You only have to type ‘Lead Gen’ into a search engine to find a myriad of articles on this subject..so it’s no wonder it can feel like a bit of a minefield. We’re here to help, so we’re going to break down our top 5 picks for effective B2B lead generation to give you some clarity.
Businesses of all sizes have at least 2 things in common – keeping existing customers happy and finding and converting new customers. Acquiring new customers can be an expensive and sometimes lengthy process; some industries benefit greatly from word of mouth referrals, but if yours isn’t one of them, or if you’re keen to learn about more ways to get leads flowing into your business, then here are some of the best lead generation tactics you can employ to keep your pipeline looking healthy.
You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘Content is King’ many, many times – and for good reason. In its simplest form, the purpose of content marketing is to provide something of value to your target customer in order to entice them to provide their contact details. These details are collected through a gated form on your website or landing page, or via a chatbot. Then you can contact them for a follow-up, which will hopefully mean this person becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and eventually a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).
The most common types of content are a blog or guide, an e-book, a video, a whitepaper or even a webinar. All of these types of content should contain information that is helpful or beneficial to your target customer (ICP/ICA) and demonstrate the value that your service or product provides. Although these types of content can be fairly ‘salesy’ in their approach, it’s best to leave any sales pitch until the end and focus on delivering relevant and accurate information throughout to build trust and be seen as an expert or authority on the topic at hand. This way prospects will see contacting you for advice or to ask questions as a no-brainer!
Content marketing can be very influential when done well but the trade-off is that it requires plenty of time and effort to create great content, as well as money if you outsource content creation. If you plan to use content marketing in your business then you’ll need to set aside time to create and plan out a strategy for what content you plan to distribute via which channels and when. Your strategy can be as simple as a timely webinar promoted on social media or via email, or as complicated as a series of pieces of connected content as part of a cross channel campaign including marketing automation. Read more about how to increase lead generation through content marketing.
Social Media Marketing
Such is life now that we’ve probably all seen plenty of social media adverts, even if we haven’t created one. Social media marketing is getting more intelligent almost by the week, with some ad types appearing so subtly most of us wouldn’t even notice it’s a promoted or paid post, making this a powerful medium.
Most platforms now offer multiple post types or ad creative options giving you great flexibility depending on what you are promoting. Video content has become wildly popular, even in B2B markets.
How can posting on social channels get you leads? Let’s be clear, social media marketing isn’t right for every B2B business, nor is every channel a good fit for your product, service or target market. Marketing campaigns on social can be broadly separated into 2 categories – brand awareness and lead generation. Brand awareness is more straightforward but it can be really challenging to tell if your campaigns are delivering ROI. By promoting posts or running ads on social channels that lead to landing pages or content gated with a form, you can collect lead data to follow up as well as having clarity on what’s working, allowing you to optimise your ads and/or your landing page copy/content to suit each campaign.
Should you try it? If your top competitors are all over social then there’s a good chance it’s worth a try but before you do, consider doing some research into whether your target customers are active and on which channels before you start creating social posts. The other thing to bear in mind with social media campaigns is the time and cost, as well as considering what media budget you might need to sustain a paid campaign.
PPC – Pay Per Click
Pay-Per-Click advertising is a whole other realm. It can be incredibly effective, but it can be easy to make expensive mistakes if you are a beginner. There are so many different strands to PPC that make up an effective campaign (Bidding strategy, Ad rank, Quality score etc), which is why businesses often outsource PPC to an agency that offers this as a specialist service. The benefit of that is that the creation of B2B campaigns and ad groups, as well as all the reporting and subsequent optimisations, can be handled centrally, but this also comes at a cost…both your media budget and then agency fees on top.
The beauty of PPC is that it can be extremely targeted, meaning that your lead quality should be good if you have got your target market and ad creative right. The downside of PPC is that some search terms or keywords can be very competitive, meaning that your cost per lead could be very high. You’ve also got to factor in that Google’s algorithm has a part to play as well…the best way to think of PPC is that it’s similar to the stock market!
Mining your existing customer database or CRM
Yes, your CRM is also a source of potential leads! Maybe your business is seasonal, maybe you’re adding a new product or service to your offering, maybe you have a special renewal offer for previous customers… there are all sorts of reasons why your existing customer database could be a very effective way to regenerate your pipeline. For a start, they are already familiar with you and have built up trust, which is fundamental in successful B2B lead gen campaigns.
Depending on your business’s age and vertical or niche, you may have some very old data in your CRM. People also move around in jobs and careers far more now, especially during and after a global pandemic. All this means is that your data might not be in the best shape for using for a re-engagement campaign. All is not lost though.
Cleansing and checking data is our forte and our friendly and expert team can work with you to get your data in tip-top condition and ready for use. We check for accuracy, compliance and make sure that your data is complete. This means that you can be sure you’re starting off any campaign with the healthiest baseline. Once your data is sparkling clean you can confidently use it for all sorts of campaigns including direct mail, social, digital retargeting, email…you name it, your data is fit and ready for it. Check out our FREE eBook ‘Clean up your Data’ for more information.
Every B2B sales and marketing professionals dream is to be able to get direct access to the decision-maker, and with data acquisition, you can do just that. But not all data available to buy is created equal. Our unique ‘Megabase’ database is a multi-sourced database of UK Business and offers maximum coverage of your target market by combining the data from the five top UK sources. Our data sources also undergo 40 quality checks to ensure only the best data is made available to you.
We can provide you with lists of names and addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers, or a combined list of integrated B2B lead data for use with your campaigns. We also offer a DataPro Plus package that can expand your database with leads that are a similar profile match to your existing customers. Wondering how to put together the ideal list for your next campaign? Download our free B2B marketing list data planner.
Acquiring data in this way saves you time and offers you an assurance of quality, which you can’t always get through other B2B lead gen activities.
Which B2B lead gen activity will you choose?
As you’ve hopefully realised through this blog, not all leads are created equal, so it’s important to choose your B2B lead gen strategy wisely, to make the most of your time and budget but also lead quality to keep churn rate low. For more help and advice planning your next B2B lead gen campaign get in touch with us.