No matter the type of business you’re in, there’s one thing that matters more than anything else – generating leads and improving your bottom line. The advances in digital marketing have created a large variety of lead generation tactics. However, this only seems to have made things more difficult and created a situation of overchoice. While trying out a myriad of different lead generation methods to see which one works is a great idea, many companies don’t have the funds or the time to do so. In fact, for 65% of businesses, generating leads and traffic is their #1 marketing challenge. Here are some of the tried and tested B2B lead generation methods, as well as some out-of-the-box ways to generate B2B leads which are up and coming and sure to create a buzz.
Playing it safe: what works for most
If you don’t want to risk your marketing budget and play it safe, there are methods that are proven to work across industries.
Content marketing is still huge, despite your average Joe pumping out blog posts like crazy. Even though it’s becoming harder to stand out through the noise, content still generates 3x as many leads as paid search, for each dollar spent.
Email marketing is one of the staples of lead generation, and for a good reason. As research confirms, every dollar spent on email marketing gets a return of $44.25. Things may not be so spectacular in 2018, as GDPR is now a thing and cold email is extremely difficult to pull off.
Social media marketing is one of the most common lead generation methods, but it is slowly losing steam. As Facebook and other platforms are weakening organic reach as time goes by, it’s becoming a situation where you need to play to win. Even the most widespread B2B network LinkedIn is decreasing organic reach.
Quizzes for lead generation
Remember almost a decade ago when Buzzfeed blew up with their quizzes and everybody went crazy sharing results on Which Popstar Should be your Best Friend? The noise around quizzes seems to have died down, but marketers have found another use for them, besides wasting time at work.
As a lead generation tool, quizzes perform really well. Their interactive nature and the ability to provide visitors value before asking for something in return makes them an ideal tool for lead gen.
What’s unique about them is that people love to share them – an average quiz gets shared about 2,000 times. That’s besides the promotion on your official channels. Another interesting aspect is the value and return on investment. According to LeadQuizzes, one of their clients was able to capture over 40,000 leads in the course of 5 months, at only $0.38 per lead.
You may be wondering – are quizzes really that great for B2B marketing? In fact – they can be, if you know exactly whom you’re targeting.
Sure, webinars may not be that revolutionary, with every company out there promoting one or two per month. Especially with the advent of evergreen webinars, it’s become easier than ever to host and promote your own webinar without breaking a sweat. As it turns out, there’s a reason why so many people use them for lead generation.
You get more qualified leads. Think about it – a lead just popping by on your blog may or may not be interested in your product enough to leave their email or sign up for a demo. On the other hand, someone willing to sit through a 60-minute webinar (ideally between 30 and 45 minutes) is definitely a qualified lead interested in learning about your product, willing to learn in-depth information.
You give more and you can ask for more. Without a doubt, creating and hosting a webinar takes much more work and time than writing an average long-form blog post. Because leads perceive webinars as higher value, they are also willing to provide more of their data in order to get access.
You’re not limited by space or time. As mentioned, apps such as EverWebinar allow you to create a webinar, host it and replay it, without recording it live. While there’s the benefit of less work to be done, you also lose out because you cannot directly engage with your leads in Q&A sessions during or after the webinar.
As it turns out, webinars are simply made for B2B, as 62% of marketers use webinars for generating B2B leads. What’s more, each webinar on average generates 20-40% qualified leads out of the entire viewership.
Video Marketing (Explainer Videos)
If you haven’t been following, video as a type of content is skyrocketing. In this moment, 81% of all businesses use video, compared to 63% in 2017. Perhaps more importantly, by 2019, 80% of all online traffic will come from video. Needless to say, this is a power that marketers should harness for lead generation.
So, how do you do it? Problem #1 is – how do you actually generate leads from video? Clearly, simply uploading a video to YouTube and expecting leads to come swarming in is a rather poor tactic.
Platforms like Wistia allow you to host your videos on their platform and put it on your website, instead of giving YouTube your precious traffic and driving visitors away from your site.
Besides playing video, Wistia allows you to create calls to action, track clicks, follow when the visitors drop off, and perhaps most importantly, put an opt-in somewhere in the video player. That way, the visitor has to leave their data to finish watching.
Wistia is not the only option out there, with contenders such as Vooplayer coming in to take a piece of the cake.
The second part of the problem is – how is my company going to pay for all of this?
Creating (or outsourcing) a blog post costs anywhere from $50 to $500, while videos are in a whole different league when it comes to cost. But is it really so?
Not really. The majority of businesses cannot make videos in-house, so they outsource the work – for as little as $1,200 for a basic video.
Which type of video should you use? There’s lots of options to choose from, but explainer videos seem to make a lot of sense. They’re short, they can present a problem and a solution and they’re relatively inexpensive to create.
There’s no doubt about it, people love free stuff, especially if it’s actually useful for them. According to Cialdini’s first Principle of Persuasion, Reciprocity, people are willing to give back something in return once you present them with some type of gift first.
Simply put, content upgrades are add-ons to your already existing website content, most specifically, the top-performing posts. If you’re tracking your views, impressions and click-throughs, you should be pretty familiar with the best performing blog posts on your site. Since people love them so much, why not offer a little bit extra on top?
There are numerous content upgrades that you can try out, such as case studies, lead gen calculators, infographics, cheat sheets, swipe files, guides, checklists, reports and many others. For example, Brian Dean of Backlinko was able to improve his conversion rate by a whopping 785% by using a simple checklist.
Brian uses a simple method that you can replicate:
- Find a post with lots of traffic
- Think of a relevant resource to make the content better
- Create it
- Add to your site
The hardest part of the equation is step #2, as you have to figure out what’s the most beneficial thing to offer to visitors on that specific page. Once you dial that down, give the upgrade away for free and watch those leads pile up.
Playing it safe or trying out something new?
While content, email and social are here to stay and don’t seem to be going away soon, they may be losing their efficacy because every other business out there is trying them out, with more or less success. By trying out new methods, combined with traditional lead gen strategies that work, your B2B lead generation will no longer be a chore.