B2B Lead Generation

Written by: Phillip Chambers  | June 27, 2020

“Brother, I hate to break this bit of news to you, but if you don’t have a prospect, you’re out of business real quick” - Zig Ziglar

Hello friend - welcome to the most advanced road map for business-to-business (or B2B) lead generation on the interwebs. 

You’re about to dive into a lifelong journey of learning how to convince a prospect to raise their hand and say enthusiastically “YES! I do wish to learn more about your product!”

Before we begin I need to fill you in on a quick housekeeping item: B2B lead generation will quite possibly be the most difficult work you set out to complete. It’s a complex maze filled with wins and losses. 

I implore you to continue no matter how difficult it gets because lead generation is the 2nd most important part of your business, right behind your product or service.  

Having said that, follow me for an advanced look at what B2B lead generation is, the strategies behind it, and how you can start building your empire today.

What is B2B lead generation?

B2B lead generation definition: B2B lead gen is the art of earning attention from people who can purchase your product or service. 

In more "technical marketing terms": it’s the process of building a repeatable system for getting people to indicate to your business they’re interested in learning more about what you sell in the marketplace. 

When you start to think of lead generation as the lifeblood of your business, your growth will skyrocket.

By generating new leads you’re able to keep the business running because it means sales will hit their numbers, the product will hit their numbers, and ultimately your business lives to see another day. 

There are plenty of strategies and tactics you can employ to accomplish this goal, and we’re going to touch on them later in this article, but for now, you need to know 1 key difference in generating leads for B2B compared to B2C lead gen. 

B2B vs. B2C Lead Generation

The strategies you use for B2B lead generation compared to B2C will not prove to be as effective. Period.

B2B lead generation involves selling into corporations that have entire teams dedicated to purchasing from vendors. If you’re targeting corporations, especially Enterprise organizations, you must convince multiple people - sometimes up to 6 or 8 individuals - that you’re the perfect vendor for their problem. 

No easy feat. 

You’ll need to learn how to create content for every different phase of the sales cycle, and each piece will need to be specifically geared to overcome certain objections if you want to close the deal. 

However, with B2C lead generation, you’re only convincing 1 person to purchase from you, and the tactics and strategies you employ are going to vary wildly from B2B strategies. 

Here’s a good breakdown of the differences between the 2:

Types Of B2B Leads

There are a variety of terms you’ll find to explain which stage a potential prospect is in, and these terms can often be interchanged with on another. However, the definitions of the term is what you’re looking to keep consistent. 

Here’s a visual to help you understand, with explanations below:

Now, I want you to memorize the below because this is how you will determine the health of your lead generation system. 

Once complete, we can go deeper into the strategies and tactics. 

Prospect - Any person who expresses interest by visiting a website or piece of content, and/or match the correct firmographic criteria for purchasing your product. 

  • Example 1: You sell a marketing tool and you find on LinkedIn a Chief Marketing Officer for a logistics business. This would be considered a prospect.
  • Example 2: A person who downloads a piece of content but you don’t know their title or have a business email. This would also be considered a prospect.

MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead) - a person who expresses interest AND fits the target profile for your business.

  • Example: The CMO of the logistics business downloads a case study about your marketing software. This would now be considered an MQL because they engaged with content AND fit your criteria. 

SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) - A person who is experiencing a distinct pain and wants to take action on it. 

  • Example: The CMO has a discussion with your sales rep and indicates they need a marketing solution for their business and are willing to consider your company.

SAL (Sales Accepted Lead) - A person verified by the sales team as benefiting from the impact on their business, and a lead in which the sales rep takes on and will be responsible for.

  • Example: After the conversation, your sales rep believes your company can solve their problem and is willing to pursue it until it closes, hopefully as a win!

Below is a representation of the criteria questions you’ll need to ask in order to identify what type of B2B lead you’re dealing with. 

Remember - not all leads are created equal!

CRITERIAPROSPECTMQLSQLSAL
Engaged with content?YESYESYESYES
Is it a fit?YESYESYES
Meets with an expert to discuss?YESYES
Impact identified, we can solve, and sales rep accepts?YES

B2B Lead Generation Strategies

Strategy: noun: “a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.”

I’m adding this because many people I speak with get tactics and strategy really mixed up and it’s important to understand the difference.

Tactics are the actual means or actions you take to achieve a desired objective, while a strategy is the overall campaign - basically how the tactics work in sync together - for achieving the goal. 

I need to break this down because so many times clients will say they’re using SEO or ABM (account based marketing) as their main strategy - and then wonder why they’re having a difficult time generating B2B leads. 

It’s because those are only tactics and are not connected together thoughtfully with a complete plan. 

The strategy would be how both SEO and ABM work together - hand in hand - to generate leads. 

An example of this could be as follows: you’ve done some keyword research and you found a problem your target profile experiences which can be solved with a high quality blog post with a Call To Action (CTA). You go about creating this blog post and begin getting backlinks for it to rank. Additionally, you’re a savvy marketer and you send the link to this blog post via email and social to your target audience. These prospects visit your website, read your content and some download it. 

BOOM! Now you have a highly qualified lead for your business because you leveraged smart strategy by combining 2 separate tactics. 

Pro Tip - You can amp your content up another notch by creating a killer video ad and retargeting the prospects who didn’t sign up the first time.

Hopefully the picture is clear.

If you want to generate a boatload of leads for your business, you must do an analysis of the resources you have available and decide on how you’re going to use the different tactics thoughtfully. 

This is not easy, and is why Chief Marketing Officers get paid the big bucks - they understand this thoroughly. 

Now, before going into the tactics and how they’ll help, you need to understand the 2 sub-strategies to generating B2B leads. 

  1. Inbound 

And…

  1. Outbound

Inbound Lead Sub-Strategy: 

Inbound B2B lead generation is the process of creating content that converts prospects into leads. 

You do this by making your business more discoverable online, building content that engages prospects, and ultimately gets them to raise their hand and tell you they’re interested in your service. 

The key point is you’re allowing the buyers to control their sales cycle. They’ll either choose to exchange their information with you - become a lead - depending on the value you bring to them in their eyes. 

And this value I’m talking about is information in the form of content, which earns attention, builds trust, and ultimately sparks a relationship with the prospect. 

Brands use inbound lead gen to help align themselves as the subject matter expert for the target audience they’re selling into. 

They do this by educating their buyers, which in turn helps the buyer make a more educated decision, which hopefully leads them to believing you’re the authority and the best vendor to go with. 

Your primary goal with the inbound strategy is so the buyer trusts your brand and thinks of you as the expert, but a secondary goal is to create a positive association with your key prospects so they truly make the best decision possible - even if it unfortunately means they don’t choose you. 

In marketing lingo, we like to call this Pull (or Permission) Marketing. 

Key Tactics With Your Inbound Lead Strategy:

  1. Content Marketing
  2. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  3. Affiliate Marketing
  4. Live Chat

Outbound Lead Sub-Strategy

Another way to think of outbound lead generation is to interpret it at “Interruption Marketing.”

Here you’re going to be pushing a set of messages out to an audience, hopefully targeted, whether they’ve raised their hand or not. 

In essence you’re interrupting your prospects day to advertise and gain their attention. With this type of strategy you’re the one who controls the conversation. You’re not waiting on the prospect to educate themselves before considering your product, you’re looking to strike a conversation and hopefully get them interested right here and now. 

So many people think this strategy is not viable. They’ll say things like: “cold calling is dead” or “I don’t like being interrupted, so why would I do it to others?” 

Yes - it is the case that inbound lead generation can offer a great ROI for your business, and it’s important that you include the tactics into a healthy marketing function.

However…

Outbound lead generation is still a crucial way you’re going to generate leads. At it’s best, an effective outbound strategy allows you to quickly put your business in front of a large number of people and build substantial brand awareness. 

Here’s a great example: cold email is still ranked as the number 1 way to gain new business. Particularly when it’s personalized.

Key Tactics For Your Outbound Strategy:

  1. Email Marketing
  2. Cold Calling
  3. Direct Mail
  4. PPC (Pay Per Click)
  5. Event Marketing (Trade Show Marketing)
  6. Press Releases
  7. TV / Radio Ads

B2B Lead Generation Tactics

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. This article has mainly talked about the high level part of generating leads. Within the following paragraphs you’ll learn exactly what each tactic does, and what it will provide for your business. 

Before we start though I want you to take a look at this image and use it for the future. It’s a great visual for the effectiveness of each tactic as you start to form your strategy. 

In the content below we’re going to dive into why these tactics are effective, and how you can use them for your business. 

Let’s begin with the first one...

Content Marketing

If you’re at all involved in marketing you’ve doubtlessly heard the phrase: “Content Is King.” Normally I’m not one to put weight into cute spun up phrases, but this one does make you stop and think. 

We live in an age where the buyer has more information to read in a single day than all information ever recorded before the beginning of the internet.

This means the people reading this content are getting more educated, more sophisticated, and it’s going to take a lot more than a pretty demo to impress them into buying your product. You’ve got to educate them so they come to the table 70% of the way to choosing your product. 

Welcome to the new age of marketing.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent information to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and to ultimately drive a desired action. 

Content marketing is the overarching way you’re going to generate leads for your business. Not only is content marketing used to educate the prospect, but you’re going to use content marketing for a whole host of other actions you want a prospect to take. 

For example, content marketing can be a unique infographic which helps define a pain point your prospect is experiencing.

Your prospect would then download this infographic in order to read it a little more in-depth, and by them downloading it they’ve given you their information.

Boom - you’ve got a lead now! 

However, content marketing is more nuanced than this because it can also be a private client referral video not open to the public, but only to those accounts who are close to closing, as a way of getting them over the edge and committing to you.

Pro Tip: Align your content marketing strategy with your seo strategy for maximum results.

This would also fall into content marketing. 

Even more, content marketing can be games or live events your company hosts.

As you dive into the pool of B2B marketing you’ll begin to realize that each company's marketing department needs to be a production studio with the amount of creativity and content it takes to compete in this day and age. 

Remember, signal over noise…

Here’s a couple useful examples of different content marketing types:

Blogs

Blogs have quickly converted from being abstract musings of indy-style journalists to now becoming powerhouse lead generation tools for major and minor corporations. 

Companies who don’t have blogs are missing out on ranking for keywords that are guaranteed to provide your target audience with unique insights, and hopefully, solidify your business as the subject matter expert. 

When writing blog posts you need to keep these things in mind:

  • Organize your blog into pillar and cluster models.
  • Keep the content related to the problems your product or service solves, nobody wants to know what the CEO had for lunch today.
  • Test, Test, Test - then for good measure, test again. 
Check out this course on blogging if you want to learn how to start & grow a successful blog.
Webinars

For a period of time webinars were hailed as the ultimate form of B2B lead generation. It’s easy to see why - marketers love it because you can control almost everything about the content, and prospects love it because they get inside answers to specific problems they’re dealing with. It’s a win-win.

But with the popularity grew businesses who lost focus on creating quality over quantity and prospects have quickly grown suspect to any webinar intended to be nothing but a sales pitch. 

Don’t get me wrong though - webinars are an amazing way to scale your efforts of educating your target audience without breaking the bank, but you’ve got to be strategic about how you use them. 

Here are a couple of tips:

  1. Know the format that will resonate with your target audience. Ask yourself, which stage of the audience are you creating this webinar for?
    1. Top Of Funnel - you’ll need educational content that focuses on “how-to” questions.
    2. Bottom Of Funnel - you’ll need case studies and product demo webinars for this audience. 
  2. Use Multi-channel promotion for your webinar. Make sure you leverage email, partners, and other advertising methods for the best chance of attendance. 
  3. Score the leads. If you’re going to follow up, you’ll want to be certain it’s with a person likely to commit.
  4. Follow Up on your attendees. Don’t be afraid to ask for the meeting!!
Video

Video is the form of marketing that will last for our generation, and beyond. With video, you can quickly engage with your audience and show your company not as a brand, but as a group of humans working towards a single goal!

Study after study shows that video marketing is one of the most successful ways of creating brand awareness and is a tactic every brand needs to take seriously. 

If you doubt me - ask yourself how often you’re going to Youtube for information, I bet it’s A LOT. In fact, Youtube is the number 2 search engine behind Google. 

Here are some ideas to integrate video marketing into your overall B2B lead generation strategy. 

Video Marketing For Top Of Funnel

In this phase, your goal is to attract attention. You’ll need to create the following videos to accomplish this:

  • Explainer Video (this explains your product or service)
  • Whiteboard Series (solving a problem in multi-step fashion)

Here’s an example of an explainer video in action for Unroll.me!

Video Marketing For Middle of Funnel

Middle of the funnel is where you convert leads into opportunities. From our lead definitions above, you want to move the person from being a prospect to an MQL. 

You accomplish this by creating the following types of videos:

  • Live video or Webinars
  • How-To Videos
  • Content Offer Promos 

This is also where I would house retargeting videos too.

Video Marketing For Bottom Of Funnel

Here’s where you seal the deal - you move a lead from being an MQL to a SAL or hopefully a closed-won deal! 

The types of videos you’ll need for this section include:

  • Case Study Videos
  • Client Testimonials
E-Books / White Papers

Ebooks will be a main staple of your content for your business. They’re perfect because you can dive into complex problems and show your expertise on the subject. And generally people are willing to give you their information in exchange.

If you’re going to create an ebook though, please keep these rules in mind:

  1. DO NOT SELL

Too many companies think they can play the bait and switch game with their target audience. They’ll create an ebook and fill it with a written sales demo. 

Yea that’s not gonna fly with your prospect.

  1. Design An Amazing Cover

You know how they say never judge a book by it’s cover - well in B2B lead generation you can throw that phrase out the window. 

People download because it looks cool.

  1. Add A Large Variety Of High Quality Images

Excellent copy, an interesting topic, and stunning images - this is what leads to a successful ebook. You must have a designer handle your visuals for you, or use Canva if you can!

Infographics

Fun, light, and refreshingly easy to consume - infographics are the perfect way to spruce up your content strategy. They’re meant to be visually compelling, and they’re going to help you gain a lot of top of funnel leads. 

Having said that you need to remember that this isn’t going to be an in depth piece of content. Infographics are meant to make data easy to be interpreted and should leave the prospect saying: “Huh, that’s interesting.”

Here’s the anatomy of a quality infographic:

  1. Data

You need to find or create interesting data addressing your prospects particular needs or frustrations. The example above is perfect because it simply explains Bitcoin and helps unpack its complexities. 

Present this data in a unique way that helps your prospect with direct action steps to success. 

  1. Design

Just like the ebook above you’ve got to create the infographic to be pleasing to the eyes. Keep the font readable, make sure the color scheme matches your brand, and most importantly make the data pop! 

Case Studies

Ever want to peek under the hood and learn how your peers solved a specific problem you currently have?

Case studies do this for you - and then some. 

A great case study is going to explain in depth how the vendor was able to solve a specific problem, and the outcome of their solution.

When done correctly it should create a story from beginning to end with your company coming out as the hero!

Here’s a very quick guide to writing one for your business:

  1. Know The Objective Of The Case Study

You must focus on 1 specific problem your client had and tell the story of how you solved it. A couple examples include: 

  • How you generated more revenue
  • How you automated certain job functions
  • Complying with strict regulations
  • Generated more leads

It can be almost anything - but it’s got to be singular in purpose. 

  1. Select Your Medium

Will the case study be video, written, or podcast. Maybe all 3!?

Here’s an example of a video one:

  1. Ask Current Customers If They’ll Participate

Try to pick a customer who has brand recognition in the marketplace, particularly the target industry you’re looking to dominate. 

Just remember that you must contact them and ask for permission - sometimes brands don't want their competitors knowing what they’re doing…

  1. Develop The Case Study

You’ll need to following to develop a great case study:

  • Title
  • Story of the Subject
  • Challenges Faced
  • How You Overcame Them
  • Results of Solution
  1. Promote

Once the case study is complete - you’re ready to promote to the world. Go ahead and let your success speak for itself!!

Template or Checklist 

Such a fantastic choice of content because of how actionable it is to the end user. They don’t take a lot of time or money to create, and your prospects will love them if they’re aimed at keeping them focused on the goal at hand. 

Here’s a quick example of what a good checklist looks like:

You’ve got to ensure the template has clean organization, are concise, and helps the prospect most importantly take action. 

Interviews

This is a type of content that blends videos, case studies, and more together and is quickly becoming a high-performing type of content marketing. 

People are showing they’re more interested in learning through long form content and an interview can provide valuable information which dives into the nuances of a problem you can’t typically get from written content. 

This can also help your business by positioning it as the subject matter expert. 

Social Media Posts

By this point I’m sure you’re aware that social media can be harnessed for great results. You can use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and beyond to help build audiences and grow relationships in a more meaningful way than your competitors. 

Look at Drift for instance. They were one of the first chat bots available on the marketplace, but they leveraged a really savvy social campaign to build brand awareness. 

Here’s a quick example:

By using what’s called User Generated Content they gained viability within their target audience and boosted overall demos. Plus, they got a ton of referrals from this social media campaign.

Memes

Humans think in memes. At least that’s my personal belief, and I welcome you to try and prove me wrong, because in case you haven’t noticed, Millennials and Gen Z reference funny things through memes. It’s how the generation speaks and communicates to each other. 

Memes allow you to break into a forum in a funny and almost ironic way. The content is incredibly popular and can go viral quickly, but you’ve got to be certain you’re testing these formats because what was popular just a couple months ago can be old news now. I recommend you test consistently with this type of content. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

From the words of our founder: “SEO is the science (and frankly ART) of bringing people to your website, from search engines, who are likely to be interested in the products and services you provide.”

“SEO is the science (and frankly ART) of bringing people to your website, from search engines, who are likely to be interested in the products and services you provide.”

Here’s an interesting fact, over 98% of all searches on the internet happen on Google, and Google uses a crawler to index websites and rank them based on what they believe the visitor is looking for. 

So, if a visitor happened to be looking for an answer to the very problem you solve, and you don’t appear on Google, you’ve just lost a lead… and a customer. 

You use SEO as a way of putting all the content you created above into a highly searchable format so your visitors will have a chance to actually read it. 

When it comes to generating leads for your business though, we use SEO to get your blog post ranking for certain keywords that are getting monthly searches, and with that blog post - if you’ve written it well enough - people will find you as the authority on the subject and will reach out for learning more. 

BOOM! now you’ve got a lead who’s highly qualified and interested in your product or service.

Wait.... no. We've been booming too much. This time, let's f*ckin #micdrop instead 🎤

Affiliate Marketing

What if you could have an army of sales people, all very hungry for a healthy commission, do the selling for your product absolutely free? 

This is what affiliate marketing can do for you, and for some it’s one of the most lucrative things they’ve ever done, because they know the real money is made on the backend. 

There are 2 sides to the affiliate equation. The product or seller (which would ideally be your business) and the affiliate marketer. With affiliate marketing, you’re partnering to leverage their audience and marketing expertise to sell your product.

Now, we include affiliate marketing in our conversation on B2B lead generation because *most* affiliate marketing is actually the marketer creating leads for your business to follow up on, with the idea of you being able to close them. 

Live Chat

Live chat is a tool you add onto your website where visitors can have the chance to speak with a live person if they have questions. Rather than having to fill out a form and wait for a phone call or email, they can get their questions answered with a quick and easy chat box. 

Many online studies have found that live chat is a great way to increase website visitor retention and boost overall lead generation efforts for your content marketing. 

We all know speed is king, and with live chat you’ll gain that speed to lead which increases your odds of getting the sale!

Email Marketing

Marketing Sherpa performed a study and found that a shocking 81% of B2B firms leverage email marketing as their primary form of lead generation.

Using email has many advantages for your business, particularly since it’s cost-effective and your ideas can be executed quickly for near immediate feedback. 

For your business, I really recommend you put outbound email marketing at the top of your list for generating B2B leads. Sending personalized emails to your prospects is the quickest way to start the machine of generating leads.

Here are some interesting stats about email marketing:

  • 93% of B2B marketers use email as their primary way to distribute content.
  • 60% of B2B marketers say that email performs as their best ROI for generating leads.

Here are some quick tips for your email marketing:

  • ALWAYS think in WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) which is the radio station your prospects think in every day.
  • Keep your emails short, clean, and crisp. Remember, more is less with email.
  • Personalize your messages, go beyond the typical “Hi {{First Name}},” personalizations.
  • Reward your reader with a something high quality for reading your email.
  • More than 60% of your email needs to be in 2nd person or “you” format.
  • Always ask for something, but make sure it’s ONLY 1 thing you’re asking for.
Recommended Resource: Email Marketing Tools

Cold Calling

Cold calling is dead - and you can argue with me all you want, but calling your prospect out of the blue, with no information or prior research is not only embarrassing, but a waste of your valuable time. That’s why cold calling, in my opinion, is dead. 

But you know what isn’t dead??

Picking up the phone and calling a prospect. That’s still very alive and well. In fact, “Cold Calling” can achieve a 6.3% conversion rate from call to close. That’s how effective it is if done correctly. 

Your first goal with cold calling is to get the prospect to pause, just for a second, and snap out of their automatic response. Your next goal is to sell a 15-20 minute discovery call. You’re not trying to sell the product, only a meeting, and you do this by demonstrating 3 things: 

  1. You’re enthusiastic as hell.
  2. You’re a force to be reckoned with.
  3. You’re sharp as a tac. 

If you can demonstrate these 3 things, within the first 5 seconds, you’ll get your prospects attention and the chance to convince them why they should listen to you. 

Direct Mail

Look - I’m going to level straight with you. If you have the budget, and you know - like you really know - your product will benefit a list of targeted prospects, then direct mail is one of the coolest and most memorable ways of generating B2B leads. 

Yes, the cost-per-lead will be a bit pricey, but you’re going to get a lot more qualified conversations by crafting a really great direct mail campaign instead of just sending them an email drop. 

Here are a couple examples of great direct mail campaigns with huge ROI…

Google used direct mail to gain 1000’s of new advertising clients:

Slack Generated Hundreds of High Quality Leads With Their Love Box

Pay Per Click Advertising

PPC is the online advertising model where you the business will pay companies to show your website ad in the hopes of getting clicks to your landing page. 

There are different kinds of PPC ads, but the most common one’s you’ll find are Google Search Ads, where you actually pay to rank for the top spot on any search term you pay for. A good example of this could be for dentists who want to rank quickly for the term: “Dentists in Los Angeles”. As you can see this term has high search intent and by paying Google your website can rank in the top spots. 

Other forms of PPC advertising is display ads - think banners on the top of the webpage or right side ads - and Facebook or LinkedIn advertising. 

All these forms are very effective for generating leads for your business.

Event Marketing

Event marketing within the B2B lead gen space is a type of offline marketing channel where you can get valuable in-person interactions to build relationships, generate leads, accelerate pipeline, and create brand awareness. 

Typically we consider event marketing to be going to tradeshows where you speak with highly qualified prospects as a potential vendor, but there are a variety of other ways you can generate leads through event marketing. 

Some ideas include:

  • Tradeshows
  • User Conferences
  • VIP Dinners
  • Lunch & Learns
  • Roadshows

Event marketing is critical to your strategy because more often than not CXO and decision-makers are in attendance where you can chat them up and get a chance to connect which is normally impossible with just email. Plus, it’s difficult for somebody to outright ignore you if they’ve seen your face, it’s a human nature thing. 

Quick note that this form of B2B lead gen can get costly up front, you’re going to spend on average $10,000 to get a speaking session and a booth at these conferences, but for enterprise level companies this is well worth the effort because of the high quality leads they drive. 

Press Releases

A press release is an announcement of something newsworthy in an objective manner, by different news outlets.

Many claim the press release is dead because of social media taking over the news cycle, and what used to be an almost guarantee of going viral is now something of just another drop in the vast news ocean.

The reason press releases are hit-or-miss is due to the lack of control you have with them. You’re typically only allowed to write factual, non-sales, style copy and depending on the circulation it can be hard to get in front of the right audience. 

Don’t get me wrong, if you do your press releases correctly by pairing it with SEO and social media you can generate some real buzz, but it’s a multi-channel approach in order to generate quality leads which can raise the lead cost. 

TV / Radio Ads

There are 2 competing perspectives when it comes to TV and radio advertising.

First, according to Forrestor Research over 80% of CMO’s believe traditional television advertising is less effective.

Second, Burst Media did a study and found that over 50% of all internet users think television captures their interest most effectively.

So what does this mean for B2B lead generation?

Well… Both are true. In fact here’s a visual of how advertising is trending.

For B2C brands we’re finding that TV ads can create a sort of ROI-positive effect for the other channel advertising happening. 

However, for B2B brands it’s best to use TV advertising as a tactic when you’re in the mature phase of your business. 

Examples of these successes include organizations like: eHarmoney.com or Expedia.com which are both consumer facing orgs selling an either freemium style or low cost product. 

You’re better spent dialing in other tactics which can create a hard number ROI you’re able to track before you enter into the world of “brand awareness” which is often a reason for throwing massive amounts of money at an almost unsolvable problem. 

B2B Lead Generation Ideas

The above is all about the foundation of what you’ll need as to create your B2B lead generation machine. Now we’re going to focus on the out of the box ideas you can put into action. The idea behind this is to give you a great starting point for pumping out really qualified B2B leads. 

Let’s get started…

Use Retargeting To Convert More Visitors

With the amazing technology we have you can actually track the visitors who come to your website. So this is how we mix the 2 different pillars of content media with PPC advertising.

Step 1: Create a really interesting piece of content, maybe an infographic or case study. 

Step 2: Put it on your website for people to visit and potentially download

Step 3: For those people who didn’t download, you can actually re-target them with super specific content via Facebook or Google.

Now you’ve increased the odds of getting that person to go from being a prospect to an actual MQL to potentially a closed deal because of your effort. 

Create Quizzes

Quizzes are long time thought to be a buzzfeed style piece of content to generate advertising and clicks for fun. Quickly marketers took a stab to see if it would be effective for B2B and to their surprise it worked really well! 

But be warned - creating an engaging questionnaire is difficult, you need to ask questions that aren’t too easy or too hard, and you’ll need to have an exciting reward for the people who win! 

Use Email Automation

We spoke earlier about how email is one of the pillars of generating B2B leads, but do you think you can send daily emails?

This is why email automation is so important because you’ll be able to generate fresh leads without the stress of having to do the day to day. Leverage the tools below to gather the proper information and then you can plug them into tools like Mailshake or Outreach which will do basically all the work for you as long as you set it up ahead of time. 

Think of something like the below as what your end goal is for automation.

You can set up email sequences that will stop immediately when the person responds, and you can even put a task to make a call between the emails which will pop up into your to-do list. 

If you’re just starting out, or you already have a big business, leveraging automation is one of the best ways to scale your efforts without adding unnecessary expenses. 

Write Guest Blog Posts

This is one of the best ways to get your brand into the thoughts of your prospects. If you know there are authority websites that your target audiences listen to and pay attention to, you can actually reach out and write content built for the audience. 

This is a standard SEO technique to build a good website, but it can be leveraged to generate leads too. 

Use LinkedIn

If you’re going to use any social media platform for B2B lead generation, use LinkedIn. It’s transformed from being just a place to put your resume and get new positions, to being an amazing lead gen tool and distribution site for your content. 

Now with LinkedIn you have to use a different strategy compared to your website or other content you’re creating. LinkedIn is best used when you create short, easily digestible, but immediately practical pieces of information to digest. 

You can leverage LinkedIn automation tools where you can start to connect with people within your industry, and then you can write about the issues which happen within your industry with the option for the reader to go more in-depth. 

Just remember - be consistent because that’s how you gain a tribe!

Create A Freemium Version

Depending on what industry you’re in, providing a free tool that helps your industry is an excellent way to generate leads. 

Here’s an example: if you’re in the finance industry it makes sense to create a real time spreadsheet calculator that helps your members with their work. 

Here’s another example: if you’re an agency you can provide some type of easy analysis your prospects can use to improve their website or advertising. 

This type of idea is excellent for top of funnel generation, but you’ll need a good follow up sequence to ensure they get more qualification to become a truly qualified lead. 

B2B Lead Generation Tools

When it comes to lead generation tools there too many tools out there to keep up with the pace.

However, you need to know that there are certain aspects you’ll need tools for, so do your due diligence in determining which tools are necessary for right now.

If you have a burning problem I recommend you fix it, but you can get a lot done with spreadsheets and key tools to scale your efforts. It’s a dirty secret that many companies are run on spreadsheets and grit!

You need to break down the anatomy of your tech stack for lead generation into its parts. 

Here are the parts:

  1. Offer creation
  2. Lead Capture
  3. Landing page tools
  4. Lead nurturing tools

So save on time and effort we’re going to recommend our favorite tool for each of the parts.

Offer Creation

Canva

Canva is a graphic design tool that can build a wide variety of content for your lead generation efforts. From infographics to ebooks, Canva has a large selection of pre generate visuals that are guaranteed to make your reader say “Wow”.

When it comes to the content creation portion we highly recommend you go with them. 

Lead Capture

OptinMonster

When you start getting visitors to your webpage you’re going to need a way to capture the data and that’s why you need to consider OptinMonster

They have a wide selection of ways to capture prospect data, which include floating bars, pop-ups, and inline display sections.

You can even A/B test to determine which works best for you. 

Landing Page Tools

Unbounce

If you want to build amazing landing pages with all the bells and whistles then look into Unbounce as your next best friend. You can create professional landing pages in seconds, and it has a drag and drop technology to easily create something from scratch. You can even AB test to see which pages work best with your traffic, and it integrates with nearly every CRM available. 

Lead Nurturing & Management Tools

Hubspot CRM

Hubspot is the industry leader when it comes to inbound marketing - and their CRM doesn’t disappoint either. It’s really budget friendly for your marketing and sales department, and has great options for automatic lead follow up. 

The analysis portion is what’s so useful. You can see which subject lines are working, number of minutes spent reading per email, best time to send email, and beyond. Plus, it integrates with the largest variety of apps on the market and you’ll be able to manage your leads from 1 single source.

Don’t skimp on a CRM - it’s the literal lifeblood of your lead generation process.  

B2B Lead Generation Tips

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Here are 12 tips you can implement right now to give your lead generation a quick boost:

  1. Become a speaker at other people's events. 
  2. Use Zapier to automate the manual tasks you have for lead generation.
  3. Write 1 blog post every week.
  4. Create a video marketing advertisement and use it for retargeting your prospects.
  5. Create 1 case study from a successful client.
  6. Join 5 industry specific groups on LinkedIn and start making comments and sharing non-sales material.
  7. Split test your best landing pages on your website.
  8. Set up an auto email sequence for all your leads which come from content marketing.
  9. Create a content plan for the next quarter.
  10. Answer 1 question every day on Quora.
  11. Send a high quality newsletter to your current database.
  12. Analyze your email send times to see what times are best for highest open rates.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article is your guide to making the most of your B2B lead generation efforts. 

Remember, you need to leverage all the different forms of marketing to make 1 whole system that will work for you to generate leads. 

Let us know if you have any questions below, happy to answer!

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