In this article, we will cover actionable B2B lead generation strategies for generating leads online for your business. These strategies will work even when you’re just getting started on a tight budget.
When it comes to lead generation there are only two things you need to do:
- Find your ideal customer
- Collect their contact information
So in this B2B lead generation guide, you’re going to learn actionable and free techniques to find your ideal customers. We will also cover ways to attract them into your funnel.
We will start off the first few techniques with how we attract our ideal customers or ideal prospects.
In the next few techniques, we will talk about how to convert them.
And finally, in the last step, we will finish with what do you do with the leads once you have that contact information.
1. Content Marketing for B2B Lead Generation
When it comes to free B2B lead generation techniques or strategies, content marketing continues to be the best route.
Content marketing is about engaging your prospects, educating your potential customers, positioning yourself as a trusted authority, and most importantly exceeding the value of your paid offers.
There are three types of content posts that you should stick to in order to ensure that every content post that you create is actually pushing forward the sales process (as opposed to just being a nice video or blog post that some random person watches or reads.).
So here are the three:
- “How to” posts
- Decision guides
Here I want to talk about the three different platforms you should be looking at when it comes to B2B lead generation specifically, because platforms like Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook are not really going to help you all that much to generate leads, especially in a business-to-business environment.
However, if we look at podcasting, blogs, and YouTube there is a lot more opportunity and it’s a lot easier to convert leads from those platforms. So let’s first talk about the “old but gold”, and that’s blogging.
a) Publish Blogs for B2B Lead Generation
The good news is all the information you need on how to write a great blog and do SEO is available free on YouTube.
You really don’t need to pay for any courses when you’re just getting started.
When it comes to blogging itself, what’s very important is you have blog posts that are at least 1500 words. At least some of the posts you make should be 1500 words or even more- 2500 to 3000 words may work even better.
Use this blog post to attract traffic from search engines, and then focus on converting them through a clear call-to-action (such as a free consultation call with you).
The main advantage with podcasts is of course you don’t have to show your face like on video, and it’s a great way to attract your ideal customers on the go.
Podcasts can actually build relationships- and it’s easy to have a call-to-action via links in the description or mentioning email addresses on the podcast.
The final one is a video on YouTube. You can create a how-to post, a review post, or a decision guide that’s very specific to your niche or industry.
In many cases, you will find that there’s not a lot of competition for being successful on YouTube for niche industries.
The key is to view YouTube as a search engine as opposed to a social media platform because you are not competing with the channels that have millions and millions of subscribers, you are creating educational-style content mainly for the ‘search box’ of YouTube.
Now once you’ve got your content strategy in place, how do you get people who’ve seen your blog posts, watched a video, or listened to a podcast to provide their contact information so you can continue your sales process?
This is where something called a lead magnet comes in – providing something of value in exchange for that contact information.
2. Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of collecting users’ contact details.
For example, lead magnets can be free subscriptions, downloadable e-books, free video courses, e-newsletters, and free consultations.
What contact details should you be asking? If your sales process involves you calling people back then go ahead and ask for their name and phone number, if you can follow up with them via email and then later on in the process you can ask for their phone number then go ahead and just ask for their email.
A general rule of thumb the more information you ask for the less leads you will get.
Here are some specific ideas of how you can design a lead magnet:
a) Provide some Niche Training
This is quite hard to put together but also very rewarding for lead generation. The training needs to be something that is genuinely different and truly based upon your own personal experience- something that they’re not going to find just browsing YouTube or trying to learn something.
Ideally, in this training we want the user to have them have some sort of mini epiphany, an “aha” moment. This cements you as someone who can be genuinely helpful and valuable.
A template is an easy-to-follow fill-in-the-blank type process that you’re providing to your potential customer.
An example is a template to track your habits or to write your first sales email etc. The goal is to make some processes very simple for the user. Of course, the process should be related and relevant to the niche you are in.
Now, don’t worry, this isn’t as difficult as it may sound. You can easily design a simple 20-50 page short e-book on Canva or even PowerPoint, and cover some information about your niche.
A cover, an index, an introductory page, and a final page with contact information- that’s already 4 pages.
Add some images and some paragraphs of actual value-adding content and you’ve got your e-book ready. (Examples would be books titled “Guidebook to start Facebook Advertising”, “How to do Textile Testing” or “Three Ways to start Jungian analysis” etc depending on your business and industry).
You can even get a nice 3d version of the cover page on adazing.com to put on your landing page (where you will collect the user’s information).
The last page can have more details about what you do and some contact information.
3. Email Marketing for B2B Lead Generation
Now it’s time to talk about what do we do with that name or email you have gathered from the lead magnet.
If you collected phone numbers as well, it’s pretty simple at this point – you pick up the phone and you give them a call,
If you collected name and email (or as I recommend, just the email), you will need a 3-5 day sequence that gets people to take the next step in the sales process.
Of course, the next step could be asking them for that phone number so you can get on the phone with them, scheduling a strategy call, or it could be sending them a link to a sales page.
There are many software (like Mailchimp, Aweber, Mailpoet, etc) that you can use for these automated email sequences.