According to HubSpot, 63% of marketers see lead generation as their most pressing challenge. So, I have decided to help you out by sharing my top 10 best strategies for generating high quality B2B leads this year.
1. Using a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is content given away to someone in exchange for their contact information, primarily their email address.
So, how do you create a lead magnet that will successfully generate leads?
Know Your Target Persona
Lead magnets can come in a variety of shapes and forms, but what they all have in common is that they provide high actual and perceived value to your target persona. Therefore, you need to start there - defining your target, the ideal person you'd like to have sign up for your email list.
Address a Need
A good lead magnet - whether it is a checklist, a white paper, or an eBook - provides your persona with answers and insight on a problem they are trying to solve, an answer they are seeking or a goal they want met.
Present It Beautifully
Once you have your written content, pay attention to how it is presented visually. In fact, when given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.
Promote Promote Promote
It is crucial to continually promote your lead magnet across your awareness channels to ensure its success. This includes social media, your blog, and throughout your website.
2. Native Advertising
Native advertising refers to paid online material that is “in-feed” and non-disruptive, resembling editorial content but intended to promote an advertiser’s product/service. Essentially, native advertising blurs the line between advertising and content. This type of advertising has gained popularity with content marketers because it builds prospects' trust of a company better than traditional display ads.
Examples of native advertising include promoted Twitter posts, suggested posts on Facebook, and recommendations from content discovery platforms. In 2017, rather unsurprisingly, native advertising is focused in social media and video content, driven largely by user-generated content elements. According to Business Insider (BI), native ads are predicted to drive 74% of all advertising revenue by 2021!
3. Video Marketing
Video marketing is a powerful tool for storytelling and educating. It helps to share short, but informative content with your specific target audience. The right video can get executives, salespeople, and managers to share it with their teams.
Here are some tips for using video to boost your lead generation.
· Grab Attention Early - The secret to using video for lead generation is to grab the attention of your audience early, at least within the first 10 seconds or less.
· Add a Lead Generation Form – Often referred to as a turnstile, this form placed directly in your video is how you capture your viewers contact information.
· Use Video in a Content Sequence - C-Level executives prefer videos that are supported with other content. You can add the video to your email, newsletter, white paper, and landing pages.
3. Facebook Advertising
It’s not just you and your page – organic reach on Facebook is falling. In fact, new research by BuzzSumo, the average number of engagements with Facebook posts created by brands and publishers had fallen by more than 20% in the last year.
What does this mean for brands?
If you want to reach your audience on social you are going to have to pay for it. But when done right, the targeting available on Facebook will you get your message in front of highly qualified B2B leads.
Facebook Targeting for B2B
- Facebook custom audiences: This feature enables you to connect on Facebook with your existing contacts or visitors to your site. This means you’re not just targeting anyone on Facebook, you’re targeting users who have already taken an interest in your product or service.
- Lookalike audiences: You can also use that list you uploaded to create a lookalike audience comprised of users similar to your current contacts.
- Layer targeting: You are not limited to one type of targeting. You can mix and match to create the best strategy.
If you are not yet set up with a Business Manager or Ad account on Facebook this tutorial will help you out: How Do I Set Up My Facebook Business Manager Account?
5. LinkedIn Advertising
Targeting decision-makers at companies has never been easier than it is with LinkedIn because the purpose of the platform is to tell people what you do and where you do it. In fact, nearly two-thirds of marketers favor LinkedIn for its level of customer engagement.
Creating an audience through LinkedIn involves four basic elements:
- Select a geographic location
- Select a target industry
- Select specific job titles
- Select “Groups” that your ideal audience could be a part of
When it comes to building your B2B audience on LinkedIn, stay true to those target personas! This can mean ignoring the cookie-cutter job titles LinkedIn provides and taking the time to enter the hyper-relevant job titles that fit your decision-makers.
6. Facebook Groups
Remember how I said organic reach on Facebook is dying, well there is another way besides paid ads to leverage this channel – Facebook groups. At the core these groups are communities, but they can also be used to market your business and generate leads – if done tactfully.
Here are 4 ways you can use Facebook Groups for Lead Generation.
1. Join Facebooks Groups relevant to your business. From my experience, it’s better to join a community of lesser but more concentrated number of engaged members.
2. Comment on other people’s posts. Likes are meaningless, comments take effort.
3. Bookmark the best stuff you found on the web and dispense it together with your content. No one likes a spammer, especially one who only shares their own content.
4. Start your own Facebook group around a topic relevant to the persona you're going after. Use it to start conversations, share interesting content, and create your own loyal following.
For B2B marketing, Quora can be the perfect channel to leverage your team’s expertise and offer their knowledge to solve your target’s concerns and problems.
Here are some tips on how to best utilize Quora for lead generation.
· Create a Great Profile - Your profile should be exhaustive enough to offer ample information about you and your expertise.
· Engage Authoritatively - Follow topics related your niche. Participate in those topics actively by offering insightful answers and asking intriguing questions. Always aim to write longer and more detailed answers and cite your claims – whether the links from other sources or your own website.
· Engage with Followers/Viewers – Quora allows you to see how many people viewed your answer and the profile of users who are following the question. This enables you to reach out to each follower and engage with them to discuss potential business opportunities.
Reddit is one of the best social media sites for B2B marketing for the simple reason that the informed and savvy audience there has little patience for anything that does not add value to the community.
B2B Reddit marketing is an organic process that pays dividends over the long term. Don't bother with catchy, clickbait type of titles. They won't work. This is an intelligent community that won’t fall for it.
Here is how to use Reddit to generate leads for your B2B business.
· Become an Active Redditor - Reddit is a community-driven platform and folks here are sticklers for rules and etiquette, so make sure you follow posting guidelines.
· Add Content to Relevant Subreddits - Once you become an active Redditor consider adding content to relevant subreddits. "Subreddit Search" and "Content Search" are useful features that will help you seek out subreddits best suited for you.
· Comment on Others' Submissions within Subreddits - Like in Facebook groups, you need balance sharing your own information with commenting on others' submissions within relevant subreddits.
9. Customer Referrals
According to LinkedIn, 84% of B2B decision makers start the buying process off with a referral. This lead generation source is often overlooked by B2B marketing teams who consider current customer the responsibility of sales and client services teams. But a seamless referral experience for your B2B customers can create a new stream of high-quality leads.
Here are four tips for creating a robust referral engine.
1. Capitalize on Moments of Delight to Ask for Referrals - The times when your customers are happy are the perfect opportunities to request a referral. These moments generate a customer enthusiasm that is easy to harness.
2. Make it Clear What Kind of Prospects You’re Looking For - Often customers will gladly provide a referral, but are just unsure about the type of prospect you’d like to speak to. If there is a particular persona that you’d like to target, make sure your customers are aware of it.
3. Nurture Customers Toward Your Referral Program - The most effective referral programs nurture your customers on a continual basis so that they consistently provide new referrals.
4. Provide Customers with Feedback on Referral Progress - Your customers are vested in the referral process so keep them in the loop as their referrals progress throughout the purchasing process.
10. Influencer Marketing
Definitions vary considerably, but generally speaking, influencer marketing is the practice of communicating and collaborating with network-mobilized industry experts to supplement your marketing. It can involve everything from providing quotes periodically for blog posts to making regular arrangements for the influencers to attend events and have a hand in content creation.
B2B companies that invest in influencer relationships can reap benefits such as:
- Gaining expertise on subject matter their own marketing department may be lacking.
- Easing the content creating load on the company's members.
- Providing a credible voice to the content base that contributes from a non-marketing perspective.
- Increasing the reach of brand content to both clients and communities within the industry.
Finding the Right Formula for Your Business
As you can see, there is no shortage of lead generation strategies available to the B2B marketer. Every business is different, so the key to success is finding the right mix of tactics that work for you by continually testing and measuring results.
Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start generating those quality B2B leads!
About the Author:
Tammy Duggan-Herd, Ph.D. is the Marketing Manager at Campaign Creators, a conversion focused digital marketing agency in San Diego, CA. She is a psychology researcher turned marketer. Tammy has excelled rapidly in the digital marketing space, contributing industry-changing ideas utilizing her background in applied social psychology and data analytics.