Why Lead Gen Has Been So Difficult Since COVID and What You Can Do Get More Leads
As indicated by the rising cost of gas at the pump, people are heading back to work. How do you best reach decision-makers in a time of ever-changing rules? Marketers need to toe the line between keeping the doors open and staying top of mind for their clientele. They need to use creativity and resourcefulness. What does an effective digital marketing strategy look like in 2021 (and beyond)? It includes intent and reflection, as well as elbow grease.
Generating leads with B2B marketing strategies is not low effort
With big events like tradeshows and conferences on hold indefinitely, you may want to know how to handle your marketing in the near future:
- How will I replace tradeshow leads?
- How do I reach my target marketing in a crowded online space?
- What does an effective digital content marketing strategy look like in 2021?
While some digital marketing listed below has always been part of a robust and effective strategy, they stand true now more than ever. Here are the four B2B digital marketing strategies your business can’t go without during the pandemic and beyond:
- Segmented email marketing
- Targeted paid social campaigns
- Content marketing with a customer-centric focus
- An SEO-optimized website
Your customers actually want to hear from you
Email. How does your own inbox look? It’s probably jam-packed with unreads, folders full of thought-leader tidbits you want to make time for later, and probably scrolls of junk mail you haven’t gotten around to unsubscribing from yet. You’re a business owner and, as it turns out, you’re human too—a consumer and a decision-maker.
You only have so much time in a day, so it’s going to take some intensive research on your own to figure out what your readers want to hear from you so they convert, share, and come back for more.
You want to reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your content, and ultimately to convert to paying clients. Sending generic emails is fine for those who are just starting out, but you need to segment your list into targeted groups and tailor their messages to be successful.
We highly recommend a CRM and automation platform that will help you build segmented workflows that will help you nurture new leads into customers. (Our favorite is SharpSpring.)
“Globally, 30% of marketers cite email marketing as having the highest ROI. This is probably because, for every $1 spent on email marketing, $44 is made in return, according to a study by Campaign Monitor, which equals a 4400% ROI.” https://optinmonster.com/email-marketing-statistics/#b2b
“77% of B2B companies use an email marketing newsletter as part of their content marketing strategy and 79% of B2B marketers find email to be the most successful channel for content distribution” https://optinmonster.com/email-marketing-statistics/#b2b
Finally, be sure your subject lines are amazing. This is how you avoid getting deleted. Be interesting and know what your contacts are interested in.
Get what you pay for with Paid Social Campaigns
The days of organic leads from social pages are mostly gone, outside of viral phenomena. All the platforms have gone pay-to-play, but now that means you have the tools to tune in with the audience you are selling to. The specific geographic location, job title, age, interests, all can be specified in the platform’s ad audience tools.
A good rule of thumb for posting on social media is the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should educate, inform, or entertain, and the other 20% is a sales or promotion message.
It will take some strategic work to reveal where your ideal customers are most active. If you have services to sell to businesses, LinkedIn may be your best bet. A balance of social media platforms may be a more effective approach, or YouTube for promoting video content. Here are some tips to help you get a clear picture of your ideal customers. Read now.
The targeting available through paid social media advertising can make this a highly effective and efficient approach to reaching your market if your ad and content is on point. (If you need help, The Marketing Blender can help you get laser-focused on the best platform for your decision-maker audience, and how to best market to them.)
Use customer-centric content to establish authority and interest
Your content should help your target market make good decisions. It should focus on their point of view…not on descriptions of your product or service. Discuss pain points, share tools and tips, and offer more than the sales pitch. Serve instead of sell.
They say “you get what you pay for” and expertise is the number-one reason people pay for most high-end services. Share your knowledge about your product or service in a few ways:
- Produce digital eBooks: how-to guides, FAQs, step-by-step videos, or basic checklists and “cheat sheets” to help your potential customers solve complex problems. The “cost” of most digital downloads is that golden email address, which allows you to collect critical data so you can build a healthy nurture campaign.
- Create how-to videos and step-by-step blog posts that help solve problems.
- Write articles on LinkedIn for your connections and the broader audience.
The potential for upsell is real: Remind your current client base that you are knowledgeable by sending free tips and advice via your email list several times a year. “Did you know we also …”
Bonus: For the foreseeable future, there is an ocean of podcasts that are cropping up. Do you have enough content to start your own? Or does your product or service possibly dovetail with a current podcast and may deliver customers through an ad campaign?
Embrace SEO optimization for your website
Google isn’t the only name of the game, but it is arguably the most powerful in search results that convert. Getting your customers to find your web content organically can be challenging in light of algorithms that get smarter and change frequently. If you haven’t already, take a look at what Google Analytics can do for you. It’s a powerful dashboard with a lot of bells and whistles. It will take some time to understand what they mean, but it’s worth opening that Pandora’s box.
Staying ahead in the race to “page one, top three” can be difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating. Hard but not impossible. And there are some initial steps you can take to help establish your online presence:
- Make sure your business information (name, address, and phone number) is listed on Google, and that your Facebook business page and LinkedIn business page is up to date.
- Ask for honest Google and Facebook reviews from satisfied, happy customers. Reviews on your website are great, but they add a lot more value on other platforms. You can always quote these reviews and add them to your website later.
- Refresh your content regularly – Update your website’s content with new videos, embedded social posts, new graphics, and new copy, especially if you’ve noticed your high-ranking blog posts have been slipping from the first page and traffic has dipped.
- Publish as often as possible, but consistency is important, too. Pick a publishing cadence and stick to it. If it’s twice a week or twice a month, consistent publishing tells your customers (and Google) they can trust you to deliver value.
- Use video! YouTube is the second most used search tool and it’s owned by Google.
From American Express: “If you didn’t give your SEO strategy a lot of thought prior to the pandemic, it’s worth getting started now. Spending time on an SEO strategy that complements your content strategy may be the difference between publishing content that’s hardly seen and publishing content that goes viral…”
Marketing Blender can help you uncover which parts of SEO and web strategy are right for you. Do you need a blog at all? Do you need to maintain your local SEO strategy? Who is outpacing you in branding online? What kind of metrics do you need to keep track of and which can you put on the backburner?
When DIY doesn’t deliver ROI
It’s the tale as old as time: You’re an expert at the thing you do so well—not necessarily what it takes to make a Facebook post reach 10,000 locals who are ready for your product or how to run an A/B test in your segmented email list or how many words your blog post should be to help Google index your article faster. Your years of expertise in your BUSINESS is why you are here now, looking for answers to lead generation in the new world.
And you could use some help.
No two marketing agencies are the same. Anyone can tell you that social media, email marketing and SEO are important. It takes experience and understanding, however, to explain how to use the tools in your industry to ensure you hit your goals.
So, what makes Blender different? We give you levels of personalized digital marketing tools—from custom marketing strategy workshops, strategy sessions, easy-to-track metrics to ensure a positive ROI, and our exclusive Road to Revenue worksheets. We do it all, but only for business. Long-range vision and CMO talent? We’ve got it. Execution and deployment of your funnel’s tactics? Done it. And everything in between.
Where are you going next?
Blender helps mid-sized B2B companies adjust marketing to the new pace and expectations of the latest challenges in the digital space. Our exclusive Road to Revenue marketing transformation kit is available to help you clear the clutter and accelerate toward a profitable future.
“We have helped businesses orchestrate turnarounds in times of crisis, overcoming barriers, and to accelerate their growth. With the Road to Revenue, you’ll learn where you stand in the digital landscape and learn exactly what you need to do next.” Watch Now
Get started with your own amazing marketing strategy today with Blender’s Road to Revenue worksheet and toolkit. We won’t ask you for anything other than an email.
Optimize your marketing and get back on the road to revenue with our most in-depth marketing transformation kit available now. You’ll receive:
- Revenue Guide
- Revenue Worksheet
- Digital Campaign Maximizer
- 1-to-1 Strategy Sessions
- Video Training Series
- And more
In an ocean of online tips from an array of sources, you just want to swim ahead of your competitors. Brands and businesses like yours are looking for a team that breaks the surface in the marketing sea.
As JFK once said, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” Let’s do this together.