B2B Articles - January 17, 2019
Did you meet your lead generation goals for 2018? Whether you were right on, above, or just below the bar, 2019 can be a year of even greater growth. You may need to get back to basics while also trying out some new strategies. The key this year is relevance and targeting, even more so than in the past.
Here are five critical B2B lead generation strategies for the new year, with ideas and best practices to get you started.
Many B2B companies are autobiographical with their value proposition. They focus on themselves, their years of experience, their accolades and what they do. What they should do is focus on their buyers. Buyers have an easier time finding your competitors online than ever. More buyers are turning to online research. So it’s not enough to have a run-of-the-mill value proposition.
This year, stand out for your buyers. Re-evaluate your value proposition to frame it around buyer needs, goals and challenges. You may need to research this to do so. Use the new year to check back in with your audience.
Do messaging exercises, interview your clients, and run A/B tests with different value points. Put the buyer first: Here’s what our product or service does for you and why you need it. Whether you’re helping someone work faster, better, make or save money, future-proof, or reach new customers — now is the year to say it clearly.
If your business has been around for a while you probably have analytical tools set up already. Many B2B companies have Google Analytics accounts, social media tools, and website analytics. But few know how to read the analytics to extract smart insights. This is the year to make those analytics matter.
Create a report for your marketing and sales teams around your digital performance across channels. Then create a to-do list items for the coming weeks and months to optimize gradually.
Examples of analytical insights + next steps include:
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel nor redesign your entire website. You can make small changes that have a big impact over time.
Many companies see lackluster campaign results or sales outcomes for the sole reason that they don’t have anything compelling to say.
Just one in four buyers want to discuss budget, authority, and timeline on their first call. (HubSpot)
If you are constantly pushing out things that your audience can buy, consider creating something for them to learn from. This year, create a solid piece of thought leadership content and test it on different promotional channels,
This can be an eBook, a video walkthrough or webinar, an original research report, an infographic, a course or something else. Your stance should be compelling and original. It should speak to a specific segment of people —your buyers— identifying them by industry, job title or pain point.
Invest in strong writing and editing, statistics/data, design and packaging. Throughout the year, this piece can be repurposed into many different formats like blog posts and social media posts. Sometimes with our clients, we’ve seen one amazing thought leadership piece (like a quarterly industry report) generate most of a company’s leads for an entire year. So make this your year of strong content marketing.
Account based marketing (ABM) reduces waste by focusing your resources on only target leads. Whether you have success casting a wide net or not (and most companies don’t), it’s wise to at least give ABM a try. The idea is to identify these accounts and create demand generation in different channels, often by paying to promote targeted messaging and content offers.
One very successful channel is LinkedIn advertising. You can launch a campaign and reach the right people with very robust audience-building tools. Then you can promote your content either behind a gate or freely accessible. You will become top-of-mind for these accounts and can start or nurture a conversation about your solution.
Seven in 10 B2B buyers watch a video sometime during their buying process. (Google)
LinkedIn offers a wide range of different ad formats and all are worth testing. You can try image or video formats, text ads, or sponsored content offers if you have eBooks or other materials. The key is to be specific and relevant, with an arrow to a target versus a wide net approach. Let the analytics you gain guide your optimizations and future campaigns.
Sales reps who attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even 60 minutes. (Harvard Business Review)
Being fast and available is key, especially considering that buyers are doing loads of online research. If you don’t reach them fast, your competitors might in that same time frame. Many companies are turning to automation tools to help resolve this problem.
Some options include chat bots on your website with instant routing to the right department or rep. Artificial intelligence bots can also respond to new leads with semi-personalized emails. Using these tools your sales team can get in touch quicker with prospects while momentum is building.
At the very least, set up automated email nurturing so you can always keep a touchpoint going with hot leads. Strive to make these educational and provide content to read and download, not just “Thanks for reaching out” said many different ways.
Read more: Using Content in the Sales Process
2019 can be your year for better, more efficient lead generation. Try these new tactics in the new year and see lead generation grow.
HubSpot Sales Perception Survey 2016
Google, Think With Google, “The Changing Face of B2B Marketing“ 2015
Harvard Business Review, “The Short Life of Online Sales Leads”
First-party data marketing
SEO for B2B
B2B Marketing for IoT Companies
B2B Product Marketing
B2B Software Marketing
IoT go-to-market strategy
HubSpot for ABM
ABM for AI companies
Marketing for IT Companies
B2B lead generation
B2B Marketing and Growth Agency.
Grow your B2B business boldly. Ironpaper is a B2B marketing agency. We build growth engines for marketing and sales success. We drive demand generation campaigns, ABM programs, B2B content, sales enablement, qualified leads, and B2B marketing efforts.