Aiming for steady B2B lead generation for small businesses is a rewarding strategy and can take your company to the next level.
Almost all startups begin with no customers, but marketing can attract a market. Businesses that save money and avoid marketing expenses tend to go nowhere. Here's a look at how appropriate lead generation prepares an enterprise for profitability.
How B2B Lead Generation Builds Small Business
Lead generation is the act of collecting the names and contact information of people interested in your product or service. In the business-to-business world, lead generation means collecting leads from business decision-makers.
Professional doctors and lawyers often generate referrals while online entrepreneurs gain leads through their website, blog, and social media pages. Mixing traditional and modern approaches to B2B lead generation for small businesses can be advantageous and develop a competitive edge in the market.
Business-to-business marketing differs from business-to-consumer marketing because it's much more personalized. The first pitch is more of an informative introduction than a sales push. The object of B2B interaction is to establish a business relationship more than a quick sale.
Another big difference between B2B and b2c is the process of lead generation. While b2c marketing is heavily based on advertising in popular media, email, and social media, B2B exists more on a one-on-one personal level. It may draw from different marketing channels, but ultimately deals are made face-to-face or through personalized communication.
Hubspot, a leading developer of digital marketing tools, reports the top sources for B2B leads through marketing channels are:
- SEO (14 percent)
- Email marketing (13 percent)
- Social media (12 percent)
Keys to Attracting New Traffic
A startup launches a new website, and then what usually happens? Nothing happens if the company doesn’t bother to notify anyone about the launch or promote it through some type of media channel. Traffic doesn't just magically appear for a new website. It requires diverse marketing efforts involving a wide range of communication vehicles.
To generate traffic on your site or blog, you first need to build an archive of meaningful content based on keywords. These keywords should signal consistency and expertise to search engines about the content on your site. So if you run a firm that sells software to small businesses, use software terminology that your target customers would use to find you.
Your blog post or product landing page might appear prominently in Google Search results for critical keywords when SEO content is crafted appropriately. SEO has both artistic and scientific qualities that make it an intense endeavor. A blog must balance factual data with creative storytelling and personality.
Always remember that Google Search is a data-driven monitor of massive web content. Google's goal is to give the best rankings to the highest quality web content for users of its search tools. So keep in mind Google rates all types of data and punishes sites that try to game its system with repetitious weak content.
Share deep insights about your business instead of trying to create a large number of thin web pages that search engines regard as webspam. Outshine your competitors by offering content that even they might find interesting about their industry. Search engines may define you as a thought leader when you create this type of credible content.
Maximize Search Engine Optimization
Building exciting content for a website requires plenty of time and energy, which is why many businesses outsource to digital marketing firms to create their blogs. SEO is at the crossroads of content and marketing in the eyes of search bots that rank web page authority and informational depth.
Why is SEO so crucial to developing an online audience? SEO is your connection to a market through keywords and web content about them. Search engines such as Google use specific SEO metrics to determine search rankings for web pages.
Google uses over two hundred factors to determine its search engine results for any given keyword or keyword phrase. You can learn its algorithms, which takes time when starting from scratch or outsourcing to experts. Your primary focus should be developing rich and unique content on other websites that can't be found.
One of the most significant advantages of SEO is that it's affordable compared with traditional approaches. The cost of creating interesting web pages is generally lower than creating expensive TV commercials. While TV reaches more people when an ad is shown, Google users who find the information they're looking for are more curious about exploring the content.
Venture Into Videos and Other Multimedia
Video presentations are great ways to showcase product demonstrations. Isn't that what business decision-makers want to see before deciding on a company purchase? Video is a powerful visual medium that many professionals prefer over reading long boring text.
A business video can showcase its products, but it can also reveal the company's vision and personality. It allows you to make your business more personalized in a sense potential buyers will feel they know someone who works for the brand. Through video, storytelling can enrich its viewers with memorable experiences.
You can never run out of ideas for a video, as many small businesses now create regular video podcasts. The production should be professional but doesn't need the budget of a typical TV commercial. Different episodes can feature company history, personnel, backgrounds, and a tour of your facilities.
Many small company managers may forget that YouTube is a social media network and a video marketing channel. Even B2B organizations can utilize YouTube for practical networking purposes when encountering like minds in video responses.
Be aware the more your brand gains visibility on YouTube, the more it may need to conform to standards for people with disabilities. You may need to provide transcriptions for the hard of hearing and audio for blind individuals.
The commercial and residential real estate industry attracts new leads by offering virtual experiences. Potential customers can visit a realtor’s office and experience the home of their dreams wearing a virtual headset without going to the actual property. While many small businesses cannot afford this technology yet, it's an example of how certain media attracts interested buyers.
Targeting and Testing
First, your business must establish a target market within the business community. Whatever industry you target, you should be aware of the top players and the financial challenges they face. If your offering meets a market demand or fills a hole, you can attract the attention of commercial buyers.
After establishing a general target audience that reflects your niche, you can divide your market into segments. You can then relate each segment to a symbol, photo, avatar, nickname, or anything that serves as a visual reminder of the segment's characteristics. These images are known as "sales personas" or "market personas."
One way to get the attention of business leaders is to rent a booth at a trade show. This traditional approach can stimulate leads immediately, but it can be expensive. A more cost-effective strategy is to stage a webinar or other online streaming event.
Targeted advertising through search engines and social media is the most reliable way to generate business leads quickly. The pay-per-click (PPC) model is effective because it gives your brand visibility on popular web portals.
You can learn a wealth of data about your market by staging interactive events that encourage target prospects to participate. Conducting online surveys and offering free digital downloads are ways to get people interested in your brand. You can collect even more valuable information from PPC campaigns.
A process known as A/B testing helps businesses learn what users think about their web pages and ads. The test involves comparing content, layout, and design results between different presentations such as blog post A vs. blog post B.
Lead Generation Insights for Small Business
Championing B2B lead generation for small businesses is never easy, but you can take steps to make it easier. Part of advancing lead generation involves embracing productive tools, and another part comes down to communication skills. Here are essential tips for small businesses to establish and improve lead generation:
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly to cater to the most active professionals. Be aware that over 90 percent of B2B clients search for products on their mobile devices.
- Target high-end B2B clients on LinkedIn, which is respected as a career-based social network.
- When sending emails, be careful not to use language that spam filters are programmed to recognize as spam. Specific phrases that have been exploited in marketing scams, such as "cash now" or "earn $1 million quickly," are associated with exposed scams.
- Focus on what you publish as resourceful information.
The content you publish on your website, or blog directly impacts connecting with target followers. Personalizing your content is part of the trick to attract an audience and include dynamic web pages.
Develop "lead magnets," which are any type of content that draws attention to your brand or products that trigger perceived value in exchange for information. You might post a deep story, for example, about a hero in your industry leading up to a call-to-action, such as an email address request. You might offer that same information as a download reward for providing market research.
Another effective strategy for finding potential clients is to write a blog post about how your industry affects other industries. Use stats from other industries to back up your commentary. The more you present the voice of your web properties as informative, the more your target audience will consider your brand to be a valuable resource.
Why the Right Technology Matter
One of the biggest challenges in the digital age is to keep up with new technology without being consumed by it. In other words, it's essential to replace time-consuming manual tasks with digital tools without creating new cumbersome constraints. Email, for example, is much more efficient than snail mail, but getting through it takes an enormous amount of time.
Ideal marketing technology encompasses various marketing elements bundled into one platform, such as business management software. A subset of this category is customer relationship management (CRM) software, which allows you to build profiles of each customer. It gives you easy access to customer information with direct contact links to help personalize interaction with the client.
A CRM solution combined with email marketing automation is an efficient way to communicate with your customers. It's also a powerful solution for establishing and tracking leads. Any type of software that allows you to communicate with prospects and track their responses will help accelerate lead conversions.
Taking advantage of the proper marketing channels is another vital key to lead generation and nurturing leads. Specific social media networks beyond LinkedIn, such as Facebook and Twitter, can be used for advertising to attract new qualified leads. These sites provide tools for customizing target viewers based on location and other factors.
The most elaborate lead generation tools qualify leads by scoring them. You can develop a customized scoring system that makes sense for your business. Some companies rate leads with scores of 1-10, and others use terms such as "hot," "warm," and "cold." By qualifying leads, you'll save a significant amount of time that was once wasted on cold leads that went nowhere.
When you're processing plenty of leads, it's imperative to protect the data from getting into the wrong hands. You never know when a rogue competitor or just a jealous trouble-maker might try to steal your data. So make sure you invest in modern cybersecurity and the best smart security system for business.
Professionals looking to make B2B lead generation for small businesses the center of their efforts can advance competitively. Building web credibility as a thought leader with expertise that can't be found elsewhere is often a winning proposition. Schedule a call with us today to learn more about how e-marketing associates can help your small business grow.