New year, new challenges!
That's not true for B2B lead generation companies. Lead generation continues to be marketers' primary task, but also a constant challenge. According to Hubspot, generating traffic and leads was a major challenge for 63% of marketers in 2019. Now, if you're one of the marketers, you don't want to enter New Year with the same problems. And we are here to help.
Over the last decade, B2B lead generation strategies have witnessed a paradigm shift from being company-centric to consumer-centric, customer information to customer intelligence, and finding a customer to being found. Marketers too, need to devise new B2B lead generation strategies to stay relevant. Given the changing landscape of B2B lead generation, it pays to stay agile.
It's 2020 and the buying process has changed. Consumers are no longer stuck with limited buying options at their neighborhood retail stores. They spend a lot of time investigating their next buy on the internet with multiple options available. The goal is: to make them stick with your product. That goes as much for B2B as for B2C lead generation companies.
Thankfully, this is an era of Big Data. With new-age technologies, insightful consumer data can be made readily available, and the only task that now remains in our hands is to cleverly optimize the lead generation process. Let's dig into it right away:
Lead Generation Without Email Forms:
It's the modern marketers’ way. When it comes to scaling your lead generation, it should not matter where you find them. There are a dozen ways to generate quality leads - social media, paid search, SEO, and downloadable content to name a few. What's common between all those? Almost all of them redirect leads to fill up a subscription form.
Forms aren't the best customer experience. The best customer experience would be simple and interactive. Think of all the success of MailChimp and Slack have achieved, and it isn't because they were good at generating leads, but because they offered a free, simple, and interactive experience, even before the customer was thinking to make the purchase. Therefore, offering a free tool or a free trial is an ideal way to generated quality leads without having to put out email forms.
It is futile to think that customers’ journeys will always begin on your website.
Content syndication is when your web-content is published by a third-party website. It involves all types of digital content like articles, whitepapers, e-books, guides, videos, and infographics. It is a win-win: the third-party receives free relevant content, while you get a broader audience reach. Content syndication is the barter system in B2B lead generation, where most of the content syndicators drop leads on your website.
Lead Nurturing (MOFU):
Today's consumer is intelligent, difficult to break, and the customer buying cycle is more complex. A direct sales pitch is annoying and often leads to the loss of a prospect, a good enough reason for marketers to focus more on the middle of the marketing funnel or lead nurturing.
It's not just about finding a quality lead but also about targeting the lead at the right time. Marketers should spend a considerable amount of time nurturing leads and building brand awareness and value, while the customer is at the self-educating stage. Lead nurturing is known to have a substantially positive impact on increased conversion rates, cut-short the sales cycle, and a boosted revenue.
Interviewing Specialists and Partners:
Companies, especially small businesses, use content as one of their main lead generation strategies. And it is a proven way to generate leads, as each time a blog goes on the internet, there is a possibility that a prospect might be reading it.
But it makes a great deal of difference to have a fresh perspective from the industry experts. Instead of hogging the audience with just another blog, insights from C-level industry experts might work in bringing greater website traffic.
Videos for Engagement and Embedding Forms in Videos:
YouTube is the second most popular search engine, and that you may use that to your advantage. Blogs and articles are good, but videos have emerged as the most engaging content formats. Instead of gating your entire content library, a few video guides or info videos can be created out of them to attract organic traffic. An optional lead generation form can be embedded into these videos.
Zaius, for example, created a few videos for its Marketing unboxed series where it has embedded a non-obligatory lead generation form, which appears if the cursor is moved over the video. Altogether, this is a subtle approach to make a sales pitch and still drive some serious results.
Using Direct Mails:
Using direct mails may not make sense to many B2B marketers but it is recommended especially for small businesses who are working on a small and well-defined target audience. A well-defined and personalized offer through direct mails will work wonders for small business B2B marketers.
Direct mails can also be a viable option for marketers who have exhausted their email list or for those who are working with email lists of their vendors or partners. Though emails have a bigger advantage of economies of scale over direct mail, such businesses should plan to use hard-hitting, personalized direct mails as their lead generation strategy after carefully scrutinizing the variables costs and success of direct mail.
Tracking Social Mentions:
And we're not talking just about replying to tags, mentions, and comments on your social channels, but also tracking your competitors. Tracking social mentions of your competitors is a gold mine for valuable insights and also for a prospective lead. One can find how different competitors are cooking their marketing strategy and also gain from their disgruntled customers.
For instance, a social media user enquires about "Who's better: Salesforce or NetSuite?" Such users instantly become a potential lead for marketers. There are dozens of social media monitoring tools that can be used to scale your lead generation process.
We hope you found these techniques for B2B lead generation, insightful. Now, it is time for you to apply these clever techniques to successfully skyrocket your lead generation in 2020.