Use a mix of fresh and evergreen content in your blog posts, social media output, and other publications.
- Include a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or Question & Answer (Q & A) section on your website, to provide answers for issues relating to your industry.
- If you distribute an email newsletter, use it to provide industry insights and insider tips that readers can’t find elsewhere.
- Use video content and infographics to encourage sharing on social media.
- Optimise your website and content for consumption on mobile.
4. Use social media strategically
Your social marketing endeavours for lead gen should be a balanced mix of output crafted for lead generation, and active engagement with potential customers. Posting video content and thought leadership pieces on platforms like LinkedIn can improve your standing as a “go to” resource on social.
Engaging in active discussions with social media users and encouraging social proof from paying customers (in the form of reviews, referrals, etc.) can boost your social media profile, and help generate leads.
5. Use marketing automation
With marketing automation software, you can configure your customer relationship management (CRM) system to automatically send highly targeted and personalised marketing emails to help generate leads, and nurture existing ones. For instance, you could automate lead nurturing emails for new sign-ups, or discount offers to paying customers who are showing signs of cooling off.
6. Partner with a specialist B2B marketing agency to generate qualified leads
A significant observation thrown up by the First Page Sage research is that inbound lead generation has the edge over an outbound generation strategy, in terms of your Return On Investment (ROI). That’s because inbound lead generation tactics offer businesses in most industries a far lower customer acquisition cost. What’s more, when done with expertise, a lead generation campaign creates lasting brand loyalty.
However, the generation of qualified sales leads demands a significant level of creativity and persistent hard work from your marketing team. For many organisations therefore, the best lead gen strategy is to engage the services of a marketing agency that knows how to generate quality leads for B2B companies, and using content marketing as a lead generation tool.
Incisive Edge brings you the expertise you need to find your brand differentiation and build the essential foundation for your digital marketing B2B strategy. We strongly believe that proper investment in your brand position will allow you to project a stable image to your potential customers that clearly defines: who you are as a company; your brand purpose; and tells your brand story.
We will work with you to define detailed Buyer Personas for your target audience’s decision makers. Each persona will identify the specific pain points and key issues that your target decision makers are trying to solve, and will create messages that address those key issues.
We design inbound marketing strategies, programmes and campaigns that fill your pipeline and drive revenue growth. Inbound marketing is not just about producing leads, it’s about revenue generation. Using our 10+ years’ experience in inbound, our specialism in tech marketing, our marketing automation software stack for email marketing, and our industry experience, quite simply, we will find your prospective customers and increase your bottom line. Generating leads is our speciality.
To find out more about how Incisive Edge can assist in your B2B lead nurturing, lead scoring, and lead generation content and strategies, get in touch with us.