Digital marketing is an endless platform for new business development. There is always something new that you can experiment with in order to improve the quantity. But more importantly, the quality of the leads you are generating. There’s no excuse for not taking the initiative to find new opportunities for B2B lead generation!
In the complex world of B2B marketing, senior management and executives are constantly striving to come up with fresh approaches to their B2B lead generation weaponry. It’s not just about having the right sales tools, it’s also about having the right ideas. Here are some ideas to implement, other than lead management software, in order to enhance your B2B lead generation output.
1. Taking Advantage of Competitor Churn
Every business will have competitors, (some more than others depending on the saturation of your market) it is part of the business world. And ultimately it is a healthy situation as it keeps the market fair for consumers and it’s also a motivation for improvement. But most businesses will encounter a competitor who, for various reasons, has taken an aggressive and hard-sell approach with their customer base. This could be due to a previous situation of monopoly or simply a business culture instilled from the mentality of the founder(s).
What you will find with this situation is that there is an opportunity for you to exploit their direct techniques. Though these companies might be capable of securing deals short-term, in the long run, they tend to shoot themselves in the foot by failing to convert future or repeat business due to poor relationships.
If you can identify a competitor across your industry who are doing business in this way then you can create a campaign to take advantage of this using SEO (search engine optimization). Piecing together a project with the intention of ranking first for your competitor’s name, followed by ‘alternative’. Now you have created a position where there is a direct funnel of potential B2B leads coming to your intelligently optimized landing page.
2. Ideal Customer Profiling
Something marketers can neglect is planning due to time-management and becoming involved in running campaigns, is creating ideal customer profiles. Once you have this created, you will be armed with a blueprint which will increase your lead generation conversion excessively. Note that this takes a fair amount of work and research in order to get it to a level where it is perfectly reflective. An ideal customer profile is a complete reflection of the demographics and features of your customers, packaged into an accessible, digestible format. Analyzing the pain points of these users and the hooks which intend to solve these.
Once complete, put it on the wall in your office. Share it with every member of your staff. Make sure everybody knows, who exactly wants and needs what you are providing… and why. No detail is too small. If there is a bucket for them, create a profile. You can then prioritize this going forward based on – best (most common) customer profile, all the way down to niche ones. It will allow you to organize your B2B lead generation process and provide more sustainable results.
When you think of social media marketing, you think of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They are very effective lead generation sources when used correctly. Quora, however, is a channel which is mentioned less frequently but can be equally, if not more powerful.
Quora, if you are not familiar, is a social hub for questions and answers. It is a more direct approach than the relationship you would be trying to build across Twitter, for instance. By going onto the platform and answering questions you can get a ‘quick win’. Your answers can directly lead to your service.
Alternatively, you can take the approach, which is a lot more longer-term, and act as a thought-leader. This is similar to the concept of content marketing by offering advice to others. You can build trust in the community by achieving up-votes and climbing to the top of the answer thread. The advantage is that the answers are there for life and can be discovered in search engines.
Here are other websites which apply similar concepts to answering Quora questions. Some may have communities directing to your industry!
4. Content Marketing
Having a content marketer in-house, producing articles for your website, blog, or micro-site is a familiar tactic for organizations. The internet is absolutely littered with content created by businesses for marketing purposes. It has become a case of producing content as a ‘minimum requirement’ rather than a revolutionary lead gen opportunity, as it may once have been in the early stages.
In order to see a value from your content marketing efforts, create content with substance, unique quality, and strategic planning. Instead of creating for visibility and vanity. You can’t argue against some of the benefits that content marketing can deliver.
- Social/viral potential
- Visibility tool
- Brand identity
- Build loyalty and attachment
- Become a thought leader
- SEO value
- Customer service
- Complete creative freedom
Again, it’s a matter of relating to your ideal customer profile. And fine-tuning the people who you want to make content for. Why waste time, effort and resources channeling blog content that will not have an effect on those who you want to do business with?
You can break your content marketing approach down in two directions:
SEO – improving the domain authority of your website as an overall through guest posting or receiving inbound links to your own blog.
Direct Prospecting – creating specific content for ideal customer profiles, ranking for particular keywords and going beyond to act as a thought leader in the industry.
5. Cold Email
Cold email is often attached to a negative stigma in business as people do not want to be receiving ‘spam’ mail into their inbox. We are all busy people and do not want unnecessary distractions when browsing your email for important messages. But cold email is a very successful way of generating business leads.
Let us be clear as to why
- Large volume sending
- Large-scale awareness
- Subject line opportunity
- Time effective
- Low-cost campaign
- Accessibility for the recipient
- Genuine possibility to contact anybody
What’s key with a cold email campaign is that the receivers are relevant. Cold email cannot be considered spam if it’s actually delivering a message that corresponds with the industry digesting it. Ultimately, if it’s not tailored then you’re wasting your own time and theirs. Meaning, you are never going to get a positive response. However, you choose to collect your data, be sure that it is filtered through to check for accuracy of companies in the right area and job titles which would be appropriate to make a decision on your proposal.
After this, you will want to draft yourself a quality cadence structure. You need to incorporate personalization and a respectful approach. Also, remember to follow-up! You may want to try keeping up with some of the best B2B marketers around, you may gain some valuable insight and ideas.