For many B2B marketers, attracting and generating leads is often the primary goal. However, how to attract leads varies widely from company to company. While the inbound lead generation strategy should be unique to your firm, there are several best practices or do’s and don’ts for attracting good quality leads to your B2B website.
Here’s a quick look at what you should do and not do when attracting leads.
- Be Strategic
- Have a Plan
- Be Prepared to Handle Leads
- Be Clear and Direct
- Have a Presence Where Prospects Are
Be Strategic when setting the stage for attracting leads. Think about who your ideal prospect is and what they need from you. Have a strategy in place to accommodate their needs and address their pain points. Part of being strategic means that you understand your target audience. You can’t craft a strategy if you don’t understand the end user.
Have a Plan that includes attracting leads via various channels. It’s critical that you be strategic in your B2B marketing efforts and have a clearly laid out plan. Having a clear plan ensures that you are able to stick to the plan, be consistent, and track results.
Be Prepared to Handle Leads. We see that B2B marketers often spend 95% of their time focusing on attracting and converting leads, but only invest about 5% into handling those leads once they convert. Lead generation is important, but it’s crucial to have a lead nurturing and closing plan in place. Don’t rely on your sales team to close the leads you hand them. In many cases, they may not understand the true value of the leads you are providing them.
Be Clear and Direct with all of your inbound marketing materials. Craft messaging that resonates with your target market and clearly indicates how you solve issues for prospects. Ideally, you’ll start with 2 – 3 different messages that can be fine-tuned as you track and measure the results of your campaigns.
Have a Presence Where Prospects Are so you can be there when they need you. If your ideal prospects are using search engines to research vendors, you should have a presence on search engines. If your prospects are active on Twitter or LinkedIn, make sure your company has a polished social media presence.
- Focus on Yourself
- Be Afraid to Try Something New
- Try to Be Everything to Everyone
- Be Desperate
- Make It Hard to Reach You
- Ignore SEO or Best Practices
Don’t Focus on Yourself or your products/services. Yes, you are in the business of selling your products and services but attracting leads isn’t about products and services. Attracting leads is about meeting needs and solving problems. Your B2B website and marketing efforts should focus on the end user and what they need from you.
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New. While you should be strategic and have a plan, don’t be afraid to incorporate a new tactic, channel, or campaign into your strategy. When we do A/B testing, we always test and evaluate a clear hypothesis. The surprising thing is that our hypothesis isn’t always right. For this reason, it’s essential to try new things. Some things will work and drive great leads. Others won’t, but you won’t know until you try.
Don’t Try to Be Everything to Everyone. You know your target market. You know who they are and what they need. While there may be some prospects who don’t fit in your ideal market, the most successful client relationships will be with those in your target market. Don’t try to meet every single need of every prospect. Focus on what your company does well and the best value you have to offer prospects and clients.
Don’t Be Desperate. When it comes to B2B marketing, relationships with clients are often long-term and require significant investments. As such, you should be interviewing prospects just as much as they are interviewing you. It absolutely must be a good fit on both sides. Don’t be afraid to say no. While a seemingly “big fish” may help with sales goals, it will often cost the organization in non-monetary ways.
Don’t Make It Hard to Reach You. When a prospect lands on your B2B website, gets your email newsletter, or sees your post on social media, it should be incredibly simple for them to get a hold of you. Put contact information front and center. Also, make sure to test all emails, forms and phone numbers to make sure they work and are reaching a live person on your team.
Don’t Ignore SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) today is not a luxury for B2B marketing, it’s essential. Make no mistake, your target market will perform an online search at some point during the buying cycle. If your company isn’t there when they search online, how will they ever find you?
Do Follow Best Practices and Don’t Overlook Leads
When creating a B2B marketing strategy, it’s easy to get stuck in the weeds and focus on the everyday minutia. However, by following the best practices laid out here and by making sure leads are handled properly when they come in, you’ll be able to attract and convert high-quality leads.