The objective of B2B lead generation is to stimulate and capture the attention of your target buyers and lure them into your sales funnel.
B2B lead generation strategies rely heavily on digital channels and the abundance of online content. But quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality. It’s essential to discern which strategies you choose and how you implement them.
The biggest struggle with digital channels is making your messaging and content stand out in a highly competitive and crowded online world. But it all starts with visibility. It’s not about sending blind email blasts to a list of unknown recipients hoping that 1-2% engage with your efforts.
Buyer interest comes before everything. A lead isn’t some random number that’s stumbled onto your website—it’s the high-value potential client that’s one step away from stepping into your sales funnel. Your job is to get their attention and show them that your solution provides real value and solves their problem.
In other words, quality is the name of the game in B2B lead generation. But for this game, you need some proven strategies.
3 Proven B2B Lead Generation Strategies Your Business Should Be Leveraging
There is no silver bullet when it comes to B2B lead generation. Truly effective marketing requires a multi-pronged approach using different strategies across inbound and outbound marketing.
For example, while outbound marketing provides immediate engagement with your leads and raises conversions, inbound marketing is crucial for establishing trust and credibility. This is what keeps the leads coming in and moving down your sales funnel. Without it, your marketing efforts stagnate.
With that said, here are the most effective inbound and outbound lead generating strategies in B2B marketing today.
1. Content Marketing
Inbound marketing with content is still one of the best ways to generate promising leads for your business. Everything from thought leadership blog posts to infographics and entertaining videos can consistently bring in traffic and provide engagement opportunities for your audience. The best part: Content marketing is an effective lead generation strategy for all businesses, large and small.
But that doesn’t mean you can take content production lightly.
Producing quality content means conducting a lot of research on your potential customers. You need to determine what kind of content works best for your audience. For example, one target market might respond better to blog content, while videos might work better for another. A good CX solution that provides analytics will go a long way here, helping you understand your existing customers and paint a picture of the kind of leads you should be looking for.
You also need to figure out what kind of language works best with your audience. While B2B generally leans toward more professional tones, the content you create also needs to reflect your brand’s voice. If your brand’s marketing materials are light and approachable, you need that same voice consistent in your content.
How Content Drives SEO
Content marketing helps you organically rank on Google and other search engines and increase your page views. Search engines are one of the best tools for marketing a business. Still, it requires time and effort to produce high quality, informative content that gives your audience real value.
This all ties back into what you know about your customers. When you understand your customers’ problems and their pain points, you can create content that helps them in their journey. Use your existing customers as a basis and start prying into the challenges they face. Ask them questions such as:
- What are their biggest professional challenges?
- Who are their customers, and how do they help them?
- What kind of aspirations do they have with their career?
- Why are they working with your business and not your competitors?
When you can answer these questions, you have a basis for the content you should produce. Solving your existing customer’s problems means you can also solve your future customers’ problems. And when those customers find your content through search, you will have generated a high quality lead.
Make sure your strategy works for your customers and is one your marketing and content teams can keep up with consistently. Consistency has a significant impact on organic SEO, so the more consistent you are, the better you’ll rank in the long run.
Content marketing requires a big investment, but it’s the one that helps businesses build the best long-term engagement with high quality leads. It fosters brand loyalty and trust with existing and future customers. And it would be a big mistake to ignore it.
2. Paid Search Marketing
While content marketing and SEO take a lot of planning, time, and effort, pay-per-click marketing gets you results fast. For the uninitiated, pay-per-click, or PPC ads are paid advertisements to appear on a search results page, such as Google or Bing. When a potential lead clicks on your ad, your business pays the search provider a set amount of money.
The biggest advantage here is that it guarantees visibility in high-value, high-volume search areas. You can jump to the front of the line on major search engines and appear to the quality B2B leads you’re looking for. Smaller businesses can compete with bigger outfits who beat them with organic search by paying for a PPC campaign.
Don’t Forget Social Media
Your marketing team undoubtedly has a social media presence. And while everyone knows the value of engaging with existing customers on social platforms, don’t be too quick to dismiss social media paid search for B2B engagement.
Businesses can leverage paid social search to increase the quality and volume of their B2B leads. Places like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially LinkedIn can be an amazing source of B2B leads through paid advertising. Even paid banner ads on industry forums can work wonders.
It All Ties Together
The best part is that paid search marketing can directly impact your content marketing efforts by showing you which keywords are working, improving your organic efforts at the same time. And you can tie it all together with your existing efforts to promote your blogs, content, and campaigns you already have in your marketing calendar.
3. Email Marketing
A lot of marketers look warily at email. There’s a lot of talk about how quickly people hit the unsubscribe button, but that’s generally a reflection of the timing and messaging rather than the channel itself. Email is still one of the best outbound channels available today—you’re doing yourself a disservice by ignoring it.
When it comes to timing, you can expect better results if you wait until your prospects are further down the sales funnel before sending out an email blast. If their engagement is low, they will probably ignore your email. Or worse, it could push them away. On the other hand, if they’re actively engaging with your website and have reached a minimum threshold, it’s time to start nurturing them with emails.
Take a close look at the quality and tone of your email blasts. Don’t send out generic messaging. Putting a little (or a lot!) more effort into the copy you send out is going to provide you with better results. Again, get right to the point and explain how what you’re offering solves the reader’s problems and provides them with value.
3 Cold Emailing Tactics
Cold emails are challenging to get right in B2B marketing because your business has no prior engagement with the company you’re sending it to. But with a few tips, it can be a great outbound strategy for augmenting your other email efforts.
The key is making a good first impression to get the best possible results. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Do your homework. Cold emailing doesn’t have to be blind. Learn about the business you’re contacting and tailor each message for that business.
- Be concise in your messaging. Don’t ramble on with marketing lingo and bore the people with a long email. Get right to the point as quickly as possible and let the business know why you’re emailing and how you can help.
- Take a light approach. If it’s appropriate, a little humor can go a long way. It catches the appropriate people’s attention faster.
Keep track of the cold emails you send out to your prospects. Like with other communication channels, things can get lost in translation, so make sure to send at least two follow-up messages before scratching the prospect off your list.
Find What Works for Your Business
Generating more B2B leads and pushing more prospects through your sales funnel is a challenge for every business, but it’s not impossible with the right strategies and techniques. The best approach is to include a variety of strategies.
But at the same time, it’s also easy to get caught up in trying to find the strategies that work for your business. Will content marketing give you the best results? Should you go all-in on a PPC campaign? How optimized should your social presence be?
The best thing to do in this situation is stop overthinking and start taking action. Speak to your team about a few strategies you can all agree on and pull the trigger. Refine and perfect the strategies that work and toss out the ones that don’t. Don’t worry too much about so-called missed opportunities.
Instead, focus on learning as much about your customers as you can. Find out:
- What kind of websites your target market likes to visit
- How they make their big purchase decisions
- What their biggest pain points are relative to your solution
- Who they depend on for information and expertise
This kind of information will enable you to hone in on the best strategies that work for your business and your customers.
Improve Your B2B Leads With SugarCRM
Without a doubt, maximizing your B2B lead generation strategies is crucial to your business’s success. The companies with the best results and the highest growth have one thing in common: an obsession with understanding their customers and solving their problems.
At Sugar, we share that obsession. It’s precisely why we built SugarCRM—so businesses can do their very best marketing and customer relationship management with our solutions. Our tools combine sophisticated data analysis with sales and marketing automation so you can understand your market and build strategies that bring in your future B2B customers. In other words, our platform works for you, not the other way around. It’s easier than you think, go ahead watch our video and get started today.