The customer buying-process has changed a lot. Thanks to smartphones and widespread internet usage, customer decisions aren’t limited by the adverts you put out on the Tv, billboards and magazines. According to research, 81% of a prospective customer’s time is spent on online research. This means that by the time a customer contacts you, they are quite close to making their decision to buy.
As such, a winning b2b lead generation strategy should give prospects the information they are looking for when they need it. Your brand is just one among many that a prospect is going to come across. Will your content and other lead generation methods sway them towards you or against you?
In this article, we show you 25 different ways that will aid you in planning a successful Lead gen campaign.
25 Lead Generation Best Practices For 2021
1. Set Goals and Make Them SMART
Goal setting is the first step towards a successful lead generation strategy. Goals should be specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, time bound. When goals are smart, every stakeholder involved in the lead generation process will know what steps need to be followed to achieve said goals.
Smart goal setting involves asking yourself the following questions. Note that each of these questions corresponds with each letter in the acronym:
- Specific: What exactly do I want to achieve?
- Measurable: What number do I need to achieve to say that I have reached my goal?
- Agreed: Are sales and marketing teams in agreement?
- Realistic: Do I have access to the necessary finances, human resources and technological capabilities to attain this goal?
- Time bound: By when should I achieve this goal?
Example of a smart goals:
- Generate 1000 new leads in 30 days
2. Identify Metrics for Lead Generation Success
You need to check how your lead generation efforts are performing. A great way to do this is by tracking metrics, also known as KPIs.
There are so many metrics to consider, but below are some of the most important lead generation metrics:
These are people who have discovered your website naturally during their online or offline research
Despite organic traffic, you will get traffic from different sources such as social media, referrals, paid traffic, among others. Traffic to lead ratio tells you the percentage of all these people actually convert. You want a lot of conversions from all your traffic. If 1000 people are visiting your website per day but only 2 of them convert, it means your website may not be delivering as expected. An audit is the first step towards fixing your lead generation campaign’s low performance.
Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who get to your site only to leave right away. If you have a low bounce rate, it means that your website is offering a great experience to your audience.
Click Through Rate
This metric lets you now whether your link building, social media and email marketing campaigns are successful. If a link you have posted on a guest blog, social media or email is directing a lot of traffic to your website, that link has a high click through rate and is hence successful. The reverse is true for low click through rates.
Cost Per Lead
This is the total cost you invest in getting a single lead to convert. This includes paid ads, agency fees, cost of in-house resources and automation tools. These costs, tallied against the value brought in by your leads, give you your lead generation ROI.
3. Your Buyer Persona Should Be Accurate
A buyer persona is an essential part of successful lead generation campaign. A persona helps you to imagine who your client is, and thereby guides you to gain a better understanding of their “what”: problems, aspirations, interests, purchase behaviors, among others.
Figure 1: Image source: Hubspot
When you brand represents an answer to your persona’s “what”, you will have piqued their interest enough for them to fill in your lead forms or contact you.
You can have multiple buyer personas if you offer different products, or even variations of the same product.
4. Ensure Your Lead Nurturing Content is Buyer-Centric
Yes, the brand is yours. And yes, you shape the direction it takes. But you can never anticipate the client’s needs by taking your own perspective. You need instead, to offer solutions based on the customers’ perspective.
The buyer journey primarily follows these three main stages:
- Awareness stage, where a person discovers they have a problem and start looking around the internet to learn more
- Consideration stage, where they have a decent level of understanding of their problem and want a solution.
- Decision stage, whereby your buyer has identified solutions or brands and now needs to decide the best option to go with.
Your lead generation strategy should focus on these stages, to increase the chances of a buyer choosing your brand.
5. Plan a Keyword Strategy
When people conduct an internet search, they type in a word or set of words. That is what a keyword is. To plan a keyword strategy, you must first identify a list of relevant keywords. This involves conducting keyword research. To do this, you need to use a seo keyword research tool.
Keyword research is helpful because it tells you what your customers are likely to type when researching about a problem that would lead them to your solution.
If your content and website are keyword optimized, whenever a person conducts a search, they will automatically be directed to your website. This then increases your traffic volume you experience from each search.
6. Don’t Neglect SEO
Producing a ton of content is great. But that content will get very little traction if you don’t perform SEO. Search engine optimization will help search engine bots to discover and rank your website. You may have great content but if your website is not optimized, people will not discover it. Page SEO is also great if using landing pages as it will ensure you use optimized landing pages for Lead generation.
Meta tags are a great way to make your website discoverable. The main meta tags that you should optimize include:
- Title tags: These influence how content and page titles display on search engines. Limit your titles to 160 characters so that the entire title is visible at a glance.
- Meta description: This is a HTML summary of your webpage. This is crucially important as it influences how your website ranks on the SERPs.
Below is an example of a meta description:
7. Ensure Fast Page Loading Speed
The optimal time for site loading is 3 seconds. If your website exceeds this benchmark, you will lose potential leads and your website’s ranking will also suffer. You should therefore take steps to speed up your website’s load time. This will positively impact lead generation ROI by increasing conversions.
Below are some great examples of companies that increased sales, revenue, page load and ad revenue simply by improving page load time.
Figure 2: Image source: Hubspot
If you want to know how your web pages are loading, you can start by checking on google. Google also has tools for optimizing page performance.
You can also contact us to do a site audit and recommend useful changes that you can make to improve your website’s performance.
8. Optimize for Mobile
More people all over the world access the internet through their smartphones.
” 82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store”. Source: Forbes
Mobile optimization ensures that a website’s content automatically adjusts to fit different screen sizes. This offers readers a great user experience when loading pages or content, navigating, or purchasing.
To generate more leads for your startup, your website should be mobile friendly. You should communicate this to your developer. If you are buying a ready-made website theme, choose one that is mobile responsive and optimized.
9. Go for Explainer Video Over the Standard FAQs Page
There are two ways to answer customer questions regarding your brand and product.
- The first and most common one is to create an FAQ page
- The second one is a video showcasing your product
Video is in fact more effective at conveying information and meaning more than other types of content. According to an instagram report, video outperforms engagement levels of both image and carousel posts.
Figure 3: image source: medium
The reason why video is so effective is because majority of people learn visually and are therefore more likely to understand and retain information that’s in video or image format. Such people are likely to miss your written message.
Statistics also show that video generates trust from prospects. You can increase your leads by up to 33% more by using explainer videos, because people trust a brand when they can associate it to people.
10. Write Relevant Content that Adds Value
Blog posts are great for generating leads because they benchmark your blog as a platform for passing information, sharing expertise and solving customer problems. To generate leads effectively via your blog, you need to post consistently.
Figure 4: Image source: Oberlo
You can also make your blogs have more impact by:
- Including call to action buttons and links in strategic places throughout your post.
- A one-size-fits all content strategy will not work especially if you cater to a clientele base whose interests vary widely. Personalizing content will help you speak directly to the individual customer.
Personalization should indeed be offered in all aspects of your business. As such, in addition to personalizing content, look for opportunities to offer personalization in
- Landing page
11. Become a Guest Blogger
Besides posting content on your blog, you need to guest post. Guest blogging opens you up to a whole new audience that you would otherwise have been blind to. Guest blogging is one of the most impactful lead generation strategies to use because the links you place in your posts will redirect traffic from the guest site to your blog.
To get the most out of your guest blogging,
- Ensure the people who visit site you guest site are similar to your personas. This way, you will drive the right target group to your website.
- The guest site should have a high SERP ranking. You can use a domain checker to establish domain authority of a guest site before you partner with them.
- You want a prolonged relationship with the guest site. As such, produce high quality content for them because ultimately, they want value from your association.
12. Use Gated Content and Lead Forms
80% of content offered by b2b marketers requires registration to access. This means it is offered as gated content.
If you have premium content that you think your prospects will deem worthy enough to trade their email and phone numbers for, you should offer it as gated content. Tutorials, white papers, case studies and long-form articles are examples that do well as gated content.
Gated content works best as a lead generation strategy when visitors understand the value, they will be getting from it.
In the above example for instance the benefit of signing up for this free copy is clear from the title. The fact that it is free is in itself enticing enough.
13. Give a Reasonable Trial Period
Another great way to generate new leads from your web traffic is by offering them a free trial. When the trial period is long enough (2 weeks to a month), prospects get to experience firsthand how their lives will improve when they convert with you.
A great example of a free trial success is SAP. In 2016, SAP’s ASEAN division offered a 30-day free trial in an attempt to generate leads for their ERP system. They generated 3700 leads, which was far above their set goal of 300 leads. The lead generation campaign also resulted in a cost per lead that was lower by 88.5%.
Trial periods are also a great way to test the customer care and after sales service sides of a company. If customers cannot get help from you during trial, they will assume that that converting with you will lead to frustration. On the other hand, if everything runs seamlessly, they are more than likely to buy from you.
14. Invest in Webinars
60% of marketers employ webinars in lead generation. Webinars offer a great platform for
- Demonstrating how products work
- Answering queries from attendants (who are also prospective customers)
- Converting a significant percentage of attendants. 20 to 40% of attendants become high quality leads
The downside of webinars is that they can have low attendance. You can improve attendance by:
- Giving a high-value bonus for free at the end of the webinar. This encourages attendants to stay
- If you intend to sell, only mention that at the end. If you mention a sale at the beginning, most attendants are likely to leave.
- As you draw close to the seminar date, send reminders up to an hour before the seminar.
- Make it urgent. One way to do that is by telling people that there are limited spaces. You can also use language like “one-time-only offer”.
15. Nurture leads
Once leads enter your sales funnel, you need to build a relationship with them every step of the way. This process is called lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is best done through consistent communication depending on where your client is in the funnel.
Studies show that consistent communication is a key consideration by customers when choosing a brand to associate with.
Examples of Lead Nurturing Campaigns:
- A welcome campaign is a great way to remind your prospect why they converted, in addition to thanking them for choosing you. It is also an avenue for presenting your other offers, such as inviting them to look at your latest posts.
- A re engagement campaign will revive engagement with any leads that have gone cold
16. Use Live Chat or Callback Widget to Increase Response Rat
Live chat and callback widget gives you the added function of communicating with customers and providing customers with answers instantly. Live chat boost engagement and is quite inexpensive as a lead generation tool:
- 44% of buyers would want to purchase from a website that offers live chat during an ongoing purchase. (source: Vtldesign)
- 38% say they based a purchase on a live chat (source: Vtldesign)
In addition to boosting customer confidence levels, live chat boosts conversion due to its tendency to speed up response to customer queries. Research conducted by drift shows that you are 10 times less likely to convert a customer into a lead if you don’t respond to them after 5 minutes.
17. Include Call to Action In Your Email Signature
Traditional email marketing campaigns are usually elaborate and take the format of drip emails. But did you know that this is not the only way to use email to generate new leads?
Any email communication sent from your company can be a powerful lead generation tool. For example, say you have just launched a new product and you want people to sign up for demos. You can include the words: “sign up for a free demo” in your email signature, alongside any relevant graphics.
Considering a single person sends 34 work-related emails in a day, this means that even with two employees, you can literally reach hundreds of potential new leads through your email signature.
18. Repurpose Old Content
Do you have any historical content that has performed very well over the years? Well, don’t do away with. You can instead repurpose it and generate new traffic from it.
For example: A blog post published 2 years ago may not be getting any eyeballs. You could keep updating it with new facts and figures, but it will still sound like an old post. Can you for instance make this content longer and turn it into an eBook? You can then use the eBook as gated content.
Figure 5: Image source: Hubspot
One of the biggest challenges faced by marketers is coming up with new content for generating leads. Repurposing content, therefore, is a great way to feed your audience’s high appetite for fresh content and to generate leads fresh leads.
19. Use Social Media for Outreach and Content Distribution
More and more b2b companies have embraced the role of social media as a crucial lead generation tool. In fact, studies show an increased preference for social media over other channels for lead generation tool. We aren’t just talking about LinkedIn, FaceBook and twitter, but also channels like pinterest, instagram and snapchat.
20. Form Meaningful Partnerships
Partnerships are a great way to augment lead gen strategies for startups and small businesses. Partnerships (or collaborations) can open the door to new qualified leads and referrals. If you are targeting large clients, you can explore partnership with enterprises in your area of interest.
Another partnership avenue to explore is with companies that deal primarily in content. You can both benefit from a symbiotic relationship where you both promote each other’s content to your respective audiences.
21. Get Customer Testimonials
Testimonials are your digital form of word of mouth. As you may know, word of mouth is one of the most reliable forms of marketing. Why? Because customers trust other customers. Statistics show that 73% of customers who have had a bad experience leave a bad review because they want to protect other people from going through the same thing. People also want others to share a good experience.
You can boost trust for your brand by adding testimonials to your website. Include the name of the happy customer, their place of work, the product they bought, and even add their headshot if possible. New prospects will be more inclined to do business with you when they see this kind of information.
22. Invest in Paid Ads
Paid ads may sound like an expensive lead generation channel but on the contrary, for a few dollars a day, you can reach people a lot faster than you would with organic efforts alone.
Paid ads are given priority over other form of content and will usually appear at the top of the page. Since 92% of search traffic usually goes to the first page of the search results page, your paid ad is highly likely to get some clicks.
Note: there are technical aspects involved in running a google ads campaign. Reach out to us to get started.
23. Partner With Influencers
Influencers are brands (companies or people) that have a considerable influence on social media. Influencers usually have a large social media following and a lot of times, they also have celebrity status.
Influencer marketing is especially useful when you want to break into new industries, niches, or target groups. For instance, an enterprise company, that partners with a successful and popular young musician can make their products more appealing to that target market.
24. Test Different Versions of Your Campaigns
Split testing is also commonly known as A/B testing. It’s a lead generation best practice that allows you to test two versions of the same campaign and compare performance.
Although split testing is a great tool to use when you want to increase conversion rates on your website, very few marketers use it. WishPond for instance estimates that only 49% of ecommerce marketers test their checkout page.
A case study by VWO shows a case study where MedaliaArt wanted to offer a holiday discount for their products. Their problem? They couldn’t decide where to put their holiday sale message. After split testing two versions of their website with the message positioned differently, they found that variation 1 resulted in a 21% reduction in bounce rate. Such is the power of split testing.
Figure 6: Image source: VWO
If your website is experiencing a high bounce rate, split-testing different elements of your pages will help resolve this issue. You can also A/B test your CTA design and placement and settle on the one that generates more leads.
25. Work On Your Popups
Marketers tend to shy away from pop ups because they can lead to a bad user experience. Although this is a legitimate concern, pop ups are effective and can be a powerful conversion tool when used in the right way. The trick with pop ups is to deploy them in such as way that they don’t annoy the visitor. More so, visitors should not feel like they must give you their information before they can access your website.
There are different types of pop ups:
- Click pop ups
Click pop ups are the least intrusive and are therefore more effective. A click pop up is an image that pop ups when visitors click on your ads. The reason why they are so effective is because those who click on ads have a level of interest in the advertised offering. Therefore, whenever the image pop ups again to remind them, they are likely to convert.
That’s it for now! You can start applying these 25 lead generation best practices right away and where you can, combine some of them and split test them to find out the ones that will accelerate your success.
If you need to help executing these strategies or need to learn how to create a lead generation strategy, don’t hesitate to contact us.