The top 9 B2B lead generation channels
You’ve built a solid foundation for attracting and converting your leads. Now it’s time to go out there and find those leads—or more accurately, help those leads find you. The specific mix of channels you choose and the strategies you employ in each one will vary based on your audience and goals. With that said, these nine channel suggestions should provide a good starting point for your lead generation strategy.
1. Content marketing
With content, you’re able to reach people at the top of the funnel while also nurturing leads deeper in the sales funnel. Content marketing is perhaps the most popular form of inbound marketing and can include blogs, videos, webinars, infographics, and podcasts. Regardless of the medium, the goal is the same: educate your customers and solve the same kinds of problems your product solves.
Leverage your buyer personas to develop effective content that speaks to your audience’s unique needs and points them to your product as a solution with strong CTAs. A solid content marketing strategy will support and furnish the rest of your lead generation channels.
2. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the art and science of driving organic traffic to your website from search engine results. This sounds simple, but optimizing for search engines involves everything from the bones of your website to the keywords you choose for your company blog posts. Since customers use search engines at every stage of the buying cycle, SEO is a crucial tool for staying top of mind for your buyers.
SEO involves a lot more than just search keywords, but this is an important place to start if you want to generate quality leads from search traffic. A simple way to start is to study the search intent of different search phrases and choose keywords that align with each stage of the buying cycle. If you have a variety of search-optimized content for every type of lead, your SEO efforts will help to move your pipeline along.
3. Social media
Generate leads on social media by providing people with valuable content that will build trust and authority for your brand. Don’t let your involvement end there, though. Interact directly with prospects and customers. Get their feedback on your latest products, seek to understand their frustrations, and demonstrate the level of customer service they can expect from you.
If you’re having difficulty building an organic following, paid social media ads are a viable outbound alternative. Facebook especially has amazing audience insights to help you reach your target audience with paid ads. They even have an ad type dedicated to lead generation.
4. Live chat
Live chat can be used to identify qualified leads, engage website visitors, answer questions, and give your brand a more personal touch. In fact, according to Intercom’s analytics team, one reply from a human increases the conversion rate of leads to users by 50%!
The best way to leverage live chat as a lead generation tool is to segment audiences. (Depending on your live chat software, there are a number of different ways you can do this.) The goal is to target your chat prompts to your leads as accurately as possible to increase engagement.
By identifying specific pages on your website or the sources that led a lead to your website and matching them to different points in the buying cycle, you can adjust your messaging for maximum effectiveness.
For example, if you’re running a social media campaign aimed at the top of your marketing funnel, link to a unique landing page in your social posts. Be sure to use a link shortener to create a URL that's short and easy to share. Sales can then prompt those leads to chat about the specific problems that led them to your landing page.
You also have the option of marketing automation strategies like chatbots to cultivate potential leads and augment your marketing campaigns.
5. Influencer marketing
Influencers are trusted individuals who have built a dedicated social media following around specific topics or passions. Like NASCAR drivers, influencers leverage their popularity to gain sponsorships from relevant companies. But instead of using flashy decals, influencers work their sponsors naturally into the content they share with their followers.
The main benefit of influencer marketing is the trust and authority it lends to your brand in a highly curated and active community. If you partner with the right influencer, you will have an excellent chance to create profitable interactions with your target audience.
When looking for influencers, focus first and foremost on their rapport with your target audience, not simply on the numbers. One-hundred followers who match your target customer make a far more effective audience than 1,000 random followers.
Be sure to choose your social platform thoughtfully when working with an influencer. Again, it goes back to your buyer personas—where are they most active? What platforms and people do they trust? Choosing the wrong influencer and platform could make you appear deaf to your ideal buyer.