How to Generate B2B Leads
So the big question is: how to generate B2B leads?
Firstly, you may choose to work with a B2B lead generation specialist, like Headley Media, to generate high-quality B2B leads for you.
Alternatively, you may choose to focus your efforts on inbound lead generation strategies, or more commonly, a combination of the two.
Let's explore outbound vs. inbound lead generation strategies below.
B2B lead generation falls largely under two categories: inbound lead gen and outbound lead gen.
Outbound lead generation strategies are all the marketing tactics you employ to actively seek out new prospects, such as working with external B2B lead gen services and running LinkedIn ads.
Whereas inbound lead generation focuses more heavily on 'organic' channels, such as getting new inquiries directly through your website.
Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound marketing is the strategy people usually associate with lead generation. Outbound lead gen is when marketers reach out to new prospects directly, either in-house or through B2B lead generation outsourcing, to bring them into their marketing funnel.
Outbound lead generation examples include:
Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound marketing is a little different: it's about letting new prospects come to you.
In today's market, where buyers do most of their own research before making a purchase, inbound lead generation – also described as demand generation – is growing in popularity. Inbound leads grew last year by 6.7%, according to HubSpot.
Inbound lead generation examples include:
Coming back to the question of how to generate B2B leads, the answer will depend on a few key factors, including your budget, your industries and the audiences you need to reach.
The technology sector is particularly blessed with different B2B lead generation ideas.
Most SaaS businesses we know are exceptionally good at creating content with which to tempt prospects, whether that takes the form of a whitepaper on a particular topic, an ungated blog from an industry thought leader or a case study with a client.
Then there are other lures with which technology companies can attract new leads, such as a tantalizing free software download or demo.
Technology companies can also use content syndication to make their content go further, and attract new audiences. We think content syndication is the best outbound lead generation service for B2B SaaS businesses, and the easiest to budget: many agencies offer their services on a cost-per-lead (CPL) basis, which makes B2B lead generation cost-effective.
The Best B2B Lead Generation Strategies
There are lots of B2B lead generation ideas that might work for your business. Here’s a run-down of our favorites.
1. Your Website and SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is still critical in lead generation for B2B: Google is still where most potential leads' journey starts, and 88% of marketers who already do SEO are increasing or maintaining their investment in SEO this year, according to HubSpot's State of Marketing report.
Use keyword research tools (like Semrush) and make sure your website pages are updated regularly to help rank on Google and other search engines. There's always Google Ads B2B lead generation if you're prepared to spend the money.
2. B2B Email Lead Generation
A whopping 74% of people prefer email for business communications, and it's fantastic for lead generation.
Once you have a new lead's email address, and you know a little about what they're looking for, you can start to target them with carefully chosen messaging and content that they will appreciate.
Email lead generation in B2B is an art. Why not hit them with an interesting article, then follow up with a chance to attend a webinar?
3. Content Syndication
Our favorite B2B lead generation service is content syndication through a 3rd party: after all, we are one of those 3rd parties!
Our trusted and 100% digital content syndication platforms are transparent B2B lead generation websites for technology marketers needed to reach senior tech decision-makers.
B2B content syndication involves your content – such as whitepapers, eBooks, case studies, or research reports – being promoted to new audiences via 3rd party content libraries, usually owned by lead generation companies B2B, designed to help you reach a much bigger audience.
At Headley Media, we own our content libraries in the IT, HR, marketing, finance, electronics, and cybersecurity sectors. We publish our technology client's content to our worldwide technology audiences in 60 countries and 32 languages.
Our content syndication websites are trusted by millions of readers as reliable research destinations, and because we put our audience first, they will happily give their contact details in return for downloading useful content from our clients.
Those readers then become leads for our clients. It's a great B2B SaaS lead generation strategy, because each lead:
- is actively researching the client's solutions.
- has engaged with the client's content.
- is therefore already familiar with the client's brand.
4. Thought Leadership
Use your senior leadership team! If any of them are particularly comfortable speaking to an audience, push them into the limelight.
Persuade them to host webinars and share their expertise at events. Encourage them to share their opinions and experiences on LinkedIn, create content with their name and face on it, and watch them become a respected industry voice.
5. Free Tools
Free tools are a great way to generate relevant leads. You can use your existing products to create a tool that will keep prospects coming back to your website.
It could be a part of your existing software package, with an adjacent link to trial the entire product, or get a live demo.
A common example is a free SEO benchmarking tool, which shows customers how their websites rank compared to their competitors. You can gate your free tool, ensuring that anyone who uses it becomes an engaged lead.
6. Social Media Advertising
So the article you spent two days writing got five likes on LinkedIn. Now what?
You could try boosting it with advertising. Social media advertising has its flaws, but the audience targeting is hard to beat: you can be very precise in which markets and demographics you want to hit. It's budget-friendly, too, as it's usually on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. You can set a budget for a PPC B2B lead generation campaign and not worry that you'll overspend.
7. Chatbots and Live Chat
Have you got either a chatbot or live chat function on your website?
These handy pop-up boxes are a low-stakes way for leads to engage with you, which makes them generally well-utilized and welcomed by website users.
You can set them up to appear at a certain part of your website, such as halfway down the homepage, or on a landing page, allowing you to capture your lead at the most effective time.
There are lots of other lead generation strategies, here's a comprehensive list of B2B lead generation solutions to try.