Properly organized work to attract customers is an important condition for filling the sales funnel and the success of any business. But customers do not come from nowhere, the user-to-client conversion process is an entire science where online leads generation takes the place far from the last. At the same time, studies show that massive business leads generation is one of the most serious problems faced by B2B marketers. Let's figure out what is B2B lead generation and which lead generation marketing strategies are the most effective.
1 What is Online Lead Generation
To begin with, let's define what leads are in marketing. Lead is a potential customer, that is the person or company (ideally, from your target audience) who have shown interest in your product/service or any area of your operations and the contact of which you have managed to get.
Accordingly, B2B lead generation is building a database of customers that are interested in your offer or fit into the required segment of the target audience through a variety of marketing practices at the points of interaction with the target audience.
In the lead marketing, "cold", "warm" and "hot" leads are traditionally distinguished.
- "Cold" lead (prospect lead) - is a person/company whose contacts you have, but who has not yet generated a need for your products or services. Moreover, "cold" lead may not even know about you and therefore yet has no desire to buy something from you either.
- "Warm" lead (marketing qualified lead) already knows something about you, your products/services (for example, through advertising or personal meeting). Also, he more or less understands what he needs and is choosing among the providers.
- "Hot" lead (sales qualified) is ready to buy from you (for example, signed an agreement of intent, made a deposit).
Lead qualifying is done via lead scoring. While generating and working with the lead, a marketer examines what marketing influences the lead was exposed to; there is a pre-defined score for every influence activity. Based on the total number of points scored by each lead, his "temperature" (willingness to buy) is estimated. If the pre-calculated threshold is exceeded, it means that the customer is ready, and marketer handles him to the sales team. Otherwise, potential customer's "warming" process continues until he reaches the desired level.
2 The most effective online lead generation strategies
There is a great variety of B2B lead generation ideas but all of them can be grouped into three main categories:
- Personal communication
This group includes telemarketing (phone/skype calls) (1), personal meetings (2), event marketing (3). The first two items are all clear without much explanation, but the latter can be examined in details. Thus, organizing and conducting various events is an excellent opportunity to gather contacts of potential customers. Seminars, workshops, exhibitions, conferences, presentations - choose and use the format that is most convenient for you and your audience. At the same time, leads generated using this technique by default will be of a very high quality because:
- lead "distillation" (weeding out non-valid audience) happens already at the stage of registration for the event;
- leads obtained this way will be already "warm."
It is, in fact, this method to generate leads online is practiced one way or another by the most digital agencies. The emphasis here is made mainly on producing high-quality content and using it to get potential customers' contacts. This can be done by:
- creating a corporate website (4);
- creating an attractive landing page (5) (you can create several landings and set up separate online lead generation process for every specific service or product);
- targeted media advertising (6);
- providing a unique, useful information (all kinds of studies, white papers, exclusive articles) in exchange for contacts (7);
- webinars (8);
- online video (9);
- social media, blogs, forums (10) (some experts refer to social media extremely skeptical, but we consider them to be quite good lead generator; the thing here is to know where to look for potential clients and which tools to use for that purpose).
- Direct marketing
Direct marketing is a set of online lead generation strategies to personalize interactions with a potential customer to the maximum. This method includes emailing (11), SMS (12), as well as traditional (paper) mail (13).
You can also add offline practices (print/radio/TV ads, "outdoor advertising", sponsorship, etc.) to the lead generation methods mentioned above, but it's more about the channels, plus we are the Internet agency and focus on digital.
3 Example of Top Lead Generation Campaign
Consider a simple but extremely effective model of lead generation campaign, step by step:
- Articulate your offer clearly and straightforwardly.
- Create a landing page that must meet two main objectives: tell about your product/service and encourage visitors to perform an action: enter contact info, request a consultation, purchase goods/services, etc. Thoroughly think through the appearance and content of the contact collection form, as well as a call to action button.
- "Wrap" the link to the landing page in an attractive content and post it on social media.
- Write SEO-optimized article containing the link to the landing and post it on your blog, as well as create articles for guest blogging.
- Carry out carefully targeted advertising campaign on social media and AdWords in order to "land" users onto your page.
- At the same time, run the email campaign using own or somehow acquired database of "cold" contacts. Don't limit the campaign to the only one letter – think through the entire chain of emails depending on the customer's actions. For example, encourage those who switched to your landing page with interesting and useful information, and catch up those who ignored your first message with reminders and special offers.
- Distil and segment the database of leads collected through the landing, "warm up" each group using the most relevant methods that allow converting leads into customers.
- Run lead generation tracking, analyze results, make changes – and run the entire campaign from the very beginning.
Ultimately, we suggest you have a look at the B2B lead generation service presentation by DIGITAL BEE (in Russian).
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Creative Copywriter at DIGITAL BEE
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexsakhno