Lead generation is an extremely important component of B2B marketing. The primary objective of lead generation is to feed the sales pipeline with qualified leads. There are different channels to gather leads depending on several factors such as target audience, type of product or service, industry, location, and more. B2B lead generation has evolved over the years. It used to be more about acquiring contact information of prospects and passing them down to sales. In today’s world, it involves using a holistic approach that integrates social media, digital marketing, customer relationship management, and other platforms of marketing.
For SMBs (Small to Medium-Sized Business) B2B lead generation is even more critical because their brand might not have visibility as some of larger companies so they have to work harder to get their value proposition in front of the right target audience. Also, SMBs want to optimize their marketing efforts to get the best ROI given they have more limited resources compared to larger companies. However, in this endeavour to generate B2B leads, SBMs often make some common blunders:
Relying only on text messaging
By ignoring other channels other than text messaging, SMBs miss out on an enormous opportunity to reach their target audience. Other channels such as social media have to be part of the B2B lead generation strategy. Over-reliance not just on text messaging but on any single channel is going to be risky and potentially counterproductive. Text messages, in particular, tend to be ignored by a vast majority of prospects making it appear like a desperate marking approach. That does not mean you have to be on every single marketing platform. Leveraging a mix of marketing platforms ensures a more diverse and holistic approach to engaging prospects.
Having an ineffective call-to-action
Having communicated the value proposition through engaging content is important. However, that needs to culminate with an attractive CTA (call to action). An effective CTA should be precise and immediately follow the value proposition message. The CTA should stand out from the rest of the page, making it obvious to the prospect what the next step is. According to eye-tracking studies when a person visits a new webpage, the eye path starts in the top left-hand corner and moves on from there. So the placement of the CTA is also very critical, it should not be difficult to find.
One common mistake is to have too many CTAs on the same page or ad. Finally, it is important to keep in mind that in the modern world, prospects are going to view the website and social media from all types of devices such as tablets, phones, etc., so the CTA needs to be optimized for viewing from different devices.
Having a disconnect between the ad and landing page
A landing page is a standalone web page where a visitor arrives when they click on the link on the advertisement. The landing page and ad have to be consistent with each other. The marketing message on both has to carry the same value proposition and have similar marketing tone. They need to have the same offer, color theme, and logos. The inconsistency in the landing page and the ad will confuse the visitors. The “scent trail” needs to continue until the prospect converts into a customer. The consistency can be achieved by having no discrepancy in the headline and images of the landing page and ad. Ideally, the language and tone of voice should also continue without any major difference.
Ignoring old leads
Some companies make the mistake of never revisiting old leads. They become so overly focused on creating new leads that they forget that they already have a database of leads, some of which can be useful. If the lead was unqualified in the past that does not mean it will always remain like that. By ignoring old leads, which have already been generated, SMBs miss out on a huge opportunity. There is a need to develop and implement a long-term lead nurturing program that keeps track of every single lead, old or new. This will prevent any leads from falling through the cracks. There are software or cloud-based products in the market that helps provide the framework for lead nurturing. Leading nurturing ensures old leads are revisited regularly so that whenever there is any interest from the prospect, the sales team can engage promptly.
Buying leads rather than generated them organically
With limited resources, some B2B SMBs believe they would get a better ROI by buying leads rather than generating them organically. That is a common mistake. Although it can be tempting to buy a bunch of leads that would be focusing on the quantity and not on the quality of leads. For example, if you have an email list for mass email marketing, that could harm your email deliverability and IP reputation. If the recipients of such mass emails have never heard of your company, your email address might be reported as spam. That recipient could also block you forever. That means in the future if that person becomes a viable prospect, your emails might be directly going to his junk folder. There is no shortcut to lead generation. You need to create relevant and engaging content, find a way to your target audience, and build leads through prospect opt-in. Yes, it is going to take more time and effort but in every way possible it is better than buying leads.
Not tailoring the B2B lead generation content
Not only do you need to tailor the content for different products or services, but you also need to tailor the product according to the demographics of the target audience. Additionally, you want to tailor your marketing message according to the different stages of the prospect’s journey. That means, if the prospect is a new client, they are more likely to download a brochure of your products or services rather than wanting to see a demo of the product. It is more likely the request to see the demo will come at a later stage.