Lead generation is one of the critical aspects of any B2B marketing strategy. Without leads, you won’t acquire any new customers or make sales. Simply put, it will be impossible to reach your growth goals without lead generation. This is the reason why 53% of marketers spend half of their budget on lead generation.
But the reality is that generating leads isn’t an easy task. In fact, 65% of marketers say that generating leads and traffic are what they struggle with the most.
You need the right strategies in place to effectively generate and nurture B2B leads. Going into a lead generation campaign haphazardly will only increase your customer acquisition costs.
To help you get started, I have written this article on the best B2B lead generation strategies you can try out today.
Let’s get started.
1. Create gated content
Gated content is any content that your website visitors can only access by filling out a form and giving their information. This information can be the visitor’s name, email addresses, contact information, etc.
Gated content is an effective way to generate new leads.
Gated content is also very popular among marketers. Reports show that 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated.
How does gated content work?
When viewers land on your website, they are shown a pop-up or CTA button that offers them access to a valuable piece of content in exchange for their information.
For increased conversions, your pop-up might direct the viewer to a landing page where they are giving more information on the content offer. The copy of the landing page should be valuable enough to entice the user to give their information.
Note that gated content should not be hidden behind a paywall. The visitors need to submit only their information to get access to the content.
They are pros and cons to using gated content. Depending on your marketing goals, ungated content might be more suitable. Ungated content like blog posts and infographics are more suited for increasing traffic and improving brand visibility. Gated content is more suitable for lead generation.
Let’s see some of the pros and cons of gated content:
Pros of gated content
- Generate more leads for your business
- Increase your sales
- Provides insight into your customer at each stage of the buyer’s journey
- Allows for email list segregation
Cons of gated content
- Decrease in traffic and page views
- No brand visibility
- There are no SEO benefits
- If your landing pages and sign up forms are not properly optimized, most people will not offer their information.
Simply put, gated content is best if you are trying to generate leads that you can nurture into paying customers. Ungated content is best if you want to increase your traffic and visibility.
Tips for using gated content
Here are some tips to help you get started with using gated content:
1. Create content for each stage of your buyer’s journey
When a visitor first comes in contact with your product or service, they will pass through three stages of the buyer’s journey; awareness, consideration, and decision.
It is important that you create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
A brief explanation of each stage of the buyer’s journey:
- Awareness stage: The prospect is still performing research to understand their problem. Visitors to your website at this stage will find an ebook, blog posts, and infographics useful.
- Consideration stage: At this stage, the customer has defined their problem and is looking for suitable approaches they can use to solve their problem. At this stage, webinars and case studies will be the best content option.
- Decision stage: The prospect has found a solution to their problem. Now they are looking for vendors and products that offer these solutions. At this stage, you can use a product demo, free trials, and free consultation as your gated content.
To increase your chances of converting these leads, you will need to create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
2. Perform competitive analysis
You can conduct a competitive analysis to help you find content ideas. Look at the kind of content your competitors are offering their visitors. This will give you a good idea of which type of content should be gated.
Here is an example of gated content from BrightGauge.
When you land on their “Resources” page, you are offered different resources to choose from. When you click on the “Whitepapers” link, you are redirected to another page that contains a list of whitepapers.
After you click on the whitepaper of your choice, you are redirected to a page where you will have to offer your information to get access to the whitepaper.
This is a prime example of how you can use gated content to generate leads.
The only problem I have with this example is the very long form. Most visitors will not bother to fill the form if it is too long. To increase your conversion rate, stick to a short form. The shorter the form, the higher your conversions.
2. Offer something free
One of the best B2B lead generation strategies is offering freebies to prospects. People love free stuff. When used effectively, offering a freebie can help you generate leads and reach new potential customers.
The mistake that most businesses make is offering freebies with no value to the prospect. A customer won’t bother filling out a form if they aren’t receiving any value in return.
Your freebie will act as a lead magnet to attract potential customers. Here are some rules you should follow when using freebies as a lead magnet:
It must solve a problem
Any freebie you offer must help the visitor solve a specific problem.
A good example is Crazy Egg’s offer.
Most website owners want to make their website better. All the reader has to do is add their website URL and they are given ideas on how to fix their websites.
The best part of this freebie is that there isn’t a long-form that the reader has to fill. Since the free tool helps the user solve a problem, they will be more than happy to try out the 30-day free trial.
It must be available instantly
Make sure the freebie can be accessed immediately when the prospect fills the form. You don’t want to keep them waiting for hours or days. Prospects have a short attention span. If you waste time, you might end up losing the lead.
The freebie should be relevant to your core message
Your goal shouldn’t be to generate a ton of leads. Your goal should be generating leads that can become potential customers. So if you are offering freebies as a lead magnet, it should be relevant to your core business offering. For example, if you sell email marketing software, your lead magnet can be an ebook that teaches prospects how they can increase their email open rates.
3. Host an event
The advantage of this strategy is that you can gain leads both online and offline. You can host an online or offline event and generate leads via the event registration.
Aside from generating leads, hosting an event will help increase brand awareness and also establish a face to face relationship with potential customers.
Event marketing is one of the most effective lead generation channels. In a 2018 survey of top marketers by Demand Generation, 68% of the participants identified in-person events as their most successful strategy for generating leads for the top of the sales funnel.
Content Marketing Institute regularly hosts webinars to help them generate leads. To attend their webinars, you will have to fill a form.
Your events can be webinars, workshops, conferences, seminars, or meetups.
4. Create a high converting landing page
When generating leads via your website, your landing page is very important. Directing a ton of traffic to a poorly optimized landing page is similar to putting a leaky bucket under a running tap. It’s simply a waste of time and resources.
It is important that you create a landing page that is optimized for conversions.
Here are some simple tips you can use to optimize your landing page for lead generation.
Simplify the landing page: The best landing pages are simple. A cluttered landing page will only distract the visitor. Your value proposition and call to action must be clear and easy to identify.
A good example is this landing page from VideoFruit.
There is no clutter and their value proposition is very clear. When you sign up, you will learn how to start an email list and get your first 100 email subscribers.
Use contrasting colors: You want your CTA button to pop. Use a contrasting color from the background of the landing page on your CTA button to make it very visible.
This is a great example from Aura Dating Academy.
The yellow color on the CTA button contrasts with the dark background making it very visible. It is impossible for the visitor to miss it.
Use a descriptive CTA button: Instead of using the normal CTA buttons like “Join Now” or “Sign Up”, get creative. The examples above from Aura Dating Academy and VideoFruit are examples of how you should write a CTA button copy.
5. Target top-of-funnel keywords
SEO and lead generation work hand in hand. To direct prospects to your landing page, you need to first create content that attracts them to your website.
To generate high-quality leads, it’s important you create content that targets top-of-funnel keywords.
To do this, get started with keyword research.
Research the keywords that your target audience are searching for and create awesome content around it. Use an SEO tool to perform keyword research. You should also analyze the keywords your competitors are targeting.
After curating the list of keywords, create valuable content that is optimized for those terms. You can also target the keywords using pay-per-click advertisements.
The more visible your website is on search engines, the more traffic you get. Increased traffic will translate into more leads.
6. Take advantage of referral campaigns
Referral campaigns are one of the easiest ways to generate B2B leads. Big brands like Uber and Airbnb use referral marketing to increase brand visibility and bring traffic to their websites.
For example, Uber awards its existing users with “Free Rides” when they refer their service to family and friends.
Referral marketing works because of the rewards the customer receives for referring your product or service. If you ask your customers to refer your business without offering any reward, they might not take any action. You have to offer them an incentive to encourage them to start referring.
Your rewards can be a gift card, discount code, a percentage of the sales, and more. The key is to choose rewards that will be valuable to your customers.
Why should you bother with referral marketing?
In a survey from Nielsen, 92% of the participants said they trusted referrals from people they knew.
7. Upsell on your popular blog contents
This is a simple but effective way to easily generate new leads. If you have an article that is doing very well and generating a ton of traffic, you shouldn’t just let it go to waste.
You can offer content upgrades on your popular blog articles to attract leads. Content upgrades can be a PDF of your blog posts, a helpful checklist, an industry report, or a valuable case study. The key is to offer a content upgrade that the reader will find valuable.
A good example of a content upgrade is this cheat sheet from Smart Blogger.
8. Generate leads through social media
Social media is the perfect channel to generate new leads. Since the majority of your target audience is on social media, it will make sense to reach out to them there.
The first step is to choose the right channel. You would increase your conversions and ROI when you concentrate on the platforms where your audience is most active. The social media platform you choose will depend on your industry and product/service you offer.
Before starting a social media marketing campaign, ensure that your target audience fits the demographic of the platform. For example, LinkedIn is a great lead generation channel for B2B marketers. B2B Marketers say that LinkedIn generates two times more leads than other social media and marketing channels.
Some tips for using social media for lead generation:
- Optimize your profile: Before running a social media campaign, it is important that you optimize your profile. Add your contact information so that prospects can easily reach you – whether by phone, email, or the social media in-app messenger.
- Create call-to-action buttons: Depending on your goals, add call-to-action buttons to your profile and posts. For example, if you want to collect email subscribers, you can add a Sign-Up button to your profile page.
- Create awesome content: Prospects won’t visit your profile or click on your CTA button if they are not receiving value from your updates. If you want to increase the engagement you receive on your posts, you need to create awesome content.
- Use social ads: You can use social media advertisements to boost your lead generation efforts.
- Run contests or sweepstakes: Running social media contests is a great way to generate leads. You can ask the user for their information to participate in the contest.
9. Use HelloBar to capture B2B leads
98% of website visitors will leave without taking any specific action. You can change that with HelloBar. As an effective growth marketing tool, HelloBar allows you to display pop-ups, full-page takeovers, and static bars to help you convert your website visitors into customers.
HelloBar comes with a simple editor that allows you to create custom call-to-actions. It also comes with ready to use templates and a great A/B testing feature. The tool helps you understand how your audience reacts to your website. It also integrates with other tools like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Segment, etc.
If you’re looking for an efficient way to generate leads via your website, collect more email addresses, and direct visitors to your conversion funnel, then check out HelloBar.
10. Optimize the messaging of your website’s microcopy
It’s the little things that make a difference.
The messaging of your website’s microcopy can play a huge role in helping direct visitors to your conversion funnel. Think of microcopy as a little voice leading users in their journey through your site. It’s important that you optimize them for conversions.
A good example of the effect of a website’s microcopy on lead generation is Veeam.
After changing the phrase “Request a quote” to “Request Pricing”, Veeam increased the clicks to their pricing page by 161.66%.
You can start by adjusting the microcopy on your pricing, product, pop-up forms, and landing pages.
The best part of microcopy optimization is that you don’t have to make huge changes to your website to start seeing conversions. Just changing a CTA button from “Sign up” to “Sign up for your free demo” is enough to increase your lead conversions.
Lead generation takes time and effort, but it is worth it. By gating your content, offering valuable freebies as lead magnets, targeting top-of-funnel keywords, optimizing your landing pages, taking advantage of social media, and upselling on your popular blog content, you can start generating B2B leads in no time.
This article will help you get started.
Which of these strategies will you add to your lead generation efforts? Leave your thoughts in the comment.
Bio: Marvellous Aham-adi is a freelance writer and content marketer. He writes on how to grow a brand using actionable marketing strategies at thezeroed.com.