With the advent of the internet and proliferation of social media, B2B marketing, B2B lead generation and even B2B selling has changed dramatically in the last 10-15 years. Hard to believe but LinkedIn started back in 2003 and beyond recruiting has become the go to source for B2B content marketing, lead generation and yes sales.
But unlike most of my articles that focus heavily on LinkedIn marketing, branding and lead generation I wrote this article to take bigger look at my top 5 B2B lead generation strategies for 2017.
In 2017 and beyond, digital marketing is becoming the backbone of B2B sales and marketing, and there are more opportunities than ever to take advantage of your online channels, even when it comes to magnifying your traditional marketing efforts.
I’m about to show you 5 of the most potent marketing strategies that are driving the success and sales at some of leading B2B organizations around the world.
Here are My 5 Top B2B Lead Generation Strategies
1. B2B Content Marketing
If content marketing isn’t already the cornerstone of your online lead generation strategy, it’s because you either a) you’ve been living under a rock or b) your not quite sure how to get started. Your content marketing strategy extends into every facet of this list, so getting that down is vital to your success.
Statistics show that content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, and generates 3 times as many leads. Enough said. In case you haven’t noticed the trend, GIVING VALUE is what this is all about. The most successful B2B lead generation strategies are centered around giving away free content, and it’s definitely paying off.
3 Content Marketing Tips to Help You Get Started:
A Perfect Vision of WHO You’re Talking to:
Knowing your audience is the key to presenting well, in person and online, so investing some time and energy in market research is always a good idea. This buyer persona generator from HubSpot is a great tool to help you get started.
Quality Content, Everywhere:
All of the content that comes out of your business should be well-presented. Don’t skimp on writers and editors, and make sure you’re adding a consistent, branded touch to your content.
A KILLER Lead Magnet:
Lead magnets are ethical bribes and common practice in modern digital marketing. This is a must-have for B2B’s, whether it means white papers, an online tool, a free trial, an ebook (like mine), a checklist, a guide, or a webinar (more on that later). The most important thing is to pour your heart and soul into it and make it something irresistibly useful. Offer something great and they will come.
2. B2B Email Marketing
Email is still a massive sales tool, especially if you’re automating your campaigns and working to build your list. Once you give your audience a reason to sign up, you can rest assured they know about your business, making it easy to drive them further down the sales funnel.
3 Steps to a Better B2B Email Marketing:
Forget Your Newsletter:
According to a study from Adestra, using the word newsletter in email subject lines results in an 18.7% decrease in click-through rates. You can do better. A creative subject line is the marine corps of your email marketing strategy, so don’t be afraid to spend some time making it catchy.
Trigger-based, segmented email marketing tactics are a great way to increase B2B sales, especially if you have multiple products or services you’re offering. It’s always better to give people relevant content and offers for them, and the more you can personalize your approach, the better. Try creating multiple sign up forms for different segments of your list, and segmenting them further based on who opens what emails. According to data from MailChimp, segmentation increased open rates by 100.95%.
It goes without saying that all your marketing efforts need to be measured, and this is especially true with email. Having a great analytics system in place can help you determine what your audience likes to click on and help you A/B test the best designs and language for your campaigns.
3. B2B Trade Show Marketing
Yes trade shows!
Trade shows are a classic B2B lead generation strategy that has been around forever but they have by no means gone out of style. In 2015 alone, trade shows generated over $12.6 billion in revenue, so there’s no reason to snuff this high buying authority marketing channel. It may only non-digital point on this list, but make no mistake– social media tools like LinkedIn and Twitter can be a major boon when it comes to connecting with the buyers you missed, trade show organizers and vendors.
Secrets to B2B Trade Show Success:
Boost Your Pre- and Post-Show Marketing Efforts:
As with webinars and all events, keeping up your social media and email promos can be incredibly beneficial. It’s much easier to convert someone who’s been on your list or LinkedIn network and meets you in person than it is to convert a first-time passerby.
Anyone who’s gone to a trade show before knows the effect that interesting giveaways, contests, and booth designs draw in curious potential buyers. Just mind your audience, and maintain a healthy mix of creativity and conversion-boosting facts to display your value.
Create a Targeted Offer Just for the Show
Featuring a special trial or discount for tradeshow attendees is a great way to make the jump and encourage people to use your product or service. Be sure to market your offer on LinkedIn and Twitter, using hashtags.
4. B2B Webinars
Webinars are a huge B2B lead generation tool. By simply sharing what you know with the right people, you can build a ton of authority– which makes you an instant influencer for the people who sign up for your class. It’s also a great way to build an email list of highly targeted buyers in your industry.
B2B Webinar Marketing Musts:
Be a Better Presenter– or Find One:
You already know that webinars with a boring presenter are the ultimate turn-off for potential buyers. This is something that some small business owners overlook. When in doubt, outsource to your team and introduce someone who can present it better. The most important thing is to make sure that your presenter is interesting, knowledgeable, excited, and well-spoken. Also make sure no one tries to be overly salesy, another common webinar sin.
Do 3 weeks of promo:
According to research from ReadyTalk, 3 weeks of pre-webinar marketing is the magic number. Be sure to leverage your email list and social media presence to promote your event.
Host on a Tuesday or Wednesday:
Mid-week webinars have higher attendance. Mondays are usually too hectic to sit down and watch a webinar, and Thursdays and Fridays are usually left for wrapping up the rest of the week’s to-dos.
5. B2B Social Media Marketing
You already know that I’m a big fan of LinkedIn. As a former social media nay-sayer, the cold hard data taught me that leveraging social media for your B2B sales and marketing is the future of business, period. I have a ton of content about this, but I’ll break down 3 of my biggest social media recommendations that will help you when it comes to your B2B lead generation efforts.
With LinkedIn leading the social media pack when it comes to B2B lead generation here are 5 articles that can definitely help you with your LinkedIn lead generation.
My Top B2B Social Media Tips:
Zero in on Your Audience:
Understanding your audience is a point I brought up for content marketing, but it couldn’t be more relevant on social media. Knowing who you’re talking to makes it easier to create content that connects you with your people. It also helps you understand the platforms they’re on and when.
Be both Interesting and Interested
It goes without saying that only content worth noticing gets noticed so creating and sharing quality content is critical. This means using multi-media content when you can, and making sure you’re using the most engaging type of content for each platform you publish on (think videos and links on LinkedIn and Facebook, statistics on Twitter, excellent images on Instagram, and infographics on Pinterest).
Equally if not more important is 1 on 1 engagement with your fans and followers on social. The only way to build a loyal following on social is to leverage it to develop real relationships with the right people. This is where focusing on being interested vs interesting can pay huge dividends.
Your marketing message can be as interesting as it gets, but it won’t come across if you aren’t consistent too. Be aware of who you are as a brand, and keep your content in line with that vision to draw in the right people (and keep them coming back) .
Create a Community:
I’ve talked about forming groups on LinkedIn before, but it’s a great idea across all of your social networks. Putting a group together can quickly turn you into a thought-leader, making it easy to market to your group members later on.
As you can see there are many ways do B2B lead generation and I have personally used all of these strategies to get new clients. The fact is, LinkedIn is by far the best tool for generating highly targeted B2B leads for your business. Soon my online LinkedIn marketing and lead generation course will be launching. In it I will share my entire system that helped me generate over $20 million in new business on LinkedIn without ever spending a dime on advertising.
P.S. If you’re one of the thousands of people who have already enjoyed my book but are curious about how to turn LinkedIn into a predictable and sustainable supply of leads for your business click here to schedule a free 20 minute LinkedIn lead generation strategy call.
“Stop the madness. There’s a better way!”
LinkedIn Marketing & Social Selling Consultant, Trainer, Speaker