Attracting and keeping the attention of other businesses can be much more challenging than generating and nurturing B2C leads, but the rewards are also far greater.
Not only in terms of actual conversion value, but also in terms of the reputation, authority and contacts gained with each successful collaboration. Like everything else, it gets easier the more you do it, and B2B lead generation does so at an exponential rate.
The one tool you are likely going to use and already have in place is your website. However, it may not be already set up to help you in your efforts, unbeknownst to you.
In order to decide what changes your site might need, you first have to understand its place and purpose in your marketing funnel.
What Should the Site do?
There are plenty of ways to get people to visit your website, and you rarely have to choose just a couple. If you already have an overall inbound marketing strategy in place, your first step should be to check if the site is optimized for each of the channels it is getting traffic from.
For instance, if you found that, after months of a general digital marketing campaign, including everything from link building and social network activities to email campaigns, the most relevant visitors are coming from one specific channel, you might want to reassess whether your site is perfectly prepared to keep the attention of that specific group, adequately state your cause, and lead them through the funnel.
If this means prioritizing the need of this segment of potential leads over those of others, you might at least want to run an A/B test and decide then.
However, if you are just now putting it all together, you need to pay attention to some of the main purposes your site can have in this process.
- It attracts people. A properly optimized website acts as a hub for the rest of your digital channels, focusing your social, search and email marketing efforts and opening a myriad of other opportunities for promotion.
- It helps leads get to know what they need to know about you. What do you do? Are your other customers happy with how you do that? Prospects get to certify your authority and reliability, and that kind of trust is invaluable in B2B lead generation.
- It helps you to get to know them. Observing the behaviour of your site’s visitors gives you an amazing amount of insight into what they want from you, and what would be the best way to provide them with a solution
- It helps you upsell. Your site is not there just to provide a contact point for someone who has already decided to become a customer, it is there to welcome people coming for any number of reasons and turn them into customers.
With these purposes in mind, here are some of the ways to use or modify your site to improve your B2B lead generation.
Having a direct insight into how your visitors act when on your site gives you a way to eliminate bottlenecks, track the effectiveness of your campaigns and perform A/B tests to refine your future promotional efforts.
Setting up Google Analytics to track conversion goals that you actually care about, getting detailed heat-maps from Hotjar or a similar provider, and at least providing a chatbot for contact if you can’t offer round-the-clock customer support ensures not only that you won’t ever lose a customer for the same reason twice, it also helps you make the experience better even for those who would convert anyway, influencing retention rate down the line.
With just a bit of research in Google Analytics and Search Console, you can easily find out where your traffic is coming from, which pages make which groups of visitors leave the site or which are converting better than others, etc.
Once you’ve made sure you’ll be able to learn from every visitor, you’ll be fully equipped to start attracting and engaging them.
Content and Site Fixes
It doesn’t matter which of the major channels you intend to use to get people to your site – email, social or search marketing, your content writing needs to be up to the task.
You can write a post specifically to be shareable, which will mostly build brand awareness and get people to click on that link. Naturally, getting them there is not even half the battle. Your content needs to offer a solution to a real problem or question, needs to show that you know what you are doing, and needs to get visitors to convert.
Detailed case studies with actionable suggestions and a breakdown of achieved results are one of the best ways to attract B2B customers, and are not difficult to put together or promote on social networks, once you’ve had some practice. Naturally, you should make them as scannable as possible, with heavy emphasis on the benefits the client has experienced.
Using tools like Buzzfeed of Followerwonk can help you identify influencers in your industry which might send the right kind of traffic your way. Explore their interests, see what kinds of posts they share and what they find useful, and try to keep these insights in mind when planning your next article. Alternatively, you can also take a look at some of your major competitors, and try to identify the tactics they seem to have been successful with.
Some of the people engaged by your content might proceed to your service pages, or read another one of your posts, but some can be persuaded to leave their emails behind, and you should pursue them with all the vigour you have. Email marketing is constantly being praised as one of the most effective lead generation methods, and you should take every chance to expand and segment your list of contacts. While newsletter signups and different lead magnets do a fine job, a somewhat newer approach is proving immensely effective – content upgrades.
Not too different from offering lead magnets like e-books or whitepapers, this method relies on calls to -action embedded in the content, offering some kind of an elaboration of that content. Whether it is a bonus tip, a helpful list, or anything else that adds to the original post, which has already engaged the reader.
If you make sure to segment your lists according to the contact’s position in the funnel, their previous interaction with your brand, or their conversion point, you can use a third-party customer messaging platform like Intercom to create automated email campaigns, which ensure greatly increased customer retention, and are immensely useful in remarketing.
An amazing source of leads, search engines can be difficult to get on your side, but once you have them there, traffic will just keep pouring in. That’s why you need to not only ensure that you are attracting the right kind of people, but also that once they get there, they don’t feel deceived or let down.
This starts with a detailed site audit that will ensure that your meta elements properly indicate the purpose of your pages; that you don’t have any 404s or other errors; that your pages load as quickly as possible; that crawlers and users can navigate your site without any obstructions; and generally, that your site deserves the rankings you are after.
When it comes to attracting the right kind of audience, it all comes down to understanding their intent, and focusing your keyword targeting on those that are likely to send visitors that might actually have a chance to convert. Naturally, any kind of traffic or engagement could be beneficial, but optimizing your content for keywords which are likely to attract qualified traffic will make most of your other efforts far more effective.
All there is to it
It really comes down to this simple recipe. First, you learn as much as you can about your target audience – whether by observing their behaviour on your site and social networks, or by taking a look at your competitors and their customers. Once you know how they are likely to respond to different kinds of content, calls to action or email campaigns, you can start modifying your site to give them everything they might need to convert. From building trust through client testimonials and case studies, to giving them an easy way to find everything they need to know about you with the help of chatbots, finding leads shouldn’t be too big of an issue, as long as you’re prepared to put some work into it.