So what is the biggest challenge in B2B marketing? It sure has nothing to do with which color tie you wear in a presentation. It’s all in a word: Leads
A lead is where it all begins, so the very obvious question a B2B marketer must ask is “Where and How do I get those leads?” But if you type in Google: “how to get B2B leads.” You’ll get all the weird lies that you could imagine. So let’s not get down into the same drain of things, and get into some really working ideas so that you start generating leads regardless of the industry you belong.
Following was the graph obtained from HubSpot:
A lot of the leads are expectedly coming from PPC, social media advertising, etc. but the fact that is most baffling is the blue bar on rightmost corner stating “other”- that means even HubSpot cannot tell us where most of the B2B leads come from. The most important thing that can be incurred from this graph is that getting “leads” has to do a lot with the lifestyle of constant marketing efforts, cultivating industry relationships, and the mash up of all kinds interactions, activities, behaviours and efforts. So rather than focusing on any one channel, understand that B2B lead generation is a composite of unquantifiable activities and behaviours that just work.
The Digital revolution in the B2B industry
It has introduced a flood of techniques, the decline of old ones and a reorganization of all techniques, but the goal remains the same- conversions. Now summing up all the strategies and coming to the point of how to generate leads, we’ll sum it up all:
1. Using social media strategically
Before we push through the strategies, we need to have a look at some of warnings before hand:
- Don’t expect mere a social media presence to be a source of leads. Though your presence is important but not always effective. Sometimes it’s just not enough to tweet daily or have a page on LinkedIn.
- You should not dismiss social media channels as a source of leads. Many articles online claim that social media is a holy grail for generating leads, but don’t go that far. You should not neglect it that far. It is a very good channel to communicate to clients.
Twitter has proved to be ineffective
A Forbes Article from 2013 made tall claims that Twitter was provenly effective than Facebook and LinkedIn and generated much more leads for business to business models. Though, we don’t say that it is not true but the claim was not based on much proof.
Then, another company, InsideSales.com wrote in their study that social media was low-effective but high in usage in their lead generation technique quadrant:
The reason behind the failure of social media channels proving to be effective for B2B firms is the fault of marketers because they have been doing it all wrong.
How Social Media Can Work to Generate Leads
To harness the full power of social media channels:
- Let Visitors from Social Media visit your website: Make it easy for them to visit your website from the your social media page. Provide multiple links to the website, ideally to your landing pages where they signups with their emails and contact details willingly.
- Let them sign-up for newsletters: a great way to generate leads is to let people directly sign-up for newsletters through your social media channel.
- Use CTAs: Do not hesitate in providing proper CTAs for visitors to click on. Invite feedbacks, links to landing pages, suggest next steps etc.
LinkedIn Is Effective
LinkedIn ranks consistently the highest among the social media platforms for its B2B lead generation value. It is the biggest and brawniest in terms of numbers of professionals, and large percentage of decision makers. Tips:
- Get on the platform and be active. Get connected with your colleagues and other industry professionals.
- LinkedIn has a huge network of groups that you can join. You can easily find groups that contains professionals who are likely to become your leads.
- There are numerous groups on LinkedIn where endless conversations involving decision makers, being active in these conversations means making your stronger marketing presence among people who matter.
- You can ask for help from people who are qualified in your industry and can help you with your project, point you in the right direction, or recommend a solution to a problem.
- You can also use the paid LinkedIn lead collection tool. This tool allows users who come across your company page to request the contact details. These leads are generally genuine warm leads.
2. Use Content Marketing
Using content marketing can always bring in genuine and warm leads. It is the type of marketing that is used by most of the informed users.
Content Marketing has grown for B2Bs. According to a study conducted by Content Marketing and Marketingprofs, 91% of B2B respondents use content marketing for making a buying decision.
What you should do with content marketing
Since content marketing is a vast field, there are numerous ways to generate leads through content marketing:
- Host a Webinar: Webinars aren’t a method of selling something but are a way to inform your audience about something they are interested in and that is supplied by you. So find a topic that appeals to your industry segment and plan webinars on topics regularly.
- Utilize Research reports: Research reports are not only a way to gain and supply facts but they also give a great way to invite a flood of connections from interested leads.
- Videos: Videos have a huge potential to go viral in no time if they rightly targeted and appeal your audience.
- Blogs: Blogs are also a great way to feed information to your audience who were already searching for the right content on the web to solve their problem. If you do it rightly, then people will come to your site for the particular segment of information they want. For example, healthcare websites can regularly supply health related information.