Way before a product goes to market, marketing teams have to plan and strategize effective ways to gain traction. Although the launch date is the “big reveal”, inbound lead generation activities to drive traction for new products start before launch and continue after launch. Lead generation campaigns attract new customers; without customer interest, your product may not take off.
What Is a Lead?
A lead refers to a person who has shown interest in your product. Before online marketing, marketers would generate interest for their products through mass marketing methods such as cold calling, or use email blasting tools. But today, the internet has changed all that:
- Companies put their message out there and wait for customers to find them
- Marketing is more targeted, thanks to analytics and other tools that collect audience behavior
- Marketing is multi-channel and focusses on relationship-building
Say you are interested in a CRM system. You visit some websites, read through some of the content on their blog sections, download some content, and even fill in a form on a couple of sites. To those companies, you are a lead. The level of importance these websites will attach to you as a lead will depend on the activity you perform. For instance, if you fill a form and provide your contacts, you are considered a more solid lead than if you just browse. The websites will then target you with content depending on the activities you perform (which also influences the lead score assigned to you). Any time you hear from any of those businesses, this is called lead nurturing. That is, the businesses will use the information you provide to assess your pain point, then target you with information that will address that pain point.
Which Lead Generation Channels Drive Most Traction for B2B
There are many b2b lead generation channels in use today and depending on your audience, any one of them can be useful when launching a new product. These include:
A lot of marketers would swear by email marketing. In fact, in the 2018 b2b benchmark, budgets and trends report, out of 870 b2b marketers surveyed, 93% of them said email is the most effective demand generation channel.
Up to 75% of B2B buyers rely on social media when making purchasing decisions. This makes it a critical platform for letting people know about your new product. Again, automation is important here; social media marketing tools will help with content creation, social listening, campaign management and analytics.
Phone calls come in handy during later stages of lead nurturing. Phone calls accelerate conversations and are also important for responding to customer queries. Nowadays, some tools incorporate phone calls so that you can talk to customers right from initial contact should the customer prefer it.
According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), online chat tools increase a customer’s likelihood to buy by up to 3 times. A report from Forrester titled, “making proactive search work” finds that the reason chat is such an effective conversion tool is because customers like quick responses and are likely to make a purchase decision if they receive one immediately.
As you prepare to launch, make chat a part of your website. As it’s not always possible to be online, integrating chat with email will send automated responses to prospective customers.
Mobile marketing should be a big part of your demand generation campaign. According to a survey conducted by smart insights, 60% of B2b users say that they depend on mobile when making a purchase.
How to Generate Leads for B2B Products: 5 Ways to Drive Product Traction
1. Leverage Content Marketing to Tell Your Product Story
If you do not demonstrate how your product will make a difference, it will not matter just how brilliant its specs and features are. Stories directly address a customer’s pain points by showing them what’s missing. They show a prospect how their life could improve by using your product.
There are many ways to tell a story:
Blog about it
Use your blog to tell your product’s story before and after it gets released. The benefits of content marketing for companies are obvious; websites with blogs generate 97% more leads than those without.
Nothing captures a message like video. Most people would rather watch a video about a product than read about it. 59% of executives would choose video content over text.
In addition to sharing pictures and text content, you should also share product commercials and product demonstration videos on your website, social media and email. You can pre-record your video or do a live stream.
More people will follow the story of your product launch if the press and other influencers talk about it. Get in touch with such influencers way before your product launch date. If you don’t have a relationship with any influencers, start cultivating relationships a few months or weeks to launch. Introduce them to your company and give a few interviews that will paint a better picture of your product, what your company does and what you stand for.
2. Run a Contest On Social Media
You can generate a lot of publicity around your product by running a contest. All you have to do is budget for a few giveaways before and during your launch. Run contests on social media platforms because they receive a lot of live traffic per hour.
More exposure through social media will increase your chances of generating more leads. More so, you get a lot of free marketing when people share, reshare your content or post videos and photos of your product.
3. Run a Preorder Campaign Through Email and Social Media
New products are usually slow to take off but you can change this for your product with preorders. A preorder campaign has the following benefits:
- You will generate hype way before your product goes to market
- You will build an email list of high-quality leads
- You will make sales even before you have a ready product to launch
- You can communicate about your preorder campaign through email or social media. Offer giveaways and other benefits to make your preorder enticing.
- Belonging to an exclusive “club” gives customers a sense of pride and increases loyalty for your brand.
- Bragging rights. Everyone wants to own something before other people.
- You create a sense of urgency.
- You will gauge how much inventory you need to have by launch date, hence prevent over or under production.
4. Run a Loyalty Program for Your Customers
You probably have customers on your mailing list. These are customers who have dealt with you before, hence they know your reputation. You are 60% more likely to sell to an existing customer, as compared to 5% to 20% likelihood when selling to a new customer.
This approach is something that marketers from different divides agree on. In a survey conducted on 179 CMOs, 66% of them felt that they could extract more value for their companies by optimizing customer loyalty as opposed to chasing new leads. The two main ways they do this include:
- Relevant and personalized communication across all points of interaction
- Upselling and cross-selling to existing customers
Bottom Line: Sustaining Traction Post-Launch
Your work doesn’t end with the product launch. After your product goes to market, don’t let the momentum of the launch die down.
- Continue to highlight the product on your website, on other sites and on social media.
- Get influencers to talk about your product on podcasts.
- Offer discounts for a few more weeks as discussed above.
- Optimize your site’s navigation to ensure that visitors can navigate to your new product easily when they come to your site. Poor site navigation is one of the leading reasons why visitors abandon a page early.
- Work on your site’s SEO.
- If the revenue generated from the sales justifies it, invest in PPC advertisement to complement your SEO efforts.
- Consult b2b lead generation companies for advice on how to get quality leads or to outsource some of your marketing activities.