Lead generation is one of the most important marketing aspects for a B2B business. The number of new customer acquisitions can either make or break your business, and without getting new leads -or prospects-, you won’t get anyone to convert.
So, in this guide, we will discuss 7 of the best lead generation strategies B2B businesses can use. With these strategies, you will have the right foundation to further plan the rest of lead generation, and marketing strategy in general.
Let us begin with the first one.
1. Utilize Micro-Influencers
How can we get our voice heard in this saturated market? For many, the answer is influencer marketing, which is still as strong as ever in 2018. By utilizing influencers, we can harness their credibility and authority to reach their audience. Yet, with everyone jumping on the influencer marketing bandwagon, even the influencer marketing environment itself is now saturated.
As a result, many major influencers and celebrities are now very expensive and very picky. On the other side of equilibrium,.customers are also now more resistant to messages delivered by celebrities and big influencers, because they know the messages are endorsed.
So, instead of forcing ourselves with major or even mega influencers and breaking the bank, we can leverage micro-influencers, those with around 500 to 10,000 followers, which are relatively untapped. Not only they generally cost less, they generally have better engagements with their audience, where they can still sound “authentic”.
Of course, another benefit with micro-influencers is that they are less picky, and you will have a relatively easier time connecting, and convincing them to promote your business. To start your micro-influencer campaign, this guide by Neil Patel might help you.
2. Engage Prospects and Save Money With Chat Bots
Providing a live chat feature is a nice way to showcase your service excellence to your customers, which is especially more important in B2B businesses where your audiences are professionals.Yet, live chat requires a significant amount of money (and effort), and it can be really tough to recruit and train a support team that truly adheres to your ideals and brand values.
Technology’s answer to this issue is the A.I.-driven chat bots . With artificial intelligence, the messaging-based bots can engage your website visitors automatically, while also automating business processes and transactions as programmed. The A.I. can process text or even speech input of your customers, and can then send appropriate responses. In short, chatbots can automate your lead generation process while also qualifying leads.
Utilizing chatbots properly can dramatically improve your customer service experience, especially live chat. This way, customers can perceive that you are willing to present them with your service excellence in seamless interaction.
Chatbots can minimize your dependency on human customer support, reducing operational cost and maximize efficiency.
The advancements of the internet certainly brought many good things, changing the way we interact, the way we purchase things, and to some extent, the way we live. Thanks to the insurmountable amount of available information on the digital world, our purchase decisions are affected dramatically. Now, we have access to a lot of informational websites and reviews, as well as articles to help us make our decisions.
Yet, that can also be a bad thing for us marketers: only 2% of purchasers buy your product on their first visit. The 98 %? They either forget about you, purchase from your competitors, or simply neglecting the idea of purchase because they are confused with so many options available.
So, how can we recapture that 98%? The answer is retargeting (link), which in essence, is showing a display ad (commonly, either Google AdWords or Facebook Ads) to your previous visitors. With retargeting, you can remind those audiences to reconsider your product during their purchase journey in searching for more information. According to studies, 70% of visitors who are retargeted are more likely to convert into the next stage of the funnel.
Retargeting, even in 2018 is still a relatively underutilized tactic. So, simply by doing it, you are already ahead of the pack.
4. Publish Quality Contents More Frequently
We have repeatedly stated in our previous guides (link) that inbound marketing and especially content marketing is the way to go, especially for B2B businesses. According to DemandGen, 51% of B2B buyers rely on contents to decide a purchase, and 47% of them viewed three to five pieces of content before finally engaging with a sales representative.
What does this say? To effectively capture leads, there is no better way than regularly publishing valuable contents for them to find. Let your leads come to you, the essence of inbound marketing. So, there are two key areas to focus on here: quality and quantity.
First, your contents should be unique, original, and should answer your audiences’ problems, depending on your niche or industry. By publishing valuable contents, you are establishing your credibility as an expert, which in turn, will encourage your audience to trust you as a brand.
So, how often should you publish your contents? According to a HubSpot, companies that publish at least 16 contents a month generate 4.5 more leads.
Content marketing can be a relatively complicated subject on its own, so check out our previous guide to content marketing here. (link)
5. Utilize Marketing Automation Tools
Above, we have discussed chatbot, which is essentially a form of marketing automation. Yet, there are many other digital marketing aspects that can be automated. The main idea here is efficiency: automation allows you to save money on human resources while also saving time. As a general rule of thumb: you should aim to automate everything where personal human interactions are not required.
First, automate social media sharing. Most of us marketers simply don’t have the time to prioritize on social networking. So, utilize the available tools and apps to schedule shares, posts, and any other social media engagements,
Another form of marketing automation you should try is drip marketing. Drip marketing, in essence, is automating your email based on different triggers. This way, you can send relevant contents or answers to a specific audience at exactly the right time. Drip marketing can be a relatively complex tactic on its own, so check out our previous guide on drip marketing here. (link).
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful lead generation tactics out there, and drip marketing can reduce lead conversion time by 72%, increasing revenue by 175%, according to Thomson Reuters.
6. Optimize Your Website For Mobile
Wait, isn’t B2B transactions and queries mostly done on desktop computers on tablets? Not anymore, according to Boston Consulting Group. BCG’s research suggested that 80% of B2B buyers are using mobile at work nowadays, and even Google has reported that about 50% of B2B queries today are done on mobile devices. We can definitely expect this trend to continue growing, reaching 70% by 2020 as more millennials and Gen Zs are entering decision-making positions in B2B companies. We should also consider the increasing adoption of mobile devices by older generations.
So, we can no longer neglect the importance of making our website design(s) mobile-responsive. To start, use Google’s own Mobile-Friendly Test to test your current site..
Load speed is also a very important factor in today’s high-speed digital environment. We are more likely to bounce from a slow website when browsing on our mobile devices. There are many ways and approaches in improving website speed, and this guide by Kinsta is a good place to start.
7. Start Video Marketing
We can’t any longer ignore the importance of video contents. More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every single day, and 45% of people watch more than one hour of videos each week. How about the B2B environment? According to Forbes, 75% of Fortune 500 executives view video content regularly. So, we can say that even for B2B businesses, video content is now one of the most powerful lead generation tactics.
It’s not only about lead generation either, as according to the same study by WordStream, video content can increase conversions by about 80%.
So, how can we start a video marketing strategy for B2B lead generation and optimize it? Well, there can be many different approaches, but let’s look at some successful examples: This one by HubSpot, another by IBM, and the last one by Schneider Electric.
What do they have in common? Compelling story and fun elements. Even if your products are technical, your videos can still be fun and entertaining. Also, behind-the-scenes videos are quite compelling with audiences, and they can be a good opportunity to show your credibility while also being entertaining. For example, you can have a video of your team or showing how your develop your product in an entertaining story.