Building a B2B Lead Generation System
August 19, 2021
This article gives the “basic formula” for building a B2B lead generation system.
This is the bare bones basic process and it’s generally recommended that you follow the process in the order shown here for quickest profitability from your investment.
Know your Market, Know your Competition
Know your “online” as well as your traditional competition. What are the best practices for Internet marketing in your space? Are your competitors doing paid advertising? Knowing WHO you are going to be targeting, with what messaging, and what conversion calls to action work in your market is critical for planning where to start.
Once you have a basic online marketing approach, it’s time for detailed keyword research using Google or any of the other tools. You want to look for a good balance between:
- Search volume
- Direct relevancy to your business
The best terms to target are those with high volumes, low competition, and those that indicate the person would be a good potential customer for your business.
Take the list of keyword phrases from your research and setup your website focused on these terms. There are over 100 things you need to do for a great SEO setup, but these are the critical ones we see missed most often:
- Keyword in the page Title Tag
- One page focused on one keyword (the home page may be optimized for 2 or 3)
- Keyword sprinkled into the text on the page, in different natural uses to make it be real
- Keyword in the H1 tag, the headline for the page
From there, you can add site maps, other tags to enhance your page rankings and the other 96+ elements of a good SEO setup.
PPC Ads Setup
Take the same list of keywords you chose for SEO setup and set up a Google Adwords PPC campaign for them. This will give you instant insight into whether they are good keywords, or if you were inaccurate on their relevancy to your business. It will tell you if your calls to actions and business messaging are getting website visitors to convert to leads. This early research is critical to getting to lead generation success quickly.
Test Calls To Action
A “call to action” is anything on your website that generates a lead for you. It can be a form to download a whitepaper that requires an email address. Your “contact us” form is a basic call to action. Even a phone number can be a call to action. Try several of these and keep track of the results through Adwords conversion tracking and your Google analytics set up on your site. Each call to action should be a “goal” and tracked in detail. This is critical to knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Go Mobile and Be Interactive
Once you have the first phase of the basics setup, next is making sure you are “mobile friendly”. This is an important part of PPC advertising for some businesses where customers are more mobile. We now see over 20% of B2B businesses’ website traffic coming from mobile phones and tablets. Having great mobile search result rankings and presenting key information easily on a mobile device is critical. Being “interactive” means being a resource for your B2B customers. Have lots of information for them, present it in interesting ways, and spread it socially. These are the things that can really start to differentiate you from your competition.
You would be amazed at the number of companies we see who invest in an Internet marketing system, but don’t ever track the results. There are two basic tracking tools that are a must for every company.
- Google Analytics. It’s free, easy to use, great for customizing what you want to see, and keeps up with the latest trends in online marketing
- Adwords Conversion Tracking. Assuming you do PPC online advertising you must use the conversion code on your “thank you” pages where you can count a conversion. This can be integrated with analytics for even better insight but is a basic that is mandatory if you are going to be successful.
Beyond the basics, there is an emerging technology called Marketing Automation, which integrates lead generation from a website and your CRM system. This puts lead tracking on steroids because it can track the lead completely through the sale cycle and calculate ROI on your Internet Marketing investment.
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A key point in making B2B lead generation work over the long term is a systematic way to nurture leads you generate online. Many of these leads are not “sales ready”. They are just researching and comparing options before they get to the buying decision point. If you are only looking for leads that are ready to buy, you are missing an estimated 75% or more of the market. Companies who can nurture leads for months or years, keeping them interested in your products, will win in the end. The new Marketing Automation systems make this easier on your sales force by automating many of the routine steps of staying in touch with cold or warm leads until they are hot.
Going beyond just tracking leads and measuring all the facets of your B2B Internet Marketing Program is the last and most overlooked step. This can be things like setting up mini-goals in Google analytics to measure simple steps early in the sales process to tell you people are interested in the content you are offering on your site. It can be testing which way people like to see your information, in papers or video or infographics. Choosing key metrics that match up with your company goals and KPIs can be powerful forces to move your program to success. The adage that “What gets measured improves” is as true in B2B Digital Marketing as it is in many other places in your business.