4 Strategies To Make 2019 The Best Year For B2B Lead Generation
It is safe to say that lead generation is a practice that will never become extinct. After all, leads that convert are what keep businesses afloat. But in an ever-changing digital marketing landscape, failure to innovate and evolve with the changing times inevitably puts your brand on a collision course with failure.
It seems all doom and gloom, but the reality is, Business to Business (B2B) lead generation remains to be one of the biggest blockers to business growth. According to the results of the 2018 State of Inbound Survey, 63% of marketers confess that B2B traffic and lead generation are their number one challenge.
When you consider that, with the fact that 61% of B2B marketers cite lack of resources such as staff, funding, and time as the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation efforts, it’s clear that more time on results-driven lead generation strategies is key.
Here are some strategies to supercharge your B2B lead generation in 2019…
Capitalise on the power of social media
Where social media is often used to focus on community awareness and engagement for Business to Customer (B2C), for B2B brands, social media is a powerful platform to drive lead generation. It extends beyond creating channels to disseminate content, social media marketing allows you to demonstrate industry leadership through an authoritative voice.
Apart from the usual channels such as LinkedIn and Facebook groups, consider leveraging platforms such as Medium, a blogging platform that allows you to directly engage users by commenting on their articles. Then there is a Quora, an SEO-friendly crowdsourced question and answer platform that allows you to develop your brand as industry experts by solving industry-relevant problems and providing links to your content.
For B2B brands, social media presence is also a good way to encourage online reviews from clients and industry leaders. Having reviews from an organic audience builds brand credibility that ultimately results in lead generation. Especially as 92% of customers read online reviews when considering a product or service.
Use gated content strategically
93% of B2B businesses say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies (Marketo). But if you’re still wondering, yes, content is still king. Creating evergreen content that speaks to your niche, is a great way to attract traffic, generate engagement, and build brand reputation and trust. Failing that, gating your content (visitors are required to provide their contact information before gaining access to any of your content) is also an effective way to generate leads.
Make no mistake, the cons of gating your content are just as great as the benefits, which is why it must be executed strategically. And it goes without saying that your gated content should be reliable, value-adding, and timely.
When done right, gated content can bring in explosive results. By implementing a content-locking script, finance and trade website, Trading Strategy Guides managed to increase their email subscribers list by almost 11,000 users in a month.
Give readers the option to upgrade
An alternative to completely gating your content is to provide content upgrades. These are complementary to the content which draw readers to your website in the first place. A good example of a content upgrade is downloadable content or DLCs, prevalent in the gaming industry.
Wishpond, a marketing platform that generates, manages, and nurtures leads, adopted a content upgrade approach to their blog content and reported approximately 600% better lead generation.
The reason content upgrades work so well boils down to trust and curiosity. Having already provided value or a solution to a problem in your base content, you’ve gained the trust of your readers. They know the value your brand is capable of providing them, and that creates curiosity in the upgrades put forth, making them more willing to trust you with their contact information.
Get people talking
Successful lead generation is dependent on audience trust and awareness, and when it comes to building these components, word-of-mouth or referral marketing is a must have because it remains to be the most trusted form of marketing across all generations:
• Gen Z: 83%
• Millennials: 85%
• Gen X: 83%
• Boomers: 80%
• Silent Gen: 79%
On average, 82% of frontline sales, sales leaders, and marketers agree that referrals are important to B2B sales success. Referrals also have up to 75% higher conversion rate and up to 70% faster close time (influitive).
The best way to get people talking about your business is to incentivise referrals through discounts or access to exclusive content. Referrals through customised codes also allow you to track where your leads are coming from and which ones are converting.
Lead generation may seem like a complex task in an ever-changing digital marketing landscape, but with change also comes greater room for creativity in devising strategies. The key is to know what works in the present and adapting quickly.