What lead generation methods still work?
Sometimes it can feel like technology is changing so rapidly that what worked for you last year might not continue to yield the best possible results.
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the three best lead generation methods for B2B companies – both based on my own experience and on studies and research.
So, let’s get right on how to generate more sales leads.
Content marketing is rapidly becoming one of the top lead generating methods for B2B companies.
There are so many different (and highly effective) ways that you can use content marketing to generate leads, such as:
- Hosting webinars: Webinars are incredibly powerful lead generation tools; over the past couple of years, I’ve been experimenting more and more with webinars, and have been blown away by their results. Although it’s time-consuming, the attendees are usually highly targeted with big potential to turn into quality leads.
- Content downloads: Create useful (and varied) content downloads and place them throughout your website. Hubspot and their resource library are a great example of how much can be done with content downloads – and how efficient they can be. To give you some ideas, you can create, for example, templates, guides, white papers, etc.
- E-books: Writing an e-book might take you some time, but it can also help you generate quality leads, especially as a B2B company. And if you give it away for free, you’ll increase your chances of generating even more leads.
- Videos: Video is an incredibly effective lead generation method – and even better when it comes to converting these leads. And now, it’s probably at the height of its popularity; if you haven’t introduced video into your lead generation strategy, now is the time to start.
- Blogging: Blogging is a highly effective way of generating leads, and it’s also very good for optimising your website for search engines (websites with blogs tend to have 434% more indexed pages). Being a regular blogger will make your website easier to find by your audience, promoting your blog will help you get more traffic, and it will also give your visitors a reason to stay on your website for longer than they might otherwise have. Not to mention – it’s a great way to nurture your leads and turn them into paying customers.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways that you can use content marketing to generate leads; these are just some of the most effective. Experiment with different forms of content, and find out what works best for your particular business.
Social media and social selling
In recent years, social media has become one of the top three lead generation sources for B2B companies.
It’s a great channel, and not just for generating leads, but also for nurturing them at a faster rate and turning them into customers.
But even though there are over 2.5 billion people on social media, a large number of companies don’t get their sales teams involved in their social media strategies.
This can mean a lot of lost opportunities when it comes to generating leads. Since so many of your customers and potential customers are on these platforms, it makes sense that your sales team should be ready to meet them there, ready to build customer relationships on social media.
That’s not to say that social media is the place to make sales pitches. Rather, social selling is a way to generate leads by providing them with relevant content and continuing to nurture them along their decision-making process.
Research your audience, understand it and use this knowledge to improve your social media strategy. And most of all, start changing the relationship between your sales and marketing.
Search engines are overwhelmingly the biggest source of leads for B2B companies. Because of this, SEO should be a very big part of your lead generation and growth strategies.
The more visible you are on Google (and other search engines), the better – leads will be able to find you more easily.
Start your SEO campaign by:
- Discovering what keywords your audience is using: Perform some keyword research to find out what words people are using to find you on search engines. Use these keywords throughout your website to optimize your web content, and pick some with a lower search volume to rank for – bigger keywords have such high competition, that it might not be worth it to try.
- Focusing on long tail keywords: Long tail keywords are groups of 3-4 words. There are a few different advantages to going the long tail keyword; for one, the competition isn’t as big, so you can rank higher for them. On the other side of the coin, though, that also means they have a lower search volume, so there won’t be nearly as many people searching for it. But, back to the advantages – long tail keywords, because they are so specific, can mean that even if you’re getting fewer leads than you were hoping for coming directly to your website, the ones you do get, will be highly targeted.
- Improving your website’s design: Your website needs to be easy to navigate, it needs to make sense both to your visitors and to search engines, and it also needs to move fast – Google will penalize your website if it’s very slow to load or if visitors bounce out quickly.
- Optimizing for mobile: Your website should be ready to use on any device, smartphone, tablet, or desktop. Not only will it impact your SEO, but your audience is constantly online on their phones. In fact, as of one year ago, mobile web usage has overtaken desktop. And as we become more connected, usage will grow even more. Even if you already have a responsive website, make sure that it actually makes sense, that it is easy to use, and that your visitors can find anything they need. I’ve had this happen quite a bit with mobile versions of websites; they look OK at first glance, they are clearly using a mobile device theme, and yet, they were incredibly difficult to navigate, and to find whatever you’re looking for – make sure your website is not one of them.
- Guest posting: Submitting articles to third-party publications can help you build backlinks, but it also helps improve your reach and helps grow your influence in your niche. Try to guest blog regularly for big and respected websites in your industry.
- Emphasizing local SEO: If your business success depends on local foot traffic, then it’s a good idea to focus on some local SEO. Encourage your customers to leave reviews of your business online and try to rank for more local keywords.
So, there we go, the three best lead generation methods: search engines, content marketing, and of course, social media. Personally, I wholeheartedly agree with the numbers – I use the same three methods very successfully, although I couldn’t say which one is the best, as they are so interconnected.
What are your most popular lead generation methods? What lead generation methods have stopped working for you?
This guest post is written by the highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach Bullock has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.