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Top 10 B2B Marketing Strategies For Lead Gen in 2020

Reading time about 9 minutes
B2B Marketing Strategies for Lead Gen


What You'll Find In This Guide:

  • 1. SEO the services on your website
  • 2. PPC Advertising on Google
  • 3. Turn Your Blog / News in Leads
  • 4. Google Maps
  • 5. Use an Event To Generate Leads Online
  • 6. LinkedIn Ads, Posts, Video & Outreach
  • 7. Resurrecting Old Leads
  • 8. Customer Message Strategies
  • 9. Sponsored Gmail & Retargeting
  • 10. DATA DATA DATA - Soft & Hard Conversions

How We Define Lead Gen.

Before we dive in, let’s just define what we mean by ‘lead gen’. In short it means ‘Lead Generation’, the process of generating interest in your products or services and often with some sort of data capture (email, phone, address...etc.).

Then we have levels of leads, such as:

- Qualified, where the business has confirmed they are ‘keen’ rather than just ‘interested’

- Dead, which isn’t a bereavement, rather just a conclusion that they’re not the right fit for us

-Closed, which sounds negative but is actually positive! They’re now a client or customer

Lead gen is often defined where a potential customer or client has filled out a form on your website, walked into a shop, phoned your sales team, spoken to you on livechat...etc. There’s been a solid ‘engagement’. We’ll come on to this in more detail at the end of this guide, as it should define a lot of your design and UX (user experience).

The Basics.

Just before we dive into the marketing strategies, I just want to leave a note that these may or may not work for you. A lot depends on your services, your industry, some can be seasonal, and most importantly, YOUR WEBSITE.

To learn more about this side of things, either have a look at our digital website audit service or have a chat with your web guys. A simple question of “What could we do better?” goes a long way.

1. Optimise The Services on Your Website For SEO

Targeted free web traffic, all the time!

Something of a specialty to us is optimising websites for users who are looking for your services. This can be a long-term exercise and if done properly, can deliver a regular flow of leads for many years to come.

The process:

1. Conduct some keyword research into what people are looking for, specifically where your services, tools or product(s) would be a perfect solution.

2. Improve the relevance of your content. This could be as simple as changing the name of a few services, right through to a complete re-position of how you present yourself around a customer messaging strategy.

3. Prove you’re the best solution through reviews, white papers, case studies and social proof.

A good place to start with this, is looking at the opportunity in Keyword Planner:

If you want to hear more about generating leads from SEO, give us a ring!

2. PPC Advertising Through Google.

Realtime activity, controlled by you.

As well as SEO, there is also another method of attracting customers who are currently looking for your solutions. It works on a ‘pay per ‘click’ methodology and you set a daily cap to keep costs under control.

Some top tips from us to make this a success:

  1. Start with keywords. Look at what people are searching for and decide which of these ‘problems’ your business can solve.
  2. Once you know what you’re targeting, look at your website and see if you have the right landing pages for those keywords. (Expert tip - if you mention the terms on your page, your clicks will be cheaper and likely yield more enquiries)
  3. Ensure your adverts are a bridge between the keyword and landing page(s). As an example, a user looking for ‘retail finance’ would be tempted by an advert that says “POS and online finance solutions for your customer”.
  4. Once you are ‘relevant’, you need to prove you’re the best. Statistics, case studies, USPs...etc. (Top tip: make sure your USPs ARE unique. For example, a monopoly, award or the guarantee will encourage the right type of conversion.)
  5. Grow your ads with sitelinks, reviews, Google Map, callouts...etc. None of these cost any extra, but increase the likelihood of a targeted click.
  6. Finally, try to learn the difference between an initial browsing customer and one who’s ready to enquire. Capturing data on the first type will speed up and increase your chance of hooking in the second type.

Fact: Multiple surveys and research has been conducted to learn that B2B users are often 70% of the way through their buying journey when they first connect with a business or a sales representative. Therefore, content really is king in B2B.

3. Turn Your Blog / News into Lead Gen.

Too often, blog content is just 'left out there', and it doesn't really deliver anything. You have the power to change that!

So many businesses blog and write news, but who actually reads it? Try something now… Go into your Google Analytics, go to ‘behaviour’ on the left and then click content. At the bottom right of the page you can expand the list to 100 or 250 lines, and try to find your most viewed blog posts.

Wish those numbers were higher? Well, we’ve got a process for that:

a) Research who you can reach on LinkedIn or what people are interested in on Google

b) Write some content around those people or that theme

c) Do your basic SEO on the post itself and create a ‘launch plan’ (our new few steps)

d) Map out who in your CRM/network you could send your new post to. Past client, potential clients, leads you didn’t sign, companies you know and partner businesses who could send it on to their clients for you

e) Run your PPC campaigns to your previously outlined audiences on LinkedIn & Google 

f) Monitor your keyword rankings and learn which posts ranked well, and learn why

4. Google Maps.

Ever noticed how high Google Maps appear on Google’s Search results? Yes, they’re great and they’re free. It’s also a great way to leverage that expensive office address you feel is so important to your customers, to create some digital lead-gen success. You can also integrate them with your PPC activity to give locality to your users. 

Our top tips for Google Maps: 

  1. Don’t just put your name, add something about your services 
  2. Images are key, both your brand logo and a lifestyle shot of something directly-related to your business 
  3. Reviews are absolutely king. We have over 15 different strategies to receive these, from QR codes to SMS messages and a reward-based incentive for clients 
  4. Ensure your description includes some of your SEO keywords 
  5. Embed the map on your website 
  6. Feed the Google Maps reviews into your website content (it could give you 5 gold stars on Google!) 
  7. Connect it to PPC as it’ll increase your advert size without any extra cost and, therefore, encourage more clicks 

5. Use an Event To Generate Leads.

We run events and they deliver a big percentage of our new client acquisition. Here are some top tips from our experience: 

  • Start with who you want to target, and why. For example, we like working in the property space because they grow quickly, often have lots of projects on for us, are easy to target for inviting to events and their retention is often many years. 
  • Release content on the run-up to the event, as an excuse to contact people and invite them. 
  • Don’t be afraid to start the ‘sell’ before the event itself. If you put questions on the registration form, you can contact a business to say “You told us on your form that you need cyber security. Are you currently at risk, because we can do a free audit next week for you?” It’s all about solving their problem. 
  • At the event, gather feedback to create more unique and insightful content moving forwards, such as “we asked 100 retail brands why the high street is declining. We couldn’t believe the top reason they gave!” 
  • Try to network and chat to people at the event itself, generating leads. 
  • Anyone who didn’t attend, send them a soft follow up. You could share some slides, invite them to another session or invite them for a conversation / webinar either way. 

Overall, you want to focus on where the value is in the event. Meeting attendees is one thing, but you have the opportunity to do a lot more on a wider scale from the event itself. 

6. LinkedIn Ads, posts, video & outreach.

On LinkedIn, you have the ability to target very specific people in a business capacity. How you do it, though, is the real question. 

My advice is always to write out what VALUE you are offering people before starting any kind of campaign. I called this a  ‘value filled’ CTA (call to action). Simply telling people you or your service exists, is unlikely to yield any significant results. 

Here are three examples of a campaign for each channel that can work well: 

  • LinkedIn promoted posts: Value filled webinar or guide (like the one you’re reading!) 
  • LinkedIn right-hand ads: Exclusive offer of trial on a service 
  • InMail: An invitation to a value-filled event 

Another use for LinkedIn promoted posts would be brand awareness of either your solution or a reason to use you. For example, lots of telecom companies have been busy explaining that PSTN lines (old phone lines) are ending soon, so you need to move to VoIP (which they offer!). 

7. Resurrecting old leads (email, events, content).

It’s well known that most of your revenue opportunities are currently right under your nose. This is both found within current clients or from something historic, like a past client or old lead you didn’t convert. 

Some ways you could do this: 

  • Send a piece of content out with a CTA (call to action) of “hope you’re well, what do you think of this guide we’ve just published?” 
  • Invite them to an event you’re hosting. Perhaps they didn’t fully understand your value before! 
  • Add them to a PPC retargeting list with a bit of fear, such as an advert that says “You could be missing out on hundreds of leads” with a guide behind it. 

8. Customer Messaging Strategy.

I’m going to say it - Does your website even explain what you do? 

We’ve spent a lot of time working on what we call a ‘customer messaging strategy’. This is where we grab our SEO keyword and it’s learnings of what people want & know, to then go through the entire website with a fine tooth comb. 

My Game: ‘what do they do?’ It’s quite simple… you open a website and start a timer until the person next to you can correctly identify what they do or what their deliverable is. 

Once we’ve checked the customer side of this, we begin editing all the content on the website and even address the UX and design of how it all fits together. The big problem we encounter is that businesses get so stuck in internal thinking and talk about their benefits, such as ‘fast, effective, flexible’. Rather than simply stating “we provide the best hosting platform on the planet, and it’s extremely cost-effective”. 

This sort of exercise starts to address things like low conversion rates, high bounce rates and lack of overall lead generation. If it’s not clear, people’s attention span will disappear very quickly. 

9. Sponsored Gmail & Retargeting.

Another element of Google’s PPC platform is the ability to send ads via two very interesting methods: 

  • Sponsored Gmail ads are where you can run adverts which look like emails to users on Gmail. This may be slightly better for B2C, but it all depends on your targeting methods and key prospects.
  • Retargeting is a great concept. People visitor your website and you then follow them with ads around the web. The problem? If they didn’t convert the first time, why would they convert the 2nd time…?

    What you need to focus on, as we’ve mentioned a lot, is value. You need to give them a reason to come back or, which is my recommendation, create a look-a-like audience. Say you’re promoting a particular piece of content on your blog that’s generating enquiries and want more. Why not create a look-a-like audience of people who reached the ‘Thank you for your enquiry’ page. 

Google also has a display advertising platform, shopping and YouTube. All of which, we’ll save for another day as they can get a little complicated! 

10. DATA DATA DATA (soft conversion, database building).

So, you’ve got a website and you’re getting leads. You know roughly what marketing activity they are coming from, but can you answer me these questions? 

  1. Which traffic source(s) sends the best traffic into your website? 
  2. Why they’re ‘the best’? 
  3. How many people from each source convert? (form fill, phone call, live chat...etc.) 
  4. How many of those converters qualify into a good lead? 
  5. How many good leads convert into customers? 
  6. Which PPC keyword, advert, SEO keyword, guide or service page created a new customer? 

If you fail to answer 1, or more, perhaps we should have a chat! Without the above it is very difficult to really pinpoint what’s working and, therefore, what should be done to grow things. What you really want to end up with is a detailed contact record in your CRM system for every new client which tells you EVERYTHING. Once you’ve got the data, use it wisely. 

Written by Rob Stanbury

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