Are you on a mission to generate as many marketing-attributed leads as possible? Well, you should be! Why? Because marketing is no longer just about branding; it’s about delivering results.
The truth is that generating B2B prospects leads can be a challenge, especially with high volumes of misinformation to wade through. So, we have done the hard work for you and created this article to set out how B2B companies should be generating leads through digital marketing in 2022.
What is Lead Generation?
Simply put, it is about converting somebody who has never even heard of your company into a paying customer. This is commonly known as ‘Inbound Marketing’. In other words, it’s the first step every business must go through before making a sale. However, creating leads isn’t easy.
Leads can either buy right away, they can be interested but have no demand, or they can never be interested at all. Depending on the specific area or niche in which your business operates, there are usually different criteria for what is considered a sales qualified lead (SQL).
They’re split into two categories:
MARKETING QUALIFIED LEADS (MQL) – MQLs are qualified leads that aren’t ready to buy. This person may have downloaded an e-book or attended a webinar, so you know they’re interested, but they’re not ready to pay. MQLs account for most inbound leads; so, it’s no surprise that many marketing teams are accused of providing ‘rubbish leads’ when they hand them over too soon – just because an e-book was downloaded doesn’t mean you’re ready to buy the software.
SALES QUALIFIED LEADS (SQL) – SQLs are sales-ready leads. These leads are shopping and may have requested a price or a demo. These are the leads the sales team want and should pursue.
Using the AIDA Model
Because nurturing potential consumers during their decision-making process is more crucial than ever, many marketers find the AIDA model valuable for tracking the customer journey. AIDA stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action and is an advertising effect model that highlights the stages an individual goes through while acquiring a product or service.
You may use this strategy to guide clients through various stages of the funnel, resulting in conversions, so that you can start to reap the rewards of nurturing your lead generating strategy when it relates to your product or services. You can also use it for both online and offline marketing, or a combination of the two, to ensure that you have a complete understanding of your marketing funnel.
Target the Right Audience
The first step in building any successful marketing strategy is to identify your ideal customer. It is impossible to target customers if you don’t know who they are. Think about the type of customer you want to attract and create a ‘buyer persona’ based on key details such as age, gender, location, interests, buying habits, and the problem/need your business provides a solution to. Developing a buyer persona will help you understand your users’ needs, experiences, behaviours, and goals and is essential for planning how to contact your target audience and choosing where to invest your valuable time and money most effectively.
Once you understand who your audience is, you should create a piece of content, otherwise known as a lead-magnet, that addresses a trending business issue or fills gaps in their knowledge. Content marketing thrives for one simple reason: people want high-quality, relevant, and engaging content on topics of interest to them, and your customers are no exception.
Create a Landing Page and Call-To-Action (CTA)
After you have identified and created your content, you’ll need to create a dedicated landing page for it. This page should have a form to complete with a call to action (CTA) to explain why the reader should provide their email address to receive the free resource; should it be an e-book, whitepaper, webinar, podcast, or video series. Filling out the form automatically transforms them from a browser to an MQL in the process.
Driving Leads to your Landing Page
So, you have your lead magnet and landing page sorted. All you need now is traffic. The methods you choose will depend on three things; your business offering, who your audience is, and what your goals are. Some approaches offer immediate results but are expensive to start, whilst others are good long-term marketing strategies. We list the most popular methods below:
- Paid search advertising (PPC) – paying to advertise for specific search terms
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) – website content to drive organic search leads
- Social media marketing – producing regular content that engages, entertains, and informs customers
- Paid social advertising – using social media platforms to target (and retarget) suitable leads
- Email marketing – starting direct conversations in your potential customer’s inbox
- Event Marketing – getting face-to-face with potential customers
Ok, now you have your leads, don’t let them sit there gathering dust, it’s essential you nurture them. Lead nurturing is the building of a relationship with an MQL, who is not currently ready to buy. The goal is to educate the prospect and build trust, so when the time comes to buy, they think of you.
Email Nurture Streams
MQLs require up to 5 touchpoints from a company before converting to a customer.
Consider sending automated email streams – emails that are pre-programmed to be sent when a lead downloads content from your website. Following a simple lead nurturing sequence will act as a mechanism to automatically drive leads down the sales funnel.
This one demonstrates how effective automated emails can be in passively guiding customers toward a purchase. It runs in the background and gradually encourages MQLs to interact with your company, converting them to the beloved SQL.
Making it Multichannel
Previously, nurture campaigns were only comprised of email marketing. But now, marketers can go beyond email and use a combination of remarketing, social media, and dynamic website content to achieve better results.
If you have someone’s email address, you can do much more with it than just send them an email. Ad platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to upload email addresses that are matched to user profiles. You can then target ads to those specific users.
You can now send information to your MQLs through multiple channels. And if you provide them with relevant and insightful content, they will be directed to your product.
Things to Consider
- Determine which content you provide will lead the customer to your company for the first time.
- Determine how to successfully promote your valuable content.
- Before you see any tangible benefits, a lot of work needs to be done in the background.
Lead generation and nurturing have proven to be scalable and effective strategies. However, it’s not always a quick process. From the first interaction a customer has with your company, it takes time for them to build the trust needed to become an eventual customer. It happens almost without them knowing it.
We’re Here To Help
Growthlabs offers support for the whole digital lead generation process. From initial enquiry to learning from converted leads, we work with you to define a successful campaign for your business.
Get in touch to get started!