Below are 5 principles that should be obeyed by every B2B marketing company trying to generate and nurture leads for their business or clients. Be sure to check out the post after the infographic for more detail and bonus tips.
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Principle #1. Thou Shalt Create Content
Create valuable content that helps people achieve greater success for their business and will be willing to share their personal data for.
Examples of the types of content you can use to entice leads are:
- eBooks and whitepapers: Help to establish you as a thought leader which can lead you the acquisition of customers.
- Blogging: Your lead can be in the form of an RSS subscriber.
- Videos: Add a CTA at the end.
- Infographics: Highly shareable content can give you greater brand exposure. Couple them with some surrounding content (like this post) and link to a landing page to generate leads.
- Webinars: Leverage well known experts and co-marketing to bring in special guests from other companies to add to the desire factor.
If You Want to Create an eBook: Here’s a How-To Process
Have some genius content to give away so that people will part with their information and start to see you as a thought leader in the space.
How to Do it in 24 Hours
Sounds crazy, but if you want to gather leads with an eBook it’s worth it. At Unbounce we used the process below to create our first eBook in one day:
- Define a concept: Ours was to create an eBook of 101 Landing Page Optimization Tips.
- Break it into chapters: (e.g. forms, trust factors) and then formulate a question to generate the content for each chapter. In this instance a question could be: “What can you do with your lead forms to improve conversions?”.
- Spend 10-20 minutes per question doing a rapid fire brainstorm: Place post-it notes on larger pieces of paper (one piece of paper per question, as shown in the infographic) – this allows for better organization.
- Pull an all-nighter: Take all the answers and then commit to writing the eBook in one go while the ideas are fresh.
- Build your PDF: Include social sharing buttons to a landing page which we’ll do in step 7 and make it clear that it’s okay to pass it along.
- Include a CTA: Have a CTA at the bottom of every page and a large one at the end of the eBook that goes to a landing page where you can add a special offer.
- Put together a landing page with 2 variants: Split your traffic to the pages 50/50. One with a form to collect leads, the other should require people to pay with a tweet [case study]. Or have both options on the same page.
Principle #2. Thou Shalt Optimize Your Lead Gen Pages
The simplest rule to learn here is that every lead gen form – or the page it’s on – can be better. This is where A/B testing and conversion rate optimization come into play. If you’re part of an in-house marketing team or agency, you can break up the optimization workflow between your team members.
Things to test to achieve higher conversions on your B2B lead gen pages:
- The size of the prize: Match the perceived value of your giveaway with that of the level of data you’re asking for. I.e. don’t have a form with 10 required fields for a 5 page eBook.
- Try before you buy: This is a proven technique used repeatedly in B2C circles (think of Amazon’s “Look Inside”), so why not use it for your B2B campaigns? Add trust to your page by offering a totally free preview of the best section.
- Social proof: If you’re advertising a webinar, show a live count of registrants to encourage herd mentality. Also get your Marketing Manager to reach out for customer testimonials.
- A/B test your pages: Continually come up with new hypothesis to test against your original page.
Principle #3. Thou Shalt Market After the Conversion
Confirmation pages are a highly neglected conversion hotspot that should be taken advantage of while your lead is at their warmest. This is known as post-conversion lead generation.
How you should leverage your post-conversion opportunities
- For webinars: People get busy, forget, or have to attend meetings, so they inevitably miss webinars. In the case of Dan Zarrella’s world record breaking webinar (31,100 regis.trants) – 65% of registrants didn’t show up. But don’t let this be the end of the story, you now have a list of business leads, so follow up with a recording and invite them to your next event
- Give a bonus: To make people feel extra special, give them something else after they convert, such as another eBook.
- Social sharing and following: The confirmation page is the place to put your sharing and follow widgets, it removes clutter and distractions from your landing page.
Principle #4 – Thou Shalt Embrace the Mobile Market
With 64% of decision-makers reading their email via mobile devices, you should be using email marketing to engage these people. To do this effectively, make sure that any mobile pages you build follow these four rules:
- Make your CTA buttons big enough for fat fingers
- Don’t send ANYONE to a homepage: All that nudging and stretching on a smartphone is annoying and makes people hit the back button
- Keep your forms short: Tolerance for typing on mobile devices is low
- Click to call: If your prospects need a little handholding, have a clickable phone number as well as the form
Virtually every free mobile app has some kind of advertising. If you have an app, link to a mobile-ready landing page with an offer (for example ask for their email to get a discount for the paid version of the app that removes the ads).
Principle #5. Thou Shalt Nurture Your Leads
A common marketing expression is that you should sell the fire, not the fire extinguisher. In other words, use a soft sell approach. You can do this via email by sending useful content to your leads to keep them engaged and looking at you as a subject matter expert. Over time this will create the persuasion required to turn a fence-sitter into a customer.
Tip: Test Your Email Frequency with Drip Campaigns
Segment your list and send leads a different number of emails during a 30-day product trial and compare unsubscribe rates.
Follow these 5 principles and you’ll start seeing an improvement in your B2B lead generation conversion rates. Finally, what have you found to be the best way to engage your B2B customers?
Share these stats with your followers so you look like the first to know. And don’t worry, you can change the tweet text before it goes out.
- 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales
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- Nurturing leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads
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- 85% of people would rather provide an email for an ebook vs. paying with a tweet
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- Companies that use Twitter get 2x the number of leads per month
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- 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices
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– Oli Gardner