How to Generate B2B Leads
In a previous blog post on this topic we identified the three core elements of your business that you need to focus on in order to attract and generate B2B leads online.
As a way of review, these elements are, your Target Markets, your Offer, and your Services.
In this post we are going to look at each of these elements in more detail, as well as the associated marketing activities that need to occur in order to build a successful lead generation machine.
The first step is identifying your customers and their needs. Not just who they are, but what they are looking for, what questions they have, and what keeps them up at night.
"The First Step for better lead generation is
identifying your customers & their needs."
Only by intimately understanding your customers can you accurately address their needs and wants in your marketing efforts. (Tweet This!)
Without this level of insight your aim will be off, if only slightly, and that’s enough for your marketing messaging to miss its target.
To understand your customer, perform these five market research and analysis activities.
1. Customer Identification – Identify which of your clients most often lead to successful engagements, both financially and personally, both for you and your client – and make these types of clients the focus of your marketing efforts.
2. SWOT Analysis – Identify the internal and external factors that influence your business by analyzing your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Understanding these four elements will enable you to sharpen your marketing approach.
3. Primary Research – The best way to understand your target market is to get inside your customers’ shoes and look at your business from their point of view. Ask your customers and prospects what they think of your services and what they are looking for so that you can more accurately address their needs.
4. Market Research – Survey your marketplace by using pre-existing information from your own marketing data, publically available reports and studies by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry.
5. Data Analysis – Take all the data from your Primary and Secondary Research and analyze it for trends and themes that provide insight into your customer and target market. Use this insight to inform your marketing activity.
Only after you thoroughly understand your customer can you position your messaging in a way that will reach and resonate with them. The second step in creating a successful lead generation machine is to connect intuitively with your customers by crafting and sending a message they understand and believe, and which is relevant and useful to their needs.
"The Second Step for better lead generation is providing
an offer that meets your prospects needs." (Tweet This!)
The following activities will allow you to do this:
1. Offer Alignment – Answer the questions your customers and prospects are asking in order to identify the solution that your customers are looking for. Then decide that this will be your primary offer moving forward.
2. Segmentation – There are going to be at least two or three distinct customer types who, while all buying your service, buy for different reasons. Define these different customer types.
3. Persona Creation – A persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated guesses about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. A persona allows you to identify who you want to reach and where your best customers spend time online. Working with the different customer types you defined above, create personas for each of them.
4. Customer Decision Journey – Map the path your personas take when deciding to buy your service. Because customers can proactively seek information on their own online, their exposure to your service is often outside of your control, and their decision process is anything but linear. The CDJ enables you to understand the steps your customers take as they consider, evaluate, buy and interact with your service.
5. Messaging Matrix – Write the messaging themes that resonate with your buyer personas at each stage of the Customer Decision Journey. Create a matrix with your personas on the Y axis and the customer decision stages (i.e., Consider, Evaluate, Buy, Experience, Bond, Advocate) on the X axis, and script the language that speaks to the needs of your persona at each stage of their customer journey.
You probably offer many different services, but in order to attract and generate the best, qualified leads for your business it’s important that you emphasize and promote the right services. Focus on the services that are most valuable to your target audience, and which directly support your Offer. Then align your services with your customer’s online behavior and the marketing channels they use to get their information.
"The Third Step for better lead generation is aligning
your services with your customers' behavior." (Tweet This!)
Perform these five activities to ensure you’re promoting the services that will attract your best prospects and customers:
1. Services Alignment – Identify the services for which you provide the most specialized, high value outcomes for your customers and your business.
2. Heat Map – A heat map is a visual depiction of all the available marketing channels and their relationship to your customer touch points. Map this out, and then rate which channels are most critical in reaching your target market. In this way, you will arrive at a prioritized list of the marketing channels you need to focus on.
3. Keyword Creation – Identify the words and phrases your audience uses to look for and find your service online. Then ensure that your marketing messaging is seeded with these keywords and optimized to rank high by the search engines.
4. Campaign Design – Prioritize a budget and strategy for your marketing tactics. Use the information from your Target Market and Offer work to design a marketing campaign that features the channel, messaging, and offer best suited for your ideal customer.
5. Pilot Campaign - Create and run an initial campaign. Ensure that you are able to test and measure its effectiveness so that you understand what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t work, in order to optimize your successive campaigns. Remember, marketing is testing!
Follow the three steps, and related marketing activities, listed above to understand your customer and align all elements of your marketing with the process they undertake when making the decision to work with you. When completed, you will be well on your way to creating a successful lead generation machine. If you would like to receive a blueprint of this process to assist you in your efforts, click on the button below.