With many SME businesses reporting diminishing returns from their B2B lead generation efforts, the days where growth could be assured using trade shows, mailers and outbound calling are well and truly over.
At incite we believe this is down to a failure to adopt modern sales and marketing techniques. Technology has changed buyer behaviour in profound ways and you need to respond to these changes by introducing more B2B inbound marketing techniques.
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A word to the wise though, there is no magic bullet when it comes to B2B lead generation. The methods briefly discussed in this blog should work with and supplement your traditional activity, making it more successful. Only fools rush in after all.
A solid B2B content marketing strategy is vital. If you don’t have this you can’t implement any of the tips discussed. This really is B2B lead generation 101.
- Firstly you need to carefully consider who you are creating content for, what their challenges are and how their market is shifting. This will result in the creation of buyer personas. Try to keep these simple and to as few as possible. At incite we have three. Even HubSpot, a globally lauded content marketer, only have three!
- High quality content is vital. It is more important than any short term SEO benefit.
- Split your content into stages in the buying cycle. Stage one is buyers researching problems, solutions and self-educating. This is usually where most B2B organisations have little or no content.
- Get your sales team involved here if you have one, they will be crucial to the success of any inbound marketing program.
Build strong ties using social selling:
- Link to, follow or friend a group of your key prospects. Connect with and encourage them to follow you (don’t get too creepy though).
- Monitor social media for signs of dissatisfaction, or news that influences a purchase of your product and do the same
- Share your best and most relevant content and industry news – then monitor how they interact. Thank them for RT’s and shares, start conversations.
- Introduce ‘bait’ that is light – demos, top line product info and see if they bite
- Try and move the conversation off social to email, phone and face-to-face
Keep it simple stupid
Never assume that your prospects have an understanding why your products or services are important to them. It is important that you find out what they value and provide them with information that is valuable to them. From this you will create B2B lead generation campaigns that will speak to your prospects and show you will add value to them better than your competitors.
In short, with today’s new breed of buyers, you will generate more leads when you decide to teach your prospects rather than simply sell them.