B2B Lead Generation Best Practices
Social media is a primary channel for B2B companies to generate leads, and LinkedIn is the most popular due to the fact it targets professionals. Traditional, cold-generated email approaches fail to turn into lead generation, however with advancements sophisticated email marketing is still a successful tactic. Conversational content marketing is also growing as a successful way to drive lead generation. These approaches and applicable metrics and successful examples are described below.
LINKEDIN AND SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS
- Some of the biggest B2B companies such as ADP, CISCO, IBM, and Xerox have successfully used social media campaigns for sales, and it is reported that 85% of the top companies cite social media as a top 5 channel for lead generation.
- Social media campaigns are very successful likely due to the fact that 82% of prospects can be reached online through social media channels and they actively use those channels to research and exchange information. It is also put that an organization can use social media to micro-target individuals with personalized communications and can change brand perceptions and ROI.
- LinkedIn is given by many to be the most successful channel for lead generation as it has over 500 million global members that is used by 1 out of 3 professionals, it is the number 1 channel to distribute content, drives more traffic than any other social media platform and is the most effective for lead generation. For B2B companies it was the top channel of use at 88%, compared to blogs, Twitter, and Facebook which stood at 62%, Twitter 53%, and 42% respectively.
- Hubspot puts that LinkedIn is 277% more effective than the other social media channels, and 40 million of them are key decision makers. It is also Fortune 500s most used platform and has 61 million senior-level influencers. LinkedIn is responsible for more than 80% of B2B social leads.
- Case studies show that inContact and Social4Sales both have success stories of using LinkedIn to generate leads InContact saw an 160% bigger pipeline using social selling techniques over their traditional methods. Social4Sales was using cold-calling and email prospecting but did not build many relationships so they used LinkedIn and saw a 42% of leads came directly from their LinkedIn account and that number grew over time.
- Facebook Lead Ad is targeted to specific B2B audiences and is highly customizable, and 60% of B2B buyers used their mobile phones.
MORE SOPHISTICATED EMAIL MARKETING
- The Chief Marketers 2019 Outlook puts that email is still a top choice for B2B companies as they see an average ROI of $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing. These returns are due to the fact that email marketing has become smarter and more individualized for the recipients.
- Audience segmentation of emails leads to an increase in openings of 15% and almost 60% more clicks.
- Companies such as Xerox are finding success with creating their own original content that can be used for all the different audiences they reach whether it be online, social, or by email.
- Email is still found to be the largest source of B2B leads at 44% over other channels.
- Marketing automation is one of the biggest trends in terms of email marketing, and the most successful are those that blend email tools that connect to customers' systems to automatically send targeted and personalized emails.
- Thomson Reuters reported an 132% increase in revenue after upgrading to a marketing automation of their emails, and another company reported an 832% increase in revenue from being $80,000 in debt.
- Chatbots have been rising in popularity, and 41% of those that started online conversations with businesses are executives. Of the 50 fastest growing companies 22% have live chat widgets on their website.
- Many believe that chatbots will actually outperform apps in the next 5 years.
- Blogging and microsites are contributing to lead generations. Crowe Horwath credits a $250,000 profit from infographics, videos, and blog posts that targeted C-level executives.
- Xerox's microsite reached 70% of targeted executives and increased their pipeline with 20,000 new contacts, and the 1,000 appointments scheduled returned $1.3 billion to their revenue.
We searched for information from reputable sources regarding successful B2B lead generation tactics, successful B2B lead generation strategies, and best practices for B2B lead generation. We identified the top successful ways for lead generation by the number of B2B that undertake the practice and by success stories that provided evidence of their success. We also found and included information from surveys and market outlooks for B2B companies.