As more businesses dip their toes into the digital marketing world, competition is becoming stiffer by the minute.
Up to 53 percent of B2B marketers allocate half their budget to lead generation. Brands are voraciously seeking opportunities that will help them dominate their fields and grow their business
The word all around is, “We need more leads”
Well, you most certainly do, since generating leads is fundamental to business growth.
Effective lead generation strategies put you in the path of ideal audiences and allow you to collect information about their needs and preferences.
With this information on hand, you can tailor solutions that fix the problems and add value to their business.
Over time, you build a solid reputation, receive referrals, earn more leads, and grow the business.
Let’s dive into some tactics that may help you get there.
1. Use Lead Generation Software
Brands are working smarter to attract the right leads, nurture, and close deals.
While networking, referrals, trade shows are great for generating leads, they are not enough to drive growth.
What you need is a tool that can turbo charge your sales process and that’s where lead generation software comes in.
The software provides data about companies that visit your site, including those that don’t make any enquiries. You’ll see how the visitor found your site, the pages they visited and how they navigated the site, etc.
This allows you to tailor messages that center on the visitor’s area of interest.
If leads have been slipping through the cracks, lead generation software can help with that.
The software allows users to create “next steps” and interaction flowcharts for operational efficiency.
As soon as the system identifies a new prospect, it initiates the process that walks with the prospect down the road to conversion.
The system also scores leads to help teams focus on leads that are likely to convert. You get to save on money and other resources that would have been used pursuing unfruitful leads.
Better yet, it identifies successful marketing campaigns and points out which strategies need changing to improve results.
With lead generation software doing all the heavy lifting, your team can focus on human interactions necessary to close deals.
Systems worth checking out include Marketo, LeadFeeder, Pardot, OptinMonster, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Mailchimp among others.
2. Gate Compelling Content
Notice we said compelling content, not all of your content.
Marketers can’t agree on whether or not we should gate content.
Why not do both?
Ungated content (blogs, checklists, cheat sheets, testimonials, infographics, and (some) videos) are excellent for increasing brand awareness.
You share useful information and tips with audiences to improve visibility. Audiences enjoy what they read, keep coming back for more and consider you the go-to expert.
But that’s about it, really.
Gating some content means audiences who enjoy your free content now need to give something in return.
EBooks, white papers, industry reports and webinars take time to create, but contain higher relevance and value.
Their very nature means that they target specific audiences.
When you place this content behind a gate, you gain access to these audiences’ contact information (read leads) and start nurturing them.
Some best practices include:
- Creating and gating content for the different stages of the sales cycle. Prospects at the awareness level may learn more from an ebook while those at the decision stage may profit more from a webinar.
- Look at what your competitors are gating. You’ll Have an idea of what to gate.
- Create landing pages with compelling copy to inspire your audience to take the next step.
- Once audiences sign up, segment them and develop marketing campaigns that speak to their interests and needs.
3. Encourage Online Reviews
Research shows that more than 50 percent of consumers trust other consumer’s opinions of online websites.
Positive reviews strengthen your credibility, which attracts the attention of would-be-buyers and motivates them to engage with your team.
They also improve your visibility on local searches, which ultimately boosts conversions.
Here are ways to generate leads through online reviews:
- Amplify positive mentions. That’s right, blow your own trumpet. Ask your customers for a couple of good words about your brand and share this feedback on your site and social platforms.
- Convert exceptional feedback into case studies. Get permission from the customer to share the challenge they were experiencing, its impact on business, and the difference your solutions made. While you’re at it, embed a CTA linking to a landing page for customers interested in similar solutions.
- Turn negative mentions around quickly. We cringe at negative comments but they also present an opportunity for you to prove yourself. Respond publicly with empathy and honesty, then reach out privately to resolve the issue. Leads note your replies.
You can use negative mentions to your advantage as well.
If the customers are having trouble using your solutions, come up with step-by-step guides, or how-to-videos to increase product knowledge.
Where the product isn’t solving the challenges it’s supposed to, check if there are ways to tweak it. Alternatively, head back to the drawing table.
4. Cold Calling
If you want to generate leads faster, go for cold calling.
Direct contact with prospective customers allows you to introduce your brand, the problems you solve and value you add.
You share enough information to build the listener’s curiosity and interest and push for a meeting where your team can go all out.
But to get to that last part, some work needs to be done.
- Start by qualifying your leads. It’s likely that half the companies on your long list will be bad fits. Narrow down to the industries you can serve, their sizes, locations, and challenges.
- Identify decision-makers. Have you ever called a company, got moved around several times and finally the phone went dead? Look up the contact person and their direct office number (where possible). Check if they have a social media account to know more about the person.
- Let your opening line touch on a pain point the contact person can resonate with, along with the solutions you provide. Ask questions that show genuine interest in what the prospect does and pay attention to the answer.
- Don’t go for an immediate sale. People don’t like being pushed into making purchases, but talking about the next step may open them up to visualize what you’re saying.
- Agree on the next step before hanging up. This next step could be setting up a meeting, a demo, or even scheduling a call for later in case the prospect is busy.
5. Video Marketing
There are several reasons why video works.
As consumers, we are attracted to video because they are visually engaging and easier to digest.
For B2B marketers video is a flexible medium for educating audiences, generating leads, and inspiring purchases. It’s also an effective option for getting buy-ins from multiple decision-makers.
Since our focus is on lead generation for growth, let’s look at ways video can help you bring them in:
- Embed video on your website’s landing page. This is the page potential clients are likely to come across in search engines. Creating a landing page that’s entirely made up of video or includes video is a sure way to get audiences interested.
- Leverage social networks. Just about everyone today is on social media, including decision-makers. Turn your social platforms into lead generation machines by creating and sharing useful videos. Remember to adapt the video inline with the platform you’re using for better reach.
- Freshen up your email outreach by incorporating video. It will help improve open rates and increase click through.
- Gate valuable videos like webinars, in-depth video courses, or behind-the-scenes videos. As audiences submit their contact and email addresses, they are granted access to the video.