Wishing that you could generate more leads through your digital marketing activities? You’re not the only one. Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates (Econsultancy), leaving more than 75% of businesses in need of better marketing strategies.
The first step to improve lead generation is to reframe your thoughts. It’s common for small and mid-sized businesses to assume they don’t have enough (wo)manpower to enact truly effective digital marketing strategies.
With only limited resources to work with, they put a ton of effort into repping their product or service — running on a hamster wheel of outreach and sales calls — neglecting the strategies that will help them establish long-term growth.
To succeed with your digital marketing campaigns, set your sights on the KPIs that will really help your business flourish. And while brand awareness is certainly a key objective, consistent lead generation is key to sustainable growth.
Best of all? With today’s online marketing tactics, you can (and should) set your marketing up to work for you around the clock. Here’s how to do it.
1. Start with content and work your way out
There’s no ignoring content if you want to compete. Yet, 65% of businesses say they struggle to produce engaging content, and 60% of businesses say they can’t produce content consistently enough to keep up (Zazzle Media).
We get it: content creation probably isn’t why you got into business in the first place. And while your job used to be to just create a killer product or service, consumers expect more today from the businesses they work with. Buyers want to know that you are an authority and a leader in your industry. And to convey that, you need to produce quality content — and lots of it.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing strategy example to guide your content strategy, start by pulling tips and tricks from bigger companies. Companies like GE and American Express have enacted incredibly successful online content marketing campaigns with tactics that are available to all businesses.
These include creating content centered around community (i.e. content that isn’t directly about the business, but more generally relevant to its consumer base), leveraging influencer voices, and increasing transparency on social media.
You know your target audience — their pain points, their roadblocks, their objectives, and so on. Create content that appeals to them directly, so that even if they’re not searching for you, they’re finding the answers to their questions in your content.
And here’s one more fantastic boon to creating content of your own: it has a snowball effect. As you build new content around it and create a network of links, Google will reward you with higher rankings.
2. Bring on the chatbots
Leads are fickle in the early stages of the buyer’s journey, especially in the B2B world, where that journey tends to be more prolonged. There are a lot of things that have to go right in order to turn a general prospect into something more — including near-instant responsiveness.
Lead response time is a major factor of ultimate conversions. Check out the results from this study conducted by Harvard Business Review: firms that contacted potential leads within one hour of receiving a query were nearly 7x as likely to qualify that lead by securing a conversation with a key decision maker than those who didn’t reach out for more than an hour.
And those fast-responders were 60x times more likely to be successful than companies that didn’t respond for 24 hours or longer.
According to drift, the ideal response time if you want to secure a lead is just a measly five minutes. So how do you respond so quickly at all hours of the day? Employ a chatbot on your top digital channels.
Chatbots are AI-powered communication devices that live right on your site. If a potential lead has a question, they can type it into the chatbot and get an immediate response. Meanwhile, the chatbot will qualify that lead for you and send their information to the right person on your team for follow-up. Leads get their rapid response times, and you get to rest easy knowing that no one is being ignored.
3. Offer valuable resource downloads (lead magnets)
As a general rule of thumb, the best way to collect lead information is to provide them with something of value in return. If you don’t, you’ll only get opt-in lead generations from potential buyers who were already far enough along in the sales cycle that they knew they wanted to hear from you — and you’ll miss out on the leads who aren’t quite sure yet.
When you’re developing your content strategy, consider not just content that you can use to bolster your website, blog, and social media pages, but that can be turned into comprehensive resources your leads might be willing to “pay” for with their contact information. This may include e-books, detailed “how to” guides, whitepapers, reports, and pre-recorded training videos.
The key to getting your resource downloads right is to create content your leads really want, and content they can’t get anywhere else. If you can, talk to existing customers about what kinds of industry-specific content pieces they think are missing from the web, and try to fill in the gaps on your own.
And don’t forget to add a killer call-to-action within your lead magnet. Know exactly what you want your lead to do when they finish consuming your content, whether that’s to book a consultation, sign up for a webinar, or visit a landing page for more information.
4. Get personal with your email marketing
Okay, so you have a lead’s email address — now what? Email marketing can be an effective digital marketing strategy at all stages of lead generation, from the first introduction to nurturing a post-purchase relationship. But to make it work, you have to say goodbye to batch-and-blast tactics and start incorporating more personalization into your emails.
Email is an ROI leader, generating an average of $38 per $1 spent (DMA). It’s also considered to be the #1 driver of both lead acquisition and retention (eMarketer). Simply put, you can’t afford to neglect email, and the more effort you put into it, the more you have to gain.
To help increase the success of your email marketing campaigns, use any and all data you have about your leads to create emails that appeal to them directly. This includes their needs, their locations, their size, and so on.
Use marketing automation to streamline the process of segmenting leads and sending out optimized emails to their inboxes at the right times. The better you can appeal to a lead’s unique needs, the more you’ll come off as a partner in their success, rather than just another brand trying to win their business.
A marketing automation platform can also provide a rapid response feature for incoming emails, which is equally important as on-site responses. If you’re not sure where to start, play around with email automation flows on free email marketing sites like Mailchimp or Hubspot before you commit to a more robust, paid service.
5. Be smart when it comes to social media marketing
Social media can be quite tricky for B2B companies to navigate. Instead of trying to just reach as many people as you can, you have to hone in on the buyers who actually matter to your business. More so, you have to utilize the right platforms in the right way, and all without coming off as boring or robotic.
It’s a lot of work, but also a big missed opportunity if you don’t execute it intentionally.
We know the cool kids are all on Instagram, but for B2B sales your first stop should be LinkedIn. Nine out of ten B2B companies use LinkedIn (Content Marketing Institute), and that’s because it’s the place to be for business professionals who are looking to grow their networks and increase their own productivity.
Your goal with social media is less about generating a ton of traffic and more about generating valuable traffic, and you’re simply not going to get it if you’re wasting time on platforms that aren’t used for B2B purposes.
Successful lead generation on social media is also about voice. You should be not just informative but also personable; not just product-driven but also people-driven. Give leads a look not just at what you make, but who you are. Buyers want to work with real people, so use social media as a place to show them the human side of your company.
Chances are, there are hundreds or thousands of other companies who do exactly what you do — none who share your origin story. Capitalize on it!
When it comes to your digital marketing strategy, don’t feel like you need to enact all of these tips at once. Start with what you’re most interested in, see how it works in terms of lead generation, and then continue to add on. Eventually, you’ll find your stride.
And if you want a little help along the way, book an intro call with Tigris Content Marketing. We’re here to help B2B companies get more business online with killer content strategies.