Want to know the biggest challenge in B2B marketing? It has nothing to do with what color tie you should wear in a presentation. In one word, it’s leads.
A lead is where it all begins. Without leads, there are no clients, no revenue, no raison d’être. No nothing. Without leads, you’re sunk.
So, the obvious question for any marketer is this: How do I get leads?
All the boring, unsatisfying answers you could ever want
Want to experience nausea? Okay, Google “how to get B2B leads.” You’ll come up with more dreaming drivel than you could imagine.
No one wants to read more pabulum on “Tweet five times a day!” … “Cater to your user’s interest by sharing cat videos on Reddit!” or “Aggressively seek to incrementally maximize your intentional trade show presence for the duration of 2014 in order to garner and nurture more qualified leads.”
Give me a break.
Many B2B marketers are frustrated, ulcer-prone, and occasionally wear mismatched socks precisely because they have one of the planet’s most difficult jobs — getting leads in a swirling maelstrom of misinformation, mistakes, and mystery.
If you’re a corporate marketer with four ulcers, a cracked toenail, thinning hair, and bad dreams about Adwords, I totally understand where you’re coming from. You’re a hero, but you have a tough job.
There’s a bunch of BS out there, which is something that I’m totally not prepared to dish up in this article. I want you to get leads. Real leads. Regardless of your industry.
Two Quick facts about B2B Marketing
Despite the mind-numbing amount of research that I had to do in order to give you this article, I did come across some helpful data. Sure, there was a bunch of glittering generality junk and business jargon gibberish, but there were also some cold, hard facts. Here they are:
No one knows where B2B leads come from.
Exclusive Leads Agency made a chart below to tell us where leads come from. We see all the stuff we’d expect — PPC, social media, advertising, etc. — but there’s also a mysterious spike called “other.” Look at the blue bar on the far right. Hint: It’s the highest bar on the whole graph.
The digital revolution has scrambled the B2B playing field.
This has introduced a flood of new techniques, the decline of old techniques, and a reorganization of all techniques. The goal remains the same — conversions. Where we get those leads for conversions is a totally different game.
Based on the research that I’ve conducted, the tests I’ve performed, the experience I possess, and the strategy I’ve developed, I’ve found four truly successful ways to generate leads, regardless of your industry. Keep reading, and I’ll give you the low down on what you need to know to profit from each of them.
1. Use social media strategically.
Yeah, that was pretty vague, but don’t worry. I’m going to hone in on this for a minute, and explain all.
How Social Media Can Work to Generate Leads
Social media is a perfectly fine source of leads. The problem is, the full power of social media is not harnessed in the B2B industry. It’s not that you can’t get leads on social media; it’s that we’re not taking what’s there. Here are some strategic ways to reverse this trend and recapture the leads on social media:
- Direct social media visitors to your websitefrom social media channels. A social media visitor doesn’t constitute a “lead” in the sense of a captured email address or other contact method. For this reason, you need to make sure that the social media visitor goes to your website. Make it easy for them to do so. Provide multiple links to the website, ideally to landing pages that will capture those leads with email signups, free offers, etc.
- Allow newsletter signups on your Facebook page. A great way to gain some leads on social media is to invite newsletter signups directly through the social media channel. In this way, you can gain the email addresses of social media visitors who want your newsletter.
- Use the call to action. Since social media is marketing, it needs to have the occasional CTA. Don’t be afraid to promote your company, invite feedback, link to landing pages, or suggest a next step.
If you apply these three points, you’ll see your leads increase. However, it’s not enough to turn on a veritable flood of leads — just a trickle. There’s another way — the best B2B marketing platform on the Internet.