5 B2B Lead Generation Strategies for 2012
If you’re a B2B marketer, you know the balancing act in Q4. Your sales team needs to close sales in the fourth quarter of the year. And, you need to wake up on New Year’s Day with a healthy sales pipeline for the first quarter of the new year. So, now is the time to be executing effective lead generation strategies to build your 2012 pipeline. Let’s look at five effective digital marketing strategies for B2B lead generation.
5 Techniques to Improve B2B Lead Generation
Here are five common techniques for increasing lead generation:
#1: Content Marketing Mindset
I assume you have a content marketing mindset because you must. What content are you producing in the current quarter that will fill your sales pipeline for 2012? Consider getting back to basics. What are the top 10 questions your customers ask? Just check with your customer service department and they’ll tell you. Produce content that answers the most common or the toughest questions. Avoid the temptation to sell. Rather, focus on answering the most popular questions with an offer of content that provides more detail. If you double the amount of blog posts you write in Q4 around the most popular questions, you’ll generate more sales leads. And, be sure all your content (including your website) is mobile friendly.
#2: Landing Pages
How many custom landing pages are you using in your inbound marketing strategies? Double them in Q4! Experiment with different headlines, different copy, QR codes and different calls-to-action (CTAs). We have clients with landing page conversions ranging from 5% to 70%. The reason for the wide variance in conversion rates is a willingness to experiment. Guess which landing pages we use most?
#3: Premium Content
Let’s face it, B2B digital marketing is becoming somewhat of a content war. You may need to step up your content to another level. Are your white papers getting old? Create a video white paper. Or, expand a white paper into a well-designed e-book with appealing graphics that tell a story. Are your videos boring? Let your (B2B) hair down and create a humorous video. Poke fun at yourselves or your industry. But, do it in good taste to avoid negative PR (unless you’re okay with that). Kinaxis does a great job with entertaining videos.
#4: Strategic Content Partners
Maybe you need to partner with others in your industry that can help you co-create premium content? Consider your industry relationships. If you have the budget, hire an analyst or otherwise prominent person to help you create an event such as a webinar. In the absence of a budget, identify rising stars in your industry with whom you can partner at a lower cost. Consider creating content that is relevant to your industry, but not the same old stuff. I spoke at Content Marketing World 2011 where one of the keynotes was comedian, Kevin Smith who discussed how he used content marketing to launch the next phase of his career.
#5: Get More Rowers in the Boat
This is a hot topic for me. I see too many marketing professionals dealing with the weight of the world on their shoulders. It’s sooooo old school for any company to expect the marketing department to carry all the weight of content marketing. Employees with subject matter expertise must participate! If you’ve not been able to convince them by this point, perhaps you should take the time to do some training in the fourth quarter of 2011? The proper training will get your employees motivated to build their personal brand while helping you build your corporate brand and your sales pipeline. Whatever you have to do to get more employee support to help you become a social business in 2012, do it.
Leverage Content to Generate More Leads
The best way to close this year with a bang is to be prepared for the coming new year. Go full-force in taking the year ahead by amplifying your content marketing production that focuses on the information the buyers need and want. By putting your customers at the center of your content strategy, you’ll surely see more leads flowing down your pipeline.
In the spirit of the theme of this blog post, I offer you a downloadable e-book on B2B lead generation strategies: How to Design a Content Strategy That Generates Sales Leads From Day One. The strategies outlined in this e-book work well for B2B companies that sell a complex, high ticket product with long sell cycles. These strategies don’t fit for lower-priced products and most services industries.