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Digital Marketing 11 min read

Five B2B Lead Generation Tactics That Drive ROI

Ayesha Renyard photo

Written by Ayesha Renyard

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 24 Aug 2021

*Sigh.* Ah, lead generation—the part of marketing we all love to hate. 

61% of businesses find it their biggest marketing challenge, and we don’t blame them.

Chart showing marketing challenges of a company

Here are several reasons why lead generation is tricky: 

  • Some of your prospects may not know that they have a problem, let alone know that you possess a solution. Problem awareness is essential. 
  • Prospects don’t know your brand or product very well. To generate leads, you also have to build trust first. 
  • Prospects are bombarded by content every day. You need to find ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 
  • You’re attracting the wrong audience. You don’t want just any leads—you want qualified ones. 

The stakes are particularly high when it’s B2B (business to business) marketing. Companies put tons of money into their lead generation campaigns. If the results fall flat—that’s a tough conversation with the boss. 

Hey—don’t stress. We’re here to help.

As part of our Digital Marketing Series, we’re providing five B2B lead generation tactics to help you overcome the above challenges—and, more importantly, drive ROI. So the next conversation you have with your boss isn’t about the targets you missed, but the number of leads you turned into customers.

1. Create a buyer persona 

To bring in qualified leads, you need to define what a qualified lead is. Tell me: who are you trying to convert? 

Most businesses have a general idea of who their target audience is, but few take it seriously when creating marketing and sales content. Instead, they fixate on the product or service they’re selling—you know, all the bells and whistles. 

Even if you sell a super cool service—like hoverboard rentals for office dogs—you need to remember that you’re selling it to other people. You need to put yourself in their shoes and tell them why they want it. 

So instead of showing off the features, you should focus on the benefits of using or having it. 

To help you stay focused, we recommend creating buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional character, but it represents very real people—your customers. It’s a detailed outline of who exactly is the person researching, buying, and sharing your product. When we refer to a buyer persona, it can represent an individual person, but it often represents a client business or brand, especially in the B2B space. 

The indexing process of a specific page by Yoast.

Source: Algorithmic Global

Consider demographic information, job title and responsibilities, values and fears, goals and challenges, and where they are (online and in-person). Also, consider who they aren’t. This will help you weed out unqualified leads.

So when you start marketing your hoverboard rentals, return to your buyer personas. Who’s responsible for taking care of the pups? Perhaps the office manager? What’s their biggest pain point? Taking the dogs out to pee in the rain? 

We just found your marketing message. Skip the info on horsepower and charging capabilities and go straight to the benefits: no more rainy bathroom breaks. 

2. Do keyword research

With your buyer personas created, you should now have a solid understanding of their problems—the perfect starting point for doing keyword research.

Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing actual search terms that people enter into search engines. It provides the building blocks for optimizing your website, creating high-value content, and writing high-converting ad copy. 

You can do keyword research with the help of SEO platforms, such as Ahrefs or Moz, or you can do it yourself by simply entering different keywords into Google and scoping out the results. The top results are a good indicator of what queries your audience is searching for. 

A general rule of thumb is that long-tail keywords, while searched less, have a higher conversion value because they’re more specific. For example, those searching “How much do dog hoverboard rentals cost?” are closer to converting than those simply searching for “hoverboards.” 

Search Volume/Keywords Chart

Source: Word Tracker

If you can target those long-tail keywords effectively, you’ll be getting in front of qualified leads who want to convert. And because keyword targeting is essentially free, your return on investment will be pretty high. 

Intrigued? To really dig into keyword targeting, we recommend checking out this blog post on the four different types of search intent. Whether you want to target top-of-funnel informational queries or bottom-funnel transactional queries, we’ve got you covered. 

3. Create thought leadership content

Let’s now dig a bit deeper into your content creation—because content marketing is one of the most efficient (and cost-effective) ways to generate qualified B2B leads

Thought leadership is one type of content worth exploring. The goal is to create helpful, educational content for your visitors, demonstrating your expertise in your field and ultimately building credibility and trust. Eventually, you’ll become their go-to source of information. 

While it may require some more time and effort to create these high-value pieces, they’re also evergreen content—which means they’ll remain relevant over a long period of time and continue to drive website traffic. 

How are marketers benefitting from thought leadership?

How do you determine a topic? 

If you already created buyer personas and conducted keyword research, you’ve already done a lot of the preliminary work. Think of thought leadership pieces as opportunities to raise awareness of your audience’s problem and how they can solve it. 

So if you discover in your keyword research that people are questioning if dog hoverboards are safe, you could write a post about how to use one safely.

Though you’ll be tempted to plug your product and service, keep it minimal. In this case, you’re aiming to build trust, so you don’t want to come off as car sales-y. 

Don’t worry—you don’t need to bombard your readers with promotional copy for it to pay off. Many high-value decision makers read thought leadership pieces—and 60% say that thought leadership convinced them to buy a product or service they weren’t previously considering. 

4. Create gated content 

Have you heard? Content is king. If you can create high-value content, people will want to see it. They’ll even give up their email for it. So why not leverage that?

That’s what gated content is: online material that can only be accessed once visitors fill out a form and provide their information. In most cases, this means their name and email. 

Free A/B testing checklist.

Source: Wishpond

Gated content comes in all shapes and sizes. Here are common examples:

  • Ebooks and white papers: These are authoritative, in-depth reports on a specific topic. Ebooks are longer, while white papers are more concise. If you’re looking to catch the eyes of top decision makers, go for the shorter versions!
  • Webinars: Webinars are a great way to relay information in an engaging, interactive setting. Focus on creating discussion and answering questions, rather than just pitching your products. Because it can be tricky to get signups, make sure to have a strong promotion strategy for the event. 
  • Infographics: Your B2B audience probably creates content too—and is likely on the hunt for images that will buff up their own material. Got a neat shareable stat? Turn it into an infographic, and you could go viral!
  • Templates and guides: If you can make your audience’s life or job easier, they’ll fork over their email to you. Spreadsheets, calendars, slide decks, how-tos, checklists—we’ll take one of each, please!

Forms are incredibly important for lead generation. After all, they provide an opportunity for people to demonstrate interest and for you to get in touch with them. 

With that said, filling out forms suck. You know that from personal experience, and so do we. So our two cents? Keep it super short and simple if you can. Name, email, that’s it. You can always follow up requesting more information. 

5. Build an email nurture campaign

Speaking of following up, do you have a nurture strategy in place? For those who don’t know, lead nurturing is known as building relationships with your leads so you can guide them through the conversion funnel. 

If you are looking for high ROI on your B2B lead generation tactics, you need to nurture them—and email is the way to do it. Did you know that for every $1 spent, you can expect an average return of $42? You can’t argue with that ROI. 

So what exactly does an email nurture campaign entail? In short, it’s a series of timely emails that are triggered based on a lead’s behavior. 

Here’s one way you can break down your nurture flow. Think of all the ways you collect emails, and ask yourself where your leads are in the conversion funnel when they provide their email. What type of information do they need to move farther down the funnel?

For example, if they sign up for your info session on hoverboards for dogs, they’re at the top of the funnel—they simply want to learn more. So your first nurture email should focus on education. Perhaps it links to that blog post on hoverboard safety. 

If they sign up for a product demo, they’re further along in the funnel. They’re interested and want to see how the product works. To follow up, you could send them an email with customer testimonials. Hearing about how great it is to not take their dogs out to pee in the rain could be just the thing to seal the deal. 

An effective nurture campaign delivers the right information, at the right time, to the right people. If it’s done right, it’ll bring you that much closer to your end goal: conversions. 

So take the time to create one. Watch this video to learn how to create a six-email nurture campaign.  

6 emails for lead nurturing.

Keep an eye on results

As you probably noticed, these five B2B lead generation tactics work seamlessly together, and we encourage you to incorporate all five in your strategy.

But to really drive ROI, we encourage you to keep an eye on results. You may find that one piece of content is driving a lot of engagement. If you do, promote it more than the others! Repurpose it! When it comes to lead generation, it’s all about working smarter, not harder. 

Got questions on lead gen? We have answers! Don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Ayesha Renyard photo

Ayesha Renyard

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed