Smart Ways of B2B Lead Generation in 2023
At the start of this year, we observe almost bewildering economic and political realities that will shape businesses. How will we steer our businesses toward growth in this environment? Let’s look at specific ways to generate leads and high-quality leads that will convert to sales, given the market realities of 2023. Let these points guide your sales and marketing throughout the year.
Let’s start by looking at the bigger picture – look at what’s happening in the world. The prospects for 2023 look extremely mixed. There are a number of crises that will impact businesses – the ongoing war, which has led to skyrocketing energy prices in the west, high inflation, and possibly another Covid wave. As a result of all these events, there may be categories of consumers who have less money to spend, and this will impact many businesses.
But the outlook may not be that gloomy for many B2B businesses and hopefully, for your business and my business. In fact, a Forbes Magazine article terms 2023 as a ‘pivotal’ year for B2B Marketing. The surge in demand for data, technologies, including AI, drones, and more, analytics, and sustainability will drive B2B Marketing and budgets.
So there are great opportunities out there as well, that’s why it’s the era of marketing. Marketing must be smart, consistent and work like a well-oiled machine to generate leads that convert to sales.
To know the smartest ways of lead generation, we need to understand how B2B purchase decisions are made.
Let’s say an organization has a pain point and feels the need for a product or service that you’re selling. Maybe you provide recruitment solutions or digital marketing or behavioral training…
So your potential buyer holds internal discussions and a manager is tasked with shortlisting good vendors. It’s quite likely that she may search on Google at this point. She may find your website and those of your competitors. She may or may not place an inquiry on any of the websites today, but may return to these sites several times over the next few weeks.
So we all have our websites but will they perform? Will your social media, YouTube channel, or webinar capture this lead? How confident are you, that each of these touchpoints will lead this prospect to you and become a lead for you? Do let us know in the comments here.
So we come to our first point for capturing leads from our content.
- Create content to answer all the questions you face during the sales cycle.
This is a very powerful content strategy and implemented by very few brands. So if you know that your prospects generally ask, ‘will your recruitment solution integrate with our HR system?’ then this question should be the title of a blog post on your website, with a well-written answer, of course.
Do you have a list of all questions you face during the sales cycle, along with well-written answers to them? Let us know in the comments here if you do.
List all the questions you come across while selling and answer them on your website. Make sure that your pages are optimized – with good title tags, meta descriptions, and optimized images so that Google will show them when your prospect is searching.
Can you use ChatGPT to create all this content? All of you may have heard of this AI that’s able to write pretty good quality content. Should you use chatGPT to write these blog posts? I think you can try inserting some AI-generated content in the blog, but it’s still not very clear how this will impact Google page ranking. I mean, will Google bots be able to identify bot-generated content and rank your page lower? You will need to keep reading up about this before you publish blog posts with mostly AI-generated content.
Coming back to the questions you should answer – If your prospects have those questions, there are many other people out there asking the same ones, and if they find your content, they can become leads. Also, do add live chat or a conversational chatbot to your website
When a live chat window pops up on the lower right corner of a website, many of us find it easier to ask a quick question there, rather than filling out the form on the contact us page. So do add live chat or a conversational chatbot to your website to capture more leads.
After browsing a few websites the potential buyer will continue to gather information on social media like LinkedIn or view videos on YouTube. So let’s look at our second point for smart lead generation.
- Create memorable content
I see many brands making a sincere effort to publish content on social media sites like LinkedIn, but the biggest challenge in B2B product categories is that everyone’s content is so similar. Today’s buyers are keen to engage with brands that are innovative and authentic.
Do you also feel that all the content in your category is similar? Or have you found ways to stand out? Do share your experiences here.
Creativity and consistency are essential for social media content that will generate leads.
Experiment with stories, humor, animation, or music – formats that will help you to break the clutter, and be remembered. If your business has a strong visual component, like architecture or construction, or design, then you can also work with Insta or Facebook reels which are extremely popular today.
I’d like to mention one more point here, while it’s important to measure the effectiveness of every marketing channel, actually, you cannot see any one channel in isolation. Your buyer may view your social post and visit your website. Research shows that the largest source of website visits in 2022 was ‘direct’ which means that visitors knew that they wanted to visit that particular website. That means the brand-building you do on social media leads people to your website. So you may think that your LinkedIn post did not generate a lead, without realizing that a website lead came as a result of the post.
- Amplify through association
You may have heard of influencer marketing. B2C brands pay people who are popular on Instagram or YouTube to promote their products. In B2B marketing, we can do smart and subtle influencer marketing without shelling out big money.
Think about the organizations and individuals you would like your brand to be associated with. Invite these individuals to speak with you on a LinkedIn live or Facebook live event. They don’t need to endorse your product. You can have a conversation showcasing your expertise.
Try to invite those who have a strong following on social media. This way, your content is seen by their network and gets amplified without advertising spend.
When you view the profiles of the attendees of the session, you will know that the topic is of interest to them so you can reach out and they can become leads.
Until now we discussed techniques of inbound marketing, meaning that prospective buyers will find our website or social content when they are browsing. But we can’t keep waiting for them to find us, that’s why it’s important to also do outbound marketing effectively.
Yes, it’s 2023 but outbound marketing techniques like email and telecalling for appointments are still extremely effective. This brings me to our next point.
- Invest in quality databases for outbound
Creating high-quality emailers is important. But to get results we also need good databases on a regular basis. If you have a database of contacts, send them 3 to 4 emails and then reduce the frequency as you don’t want to spam them.
So you do need fresh databases from time to time. These need to be accurate with correct contact details and match your ideal customer profile.
You can collect these through campaigns, such as lead magnet campaigns on your website. Or you can purchase a high-quality database for some markets like India, where the privacy laws are still not terribly stringent.
You cannot purchase databases in territories where laws such as GDPR apply, and simply email or call them, as this can attract hefty fines, and even a jail term in Singapore. So be aware of these laws before you plan an outreach.
Add these 4 points to your marketing plans for 2023, you will see a consistent uptick in leads across all channels. Discuss these and other strategies and techniques with our experts by joining our B2B Growth Essentials program.