Blogging and tweeting, on their own, do not guarantee you qualified leads. Taking this approach will waste time and money. So how do you generate qualified leads online?
The sales funnel is not about pulling leads into the top of the funnel and magically getting customers falling out the bottom. Similarly, leads are not generated by simply publishing blog articles.
B2B lead generation needs a lot more than social media presence and a good website. And when it comes down to it, digital marketing is only one aspect of the enormous world of inbound marketing.
How to generate qualified leads online
1. Inbound Marketing Strategy
In eConsultancy’s Australian Cross-Channel Marketing Report, 57% of Australian companies attribute lack of strategy as the main barrier to implementing effective cross-channel marketing. Therefore, first and foremost, you need a clear inbound marketing strategy.
Now, let’s be clear. An inbound marketing strategy is a strategy centred around your buyer’s journey, not what you want to do with your marketing budget. Find out your buyer’s interests, pain points, where they go to look for solutions, their criteria in making a decision, the roles involved in making that decision and the best channels to reach them, and determine the best strategy that addresses these factors.
Once you know your buyers inside out, only then will you have the knowledge to reach them in a more effective way and get real returns from your marketing investment.
2. Content Marketing Strategy
In a recent report by Pardot, Marketing Sherpa’s survey ranks content creation as the first most effective SEO tactic with 53%, while the Content Marketing Institute acknowledges the difficulty in creating valuable content with 64% of the B2B content marketers surveyed citing content creation as their biggest challenge.
The best way to navigate your way through the challenges of content marketing is to begin with content mapping i.e., planning the kinds of content and topics that will deliver most value to your buyers and then decide on the best time to deliver this content.
Ideally, you should map a series of content for each stage of your buyer’s journey. It’s about delivering relevant, targeted and persuasive content through the right channels to nurture your leads and stimulate them to move further along the journey.
3. Demand Generation
A great inbound marketing strategy comes with an outbound aspect. Demand generation involves going to external channels to reach audiences outside of the contacts in your database.
There are a lot of tactics that fall within the demand generation bucket including email marketing, PPC advertising, social media advertising, webinars, executive briefings and trade shows.
Kuno Creative outlines the ‘inbound way’ to do demand generation i.e., attract external contacts to your company through a white paper or survey or an event. The aim is not to sell them your product immediately, bur rather to get them to engage further with your business.
4. Marketing & Lead Management Technology
CRM and marketing automation are essential to execute your inbound strategy effectively. Just as marketing and sales need to work together to create revenue, a CRM needs to integrate with a marketing automation tool for marketing efficiency.
In the Lenskold Group’s Lead Generation Marketing ROI Study, it is found that marketers who implemented marketing automation and integrated it with CRM enjoyed more effective and efficient marketing, compared to their non-integrated counterparts.
Leverage your marketing automation tool to develop relevant campaigns for specific target audiences to nurture your leads effectively and use your CRM to manage and score these leads to identify the ones ready to speak to a salesperson. More importantly, you will get invaluable insight into your leads that will better inform the rest of your strategy.
In a HubSpot blog, the Aberdeen Group states that 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form. Despite this, Awareness Inc states that 53% of social media marketers don’t measure their success. Even though this statistic depicts the social media landscape, the same can be said for marketing in general.
The key to achieving real results from your marketing is measurement. Measure the number of qualified leads you got out of every tactic, the number of clicks you received for every blog or social media advertising and determine the number of those that generated revenue. Additionally, there are several analytics tools in the market that will help you measure results against previously set goals.
Overall, these tools help you identify the tactics that suit each target group, the content they favour, the channels they frequent and the actions that get them to move further along the funnel. Measurement is your key to developing the best marketing strategy for your target buyers.
What do you do next?
Take our free B2B Marketing Health Check to find out how you can improve your marketing strategy to generate qualified leads more effectively.