The basics of lead generation: Find buyers who have a problem that your product or service solves, show them how awesome your solution is, close deal, celebrate. 👍 The best lead generation strategies make this a natural process.
The real questions are: What lead gen strategies are you using, and are they working? A lot of successful marketing campaigns are trial and error. What’s successful for one set of leads may not work for another. So, you rely on a lot of A/B testing of your email drip campaigns and landing pages (and that’s good—don’t stop that).
The B2B buying landscape and demographics have changed (and they’re still changing), so it may be time to integrate a few lead generation strategies you might not be using right now. The majority of B2B buyers expect more face time with provider reps (76%), and they’re doing deeper, longer dives into research (77%), according to a 2020 B2B buyer study by the Weidert Group.
8 Lead Generation Strategies with Examples
What’s a marketing team to do? The lead gen strategies below may be new to you or a simple refresher, plus we threw in some B2B lead gen tips. And as a bonus, a suggested tool for each that can help you pull it all off without a hitch.
1. Create Compelling Content
The first step to creating compelling content is to know your audience. You should have customer profiles or personas to start. Curate the content they want based on keywords they’re already searching. Sometimes it’s going to take more than a well-written article to pull them in, though.
Consider what your buyer needs to make their job easier. What can you provide them that inspires them to gladly fork over their contact info? Make it relevant to them, to your business, and make it irresistible.
Lead Forensics speaks directly to its lead and prospect. The article covers data security, which is important to anyone working in sales and marketing. Oh, and look at that form to the right and above the fold. Nice.
Use this tool: Hubspot. If you’re already using CRM software you like, then ignore us here. But Hubspot is a great all-in-one solution you can use for campaigns, web forms, and a CMS for all the compelling content you’re going to create. Plus, you can create B2B thank you pages that don’t suck.
2. Make It Easier for Leads to Book a Demo
Many B2B buyers have lost a bit more time of their day to all the research they’re doing before they make a decision. To stand out to your leads, do everything you can to reduce friction. Make it easy for leads to work with you—that starts with your first interaction.
As you saw in the strategy above, Lead Forensics went with a classic web form approach, which works well for inbound lead generation. But how quickly do you think someone books a demo after filling out the form? Whatever your answer is, you have to be faster. It’s a race to convert.
Use this tool: Chili Piper’s Concierge turns a web form into a conversation (no, that’s not a typo of conversion—but yeah, that’s where it’s going). A prospect can request a demo from a web form, and Chili Piper puts the power of scheduling in their hands. If they can meet now, great! If not, they choose a time and date that works for them.
3. Collaborate With Like-Minded Companies
When you find a company that aligns with yours, it’s like kismet. You likely share a similar audience, so you can easily create a collaboration or co-partnership that just makes sense.
One of the best examples of this is the partnership between processor giant Intel and PC & laptop manufacturer Dell. The all-in-one computers were easy sells, and the campaigns they launched together created a sense of exclusivity and superiority.
Use this tool: There’s probably a business matchmaking service out there, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with some old-fashioned industry research and networking. One of the best tools we’re all using is LinkedIn.
4. Test Everything—No, Seriously
We already established that you’re doing A/B testing. No marketer worth their salt would stick to one landing page with one call-to-action for all their leads. So, this isn’t a tip to do split testing, rather it’s a tip to split test everything—even the bits you think aren’t worth it.
Swap the color of your buttons; try a different font for your CTA message; change “your” to “my”; resize, recolor, reformat—try and test everything, a little at a time until you find the right combo. It might surprise you what makes a difference in your CTR and demo requests.
5. Join the Conversations on Social Media
If you’re going to borrow from the B2C playbook, the social media strategy might be a good one. Social media platforms are great for directly connecting with your fans, prospects, and leads. More than ever, consumers (B2C and B2B alike) are demanding better customer experience from businesses.
Like content creation, you need to know your audience in social. Snark works for some, but could backfire for others. The takeaway is, you should use social media for more than promotion. Use it to build trust and brand awareness (and loyalty for some) with your audience.
Use this tool: Hootsuite makes it easy for you to streamline and automate all of your social media stuff. You’ll be able to add all your profiles and see responses to posts, mentions, and more. You can schedule posts, and respond to people from a single dashboard.
6. Give It Away or Make It Cheap
One of the best ways to make your company valuable to leads and prospects is to give something away that your potential customers can’t live without. A few examples: Hubspot’s free marketing tools; UpLead’s free email finder credits; OnPay’s free payroll tax calculator.
Example: Chili Piper offers a free tool that’s helpful for anyone who needs to book meetings or demos and wants to avoid the endless time-and-date suggestion loop. Instant Booker just slots available times in your email, and the recipient chooses what works best for them (from the same company that creates the tool mentioned in tip No. 2).
7. Retarget & Remarket Site Visitors
There’s a big benefit in PPC advertising. You get at the top of search results, and that might result in a click, but even if it doesn’t, it works like display advertising. So, you stay top of mind for prospects and leads. Consider showing off your free tool, or maybe a discount, in your ads (like the example below).
If you aren’t retargeting your site visitors, you’re missing an opportunity to remind them why your company + site visitor = 💓. And for the remarketing part of things, that’s mostly email marketing to remind a once-warm lead that’s cooled down a bit that you’re still the hottest thing around.
Use this tool: You guessed it: Google Ads. It’s the top choice for so many reasons, such as Google having nearly 90% of the search engine market share and they make digital advertising so easy. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are also great choices.
8. Leverage Your Competitors’ Audience
So, there are a few ways you can siphon your competitors’ audience into your funnels, and it works well as a demand gen strat, too. You should have a list of your direct and indirect competitors. Pair that with keyword research to find keywords that you can target, and then spend your advertising dollars on those clicks.
Alternatively, you can create content that pits your business against a competitor. Careful with how you write the content, though. You need to be honest with the comparison because an audience can smell BS. Be fair to your competitor by showing the similarities and differences.
As you can see, you can purchase Google ads to prevent competitors from poaching your business name (like Salesforce did in the first image). Or you can point an audience to your own product or service (the way Netsuite did with the “quickbooks” keyword).
Use this tool: Ahrefs is an industry favorite for finding all sorts of keywords, including competitors’ keywords. Use it to track your own rank for keywords, and for site audits.
Looking for more tools to push your marketing efforts into overdrive? Consider trying out these lead generation software options.
Create Your Own B2B Lead Gen Strategies
You may already be familiar with the lead generation strategies above, and it’s possible that some just haven’t worked for your business in the past. We suggest trying again with small modifications. You likely know what’s best for your business, though, so go with what works. Make your own lead gen game plan, and get leads to sales ASAP.