The modern marketer has wide access to swathes of consumer data that can be turned into targeted, valuable sales leads, if used in the right way. Harnessing data in the business-to-business sector takes a considerably different approach than when focusing on the general consumer. However, there are plenty of effective ways to find B2B leads and utilise the tools available to succeed in B2B marketing online.

What’s the Difference Between B2B Lead Generation and B2C Lead Generation?

Companies which are focused on B2B leads and generating their business in this area have a much smaller target audience to convince. Their cross-section of customers is much smaller and the demands of these customers are generally higher. The sales process may be more complex, but the trade-off is that each lead has a much higher prospective value. A brand or business customer may need several weeks, if not months, to choose their potential partner in a particular business area, whereas a regular consumer may make a decision in a matter of minutes or seconds. With this in mind, it is essential for marketers to consider the strategies they use to approach their potential business leads and ensure they are engaging and interested in any products, services or offers available.

Finding the Most Effective B2B Lead Generation Strategies

Different industry leaders argue that different marketing methods are the most effective for generating B2B leads. Hubspot’s in-depth study of B2B lead sources puts SEO on top as the most effective lead generation channel. However, data taken from Chief Marketer suggests email marketing is the most useful option, delivering the best and most effective results. The results vary from study to study which means we must conclude marketers need to incorporate a mixture of marketing techniques, both paid and organic, to create an effective campaign for B2B lead generation and attract interested and engaged leads.

Below is a further exploration of both paid and natural B2B marketing techniques which can and will help businesses find qualified and sales-ready leads.

Paid B2B Lead Generation

Social media has become a critical component of any marketing strategy. While there are free and organic ways of growing your audience and targeted potential customers, B2B marketers find most success in utilising the paid advertising channels offered by social media networks and search engines. B2B leads are harder to come across via social media than in the B2C market. The most effective paid advertising methods for B2B marketing are:

  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Facebook Ads and PPC campaigns
  • Google AdWords

LinkedIn Ads

Due to its professional focus, LinkedIn remains the top social media platform for B2B marketing according to many sources. To succeed with LinkedIn Ads however, you need to be focused and utilise the same techniques you’d use in any traditional marketing campaign. The more targeted your approach, the more likely you are to succeed. The most important tactics to remember to apply to your LinkedIn Ads include:

  • Keep it newsworthy – a trending or newsworthy topic ads will instantly attract more attention
  • Keep it targeted – edit and hone your ads based on your market research and buyer persona
  • Keep testing – continuously try and test different calls-to-action, image placement and tone of voice

Facebook Ads

Advertising on Facebook requires an altogether different approach as it isn’t quite as easy to target B2B leads. Facebook has developed into a primarily mobile platform and a study from research company BCG found 60% of B2B buyers made purchases via mobile in 2017. This suggests that mobile-led advertising opportunities should be taken advantage of.

Facebook Ads can be highly targeted, offering many metrics and elements that are easy to manipulate. This provides businesses with the opportunity to narrowly focus in on their exact target audience and reach exactly the right people.

PPC Lead Generation

Pay-per-click lead generation campaigns are keyword-led and are usually run through Google AdWords. AdWords gives you the tools you need to specifically focus in on the niche keywords relevant to your business area and those specific terms your qualified leads will also be searching for. Appearing above the fold in searches dramatically increases your business’ chance of being found by the right people, looking specifically for your services. PPC is not a replacement for organic marketing, but it is a great complement to it and allows quicker access for anyone searching for your services.

Organic B2B Lead Generation

Much like any other type of business, the brands and companies you’re targeting through your B2B campaigns use social media and email every day. These two key platforms are where marketers can find and tap into B2B leads organically and build their business’ brand identity. Both platforms offer solutions for this to be done in a way that ensures they become top of mind should the need for their services arise with their target prospects.

Social Media Marketing for B2B Leads

Prospects expect to find you on social media, particularly LinkedIn, so it’s vital you have a strong presence. HubSpot tells us 84% of B2B marketers are using social media in some way, so you can be sure that potential leads will consider it odd if you have no presence.

Using LinkedIn organically for B2B lead generation requires a real focus on quality and consistency. Marketers need to be actively engaging on their company page frequently and treat it as a primary source of value. Headlines and text should be short to draw people in, while making use of video and pictorial content is key to providing a richer user experience and convincing your potential leads that your company is valuable and of use to them.

Showcase Pages are a fascinating way of tailoring content to particular segments of your audience you want to tap into individually. Similarly, the opportunity to blog and offer long-form content on LinkedIn allows you to demonstrate your position as ‘thought leader’ and provide valuable insight into your company. This provides your audience with yet more value and positions you as an industry expert.

Manual Email Outreach for Targeted Leads

Even marketers who have been in the business for decades know the power of the cold call. The cold email is the modern interpretation of this. However, it’s imperative that cold emailing is done in the right way. When done badly cold emails can signal spam, resulting in a number of negative implications for your business. However, a well-timed and perfectly crafted email can be extremely powerful when sent to the right people. The most effective cold emails offer something different to the reader, who we know receives hundreds of emails every day. It could be a simple update about your business to previous clients, a funny anecdote you’re sure will make them smile or a valuable content share you can position as something you really do not want them to miss. Cold emails are not the place for the hard sell and the second you appear to be forcing something upon your leads, you’ll lose them.

Perfecting the Marketing Mix for B2B Leads

Getting the right balance of paid and organic marketing techniques for your B2B lead generation strategy takes time, testing and plenty of trial and error. At Simply Media, we specialise in helping our clients find qualified B2B leads and are ready to help you and your business today.