As a business owner or operator, your livelihood hinges on your ability to generate leads for your company. But in the B2B realm, attracting new prospects is not always easy. Below is a look at some of the most effective lead generating activities and some concrete steps you can take today to put your company on the fast track to high-quality lead generation.
What exactly is lead generation?
The path to success in the B2B world begins with a clear understanding of lead generation. While you may hear the term used from time to time, perhaps you have always wondered exactly what it means and how it relates to your business. So let’s start with a definition and some examples of lead generation:
“Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. Some examples of lead generators are job applications, blog posts, coupons, live events, and online content.” – HubSpot
To further break down the term, it can be helpful to view lead generation in terms of a marketing process that involves a “Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How”:
- Who: The “Who” of lead generation will refer to your prospects or your target audience.
- What: The “What” of the process refers to the lead itself, which refers to any person who expresses an interest in your company.
- When: Leads can be generated at any point in time, but tend to increase in conjunction with marketing activities.
- Where: A lead can be generated virtually anywhere. But the majority of today’s leads are generated online.
- Why: Knowing “Why” you need to generate leads is simple: You want to build your customer base and increase your sales.
- How: Determining How you will generate your leads is the key to your success. Below are some effective ways to generate leads.
What are some of the most effective lead generation activities?
Lead generation is a multi-faceted process that usually involves more than one strategy. In order to achieve the best results, you should strive to use a variety of techniques to entice your prospects. Here is a look at some of the most effective B2B lead generation activities, along with some companies who have thrived by using them:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Today’s prospects seek interesting, engaging content that is relevant to them. This means going beyond developing high-quality content for your website to creating personalized content that is written in natural language to encourage voice-powered search. LinkedIn is an example of an organization that uses reinforcement learning to help prospects seeking very specific information.
- Email Campaigns: Email marketing is still a top B2B lead generating activity. In order to be most effective, emails should be well organized and sent with the proper frequency. In most cases, this is once or twice per month. Additionally, it is important to remember to obtain permission (either implied or express) from recipients before targeting them with your emails.
- Newsletters: Monthly or quarterly newsletters are a great way to share news about your company. Many companies deliver them electronically and use them to promote activities and new products. For example, the Hustle is a company that uses its newsletter to promote events that target entrepreneurs.
- Social Media Posts: According to the Content Marketing Institute, 95% of B2B marketers are using social media content to generate leads. In addition to posting helpful articles and videos on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, social media provides an opportunity for businesses to engage with prospects.
What are some steps you can take today to generate more high quality leads?
Now that you have a clear foundation of lead generation, it is time to put a strategic plan in place to boost your lead volume and quality. Below are some specific steps you can take to embark upon this path, including some steps you can take today:
1) Organize your email B2B marketing list
Before you can fully benefit from an email marketing campaign, you need to clean up your B2B email marketing list. While this process may take some work, you can get started today by updating old addresses, deleting unsubscribers, and creating folders to help you segment your list.
2) Perform a content audit
Helpful content plays a key role in lead generation. But if your website is outdated and your blog is in bad shape, your content could actually end up hurting you. A content audit involves a review of all of the written material on your website, social media sites, and any other locations for which you are responsible. The goal is to remove any outdated material and make sure your remaining content is fresh and accurate.
3) Delegate a person to oversee your social media activities
Managing your social media activities is critical to your company’s industry reputation and B2B engagement. If you do not already have someone who manages your social media activities, then consider delegating a team member to oversee this important task. At a bare minimum, your social media sites should be monitored on a daily basis with fresh content posted periodically.
4) Resolve to monitor your results
You could have the best lead generation strategy in the world, but if you do not track the results of your activities, you will never know which of your strategies are paying off. While you may not be able to start monitoring results today, you begin putting measures in place to help you track activity.
What is the single best path to fruitful B2B lead generation?
As outlined above, there are multiple ways to generate B2B leads. However, the single best way to generate B2B leads is to seek the guidance of an industry expert. Put your business on the fast track to impressive lead generation.