February 22nd 2015

Nine Cost-Effective Ways to Accelerate B2B Lead Generation

Image Dylan Touhey

Here are nine effective ways to generate online leads for B2B tech companies. These strategies take into account the often need of mid-sized companies for lead generation tactics that show an immediate and measurable return.

When it comes to accelerating lead generation for B2B, digital inbound marketing channels lead the way. According to research from inbound marketing solutions provider HubSpot, businesses dominated by inbound marketing have a 62% lower cost per lead than firms that do mostly outbound marketing. In fact, as Hubspot research shows that . . .

  • 78% of Internet users conduct product research online.
  • 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog.
  • Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic.
  • Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing. The average outbound lead costs $373. The average inbound lead costs $143.

Data above from Hubspot’s State of Inbound Marketing Report__. See also this post.

With that data in mind, here are some cost-effective ways to accelerate your lead generation.

#1 Begin with what is

Without a doubt, the fastest way to accelerate lead generation is to stop turning away your customers at the door. A high bounce rate (which refers to whether visitors view more than one page on your site) is a clear signal that customers are discrediting your company as a solution before they even really investigate your products. This should not be fixed by trying to increase traffic. Instead, plug the leaks before you do anything else.

For example, we (One Net Marketing) recently helped one of our clients, a B2B software company, reduce their bounce rate from 79.28% to 3.39%.

Given that bounce rate is defined as “the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page” our client went from having ~20% of visitors stick around to ~95%. In other words, we increased prospective customers for our client by nearly 5x — without creating a single blog post or spending budget on advertising.

Why do people leave your site? It’s simple. And it is related to one of the most essential, holy, and ironclad principles behind Google’s search engine algorithms:

The perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want.Google’s Co-founder and CEO,Larry Page.

Visitors only leave if they perceive your site doesn’t have what they are looking for. The secret to generating leads via search engine marketing is to deliver what your customers are searching for. It is a data-based skill, framing your product within the context of a visitor’s demand and expectations.

So the solution could be fixing a UI design flaw or simply correcting poor copywriting on your homepage. Keep testing until you locate the cause and fix it.

#2 Don’t guess what your customer’s wan

The reason why customers leave your site could simply be that your positioning and sales copy simply doesn’t resonate with them. Launch a small PPC campaign and test different value propositions.

Every time we launch a PPC campaign, we are surprised with what actually resonates with the audience—versus the sales message we think will perform the best. That’s why inbound marketing channels are amazing—instant response and data to help make big decisions.

#3 Long-tail SEO and lead generation

Long-tail SEO refers to targeting multiple word search queries rather than the short phrases (so “carbon auditing software for manufacturing plant Canada” rather than “carbon audit”). Long-tail SEO produces leads much faster than a comprehensive SEO campaign.

The downside, of course, is that these terms do not bring a lot of traffic. The upside is that these terms often signal high buying intent and you can surgically target the types of clients you want to attract.

Construct some blog posts with “long-tail” keyword targets. If your company is finding it hard to gain traction online, these posts will also help you later as you chase more competitive keywords.

#4 Harness the power of online PR

Everyone has the power to be a publisher online. And that means you don’t need to go through a slow-moving traditional PR firm to get your company’s name in front of potential clients. Here is an article we wrote on some quick and effective online PR strategies for tech companies.

#5 Don’t ignore the middle of the funnel

Lead generation requires turning strangers (your web traffic) into people willing to talk to you. The problem is that many B2B companies rush from awareness to the sales pitch. You read our 200 word blog post! Now, sign-up for a telephone call! This rarely works.

A more effective way to capture more leads is put energy into the middle of the funnel. Research reports, e-books, free product trials, webinar sign-ups—these things do really work to generate and nurture leads, build trust, and warm customers up to the next level.

The simplest way to do this is to have some of your blog posts sending traffic to a landing page. And then, after the visitor has made it through that gate, you can begin to suggest a free consultation.

Here is a post on lead nurturing to help you with the middle of the funnel.

#6 Increase your sign-ups

Like bounce rate, the easiest and fastest way to generate more leads is to optimize your sign-up forms. Here is a post all about optimizing sign-up forms.

#7 Create a ton of content

According to Hubspot, blogs with 24-51 posts will generate a median of 13 leads. However, when your posted articles get above the 52 article mark, your blog will generate a median of 23 leads. This is a 77% lead growth, more than twice than the 30% lead growth that occurs when your article number reaches the 24 post mark.

Task your team to create content. The reason why more content is better is simply due to the nature of the B2B buying research prospect: the more topics in your industry you cover, the more times a prospect is going to encounter your brand in the search results. And, as a result, the more credibility your brand is going to gain in the eyes of the searcher.

If you want to be a “leading provider” then you need to show up in those search results . . . everywhere. Leaders lead. And in B2B, that means you need accelerate content creation.

#8 Don’t create crap

But rather than create a bunch of shallow content, ask yourself—why am I creating this? What is the strategy behind this blog post? If the strategy is to create 52 blog posts so that you can accelerate lead generation, then you are confusing cause and effect.

Content is about building trust. It is also about introducing your company as a credible solution to their problems.

The secret?

Focus on using your content to help your ideal customer overcome the barriers of purchasing from your company. What is preventing them from buying from your company?

Typically, there are three reasons:

  • They don’t know your company exists, which means you need to get them to your website.
  • They don’t believe that your product will solve their problems, which means you need to establish credibility and make them believe in your product’s promise.
  • They aren’t sure that your product is the best one to buy, which leads them to leave, searching for other competitors.

To accelerate leads, begin creating content that answers those three objections.

#9 Taking visitors deeper into your site increases lead generation

While most of your visitors will only read one blog post and bolt, a small number will move deeper into your site.

That is why more content is better. You have more bait to lead people deeper, helping them to trust you and to feel confident that your products or services are the answer to their questions.

So end every blog post with a link to more content. By the way, Old Sport, could we interest you in any of these posts?

As always, feel free to post your thoughts and comments — especially if your have your own B2B lead generation success stories to share.

Categories: ALL, Marketing


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