How To Generate B2B Leads in 2018

Sales leads are the life blood of every business.

Bottom line – If you get your lead generation strategy right then your industry is yours for the taking.

There are TONS of ways to generate sales leads.

Below are detailed guides that walk you step-by-step through everything you need to know to get B2B sales leads.

Lead Generation Tactics

An Irresistible Offer

Facebook

Cold Email

Content Marketing

Need B2B Sales Leads?

Let us help. Pay NOTHING until you meet interested decision makers

An Irresistible Offer

What would your business look like with double (or quadruple!) the number of sales leads you currently get?

Before looking at ways to grow your site traffic, it makes sense to optimize your offer. The more you do with the traffic you get, the less traffic you need to achieve your goals.

Imagine you get a 10% conversion rate and your nearest competitors achieve a 1% conversion rate. What would that mean for your respective businesses? Over several quarters your business would be significantly more profitable. Eventually your competitors might find it nearly impossible keep up with you.

In this article we’ll look at how to craft an irresistible offer. One that will make your site visitors feel silly if they don’t convert.

generate b2b leads

Truth Slap

Before we look at how to craft an amazing offer you need to see things from the perspective of your site visitors.

First, your visitors are already overwhelmed with information and offers. Virtually every site they visit wants them to fill out a form. There simply isn’t any more room in their in-box for another ‘newsletter’ or ‘update’. You will only capture their information if they think you can solve their current biggest problem.

Second, “Subscribe Now” doesn’t cut it. Seriously, why should I?

If your content is AMAZING and demonstrates niche thought leadership then “subscribe now” might do the job. But for most sites, it’s just not enough.

Site visitors are usually trying to solve a current or future problem. Telling them to subscribe doesn’t solve their problems. All it does is suggest that more (unhelpful?) content is coming.

What Happens Next?

Before you begin crafting your perfect website offer, you need to decide on your key objectives. Think about what happens after a lead fills in your form. What will you do? What will they want or expect you to do?

Typically an ‘irresistible offer’ must be designed around either marketing objectives, or sales objectives. In other words, do you want to continue sharing content and building a relationship? Or do you want to get a new client as quickly as possible?

The example below illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches.

Tom gets 1000 site visitors per month. His goal is to capture visitors’ name and email so he can continue to market to them. Using the ‘Hard Nut Content‘ and ‘Content Upgrade‘ tactics described below he gets an 8% conversion rate. This amounts to 80 new subscribers per month and his total list size is now over 2000 people. He emails them every month and connects with many of them on social media. Every month a few people on his list ask about his services. And they usually convert to clients without too much difficulty.

1000 Visitors @ 8% Conversion = 80 Marketing Opportunities

 

Jerry also gets 1000 visitors to his site every month. His goal is to capture full name, phone number, and other information so he can begin selling. He sees his site as a sales lead generation tool. He designed his whole company around his sales offer. He asks for more information than Tom and gets a 2% conversion rate. Which means he gets 20 new sales leads every month. The 20 leads have provided their phone numbers and company information so Jerry calls them up to discuss working together. Jerry has enough leads that he gets new clients every month.

1000 Visitors @ 2% Conversion = 20 Sales Opportunities

 

In the examples above, both approaches are effective, but different. So before you do anything, you need to decide what is going to happen after someone becomes a lead. Are you going to pursue a sales oriented, or marketing oriented process?

Promise Buyer Outcomes

Crafting an irresistible offer for sales means differentiating your company from your competitors.

It’s a permanent way of doing business that’s baked into your company’s business plan. A sales-driven offer means you are being different than anyone else out there.

So how do clients choose a firm to work with?

If they understand and appreciate your value proposition then they may choose you. But if they don’t, then they’ll probably default to the best price, or how much they “like” the sales person.

Solution buyers have a problem. Buying a service involves more trust than is ideal. This is because they don’t always have a convenient way to resolve service issues.

If you buy a watch that fails to tell time, the store or manufacturer will usually replace or repair the product. But if you hire a software developer and later discover it’s a bit buggy, there’s often not much you can do.

The best ‘Irresistible Offers’ specifically address buyer risk, or buyer outcomes.

Sales Offers That Convert

Sales offers that drive results are baked into the DNA of your company. They show how you are different from your competitors and make it obvious why a buyer would want to work with you.

The more you can de-risk the your solution for the buyer, the more interested they will be. Here are a few examples from diffrent industries:

Pay Nothing Until It’s Perfect – If your business model allows you charge on the back end then a no risk / low risk offer works well. The prospective buyer KNOWS they are going to get the outcome they want, or they don’t have to pay a cent.

If you go down this route you need to accept up front there will be a few people that take unfair advantage of your offer. But all the other business you receive will more than offset a few idiots.

Loss Leader – Some industries have a high life time value per client. In which case a loss leader can get new clients in the door and bind them to your firm long term. For example, an accountant could offer “Free Company Incorporation“. They might lose money initially, but will get future accounting and compliance work.

Leverage your strengths to guarantee a positive client outcome. The stronger the guaranteed outcome, the more likely people are to take action. If a sales offer is truly appealing or unique then sometimes people will take action just out of curiosity.

Get [great outcome] or we’ll [great outcome] – When companies need non-executive staff, they usually need them quickly. So an offer like “A great candidate in 36 hours or we’ll drop our fee by HALF” is a huge win-win for the client. They solve their urgency issue, or save 50% on the cost of recruiting new staff. For the staffing agency there is very little risk because the sales cycle is more than a week. Which gives them plenty of time to find a suitable candidate.

Qualified B2B Leads, Or You Pay Nothing – Companies looking for a B2B lead generation company want highly qualified leads. This is fair considering how big an impact the cost of B2B lead generation will have on their bottom line. At Sales Higher we don’t charge for leads that aren’t MQL (marketing qualified leads).

The examples above are more than just pithy slogans to encourage viewers to fill in a form. The entire company’s operations are built around the exciting offer stated in the offer.

My New Friend

If your focus is on developing a long term relationship then all you need is their first name and email address. Every field you add will decrease the probability of someone filling in the form. So choose the information you need carefully, and ask for as little as possible.

When crafting your ‘irresistible offer’ you want your audience to feel like they are missing out if they don’t take action.

Here are a two offer types that have a high rate of success:

Hard Nut Content

Every business has problems. To stand out from the pack you need to part of their solution.

Start by figuring out the top 3 biggest problems facing your prospective clients. What does their business need to fix?

It’s a simple question, but not always easy to answer. Here’s a simple process to identify the biggest problems that your audience needs help with.

1. If you are using Chrome add the LinkClump extension

2. Visit Quora and type in the keywords most commonly associated with your business

3. Set LinkClump so it is only downloading the TEXT in hyperlinked content

4. Using LinkClump, scrape the links on Quora and paste them into Notepad

5. Repeat using other keywords that are directly relevant to your business

6. Organize the questions you scraped by topic. In most industries you’ll see the same type of question appearing again and again. THAT’S your main focus!

Write a detailed ebook or case study and splash it across the high traffic areas of your website. If the problem is painful enough then visitors will fill out the form.

Be sure to make the ebook or case study title COMPELLING. Write out 25 or more titles to find the one that really grabs attention. Remember, your audience doesn’t know how valuable your content will be. They can only see your title – so make it a good one.

Your title should focus on the [highly desirable] outcome your readers will get by downloading your ebook, or case study. For example:

 

  • How we got 10,000 visitors per month. A step-by-step guide
  • The 3 Business Models With The Highest Success Rates
  • The ONE thing every successful email campaign shares

Content Upgrade

Instead of having just one or two offers across your website (ie ebook or case study), you can build unique offers for every major area of your website.

For example, on general pages like the home page, or about us page you can use the Hard Nut Content strategy.

And on blog content you can create content upgrades. A content upgrade is an offering that expands upon the information the reader is currently focused on. Each major piece of content can have its own unique content upgrade offering.

For example, an article about ‘Sales Lead Scoring’ might include an offer to “Download Our Lead Scoring Template.” If the reader finds the article useful then there is a good chance they’ll download the template.

Some popular types of content upgrade include:

  • Get sent the article in PDF (for long articles)
  • Action point checklist – apply the information in the article
  • Excel template or other download
  • Talking points
  • Email scripts

As long as the upgrade communicates deep value to the reader then it will be successful.

The image below is from a post about “How to Plan Your Day The Night Before“. The offer expands on the content of the post

Wrapping Up

To craft an irresistible offer you need to know what happens AFTER your site visitor becomes a lead. Will you send them information about your solutions [a marketing approach]? Or will you reach out directly and schedule a time to speak [a sales approach]?

Depending on whether your focus is on sales or marketing your offer will probably change.

With a sales approach you want leads who are interested in doing business in the near term. When a lead provides their telephone number then they are probably open to discussing their needs. Your offer needs to directly impact their business objectives. And does so in a way that reduces or eliminates the risk a buyer has when engaging your services. This is usually a company-wide initiative that differentiates your firm from anyone else.

A marketing oriented approach is focused on getting as many relevant leads as possible. Most of them won’t be ready to take action in the near term. But if you maintain communication then you’ll have top of mind status when it’s time for them to buy. The easiest way to capture their contact is to help solve their biggest problem(s). Alternatively, you can offer expanded information related to the content they were search for.

Need B2B Sales Leads?

Let us help. Pay NOTHING until you meet interested decision makers

Cold Email

Along with content marketing, cold email is probably the least understood tactic for getting B2B sales leads. Done properly, it can fill your sales pipeline with a steady stream of relevant leads from decision makers interested in your solution. The days of using email to blast out a message to as many people as possible are long gone. In fact, in many jurisdictions the spray and pray approach to messaging isn’t even legal. Instead you need to think like a sniper. generate b2b leadsYou’ll fire off very few messages. But every email is carefully aimed and calibrated for maximum impact. Put another way, cold email begins and ends with relevance. The more relevant your email, the better your aim will be. Relevancy means going to the person in a company who directly benefits from your solution. And they’ll be in a position to act on your offer. This is the decision maker.

Depending on your offer, and the size of the organization, the decision maker changes. If you have an offer to improve a company’s marketing then in a small organization you’ll need to speak with the CEO. In a larger organization you’ll need to connect with the CMO.

Getting a message though to the right person, with the authority to act on your offer is WONDERFUL!

How many times have you gotten approval on a deal only to find out later the boss decided not to move forwards? With cold email you completely avoid junior stakeholders. While they are well intentioned, they don’t have final decision making power.

The ability to connect direct to the boss is the real power of cold email and shouldn’t be under estimated. You’ll save you a TON of time, and close more deals as a result.

Compelling Message

When a prospect opens your email you don’t have much space to capture their attention. If you write too much the reader will get bored and delete your message. The trick is to offer the most amount value in the least amount of text.

With more people reviewing email by phone you need a ‘phone appropriate’ message length for easy reading. Typically, this means about 80 to 150 words in the main text.

Eighty to 150 words doesn’t sounds like much, but it’s a LOT more than most other advertising mediums. By comparison, an Adwords placement only allows for 140 characters, and restrictions apply.

Keeping your messaging short and focused is the best way to encourage action. The first sentence tells them why they should pay attention. And the second sentence tells them what to do about their interest (ie reply or visit a resource).

Nice to Meet You

If you’ve got deep pockets then there are lots of ways to generate awareness of your solution. But if you’re like most companies then you have a constrained budget. In which case cold email is a fantastic way to introduce yourself. You could start by pointing your target audience to some valuable resources. Or if you are local then an invite for coffee is a great way to break the ice.

The point is, cold email is very flexible and is adaptable to micro audience segments. For example, you can invite people in your area to a seminar. Then share the seminar highlights with people outside your area.

The ways to use cold email to promote yourself are pretty much unlimited. There’s no rule that says you have to go for a ‘hard sale’ (ie book an appointment) every time. Just helping target clients with one of their problems can be a great way to introduce yourself.

Who Me?

The best thing about cold email is directly contacting decision makers. No one else can help you achieve your goals half as quickly. But you know what else is nice? Your messages can be insanely personal!

Think about it, if you were Johnny, a snow board retailer, which message below would you be more likely to respond to?

Hi,

We develop websites for small businesses like yours…

OR

Johnny,

Loved the YouTube clip of your double flip on Grouse Mountain. Thanks for sharing!

I make online shops for independent ski and snowboard stores who want to grow their internet sales…

Of course there’s a chance that Johnny won’t reply to either message. But if he does reply, it’s almost certain he’ll respond to the second message. There’s a high level of personalization and it’s relevant to his business interests.

The ability to customize messages so they are both personal and relevant makes cold email an unstoppable tactic to generate engaged B2B sales leads.

Raise Your Hand

cold email lead generation

Remember, with cold email recipients don’t HAVE to respond. If you cold call a prospect they pretty much HAVE to pick up the phone. But with cold email ignoring you is an (often used) option. Just because you sent them an email, doesn’t mean they need to reply.

This sounds like a negative, but it’s fantastic. When a potential client responds, they are ‘opting in’ to the conversation. They are putting their hand up to stand apart from the majority of recipients. They WANT to continue the conversation. This is high engagement!

Best of all, their email signature includes all their contact information. They wouldn’t be sending you their phone number if they didn’t want to know more about your solutions.

Open Rates

The first step to getting your emails opened is to ensure you’ve got a good subject line. Subject lines are difficult to get right – you need to suggest tangible value, without exaggeration. If your subject line is boring, no one will open it. And if your subject line over promises it’ll get ignored. Or worse, the recipient will feel like they’ve been misled. And you don’t want that.

If you have a large enough data set try A/B split testing your subject lines. Over time you’ll find certain subjects have better outcomes than others.

Studies by Adestra and others have found that adding an element of personalization to the subject line can increase open rates by 22% to 26%. For example, say you sell fresh fruit to offices. The subject “fresh fruit” could be changed to “{Company} snacking habits” or “want an apple {FirstName}?”

Take the time to craft your subject lines carefully. They determine how many people open your messages, and can strongly influence whether they respond, or not.

Cold Email Challenges

No B2B lead generation method is perfect, and cold email is no exception. Below are some challenges marketers face when using cold email to generate sales leads.

Compliance

Cold email for B2B purposes is allowed in some form in most (not all!) jurisdictions. But the rules vary a bit in every country. With this in mind it’s worth getting a legal opinion before sending out any messages.

Moreover, every country has rules that have to be followed. They could be as simple as including your office address in the message. But the onus is on you to get it right.

Technical Competence

Email isn’t the most complicated thing in the world, and you don’t need to be Bill Gates to click send. But there are some IT considerations you should understand before you start.

Domain: You’ll need to set up separate mailing domain as you never want to risk your primary URL. If your main emailing domain is “xyzcompany.com” then you’ll need to pickup something similar like “xyz-company.com”. The reason is that if too many people click the “spam” button (it doesn’t take many) then your main email addresses could be black listed. And you really don’t want that!

When you get the new domain you’ll need to set up a 301 redirect. This points your new domain “xyz-company.com” to your old domain “xyzcompany.com”. If someone uses your email address to check your website they’ll be redirected to your main site.

Mail Server: Depending on the hosting company you use to host your website and email, sending cold email can be easy or a nightmare. Some hosts are draconian about their emailing rules. If you work with one of these hosts there is no way to send even a few messages without tripping over their anti-spam software. You’ll need to change hosts or work with a 3rd party SMTP provider.

Server & Mail Settings: Cold email requires the use of 3rd party email tools. That could mean you are using one email client to send email, and another to manage responses. Depending on how how you decide to send email, you’ll probably need to make changes to your DNS configuration. It’s not hard to do, and your host can help you. But if you are technophobic then adjusting your SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) can seem a bit intimidating.

On the email side there are some configurations you’ll need to optimize to maximize deliverability. For example, it’s easy to include a tracking pixel in an email to see whether it was opened. Knowing how many people read your email is critical information when you are trying to make statistics-base decisions. But spam filters specifically look for tracking pixels. They’ll sometimes direct your message to the spam folder if the tracking pixel makes them think your message is spam. Knowing what’s best for you is a balance between information and deliverability.

List Management: Sometimes you’ll contact someone who doesn’t want to hear from you. In which case there needs to be a way for them to unsubscribe from your messages. This isn’t difficult, and most email software includes this functionality. But problems arise when you are running many campaigns or have multiple sales people. If the same contact ends up on more than one list you could inadvertently contact them again in the future. It shouldn’t happen, but it does. You need to make sure that an unsubscribe request is honored across all senders and campaigns in your company. Otherwise you could find yourself in hot water.

More Expensive Than You Think

Email is cheap. After all, there’s almost no cost to send out a few messages. Your cost per lead is almost free, right?

While cold email is one of the least expensive ways of generating B2B leads, the costs are significantly higher than you might think.

First you’ve got your server costs. But that’s not too bad.

Then you’ve got your cold email dedicated software. Prices vary, but top tools can easily run over US$200 per month.

Next you’ve got your data costs. Finding relevant people with verified email can cost a bundle. If you are paying $1 – $5 for every email you send out then you need an HIGH conversion rate to get a return on your investment. Many data providers charge a minimum of $400 per month, and some charge a whole year up front. That’s a BIG up front cost!!

But the KILLER cost for cold email is man power. Depending on the size of your campaign you are going to need a researcher to compile client research. And as you already know, man hours cost big bucks.

I know what you’re thinking! Why not pay a freelancer in a cheaper country to help me with the research? I’ll save a bundle by taking that off my local employee’s plate.

That’s probably true, but you still need to pay the overseas freelancer(s). And remember, freelancers aren’t robots. They need training and oversight. Which in turn requires time, energy, and money.

Cold Email Summary

Cold email is a fantastic way to connect with prospective clients. You can connect directly with the exact person in an organization that best fits your ideal client profile.

And when you make your messages short, relevant, and personalized decision makers take notice.

Cold email is typically misunderstood in terms of the amount of work a successful campaign requires. To be effective sales leads need to be individually researched. This requires a huge number of man hours that can’t be skipped by using automated processes.

Also, scaled emailing requires a modest level of technical competence. You’ll need to move your emailing servers away from your hosting servers. And possibly work with multiple email clients. It’s easy to have a tiny SPF error compromise the delivery of your entire campaign.

Need B2B Sales Leads?

Let us help. Pay NOTHING until you meet interested decision makers

Content Marketing

Content marketing and SEO are a double punch that can produce a high volume of sales leads. And the CPL (cost per lead) is usually pretty good, too. To illustrate, you probably stumbled across this article via Google.

For the purposes of this article we’ll refer to both content marketing and SEO as ‘content marketing’. In practice they are flip sides of the same coin.

Content marketing refers to the production of content to create brand engagement.

And SEO refers to the process of ranking well in search engines.

You can’t have a successful content marketing campaign without ranking well in Google. And there is no point promoting bad content in the search engines.

See, flip sides of the same coin!

Content marketing works because there is no limit to how many readers who can consume your words.

If you create great content you’ll get high levels of engagement. The more engaged readers are with your content, the longer they’ll stay on your site. Which increases changes they’ll become a lead or make a purchase.

But content marketing isn’t easy. So let’s start with a quick review of some advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Content Marketing

When done correctly, SEO and great content combined work wonders. Here are some of the advantages of using articles and other content to generate leads.

Cumulative Effort: Writing good content is HARD WORK. But here’s the thing – you only have to do it once. After you hit ‘publish’ that content works for you all day every day. If your article pulls in 100 visitors a month that could result in five sales leads every single month. Invest once, and reap the reward for months and months!

It’s easy to see how the potential benefits of content marketing compound. If one article generates 5 sales leads per month, then 10 articles could produce 50 leads per month; and so on.

But wait, there’s more!

As your site gains in “authority”, the number of visitors you receive could increase. Articles that once got 100 visitors per month, might see an increase to 500 visitors. This in turn would increase your monthly leads.

Targeted Audience: The best visitors are ones who find you while searching for queries related to your business. They are the most likely to take an action on your site. Highly relevant visitors sign up for newsletters, call, and request a demos.

You’ve got something to say and a specific audience in mind. Useful content is the best ways to put your message right in front of your top prospects.

Trust Signals: Getting to the top of Google means more than just clicks and visitors. Think about who you would trust more. A company that paid to be at the top of search engine results, or a company that EARNED their way to the top. For most people the company at the top of the organic listing is far more reputable.

Top Google rankings confer a level of trust and authority that isn’t easy to come by. Most people don’t care how Google selects the companies to put at the top of their search results. But they trust Google’s results and that automatically confers significance upon your company.

Disadvantages of Content Marketing

The SEO industry would have you believe that content marketing is the solution to all your problems. And with just a little work getting highly relevant traffic is within your grasp.

But think about it for a moment. If content marketing was all rainbows and unicorns then everyone would be successful. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. According to Ahrefs about 91% of websites get NO search traffic.

Let that figure sink in for a moment. There are millions of websites trying to share an idea. But over 90% of them didn’t get a single website visitor from Google last month. Here’s the thing – content marketing is HARD work.

Here are a couple of disadvantages to making content your primary source of B2B sales leads.

Winner Take All: They say the best place to hide a dead body is on the second page of Google. No one clicks through to the second page! As you might expect, most searchers click on the top 3 search results. Typically, the first position in Google will get about 30% of the search traffic.

Click Through Rates

The problem this creates is one of exclusivity. It can be exceedingly hard to bump entrenched competition from the top of Google. Perhaps your competitors have been around for a few years? If they receive lots of attention removing them from the top of Google might be more effort than it’s worth.

Uncertain ROI: When you buy an ad on Google and someone clicks on it then your site gets a qualified visitor. The relationship between cost and outcome is linear. If you pay $X then you will receive Y visitors.

Unfortunately, no one can make any guarantees with content marketing. What you spend to develop and promote your content may produce amazing results. But the opposite is also true. You could get limited or no results for the same investment.

In competitive industries, you need sustained effort to do well in the search engines. If you give up before you see results then the return on your investment to that point will be wasted.

Delayed Gratification: With online ads you set a budget and Google begins to run your ads. From start to launch it might take less than a day to get your first sales lead.

With content marketing the opposite is true. It might take many months before your content ranks well. This lack of immediacy makes content marketing wonderful for long term marketing objectives, but it may have a low ROI in the short term.

Getting Started with Content Marketing

The process for ranking strong content in Google is straight forward – not easy!. The steps below will guide you through the basics of getting search traffic.

Step One: Are You Local?

The first thing you need to decide is where your clients are based. Are you a global company, willing to take clients all over the world?

Or are you a local company focused on helping companies in your area achieve their goals.

Local Search Results

The location you target will have a massive impact on the results you achieve, so choose wisely.

Ranking for local search is less competitive than trying to rank in global search results. You can use this to your advantage.

As an example, it’s very difficult to rank for a broad term like “accountant”. But the second you localize it, the competition dwindles significantly. With the right approach, your business can probably rank for “accountant in Tampa” or just about any other localized keyword.

This means being a local business actually gives you a huge advantage in your industry. Use geography to your benefit!

Step Two: Set Up Google Tools

If you have a site already set up, then make sure you have a Google Analytics and Search Console account. The two accounts should be connected. These two free tools from Google will provide you with all the information you could ever need about your website traffic. Make sure you sign up for them both.

In search console, on the left menu navigate to Search Traffic —> International Targeting —> Country.

Search Console Targeting

You can set the country where you want Google to focus your search presence. If your TLD (top level domain) is country specific like .”com.au” then Google may default to Australia. You can select “Unlisted” if you want to target global results.

Step Three: Evaluate the Competition

As a local business, you want to set yourself up as the ‘go to’ solution in your field. And the best way to do that is to rank really well in Google for your industry search terms.

Unfortunately, your competitors want the sames advantages that you do. Depending on your industry and location, ranking difficulty will vary. In a 10,000 person town most search terms won’t be very competitive. But a 5 million person city will be competitive – especially in high paying industries.

Part measures don’t work in content marketing. You’ve got to make a commitment to beat your competition. If you don’t you’ll just spend money and the final results won’t be worth it.

In B2B industries, a disproportionate amount of traffic goes to a single keyword or topic. This happens for a few reasons:

  • People tend to think the same way about the same solutions. There are hundreds of ways to search for an accountant in Tampa. But the most common search terms are “Tampa accountant” or “accountant in Tampa”.
  • Google auto suggestion offers search ideas based on past searches similar to your own. So if you begin typing “accountant…” Google may offer a localized term they think will help. In this case “accountant in Tampa” will probably come up. As search terms become auto suggestions their popularity gets reinforced. Eventually you will need to rank for these terms to get meaningful search traffic.

Start by making a list of ALL the ways you might search for your solution. One by one, manually enter them into Google. As you do, note the search suggestions that pop up and add them to your list.

With each search phrase scroll to the bottom of the page and write down the “Searches Related To” ideas suggested by Google.

Searches Related To B2B Sales Leads

Pretty soon you’ll have a good sized list of search terms and phrases. These terms are important because Google recognizes them as phrases connected to your business.

Next, hop over to Ahrefs (recommended) and paste the terms into Keyword Explorer. This tool will tell you how much traffic a search term gets and gives you an idea of how hard it is to rank. More often than not, one search term will get WAY more traffic than any other terms. THAT’S the fight you want to win.

Step Four: Create Useful Content

Getting someone to visit your site isn’t easy. Getting them to stay is even harder. People “pay” for content with their attention span. If you aren’t providing ‘attention worthy’ content then they’ll ‘bounce’.

Here are a couple of tips to create content readers like:

1. Visit Quora to discover questions people want answered. Solve real problems.
2. Spend as much time formatting your content as you do writing it. Readability is important.
3. Write about topics directly related to your product or service. It will have the highest ROI.
4. Go as deep as you possibly can into a topic. Write in detail about fewer things.

Achieving high engagement helps in a couple of ways:

First, the longer people spend on your site the more likely they are to take an action like subscribe or contact you for help.

Second, engagement means you are adding value. Even if the value is just jokes, they are still sticking around, which is great. Engaged users share content, and open up other opportunities you didn’t know existed.

Finally, Google rewards high engagement levels. If someone clicks on your content and immediately bounces back to Google then Google knows your content didn’t solve their query. But if they visit your page and stick around for a while then Google knows your content is helpful in solving that query. In which case Google may further improve your ranking for that search term.

Step Five: Create Trust Signals

Imagine you visit a town of 50,000 people. In that town there will be several barber shops. If you type into Google “{town name} barber shop” then Google will show you some results.

But how does Google decide which barber shop to rank first, second, third, and so on? When you think about it, barber shops are all pretty similar. Why would one shop perform better than another in the search engines?

There are several reasons. For example, Google might know your location and show the barber shops that are closest to you.

But usually Google will rely on a combination of trust signals. A 5 star customer review could make Google comfortable about putting one barber shop above others.

Another type of trust signal that Google uses are called backlinks. Backlinks refer to a link from someone else’s website to your own. For example, if your company donates to charity then the charity might put your company’s website on their donor list. That’s a backlink!

Backlinks are a critical ranking signal for Google. When a human editor chooses to link out to another website’s content then it suggests to Google they have a high confidence in that content.

Without a fair number of backlinks, your website probably won’t rank well in Google. As a general guideline, the sites with the most backlinks tend to get the most traffic.

So how do you get quality backlinks? One way is to create amazing content. When someone links to your content they are telling Google that they found your work worth sharing. That shows Google that your content will probably help other people, too. And that’s the kind of content they want to help other people discover.

Here’s how it looks:

 

Link Worthy Content —-> Backlinks —> Google Rankings —> Site Traffic —> Generate B2B Leads

 

Unfortunately you can’t rely on other people to share your content in a predictable way, so you’ll probably need to be proactive. This means building links to your site using a variety of “link building tactics”.

Alternatively, you can hire an SEO specialist to help you grow your backlink profile. But buyer beware! There are a LOT of unscrupulous backlink specialists that will probably do your site more harm than good. Real, powerful backlinks that move the dial are hard to get (read expensive). So remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Step Six: How Many Backlinks?

You probably already know who your competitors are, but do you know how hard they’ll be to displace in Google? There’s no point competing if you aren’t going to win. It’s critical you understand how much competition you are facing for your key phrases.

For each of your primary search phrases take note of the top 10 companies you’re going up against. You’ll find with each search phrase, the same companies tend to come up again and again. The order will vary, but these are the guys you have to beat. Your list will probably be fewer than 25 companies because the same results tend to come up again and again.

Put your competitors into a spreadsheet. Using Ahrefs find how many “referring domains” they have pointing to their site. A referring domain means a 3rd party website that is linking to your competitor’s website. This is also known as a backlink). If their business is featured in a local newspaper and the paper links to their website, then that’s a referring domain.

Identify your top 3 biggest competitors. Average out how many referring domains they have pointing to their sites. If their sites have an average of 50 backlinks then you should plan on getting that many backlinks, or more.

Step Seven: Outsourced Backlinks

There is no shortage of solution providers prepared to help you build backlinks. The problem is, it’s really hard to know which services add real value, and which ones don’t. Maybe you should do it yourself? Here’s a quick primer:

Outsourced Backlinks: Outsourced SEO tends to fall into 2 categories – cheap and expensive. You DON’T want cheap SEO. Inexpensive providers cost very little because they do nothing for you, and may be detrimental to your long term rankings. It’s common to see sites that have 100’s of backlinks, but no rankings. The SEO consultant that acquired their backlinks created lots of activity, but nearly zero value. And it’s reflected in the lack of outcomes achieved.

Good SEO costs quite a bit because your providers need to create amazing content on your site. And then they need to beg, borrow and steal backlinks to move you up in the search rankings. This usually requires manually contacting people in your niche and asking them to promote your content. It’s a slow, arduous process that is unappreciated by many business owners.

If you go with an external SEO provider plan on paying at least $1000 per month on the low end. It’s very difficult to do a good job for less than that. Many providers will charge several times that amount, and are justified in doing so.

In-House Backlinks: You can save a few bucks by doing your SEO in-house. Just remember, the scale and scope of the job doesn’t change. It’s still really hard work!

To start, you’ll need a talented writer who is an expert in your field. They’ll create content for your own site, and write guest posts on websites in your field. The cost for good writing services varies widely. You may need to find a specialist with deep experience in your field. A good starting point for B2B writing is around $0.15 per word. So a 1000 word article will cost $150.

Next, you’ll need to connect with lots of companies in your niche. This is a really time consuming process. Fortunately there are some tools that can help speed things up a bit. They include:

  • Ninja Outreach
  • BuzzSumo
  • Ahrefs

Finally, you’ll need someone to handle the outreach process and manage responses. Depending on your staffing costs this will be the bulk of your costs. Even if you hire and train an overseas assistant you’ll still incur some heavy expenses. An offshore virtual assistant (VA) will costs at least $500 per month, and your internal staff will probably cost more.

The bulk of content marketing costs are labour related. There are some costs for tools or promotion, but your main expense is staffing. Writing and outreach are both labor intensive activities. Paid tools like those mentioned above can speed up the workflow, but backlink building still takes a LOT of time.

Content Marketing Summary

Content marketing is one of the best ways to consistently produce low cost B2B sales leads. There are few constraints on how many visitors you can get, making it a scaleable vehicle for growth. When implemented successfully, ‘ever green’ content continues to deliver new sale leads year after year.

Unfortunately, businesses tend to under estimate the difficulty of content marketing. Companies struggle to produce content that is interesting and actionable to their core audience. And as often as not, attempts at creating a blog to generate B2B sales leads are unsuccessful. Sadly, most B2B blogs get little to no search traffic. And business owners are left wondering why they bothered to make a blog in the first place.

The biggest issue tends to be with the difficulty promoting their content effectively in search engines. Earning backlinks is especially difficult. And the lack of backlinks limits the blog’s ability to be found by their audience.

In B2B industries content marketing tends to be a ‘winner take all’ proposition. If you are well represented at the top of the search results then content marketing is the best investment you can make. Of course, the opposite is also true.

 

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Generate B2B Leads on Facebook

So for B2B selling Is Facebook any help at all for B2B selling? generate b2b leads on Facebook

In a word, “YUP”.

As a B2B marketer, you may not have 1000’s of social followers anticipating your every word.

But that’s ok. Facebook is still an invaluable tool for B2B marketers. In this article we’ll look at some great ways to generate cost effective B2B sales leads on Facebook. Including:

  • Hyper-targeted ads
  • Retargeting
  • FB LeadAds

Facebook Ads Have High ROI

B2B lead generation needs to prove a high ROI, and that’s an area where Facebook shines. Facebook uses an ‘ad auction’ to determine which ads they should show to their audience. Companies that bid the most and have the best click performance win the auction.

This is good for you because B2B solutions tend to have a higher LTV (lifetime value) than retail products. So it’s possible to spend a bit more than retail products who are competing for the same audience. If you are selling a $30,000 software product then you can outspend someone selling a $75 necktie.

Facebook gives you tools to maximize the ROI on your ad spend. For example, you can carefully measure and A/B split test your ads. You can compare different ad copy and images to see which combinations generate the best sales leads at the lowest price.

You can even Exclude your audience using the same criteria available for inclusion. This is very helpful when you want to avoid certain industries or match types. For example, you probably don’t want to send ads to your direct competitors!

Targeted Ads on Facebook

Facebook is meaningfully different than it’s biggest ad competitor, Google. Google shows ads that correspond to searcher intent. Facebook is audience driven and shows ads to the ‘type’ of person you want to target.

And lets face it, almost everyone is on Facebook, so the audience is huge!

As an audience network, Facebook provides marketers with super granular targeting. Yes, it’s creepy. It means you can combine independent audience characteristics, and put your message in front of your ideal customer.

Want to connect with financial professionals in Miami who wear a Rolex? No problem!

Let’s see what that might look like:

Facebook Targeted Ads

Custom Audiences With CRM Data

With Facebook’s Custom Audiences you can target people with whom you have previously communicated. Just export data from your CRM and upload it into an ad campaign. Facebook will do it’s best to match your data with Facebook members.

Facebook CRM Advanced MatchingThis process works quite well for B2C, but for B2B you should temper your expectations. There are easier ways to retarget your site visitors (described below).

The main way Facebook matches profiles to your CRM data is by email address. This is a problem for B2B marketers. When people join Facebook they use their personal email accounts. But they fill out B2B forms with their company email address. This means a large part of your data set won’t be matched to a profile.

 

B2B marketers also tend to have a smaller data set. So the number of email matches may fall below the minimum number required by Facebook for a campaign.

Also, with GDPR platforms like Facebook are increasingly under pressure to improve their privacy. This type of advertising has potential for abuse and future restrictions are inevitable. You don’t want to base too much of your lead generation strategy on a tactic that may not exist in a few years.

Instead of using your CRM data, explore the remarketing solutions listed below, instead.

Facebook Retargeting

Create Custom Conversion FacebookRetargeting (also called remarketing) refers to showing ads to people who have visited your website. The idea is if they visited you once, you probably want them to visit again. Especially if they didn’t take your desired action last time they were at your site.

It works GREAT!

Depending on your conversion rate, 90% to 99% of your site visitors won’t take a desired action (become a sales lead). This is a ton of lost opportunity! Facebook retargeting is a fabulous way to reconnect with people who otherwise wouldn’t visit your site again.

The nice thing about Facebook retargeting is that you can segment your audience a number of different ways. This way you get to advertise to the EXACT people that are most likely to achieve your intended outcome.

There are 3 retargeting methods that are perfect to generate B2B sales leads. These are retargeting:

  • By page visited
  • By recency
  • By time spent

Facebook Retargeting By Page

It only makes sense to focus your ad spend on the people who are most likely to convert to a sales lead. But how do you know who that is?

One way is to look at the pages visited. Not every page on your site has an equal chance of generating high value leads. There’s probably no point retargeting to a visitor that visited a blog post and quickly bounced.

But what about someone who visited your Case Studies page and spent 5 minutes reading every word? They might be worth spending $0.50 to have them come back to your site.

Which pages on your site suggest a buyer is further down the buying funnel than others? What pages best suggest buyer intent?

In some cases the data provided by Google Analytics may help. Set up Analytics ‘Goals’ so you can track the conversion funnel of your visitors. You’ll quickly notice the conversion rate on some pages is much better than others. Over time, you may also notice that conversions from certain pages make for better clients, too.

Website pages that indicate buying intent might include:

  • Pricing
  • Case Studies
  • Testimonials
  • About Us
  • ‘Evergreen’ blog posts

Remember, it seldom hurts to double down on the visitors that are most likely to convert to a sales lead.

Retarget Recent Leads

When someone becomes a lead on your site, are they redirected to a “/thanks” page? If yes, you can use page retargeting to show ads to your recent leads.

But if they already became a lead, why show them ads!?

If you sell a high ticket value B2B solution then you want to keep top of mind awareness of your company. Someone who fills out a form and gives you their contact information is pretty serious about your offering. Spending a few dollars to remind them you can help them solve their problems is a good investment.

Retarget By Time On Site

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could market only to the people who were the most engaged in your content? Well, with ‘retargeting by time’ you can!

Facebook has an option to target only visitors who have spent a minimum amount of time on your site. How incredible is that!? You don’t need to waste ad dollars on people who spent 5 seconds on your site and bounced. Instead you can direct your budget at people who liked your website so much that they stuck around for a while.

If your visitor didn’t convert to a lead the first time around, they might if you get them back for another visit.

Retarget By Time Elapsed

B2B sales cycles tend to be long, and often managers map out their future spending a quarter or more in advance.

So it makes sense to wait a while before showing ads to someone who was on your website yesterday. They already know what you do! If they didn’t take action yesterday, then maybe they are just shopping for solutions. You may have to wait a while before they are ready to have a conversation.

Facebook enables you retarget visitors who checked out your site in the past. You can specify how far back you want to set the targeting (don’t forget to change the default setting). And you can even combine it with other criteria like time spent or pages visited.

You can even use this to re-engage with leads that got part way through your sales funnel, but didn’t close. Just combine your ‘/thanks’ page target with the average time it takes to move through your sale cycle. Yes, a few clients will see your leads, but so will all the valuable sales leads that lost engagement part way through your sales funnel.

You can even time your follow up emails so they coincide with when your ads start running.

Setting Up Facebook Retargeting

Facebook’s Custom Audience retargeting options make it easy to maximize the ROI on your marketing budget.

Want to direct ads at someone who spent more than 1 minute reading your Case Studies page 2 weeks ago?

No problem! You can easily target those site visitors.

To do this, you need to install a “Facebook pixel’ on your website.

It’s done in three easy steps.

Pixel Set Up: On Facebook

  • From your personal Home page, click on the drop down menu and select “Manage Ads”.
  • On the top left side of your screen click on “Facebook Ads”.
  • In the dropdown menu select “Pixels”.
  • Click the green”Set Up Pixel” button.
  • Choose Manually Install Yourself.
  • Copy the code in #2 and paste it into Note for quick reference.

Facebook Pixel Installation

Pixel Set Up: On Your Site

If your site is built in WordPress then adding the pixel to the header of your website is easy.

  • Check whether your WordPress theme has a built in section to add header code.
  • If not, check again! There is a good chance your theme supports header code.
  • If you are sure then in your WordPress menu navigate to “Plugins —> Add New.”
  • In the plugins search field look for “Pixel Caffeine” and install.
  • Activate the plugin and add in your pixel code.

Pixel Set Up: Verify

Once you’ve set up the code on your site verify that it is working on Facebook.

  • Go back to your Facebook pixel page and click on ‘Diagnotics” tab. It should say there are no problems.
  • Next, visit the Chrome App Extensions page and seach for “Facebook Pixel Helper”.
  • Install the app on Chrome.
  • Run the extension on your site and look for any errors
  • You’re done. Congratulations!

Facebook Lead Ads

Filling in small forms isn’t easy on a tiny screen! And one of the biggest challenges facing marketers is getting mobile users to take action. It’s no wonder conversions are generally lower on mobile than on desktops. This means when someone visits your site via mobile device there is less chance they’ll become a lead.

But Facebook comes to the rescue! They offer ads with the user’s available information all ready filled in.

The nice thing about this is that Lead Ads completely eliminate website conversion issues. The user never leaves Facebook so there is no worry that your website conversion isn’t optimized.

Also, you don’t have to pay for a site click only to see your visitor bounce a few seconds later without taking an action.

In-app conversions can be especially useful for getting prospects to focus on a specific action. This doesn’t have to be an information request. You can try other forms of engagement, too. For example, you could offer a webinar, or a free ebook.

Generate B2B Leads on Facebook – Summary

Facebook is the undisputed powerhouse when it comes to B2C marketing, but that same power can be applied to your B2B business. Depending on what features you use, Facebook does a credible job of solving some of marketing’s toughest challenges at a reasonable cost per sales lead. This includes:

  • Dynamic targeting based on a poweful combination of audience demographics and interests.
  • Retargeting based on how long someone spends on your site.
  • Retargeting based on the pages they visit.
  • And delayed retargeting to reignite existing leads, and those who need a gentle reminder.
  • Mobile optimized ads that eliminate the risk of visitors bouncing from your site.

And compared with B2B alternatives like Linkedin, Facebook’s ad costs are significantly cheaper. They are generally larger in size and offer better visuals. Done right, Facebook ads can be an excellent way to generate B2B sales leads.

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