Generating B2B leads is difficult for many businesses especially in an age where door to door selling is frowned upon.
So what is the answer? Digital marketers are saying you need to pump more advertising dollars into digital platforms such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. And yes, these channels are great BUT why then, do we see so many B2B businesses failing to get any ROI from these channels?
“An article I read told me to pump money into Facebook Ads but nothing is happening!”
There are a few reasons why your Facebook/LinkedIn/Google <insert latest sexy tech platform here> ads aren’t generating you quality B2B leads. One may be the quality of your ads, but the real answer is that most businesses do not address 3 simple W’s before launching their marketing campaigns. These 3 W’s are:
- WHO are you targeting
- WHERE is your target audience in the purchasing lifecycle; and
- WHAT is your lead magnet (the attractive “thing” that makes them want to connect with you)
Without addressing the 3 W’s first, you are in danger of casting a wide net for a few key fish and...to add salt into the wound, the net is expensive.
Who, exactly, are you targeting?
Generally speaking, B2B sales usually involve these key positions:
- The GM
- The CFO
- The Gatekeeper (Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em)
(Note: The CEO is of course a decision maker but often relies on their immediate team to guide them.)
So ask yourself:
- How many CFOs and GMs do you see desperately giving away their email or phone number whenever they see a Facebook ad?
- And if you happen to get a CFO or GM’s phone number from a Facebook/LinkedIn ad, do you think they would be happy for you to simply call them?
To catch those big and tasty B2B leads, you first need to understand what your target persona is looking for at each stage of the purchasing lifecycle and then you need to be the one to give them that attractive “thing.”
Where is your audience on the purchasing lifecycle?
Before we talk about that attractive “thing”, we need to talk about the purchasing lifecycle.
If you want the full spill on a purchasing lifecycle, read here: detailed blog on the purchasing lifecycle.
Otherwise, here is a summary: a purchasing lifecycle are the stages that a buyer goes through when making a purchase. A typical purchasing lifecycle consists of the below steps:
Awareness → Consideration → Decision → Purchase
And in this article, we will be focusing on the “Awareness” stage.
What is your lead magnet?
Now that we know who our audience is and where they are in the lifecycle (E.g. awareness stage), we need to give them an attractive “thing” so that they want to connect with us.
Us marketers call this “thing” the “Lead Magnet”. A lead magnet is extremely attractive and it has nothing to do with your product or service.
A lead magnet is a piece of content that is valuable to your audience.
Now, you are probably familiar with these generic lead magnet examples:
- Download this E-Book!
- Calculate your Purchase Interest!
- Fill in this form to see our Brochure!
In B2B land, the above examples don’t work well. And as such, you need a lead magnet that is niche and solves a problem.
So firstly, when you are creating a lead magnet for say, the 50 year old male junior mining CFO, think about a major niche pain point that he faces and then create a message around your solution to this paint point.
You may find the below framework to be really handy in identifying the pain point and crafting a message around your solution.
Pain points are usually centred around the following
Time - Money - Support - Processes - Stress - Resourcing
- A fear of not protecting the “Bottom Line”
- A fear of not generating enough “Net Profit”
- Frustration with high expenses leading to a desire to “Reduce Expenditure”
“Processes” could relate to:
- A strong desire to “Maximise” efficiency
- A strong desire to “Streamline” the business
- A fear that they have not “Future-proofed” their business enough.
And so on. Try to use emotive language or other hooks that may grab them, such as mentioning competitors or a feared external party.
“Future-Proofing Against the ATO: A Checklist for Clean Records”
“Maximise your Net Profit with this Project Calculator”
Also, try to make your lead magnet EVERGREEN through the following ways:
- Offer immediate value
- Keep the content up to date
- Promote the user to repeatedly useit (this is why “tools” are often better than e-books)
Time to market your lead magnet
Now that you know WHO your audience is, WHERE they are on the purchasing lifecycle and WHAT your lead magnet is, you are now ready to distribute your lead magnet using the right channels.
Here are some examples of channels that you can use to find your audience:
A sure place to start looking for generating B2B leads is your existing database. It’s free, you have an existing relationship, and they have connections in your industry.
Ideally, you’d have a specialised marketing CRM set up that will alert you whenever someone in your database goes to your website, meaning you know who’s viewing the content and when. Once you receive these notifications, you can either pick up the phone as a courtesy call, or you can look to feed them more content to nurture them through to the sale.
LinkedIn has seldom been explored by mid-tier enterprise businesses in WA. Due to its fantastic targeting options, the cost tends to be higher, however you must remember that the reward is usually higher for B2B businesses when compared to say an online T-Shirt brand.
In addition, you now have some amazing content that will stand out from the rest of the feed, and hopefully get some bites! Remember, this is lead generation, not a hard close. We’re not trying to marry on the first date here, we’re trying to find potential partners.
LinkedIn allows you to target people by detailed attributes such as:
- Industry (The data is usually more up to date than someone’s Facebook profile)
This level of detail around our audience is exactly what we want when choosing a platform to target niche or specific industries. But remember, the more targeted you get, the more expensive it can be and the smaller your audience will be. This can sometimes ruin the ads performance. A nice balance is what we’re aiming for here.
Surprised? We don’t hate Facebook. In fact, we love it. It’s great for consumer products like clothes and new homes. It also has its place in generating leads for B2B. When using Facebook for B2B Lead Gen, we like to go narrow and use it for retargeting and lookalike audiences.
Hate cookies? We live by them. When somebody goes onto your website, we can assume they have some intent whether now or later to do business with somebody in your space. To increase the chances of that being you, we need to be in front of them more than your competitors.
By collecting the cookies of visitors to your website, we can specifically target them on Facebook with another ad or piece of content. This ad could have an added hook or call to urgency such as:
“We’re making this private to our clients in 1 week, download now.”
Look alike Audiences
Facebook tracks an insane amount of data based on cookies and shared information all across the globe. This data goes a lot further than what is available for targeting on their ads platform. However, Facebook will use its AI data to build lookalike audiences to your existing list.
For this to work, you need at least 100 emails in your database that are of interest to you from a business standpoint.
Once uploading this list to Facebook, Facebook wil crawl the email addresses and find ‘matches’ based on:
- Browsing habits and more
This gives you a better chance of a well targeted campaign to generate more B2B Leads.
The Internet is still a new place for many B2B industries and digital marketing is often a strategy that B2B businesses don’t understand how to get right.
Often, countless dollars are sent down the drain on wasted and unqualified leads. The sales team gets frustrated at the marketing team and the marketing team gets frustrated at the sales team. This creates a negative feedback loop.
The answer is in targeting the right people (WHO), knowing where they are in the purchasing lifecycle (WHERE) and giving them something valuable (WHAT).
We’re confident you can start taking the steps to creating your own lead magnet, but if you need some assistance perfecting it or putting it all together, reach out to us.