Yes: Content marketing and PR can (and SHOULD) coexist. Here's how to create PR and marketing plans that work together.
B2B Lead Generation Strategies: Planning Ahead for 2023
It’s never too early to start looking at next year. That’s why we’re already flipping the calendar and planning for 2023. Here are some B2B lead generation strategies you should try in 2023.
Finding the right leads is the ultimate goal of B2B marketing and is essential to your company’s success. But sometimes, it can feel like nobody is coming through the door.
If you’ve been having trouble getting leads in 2022, fear not! We have some B2B lead generation strategies you can plan to roll out to make sure 2023 is a year of leads aplenty.
Let’s start with some basics.
B2B Lead Generation Basics
What are B2B Leads?
B2B leads are people who have been identified as potential customers. There are two traditional categories of leads – marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs).
- MQLs – These are leads that have engaged with your marketing efforts – like downloading a piece of content – that could become an SQL if nurtured correctly.
- SQLs – These are prospective customers that are ready to talk to your sales team after having expressed enough interest in your product or service. More often than not, MQLs are vetted and handed off to the sales team to become SQLs.
You can attract these people to become buyers through a process called lead generation.
Now, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all process. In fact, it’s something that should be tailored to the preferences of the leads you’re trying to reach. Let’s dig a little deeper.
What is B2B Lead Generation?
B2B lead generation is the process of identifying the right potential customers, attracting them with the right mix of marketing strategies, and ultimately filling up your sales funnel with those people.
The lead generation process ensures your sales team is armed with a full list of prospects they can convert into customers.
Making sure that your funnel is full of the right leads is essential to any B2B company’s success. But that’s easier said than done.
7 B2B Lead Gen Strategies to Help You Get Leads in 2023
Lead generation takes a lot of time and testing to get right. This is because every audience responds differently to different strategies and messages.
That’s why we’re giving you this 2023 article so early. It’s time to start crafting and testing your lead generation.
The key here is to find the right mix of lead generation strategies that work for your business. Take a look at our list below to get some ideas on what you can improve on or add to your lead generation mix.
#1. Content Marketing
Content is king. Always has been. Always will be … at least for the foreseeable future.
If you’re looking to drive leads, start with creating content. Well-crafted content can distinguish your brand and compel prospects to convert prospects into leads.
So, what is content?
It’s true, content usually starts with the written word – think blogging, whitepapers, case studies and even long-form eBooks. These pieces are tried and true lead gen tactics that are highly effective when created for your targeted audiences.
But content can be more than the written word.
Repurpose those words into well-designed infographics, informative podcasts and eye-catching videos.
Dynamic content like this can help take your brand to the next level in terms of awareness, and that awareness can drive even more leads for your company.
When building out a content plan, of course, include the written word. But also pepper in some dynamic content to round out your content marketing strategy.
#2. Search Engine Marketing & Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
Search engine marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are another great way to get in front of potential leads for a good price.
PPC campaigns allow you to get in front of people actively searching for your solution.
Obviously, Google is the first search engine that comes to mind, and it will most likely be the one you spend most of your budget on.
One of the good things about search ads on Google is that you have some control over bringing down your PPC costs. To an extent, Google values ad quality over bid amount. So, if you want to spend a little less and get more leads in the door, create high-quality ads and landing pages.
You can also advertise on Bing, depending on your audience. Bing actually works well for IT-focused users and less technical users who haven’t changed their computer’s default browser and search settings. Bing is also much cheaper than Google, so if you can find leads on Bing, you’ll get a high ROI on them.
Either way, start with keyword research to make sure you’re targeting the terms relevant to your business. Then craft your ad copy around those terms.
#3. Display Advertising
While not as effective at driving leads as PPC campaigns, display advertising is still a great way to get in front of previous site visitors, keeping your brand top-of-mind.
Display ads are the banner ads you see as you go from website to website. Like PPC, the main network you’ll most likely be advertising in is the Google Display Network.
But a word of warning here: The Google Display Network is notorious for showing ads on sites that don’t actually help you (think: link farms). Be careful spending your money here, and watch the sites your ads appear on like a hawk.
#4. LinkedIn Advertising
LinkedIn offers the world’s best B2B dataset. How?
LinkedIn is ubiquitous in the professional world. People are incentivized to keep their LinkedIn profile up-to-date with their current employment information.
For you, the advertiser, that means you can find thousands and thousands of people with relevant job titles in the industries that your company serves. These are the people that will ultimately make the decision to start working with your company.
When creating LinkedIn ads, make sure you create a compelling offer. Your ad is interrupting their feed, so you want to make sure it’s not something they scroll past. Test video and carousel ad formats as well to increase engagement. If you’re not already advertising on LinkedIn, you probably should be.
#5. Other Social Media Platforms
LinkedIn may be the best platform for B2B companies, but that doesn’t mean you should only be on LinkedIn.
There are ways B2B companies can successfully use traditional consumer social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to drive leads.
Traditional posting on these platforms allows you to be more colloquial with your audience.
Advertising on these platforms is tough, though. The audience data is a lot worse than LinkedIn. But because of that, the costs are much lower.
Take the time to create a comprehensive social media marketing plan to test the efficacy of posting and advertising on these platforms. The results may surprise you.
#6. Trade Show Attendance
As we return to in-person events, we’ve seen the trade show make its comeback – albeit with noticeably smaller attendance than past events across the board.
Trade shows can be a necessary evil. Yes, they’re expensive. Yes, they have questionable ROI. But despite the lower attendance, if your business is in an industry where trade shows and events draw crowds of potential leads, you need to meet them on that floor. Or else your competitors will.
This is all the more reason to attend trade shows with a well-thought-out plan. Take the time to create a top-notch booth and relevant sales collateral. Incentivize people to come to the booth with a giveaway or other promotion. Then, make sure they know where you are with a geo-targeted advertising campaign.
#7. Conversion Rate Optimization
Lastly, thanks to the previous six strategies, you’ll probably be attracting a lot of visitors to your site. The next step is to make sure they’re converting once they get there.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) can help you do that.
CRO is the process of increasing conversion rates on your site or landing pages by changing page elements and then testing to see the result.
“Does a red button lead to more downloads than a yellow button?” These are the types of questions CRO seeks to answer.
While it may seem like small changes, you can double your conversion rate on the site from 1% to 2%. One small change can move the lead-gen needle.
Conclusion – Start Your Lead Gen To-Do List
Getting the right leads is no easy task, but these 7 strategies can help. As we move into the second half of 2022, start testing some of these strategies out. Find the right mix that works for your company. Then build an integrated lead generation plan that will make 2023 a success.