7 B2B Lead Generation Hacks in 2018

 

 

Wasted marketing budgets on useless campaigns & missed opportunities?

Low marketing to sales lead conversions?

A poor alliance between Sales and Marketing teams?

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? We would bet YES because all these are too common for businesses. The lead generation process in its present state is broken. Today millions of companies are crowding the B2B universe, competing for the same share of the business. While many strategies have changed over the years, marketing goals have stayed the same - more leads, more sales & more ROI

Quality leads are the livelihood of every business, whether online or offline. As new companies are joining the space, existing companies face a variety of challenges & find it increasingly difficult to generate new leads.

Luckily, the majority of these challenges can be overcome by simply putting the right strategies in place, tweaking and customizing them based on what’s working and what’s not.

 

Here are 7 of the best strategies for B2B marketing in 2018.

Know What Your Customers Want (Before They Do)

 

Know What Your Customers Want (Before They Do)

 

Until recently, a big section of the buyer’s journey was invisible to marketers. While we could measure and see what our prospects do when they come to our websites, we were not much aware of their behaviour outside the website.

Customers today have grown to expect a lot more from brands than simply being offered the ability to make a purchase from them. They are looking for superior products, better engagement and faster services.

Google data shows that a B2B buyer performs an average of 12 searches before they visit a company’s website. Unfortunately, this means that a major part of a buyer’s research and their decision-making process happens well before they even visit the site.

Given this reality, as marketers, we can no longer market to consumers based on “our timeline and strategies”. Instead, we must foresee their needs, expectations and deliver a flawless customer journey. In short, we need to listen to our customer and learn what they care about before we engage with them. Intent-based inbound marketing uses data to gain insight into the purchase behaviour of prospects and their interests, to create personalized buyer journeys.

The AI-powered intent signal data is important to give marketers specific, accurate information. With this information, we can understand B2B behaviour across the internet and go beyond the website data.

 

Build customer loyalty through personalisation 

Remember the time when Bill Gates said, “Content is king”?  Now, personalization is the new stronger and taller king.

From Amazon’s recommended purchases to Netflix’s what to watch next queue, to your name on a Starbucks coffee cup. These days everyone experiences it all around them. In the fast digital age, we can get so focused on winning the deal of a company that we forget Michelle from marketing is the individual who will initially start the buying process. She will always want to be directed to her goal straightway and without any complication.  A website with proper content will help to make the user feel appreciated while smoothing the path to conversion.

Content personalization needs to occur “naturally” during the creation process. As you plan your content and marketing strategies, you should outline content pieces for different personas in your channel and various stages of the buyer’s journey.

But how can you serve personalized content to each and every visitor that comes your way?  

The answer lies in technology and data. Today, there are many software-as-a-service solutions available that allow you to display different versions of your website to different users based on a number of factors, such as their location, ads they have clicked on, social channels they have come from, keywords they have searched for, browsing history, whether they have visited your website before, the device they are using, and so on. Having a successful personalized marketing strategy in place can be the greatest asset your business has to offer.

Our advice??  Keep tweaking and playing with your content until you have something that you are satisfied with and works to boost conversions.

 

Unlock the potential of B2B email marketing 

Despite constant efforts to rip it down as an “old technology” for lead generation, email remains highly active.

Lead generation via email provides a level of automation that takes out a lot of the workload. That being said, email is also one of the trickier marketing channels to master.  The issue is that not every business knows how to use email to its fullest potential in lead generation.

Successful email marketing is mainly dependent on how efficiently you draft your message. Strategizing a right email campaign may be the quickest and most economical way to drive leads. Your email needs to capture attention, provide quality information, prompt interest, have an effective call-to-action and also look good.

Good email content deepens your relationship with your customers through effective subject line writing (which get your messages opened); your unique voice (which gets your messages read); and delivering quality, a niche-specific message which your prospect needs and can share with their contacts.

After sending the emails, you can keep an eye on the reports of who opens and clicks the campaign.

Remember, the difference between Selling and Helping is just two letters. So before planning or sending any email campaigns, ask if you are annoying the recipient or helping them. 

 

Branch out to new social channels

There is no secret that social media has invaded every portion of our lives and transformed the marketing landscape forever. Despite this fact, many B2B marketers remain sceptical about social media’s effectiveness as a lead generation tool. As it is an essential part of the sales conversions funnel.

Most B2B brands are familiar with the renowned three social media platforms and they are 

  • Twitter 
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

While considering over half of the B2B buyer's search for products/ vendor information on social media, it’s a smart move to make use of the channels that they’re using.

As LinkedIn still leads the number one position for lead generation channel for the B2B marketplace but it’s not necessarily the leading channel for buyers. There are other social media channels as well that you might be looking for to spruce up your 2018 campaigns.

Instagram  Earlier it was predominantly B2C channel but now it has actually turn into one of the best places for B2B brands to promote. It has more than 400 million active users. And that’s a great source to keep your clientele up-to-date about company products, promoting your brand, and to know what your audience is interested in.

 

Build High Converting Landing Pages

 

Build High Converting Landing Pages

 

Landing pages are the major force in determining how successful your marketing strategy is and are basically your lead capture machine. If you intend to capture leads, you should have proper landing pages with a form that stands out and you need to ensure that visitors fill out that form.

Converting visitors into leads becomes easier if you give before ask.This is where lead magnets can be of great help. A lead magnet is a highly valuable incentive that you give to the visitors in exchange for their email address. When you offer something extremely valuable, visitors cannot resist giving their email address.

You can use anything as a lead magnet such as:

  • Ebook
  • Webinar
  • Case studies
  • Checklists
  • Guide
  • Free trial

Use a dedicated campaign-specific landing page planned for each email, pay-per-click or social media campaign that you run. This makes the process easier for the visitor and makes it more possible that they will complete your form and convert into leads. Once your lead magnets, landing pages, and marketing campaigns are set in place, you need to optimize your pages for conversion. Use A/B testing to see what types of landing pages work better.

A landing page has the potential to make or break your entire marketing campaign. Even if any of your campaigns are not doing well, a killer landing page can still help you capture leads. It might be difficult to create and test the pages, but you will never regret investing resources in landing pages.

 

Encourage word-of-mouth recommendations

 

Encourage word-of-mouth recommendations

 

People are very much familiar with the term Word-of-mouth. It is the oldest form of marketing that also ends up being the most effective one. When something good happens to someone, they naturally want to share it with other people. The more they share the more exposure a brand or company gets, improving their incoming traffic and enhancing opportunities for new leads.

Customer reviews have also grown into a digital marketing priority for some brands because of their ability to create feedback loops that produce better offerings and happier customers.79% of people trust testimonials and online reviews as much as individual recommendations. There is a reason they call it social proof after all.

If you could create a referral channel, you will definitely have a constant process of driving new leads through your existing customer base. The best part is you can evaluate this flow like you measure other sales channels.

Few Tips For B2B Referrals and Word-of-Mouth Leads

 

Understand what makes customers refer in the first place. 

Have open conversations with your customers. It’s ok to tell them that you would like them to refer you, but you have to earn it. Ask them if they have ever recommended any service/product before and under what circumstances? Find out what some of their favourite products/services are and what makes the customers refer them. This dialogue can warm customers up to the idea of referring you, while also giving you great insight into what other companies are doing which is working for them.

 

Turn referrals into a two-way street

A referral for you is a lead, but a referral for your customer can be networking opportunity. Ask your customers if they are interested in being referred to other customers in the community. Recommend them as an expert and connect them with others who are looking to meet each other. By making referrals bi-directional, it’s a lot easier to ask a customer to reciprocate.

 

Ask nicely

Don’t make it all about the incentive or reward always. Explain to your existing customers how referrals help your business and show that you respect their contacts and relationships. A B2B customer will rarely refer you to their contacts for a $100 gift card or 3 months discount on the product/service. Relationships are far more important than that. If you ask honestly and genuinely, you may find that customers are there for you.

Word of mouth can be a great way to make new customers aware of your business, but you will still need a good online reputation to engage those word-of-mouth referrals and turn them into a customer.

 

Bring back your potential customers with retargeting

Retargeting is a way to build awareness for your brand and drive clicks to your website. It is generally considered as a B2C tactic, where a banner ad for the site on Facebook, and Instagram, and even at the top of your email inbox - that damn red dress seem to be following you everywhere!                    

However, retargeting should not only be relegated to consumer goods. B2B companies can use retargeting to generate quality leads, increase ROI, and recapture lost leads.

If you have strong site traffic but are not seeing the conversion rates you would like, retargeting can help. Visitors to your website are your most valuable audience, but most of the time, we don’t do enough to encourage conversions because we are too focused on driving initial traffic. More often, people don’t fill out a lead form on their first visit. But that doesn’t mean they are not interested, it just means they’re not ready. By serving display ads to this highly qualified audience, you keep your brand top of mind and create added opportunities for conversions.

Not only retargeting can help to create initial leads, it can help you convert existing leads into customers. Once someone fills out a lead form, they are probably still at the beginning of the purchase process.   In the B2B space, this process involves significant research and comparison which is mostly done online. Retargeting can also help you stay top of mind during that process, and convert existing leads into happy customers.

Retargeting can be a valuable channel for bringing in the right kind of leads. If you have not tried it yet, it’s time to get started.

 

Conclusion

Lead generation plays a very important role in every business’s marketing strategy. Prioritizing the different elements of your marketing strategy is vital so that the foundation is in place for you to build an efficient and effective approach around. A healthy relationship between your sales and marketing teams can make lead generation go much smoother and can also increase the revenue of your company.

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