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B2B Lead Strategies: How To Increase Lead Generation in 2021

Would you like to know how to increase lead generation for your business? 

Many companies do. A HubSpot survey found that 61% of businesses consider lead generation to be the biggest obstacle to creating inbound sales.

The most challenging part of creating an effective sales funnel is generating new leads. You need to test strategies and only focus on the ones that work. In this article, we’ll show you how to generate leads in 2021.

A few of these strategies are ones we employ at Brightest Minds as we generate leads for our 150+ clients. 

Before moving on to lead generation methods, it’s important to build a solid foundation for lead generation fundamentals.

What is lead generation?

To put it simply, all the activities aimed at connecting with potential clients are part of lead generation. Businesses-to-business lead generation (B2B) can be a sales activity and a marketing activity at the same time. 

How does a B2B lead generation funnel look?

There is no clear-cut definition. Companies interpret this differently. Many funnels are designed based on where a target audience is in the buyer journey. A typical funnel looks like this:

Target audience – Prospect – Lead – Warm lead – Customer.

Now that you know the basics, let’s dive into proven B2B lead generation strategies.

How to increase lead generation with your website

Optimizing your search engine ranking, also known as search engine optimization (SEO), is a combination of on-page and off-page techniques.

Getting your website pages ranked in search engines is the most organic way to generate leads. Most businesses are actively blogging in order to gain attention from their target audiences. Optimizing your website with both on-page and off-page SEO is a good way to rank your website pages.

Here’s why you should be focused on how to increase lead generation with your website:

A Hubspot survey showed that 64% of marketers are actively investing in SEO. This is because SEO generates good ROI.

For instance, if you’re selling inventory management software, it would be great if people found your website using the search query ‘inventory software’.

One of the reasons why SEO is important is that it gets potential customers who are actively looking for your product or service into the top of your sales funnel. The best part is that it’s free traffic!

No matter what kind of company you are, the better optimized your website is, the higher the search traffic you get. 

Ultimately, you want to increase your website’s visibility, since the more visible your website is, the more likely it will convert new customers.

SEO ranking factors

There are many factors that affect your website’s rankings, but if you want to optimize your website, you’ll want to focus on increasing its relevance and authority. 

Relevancy

Google rewards websites that provide informative content by using terminology your target audience understands and answering their questions.

Relevance is answering the question of your target audience. 

TIP: Related search terms at the bottom of the page will help you learn what customers are looking for. Google will rate your site higher if you can give straightforward answers to related searches.

Authority

A website’s authority can be calculated based upon the amount and quality of links it receives from other websites. You can accomplish this by creating and promoting your own content as well as through guest blogging on other websites.

Should you invest in SEO?

Invest in SEO if you:

  • Want a consistent flow of traffic. It takes a while to rank on the first page, but once you do, you could enjoy a steady stream of traffic.
  • Want to build an authority website. It is an established resource or ‘go to’ website in a particular niche. The purpose of an authority website is to drive sustained traffic to your page and build your brand until you’re popular enough to dominate the market, which is only possible with smart content and SEO planning.
  • Want your website to appear higher in search results and get more search traffic.

After understanding why website optimization with SEO is important, let’s discuss how your site can be used to generate traffic.

Content marketing: the fuel for all your marketing efforts

Content marketing is essential if you want to take your lead generation efforts to the next level. Creating great content is one of the most effective ways to consistently generate leads. 

Determine your keywords

The purpose of keyword research is to find questions that your prospects are using in the search bar. With every question lies a specific objective, giving you insight into the different phases of your buyer’s journey.

That’s why it’s important to consider keyword research not just as an SEO step but as an integral part of your market research. To get inbound leads, you’ve got to get into the head of your prospects. It means offering them content that they have requested and that matches their interests. Keyword research is very important in this process because it allows you to investigate the topics your prospects care about most.

There are basically three distinct groups of keywords that show differing positioning in your marketing funnel:

  • Top of the funnel: High traffic informational keywords
  • Mid-funnel keywords: Those that follow the informational keywords in your buyers’ journey
  • Bottom of the funnel: medium to low traffic keywords

Using top of the funnel keywords will result in more traffic to your website. Top of the funnel keywords are best used on important pages such as your home page & blogs. You can use the words near the middle and bottom of your funnel for specific landing pages and specific solutions that your customers are looking for.

To get you started with keyword research, there are three popular tools: ahrefs and SEMrush (free alternative: Ubersuggest). A tool like Moz can help in recognizing longer queries and supplement results of the above tools.

There aren’t any ‘good’ and ‘bad’ keywords, so you need to figure out which keywords work best for your business.

Create Gated Content

Knowing what people want, you’ll want to create content that exactly matches this. You can also begin structuring your content because you categorized the keywords according to the marketing funnel.

  • At the top of the funnel: articles, infographics, videos, and podcasts
  • The middle of a funnel includes e-books, papers, reports, checklists, cheat sheets, and emails manuals. 
  • Bottom of the funnel: Webinar, product demos, trials & sales materials

Now let’s focus on the middle part of the funnel because this is the content that will be used for lead generation.

Mid-funnel content is content that people can’t reach unless they leave their contact details, such as e-mail and telephone number. We call this Gated Content. Gated Content is best used when prospects are in the middle stage of your funnel.

How to increase lead generation through social media

B2B social media activities are often undertaken via LinkedIn and Twitter. Many people assume business use of social media is limited to LinkedIn and Twitter. However, research indicates that Facebook is also widely used for business purposes. So it would be wise to also provide relevant content there as well.

Slideshare is also an interesting platform as a social media lead generation strategy. Do you ever give presentations? Then share them on Slideshare. This information is highly appreciated by the target group, can help to drive traffic to your website and clearly enhances your image.

Please contact Brightest Minds if you need help determining how to increase lead generation through social media – we would be happy to assist you!

Email marketing: directly contacting potential customers

For years, B2B companies have relied on email marketing as one of the most effective ways to generate leads. 

According to Hubspot 87% of B2B marketers say they use email marketing to generate new leads, with 31% saying email marketing has the greatest impact on revenue.

The Direct Marketing Association emphasizes this by stating that every dollar spent on email marketing ultimately generates $40 in revenue.

So when does a campaign succeed and how can you achieve that success yourself?

Open rates

When it comes to email marketing, open rates are one of the most critical factors that need to be optimized. On average, the opening rate of B2B campaigns during the week is 30.6%. It has been found that as the week progresses, the open rate increases. 

Best time to send B2B email

The survey above suggests that most B2B emails are sent on Thursdays around 10 a.m. If your target group receives multiple newsletters, there is often too much competition in their inbox, so you might want to consider sending on a different day and time.

Ultimately, since each industry is different, it is best to test this yourself to determine the best sending time.

How many words should you use in your emails?

According to Boomerang research, emails between 50 and 125 words have the highest response rate. Over 125 words results in a slightly lower response rate, but above 2,500 words the response rate drops to under 35%.

Paid Online Advertising: The Benefits and Limitations

Inbound Advertising expert Gil Roeder of Hubspot, the world’s largest marketing automation platform, advises not allocating all your marketing budget to one strategy. 

“The best online advertising strategy varies by industry. To find out what works, you should try, try and try again. ”

Why advertise?

Primarily, to maximize exposure of your product or service, thus resulting in the widest reach possible.

How so? Because online advertising yields more market reach than other forms of advertising in the shortest amount of time.

Thanks to better targeting options, you have much more control over the target group you want to reach.

Disadvantages

The lifespan of online advertising is shorter than other methods. It often gets discarded within seconds. In addition, it is easily blocked with special tools so it may never reach the prospects.

Outsourcing Your B2B Online Lead Generation

If setting up a complex lead generation campaign seems too daunting or tools and expertise are lacking, you can get warm leads quickly. It may be better to hire a team of expert lead generators to handle prospect targeting, qualification and appointment setting. Brightest Minds has a team, tools and expertise to send pre-qualified leads directly to your inbox. Simply request our services

The specialists at our firm have vast experience in generating leads in your industry and a wide range of tools to devise a targeted strategy for you. Our experts will pay particular attention to the characteristics of your industry and the details of your business.

Outsource lead generation or do it yourself?

Online lead generation is full of potential, but also requires a considerable amount of time and energy on the part of your organization. To create leads, you have to set up content marketing, create relevant inputs on your website, and then assess, follow up or transfer all leads to sales.

It can be overwhelming for an overworked sales department to generate quality leads, lead generation can be complicated, and we’re here to help! Also, be sure to read through our other articles, where new tips and tricks are regularly shared. 

Hiring a lead generation company

Lead generation companies provide warm leads to help you get more clients so that you have more time for tasks like product development and quality control.

A business’ expansion depends directly on finding new customers and satisfying them, and that is why the free time gained from outsourcing lead generation reduces the time it takes for sales representatives to search for new clients.

Imagine starting the workweek Monday morning, logging into your inbox, and finding 10 warm prospects just waiting for you or your sales team to contact them. 

Could there possibly be a better start to a week of business growth? Maybe not.

While generating leads at industry events has been a tried-and-true approach to finding new customers, recent trends show startups are finding it increasingly difficult to gather leads without overworking their sales teams. 

Instead of spending hours at an exhibition table or setting up a display hoping that consumers will fill out a form, you can create and send leads using available technology, and change your focus to something else.

Generating leads takes time. Outsourcing lead generation can dramatically decrease lead generation costs while delivering the same or higher quality prospects.

How do companies deliver on their promise of leads?

Many agencies provide qualified business leads. Generating leads is quite simple, but as with most simple processes, it is very difficult to get it right.

To begin, the agency prepares a customized marketing campaign to advertise and market your product and service. The campaign might target social media channels where your prospects are most likely to hang out or email marketing channels to reach out to prospects. 

Prospect information is cross-checked, verified, and validated by the agency. They are generally known as “warm leads”, and they are sent with all the contact information to the relevant sales representative.

Which industries benefit most from lead generation?

In principle, lead generation can work for almost any business. However, the companies most likely to employ this type of marketing are software companies, various startups, companies that provide services, and industry suppliers, among others. 

Trends show that lead generation will continue to grow, especially for service-oriented businesses.

Why outsource leads to a partner?

Hiring out lead generation can be a win-win for both parties. Having a lead-generating partner can complement your existing inbound flow. 

A lead generation partner qualifies an ideal client prospect based on predefined criteria, then the sales team can reach out to the prospects who have given permission to be contacted. Because they are based on the ideal client profile (ICP) you presented to the lead company, they are often some of the warmest potential customers. 

One of the main reasons for outsourcing lead generation instead of keeping it in-house is that companies that specialize in lead generation have an advantage in that they have the tools, knowledge, and expertise necessary to discover, qualify and enrich prospect data. 

Basically, they know where to fish, which fish are going to bite and have the tools, systems, and processes in place to catch them for you. 

Conversion rates for potential customers obtained in this way have a much higher success rate than cold contacts because they are validated and cross-checked for accuracy.

Businesses are increasingly using lead generation because it permits them to:

  • Match their product offering to a specific customer
  • Reduce lead generation time and focus on closing warm leads
  • Select targeted geographic areas in which the business is interested in obtaining leads
  • Get more precise, effective demographic targeting
  • Manage the number of potential customers the company wants to receive per month, which helps achieve budget goals
  • Pay only for receiving qualified and warm prospects

How much does outsourcing cost?

Outsourcing lead generation can be extremely cost effective, and might be the best option for your company if you:

  • Don’t have the budget to hire a full-time sales team
  • Sales reps are already maxed out or struggling to meet growth goals
  • The sales team is spending too much time generating leads instead of closing sales

Prices and quality of potential customers range from $25 to $500 per purchase. Pricing usually depends on the difficulty of acquiring a potential customer. The lighter the source, the lower the price. Typically, quality leads give higher conversion rates, which guarantee their inflated price.

Agencies that offer lead generation often charge a setup or maintenance fee, which can range from $200 to $ 1,000 per year. You can always try to agree on a reduction in this rate if you plan to do a significant deal with the agency.

Is lead generation right for your business?

If your calendar is empty and you need a quick boost in business, you can grow your business quickly by generating leads. Teaming up with a lead generating company might be the best route. It’s a bit of a gamble, so picking your target demographics is crucial.

Investing in lead generation may boost return on investment and expand your customer base significantly. Approach it the same way as any other advertising effort: set aside a reasonable budget to test it and see if it works for your business. We don’t advise approaching this marketing method without a sales team in place to track and close sales.

The best way to generate new business is always through organic relationship building. However, generating leads through a partnership is also an outstanding way to grow your business.

Conclusion

Lead generation is vital to your business if it is to keep growing. If you are a forward thinking decision maker, you will want to implement the best strategies and use the best tools to hit your targets.

The tips in this article will enable your company to generate the leads it requires fast.

What do you think? Do you have other ideas on how to increase lead generation?

Type your best lead generation method in the comments section. 

Happy lead getting!

Travis Ross

Travis Ross

I strive to make delightful user-centric digital experiences with targeted content strategy. Accidental web design expert, with skills and sensibilities ranging from copywriting and content creation to cross-channel strategies and email campaigns. Writer and content creator, passionate, efficient and grateful to work with some of the best companies in the world.

Included, schedule a call any week to make sure the process is setup in the most effective way with me.