Any sales person out there – whether they’re selling software, widgets or cars – cringes when they hear a sentence beginning with “Bait and…”
High-pressure sales tactics, a lack of transparency in the process or inaccurate positioning has left most sales professionals with a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to baiting anyone.
But ultimately, any successful sales and lead generation strategy is going to start with bait – something that a prospect wants that can hook their interest. This is especially true in the B2B lead generation world – where discovering interested prospects is critical for filling your sales pipeline.
Five Steps to set up a B2B Lead Generation Campaign
1. Understand your users and what they’re looking for
When developing a lead generation campaign, the first step is identifying the type of content your prospects would be interested in.
This can be determined by looking at the underlying psychology that might push someone to look for information.
- Fear. I’m worried about lost opportunity or threats in the marketplace.
- Intrigue. I want to learn more about creative solutions or future trends within my industry.
- Problem-Solving. I need help overcoming common industry pains or frequent business hurdles.
Your instincts and knowledge of your customers can go a long way in helping you develop this understanding. But simple tools like Google’s search predictions can take it one step further. Begin searching industry terms and you’ll get a list of related, common phrases your prospects are typing directly into Google. It serves as a topic recommendation tool – giving you direct insight into what your prospects are specifically looking for.
2. Create content that provides value
Based off your research above you can begin generating content around your target topics. Many companies jump right into time-consuming, long-format whitepapers – but simple one-sheet factsheets, case studies and 3- to 4-page insight documents can be equally effective. What’s important is you are succinctly providing the information your prospects are looking for – and you position it in a way that they can’t possibly pass up on the bait.
3. Advertise – in all your available channels
Once you have a new content asset developed, it’s time to get eyeballs on it. Simply putting it up on your website isn’t enough – identifying different opportunities to advertise it in your available channels is critical if you want real traction. This includes:
- Traditional advertising channels like Paid Search.
- Content Syndication partners within your industry.
- Social media channels.
- Email marketing to your own database.
4. Don’t give it away for free
Too often, we dedicate time to developing these assets and publish the valuable content in the form of blogs or free assets on our website. Though this can be a great tactic for building brand recognition and loyalty, it doesn’t deliver new leads to our sales pipeline. Create simple landing pages with short forms and trade your content for your prospects contact information.
5. Follow up and nurture
Getting a lead into your system is only the start of the process. Developing a set of tactics to immediately follow up, providing further insight and value and creating an experience that keeps your brand top of mind is a must with any lead generation strategy.
Minimally, ensure you’ve addressed the following questions:
- How will I be alerted when someone submits a form?
- What is the first message they receive?
- Who will follow up via email and phone with the lead?
- What additional content and information can I send to them based on their initial interest?
Are your lead generation strategies working? And how do they fit with your inbound marketing efforts?
Contact us for an inbound marketing assessment for suggestions and tips to expand your sales pipeline.
Contributed by Becki Dilworth, Vice President of Marketing