B2B marketing has never been easy, but in recent years it has become even harder to get face-to-face appointments or to meet people through networking channels. This means that people are having to get creative about their B2B lead generation.
Once you’ve got a lead in your business, you might be exceptionally good at closing the deal by assigning lead distribution software, getting your best employees on it, and building those new partnerships. However, the chances of your business being successful hinge on having B2B marketing strategies that actually bring those potential customers to you.
In this guide, we look at some B2B lead generation ideas. Depending on the type of business you run, some will feel easier than others to actually implement.
Provide Lots of Content (and Target “Low Hanging Fruit”)
In the modern age, a good business website is one that is active. If you visit a business profile online, and see no blog posts, no social media updates, and no real signs of life, you might assume that there is no way they are a functioning business. A lot of people assure that these businesses are “stagnant” and not up with current trends.
Provide a lot of current content to try and show that your business has its finger on the pulse. A copywriter is essential for a lot of businesses.
On top of this, it is a way to target peoples’ searches on search engines and even social media. The more content you provide, the more likely it is that you will be found organically by others.
Be Active on LinkedIn
When it comes to B2B lead gen, LinkedIn is the top social media platform. Again, this needs to be fed content. As well as having a company profile and encouraging networking, the best way to get noticed is to constantly publish content, using hashtags, and jumping on current events and current affairs to get B2B leads.
Give Something Away
Yes, it might be the oldest trick in the book when it comes to generating new business, but you can still take advantage today.
A lot of people in business don’t give anything away for free, but this is not the best approach if you are looking to attract people to your service or product. There’s only so much you can do for free, but with a little bit of thought a giveaway can become a sales funnel for your business.
For instance, if you are selling marketing services or consultancy, why not give away a marketing product for free? Create a tool that offers value to your potential customers. As long as it doesn’t make your own services obsolete then it can be used as a marketing tool. For example, you can collect email addresses and data from people using the tool.
This requires thought and foresight, but the planning is worth it in the end if you create something that can bring potential leads to your website.
Prove That You’re The Expert
Why should somebody work with you anyway? A lot of people think of lead generation as simply “being visible” but there is far more to it than that.
We live in the age of competition. There are probably many businesses offering the same services that you are, and some of them might be undercutting you significantly. The best way to ensure that someone actually invests some time in reaching out to your business is to make yourself look like the expert you are.
There are many ways to do this. Your content marketing is one of the best methods of proving your expertise, but appearing on podcasts and even using platforms like HARO (help a reporter out) can establish you, or your business, as an authority in the niche.
Testimonials and Success Stories
Again, this is not some new and exciting method, rather it is just one of the fundamentals of marketing. People love to see the work you have done elsewhere and how that can be replicated.
For instance, if you have worked closely with a client and helped their business grow or solved a big problem for them, it is worth getting a testimonial and making it abundantly clear to potential customers. This can also generate content for your LinkedIn and other social media profiles.
Why not go one step further and turn it into a full feature on your blog, in the “success story” mold?
Challenges in B2B Lead Generation
Naturally, there are some challenges that you will face when you are trying any form of B2B marketing, and generating leads isn’t always straightforward.
One of the biggest challenges that you may face is getting to speak to a decision-maker in a business. Often, businesses have a number of employees, and very few of them will actually make business-critical decisions. If you are looking to sell a service or partner with a new business then it is not just about reaching anyone from the business, you need to appeal to the person making the big choices.
Additionally, some of the paid advertising methods are becoming saturated, and a lot of people are paying for the ads, which can drive the price up. It’s time to be creative with your content and ad budgets if you find you are getting priced out of PPC leads.
A challenge after you generate the leads is that you may find it difficult to convert into a sale. This is why it is so important to appear an expert on your subject, as well as offering a product or service that appeals to other business owners.
How B2B Differs from B2C Lead Generation?
B2B and B2C marketing present very different challenges. With B2C, you are selling directly to the customer, and can often rely on one-off purchases, and only having to convince one person that your product or service is quality. You are simply trying to create a suitable solution to their problem, or even something they might buy on a whim.
This is very different from B2B lead generation. As well as the fact that you may need to convince multiple people of your quality, a lot of B2B sales relies on building a long-term relationship or partnership. Other businesses will take a long time to make a decision and may do more due diligence, so you need to show that you are trustworthy and have a good track record.
Your potential audience is likely to be smaller if you are selling to another business. You may be creating a specific product or service, and this means that the lead generation may need to be far more targeted. You need to spend time and effort creating content and information that puts you in the eye line of business decision-makers. You won’t make any impulse sales in this line of business.
There may be more competition than ever in the modern age, but there is also more opportunity, and this means that you can generate B2B leads in ways you might not have previously imagined if you just put in a little thought and effort. Establish yourself in your niche and watch your business flourish as a result.