“B2B lead generation is easy.”
Said no one ever!
2020 has been a year of uncertainty, with lots of changes in the B2B world, and generating high-quality leads that convert is now crucial more than ever for B2B organisations to successfully navigate through these uncertain roads ahead. B2B Marketers today spend a crazy amount of time and resources planning campaigns and creating suitable content.
Don’t get me wrong. A steady flow of leads is an essential component to keeping your B2B business afloat given the current economic climate, but coming up with creative and effective ways to attract visitors and convert them into qualified leads is easier said than done. And to be honest with you, there’s no single magic technique or way to generate a ton of leads.
Lead generation is a game of trust and building momentum. Establishing trust and value with prospects during every stage of their buyer journey goes a long way when it comes to converting strangers into customers and promoters of business. But what if, instead of pushing your offer onto people when they haven’t asked for it, you could use valuable content to draw them to your website, on their terms?
You can, through Inbound Marketing.
What is Inbound Anyway?
Unlike Outbound Marketing tactics, Inbound Marketing relies on Quality Content that contains valuable information that your prospects want to know; whether in the form of Blogs, Videos, Podcasts, Checklists, Infographics, E-mails, or Webinars, to draw them closer to your brand.
Inbound Marketing goes beyond Lead Generation to nurture the leads you’ve attracted and builds trust and credibility in your business in the long-term. It is also an extremely cost-effective method to generate traffic that can be converted into qualified leads over time. If you truly want to yield higher quality leads, Inbound Marketing is the way to go.
So without further ado, here are some proven Inbound B2B Lead Generation Strategies you can deploy to increase brand visibility and grow your business in 2021:
This blog (Part I) will cover the first 5 Lead Generation tactics.
1) Website Design and Layout
In today’s online-first world, your business’s website acts as a customer service representative. It is one of the first interactions that prospective customers will have with your business. Therefore, the first step to a successful Inbound Marketing Strategy is to ensure your website is inbound-ready. But what makes a website inbound-ready?
The design of the website is one of the main factors that potential customers are looking for while purchasing products or availing of a service. Modern buyers demand a certain level of sophistication in design. They will value your business based on the quality of the site, and a proportion of them will go elsewhere if your website looks like it was created in the last century. When designing a website, the main objectives should be to enhance user experience, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, by providing an environment that is user-friendly, simple, and memorable.
Site structure and content:
You can’t build a house without a blueprint. The same goes for your website. Your website must have an organised and well thought out architecture in place before you focus on design. When creating a sitemap, Think about the user’s journey on your website from start to finish. What do they want to see? Structure your site’s navigation in such a way that your website is crawlable by both search engines and by users. Having fewer pages that are internally linked with more focussed content and information critical to purchase, creates a stronger foundation than a large, sprawling website. Understand your audience to know what content they look for in every stage of their purchase journey, to solve their biggest challenges.
More traffic often translates to more visibility and profitability. But quality traffic is what you should be looking for. You want the people who are most likely to become prospective leads and, ultimately, happy customers who will significantly contribute to your business’s growth.
Having a live-chat feature or a chat-bot on the website is proven to greatly increase engagement and enhance your visitors’ website experience. Live chat is also an extremely cost-effective method to increase sales, turn visitors into potential customers, and ultimately gain a loyal customer base.
If people aren’t interacting with the website, that means the site isn’t providing any value or benefit. Having a strong online presence means having a strong website.
2. Content is always ‘King’
One of the consequences of a worldwide lockdown has been a further shift into a digital world. People are online more than ever, consuming content every minute. According to research from Cision, 70% of B2B buyers and users on the internet learn via content before purchasing a product or availing of a service.
If you’re creating generic content for broad audiences, you’re unlikely to address the individual interests that inspire B2B buyers to take action. The focus should be on creating targeted high-quality content that reaches out to the needs and relevant issues facing your buyer personas and pairing it up with segmented campaigns designed to bring them on board.
To sum it up, to boost SEO rankings, gain traffic, and leads, you need to have great content on your blog or website. So, what makes great content? Here are some tips.
- Be original: Original Content goes a long way when it comes to search rankings as well as engaging with your target audience. One of the aims of Google’s Algorithm update is to prevent bad content from ranking high. So If your site has duplicate content with little or no added value, there is a good chance Google could penalize you for it.
- Add Images & Videos to communicate better: If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video should be worth a million. 95% of marketers said using images & videos led to an increased understanding of their product or service. Creating content that is visually appealing greatly enhances user experience by keeping your audience engaged, and has the potential to drive staggering amounts of traffic to your website.
- Understand Your Buyer’s Intent: When people use a search engine or read a blog they are looking for a solution to their problems. Great Content provides answers and addresses the pains and challenges specific to a target audience. Spend some time understanding your audience and their search intent to know what type of content they need. From this, you can create the right content strategy to attract them to you.
- Create actionable and engaging content: The best content gives readers a sense of how to apply the information as opposed to telling them what to do. Focus on creating engaging content that provides information your users want to know and give users tips on how to apply the information that you are offering them.
3. Solving problems and sharing ideas over blogs
Blogging has the potential to drive a significant amount of leads into your sales funnel and is a great way to share knowledge with your customers about the industry or other relevant interest areas to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog. (DemandMetric)
For a business, blogging does more than let followers know about your recent company news and events. It helps a business build a sense of trust and establish a strong connection with their prospects by consistently providing knowledge & information. The most important benefit of having a blog is that it adds value to the overall customer experience. 55% of marketers use blogging as their #1 inbound marketing strategy and say they have benefited from it.
Blogs are also a great way to make your business visible above your competition in search engine results. The more valuable pages you publish, the higher search engines like Google rank your website. Blogging is also an important element of the lead conversion process. The benefits of blogging can be extended across all three stages of a customer’s journey (Awareness, Consideration, Decision) which play an equally important role in converting a customer.
For example, Educational content surrounding a specific topic of interest to your readers with check-lists and tips can attract new customers/visitors and sparks an interest in your product/services.
The consideration stage is where you really establish yourself as a thought-leader and stand out from the competition. ‘How to’ type posts can be used to convert customers at this stage, who might need a little push by providing them with additional info about your product/service.
And finally, A testimonial/review type post fosters trust and credibility in your business and can help a customer in the decision stage who is seeking social proof before purchasing from you.
4. Search engine optimization (SEO)
Back in 2010, you could rank high for any page, if you got the technical SEO basics right and use a few tactics. However, in 2020 things are much different. You really have to earn your place to be at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP).
SEO has come a long way since it was introduced in 1991, and today, SEO is a critical element of any successful Inbound Marketing strategy. Inbound Marketing and SEO need to work together to fulfil the strategy of attracting, engaging, converting, and delighting customers. Consistently creating high-quality content is at the heart of Inbound Marketing. But top-notch writing will only get you so far. You need a strong SEO strategy to ensure that your prospects can find your content prominently on the web when they search for terms that are relevant to your business. If you want your visitors to stay on your site and take action, you’ll need to address their pains and needs, not only in terms of the content you provide but how they navigate through that content as well. This is called Technical SEO and it’s just as big a factor as on-page elements.
High-quality content is the most important signal used by Google to rank your website for search. When you compare first-page results with lower-ranked pages, there is usually an extreme difference in quality. People generally tend to prefer the results on the first page for that reason. The first five organic results on the first page alone, account for 67.60% of all the clicks and traffic. Ranking high on Yahoo or Bing will bring visitors to your site, but companies who rank high on Google are most likely getting the most business. Google’s strength can’t be denied in the search engine category. Gone are the days of tricking search engines with spammy tactics. Google’s Algorithm changes have brought about an entirely new SEO practice that prioritizes users over search engines. Keeping up with Google Algorithm changes ensures you’ll stay agile and help your visitors see you as a trustworthy expert in your space.
For more information, read our blog post on ‘Why SEO Needs to Be Part of Your Digital Strategy”
5. Organising Webinars
The popularity of webinars was already on the rise before the current pandemic; they’re a powerful tool for showcasing thought leadership and increasing brand visibility. In fact, before lockdown, InsideSales.com reported that 73% of marketers and sales leaders found webinars to be one of the most reliable ways of generating quality leads. The current quarantine situation has created a Digital Revolution, where we see virtual events such as webinars emerge as the number one trend in online learning. The number of businesses that use webinars as a training tool keeps increasing by the hour.
Webinars are scalable, cost-effective, and most importantly flexible. It saves time when you want to reach out to a group of people at one time. Webinars are also an excellent way to generate high-quality leads for your business. If someone signs up for your webinar, they already have an inherent interest in what you do as a business, which makes it easier to convert them. The lead-generating webinar is typically offered free of charge. Because it requires registration, you can collect basic information on a session’s attendees.
However, maintaining audience engagement and focus is critical when you’re hosting a webinar. No one wants to sit through a webinar that’s like a boring lecture. If you want to capture the attention of your audience, you need to keep it as interesting, interactive, and innovative as possible. There are two crucial elements to be addressed to organise a successful webinar:
- Topic: Choose a topic that is relevant to the problems of your buyer persona. While quality webinar content is extremely vital, its success depends entirely on its topic. A killer webinar topic is what earns you greater exposure, more registrations, and sky-high attendance.
- Speaker: You put a lot of time, energy, and money into creating a webinar, and a webinar speaker that falls flat can bring the whole event down. Selecting the right speaker for your webinar is paramount. The speaker should know how to present the content in an engaging way, and how to captivate the audience from the start.
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