B2B Lead Generation: The Five “Forever” Techniques for More B2B Leads
We have already written a lot about B2B lead generation in our blog. The industry is constantly evolving and there are always interesting new techniques for more B2B leads. But there are also some old, time-tested techniques that should not be lost sight of. Our recommendations are largely based on the findings of our own work.
B2B lead generation with SEO & content marketing
Everyone knows about search engine optimization and content marketing. One can consider these techniques separately from each other. From our point of view, however, the two are strongly connected, so that they should be viewed together.
In short, it is about creating high-quality content that is placed well and skillfully and generates traffic to the website or to the offer. It’s not just about blog content or an optimized landing page (although these factors are important); it’s generally about increasing your own visibility, be it content on YouTube, in podcasts, Google/Bing search, guest articles, recommendations from partners, etc.
The mechanics are relatively simple: you create content (e.g., blog articles), optimize placement (e.g., search engine optimization to rank better in Google and other search engines), and generate traffic. The traffic is then converted into B2B leads.
The advantages of content marketing and search engine optimization
- Cheaper than performance marketing (e.g., Google Ads)
- Long-term investment: Instead of paying for direct results, invest in the future. Your content will bring in new customers for months and years to come.
- Expert status: Paying for a click doesn’t make you an expert. However, if you guide your prospects and offer quality information, you will be seen more as an industry expert (whether personal or as a company).
The relevance of this technique for B2B lead generation increases over time in parallel with rising click prices on all major paid advertising platforms.
- Don’t get bogged down in different channels. Define a main channel and focus on that. Consider other channels as a secondary front. If the main channel is doing well, then it makes sense to focus on another traffic source.
- Content must be of high quality. Yes, it makes sense to “write for the search engine” occasionally, since search engines love fresh content, but you’re writing for your own readers and potential customers. This must not be forgotten.
- Concentrate on “epic content”, i.e., guides, articles, videos, explainers, etc. that are dedicated to a topic, analyze this topic in detail and extensively, have been in the top places in the search results of the corresponding channel for years and from be called upon again and again by the readers. The concept of “epic content” isn’t new, but it’s underrated. Instead, many blogs focus on light content to “keep their channel fresh”.
- The classic “onpage” and “offpage” optimization continues to play a major role. Link building has often been written off as irrelevant. Not correct! Somehow the search engines must understand that the article or website is important and interesting. Despite the growing complexity of search engine algorithms, there is no getting around link building. We do it ourselves – sometimes more actively, sometimes less – but as soon as we neglect this topic, our entire sales funnel suffers.
- But as mentioned above, you shouldn’t neglect on-page optimization either. This factor is playing an increasingly important role! Loading times, mobile suitability, good readability, optimized tags – there are numerous old and new parameters that must be considered.
- Automate and simplify content creation. Content marketing is time consuming or expensive if outsourced. So, you either do it in-house or outsource it – in other words, your own time vs. money. Therefore, one should try to simplify this process as much as possible. It makes sense to create bundled content. So, you take the time to “lock yourself in” in the studio and shoot multiple videos at once and then post them online over a period. Let’s say you make a weekly video or blog post a week. Instead of tackling this task once a week, schedule 2-3 days a month to just focus on that task and create content for weeks at a time. The content can then be automatically published on different platforms once a week. The tools for this: Brandwatch, Loomly, Sendible.
B2B Lead Generation with Paid Advertising & Performance Marketing
Search engine optimization and content marketing are ideal as a medium and long-term strategy. But if you want “overnight” results, you must spend money and invest in paid advertising.
The advantages and disadvantages are obvious:
+ You get direct results
+ If the business model works overall, this approach can be easily scaled up
+ There are many channels and analysis tools to achieve optimal results
– Costs. Click prices have been rising on all major platforms for years. You can leave a lot of money on the table without getting concrete results
– Sustainability for your business. If you turn off the ads, your traffic and number of leads will drop
The most important platforms for paid click advertising include:
- Google Ads
- Facebook (including or without Instagram)
We ourselves focus on Google Ads and ultimately do the same as our competitors. However, this channel has worked well for us and has been delivering reliable and measurable results for years.
- If possible, you should have this channel managed in-house. Probably hard to cover for smaller companies and sole proprietors, but if you have the opportunity and know-how, it’s best not to outsource. First, there is an oversupply of companies that offer this service (e.g., servicing Google Ads) and it is difficult to choose the right company. Second, the process of maintenance and optimization becomes a black box for you. At some point, the monthly reports are simply ignored, and you get used to the ongoing results according to the motto “could get better, but it fits as it is”. A small increase in conversion rate or reduction in click costs is enough to significantly improve the results. However, many agencies show no initiative and collect the monthly fee without taking care of your account.
- Monitor results and KPIs. In the usual analysis tools, you can set your own goals, track the results, etc. Don’t neglect this point, otherwise your campaigns will really become a black box.
- Try several channels, run them with enough budget, and decide afterwards what works best for you. For most B2B businesses, B2B lead generation works better on Google Ads than Facebook, but there are exceptions. LinkedIn click prices are higher than other platforms, but the targeting is much better, and you may get better results here.
- Pay attention to your website or landing page. If the paid advertising converts poorly, it can be due to the campaign (audience, keywords, etc.), but also to the landing page on which the visitors land.
Website Visitor Detection
Of course, we promote this technique for B2B lead generation out of self-interest. But not only. After all, if you’ve built good traffic through the last two measures, you’ll lose 97% of the traffic for nothing.
Statistically, only a small minority of website visitors (typically 3%) are prone to take a specific action, such as purchasing the product, calling, emailing, etc. The rest are lost in the short or long term. Visitors may or may not return to your site. You can influence this via retargeting. Which in turn costs a lot of money. So, what do you do?
Correct, the website visitor recognition. You use software that shows you which companies have visited your website. We’ve written about this technique for B2B lead generation many times. It’s best to read our guide to website visitor recognition.
- A cheap addition to your sales and marketing activities with a high leverage effect
- When used correctly, this dramatically increases conversion rates right down the pipeline
- A reliable source if the traffic is right
- Significantly lowers the average cost of B2B lead generation
- Saves a lot of time for research and data enrichment of B2B leads
B2B lead generation: interim conclusion
Now we have discussed two ways how to generate traffic and how to maximize traffic decoding and increase conversion rate. In all three sections we scratch the surface. But first, it is about creating the structure for successful B2B lead generation. You can find more information in our blog posts:
Now we want to build on this basic structure and generate even more B2B leads!
B2B lead generation via LinkedIn
What would a guide to B2B lead generation be without mentioning LinkedIn. Over 810 million members in 200 countries, in prime working age and many of them active every day (the current statistics can be found here). LinkedIn is a (potential) gold mine for B2B lead generation.
Many salespeople and marketers have recognized this and there is currently an oversupply of pitches, cold speech, etc. This clearly shows the effectiveness of the old good direct speech on LinkedIn. The messages are often not read at all or are lost in the flood of spam messages. You may miss something interesting, or your potential customers may overlook your offer.
Instead of relying on direct contact, we recommend the following strategies:
- Use LinkedIn in combination with LeadRebel. With the help of LeadRebel, you can easily find the right contact person within a company and address them directly after visiting your website via LinkedIn. Customers are still looking for a specific solution or product, so you catch them while they are still making their decision.
- Use LinkedIn Matched Audiences for individual targeting. This feature helps you reach the people or organizations you already know. And how do you know these? Right, from LeadRebel. You can easily export the list of your visitors to LinkedIn, and you’ve already created a matched audience. You can then place your advertising very specifically for this audience.
- Building the audience. Audience building via LinkedIn works like content marketing. You can do this for your private profile on LinkedIn or for your company page. Depending on your efforts, your skills, and your time commitment, you can generate many high-quality leads in this way in the medium term. The point is that your word or the information about your offer reaches as many people as possible. This increases the likelihood that someone will be looking for your exact solution now.
B2B lead generation using partnerships
More than 25% of our sales come from partnerships. This means that we generate this share of sales through the customers who came to us through partners. Typically, the partners are marketing agencies. If we hadn’t invested in partner acquisition in good time, we would have had 25% less sales.
There is rarely a cheaper and more convenient source of B2B lead generation than partnerships. There are many success stories of how some companies have become big and successful in this way.
Based on our experience we can recommend the following:
- Your offer to an affiliate should be lucrative enough for them to bother to promote your product or service to their own customers.
- In the beginning, mutual enthusiasm is high, but over time, motivation can fall from one side or the other. So, you should always “push” the partners. The expectation that you will win a partner who will then be active for years is wrong.
- Don’t jump at every opportunity right away. Many potential partnerships bring nothing. We have had painful experiences ourselves and after a lot of technical effort (e.g., integration with another platform) we ended up not receiving a single lead.
- Maintain an extra pipeline for your partners. Partner acquisition is a normal sales process and should be organized accordingly.
- Just like content marketing and search engine optimization, it is a medium to long-term approach. The results can be meager at first, but as time goes by, more movement comes in and eventually the partner pipeline can become your most reliable source for B2B lead generation.
The Proven Techniques for B2B Lead Generation: Conclusion
Our industry is very dynamic, and digitization is progressing rapidly. There are dozens of techniques for successful B2B lead generation, as well as hundreds of software tools you can use to generate leads. But there are a few proven methods that don’t require a great deal of know-how or upfront investment. With a healthy mix of these methods, you can build a successful sales funnel.