6 B2B Lead Generation Ideas To Implement in 2020
by Mike Khorev
What Is B2B Lead Generation?
Simply put, lead generation is the process of attracting, engaging, and converting website visitors into leads.
A lead, on the other hand, is basically anyone that has shown any signs of voluntary interest in your products and/or services. Since here we are mainly discussing B2B lead generation, then your leads—and target customers— are businesses and organizations that are in need of your product or service.
Another important factor that is unique for the B2B environment is that there can be several different stakeholders in a single target company.
For example, if your product is a B2B software, then the target company’s IT officer, IT manager, finance manager, and CEO might be involved in the purchase decision. Meaning, each of these individual stakeholders with different roles can be considered a unique lead, with each of them requiring different lead generation approach and targeting with SEO for SaaS and Software companies.
How B2B Lead Generation Works
How do we ‘convert’ a random website visitor into a lead?
The answer is to capture the visitor’s contact information (mainly email address) via an opt-in form so we can then send email content as a lead nurturing process. The typical steps would be similar to this:
- We attract
- We place CTA (Click-To-Action) buttons like “buy now” at optimized places on our web page, this will be closely related to the lead magnet, which will be discussed below.
- Visitors that clicked on the CTA button will be given a lead capture opt-in form so we can collect the necessary information from the consumer (their name, email address, physical location, etc.)
- Once the form is submitted, the visitor is effectively converted as your lead/prospect
- Now we can effectively connect with the said prospect and enter the lead nurturing stage as discussed above.
As we can see, the key here is the CTA button, its placement, and the offer we placed behind the CTA—the lead magnet—, which we will discuss above.
The Idea of Lead Magnet
A lead magnet, in essence, is something valuable we offer the website’s visitor for FREE, in exchange for their contact information.
It’s that simple. So, the key to offering an effective lead magnet is to understand our audience’s needs, pain points, problems, and what can interest them.
In general, there are three things that construct an effective lead magnet:
- Instant Solution: the lead magnet can immediately—or almost immediately— provide a solution for the web visitor’s problem.
- Perceived Value: the website visitor can perceive that the offer can provide value. Remember that the key here is the audience’s perception—and not yours—. Sometimes, something that is actually valuable is not perceived as such by the target audience.
- Communicate Unique Selling Proposition: the lead magnet can communicate and convince your website visitor about your brand’s unique value proposition. This way, when the consumer signs up voluntarily to the email opt-in, they have a higher chance to convert as actual customers because they understood what your brand offers.
Effective Lead Generation Best Practices
Here, we will discuss some of the most effective tactics in implementing B2B lead generation.
1. Inbound Marketing: Blog Post+Gated Content as Lead Magnet
This is one of the most commonly practiced lead generation tactics today both in the B2C and B2B environments.
Gated content is, simply put, a downloadable content that is ‘gated’ behind a lead capture form. When the user provides their contact information in the opt-in form, they can now download the content.
The main idea is fairly simple:
- Publish valuable content to attract website visitors, promoted mainly through B2B SEO.
- Engage users through the content, and offer a related, more valuable (at least, perceived as more valuable) content in exchange for their contact information.
- The visitors are attracted to download the gated content and effectively converts as a lead/prospect
For example, let’s say the company is selling an SEO keyword research tool in a SaaS business model, so the ‘main’ content discusses something like “enterprise SEO strategy in 2020”. Then, the gated content can be something like “Step-by-Step SEO Strategy” in a 10,000-word long ebook.
2. Social Media Lead Generation
Social media is an effective lead generation channel due to one obvious reason: it is where the audience is nowadays, even in the B2B environment. In fact, influencer marketing—as an aspect of social media marketing is currently— very popular in B2B marketing.
There are over 3 billion social media active users all over the world. Nowadays, even B2B stakeholders consider social media as a valuable source of information.
There are three main approaches to using social media for lead generation:
- Organic: that is, growing your own social media followers and attract them organically with your content.
- Paid: using advertising and other paid promotional options offered by various social media platforms to generate leads. For B2B businesses, for example, LinkedIn offers a specific lead generation ad campaign.
- Influencers: working with influencers to promote your brand, product, and/or service. In essence, a mix of organic and paid approaches.
In practice, you can use social media to direct your audience to a content (which will offer a lead magnet, as discussed above), or straight to a landing page with an opt-in form, among other methods.
Social media is among the quickest, easiest to implement, and most cost-efficient B2B lead generation channels available, and it’s also highly versatile.
3. Effective CTAs
The design of the CTA and how we place it will significantly affect the conversion rate. However, creating a highly effective CTA can be easier said than done: on the one hand, it has to be simple and clear enough for our audience. On the other hand, it has to effectively attract and engage.
So, how can we develop highly effective CTAs? Here are a few pointers:
- The offer: a CTA can only be as powerful as the offer behind it (see point one above), the other
- Text/Copywriting: this is about how you communicate the offer. This guide by Hubspot on CTA copywriting might help you in this aspect.
- Visuals: a CTa can come in the form of a visual button (or even a banner) or a text-based hyperlink. In general, however, well-designed buttons tend to catch more attention.
- Contrast: the CTA has to stand out from its surrounding ‘environment’. Use different colors than the rest of the page, use typography that sticks out, and so on.
- Size: fairly obvious—the bigger, generally the better. Yet, it’s important to maintain the balance of the overall context.
Make sure the CTA is clear and communicate the right message about the role of the user. For example, if the user is going to download something after they click on the button, then say “download”. Similarly, if the CTA is about free-trial sign-up, say “sign-up for a free trial here” or something similar. Keep it specific and don’t mislead the user.
4. Slide-In Scroll CTA
The idea here is fairly simple, and also one of the most effective ways to generate leads.
Here, we ‘slide-in’ a scroll box—technically a contact capture form as a CTA— after the user scrolls through a certain percentage of the entire content, for example, we can slide in the opt-in box after the user scrolls through 70% of the entire page.
You can use tools like OptinMonster to create this type of CTA.
5. Effective Use of Pop-Up Forms
A pop-up box is also effective in collecting direct leads.
Simply adding a pop-up box at the end of your content can significantly improve lead conversion rate. Why at the end? Because placement is very important, and most users decide whether they’d want to commit with your brand—or not— when they reach the end of your content. So, placing your CTA here will translate to asking them to make the decision right away.
In short, timing is important.
Also, this might convert visitors that are originally unwilling to at the start of the content.
6. Create a Quiz
An interesting and interactive quiz can be an effective method to generate more leads, and you can use tools like Interact Quiz Maker or Bucket.io to create this lead-generation quizzes.
The idea is quite similar to ‘traditional’ CTA and lead magnet: provide value with your quiz, and communicate this value as best as possible.
For example, tell them that this quiz will provide insights into how they can grow their website traffic, and don’t forget to deliver on this promise.
Keep in simple: ask around 6 to 12 question, and only include three or four options for each question.
Lead generation is—in its purest essence—, an art of understanding your target audience, provide value according to their needs and/or problems, and find out opportunities to capture their contact information.
Don’t annoy your site visitors, and always aim to provide value to your audience. Also, timing is key.
I'm a growth marketing consultant who helps B2B, SaaS, IT, technology and software companies generate more leads, sales and grow revenue online. I offer expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO, digital marketing, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices. Connect with me on LinkedIn and schedule a free marketing strategy session!
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