Getting Started With Lead Generation
Attracting the right customers starts with knowing who your customers are, what their challenges are, and how you can solve them.
Nov 27, 2023
Figuring out how to attract new prospects has never been more challenging. The B2B marketing landscape is a complex web of digital and traditional tools and channels that can feel overwhelming, whether your organization is a massive enterprise with millions to spend or a growing business with a five-figure marketing budget.
Attracting the right customers starts with knowing who your customers are, what their challenges are, and how you can solve them. Assuming you have clear messaging to empathize with their situations, explain your solutions, and articulate why you’re better than alternatives, how do you go about getting their attention and building your sales pipeline with B2B lead generation?
Content and thought leadership
Most lead generation programs hinge on some type of content: brochures, videos, case studies, blogs, white papers, or eBooks. Your customer acquisition strategy must incorporate some level of budget and effort to develop meaningful content that will capture your audience’s attention and compel them to reach out.
Amplification: getting the word out
Once you start to build your content catalog, it’s time to use that content to get the word out and draw prospects to your product or service. Here’s the truth: there is no one proven way to generate leads for your business. Figuring out which channels work for you is a process that requires research, experimentation, and measurement.
Here are some B2B lead generation tactics to consider:
Trade shows – In-person shows, conferences, and events are a great way to generate awareness and spark personal relationships with prospective buyers. As a paid sponsor, you should walk away with an attendee list that you can market to afterward. During and after the event, you can showcase your solutions and expertise through recorded demos, collateral, and educational articles. Make sure your team understands the goals for the show, consistently articulates your company’s value proposition, is tenacious enough to start conversations with wary strangers, and has a clear follow-up plan in place.
Webinars – Team up with an alliance partner to host a webinar, or sponsor one with a trade association or analyst. This is a good way to reach a built-in audience that another, relevant organization has nurtured. Webinars are a great way to showcase your products and expertise to new prospects. Anyone who signs up for your webinar becomes a new potential lead.
Search engine optimization (SEO) – SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to be found by search engines and served up to a relevant audience. While SEO is technically “free” (i.e. you don’t have to pay the search engines for it), it helps to hire an expert who keeps up with search engine algorithms and has demonstrated results. To generate leads from SEO, make sure to use contact forms on your website pages.
Search engine marketing (SEM) – SEM is paid search engine advertising intended to elevate your web pages toward the top of the results list based on bids for certain keywords and a highly targeted audience. The placement and frequency of your ads depends on the industry and the competition for keywords, as well as your audience. The more competitive keywords are, the more expensive it is to rank for them. Point your ad links to landing pages with contact forms on your website. This gives visitors an easy way to get in touch and helps track the results of your SEM program.
Social ads – Social ads are paid promotions on social media channels, such as LinkedIn, which continues to be the most influential social channel for our B2B clients. Paid LinkedIn campaigns deliver your content to a highly targeted audience via their feed or direct messages. With LinkedIn, you can collect leads directly from the platform or point people to a landing page and contact form on your website.
Organic social media – This is simply the process of consistently generating posts that address industry challenges, share insights, and showcase your company's achievements and perspectives. To maximize the effectiveness of organic social postings, be sure to optimize your LinkedIn profile to reflect your expertise and the value you bring to clients. By consistently providing valuable content, showcasing your expertise, and engaging with your network, you can establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry and attract potential clients to your business. Last year, we had two clients close new business deals as a result of organic social posts!
Syndicated content – Team up with an industry partner, such as Foundry (a subsidiary of IDG) or TechTarget to develop and promote content via their varied channels. Leveraging their broad, built-in audiences, you can target content delivery to specific audiences and generate leads via content downloads. This type of partner may combine some or all of the above tactics into an integrated campaign.
The essential follow-up
Whatever lead generation tactics you try, make sure you have a follow-up plan. Anyone can do this. Whether it’s the founder/CEO of a startup, a business development manager, or an inside sales team, be sure to designate someone to review and prioritize leads – and then follow up via phone or email.
“Hot” leads, which are more promising leads, are particularly worthy of a phone call or a personal email. Low-level contacts from promising companies may belong on a “nurture” list that gets a monthly or quarterly email. Just because they don’t have the right title, doesn’t mean they’re not worth keeping in touch with. You never know who they’re influencing at their current organization or when they’ll move up the ladder to assume a role with more influence. Whatever you do, don’t let those leads go cold!
Where to start? We recommend kickstarting your content plan – try for one piece of content per month to add to your website – a blog article, executive Q&A, video, case study, or demo. Share this content to your social media channels and ask your team to like, share, and comment on it. Try to recruit followers to your company profile page. As your budget allows, test out paid lead generation programs, even if it’s just one per year to start. Leverage alliance partners strategically – do joint webinars, collaborate with their sales teams, create content together.
And don’t forget – get help if you need it! At Spring Marketing Group, we work closely with our clients to understand their lead generation goals. We’ll work with you to create sales and marketing assets and lead generation programs that heighten brand awareness and understanding, then design campaigns to reach and engage your audience in both paid and earned channels. There’s a lot that goes into this – we’ve got you covered.
If you’re ready to kickstart your B2B lead generation program, let’s talk!
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