In a recent study about B2B lead generation, researchers found that the number one challenge for B2B marketers is not lead generation itself, but rather, generating high-quality leads.
Although traditional methods of lead generation, like trade shows and networking events, still bring in leads, the most effective trend these days is through digital mediums. By and large, company websites and SEO driven content marketing reign supreme when generating high-quality leads for just about every industry out there, and industrial markets are no different.
Implementing digital solutions for B2B lead generation can give companies the edge they need over their competitors. But, despite this change, experts say that applying the old lessons and mindsets taught in Marketing 101 can still help to maximize innovations in digital marketing.
Embrace New Technology
According to a 2015 study, the top 3 tactics used by B2B marketers are email marketing, content marketing, and SEO, respectively, with social media ranking 7th. This statistic should give some insight as to how current technology is driving B2B marketing, with most businesses relying on digital solutions for lead generation.
With most companies around the world leaning more and more on social media and other digital avenues for their business, it pays to invest in emerging technologies and online channels to generate more leads.
Similarly, as smartphones and tablets become more ubiquitous in how customers engage with businesses, it is vital to ensure that your marketing efforts are compatible with multiple devices, as well. This broadens your reach and generates more leads, gaining you favor with your target market, as well as possibly increasing your sales.
Because most potential customers and businesses are on some form of social media, a marketing strategy that targets social networks can generate 12% more business leads than strategies without social media integration. Social media has greatly affected B2B lead generation online, with 58% of B2B marketers seeing an increase in sales in the past few years with social media use.
Email marketing comes in at a close second in terms of online leads generated for B2B transactions. Having an automated emailing system can greatly benefit lead generation, provided that the emails are compelling, well-written, and designed for your target audience. Email newsletters are still an effective tool for inbound marketing strategies, generating potential B2B sales leads better than social media.
With the B2B sales leads that email marketing and social media could generate, you will also have to consider what to do when these leads come in. It is important to turn these leads into relationships, and, in turn to cultivate these relationships through a positive presence in online communities. As with trade shows and other physical meet-and-greets, online forums are a great way to establish not only contacts but also solid partnerships within your industry. The chances of generating – and maintaining – B2B leads in this way can be further maximized with custom, SEO friendly content.
By and large, however, the best way to generate B2B sales leads online is via a company website. Experts agree that a simple, beautifully designed, easy to use website is the most effective way to increase traffic and revenue for a business. Although conversion rates can take a while, investing in a company website can generate more leads than traditional marketing.
Studies show that 4 out of 5 potential clients use search engines to find information about possible products and services, with 18% of smartphone searches leading to same-day purchases. This underlines the importance of embracing new technologies to generate leads.
However, it’s one thing to embrace technology, and another to use it to its fullest potential. Ad this is where content comes in. Quality content that is customized to your business and to your audience is integral to fostering a healthy online presence.
Create Diverse Marketing Content
One of the first things to consider in generating leads online is to establish your target audience. Who do you want to be interested in your brand? What industry should they be in? Will your business benefit from theirs? You should discover the answers to these questions before creating custom content for clients and businesses – and that’s where effective research methods and data gathering come in.
Data analytic services can provide you with accurate and informative information that you can leverage to your advantage. By studying the online behavior of clients and businesses, you can craft different marketing strategies to generate B2B leads that are tailor-fit to your market’s needs and wants.
Once you establish your audience and their online behavior, diversify your marketing strategies to entice leads across various demographics. Providing multiple formats of your marketing content also enables people to reach you through different channels.
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, which is why 64% of B2B marketers employ more than 9 different strategies when generating online B2B leads. Because potential clients are in different stages of the buyer’s journey, cross-platform distribution of your marketing materials maximizes the chances of generating leads.
Investing in SEO
Now that you’ve ventured into new technology, identified your audience, and diversified your strategies, it’s time to look at your content.
It has been said multiple times that content is king, and it holds true even in the digital age. This is because, beneath all the flashy images and videos, potential clients still want to know one thing: what can this company do for me?
Optimizing your content to not only cater to potential clients but also to make the content easy to search is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. As mentioned above, 4 out of 5 people surveyed reported using search engines like Google to look for products and services. This means that company websites that rank first on the results page receive almost 33% of web traffic, with results on succeeding pages decreasing in significance.
Another factor to consider is the customization of content. A study in 2015 predicted that by 2018, companies that invest in customized content will outsell companies that don’t by a noticeable 20%. B2B leads are generated through this because custom content can build a somewhat personal relationship with clients, making them feel like they enjoy your undivided, individualized attention.
By utilizing new technology to connect with your audience, you can maximize the generation of online B2B leads for your company. By analyzing real-time data to discern your clients’ wants and needs, and by applying solid SEO and customized content, you can make the most of quality B2B leads and yield better relationships with potential clients. In turn, your efforts will result in greater sales of your products and services, as well as an increase in customer loyalty.