Most B2B marketers agree, generating qualified leads is their biggest marketing challenge.
Some companies spend a fortune to generate a single lead.
And, according to 73% of B2B marketers, most of these won’t even be qualified.
The strategies and tactics are always changing but the challenge remains the same.
Generating quality leads is hard. It doesn’t have to be that way.
In 2016, there are a lot of powerful strategies you can use to transform your business.
In this post, I’ll go over 5 strategies you can use to start generating leads for your business today.
What is a lead?
According to Investopedia a sales lead is:
“A prospective consumer of a product or service that is created when an individual or business shows interest and provides his or her contact information.
Businesses gain access to sales leads through advertising, trade shows, direct mailings and other marketing efforts.”
Leads can be defined as many different things, such as:
- Online inquiries.
- Inbound calls.
- New email subscribers.
Depending the type of business, each lead will be valued differently.
Leads are the first step in the sales process.
The more qualified a lead is the easier it will be to make a sale.
Who’s Your Target?
Before we get into any type of lead generation campaign, we have to know who we are targeting.
Who’s your target?
An easy to find out is to know who buys your product/service.
You can be surprised sometimes if you’ve never taken inventory of your sales.
80% of sales are made by 20% of the customers.
A lead generation campaign that focuses on the demographics and psychographics of 20% of your best customers would have a much higher chance of success.
The best way to learn the demographics and psychographics of your best customers is to create an ideal customer avatar.
If you want to learn more about this process check out these posts below:
- Defining Your Customer Avatar: Who’s Your Ideal Client
- How To Create Your Ideal Customer Avatar To Attract New Customers
1 – Target The Low Hanging Fruit with Google Adwords
A Google Adwords campaign is one of the fastest ways to target the low-hanging fruit.
It’s a great way to target people that are already interested in your products/services.
Google Adwords allows you to show your ads to the right people, at the right location, and at the right time.
When done correctly a successful campaign will average $2 in revenue compared to $1 spend.
Some of the most common ways you can target your ads include the following:
- Ad Location.
- Age, Location, and Language.
- Days, Times, and Frequencies.
After you’ve successfully chosen a target, it’s time to set goals.
Here are some common ways you can set goals for your campaign:
- Cost Per Acquisition– This is the cost that your client is willing to pay for a sale.
- Target Ad Rank–Sometimes your client only wants to be on the first page no matter the cost.
- Target Cost Per Lead– The cost it takes generate a lead.
Google Search Network
Google’s search network is the common way to display your ads. It allows you to display your ads to people already searching for your products/services.
With Google’s search network you can target ads based on keywords. These ads allow you to target people that are already searching for your product/services.
Google Display Network
Google has a huge network of sites that allow you to display ads that are related to the site’s content.
With Google Display network you can do the following:
- Build brand awareness.
- Choose specifically where your ads will appear and target a specific audience.
2 – Facebook Custom Audiences
A lot of B2B marketers think of Facebook as part of social media marketing and see it as a direct to consumer approach.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Your prospects are going to be on Facebook it’s a platform to large to ignore.
The best way to do this is to create custom audiences with Facebook.
For example, if you are targeting dentists you can target them on Facebook via custom audiences:
- First buy a list from a list broker that has dentists. (A good example is Nextmark).
- Next create a custom audience on Facebook.
- Choose the Customer List option.
- Then upload your list onto Facebook.
- Facebook will create a custom audience from this list. (It can take a few minutes or a few hours to create this list). Facebook recommends that you have at least 500 people on that list.
- Create a paid advertising campaign that targets this custom audience.
- Create a lookalike audience to scale your paid ads.
This simple strategy is one of the most powerful and fastest ways to generate leads.
It’s also a lot less expensive than most paid media campaigns.
The success of this strategy will largely depend on the quality of the list you upload.
If you have your own customer base then this will be ideal.
You might have to try different lists before you have one that Facebook will recognize.
3 – Linkedin Automation
I’ve recently started using Linkedin as a lead source for my business and the early results have been promising.
There are a couple of software tools that allow you to view hundreds of Linkedin profiles in a day.
Linkedin has this feature that allows you to know who has viewed your profile.
The strategy behind this is that by viewing hundreds of profiles in a day, a certain percentage of them will return the favor and view your profile.
You can then contact them and see if they are interested in learning more about what you can do for them.
Even though I have not gotten flagged for this behavior it doesn’t mean this type of software will be allowed on Linkedin in the future.
The key to implementing this strategy successfully is to have a compelling profile.
You have to treat your Linkedin Profile like a sales page.
Some tips on creating a compelling Linkedin Profile:
- Headline: Your headline should be clear and concise and should state your unique value proposition.
- Summary Section: Define your audience, implement a clear CTA, and develop a clear USP. Make it conversational. You can also insert keywords
- Multimedia: Create a short video explaining where you present yourself and your company in a few short minutes.
- Increase Endorsements and Recommendations: These will help you in the long run. How do you get more endorsements and recommendations? Get in touch with your colleagues, customers, etc..and simply ask them to endorse you or to give you an honest recommendation.
- Experience Section: In this section make sure you cover the tasks and responsibilities and offer precise results of your accomplishments.
For more information on creating an awesome Linkedin profile check out these posts below:
Once you’ve created a compelling Linkedin Profile you can start using these software tools.
Here are the steps I take when using these tools:
- Only search 2nd Connections.
- Search by Zip code. This will give you more results.
- Tailor your headline by industry. For example, if you are looking Financial companies then your headline. should have something to do with helping Financial companies. This makes your headline much more relevant.
- Request to connect to everyone that has viewed your profile.
- Send a message asking for a quick chat.
- If the person hasn’t responded I usually send a follow-up message a few days later.
- Not all of your chats will lead to new business. You have to be aware of the people you are targeting and see if they are a fit to work together.
4 – Native Ads
Native Ads have been around for a long time.
In 2015, the Native Ads had a surge in popularity.
The definition is the following:
“Native advertising is a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience in which it is placed.”
A lot of the most popular websites in the world have their native advertising platforms.
For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, The New York Times, and Forbes.
Here are a few reasons on why you should try Native Ads:
- They are effective because they blend in with the website user experience and offer relevant advertising information.
- Native Ads command focus and attention.
- Native Ads are shareable because they offer educational content.
- They offer a great mobile experience.
- They pave the way for higher levels of engagement between the brand.
- Native Ads receive much more attention than banner ads.
Besides Facebook and Twitter, there a lot of other alternative platforms that you can advertise on.
Native ads allow you to directly advertise straight an advertorial.
This is the most effective way to sell your product/services.
You can generate interest by making the content entertaining and informative.
If you want to learn more about Native Ads check out the following posts below:
- Native Advertising Insights
- Beginners Guide To Native Advertising
- A Comprehensive Guide to Native Advertising
5 – Email Automation
The new technology allows you to personalize your emails and automate your emails based on different behaviors.
Infusionsoft, Pardot, and Marketo have had these options for years but now even companies like Aweber are offering automation.
Email Automation allows you to do the following:
- Schedule your emails.
- Send emails based on different behavior triggers.
- Add people to a new list automatically and unsubscribe automatically.
- Build autoresponders.
Email automation allows your company to send more relevant emails that are more likely to convert.
For example, if a customer bought a certain product it would be worthless to send an email offering them the same product.
This will not be relevant to them.
Email Marketing Automation allows you to send relevant content to your prospects or customers.
Generating qualified leads for your business is one of the most important things a business can do.
It’s the first step in the sales process and can be the difference between a sale or no sale.
The tactics are always changing but it’s important to remember that generating leads is about putting your message in front of the right people.
These will be the most effective strategies in 2016.
Try them today!