The B2B lead generation definitive guide 2023
This is probably the most definitive B2B lead generation guide, based on Gotoclient’s many years of experience delivering campaigns for a range of clients.
B2B lead generation is a critical marketing strategy for any B2B business because it is the path to an increase in sales. This guide is for people looking to go to the next level with lead generation. It is not an introductory guide (there are other introductory guides we could recommend, such as this Salesforce guide and Callbox guide.) Our guide is aimed at marketing professionals who are building a complete strategy.
Why this guide
Get more qualified leads with a powerful B2B lead gen strategy
Essential info on how to launch and manage a B2B lead generation campaign
A B2B lead generation strategy is not only focused on generating leads – it also involves nurturing and scoring. According to the B2B Technology Marketing Community, increasing the quality of leads is the top priority for a vast majority of B2B professionals (68%), followed by increasing lead volume (55%).
Here’s what to expect from this guide:
- · Industry-insider information about B2B lead generation.
- · Learn essential tips and tricks to get qualified leads and retain them.
- · Free templates to help you with your campaigns.
1. Buyer Persona
To launch a B2B lead generation campaign, you must first have a very clear understanding of your Buyer Persona or carry out a buyer persona analysis. Marketing teams should be obsessed with the answer to the following question: how can I get new contact information? It’s essential to understand how your target audience thinks and to deeply understand their needs. Your buyer persona analysis should include data such as age, location, interests, challenges, stage of life, business position, values, goals, needs and pain points. The pain point data is probably the most critical.
Once you have done the buyer persona analysis, it will be easier to define which solution (product or service) suits with your target audience pain points and needs. After that, you will be able to create the positioning strategy and, finally, determine your campaign offer.
To understand how to build a complete buyer persona analysis, read our 2023 definitive guide to B2B Inbound Marketing, where you’ll find more on buyer-persona development, pain points and real-life examples.
Minimum Buyer Persona information:
Age, location, interests, challenges, role, values, goals, needs and pain points.
Key question: How can I get buyer persona information? Find out more with our B2B inbound marketing definitive guide.
2. Buyer journey
After analysing the buyer persona, you need to focus your efforts on the buyer journey. It’s important to understand that users can become qualified leads at any of the three stages. You need to make sure your content reflects their stage in the journey.
See below for a rundown of each stage:
Top of the Funnel or TOFU
This is the awareness phase. Here, users have identified the problem they need to solve. You should deliver content relevant to their needs and also some introductory information, such as who you are, what solutions you offer to your clients, the value you bring, etc. Good content for the TOFU stage includes: blog posts, infographics, best practices, eBooks.
Middle of the Funnel or MOFU
This is the consideration stage.In this case, users are beginning to think about solutions to their problem. At this stage, your content should be focused on your solutions.
Bottom of the Funnel or BOFU
Finally, in the BOFU stage, users decide which solution they prefer. This is when to convince your target audience why they should choose your product or service.
Lead treatment planning
Plan ahead and prepare what you will do with your new leads after the BOFU stage. Draw a workflow with a contingency action for each possible scenario regarding the lead qualification.
B2B leads can be generated in TOFU, MOFU or the BOFU stage.
3. ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) for B2B lead generation campaigns
The aim of building an Ideal Customer Profile is to define the prospect-type to focus on. While it’s useful to know how to communicate on an individual level, the ICP strategy is essential to understand how to deal with companies at a broader level. In order to create an Ideal Customer Profile, you first need to know how you can offer value to the business and understand their pain points to conclude how you can help them.
For B2B lead generation campaigns it is essential to focus efforts on building the ICP strategy, as it will help you to generate more qualified leads. The more you know your customer profile, the more you can focus on the solution to give, positioning and offer. Your team will then be able to target an audience with precision.
Build an ideal customer profile to focus your efforts on the optimal targets for your business
In addition, it’s important to build both ICP and buyer persona strategies. While the Ideal Customer Profile helps to define your best company targets, you also need to understand the individuals within the company. For example, a lead from a target company could become disqualified if he / she is not a decision-maker. Carrying out both strategies prevents this kind of thing happening.
Comparative table: Differences between buyer persona and the ICP.
Ideal Customer Profile: List of key questions you need to answer
To create a complete ICP, you need to gather information like the industry they work, the company’s size, pain points and budget. Here are the questions you need to ask in order to develop an optimal B2B lead generation strategy.
- · What is the purpose of the organisation?
- · Where is the business located?
- ·Which industry is the company working in?
- · What is the revenue of the company?
- · How many employees does the company have?
- · What is the history, culture and values of the company?
- · In which markets does the company operate?
- · What are the company’s strengths and weaknesses?
- · What are the company’s goals and challenges?
- · Which are the departments involved in the decision-making process?
- · What job titles are the most relevant in the purchasing decision?
- · What is their communication strategy?
- · Which business needs are not covered?
- · Why are those needs not covered?
- · How can we cover them?
- · What is my key differentiator vs my competitors?
- · What are the manager or employee pain points?
- · How does their decision-making process develop?
- · Which department or job titles are part of the decision-making process?
- · What factors can influence their decision-making process?
- · What kind of companies do they usually buy products or services to?
- · How long is the sales cycle for the company?
- · What are the barriers to entry to get my product or service sold?
- · Why should they be interested in my company?
- · What are the common points of the purchases made by the company?
- · How will the company find your product or service?
- · How does the company prefer being contacted?
4. B2B lead generation campaign offers: Tips and tricks
The offering must be adapted for each stage of the funnel. You can segment your content and offering by the industry of your target audience, company size, location and the stage of the buyer journey.
For example, for the awareness stage, it’s good practice to offer infographics, best practice guides, blogging, eBooks and checklists. For the consideration stage, case studies, webinars and comparison guides are key offers. For the BOFU or decision stage, the offer must be stronger and more specific, such as consultancies, limited discounts, etc. A key point to consider is that the offer in each phase must be tailored to the target-audience needs and pain points.
Podcast: Get B2B lead generation trends to boost your lead gen activities with David Hall. Scale-up your business!
Below are the main offer types by stage:
In the TOFU stage, we want to attract as many users as possible in order to convert them into new leads. Companies need to demonstrate they’re top of their corresponding industry. The more interested visitors you reach, the better chance you have of generating leads.
According to the latest yearly content marketing report from The Content Marketing Institute, 71% of B2B content marketers say content has become more important. The 2023 B2B Content Marketing reportconfirms78% of B2B marketers rate blogs as the most effective content marketing tactic for their business. Blog post can be included at the TOFU, MOFU and BOFU. You can share a post with specific content to educate your target audience, and at the end, add a CTA to redirect them to a landing page with another offer. So, blog posts are essential in B2B lead generation campaigns. Read more in our articles: How to calculate the LinkedIn Ads ROI for lead generationand Key recommendations to make good use of different LinkedIn tools.
· Insert a CTA: In order to get new leads and increase your conversion rate, you need to add a CTA to your blog posts to redirect them to a landing page with a specific offer, for example, an eBook, consultancy, trial, etc. You can put CTAs like “Sign up”, “Get started, “Download now”, “Get a free quote”, etc.
· Include multiple landing-page links: We recommend adding a minimum of two offers to redirect users to landing-page links. Consequently, it will increase the chances of getting new leads.
· Introduce backlinks: Adding backlinks to your blog posts will increase your website’s authority in search engines. Each link can help your ranking in searches.
· Think about SEO: Always consider SEO when you write your blog posts. In addition, long-tail keywords work better than single keywords. You will need to analyse beforehand which keywords your target audience looks for. To do that, you can use platforms such as SEMrush, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, among others.
· Add relevant external links: Adding links to sites that have good search-engine rankings, can improve your own ranking.
eBooks are good for more in-depth / complex content. This type of offer is commonly used in the TOFU stage but can also generate B2B leads. In addition, you can read our eBook on 3 types of digital promotion for getting more sales.
- · Dedicate time to create the landing page: The landing page is key – this will dictate whether the user will be willing to give you their information. So, you need to create a landing page with good copy and attractive visuals too.
- · Only ask relevant information: Users don’t want to waste their time. Try not to ask more than 5 questions.
- · Consider creating interactive eBooks: Interactive experiences are becoming more important. For example, when opening a link to an eBook, the user can decide which section of the book they would like to start with. This is more attractive than the conventional PDF.
- · Add a cross-offer: In order to get leads’ contact details, you need to give a specific cross-offer. If you provide an eBook related to a topic, you can also offer a free consultancy related to that topic at the end of the eBook.
This type of content is based on including both visuals and text content. Infographics are commonly used to show statistics, step-by-step content, etc.
- · Build an effective landing page: As with eBooks, you also need to focus your efforts to create an optimal landing page in order to get qualified leads.
- · Develop a plan to increase visibility of the infographics: To make your infographics visible, you need to hit more than one platform. For example, you can publish them on your social networks, blog sites, among others.
- · Use infographics for topics to get more visual engagement: If you are able to explain content in a more attractive way with visuals, creating infographics is a good option.
Social media posts
The social network we use most is LinkedIn. You can visit our page to see our strategy. Also Michael Page’s company profile contains a good content plan.
- · Share your offers multiple times: When you publish a new post, it will not always be seen by the people you want to reach. That’s why we recommend sharing your latest offers or solutions multiple times to increase your conversion rate.
- · Mix your offer posts with another type of content: It’s advisable to add value beyond your offer. We recommend sharing videos, posts from other accounts, relevant news etc.
- · Analyse your metrics: It’s essential to understand which content is gaining the most traction.
Users are looking for specific information at this stage of the game, so you need to offer them high-value content.
This type of offer allows you to communicate directly with your leads, as it gives them the opportunity to ask you questions. This is a great way to gain qualified leads and build a long-term relationship with them. Depending on the content, webinars can be used as part of both a MOFU and BOFU strategy. For example, a webinar focused on a specific product or service is a BOFU activity, but a webinar that offers info on a certain topic is considered a MOFU strategy.
For example, B2B marketing has a specific section on its website dedicated to webinars, classified by “upcoming” and “on-demand”.
· Include your target audience’s needs in the landing page: In order to get qualified leads and obtain an effective conversion rate, we recommend including your target audience’s challenges, pain points, needs, among others. Consequently, you will avoid not qualified users.
· Send email reminders: One of the main webinars’ goals is to achieve a high attendance rate. To do that, it’s advisable to send email reminders because usually, users won’t remember the date of your webinar.
· Add value to your webinar: It’s essential to add value to the webinar that users don’t expect. For example, when the webinar is ending, you can give for free an eBook, infographic, etc.
Checklists can offer high-value content. When users need help with something specific, they often prefer to work with this kind of step-by-step content. Recently, we posted a checklist on how to create a LinkedIn Ad campaign, step-by-step.
- · Give cross-offers: It’s a good idea to combine checklists with offers such as blog posts, guides, eBooks etc.
- · Add extra detail where necessary: For example, if one of the steps is difficult to understand, you can add a link to a related post or eBook.
- · Update your checklists: Over time, your checklists should be updated with new information. As well as being up-to-date for the reader, this will give you the licence to share it again.
This tool helps users make better decisions for their projects. Calculators can give more dynamic and personalised content compared to other strategies. This is our calculator for estimating the ROI for LinkedIn Ads. In addition, Marketing Dive has its own calculator to estimate the CPM rate.
- · Offer a solution: Depending on results, you can give a specific solution to them that fits with their pain points and needs.
- · Ask your leads’ feedback: In order to know if your calculator is useful, ask your leads. Maybe you can improve it with their recommendations?
- · Share your calculator: It’s important to promote your calculators through different tools like social media, blog posts, landing pages, among others.
It’s a good practise do a survey to and write an extensive report to analyse the results. This is a good example from TNS BMRB (department for Business Innovation & Skills): a report on business perceptions of economic conditions in each region of England.
- · Limit the number of questions: We recommend not asking more than 10 questions with specific choices (for example yes or no).
- · Explain what your surveys can deliver for your target audience: Users need to understand what your survey is about and also why it will benefit them.
Nowadays, podcasts are becoming more and more popular, so it’s good to consider this in your B2B inbound marketing strategy. For example, Gary Vee publishes podcasts on a continuous basis relating to social media and video to grow a B2B business. Also worth checking out is Amy Porterfield’s podcasts portfolio.
- · Boost your podcasts: In order to make yourself heard, it’s essential to promote them on your social networks, website, blog posts, guides, eBooks, etc.
- · Include CTAs in each podcast: CTAs are essential to generate leads. We recommend creating CTAs relating to podcast content that provide value to the listeners.
Live streams offer a great opportunity to educate your audience. To maximise your audience, live streams should be free to access and replay at any time. Don’t forget that some of your best leads will be decision-makers with busy schedules.
A good example comes from the Computing Technology Industry Association, who used LinkedIn live to show professionals advances in the IT industry. They achieved a staggering 95% engagement.
- · xºImprove response times: The faster the responses are, the better the user experience will be. It’s important to keep an eye on user comments and respond within 5 minutes.
- · Share your live streams in multiple places: Display your live streams on your website, blog posts and social networks to gain as many interactions as possible.
This is all about your products. Users have the opportunity to try the product and evaluate if it really meets their expectations. See this free demo from Vinex: a unit related to their borescopes (optical instrument designed to assist visual inspection of narrow, difficult-to-reach cavities).
- · Give customised demos: In order to persuade your target audience to try your products, it’s a good idea to personalise demos so they are specific to the different needs of users.
- · Offer demos on a continuous basis: Some users may not be interested in your offer at first, but they may change their mind later.
At the Bottom of the Funnel stage, people are seeking specific solutions to solve their problem, so you need to deliver a customised experience that is relevant to their problem(s). Your content should be created based on the needs and interests of your target audience. To do this, you should segment your target audience into groups and develop content based on each group.
Free demos are particularly good for SaaS products. It’s a great way of showing your target audience what your solutions are, how they work, and to answer any questions. HubSpot, offers demos of its marketing software to prospective clients, for example. Also, Talkwalker, a social media analytics tool, offers free personalised demos to show how the app works.
- · Work with products that are difficult to understand and use: It’s possible users are not clear about what your solution can do for them, so it’s worth trying to find a way to demonstrate it to them. Demos are also really good with expensive products.
- · Demonstrate how easy it is to use: It’s also advantageous to show your target audience how easy it is to use your products.
- · Focus on significant features: It’s essential to focus on the most important aspects of your solution. Once you understand their needs, create an agenda for your demo with the topics that best suit the needs of the audience.
- · Establish next steps: After the demo, you need to define the next action. We recommend scheduling follow-up meetings to gauge the interest of your leads.
This strategy is also good for SaaS. Users can compare your software with other competitors. For example, B2B Wave, a B2B eCommerce platform, offers a free 30-day trial with a 50% discount for the first three months.
- · Offer special discounts: To increase the conversions from lead to customer, it’s good to give special discounts for those users who tried the product or service.
- · Make a simple form: It’s important to only ask for the information that is absolutely necessary. Don’t go over10 fields.
Always add value to your offers with special discounts,
an eBook or guide with exclusive information related to the demo or trial.
1:1 meetings are good to make the first contact with the user before the purchase. These are good for both products and services. As an example, The Whole Brain Group has an offer for inbound marketing consultation. On the landing page they explain what the consultation will be about, and then ask for some personal data.
- · Give unique information: It’s important to consider the information you are going to share with your leads. You can offer some best practices for the product or service, explain how your clients succeed with your company and share some relevant data they won’t find elsewhere.
- · Assess their needs: It’s important to give your leads a reason to trust you. Giving them advice is a great way of doing this.
- · Offer free material: After the consultancy, it’s a good idea to offer something for free. This will leave people with a good impression of your company, and if they want to buy the service or product, your company will be more likely to be the first choice.
- · Provide the consultancy through a landing page or via LinkedIn: You can create a landing page for users to sign up for your free consultancy, or you can also offer it through LinkedIn.
Quotation with discount
Offering a free quotation is a good way to make your service known to your target audience. Quotes are usually given for free, but adding a discount will make the offer more valuable. In our case, we give this kind of offer with our B2B lead generation service and also with the LinkedIn Ads service.During the initial offer we don’t mention a discount – only after the quotation.
- · Add a time-limited discount: When you give your leads a quote, it’s better to put a time limit on it (for example, two weeks’ margin).
- · Build a customised quote: It’s essential to understand what your leads need and build a quotation tailored to their goals.
In order to increase purchasing opportunities, offering discounts is a good idea. Discounts have always been a very attractive offer to convince prospects to buy the product or service. A good example is Tula’s platform that collates multiple B2B discounts.
- · Offer a time-limited discount: To get users to hire your services or buy your products, it’s advisable to make them time-limited. You’re more likely to get a positive decision if you create urgency.
- · Link your discounts to other offers: Discounts can be combined with other offers as added value (e.g., in demos, trials and consultancies).
Finally, here’s a summary table with all the strategies in each stage:
5. Key platforms to launch B2B lead generation campaigns
For B2B lead generation campaigns, there are key platforms to build optimal campaigns.
Blog posts are a good way to promote offers and also for SEO.However, we do not recommend focusing only on blogging for B2B lead generation campaigns, for several reasons:
- There’s no specific audience segmentation as there is no chance to target and control who visits your posts.
- With that in mind, a blog post can appear at any stage of the funnel.
Consequently, with blog posts it’s harder to generate B2B qualified leads.
Now you know about blogs, we will show you the most useful platforms to launch B2B lead generation campaigns:
According to Business Insider, LinkedIn was the most trusted platform in 2017, 2018 and 2019. It is the most important B2B lead generation platform for professionals and companies. Currently, it has more than 875 million users and increasing. They invest their time looking for work, industry news, and connection with likeminded professionals.
Also, LinkedIn Ads is the #1 platform for B2B lead generation campaigns because, according to LinkedIn, 4 out of 5 users are business decision-makers. Therefore, it should be fundamental to your plan when building B2B lead generation campaigns.
In order to understand how LinkedIn Ads can help your business, we have also created the LinkedIn Ads definitive guide with useful information to help you deliver LinkedIn campaigns that convert. See below for some key tips and tricks for your B2B lead generation campaigns:
Understand whether it makes sense to build a LinkedIn Ads campaign:
The first thing you need to do is check you meet the requirements to launch a campaign on LinkedIn. This is what you need:
- · Have a B2B offer.
- · Need leads on an ongoing basis.
- · Confirm your client’s value is 4000 euros per year minimum.
- · Know how your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and Buyer Persona Profile is.
- · Verify your client is on LinkedIn and is an active user.
- · Have an audience size between 40.000 to 400.000 members.
Choose the lead generation goal:
For B2B lead gen campaigns, the lead generation goal option is the most effective route to obtain qualified leads. After choosing the goal, we suggest using a single image ad, carousel image ad, message ad or conversation ad. But we don’t recommend choosing the video ad format – they are more appropriate for brand awareness and consideration campaigns.
Implement a targeting strategy:
LinkedIn has a very powerful segmentation tool, so it’s essential to use it correctly according to your target audience. We’re now going to take a deep dive… here are some tips you won’t find on the internet!
· Company: The most used attributes are company industry and size. In addition, before choosing the industry, it’s a good idea to study some LinkedIn pages to know which industry your targets align themselves with. Finally, if you want to impact the most innovative companies, it’s a good idea to target by company category and job seniority.
· Demographics: We don’t recommend using the member age and member gender attributes – it is not good for any company to discriminate on this basis.
· Education: Many educational institutions have more than one page on LinkedIn, so make sure consider the affiliated schools / colleges. On the other hand, excluding members by what they studied is good practice if you need your audience to have studied in a particular field.
· Job experience: Here, we recommend combining job function with seniority in order to better-optimise your campaign once it is launched. Only use entry-level seniority if you are targeting small businesses. In other cases, a lack of seniority will mean that members of your audience are unlikely to be decision makers. In order to impact more relevant users, it’s advisable to combine skills with function and seniority.
· Interests: For a target audience with specific interests, we recommend the combination of functions, seniorities and interests.
In our LinkedIn Ads definitive guide, we explain those tips & tricks in detail, check them!
Think about the LinkedIn Ads formats:
· First, the Single image ad, which is sponsored content called a “native ad” because they are made to look like a native post. If your message is direct and concise, a single image ad is a great option. Also, the copy needs to be accompanied by strong visuals.
· Carousel ads are also sponsored content but are delivered on a carousel. This type of ad is recommended for complete offers or offers that are hard to explain, or also if your offer is composed of more than one product / service.
· For customised offers or experiences, the message ad is a good option to choose because they are sent directly to LinkedIn mailboxes. (not available in the EU due to GDPR)
· The conversation ad format, which allows having a conversation with your target audience. For lead generation campaigns, it’s recommended to share more than one offer in order to keep the conversation.
Use lead gen forms:
You can capture qualified leads using pre-filled forms with data provided from LinkedIn users. Lead gen forms generally achieve better conversion rates than landing pages because they keep users within the same platform rather than redirecting them, and the data fields are mostly pre-filled. 3 or 4 pre-filled fields is best. Remember: you cannot edit a lead gen form once you have created it.
Estimate the LinkedIn Ads costs:
It’s important to calculate the probable cost of your LinkedIn Ads campaign before you launch.. For help with this, check out our free funnel template. Also, for more detailed information, you can read this article.
Calculate the LinkedIn Ads budget:
Once you launch the campaign, it’s important to test and monitor it on an ongoing basis., Be prepared to finetune if necessary. Also, we recommend starting with automatic CPC and then changing it to the manual option later in the campaign.
Combine killer copy with great visuals:
Keeping users interested until the end of the buyer journey is essential. Read our tips and tricks for copy and visuals.
Launch retargeting campaigns:
Impact users who previously showed interest in your company. You can reach members that clicked your ad, but they didn’t submit, and also impact those ones that visit your LinkedIn company page. If you want target users who visited your website, you have to integrate a pixel on LinkedIn.
Calculate your active audience:
Once your campaign is running for one month, calculate how much of your target audience is active on LinkedIn. Read our postfor a step-by-step guide on this.
Understand if it’s feasible to launch a LinkedIn campaign, choose the optimal format,
use lead gen forms, calculate the costs, set a budget and create strong copy and visuals.
SEM campaigns are better known for B2C campaigns than B2B, but they can be a good option. According to Clutch, nearly 90% of B2B customers discover new B2B products and services from search engines. Also, Google confirms that 90% of B2B researchers who are online use search engines to research business purchases. Finally, Googlefound that B2B researchers do an average of 12 searches prior to engaging with a specific brand’s site. However, before launching an SEM campaign, you need to consider the following:
· In some industries, there are highly competitive keywords, such as marketing and finance, where you need to set a CPC of €2 to €3, depending on the bid.
· As we mentioned before, SEM campaigns are more recognised for B2C than B2B campaigns. For example, according to Semrush, “women clothes” has a global volume of 492.1k searches and “tourism software” has 330k. For B2B campaigns, you need to classify your campaigns by niche and choose the optimal keywords for each one. It can be a difficult task because sometimes you cannot segment accurately with keywords.
· Google Ads has a limited segmentation capacity as it’s mainly based on keywords. However, you can also target with the following attributes:
- – Locations, age, gender and device type.
- – Also, you can use the In Market option, which searches users looking for products or services similar to yours.
- – Affinity audiences find users with a specific preference for related topics.
- – You can choose custom intent audiences to segment your ad groups for a specific vertical or landing page.
- – Aside from segmentation, Google can also impact similar users to your target audience.
- – Finally, you can launch a remarketing campaign to reach users that have already interacted with your ads in the past.
If you don’t achieve the conversions you expected, you can try launching new ads, and / or re-optimise the keywords and targeting. If that doesn’t work, you can try a retargeting campaign for those users who have previously shown an interest.
In order to maximise qualified leads, here are some tips and tricks:
- · Carry out the keywords strategy: Firstly, it’s important to understand which keywords are best to use for your campaigns. To do that, you must do a research to know in advance what your target audience is searching for. Google Ads offers a free tool, the Keyword Planner,which enables you to discover new keywords and get forecasted results. In your keywords strategy you should include generic keywords related to services or products, branded keywords, competitor keywords and related keywords to competitors and companies of your industry.
- · Use negative keywords to avoid unqualified clicks: Google allows you to add negative keywords to help you avoid the unqualified users you wish to avoid. There are some common keywords you probably need to add: job, employment, salary, example, research, and so on.
- · Choose Search and Display ads formats: When creating Google Ads’ campaign, you need to choose Leads as agoal. Google allows you to choose between the following ad formats: search, display, shopping, video, smart and discovery. For B2B lead generation campaigns, it’s advisable to use the search ad format to show your ads on search results, and also display ads to put your ads on other sites, videos and apps across the internet.
Write direct and clear copy aimed at your audience:
In a few words, you need your qualified target audience to click the ad and fill out the form. It’s important to take the time to think about a creative message that emphasises the benefits of your product or service. And don’t forget to use the keywords you shortlisted earlier.
Direct your ad to a landing page or Leads extension:
After clicking the ad, you have two options; direct it to a landing page or create a lead extension. Lead extensions are a form integrated into Beta offered by Google that allows you to generate leads directly from the ad. It replaces the need to redirect users to your website. However, in most cases, we recommend using a landing page for the following reasons:
· The lead extensions are only available for mobile views. This would rule out all of the desktop users.
· When users click the ad, you should give a compelling reason why they should fill in the form – the form description is key here. As lead extensions only allow 200 characters, sometimes you might not be able to say all that you need to say.
On the other hand, lead extensions allow you to download leads as a CSV file and set up a webhook integration, which is an API that allows to send your lead data to your CRM system directly in real-time. Landing pages usually avail better results than extensions provided by Google.
Here are some tips about landing pages:
· Explain your value proposition clearly with an eye-catching title and text: So users can understand your value proposition quickly, you should focus on writing a clear and concise headline. Because this is the first thing they will read, it’s important to get this right.
· Choose an image that fits with your offer: The image should resonate with your target audience and the offer. Try and paint a picture of how users will interact with the offer if they sign up for it.
· Add a visible Call To Action: Your CTA should stand out above the body text. A good way of doing this is to use colours that are in contrast with the landing page. You should also be clear about what you want your target audience to do, so use an action verb like “submit” or “download.”.
· Place the form above the fold: Your users must find the form immediately. Don’t make them work for it by looking up and down the page.
· Insert relevant and short form fields: It’s important to only ask for what you really need. Try to avoid unnecessary fields and focus on the most important ones.
· Ensure your landing page copy is connected to your ad copy: The ad and landing page must be related. If you think of these as entirely separate things, users could easily misunderstand the message.
Lead extensions are recommended when the target audience is predominantly on mobile.
If your target audience searches equally on desktop and mobile, it’s advisable to use both lead extensions and landing pages.
· Monitor your campaigns: You need to check how your campaigns are performing every day. As you are continuously spending money, you have to make sure you’re making the most of your budget. You mainly need to dedicate your efforts to increasing your Click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate and decreasing the cost per click and the cost per lead.
· Optimise your CPC bids: After launching the campaign, it’s important to analyse on your campaign data on a regular basis. Some keywords may show you a recommended bid because there are competitors with a higher CPC than yours. It’s essential to change CPC when this happens. Here are a few more situations where you should change your bid:
– If a keyword shows a low average CPC but each click has an optimal conversion rate, you should consider increasing the bid.
– On the contrary, some keywords may show a high CPC but doesn’t generate qualified results. In these cases, we recommend reducing the bid.
– Sometimes, there are specific times of day where there is more traffic, so, you should increase your bids during these times.
Xing is a networking platform operating in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. There are more than 21 million Xing users in those countries. In September 2020 Xing registered a total of 277 million impressions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In addition, Xing confirms that 47% of the members are decision-makers.
The Xing member demographics are as follows: 47% are experienced professionals, 18% managers, 16% executives and 12% senior executives. 35% of users have a university degree and 23% a vocational diploma. Finally, 48% of Xing members have a net monthly household income of €3.000 or more.
Xing allows you to run B2B lead generation campaigns with sponsored posts and a lead form (which is very similar to LinkedIn’s lead gen form). Here are some tips and tricks for lead generation with Xing Ads:
Make sure the advertiser has a registered company profile:
You can create it for free in four steps:
· Add the company name under your job experience in your personal Xing profile.
· Click on Companies on the left-hand navigator bar and apply for a free profile.
· Click on Create an employer profileon the top right in the green box.
· On the following page, scroll down to the box Get to know nowand click on Create a free profile.
Develop the targeting strategy:
When creating a lead form, you first need to define your target audience segmentation strategy. Xing allows you to segment by disciplines, career level, job titles, field of study, company size, company name, industries, among others. The Xing Ads targeting tool is quite similar to the equivalent tool in LinkedIn Ads. Here are all the options that Xing has to offer:
Build clear and strong copies:
In order to keep users reading your ad, it’s important to write an impactful first sentence. Also, you can include questions and data to increase user interest. Finally, you must be concise and give value by spelling out the benefits of your offer.
Choose attractive images:
The images must fit your copy, it’s essential that your target audience immediatelyunderstands your offer from the start. That’s why pictures are key; they need to explain the offer and leave a memorable impression.
Create lead ad forms:
After building the lead ad, it’s time to think about your form. First, you have to develop a form description to explain what your offer is about, and the benefit users will get if they decide to fill in the form.
Choose a maximum of four fields:
In contrast to LinkedIn Ads, form fields on Xing are not pre-filled. So, as users don’t like to spend lots of time filling in forms, try not to go over a maximum of four fields to get an optimal conversion rate.
Use a CTA that fits with the ad and form:
By default, Xing Ads Manager uses the same CTA you selected in the lead ad. So, make sure the CTA matches the ad and the form.
Also consider Xing’s advertising specifications:
As with other platforms, there’s a limited number of characters for copy and certain image specifications. Seea breakdown of these below:
– Lead ad:
- · Headline: Can include up to 60 characters.
- · Description: A maximum of 120 characters.
- · Image: The minimum image size is 1.200 x 612 pix, the image ratio 1,96:1, with a maximum file size of 10 MG, JPG or PNG.
– Lead form:
- · Headline: The same as the lead ad, it allows up to 60 characters.
- · Description: Can include up to 250 characters.
- · Introductory line: A maximum of 90 characters.
- · Image: The same spec as the lead ad image.
- · Custom questions: You can add a maximum of 3 questions with 90 characters each.
Implement A/B testing:
We recommend A/B testing to ascertain which image and copy work most effectively.
Consider CPA (Cost per Acquisition) when building campaigns. To get a good CPA,
launch campaigns on different platforms to test which platform gives the best CPA..
6. Vertical platforms to generate B2B leads
Having recommended our favourite platforms for B2B lead generation campaigns, see below for a list of platforms for B2B lead generation by vertical. Typically, companies and clients register on these platforms to hire and sell their products or services. So, if you decide to log in, most clients you’ll contact are looking to buy products and services like yours. As a result, it will be easier to find qualified leads.
This platform is for marketing agencies to gain qualified leads. Companies that need marketing services go to Sortlist to find which agency fits their needs. So, if your company works in marketing or communication, we recommend considering this platform. Here are some best practices to consider when setting up your company profile.
- · Choose precise services: Sortlist will give a better ranking to agencies that accurately specify their services. If you want to rank strongly with a particular audience, we recommend analysing your competitors to see which services they select.
- · Publish your projects: In order to justify why companies should hire your services, it’s important to show your good work. The more you upload, the better rank you’ll get. Also, it’s advisable to share the following:
- – Context
- – Goals
- – Strategy
- – Execution
- – Results
- · Get customer reviews: Agencies with good reviews get a better rank. It’s also a good way to gain the trust of your target audience.
Wontech is a platform that helps companies find the right IT provider for their projects. Both parties can save a lot of time from their decision-making process if they use this platform. Here are some best practices:
· Specify all your capabilities: As an IT company, it’s important to explain which services your company can provide and which you can’t. In addition, consider writing your services in colloquial language, to avoid jargon. That way, clients will understand your message better.
· Find points of difference: As a company you should find the value you offer that your competition does not.
This platform works differently to the other ones mentioned above. Callbox has extensive databases of contacts from a variety of different industries. Once they know which members of an industry you want to find, they connect with them and book appointments on your behalf. They provide this service for telecommunication, IT, software products, medical & healthcare, marketing & advertising, business products & services, human resources, management consulting, financial servicesandmanufacturing & distribution. Now, let’s see some best practices:
· Target your audience with precision: In order to get the most qualified leads, you must be precise when targeting your audience. The more accurate you are in your segmentation, the more likely you are to get qualified B2B leads.
· Optimise your targeting: It is essential to keep track of your results continuously. If you find leads that are not qualified, you can optimise your segmentation to get optimal results.
This platform works in the same way as Callbox. Five Buttons operates in the following sectors: telecommunication, advertising, consulting, education & training, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, IT, logistics, retail, merchant services, software, manufacturing & distribution, real estateandagriculture.
· Be precise with your segmentation: As with Callbox, you need to develop an accurate target audience to get good results… and don’t forget to optimise as you go.
Real Estate Leads:
Real Estate Leads provides several excellent services to accelerate the purchase of property.
· Find the service you need: The software provides four services. The more leads you want, the more expensive this will be. Make sure you know how many leads you need beforehand.
7. The importance of lead nurturing and lead scoring
Make a list of vertical and horizontal key industry associations. Useweb scraping tools to make the list.
Contact associations via cold calling or LinkedIn direct messages.
Use the following flow map as an example:
8. The importance of lead nurturing and lead scoring
After generating new leads, it’s important to develop strategies to maintain them, maximise sales opportunities, and ultimately build a long-term relationship. In addition, we recommend you analyse how interested leads are and how ready they are to buy your product or service. Don’t fall into the trap of focusing all of your resources on lead acquisition – it’s just as important to look after the ones you’ve got with an effective nurturing and scoring system. Here’s why:
Struggles with developing a qualified lead generation follow-up? Listen now to our podcast and obtain key recommendations from Adrian Falk to close opportunities with your leads.
It is important not to invest all your resources in acquiring leads and to focus on nurturing and scoring as well. We mention this because:
- · Lead nurturing and lead scoring are less expensive.
- · It’s even more important to turn your leads into customers than just getting new ones.
To do that, you must develop a lead nurturing & lead scoring strategy. We will now analyse both activities and share some key tips and tricks.
In order to understand both concepts and their differences, the table below for a comparison of lead scoring and lead nurturing.
8.1. Lead nurturing: Tips and tricks
Before introducing lead nurturing activities and best practices, we need to understand why it’s important to consider lead nurturing in the campaign plan:
· According to Marketing Sherpa, 73% of leads are not ready to buy when they first give their contact details.
· Companies that implement lead nurturing make 50% more in sales, according to Marketo.
· Marketo also states that nurtured leads make 47% bigger purchases than leads that have not been nurtured.
· Nurtured leads have a sales cycle that is 23% shorter, as reported by Market2Lead.
· Finally, Demand Gen Report confirms that only 35% of B2B marketers have established a lead-nurturing strategy, so if you decide to implement one, you will gain a competitive advantage immediately.
In order to nurture the leads you have generated, we have the following key recommendations:
Align your sales and marketing departments:
The Marketing department takes care of generating new leads, and the sales team converts them. That’s why it’s essential both departments are aligned. The leads should flow efficiently between both departments. If this happens, conversion rates will be higher.
Create leads groups:
You cannot give the same message to all your leads. So, it’s suggested to create different leads groups based on, for example, their industry, location, stage of the journey and problem they have.
Build an automated content plan:
You first need to analyse which stage of the buyer journey your leads are located. This enables you to create the appropriate content for now and also to plan which content you are going to give them when they move onto the next stage of the journey. Your team should classify the leads by goals, interests and needs / problems they have. The more automated and customised your content is, the more qualified result you are going to get. Here’s how to build an automated content plan, step-by-step:
- · Decide what you want to automate: You can use tools like Google Alerts to find content using your target audience keywords. In addition, check which content from your company has the most traffic and engagement and include it in your plan.
- · Define the workflow process: Here, you need to classify the content according to the lead stage. For example, for recent leads that don’t have a clear understanding of your company, offer content that is more educational. For those who have already received content and know your company, offer them more specific and solution-focused content.
- · Set your touchpoints: You need to decide how you’re going to communicate with your leads (i.e. email, website, social media, etc). Based on our experience, the main touchpoints of your lead nurturing strategy should be the initial email, a pricing page to check how many leads are considering your solutions, popups with specific offers and your social networks.
- · Automate your email marketing: Send specific emails to your leads, and, if users click on your links but don’t perform the final action, retarget them with more specific content. On the contrary, if users click the links and also carry out an action (i.e., fill out a form), upsell them by sending another email with a similar relevant offer.
- · Carry out retargeting campaigns: Finally, you can also launch a retargeting campaign for those leads who have interacted with you previously in some shape or form.
Use more than one channel:
Typically, when you think about a lead nurturing plan, the first thing that comes to mind is email nurturing. This technique does indeed help the nurturing process, but a multi-channel strategy will be more effective. We recommend combining different nurturing activities, such as email marketing, social media retargeting and search retargeting.
Think about their interests:
You need to think about their problem before giving possible solutions. You can provide them with different alternatives and their relative pros and cons. Then, it’s a good idea to give advice based on what you would choose. If you give them personalised attention, they are more likely to convert into customers.
Consider using videos:
In your emails, you can provide extra value by sharing videos. Nowadays, people prefer seeing videos rather than text. This can be a critical step towards closing a deal.
Follow-up your leads on time:
According to HubSpot, companies that develop a follow-up plan for their leads have x7 more meaningful conversation. That’s why it’s important to do a follow-up with incoming leads on a continuous basis. Sending an email or calling leads at the right time will be more effective. Take your time to plan the scripts here – it pays to have your story straight.
To build an optimal lead nurturing plan, make sure that:
Your sales and marketing departments are aligned. Develop a content plan
to follow-up on new leads that combines more than one activity.
8.2. Lead scoring: Tips and tricks
The aim of creating a lead scoring strategy is to identify which leads are fit for purpose and which need to be nurtured further. Here’s why you should develop a lead scoring strategy:
- · 70% of leads are lost due to poor follow-up, according to Gartner. Lead scoring helps to rank qualified leads in order to nurture them or convert them to sales.
- · According to Aberdeen Research, companies that get their lead scoring right have a 192% higher average lead qualification rate than those who do not.
- · Eloqua researched 10 B2B companies and confirmed that close rates increased by 30%, company revenue by +18% and revenue per deal by +17%.
- · Using lead scoring provides a 77% boost in lead generation ROI, according to Marketing Sherpa.
To build an optimal lead scoring strategy, you must consider the following. If you’re not familiar with the lead scoring concept, you can read this excellent post from Hubspot.
First, it’s essential to define your thresholds, in other words, to define the different stages of your sales process. Usually, these stages are prospect, lead, MQL (or Marketing Qualified Lead) and SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). After that, you need to assign points to each stage.
Score leads by demographic data:
Setting points on demographic information helps to focus those leads that fit with your product or service. The common attributes to consider are seniority, department, market, annual revenue, location and job title.
Create different lead scoring for product or service:
If your company has more than one product or service to sell, we advise you to create scoring models for each product or service. Consequently, this allows you to make sure that scores reflect the quality of leads accurately.
Specify the scores according to activities’ importance:
You need to set specific scores to activities according to their importance. For example, visiting a landing page to purchase a service or a product will not have the same value as accessing a blog post.
Use negative scoring:
We recommend using positive and negative scoring in order to qualify your leads better. For example, if a lead is continuously visiting your website but only accesses your careers page, he / she will probably be a job seeker. So, in this scenario, you would add a negative score.
Don’t add points for opened emails:
An opened email indicates engagement with your company, but it’s not the most important metric. Users sometimes open the email by accident, or they see the email, but don’t read it. Clicked links or response rate are better metrics.
Decrease the score for inactivity:
First, a lead can gain a high score because he / she downloaded content or visited several pages, for example However, if you see that this lead has a long period of inactivity, update the score by decreasing it.
Test the model:
Before running the lead-scoring model, we highly recommend testing it. To do this, you can take a sample of customer records and run it. Then, you can compare results between your model and the lead response in real life. If your results are not close to reality, you’ll need to keep working on the model.
Finally, if you want to develop a lead scoring strategy, we invite you to download our free template!
To build an optimal lead scoring plan, make sure that you:
Set the different stages of your sales process.
Provide positive and negative scores. Before launching, remember always test the scoring model.
9. [Checklist] Steps to launch a LinkedIn Ads campaign
With this guide we wanted to share our knowledge in order to help you create and launch an optimal B2B lead generation campaign. Based on our experience, the B2B lead gen strategy is key for B2B companies, so it’s important to understand how to build an effective one.
Here, we sum up with the most important key points:
1.- Build a complete Buyer Persona and Ideal Customer Profile, and be clear on the difference between the two.
2.- Define the buyer journey and corresponding strategies.
3.- Choose which offers you’re going to provide.
4.- Pick the platform that best suits your needs.
5.-Implement lead nurturing and lead scoring following our key recommendations.
Finally, we’re going to give you a checklist to keep you on track with all that you need to launch a B2B lead generation campaign Download it here.
If you have any questions or would like to run your B2B lead generation campaign with us… get in touch!