Why Hacking Lead Generation Should be Your Foremost Priority
Regardless of the size of your startup, you share the same challenge as large corporates when it comes to lead generation. In a 2017 Hubspot survey, 63 percent respondents indicated their largest challenge as generating leads and prospects due to lack of resources such as staff, funding and time. In contrast to the immense challenge in lead generation, 70 percent of respondents indicated that conversion was their first priority. That’s illogical if you consider that lead generation is the first of four stages of the sales funnel.
A quick way of gauging the effectiveness of your lead generation methods, compare your average cost per lead to industry averages.
Underperforming? Here are five tools that are friendlier on your wallet while optimizing your inbound lead generation.
Blogging to establish niche authority
Blogging is the core of content marketing, an inbound lead generation tool that is the essential arsenal for every marketer. Firstly, a well-placed strong CTA in a blog post could help generate leads. Moreover, strategically deployed SEO for your blog can drive traffic to your website by improving your ranking on search engines.
The key for effective blogging is to develop posts that are strong lead magnets using a variety of content to build your positioning as a subject matter expert. Apart from topics that you have deep expertise in, consider the following:
• Opinion, data-driven pieces by subject matter experts
• Your original research on your or your prospect’s industry
• Presenting solutions for prospects’ problems
• Leveraging on relevant trending content, infographics and videos.
There are tons of free tools that could slash your time in generating content.
• Can’t come up with the perfect topic? Turn to UberSuggest.
• Check out HubSpot, Portent’s Content Idea Generator for generating interesting blog titles
• Follow up with Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer to test the impact of your blog title
• Plan your content strategy around hottest topics using Buzzsumo to analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor
• Automate posting on your various social media account using Buffer
• Optimise your SEO strategy using Google Keyword Planner to find the right keywords
Answering questions on Quora or LinkedIn Groups
Quora is where you can find potential decision-makers posting questions to get answers from the community. After creating a profile on Quora with links to your website, search for and answers questions relevant to your industry, niche or brand.
GrowthHackers, Medium, Inbound.GH or websites where your prospects will likely publish content are also good avenues for finding expert users. Adopt a similar approach as you do for Quora – identify the right topic, read the content and decide if the author should be added to your prospect base.
There’s plenty of good reasons for the attractiveness of B2B marketplaces among buyers and vendors. Firstly, marketplaces allow B2B buyers the same, seamless purchasing experience as they enjoy in their personal purchases.
More importantly, B2B marketplace addresses repeat buyers’ preferred mode of engagement. McKinsey’s study revealed that only 15 percent of B2B buyers desired to speak with a salesperson for repeat purchase of same product. Given the decrease in reliance on salesperson for repeat customers, firms are using or developing tools that allow repeat customers to compare their offerings with those of competitors, and answering questions via email, live chat or video conferencing. Why reinvent the wheel when these tools are already present in a marketplace?
Joining one or several B2B marketplace is becoming a necessity, especially for companies with a small salesforce. The cost of joining a marketplace as a seller varies, depending on the business model. The common business models include:
• A monthly subscription fee to get access to all live deals
• No registration fee and acquiring points to bid for deals
• Commission fee based on size of deal
• Listing fee
Retargeting with Display Ads
Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, estimated that an average of 2 percent of visitors to your website convert on their first visit. Retargeting seeks to reach the remaining 98 percent. How does display retargeting work? Visitors are tagged with a retargeting cookie that anonymously “follow” your visitor all over the web, and tagged visitors start seeing your ads when they browse other as the cookie informs your retargeting provider when to serve ads. This is such that your ads are only viewed by previous visitors to your site.
With Google and Adroll, common retargeting platforms, you can tailor ads’ content to visitors based on the specific section or pages of your website they visited. Thus, classify your visitors into various stages of the retargeting funnel.
Top of the funnel – viewed pages related to your content such as your blog. Consider hooks such as eBooks in retargeting.
Middle – viewed pages related to your product, but only at a high level. Use material such as whitepaper and case studies in retargeting ads.
Bottom – viewed pages related to decision making such as case studies and pricing. Run retargeting with hook of free demo
It’s best to avoid oversaturating your visitors. Already, retargeting is likely to be affected by Google’s updated Ad Settings that allow users to see brands that are retargeting them on top of adoption of ad blockers by annoyed users. To avoid oversaturation, use a burn pixel to untag visitors who have completed a purchase as well as develop content that is high quality and tailored to visitors’ life events or interest.
Harnessing nonconventional social media channel
Though LinkedIn is often regarded as the best sources of leads for B2B marketers, don’t underestimate the power Slideshare and Youtube.
Home to around 80 million users (as of October 2018), SlideShare is oddly underutilized by marketers. Here’s the largest reason it’s so important – SlideShare promises you relevant leads as more than 70 percent of SlideShare traffic is from targeted search by users looking for content like yours.