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6 B2B lead generation strategies used by a marketing agency

06.12.2023

B2B lead generation strategies are a valuable pillar of any marketing plan. For B2B companies, especially small businesses, it can help you grow your audience, your sales, and your brand reputation.  

Many people think that B2B lead generation is an inherent part of any marketing activity, but it actually requires a specific approach. Lots of marketing doesn’t require people to enter their contact details, but this is the primary objective of lead generation campaigns. That’s why they need to be tailored to this objective.  

Here we explore seven digital strategies that we use all the time as a B2B digital marketing agency. We’ll not only outline what they are, but what objectives they’re suited to. 

First, base your B2B lead generation strategy on your audience 

B2B lead generation is not a one-step process. Getting a lead can technically be defined as getting an email address from an interested party. In this sense, it only takes one download to capture leads.  

But there’s a lot of work that leads up to and follows this if you want to turn this lead into a buyer. 

Most people will only part with their email for something that offers a lot of value. They likely need to have interacted with your brand before and trust your expertise. This means you’ll need to provide valuable content for ‘free’ before this, like advice on social channels or blogging.  

Then, once they trust you enough to download your content, you need to keep them engaged. This means following up via email, offering events, or releasing more in-depth content.  

In addition, the B2B sales cycle contains many decision makers. So, your campaigns should take this, as well as their stage of engagement, into account. 

In short, there are many kinds of campaigns you can run, all which might have a different purpose or target audience in mind. Let’s break this down with some example strategies we recommend: 

B2B lead generation campaigns based on the sales cycle 

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the best campaigns for the different stages of the buyer cycle. Tailoring your campaigns to your target audience will help you move people into, and through, the sales funnel.

Brand awareness campaigns

Awareness campaigns can be used to generate new leads or to simply encourage actions like; website visits, social follows, or social engagement. Demand generation campaigns on Google Ads are perfect for creating brand awareness. They are designed to reach new audiences and generate interest with engaging visual promotion. This is a proactive approach versus waiting for audiences to stumble upon your brand. 

Similarly, this approach can be replicated on social media platforms.

Consideration (lead nurturing) campaigns

During the consideration stage, when your target audience is exploring their solutions, you want to keep them engaged. The aim is to draw them further down the sales funnel. Lead nurturing campaigns are used to strengthen existing relationships.  

This means you can start to tailor your messaging even more. This could be talking about challenges and solutions that are specific to their industry, their company, or their job role.

Decision / conversion campaigns

The final stage is to convert your leads. This takes a personal touch, so direct communication email marketing campaigns are very effective. This is where you can introduce specific and purposeful conversations punctuated with a strong call to action (CTA). For example, to book a meeting or take a free trial.  

 

6 digital lead generation strategies we recommend and why 

Now we know the goals of B2B lead generation campaigns for different buyer stages, we can dive a little deeper into different digital marketing strategies. From the channel you choose to the industry you’re targeting, there are lots of different considerations that will help determine which route will gain the most leads. 

Here are 6 strategies we use all the time as a B2B digital marketing agency, and for what purposes.   

1. Social media marketing  

Stage: Awareness 

Why: Social media is a good place for more down-to-earth engagement where you can build your brand. It’s a low commitment platform for your audience to follow. You can start to build trust through content marketing, providing free value or advice to help ease people’s pain points. Then, you can start campaigns meant to capture new leads. 

Techniques:  

  • Trend-based campaigns: being reactive to industry trends is a good way to reach new audiences. Just be sure to identify opportunities for YOUR business and promote a relevant solution or free advice for your audience. 
  • Lead magnet campaigns: promote a valuable asset that is worth people giving up their email for (even if they don’t know you). This could be  a guide, template, or report. 

2. Partner marketing campaigns 

Stage: Awareness / consideration 

Why: Case studies or partnered content are great ways to demonstrate what you’re claiming is true. For people who are already engaged, it’s social proof that helps to build your reputation and maintain relationships. Working with partners also expands your reach, capitalising on your partner’s existing engaged audience. 

Techniques: 

  • Thought leadership campaigns: joint marketing efforts automatically double your reach and add authority to your brand. This helps both with awareness in new audiences and nurturing with existing audiences. 
  • Case study campaigns: running a campaign centred around the work you’ve done, results and who you’ve worked with nurtures leads by providing social proof. Try including visuals of your results, example case studies, and testimonials. 

3. Search engine PPC 

Buyer stage: Consideration / decision 

Why: Pay-per-click campaigns on Google can be tailored to almost any objective, but they’re well-suited to later stage buyers or people who are already engaged. For example, someone may see your brand on social media and then search for you on Google. Using PPC ads will make sure you keep this engagement warm.  

Techniques:  

  • Re-marketing campaigns: target people who have previously engaged with you. You can promote products or services you know they’re already interested in. 
  • Product launch campaigns: use ads to promote new products or other timely updates. This is great for short bursts of lead generation using a compelling CTA.  

4. Email marketing 

Stage: Consideration / decision 

Why: Email marketing is the perfect way to keep audiences engaged. You can provide tailored communication, personal to them and their needs. It’s a good way to start encouraging two-way conversations as well, where they can come to you with questions or concerns. 

Techniques:  

  • Lead capture workflow: once an email has been captured, you can deliver more related content that slowly leads them down the sales funnel. This can easily be triggered with marketing automation. 
  • Retention emails: once you have converted a lead, you want to retain this customer. Email marketing can support this with personalised offers or solution support.  

5. Account-based marketing 

Stage: All stages 

Why: ABM is another niche of all campaign types and buyer stages. Account-based marketing means targeting a specific prospect, usually reserved for high-value organisations. In these campaigns, we recommend you target all decision makers at every stage of the buyer cycle. 

Learn more about ABM here.  

6. A/B testing 

Stage: All stages 

Why: Experimenting within your campaigns is essential for improving results. You can test every element of a campaign, from the broad scope audience messaging to the design of a button on your landing page. But you should only test one or two things at a time. Whatever you A/B test, just be sure you have a plan that includes what exactly you’re testing, why and how you’re going to measure it. 

Techniques:  

  • Audience testing: we have used A/B testing to explore growth opportunities. Releasing the same assets targeting different industries can help you build awareness and determine which audiences are most engaged. 
  • Campaign optimisation: in consideration and decision stages, tweaking smaller details can improve active metrics like click-through-rates or conversions. Try headline messages, landing page design, and more. 

 

Want to generate more leads? Download this lead generation campaign guide with templates to get started