B2B Lead Generation Process in Digital Marketing – A Beginner’s Guide
Every business recognizes the need to maintain a continuous stream of incoming leads. Without customers pouring in money to purchase your product and services or solid brand recognition, it’s hard to say if your business will see the light of day.
Lead generation can be a long and tedious process if you don’t know what you are doing and may result in wasted time, energy and money when lacking an effective strategy. The good news is, lead generation in digital marketing is helping businesses all around the world to expand their outreach. You too, can benefit from this new trend that is being followed by every smart entrepreneur.
It is not that hard if you just use some simple but best lead generation tools and follow these tried and tested strategies to position your brand in the market.
What is Lead Generation?
When taking lessons in lead generation, you can’t skip understanding what the term ‘lead’ actually means. A lead is a potential customer who himself/herself showed interest in what your business has got to offer.
Lead generation means creating a situation where a lead interacts with your ad or content piece that you put online. This is where he/she learns about your business and its offerings and becomes a potential customer.
When that customer is a company in itself, the whole process becomes a B2B lead generation process.
Why is Online Lead Generation Important?
An established marketing website, Hubspot, recently published a report highlighting the fact that more than 63% of marketers perceive the establishment of steady lead generation as a primary challenge. We already know how important it is for your business as, without leads, there will be no customers and hence no profit.
More importantly, the lead generation also results in brand recognition among the masses. It enables your business to rise above anonymity and be recognized as an organization that can be trusted and expected to deliver excellent customer service.
During the coronavirus pandemic, online lead generation has gained new significance since the world is locked in their homes, and businesses who are not able to adapt to this latest shift in operations are struggling to stay afloat. In a world where social contact is being strictly avoided, practicing traditional offline lead generation methods will prove to be a huge mistake.
Additionally, people are surfing the internet more than ever owing to all the extra time they now have due to work from the home provision and making purchases with the money that’s being saved from decreased social activity and cut down of commutation.
It is the perfect opportunity for businesses to not only adapt to the changing needs of the world but also leverage the opportunity to grow their business by multiple folds.
How to Generate Leads via Content Marketing?
The backbone of B2B lead generation is quality content that provides value to the users. As suggested by a report, 88% of marketers use content marketing for B2B lead generation. Good quality and valuable content position your business as a leading expert in your domain that is trusted by its users. It creates a natural environment for interaction with prospects and eases them into moving along the funnel.
It is one of the most efficacious ways to establish yourself as a thought leader and make your business a reliable brand only if it is done right. First, list out all the non-competing websites and blogs that cater to the audience that is a good fit for your business, generate good traffic, and accept guest blogs.
Then pitch exciting and relevant topics to the editor or the owner of the blog. Be sure to include a great headline as it boosts the traffic to a blog by 500%.
If you receive a favorable response, write an interesting blog that provides valuable information to the reader, and publishes it. Steer yourself clear from self-praises as they are a major turn-off for the readers, and no-one wants to read a self-serving post.
Creating a Lead Magnet-
Another effective method to attract quality B2B leads is to create lead magnets. These can be information providing content pieces like eBooks, research paper, whitepaper, PDF, webinar, online tutorial, podcast, etc. These content pieces don’t talk about your business directly but provide valuable information to the visitors that can be viewed, gated, or downloaded in exchange for essential personal information like contact info.
Lead magnets contain more information than what is readily available on your website and will be relevant for your potential customers. The value of the information provided is directly proportionate to the number of times it is downloaded or passed.
Everyone likes to read content that caters to their specific needs. You can enhance the prospects of your website by creating separate content like landing pages, emails, lead magnets, etc. for different categories of end-users.
You will be creating a prospect of sales outreach by speaking directly to the varying needs of different people.
Quora has a monthly reach of 100 million + people who visit the website for posting questions and answers. This is a great platform for you to establish yourself as a subject matter expert in your domain.
If you just use the platform for self-promotion and drop your business name and contact information under every relevant question, you’ll reach nowhere and only end up annoying people. To actually generate some quality leads, you need to put in some effort.
Use the platform to open lines of communication with people by helping them out with their queries or problems related to a certain niche. The best way to establish engagement is by adding value, and Quora is filled with people looking for answers. Leverage the law of reciprocity by positioning yourself as an expert by actually resolving queries and watch people automatically come to you.
YouTube and Vimeo:
Tens and millions of visitors find themselves spending hours on video streaming websites like YouTube and Vimeo. Leverage this high traffic by uploading free “how-to” tutorials or valuable content related to your niche.
YouTube is not just an entertainment platform but also the second most popular search engine frequented by visitors looking for answers. If you can provide them with the solutions they are looking for and add links to the landing page of your website in the bio, then you have got yourself a new lead.
Visual and auditory content is more attractive than reading blogs. In fact, according to a report, 90% of consumers state that watching videos facilitate their buying decisions, and 64% of customers state that watching a video makes them more likely o make a purchase.
Including a video on the landing page of your website increases the conversion rate by 86%. Hence, video marketing should be an essential part of your lead generation strategy.
Also Read: Tips for Video SEO
How to Generate Leads via Paid Marketing:
Do you know why SEO is so popular? Because it’s free! It takes a consistent effort to derive organic traffic, but once its flow is set, you will find yourself with new leads coming in without putting in any extra penny.
Although, you need to be aware of what you intend to do and how or it can become a frustratingly long process. It can be alternated by paid marketing, which is quicker when it comes to results, but it requires great vigilance. You can exhaust the marketing budget of a month within a few hours and still reach nowhere if you don’t know who to target and how.
It is advisable to hire an expert to run your paid marketing campaigns if you want them to be effective. Here are a few ways of deriving leads with paid advertisements.
Facebook is famous for collecting data on every single person who has an account on the platform and providing the same to advertisers. It is viewed as one of the most powerful platforms to run paid advertisements due to its data that enable the advertisers to run extremely focused ads.
Facebook Ads, a great Facebook lead generation tool, can isolate and target a very specific demographic that is most likely to convert. For example, you can target 16-year-old teenage girls living in Delhi who love Taylor Swift and frequently go to Subway and prefer the romantic comedy genre.
With ad retargeting and well-designed Facebook Ad campaigns, your business will see a great influx of new leads in no time.
B2B lead generation will work best on a site like LinkedIn, which is known for facilitating professional engagements. Nonetheless, there is a drawback to the use of this platform for small and medium-sized enterprises. The potential of LinkedIn Ads is realized by many, which has resulted in overcrowding in the case of certain keywords.
This has toughened the competition by multiple folds and, in turn, increased the cost of marketing on this platform. In 2017, the average cost-per-click on Linkedin was recorded to be $$6.50 that was far greater than the $2.69 for Google Adwords.
This implies that you need to run completely optimized campaigns that are dialed in and meet your budgets effectively.
Google AdWords is the first PPC (pay-per-click) network, which paved the way for other networks. To effectively employ Google AdWords for your paid marketing campaigns, you are required to optimize some essential aspects of your online presence, including:
- Landing pages
- Targeted keywords
Here too, you need to be sure of what you are doing; otherwise, your ROI will be far less than your expectations, and your monthly budget will significantly shoot up. It is advisable to hire an AdWords expert or take proper lessons before setting up your advertisement campaign.
Affiliate marketing is when you incentivize another website or entity to promote your product or service in lieu of commission that they’ll receive
after the completion of conversion or sale. You set the amount and terms of commission, and if your offer is good, then other websites that are relevant to your niche will allow you to run your text and create banners on their websites.
When a visitor of the said website click on the link to your website and buys a product or service, then that transaction will be recorded, and you’ll owe the owner of the website a commission for that sale.
How to Generate Leads using Social Media:
Social Media platforms are being used by businesses around the globe to generate new leads with minimal expenditure. A strong social media presence, a faithful following, and an engaging audience are some foundational stones of Social Media marketing.
You can create groups on Facebook or become a member of existing groups that comprises of your target audience. In the case of your own groups, you can run paid ads or generate gated content to attract new members to join the conversion.
For this to truly work, you need to post engaging and interesting content regularly to keep the members interested and increase your popularity.
Twitter is another platform that businesses use to position themselves as subject matter experts in their particular niche. You can leverage the platform to post valuable opinions and information on a regular basis and engage with other thought leaders in your domain to establish the presence of your business.
Steer clear of direct marketing messages as they can result in the loss of followers. There are multiple tools that can be employed to pre-schedule your posts to maintain consistency.
LinkedIn is all about professional connections and engagement. It is one of the best B2B lead generation platforms that encourage interactions on a professional level. For other social media channels, you need a proper strategy to start seeing the conversion of new leads.
However, LinkedIn promotes itself as a place that facilitates community interaction, making new connections, and establishing yourself as a subject matter expert. Here, businesses are provided with the opportunity to help others and allow them to acknowledge your presence.
Word of advice, if you immediately start advertising your business or service after connecting with someone, then be prepared to be ignored.
Instagram and Pinterest:
If your domain is heavily dependent on a visual exhibition of your work or ideas, then Instagram and Pinterest are your go-to places to find new leads. These platforms are heavily frequented by visitors. In fact, Instagram is visited by 1 billion users every month.
Maintain regular posting of the work you have already completed or use software to create a visual representation of your ideas to attract businesses who are looking for reliable organizations with a proven track record.
A feature offered by Google Adwords that has been observed to bring a dramatic increase in attracting and converting leads is ad remarketing. This feature enables you to remarket your business to your website visitors who visited your website but weren’t converted.
When a visitor comes to your website, a “cookie” (a small code) is automatically positioned in their browser, which works as an internet tracking device. It enables remarketing by showing your ad again to the visitor whenever they open a website with Google Adsense. The repeated flashing of your ad is bound to make them register your service or product in their brain unconsciously and hence, convert them eventually.
A similar tool is offered by Facebook by the name Facebook Pixel that works parallel to Facebook Custom Audience to target only those groups which are similar to your customer persona.
Also Read:How Can Social Media be Used as a Lead Generation Channel
Social Media Influencers:
The persuasive power of social media influencers is known to all. They have a list of diligent followers who consumes their content regularly and look up to them for various aspects. A buy recommendation from them is usually taken seriously by their audience and results in boosted sales graph.
How to Generate Leads via Email Marketing
Email marketing has the potential of being the core channel for lead generation if you can be creative and focused. The success of your email marketing campaign is heavily dependent on your target audience and the employment of the best methods to keep them engaged.
Also, you need to make sure that your email blasts are complying with all your local regulations to avoid any spam violations.
Send Cold Emails:
Cold emailing is being used as an effective measure to generate new leads since the very beginning of digitization. However, not every email is opened or results in conversion. In fact, for every single conversion, there are 100 or more unanswered or deleted emails.
You need to be creative with the subject lines and the content to be able to reap a good response rate from a cold email campaign and avoid being a regular member of the spam folder.
Send Old blog posts to new prospects:
Save on your valuable time by repurposing your already posted content. Send out links to an existing blog in the email or link it in your newsletter that goes out every week to your subscribers. If the blog contains valuable information and is interesting, then you can also run paid ads to it. You can also send out links to PDFs or eBooks in your emails for your readers.
Repurposing is a good idea until you don’t publish someone else’s content on your website as it can be penalized under copyright protection laws and will be considered duplicate by Google.
Also Read: Best Duplicate Content Checker Tools
Compile FAQ Email:
It is common for businesses to run short of ideas for blogs or email campaigns. However, there is a solution to this problem. You can never go wrong with satisfying the queries of your existing customers while providing answers to probable questions that may arise in the minds of your potential customers.
Compile a list of frequently asked questions by digging into the emails received from your clientele and compose an email with detailed answers to those questions. This will not only result in sending out a useful piece of content but also decrease your time spent in resolving the problems of your customers.
How Referrals can help you get more leads
Referrals are one of the most common means of generating the lead. How many times must you have urged your friend to install an app with your referral to gain some extra credit or benefits? You can offer the same to your customers and incentivize them to refer your products or service.
These referrals can provide monetary or service-based benefits to both the referral and the referee. You can announce a new referral campaign via a newsletter sent to the emails of all your existing customers and entice them into bringing you more lead.
It is advisable to keep patience and maintain consistency to establish a continual stream of leads. It takes time, perseverance, hard work, dedication, innovation, and to some extent, luck to be able to gain momentum and see a significant conversion rate.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but it’ll be worth the effort.