8 Lead Generation Ideas for 2021
Unfortunately for most businesses, new customers are not as easy to gather as pennies in a public fountain. Capturing potential clients’ attention and keeping it is a strategic dance of accurately timed, designed, and placed content summed up in one term – lead generation.
Lead generation is also the greatest challenge to 61% of marketers, who struggle to generate consistent and high-quality traffic and leads. This is in no small part due to global shifts that have stressed the importance of uniquely incentivizing and innovating lead gen to convince potential customers to offer their contact information.
Producing quality leads consistently is the core of any successful B2B marketing strategy, so developing and optimizing your pipeline will offer your organization a steady growth rate. We’ve collected our favorite methods of boosting your lead gen success through several mediums and platforms.
First, let’s go over what B2B lead generation is, and why it is vital to invest the time and effort into maximizing your strategy.
What is B2B Lead Generation, Exactly?
The definition of B2B lead generation is the process of acquiring actionable data from site and company social page viewers, which is instrumental in generating a list of potential clients. This process is at the very top of your sales funnel and buyer journey, and without it, you’d have no new customers! (Or very, very few). This marketing strategy is designed to display your product in advantageous places that demonstrate its ability to solve a prospective lead’s problem(s).
Ultimately, to be successful you must focus on quality lead building, not necessarily quantity. 58% of marketers reported that quality leads were their highest priority in the past year, but 61% also felt sourcing those high-quality leads is the biggest challenge to business success.
A major factor in the success of your lead generation begins with the prior success of your demand generation campaigns. Lead and demand generation lead a directly symbiotic relationship. The brand recognition developed through demand generation is utilized in lead generation to collect valuable data for your marketing and sales teams to cultivate and convert leads.
However, they have their distinctions that sometimes lead to confusion between the two. Demand generation is very focused on the wide-angle view and boosting brand exposure as much as possible. Lead generation hones in on only those individuals who express interest in your products or services and offer information in return, like a phone number or email.
Boiled down, demand generation is your Tinder profile, and lead generation is getting past the first cringy pick-up line and starting a conversation.
8 B2B Lead Generation Ideas for 2021
There is no set mold for lead generation success in B2B marketing, but each organization will find particular strategies that work better or worse for them. We have pored over and narrowed down the most relevant and evergreen tactics to grow your lead acquisition numbers. These are our top eight lead generation strategies for you to implement in 2021 and beyond.
1.Make Your Outreach Personal with Data
Finding and reaching out to dozens of potential new customers on a daily basis can be arduous. More than that, social networks are wising up, and for B2B marketers, that includes LinkedIn. With a new limit of 20 LinkedIn invites daily, that means every person you choose has to count. Therefore, it is necessary to take your outreach strategy and make it personal with the user data you collect.
Specifically, buyer intent data can offer direct insight into the status of various individuals and organizations in the buying cycle. This includes metrics like which websites, information, and products these people are focused on, allowing you to adjust your campaigns accordingly. It also offers the potential customer a feeling of an experience customized for them.
2. Content Marketing is Still King
Content marketing is a staple in any successful B2B marketing strategy. Understanding where to place certain types of content, both gated and ungated, will make the difference between a flowing lead funnel and a stagnant one. From infographics to blog posts, videos, podcasts, whitepapers, and more, all of the information you provide needs to cater to your target audience and personas.
To succeed here, your enterprise needs to research and understand the competition. It also should consistently perform keyword and backlink research to maintain its SEO standing. The key new tactic to employ is personalizing your company website’s content by analyzing customer journeys and serving visitors the highest-converting content. Personalization can lead to a 20% increase in sales opportunities due to the customized experience.
3. Voice & Search Marketing
Smart speakers are all the rage in recent years. Sixty million individuals in the US alone own 157 million smart speaker devices. Life can be increasingly run with voice commands, leading to an even more streamlined, effortless flow of information accessible via search engines in our daily lives.
When it comes to optimizing your organization’s marketing strategy for these mediums, you have to keep it simple. Long-tail keywords that often mimic human speech patterns are the main focus of succeeding here. This means instead of searching “lead gen,” potential leads will be searching, “Hey Siri, how can I improve my lead generation strategy for my business?” Your keyword optimization needs to adapt to these types of keyword strings as well.
4. Social Selling
Now more than ever, social media sells, especially for B2B organizations. Nearly 90% of the best salespeople found social platforms crucial to their success, and 70% of them are on LinkedIn for business-oriented purposes. One contemporary method that emerged in the Covid-19 era that is still rough around the edges is capitalizing on virtual events.
Though it is not as effective as a one-on-one meeting, virtual business meetings, webinars, and presentations are here to stay in some fashion. This means enterprises need to invest in maximizing these events’ and platforms’ sales potential through social media marketing and even streaming. These speaking opportunities are ripe for creating both discourse and exposure for your brand and collect a great deal of valuable information for later lead generation efforts.
5. Sales + Marketing = ABM FTW
It’s time for your powers to combine! Your sales and marketing teams’ power, that is. Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a marketing method wherein an organization concentrates its efforts and resources on a select set of accounts within its industry. The end goal for aligning your sales and marketing groups under ABM is providing marketing qualified leads.
When it comes to B2B, ITSMA found that 87% of marketers agree that their ABM results are superior to every other marketing tactic. In addition, if you’re looking for a return on investment, 91% of enterprises employing an ABM strategy reported increased average deal size over other techniques.
6.Start a Podcast
Podcasts intend to be troves of wisdom, inspiration and invoke thought-provoking discussions. But they also present a captive audience to savvy B2B marketers. As of 2021, over two million podcast recordings are available online, and more than half of the entire US population has listened to one. One growing alternative to podcasts, the Clubhouse audio-streaming social platform, proves you can offer this same information on niche subjects in a live format.
One of the most significant benefits of podcasts is that the information is available on-demand, allowing users complete control over when and what information they absorb. (Unlike podcasts, Clubhouse is only available as long as the stream is live.) Podcasts can be a great place to invite organization stakeholders to give their brand a place to shine. Then you can work towards closing a sale after creating the content. Podcasts and Clubhouse also provide an excellent place for top-of-the-funnel content to draw awareness to your business and how it solves customer problems.
7. Video Video Video
People were glued to screens watching videos at least 100 minutes a day last year, and brands have noticed. Up to 85% of businesses now employ video marketing in some fashion, up from just 25% in 2017. Video content can be everywhere, from your social pages, blog posts, live sessions, and of course, cute animations to explain complex B2B products in demonstrations.
For B2B entities, video content can keep a potential lead engaged far longer than a 2700 word whitepaper on the same subject. (Though they have their place too!) With attention spans slipping every year, the quicker and easier you can convey the information and your message, the more leads you will achieve.
8. Social Media Marketing
Social Media, and in particular LinkedIn, are invaluable platforms for any B2B brand. Since global conditions have hampered the ability to attend expos and host live events, enterprises have adapted with a greater emphasis on social media marketing. Brands have realized the power that having a consistent social brand message and outreach strategy can achieve.
Social Media offers your brand’s followers and casual viewers an opportunity to know your brand, what you offer, and how you might help them. Posting can be as simple as linking to a recent blog post, then creating a question and discussion. For B2B, several studies found that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, and 95% of B2B marketers rely on it to share content.
One of the best ways to effortlessly manage your brand’s online presence is by using a social media management solution. These can track sentiment and outstanding comments while finding potential influencers and leads from the data analytics onboard.
Make Your Lead Gen Future-proof
We’ve now established a collection of quickly implementable methods to boost your lead generation process without a significant amount of investment. Though some strategies require a bit more time to develop and bear fruit, don’t get discouraged! The proof is in the statistics of those who took the time to establish a proper lead gen strategy.
The most crucial part of succeeding with any of these strategies is optimizing communication between your marketing and sales teams. These tips will not only serve you today and next week but are truly future-proof, regardless of market shifts.
One of the best ways to streamline the entire process is to implement an automated lead generation platform to do the heavy lifting for you. 80% of marketing automation users who reported lead increases and 77% who saw increased conversions can’t be wrong. Use these strategies to grow your business with more quality leads in 2021 and beyond.