How to Hit Your Lead Generation Goals with B2B Marketing
The primary goal of B2B marketing is lead generation. Every year, B2B marketers face increasing demand for more high-quality leads. Many companies are spending more of their marketing budget on lead generation as they struggle to find initiatives that will boost their lead generation results. How can you hit your lead generation goals this year with B2B marketing?
Start with the basics.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a strategy to find people who show an interest in your company’s products or services. As opposed to cold calling where you call prospects from a purchased list, lead generation is a warm contact with whom you have already opened communication.
For example, a prospect fills out a quick survey for how to care for widgets like the ones your company uses. The widget manufacturer who sponsored the survey then sends you an email showing you how they can help you with your widgets. This is less intrusive than someone calling you out of the blue without knowledge of whether you care about widget maintenance. From the marketers’ perspective, the information gained from the survey responses helps them personalize their message around the prospect’s needs, wants, and fears.
B2B lead generation is a way of warming up your target prospects to convert them into leads who might someday buy from your company. You are starting a relationship through a more organic path than a cold call. It becomes more pleasant and natural for them to convert into a buyer down the road.
How Can B2B Marketing Drive Lead Generation?
Here are five ways B2B marketing can drive lead generation for your company:
- Email Marketing. Email marketing has been a lead generation workhorse for many years and is still one of the few online tactics that generates a positive ROI. Many B2B marketers list email marketing at the top of their list for B2B lead generation Marketing automation is making email marketing even easier and more affordable. The automation tools connect your CRM with your other platforms to let you laser target personalized emails to leads to nurture and move them along the buyer’s journey. With the ability to capture more data, B2B marketers can use behavioral triggers to help them target users from their inbox.
- Search Marketing. Natural search marketing is a profitable long-term tactic for generating leads. When you get a handful of keywords reaching the number one spot on Google, people take notice. Getting to number one is a lot harder today than a decade ago. Good SEO results from doing many things well: design, conversion rate optimization, social media, and content marketing. Increasing your web page rankings can positively influence revenue.
- Content Marketing. Content marketing offers a broad scope of relevant information on which B2B companies can focus. The most popular are social media content (other than blogs), newsletters, articles, blogs, case studies, video, infographics, white papers, and webinars/webcasts. While doing what works for others is a common strategy, sometimes doing the opposite can have greater results. A good content marketing strategy focuses on diversity and experimentation as well as tried-and-true tactics to find out the biggest growth opportunities for your company. The key is to test everything, revising your strategies as you go and optimizing how you generate leads over time.
- Social Media. If you have tried social media marketing without results, your strategy may not fit your marketing needs. While most companies blast promotional material, some B2B marketers use social media to generate and nurture millions of dollars in leads. One way is using LinkedIn. An effective lead generation strategy focusing on LinkedIn can generate millions in pipeline value. Another strategy is to integrate your content marketing, search marketing, and social media. When you combine tactics across multiple channels, you can generate high returns on investment and better leads overall.
How are advancements in B2B marketing helping drive leads?
You can use a variety of B2B marketing strategies, depending on your target audience. The following are best practice marketing advancements that have evolved over the last year to become lead generating rockets.
- Account Based Targeting. Quality over quantity rules lead generation today. More B2B marketers are adopting account based marketing to generate leads more quickly. While cost-per-acquisition is higher, account based marketing generates improved close rates and lower time to close. When you hyper-target an account, you can reduce or eliminate time, spend, and energy waste. You are left with a lean strategy that generates high-quality leads to fill your pipeline.
- Demand Generation. Advancements in B2B marketing lets demand generation focus on those activities that fill your funnel. For example, events, podcasts, lead nurturing, influencer marketing, pains ads, email marketing, and more rely more on long-term strategies than growth hacking. Growth hacking is a process of taking shortcuts, which means savvy marketers will cut growth hackers out of their marketing mix.
- Sales and Marketing Alignment. The more sales and marketing align, the less delineation of the two you will see. B2B marketers and their sales counterparts will differentiate based on day-to-day activities and skills sets. One point to mention is marketing will own the early stages of the buyer’s journey such as setting appointments and qualifying leads. But both marketing and sales will work hand-in-hand to identify the accounts to target and the strategies used for nurturing leads through the sales process.
Lead generation is a win-win proposition for both marketers and their customers. It benefits the customer, who finds a product or service that will help them solve a problem or enhance their business, as well as the marketer, who personalizes their messages to meet the existing needs of a potential client.
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With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.