Common sense is rarely common. And in the realm of B2B marketing, it’s perhaps rarer still. Here are 5 basic ways to improve your marketing campaigns to generate more qualified leads.
1. Know thy customer – build the Prospect Persona
Before you start marketing to our prospects, know who they are, what they like, what they read, and where they get their information from. To complicate matters, B2B prospects rarely fly solo, as several people have a say in the purchase decision.
Be it technical, business or economic decision makers, or even end-users and influencers, know them well (technical knowledge level, subject matter expertise, etc.) and cater marketing activities accordingly.
Know also their pain points and media consumption patterns so that you can use the right touch points when communicating with them.
Jumping into campaign creatives without knowing the customer, or worse, avoiding this step, is likely to lead to failure.
For more info and a detailed guide of creating a prospect persona, check out this post.
2. Do you want to upsize (that form)?
Keep your lead generation form short.
Imagine a slick, inspired and ‘integrated’ web ad, email and social media campaign that checks all the right boxes (right target, great copy, clear and compelling call-to-action). With a click that lands one smack into a form mired in 12 fields that ask about everything from timeline and budget to school grades and mother’s name (I exaggerate, not).
Most of these fields are not necessary. And even if they are, there is no way someone’s giving you all that information just to download your content. It’s akin to posing intensely personal questions on the first date.
If all that information is crucial, break down your campaign into multiple parts, so that you can progressive gather information about your customer or prospect.
3. Content is King
At the risk of sounding trite, the saviour of any B2B marketing campaign is content. As a B2B marketer, you have no product to sell directly. Somebody filling out a form to download your content is your conversion. The content is the bait or the key value proposition of your whole campaign, so it is extremely important to focus on it.
Focus on the presentation and product-neutral properties of your content. Nobody wants to download a sales pitch. Nobody goes to office and thinks that today is the day they will purposefully head out to download a 3-page brochure of some company. Provide useful, non-salesy content so that you build up enough goodwill for placing your product in the publication. Remember, value above all.
4. Social media is for lead generation too
Social media may be touted as ushering in a new age of marketing, to be used mainly for brand awareness, communication and engagement. But it is also effective in top-of-the-funnel lead generation. It represents the first touch point that is much easier to convert rather than the bait-and-switch methods employed in email campaigns.
For instance, in a recent project for the Data Center marketing team in Cisco Asia Pacific, the entire campaign was conducted in Facebook. We created a customised Facebook app through the Wildfire platform. The app was primarily a quiz (trivia) application where the prospect needed to like the page, provide their email address and name, and answer three basic questions about data centers.
The campaign was targeted at the technical decision maker of the data center and the questions were formulated so that only a person with some technical expertise in data centers could answer them. Participants stood to win iPads and other prizes.
In our experience, the quality of the leads generated through this means was better than if we had opted for random adverts, media placement, or even email campaigns.
5. Tag Thy URL
This is the age of integrated marketing and many marketers use multiple channels (social media, SEM, email, etc.) to reach their target personae. But do so without implementing any framework for measurement or metrics. There is no way to tell which source generated the most qualified leads and which was the least cost effective.
Remedy this situation by categorising the lead sources and tagging the campaign URLs. The process is simple and does not require any technical knowledge. For your next campaign, after the landing page / destination is created, visit Google’s URL tagging service. Generate a separate tagged URL for each lead source before you begin your media blast / advert / social media syndication or eDM dispatch. Then sit back and watch the results of all that good work using your favourite analytics tool.
Let’s get commonsensical and these five basics of lead generation right before adding complexities like marketing automation and lead nurturing. Have any thoughts to add? Chime in!