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B2B Lead Generation, Tactics, and Ideas that Make Companies Grow



Lead generation is the sales engine of a B2B company, the motor that keeps the money machine running, so you can imagine the importance of it, right?


Generating a lead is also the act of initiating contact with someone, and it has become necessary for successful companies. Lead generation is essential when it comes to creating a B2B marketing strategy that works and helps the sales team.


There are many ways to generate leads. The methods have improved over the years, new ones were created, but we’ll focus on showing you the best strategies, the ones that have been tested, and are giving results.


The goal of this article is to give you an idea of the best strategies and inform you about the ones to avoid.

Using Cold Email for B2B Leads

Not all marketers are big fans of cold email, but truth be told, if you do it right, it can be a great lead source.


b2b lead generation

Source: HubSpot


It all comes down to engaging people with content: if you are creative and personal, there’s a big chance that your campaign will succeed. However, if you go with broad titles and impersonal messages, your emails are unlikely to be opened and won’t generate leads or drive people down the funnel.



So, what’s the best way to create a B2B lead generation cold campaign?

There are a few steps that you can take to make sure the strategy is well deployed:


 

Do

Why

Step #1

Find a prospecting tool

There are many tools that you can choose from, but it’s important to evaluate which one can solve pain points. For example, other than just finding emails, you can enrich domains, verify emails, use as a company miner, among other functionalities.  

Step #2

Don’t overuse parameters

You need to make it look like you’ve been sending emails one by one. To make things easier, marketers use parameters such as name, role, company, and so on. Advice: only go with the first name as a parameter, as there is a lower chance to make mistakes and lose an opportunity to convert a prospect.

Step #3

Personalize the message

Crafting the message is key to converting suspects to prospects and eventually turning them into leads. The best way to close B2B deals is to nurture prospects and create a business relationship. Focus on good copywriting and the right CTA. In case your leads are international, different copy techniques may apply.

Step #4

Create multiple emails

Build an email sequence that leads to at least two follow-ups, and one email letting the lead know that you are not going to contact them anymore. This last email is your chance to send valuable material and make the lead feel like they are missing a great opportunity by not replying to you.

B2B Lead Generation Strategies to Avoid

Time is money, so let’s talk about strategies that you should avoid so you don’t waste any time with things that most likely won’t work.

Targeting Only C-Level Executives

This is a common mistake as people tend to think that only C-level executives are decision-makers. Some managers, coordinators, and supervisors are allowed to hire a service or purchase a product and people on a lower level can advocate for your brand to their higher-ups.


Using Broad Approach

Brand awareness is important, but using the right channel to distribute content is essential. Don’t waste money or time advertising to “as many people as possible.” Instead, find people most likely to convert and go down the funnel.

Offering Free Deals

Don’t offer discounts right away. Instead, focus on building a relationship and drive the prospect to become a lead with the goal of a free trial and not a free service. You need to build value around your product or service. 

Company as the Targeted Persona 

If you’re targeting a company’s need, you’re doing it wrong! 


Think about it. A decision-maker is just a person who needs to reach a goal or solve a problem that they have, which makes this a B2C sales. 


You have to show to that manager that your product can make their life easier. Get personal and create a customized persona.


b2b lead generation strategies

Source: Digital Marketer


Purchasing Email Lists

Avoid purchasing email lists as those will probably have a high number of suspects instead of prospects. Plus, it can feel like spam if you reach out to people that you have no idea if they are a good fit or not. Use sophisticated tools to find emails instead.

Insisting on Self-Promotion

Avoid publishing only product and company-related content. Find out what your audience would like to read about, what are their pain points, market insight, and materials that will make them come back for more information.

Brainstorming B2B Lead Generation Ideas

Let’s talk about Business to Business (B2B) leads and how to generate them. First of all, it’s important to understand that the approach is different from B2C (Business to Customers).


The B2B deal happens when one company hires another to deliver a product such as software, for example, or a service such as law consulting or accounting. B2B deals are usually long-term, bureaucratic, and with very high value, while B2C is focused on selling products directly to the customer.


b2b lead generation tactics


Gather your team and brainstorm to figure out the strategies that work best for your business.


To help make the process easy for you, we created a list that will help throughout the brainstorming. 


Try answering these questions:


  1. What can our business deliver?

  2. What content format can we create?

  3. What type of information is essential for the sales process?

  4. Do we have a clear content plan according to the sales funnel?

  5. Are we reaching the right persona?

  6. Can we offer free trials?

  7. How can we establish the brand as an authority?

B2B Lead Generation Tactics that Work

There are different types of B2B companies and each one will find its own way to handle the market and approach prospects. The goal here is to find tactics that will work well for your business.


According to research done by IDG (International Data Group), the company website and email marketing are highly effective for lead generation:

lead generation b2b

Source: https://www.marketo.com/lead-generation/



But there are many more things that you can try:


#

Tactic

Pros

Cons

1

Cold email

Cheap, easy to scale, and time effective

It might sound and feel like spam if not done right

2

Facebook Ads

Easy to use, affordable, and you can reach a large number of people

Facebook Ads Manager is difficult to understand in the beginning

3

Linkedin Ads

High-value audience

It’s relatively expensive, and there are not many creative format options

4

Backlinks

It is very useful for SEO

It has to be done manually, so it takes a very long time to research and create the links

5

Pop-ups

They demand interaction and studies show that they have a high conversion rate 

They are annoying and can increase the bounce rate; they are not very mobile-friendly.

6

Display Network

Different pricing options, possibility of retargeting

The initial set up can be hard and the costs high

7

Search Network

Simple to set up

Limited to text ads and PPC

8

Retargeting

Proven to be a very efficient way to drive people to purchase something

If the campaign is not set correctly, it may cause ad exhaustion

9

Automation

Time saver and good for A/B testing

There’s a learning curve, and the setup might take a lot of time

10

Chatbots

Improve customer support and help with conversion

Some tools have limited interactions, and some chatbots can be expensive

11

Email Marketing

Great way to nurture leads, it’s possible to measure, low cost

Issues with mobile; most companies use this tactic, so some people don’t even open promotional emails

12

Webinars

Demonstrate market authority, they allow Q&As and establish rapport when done live

Lack of interaction and if not done by a good communicator it can become a tragedy

13

A/B Tests

Many items can be tested, and it helps increase goal achievement in the long run

It might take a long time to get results

14

CTA

These are great triggers to convert prospects into leads

It can get repetitive

15

Become an Influencer on Linkedin

It creates brand awareness and authority

It’s time-consuming

16

Free trial

The lead can see the product in function

It has a cost, and if the lead decides not to complete the purchase, the business loses money

17

Product demo

It gives the lead an idea of what your product looks like or what your service is all about

You’ll need people available to make 30-40 minutes calls with the leads, which is time-consuming if it’s not the proper lead

18

Gated Content

Gated content works as clickbait and it’s good to drive people to landing pages or product pages.

It might turn people away if you add too many 

19

Slideshare

Now owned by Linkedin, the platform is well known for the content added to it. It’s free and has a comment section where you can interact with prospects

The content is not exclusive because the website is available for anyone who wants to share content. 


How to Use PPC (Pay-Per-Click) to Generate B2B Leads

You probably use Google on a daily basis, and so do most people, so checking PPC campaigns might be the best option for your business. The Pay-Per-Click means that you’ll be paying every time someone clicks on your ad. 


This is probably one of the most successful strategies for B2B because your company can instantly appear for the people searching for terms related to your business. 


The more you show up on Google, the higher the chances are your ad will get a click and you begin a sales deal.


Plus, 32% of B2B marketers are not focused on this strategy, which makes this an excellent opportunity.

b2b lead generation ideas

Source: Hubspot

Tips

  • You’ll need a Google Ads specialist to create ad groups and set up the keywords. This is highly important, and it will affect results;

  • Create optimized landing pages, so people that click on the ad are redirected to them;

  • Copy is the heart of the PPC campaign, so invest in a crafted message and a great CTA

  • Follow Google best practices;

  • Use Google tools and learn about what people are searching for and their online behavior;

  • Create customized ads for each funnel stage.


Content Marketing for B2B Leads 

Writing has always been a massive part of society’s functionality. 


If you think about it, we've been communicating through letters since 500 BC, and the first stamped letter was sent in 1840, during the rule of Queen Victoria. (and the stamped letter was first sent during the rule of Queen Victoria in 1840). Later on, email stole the scene and helped expand how communication and business are done.


Content marketing is the evolution of digital marketing. It’s the art of crafting words and materials that grab people’s attention and spark interest, but it goes beyond that. It’s about creating value and promoting the brand as an authority or possibly the influencer in the industry.


Branding relies a lot on content marketing, and so does lead generation. That is why 88% of B2B marketers use content marketing and you’ll see how to make the best out of it and create a marketing plan.


b2b lead generation

Source: www.smartinsights.com


The first thing you must do is to create a buyer persona as it will help throughout the rest of the planning process. If you know who your potential client is and you are familiar with their pain points and necessities, you’ll easily create a successful plan.


Here’s what you need to consider:


  1. Content categories

  2. Distribution channels

  3. Marketing team

  4. Benchmarking


Content Categories

There are so many options that you can pick from, so the first thing is to ask yourself what type of content will engage people in each stage of the funnel?

We made a list of different content types that you can choose from. Here are a few examples:


  • Blog Posts

  • Videos

  • Whitepapers

  • Case Studies

  • Testimonials

  • Infographics

  • Tip Sheets

  • Checklists


Distribution Channels

Most B2B marketers and salespeople will guess that LinkedIn is the best option, but you should also consider Facebook Ads as a great source of B2B leads, and of course Google Ads for pay-per-click campaigns.

But if during the creation of your B2B marketing plan you realize that other channels can be used, go ahead, whatever makes you generate good leads. Just always remember to follow your buyer persona.

Where can you find your buyer persona and how can you reach them?

Other good options are:

  • Medium.com

  • Instagram

  • Blog

  • Email Marketing


Note: 48% of B2B marketers mentioned YouTube as their top distribution channel.


b2b lead generation strategies

Source: HubSpot


People

Marketing and Sales teams must be aligned and functioning as a lead generation ecosystem. This means that you have to establish a long-term plan based on constant content creation. Teach your team about the importance of rich marketing materials and give them the freedom to create.


There is also the possibility of training them to improve B2B writing techniques for blog posts and copywriting (which is essential for Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and Web Content).


Benchmarking

It’s important to check the competition and their website. 


Try signing up and go through the process just as if you were a real customer, and find out what type of content they are sharing with prospects and leads. You should also go through their social media to investigate the distribution channels they are using and how they use them.

Using Social Media Marketing to Generate B2B Leads

b2b lead generation tactics

Source: HipB2B


Linkedin and Facebook are good options for B2B lead generation, so let’s talk about these social networks. Social media won't make the company grow just because you create pages on these platforms, but if you use it right it can help.


There are two ways to do social media marketing: 

  • Paid: As the name says, this is the paid ads option. You choose how much money to spend on advertising your content and to whom you’d like to show it.


  • Organic: The content is distributed according to the platform’s algorithm and it doesn’t cost anything. There is also not the option to target audiences and use strategies such as retargeting.


Now that you know your options, let’s go through the platforms and explore the best choices for B2B lead gen.

Facebook

Facebook is an excellent social platform for lead generation. For now, we’ll give one extra tip on how to get more leads on Facebook - create a contact form as a custom tab.


There are many apps that can be used to set up a lead generation form on Facebook, and by using them, you can easily drive people from your paid ads to the custom tab.

Twitter

B2B lead generation is a bit more difficult on Twitter, but the platform has improved throughout the years with influencer marketing. If you find the right influencers to share and retweet your content, the chances are your website traffic will increase.


Another option is to use the same influencers for Twitter Chats and raise brand awareness and authority on a subject.

Business Profile

Companies that wish to create official accounts can use Twitter for Business and take advantage of adding CTAs to get people to sign up for newsletters without being redirected to another landing page.

Linkedin

This is a B2B marketer’s favorite! Linkedin is primarily used for connecting professionals and it has become the best way to find executives and other decision-makers. You can run paid ads and drive people to the website or the business page, but the best way to generate leads is through Linkedin Lead Gen which allows you to create forms and easily gather information from individuals. 


The forms can be advertised through sponsored InMail and sponsored content. By the way, InMail is also a good choice if you’re trying to generate leads, and there are a few tools that can help out with automation.


Note that groups are good for building awareness, but are not effective when it comes to lead generation.

Instagram

You might be wondering why Instagram since it seems more like a B2C platform. 


The social media can also be used by businesses to showcase products, best practices, share links to rich materials, and share videos. 


Tips:

  • Take advantage of Instagram Stories and create engaging and informational videos;

  • Interact with followers via direct messages and don’t ignore comments;

  • Hashtags are a great way to categorize content, engage, and attract followers;

  • Create a Linktree and add it to the bio to drive people to your website, and especially to content related to your marketing plan.

Tools to Improve B2B Lead Generation

Software is marketers’ and sales rep’s best friend, as it helps not only with automation but also with analysis and insight that assist with growth strategies.


The good news is that there are different tools for each step of the way:


  1. Prospecting tools: A tool that can prospect and verify emails can help you save thousands of hours and it will for sure increase productivity and demo presentations. Pre-sales teams should always have access to prospecting tools to optimize their work.


  1. Content Writer: As mentioned many times that content and copywriting are very important for the B2B lead generation strategy. Whether for blog posting or email marketing creation, the tool will generate useful content according to the initial setup of keywords.


  1. Content Distribution: CRMs, email marketing automation, and B2B exchanges are useful tools for B2B marketers. A B2B exchange software distributes your content through influencers and it’s an opportunity to create viral content and showcase the company to executives. 


  1. Website Support: Chatbots are a great way of interacting with people once they get to the website. They help with user experience optimization. Don’t overlook the chatbot strategy, because automation can make a huge impact on sales. Use SaaS tools to build a strong B2B marketing strategy. No one likes slow websites, 53% of visitors will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.


Remember that generating leads is a process that needs to be planned in advance and by using the right tools you’ll achieve greater results.

 

Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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Extract emails and contact from B2B social media. Find new leads in one click and create targeted lists.

  • Create unlimted lists, filter by country, industry, size and job title.
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  • Generate B2B and B2C lists in one click.
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Anyleads
Enrichment data software to find emails

The perfect product to generate high quality leads from B2B to B2C.

  • Access / extract from more than +15M B2B companies.
  • Extact local businesses from Google Maps.
  • Find company domains from names.
  • Get all employees emails from a list of domains.
  • Send all the data to your CRM via Zapier.
illustration
Anyleads
Email, phone & social media extractor

Extract emails, phones on the page of websites and download it to Excel or CSV.

  • Upload a list of websites to extract emails.
  • Export phone numbers from landing page.
  • Export social media urls (Facebook, Instagram ..) from pages.
  • Export to CSV or Excel in one click.
  • Send the data to your CRM or other software.
illustration
Anyleads
Find emails from first name, last name and company name

Discover emails from a CSV from 3 columns (first name, last name, and company name).

  • Upload big batch of CSV online to find emails.
  • Email discovery is fast and build emails from patterns.
  • Find valid emails from 3 data points.
  • Export to CSV or Excel in one click.
  • Send the data collected to your CRM or any software.
illustration
Anyleads
Chatbot solution to capture and convert visitors into leads

Transform your visitors into leads by capturing information from them.

  • Install unlimited chatbot to capture unlimited leads.
  • Customize the scenario of your chatbot.
  • Customize the color, position and the widget.
  • Export the leads into Excel or CSV.
  • Send directly the leads captured to your CRM or any software.
illustration
Anyleads
Daily registered domains with leads information

Discover each day thousands of new companies registered on Internet.

  • Prospect new businesses registered on Internet.
  • Transfer leads to campaigns to send emails on it.
  • Thousands of new leads uploaded each day.
  • Export all the leads into Excel or CSV.
  • Send collected data to your CRM or other software.
illustration
Anyleads
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Capture reviews from visitors, and increase your reviews on Google and Facebook pages.

  • Install and customize the widget on your website.
  • Collect more reviews, increase your SEO position.
  • Grow your Facebook page and Google page.
  • Export reviews into Excel or CSV.
  • Send reviews directly to your CRM.
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Anyleads
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Send newsletter or sales emails with automatic follow ups.

  • Create unlimited campaigns and connect unlimited senders.
  • Warm up feature to increase your deliverability.
  • Send personalized images with our image personalization tool.
  • Send events to your CRM such as opens, clicks and replies.
  • Generate more sales meeting with automatic follow ups.
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Anyleads
API to prevent fake emails registration on your service

Each time someone registers to your service, ping this API to verify if the email is correct.

  • Verify if an email exists to prevent fake emails.
  • Export results into Excel or CSV.
  • Ping in real time our API or plug it in your system.
  • Instant email verification.
  • Send collected data to your CRM or other software.
illustration
Anyleads
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Generate and display notifications on your website to show random messages to your visitors. This will increase your sales and credibility.

  • Add unlimited websites.
  • Add unlimited notifications.
  • Create geo-targeted notifications.
  • Display random fake notifications.
  • Send collected data to your CRM or other software.
illustration
Anyleads
Extract B2B emails from B2B social media

Extract emails and contact from B2B social media. Find new leads in one click and create targeted lists.

  • Create unlimted lists, filter by country, industry, size and job title.
  • Hyper targeted lead generation.
  • Generate B2B and B2C lists in one click.
  • Super fast emails generation.
  • Send leads to your CRM or other software.