Putting together a successful multi-channel lead generation strategy for your B2B customers requires two critical steps: precision and consistency. Mastering the art of precisely defining your customers and then consistently maintaining your messaging strategy across all of your marketing channels is simple as a concept, but a little less so as an operation. Fortunately, we’re here to help steer you in the right direction.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the four most critical steps that you must follow to successfully and precisely generate B2B leads. By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to define your marketing channels for generating leads, how to define your target audience, how to analyze potential customer responses to your advertisements and marketing materials, and how to nurture your leads to (hopefully) convert them into happy customers.
1 – Define Your Marketing Channels To Generate Leads
Your first step must be to define the marketing channels you’ll be using to generate leads in the first place. Needless to say, there is no shortage of lead generation channels that you can explore, and there is nothing wrong with utilizing multiple marketing channels at once either (in fact, if anything this should be preferable to yield better results).
Examples of marketing channels you should consider for generating leads include:
Host actual events or webinars, whether in-person or virtual, that revolve around and showcase your product. This is your chance to demonstrate your product actually working.
Advertisements and marketing materials that you’ll use to generate interest in your products. This includes social media advertisements or Google advertisements.
Public Relations (PR)
Used for driving general awareness about your brand’s existence, versus attempting to make customers interested in specific products.
Reach out to customers in a proactive manner to try and get them interested in your product. These are customers who have already indicated an interest in your product(s) or what your business has to offer because they’ve already signed up to become a part of your email list anyway.
Content (Search Engine Optimization)
Create content that provides answers to the general questions of your audience. Rather than reaching out to customers directly, you’re attempting to help them find your business naturally. Include CTA’s somewhere in your content that take your potential customer to a landing or product page. Speaking of which…
Your goal with each of these marketing channels is to direct the person to a landing page, which is where your product is being offered. Besides products, you can also offer product trials, courses, or ebooks as well.
It’s also vitally important to have the proper payment systems in place too for your leads should they decide to convert at this point in the customer journey. The good news is this shouldn’t be too difficult, because most customers don’t ask for or require obscure payment options. According to recent surveys, over 70% of online customers today report that they prefer to use a credit card for completing their online transactions. In other words, simply offering a credit card payment system for your leads should they decide to convert should be convenient enough.
2 – Define Your Leads
The next step for successful B2B lead generation is via precisely identifying and defining your leads. A lead is simply any potential customer who has demonstrated interest in your product in some way. That’s it.
However, not all leads are the same, and in order to determine how serious a lead is, you should classify them under one of the following:
Marketing Qualified Lead
These are leads who have engaged with your marketing (such as clicking an advertisement, filling out a form, etc.) but are not yet ready to make a purchase. Consider these customers who are demonstrating interest in your product, but are still a ways from buying your product.
Sales Qualified Lead
Sales qualified leads are leads who have gone a step further by expressly indicating or communicating to you that they are interested in buying a product from you. Think of these as customers who have reached out to your business and are asking your questions.
Product Qualified Lead
Product qualified leads are leads who have actually used your product, such as via a product trial or a past version of the product.
Service Qualified Leads
Service qualified leads are leads who have expressly communicated to you that they want to buy your product and become a paying customer.
3 – Analyze Customer Responses to Your Marketing Efforts
Consistently analyze your customer responses to your existing advertisements and marketing efforts. For example, if you’re using video marketing, find out which exact moments in your videos resulted in the highest user engagement and the average length of time that customers spent watching your video. This is called ‘creative testing’ and it’s critical for further developing your marketing materials. You’re essentially finding out what exactly people are responding to the most.
Also be sure to pinpoint the exact moment of conversion, so you can develop new content based on what’s the most successful at converting customers. This doesn’t just apply to videos. With your social media advertisements, for instance, which specific advertisements are generating the most conversions. On your landing pages, how far are customers scrolling down before converting? Or are customers even converting at all?
The information you gain through simply analyzing customer responses to your marketing efforts will reveal much about how serious they actually are about buying from you, and you can adjust your marketing materials accordingly.
4 – Nurturing Your Leads
The fourth and final major step is to nurture your leads once a potential customer has, well, become one of the four major types of leads discussed above. The whole point to ‘lead nurturing’ is to help your leads stay leads (at least for a little while) and then become customers, instead of losing them at some point in the sales pipeline.
Here are a handful of important tips for nurturing your leads:
Keep The Transaction Process Simple
As noted previously, make things as simple as possible for customers to purchase from you. Offering the ability to pay via credit card and other commonly used payment options is important, and also make sure to offer professional and easy-to-read invoices to your customers as well for larger transactions.
Be Responsive to Inquiries
From your emails to comments you get on your social media posts, be responsive. You should respond to all customer inquiries within twenty-four hours at the latest, and even less is ideal.
Create Educational Email Content
Create emails that demonstrate your product’s value to those on your email list. Just make sure that your content here is not too sales-driven, and provide more resources to help the lead. The idea is to be helpful to the needs of your lead, and not be too pushy to try to get them to convert.
You should now have an essential idea of what a successful strategy for generating leads will entail across multiple platforms and marketing channels: choose the channels you’ll use, define what kind of leads you’re generating, carefully scrutinize e how people are interacting with your marketing efforts, and nurture your leads carefully by making things as easy as possible for your customers to convert.