Lead generation is a necessary evil for every B2B company. To sell your products or services, you have to have customers who are both willing and able to buy from you. In 2020, your company faces new challenges in finding and generating leads. The biggest issue in the way is attention scarcity.
The Problem of Lead Attention
People have a limited attention span. Once you introduce technology into the equation, that attention span goes down even more. Paralleling the growth of the internet is the growth of distraction. Even before the internet popped up and made it more difficult for us to focus on a single message, getting lead attention was difficult. Today, that challenge is even harder as you compete with those in your own industry and outside attention grabbers.
For B2B companies, finding leads isn’t always the hard part anymore. Attracting and holding their attention is the difficult job you face right now.
#1 Be Easy to Find
Many customers in B2B sectors are actively seeking out and finding the companies they want to work with. Meaning, they’re reaching out to you. Make it extremely simple for them to find you. If you want to be easy to find, you have to have an active, visible presence in the places they’ll be searching.
The most obvious place to start is search engine optimization (SEO). If you’re not already doing this, you should begin in earnest as soon as possible. When SEO is done well, it can help you appear closer to the top on the front page of Google search results pages. Being anywhere but the first page means you’re basically invisible to people searching, since most people never click past page one.
Once you’ve gotten an SEO plan underway, work on building up your presence elsewhere in places that may be relevant for your industry. This means select social media networks, local business directories, and other places. Depending on your industry, the places you need to be present will vary.
#2 Create Circular Pathways
This applies more to customers or leads who are already within your field of view, but it’s useful all the same. From every interaction, there should be a clear path forward as to where they can or should go next. A simple way to do this is to put soft calls to actions (CTAs) everywhere, with a quick pathway to get there.
What this looks like in practice is a blog post that offers further related reading, a “thank you” page that shows suggestions of other purchases or registrations they could make, or webpages that link to each other to help viewers get around to the information they need more easily. All of these are examples of making it easy for people to stay in your system and consumer more of your content or take more actions on your platforms, which helps you make the sale.
#3 Content Breakdowns
Often, research companies and government organizations release largescale data reports and dump huge quantities of information at once. These reports are usually non-contextual and are just releasing the facts from their studies. Provide value to your market by summarizing the impact of the information in your specific industry. Add context to the information and show how it affects your industry, what it means for the industry, and what people should do about it.
This is a wonderful way to add value to your customers without you having to go and do the research on your own. It’s likely to bring in new leads through search engine marketing, or as a lead magnet for an email list subscription or other opt-in request. A piece of content like this can be long and in-depth or short and to-the-point, depending on what your strategy is and how you plan to use the content.
#4 Collaborative Content
Working together with related, non-competing brands or other companies in the same industry is a great way to expand your reach without boosting your competition. Partnering with complementary companies is a great way to create a win-win scenario for both parties, since you can do something to help them interact with your audience while they introduce you to theirs.
This can come in the form of collaborative content that’s written or produced together, co-sponsored events, affiliate programs, or similar alternatives. Your options are only as limited as your imagination! Find what works best to tap into a complementary company’s audience to grow your own reach and collect more leads.
#5 Live Webinars
Webinars give you the unique opportunity to provide value in a way that still feels limited and exclusive. Unless a person participates at the right time, they can’t access the content from the webinar, making it a good tool for building a personal connection with individuals. Even if you host the same webinar at different times, it still feels individual to the participants, since they have to register for a time slot and show up at the right moment.
The two main things to get right with hosting webinars is you have to offer significant value to participants, and you have to tell people ahead of time what they can expect to gain from the session. If you get these two things right and put in the work to market it, webinars are a great way to introduce people to your brand and start the relationship off on the right foot.
#6 Provide Hands-On Service
In the increasing hands-off, automated world of business today, a bit of direct conversation goes a long way in providing a superior customer experience. Whenever possible, escalate customers to a direct communication channel like a phone call through various office phone systems, an in-person meeting, etc. Certain email marketing tools and CRM software can be helpful here. When you can escalate the conversation, you’re getting one step closer to the person each time, building rapport and allowing for more in-depth conversations about your products, services, and other concerns.
Today, most customers already know a little bit about you when they contact you. It’s likely that if they’re reaching out, they’re looking for more than just the written statements online. Make sure you’re giving them an avenue to have a closer connection with you without them having to struggle to get in touch. By you offering to talk or meet in person, you’re making yourself easily accessible and increasing the chances of creating connections that result in a great impression of your brand.
Lead generation is an ever-evolving art form. Trying new things can help you stay ahead of your competitors to reach and attract leads before they do. Find which of these and other strategies work best for your company as you move forward into 2020.