Last week, the Big Apple hosted the ultimate conference for performance marketing and lead generation: LeadsCon. The conference was buzzing with energy as hundreds of industry professionals gathered for two days to discuss changing dynamics and top trends of lead generation in the B2B environment.
Attendees had the chance to learn about B2B focused lead acquisition, nurturing, and conversion in the digital age. The conference welcomed industry experts from companies including Facebook, eMarketing Strategy, freshly.com, and many more to share their valuable insights.
It was a whirlwind of learning, networking, and strategizing, but there’s no doubt that all attendees left with some actionable takeaways to improve their lead generation strategies. If you’re in the world of B2B marketing and looking for ways to step up your strategy, drive more traffic and convert leads, then these tips are for you.
1. Earn your Audience with Useful Content Marketing
Content Marketing is a major buzzword in the world of lead generation and digital marketing overall. It’s no surprise this was a hot topic at LeadsCon. Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy at NewsCred, shared some valuable insights on the way we produce and consume content in the digital age.
According to Brenner, every day:
- 75 billion pieces of content are shared
- 8 billion photos are uploaded and shared
- 500 million Tweets are posted
- 700 million Snapchats are sent
With numbers like this it’s no surprise that about 60-70% of content marketing goes completely unnoticed. Why? Because it either doesn’t serve the needs of marketers OR audiences. Unfortunately, this means missed opportunities for brand exposure, leads, and conversions. So how can we make content useful and earn an audience?
- First, serve your needs as a marketer by creating content that has a destination. Whether it’s a demo, trial, sign up, or more content, your content must serve a distinct purpose or else it’s not content marketing, just content.
- By ensuring that your content is valuable to your audience so that they want to read it and keep coming back for more.
So what’s valuable to your customers? Of course this depends on your industry and business, however when it comes to style Lianne Wade, VP and Account Director of Wilde Agency, recommends producing easily digestible content such as lists or infographics. Producing content in this way makes it shareable for your audience both internally and externally with their clients. All around the more shareable your content is, the more views it gets, the more leads and conversions you get. Make it easy for your audience and it will be a win for you!
2. Understand Your Buyer’s Needs
(Image Source: 9 Key Components of a Buyer Person, Katie Martell)
Katie Martell, Co-Founder and CMO of Cintell, made it clear that in 2016, companies that actively understand their customer’s buyer personas will win. Why? Building and understanding these personas ensure that the efforts of marketing and sales are focused on the customer.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer (B2C). Although it does require a lot of work, putting in the effort will vastly improve your customers’ experience when engaging with marketing and sales. So what should you include in a buyer persona? Below we share the 9 key components of a buyer persona from Martell’s infographic:
- Keywords & Phrases
- Engagement Scenarios
- First Person Scenarios
- Social media & Online Destinations
By implementing these 9 components into your buyer persona you’ll have a better understanding of your current and prospective customers which will allow you to tailor your content, sales strategies, products and services to their specific needs.
3. Confirmed. Mobile is The Place to Be
If we had to choose one common denominator from all the conferences we’ve attended so far this year, it’s that the mobile space is hot. At Performance Marketing Insights, we learned that mobile eclipsed desktop in terms of global usage. More recently at LeadsCon Khurrum Malik, head of North American product marketing at Facebook, informed attendees that people are spending 3 hours per day on their mobile phones and time spent on mobile is about to pass time spent watching TV!
(Khurrum Malik speaking at LeadsCon. Image source: LeadsCon Facebook)
There is absolutely no doubt that advertisers need to be investing in the mobile space. Consumers are relying on their phones for discovery, research, e-commerce, social engagement and simply to pass the time. eMarketer predicts that by 2017, Facebook’s revenue from mobile ads in the US will grow to $7.53 billion. This is tremendous growth considering a few years ago Facebook still lacked mobile ads.
With more and more advertisers moving into this consumer-heavy space, how can they stand out and win? Marissa Pick, Director of Social Media at CFA Institute offers the advice: Be Interesting, Be Interested, and Be Experimental. So what does she mean by this?
(Image Source: @MonicaHrubcin)
Be interesting: Quite simply, don’t be a bore! Considering this with Brenner’s advice, the only way you can earn an audience’s undivided attention in today’s information filled society is by producing material that is actually relevant, engaging, and interesting to your customers. Whether it’s your content marketing or social media strategy, share and produce content only if it has a purpose and adds value, not just for the sake of putting something out in the world with your name on it.
Be Interested: Like any relationship, why should a customer stick around if you’re not showing a vested interest in them? Make the effort to engage your customers so that they know you are interested in them. The only outcome of this is positive because by showing your audience attention you’ll learn more about them. Whether this is giving them a shout on social media or Retweeting an interesting article they shared, show them you are interested.
Be Experimental: Finally, Pick suggests being experimental. If you never try you’ll never know if something could turn into a huge success. Now this doesn’t require you putting all your eggs in the basket of the ‘next big thing’. She’s simply encouraging us to diversify our strategies by trying something new every so often. It’ll keep your strategy fresh and show your customers, competitors and counterparts that you are on top of current industry trends.
The digital age has certainly introduced us to numerous ways of generating leads. As a B2B business, understanding the dynamics of lead generation is critical to your success. After all, marketing your product or service to another business has unique challenges not faced by B2C. As we learned from LeadsCon, developing the right strategy involves a combination of understanding customer’s buyer personas, creating useful content that serves marketing and audience needs, and being present in the right channels. By implementing these three tips, you’ll be on your way to a stronger B2B strategy in no time.
Image Credit: Flickr/Ged Carroll