With a mere 7.12 billion people on the planet, even the largest market is finite. For B2B businesses, the potential audience is considerably smaller, and that makes lead generation a top priority for B2B marketers. Whether your organization is a start-up in search of an initial growth spurt, a mature business keeping new customers flowing in, or a company preparing for expansion, here’s how to turbo-charge your lead generation.
A Matter of Strategy
Great lead gen starts with a sound strategy. With a thorough understanding of who your customers are and what paths they take on their journey to sales readiness, you’re able to plan more effective ways to reach and guide them. Database management services and marketing automation software are particularly valuable tools for audience knowledge, which in turn leads to more productive strategizing.
Timing Is Critical
Once you understand your leads and get a handle on the ways in which they make their buying decisions, you need to get a feel for their timing. The right message at the wrong time is no more effective than the wrong message. If your lead’s just starting to recognize a problem and doing some preliminary investigation, an in-depth presentation of solutions can’t be persuasive. Conversely, offering a sales-ready lead discounts on a purchase he or she was already about to make costs your organization money.
Work with Clean Lists
Whether you use a house list or connect with leads through a business email list management firm, accept nothing less than top-quality data. Lists that haven’t been merged, purged, and cleansed not only waste your effort with contacting invalid addresses, they also jeopardize the deliverability to valid leads. Email service providers pay close attention to who’s mailing what, and they quickly learn who’s mailing relevant messages. Earn their trust, and your mail gets through.
SEO and SEM Matter
Organic traffic is one of your richest sources of promising leads who evolve into customers. It makes sense: These are people who have already become aware of a problem and are actively on the hunt for a solution, so you have a great opportunity to present them with one. They can’t buy from you if they can’t find you, though, so make the most of your SEO and SEM efforts.
Social Media Counts Too
Having a social media presence isn’t the same as having an organized strategy. To be an effective lead gen tool, your social media activities need to align with your SEO, SEM, content marketing – in short, it needs to be an integral part of your overall lead generation strategy. Develop a more conversational, compelling social media presence by carrying on a dialogue with customers and linking useful content as part of your social media streams.
Publish or Perish
Much of your lead gen activity takes place at the top of the marketing funnel, but businesses that neglect leads at later stages of sales readiness do so at great cost to themselves. Leads may not enter the funnel until far deeper down, thanks to the wealth of information they can learn on their own, so you need deeper content to engage them too. Ebooks, white papers, calculators, case studies, and in-depth guides are all valuable ways to reach leads who are farther along in their buying journeys.
Close and Convert
Lead gen serves the ultimate purpose of generating more sales. If leads never take the next step, they don’t reach that point. Your lead gen content needs to not only be engaging, but persuasive; it needs to draw prospects toward taking the next step and converting. Content that’s focused on your audience’s particular pain points or goals is generally more effective as a lead gen tool than purely informative content, although ideally, you should provide leads with plenty of both.
Make It Pretty
Even if everything else in your lead gen strategy makes sense, leads will leave if you fail to get the basics of grammar and spelling right. If you think a few persnickety rules about writing don’t matter, think about how many marketing messages get trashed because the recipient doesn’t trust the source’s authority. Leads might overlook the occasional typo, but they need to believe you’ll take good care of them as customers, and that starts with respecting them as readers.
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