According to HubSpot, generating leads or developing an effective B2B Lead Management Strategy was once again the number one challenge for B2B marketers in 2020. That’s not surprising. After all, leads are to your marketing strategy what gasoline is to your car—cut off the supply, and the engine will stop—cold.
As Crazy Egg correctly points out, for example, today’s B2B marketer has stopped asking whether new, quality leads are important. The concern these days is which lead generation strategies are the most effective (and cost-effective):
“Want to know the biggest challenge in creating a B2B lead management and marketing strategy? It has nothing to do with what color tie you should wear in a presentation. In one word, it’s lead. A lead is where it all begins. Without leads, there are no clients, no revenue, no raison d’être. No nothing. Without leads, you’re sunk. So, the obvious question for any marketer is this: How do I get leads?”
JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE
The fact is, most B2B marketers don’t know where many of their leads are coming from. Although they can point to a host of “usual suspects” (everything from social media posts to sponsored ads to gated blogs), most include among their demand generation metrics “others,” catch-all marketers themselves would have a hard time defining.
Although it would be nice to have some foolproof marketing attribution model that could state unequivocally where every lead originated, what we do know is that some strategies work better than others. We know, for example, that B2B companies that post blogs 16 or more times a month generate 4.5X as many leads as those who blog 4 or fewer times.
We also know that B2B consumers are different from their B2C counterparts. Specifically, B2B customers on average consume 3 to 5 pieces of content before they’re ready to talk sales. Said differently, to succeed with lead generation, B2B businesses need to work harder than B2C marketers to create trust by effectively answering prospective customers’ questions and solving their protracted problems with dynamite content they can use.
GOING THE EXTRA MILE
The HubSpot blogging metric above reflects average performance for companies that continually update their blogs. In other words, some B2B companies that blog regularly do better than average, while others don’t perform nearly as well. The trick, in other words, isn’t in the number of blogs you post, but in how well those blogs do what they’re intended to do, namely, establishing authority for (and creating trust in) your business.
Every B2B business is different, of course, with different customers, different goals, and different marketing challenges. That said, the companies that hit the lead generation “sweet spot” tend to embrace a similar set of lead generation strategies, including the following 4:
- Keep your content “green:” it stands to reason that, if your customers want 3 to 5 pieces of useful content before they’ll welcome your sales rep, you need to make sure they see something new each time they access your blog. Keeping your content evergreen will ensure it remains timely longer. Task someone on your marketing team with putting him or herself in your customers’ shoes. Have that team member report back on the extent to which your blog offers something new each time he or she visits it.
- “Gate” your most popular content: when prospective customers really want a particular piece of content, they’ll be willing to give your business their contact information (read, email address) in exchange for access to that content. Create compelling landing pages with smart contact forms that gate your blog, eBook, white paper or video. Think of this as a win-win scenario: your prospect gets valuable information that builds trust in your company, and your business gets a new, high quality lead.
- Get personal: there are multiple ways to offer prospects more personalized content, everything from inserting their name and job title into a promotional email to customizing their experience on your website. What we know is that 4 of every 5 B2B consumers are more likely to buy from businesses that personalize their content. Taking the time to make your messaging more relevant and personal will boost lead generation and, arguably, add to your bottom line.
- Create landing pages that work: landing pages with multiple offers tend to fall flat because such configurations tend to cause confusion rather than action. Keep your landing pages as simple as possible, featuring one irresistible offer. Make sure your call to action (CTA) is easily visible and action-oriented for the best results.
Leveraging smart B2B lead generation strategies is critical to the success of your marketing campaigns—but it’s only part of the picture. It’s equally important to enact robustly (and data-driven) lead nurturing and lead matching tactics that effectively move prospects through the buyer’s journey to increase sales.
Creating an effective B2B lead management program can increase lead generation, boost conversions and ramp up sales. But it can also be both complicated and confusing. That’s where we can help.
To learn more about the ways our lead distribution software can help your B2B business create a winning lead management strategy—and take your business to the next level—request a demo today.