B2B Lead Generation: 33 Strategies, Ideas & Examples
If you're in the B2B space, then you might already know how difficult it can be to find and acquire new customers.
That's because, depending which industry you're in, the total number of potential customers could be small, and the total number of decision makers within those companies even smaller.
That's why it's crucial that you generate a steady number of leads each month. That way no matter how long your sales cycle is, your sales team will always have enough contacts and opportunities to follow up with.
If you've been scratching your head trying to find new ways of generating more leads then you're in luck, because we've compiled 33 B2B lead generation strategies, ideas` and examples that you can start using today.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #1: Ebooks
Let's start with the most common. Ebooks are one of the best ways to attract new B2B leads. Especially if your team is investing in inbound marketing, ebooks provide an excellent way to convert website traffic by providing readers with a more in-depth resource.
Take a look at an ebook from Copyblogger on a subject similar to what their blog content is about:
In order to download an ebook, companies generally ask for an email address at minimum, but form fields can be expanded to include:
- Company Size
- Job title
- And others
Place ebooks on their own landing pages and link to them from inside your different blog posts. You can also drive paid traffic to ebook landing pages for lead gen, or offer them using a popup in various places on your website.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #2: Content Upgrades
Simply put, a content upgrade is a hyper-specific downloadable piece of content tied to a specific article.
This can include things like downloadable pdfs of the article, bonus checklists, walkthroughs of specific strategies, and other types of additional content.
In fact, Wishpond was able generate 2,302 blog subscribers in just 10 months using content upgrades.
Here's an example of a content upgrade providing users with a downloadable version of an article:
For more information on content upgrades and how to get started with them, check out 7 Content Upgrade Ideas that Helped Build 100K Subscriber Lists.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #3: Free Consultations
Chances are, if you work in the B2B space you have some type of expertise, and there's a number of people who would love to get a little bit of your time.
Take advantage of this by offering a free consultation through a landing page and requiring users to fill out their contact information in order to arrange a meeting.
Things to consider including on your landing page can be:
The unique value that the consultation can provide, for example "get your Google AdWords account audited in 30 minutes"
The location of the consultation (either online or in person)
Testimonials of people who found your services useful
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #4: Webinars
Depending on who you talk to, webinars can either be a great lead generation, sales, or educational tool.
But the truth is if you implement them correctly, they can be all three.
If you're unfamiliar with how webinars work, basically you set a time and date for a live online event discussing a topic of your expertise. You'll need a software like GoToWebinar or WebinarJam, and a landing page to start collecting registrants.
At the time of the event you can present your topic and answer all of the different answers that your users might have.
What's interesting is that from a lead generation perspective, many more people will register for a webinar than will actually attend. As a general rule of thumb, expect one quarter or one third of the total registrants to attend.
That's why we recommend sending out a recording of the webinar at the end of the event so that people who didn't have a chance to attend can still access your material.
Here's an example of a webinar landing page template you can use to promote your live event:
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #5: Podcasts
Ever considered running a podcast?
There's never been a better time than now to reach your target audience while simultaneously sharing useful information, and building up your brand within your space.
But don't be fooled into thinking that starting a podcast is a matter of recording your voice and posting it online. There's a lot of planning and marketing that goes on behind the scenes of any successful podcast.
Entrepreneur on Fire has a great article on how to setup a podcast which includes step-by-step instructions on how to pick a topic, how to record your audio, and how to promote.
And while a podcast won't be the fastest road for lead collection, it can be worth it over the long run.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #6: Newsletter Subscription (with bonuses)
As a general rule of thumb with lead generation, you should always try and offer as much value as possible in order to encourage a users to convert.
And while a regular newsletter subscription box on the side of your website or blog can be a simple way of generating leads, unless it's accompanied with something else of value, the probability of someone converting is very low.
That's why we suggest adding some additional value to your newsletter subscriptions by offering a "free starter pack of content," ebooks, or some other type of relevant content.
Take a look at this example from Content Marketing Institute where they offer a free content marketing ebook as a bonus for signing up for their newsletter:
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #7: Checklists
With so much good content and advice on the web these days, readers can often leave overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin.
That's why checklists are so effective.
Checklists work by condensing the actionable steps of an article into manageable step-by-step instructions.
Take a look at this example from Co-Schedule where they offer not only a checklist, but a bundle of checklists as a lead magnet:
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #8: Templates
Providing users with free templates to get started can be a simple and easy way to help them get started.
Clay Collins of Leadpages famously built his email list by giving away free landing page templates on his web series The Marketing Show.
Types of templates you can consider giving away can include web templates, graphic design templates and PDF templates (for accounting, legal work, etc).
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #9: Free Tools
Offering a free tool is a great way to provide instant value for users while also collecting contact information at the same time.
Depending on what industry you're in, different tools will make sense.
For example, in the finance industry, investment calculators might work well. If your business sells HR software, a free tool that calculates employee productivity or inefficiencies might make sense.
Take a look at this free tool from WordStream. In it they automatically assign a performance grade to a marketer's AdWords account in order to determine how effective they are:
At Wishpond, we have a free contest rules generator that works in much the same way.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #10: Email Courses
Depending on what type of content you're offering, it might make sense to offer it as a free email course.
Email courses space out content over days, weeks, and possibly even months in order to gradually introduce people to your business.
Email courses work great as introductory courses, or as a way of breaking down complex topics into bite sized pieces.
Take a look at an email course that Launch Academy, a startup incubator in Vancouver, runs to introduce leads to entrepreneurship.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #11: Infographics
Create infographics to showcase data in a new and engaging way. Infographics are great for accompanying blog posts and can help spice up otherwise boring or abstract concepts.
Take a look at an example infographic from clarity.fm:
Gate infographics behind a popup within your content to allow your users to download it later.
Even if you're not a designer, or if the designer on your team isn't available, you can always consider using tools like Canva or Venengage to help speed up and simplify the infographic creation process.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #12: Contest Prizes
Even for B2B businesses, social contests are a great way of engaging with your audience and generating a list of targeted leads.
And one of the best way of ensuring that the type of people that enter your contest are prospective customers, is to give away your product as the prize.
Take a look at a sweepstakes recently ran between Wishpond and Snappa.io:
In it the two companies gave away annual subscriptions of their product and were able to cross-promote their different products to both of their audiences.
For more ideas on different social contests you can run, check out 50 Fun Social Contests You Can Run Today.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #13: Quiz
Quizzes are a great way of providing an interactive experience to your audience while also generating leads at the same time.
The specific type of quiz that you will run will differ depending on the type of business that you're in. For example, a marketing company could quiz business owners on their online PPC knowledge. An online security software business could quiz users on various website browsing behavior from users around the web.
Whatever type of quiz you decide to run, remember to keep it fun while also providing some form of value at the end.
Take a look at an example from a construction company that quizzes homebuyers on the different stylistic elements of a home:
And at the end of the quiz they require a user to enter their email in order to see the results:
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #14: Resource List
If you create any type of content whether it be videos, podcasts or blog posts, chances are that you'll be mentioning certain tools and software at some point or another.
Create a downloadable resource list that makes it easy for your audience to find these different resources later.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #15: Report
Especially in the B2B world, content creators, marketers and decision makers are always on the lookout for new reports and industry data.
Use this to your advantage by creating an annual or quarterly report chronicling recent updates and changes that would be interesting to your key demographic.
Take a look at an example of an industry report that Wishpond created called The State of Lead Generation.
In it we provide a comprehensive look at current lead generation strategies, benchmark conversion rate data, and a number of other factors which would be relevant to a B2B marketer.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #16: 10X Content with Scroll Popups
If you've read anything about content marketing in the past few years, you may have come across the term 10X content.
In a nutshell, 10X content is content that is both useful, unique, and comprehensive.
An example of this would be Neil Patel's Advanced Guide to Content Marketing in which he explains the entire topic of content marketing with precision and detail.
One effective lead generation strategy is to create 10X content and then add a scroll popup to prompt a user to download the entire resource as a downloadable file.
Since the scope and breadth of 10X content is so great, typical opt in rates for these type of popups on 10X content has been known to be extremely high.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #17: Wistia Turnstile
One interesting tool that marketers can utilize to generate leads from video is known as the Wistia Turnstile.
Using Turnstile, marketers can decide to gate videos either at the beginning, middle, or at the end of a video.
Leads can then be exported to a number of CRM's, or manually exported to any email service provider or lead management platform.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #18: Click Popups
The first thing people tend to think about when they think about a popup is a box that hovers over their screen, interrupting their browsing experience.
This is not the case however for click popups.
Since click popups are only triggered after a user clicks on a button, inline text, or a CTA, they are not intrusive at all, and have a remarkably high conversion rate.
For more information on click popups, check out our article on How we Doubled Lead Generation Using Click Popups.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #19: Exit Popups
Particularly if your driving paid traffic to a landing page, there are few tricks that will immediately boost your PPC ROI than a exit popup.
And while conversion rates on exit popups won't be extremely high, you'll be unobtrusively generating more subscribers and clickthroughs than you would otherwise be by not having it.
Take a look at an exit popup from an ecommerce store which prompts users with a 10% discount as they attempt to leave one of their product page:
For more ways to use exit popups, check out 5 Exit Popups You Need to Know About.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #20: Entry Popups
For new traffic coming to your blog or website, consider adding an entry popup offering either a newsletter subscription, or another kind of lead magnet that can act as an introduction to your content.
Since entry popups are triggered as soon as a user loads your page, they will receive the most impressions of any popup, but be careful to limit the number of times it's triggered so you dont agitate your return visitors!
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #21: Entry Overlay
An entry overlay is one of the most high impact and effective tools on the market when it comes to commanding a user's attention, and getting them to convert.
An overlay is basically a very large popup which consumes the entire screen. At Wishpond we experimented by adding an overlay several months back and were blown away by the results that we were able to achieve by such a simple tool.
If you're wondering what it is that makes overlays so effective, Unbounce recently wrote an article called 3 Scientific Reasons Overlays are so Freaking Effective.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #22: Udemy Courses
If you're unfamiliar with Udemy, it's an online educational platform that allows students to find and take courses from a number of different disciplines.
Consider creating a course teaching something within your niche or providing a step-by-step walkthrough of your platform or service.
Last year I created a course on Udemy called Use Wishpond to Grow Your First 1000 Email Subscribers and to date is has almost 3500 enrolled students.
And while you can't export the list of students within Udemy, you can use it to mail out notifications about new courses, promotions, and other campaigns you might be running.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #23: LinkedIn Groups
Similar to creating a Udemy course for lead generation, you might want to consider creating a LinkedIn group within your niche.
This can be a great way to attract your target audience while at the same time curating the dialogue happening about topics related to your company.
It should be noted that LinkedIn has changed some of the ways LinkedIn groups work in the last couple of years and group administrators are not longer permitted to export the emails of group members.
That being said LinkedIn does permit you to send a limited number of email mailouts through LinkedIn to everyone apart of your group.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #24: Dedicated Landing Pages
Dedicated landing pages might seem like a simple lead generation strategy, but you may be suprised by how many marketers fail to adhere to this basic best practice.
In order to ensure that you're getting the most of your PPC spend and content marketing efforts, always use a dedicated landing page to ensure your offer is clear and you're giving your users the highest chances of converting.
If you want a quick refresher on what landing pages are and how they're used, check out our article What is a Landing Page.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #25: Visual Design Conversion Rate Optimization
If you follow best practices in terms of using dedicated landing pages, click popups, overlays, etc, then what you might find is that you're able to generate a steady flow of inbound leads, but that number at some point or another main begin to either decline or stay stagnant.
That's why we always recommend marketers a/b test their lead generation processes whenever possible.
One way of doing this is by testing visual design elements. This can include things like your hero image, directional cues, page contrast, etc.
Sometimes even simple changes can have massive results.
For more information on this, check out Designing for Conversion inside Wishpond's Psychology of Conversion.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #26: Action Oriented CTA's
Another quick and easy conversion rate optimization fix is the include action oriented words inside of your call-to-actions.
By default many landing page builders come preinstalled with the CTA "Submit".
Instead of this, try making your CTA say exactly what pressing the button will do.
- Get Started
- Start My Free Trial
- Get My Quote
- Reserve My Spot
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #27: AIDA Copywriting Formula
Copywriting may possibly be the most underrated discipline when it comes to optimizing for conversion.
Marketers often spend their time changing button colors, background images, and layouts, then at the very end working on their landing page copy.
Rather than doing this, try starting with your landing page text first.
One formula that can be used to do this is called AIDA. In a nutshell it stands for:
For more information on exactly how this copywriting formula works, check our Wishpond article The AIDA Formula: Solving All Of Your Landing Page Copy Woes.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #28: Retargeting
Especially if you're running PPC campaigns for lead generation, consider taking advantage of bounced landing page traffic by running retargeting campaigns in order convert users further down their buyers journey.
Just because someone didn't convert initially, doesn't mean that they're not interested in your product or service, they just might not have been ready at that specific time.
Retargeting helps retrieve these abandoned users and turn them into leads.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #29: Progressive Profiling
A problem that marketers frequently run into in their lead generation campaigns is weighing out the conversion benefits of reduced form fields vs. which information they need to collect.
One way around this is though a practice called progressive profiling.
Progressive profiling allows marketers to prompt users with different form fields depending on what they already know about them. For instance, if it's a user's first interaction with a business then they might only ask for "name" and "email" fields.
But once a business has already collected these fields, on their second and third interaction, they could start to collect additional fields such as "company name" or "job title" in liu of a "name" and "email" field.
Here's an example of how this works from Marketing Automation Insider.
Notice how the required form fields change depending on the number of engagements a users has with a company.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #30: Pre-filled Form Fields
Similar to progressive profiling, there's no point in asking for information from users that you already have. Doing so will increase the barrier to entry on your form, and will in turn reduce your page's overall conversion rate.
One trick that can be used to ensure that you're not asking for the same information twice, is by using pre-filled form fields.
In a nutshell pre-filled form fields use parameters in a URL that pass information to a landing page form alerting it that certain fields have already been collected.
For example, if you already know a user's "email" and "first name", then those two fields would appear filled out when a user arrives on your landing page. They would then only need to fill out any additional fields on the form, or simply press the CTA.
For a complete breakdown of exactly how to setup a pre-filled form field, check out our knowledgebase article.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #31: Auto Submit Forms from Email
If you want to make it as easy as possible for your pre-existing leads to convert, then you may want to consider using the auto submit form field option.
The auto submit form field option allows you to automatically submit a form on a landing page assuming you have all the form fields needed from the lead once they arrive at your page.
Used this way you can run contests through emails with a CTA that says "Enter Now". When a user clicks on the CTA, they'll be automatically entered and brought to the contest's post entry page.
For step-by-step instructions on how to setup this feature, see Wishpond's Knowledgebase article.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #32: Contests
Simply select a prize and allow users to enter their contact information in order to enter. For a more advanced technique, consider running co-promoted contests with other companies who share a similar target audience.
Both companies can mail out the contest to their users and share in the total number of leads collected.
Take a look at a recent contest run between Wishpond and Snappa:
For more tips on how to run a contest, check out 50 Fun Contests You Can Run Today.
B2B Lead Generation Strategy #33: Inline CTA's
One of the most effective lead generation strategies that Wishpond has come across over the past few years has been the inline CTA.
While being a relatively low key and insignificant part of the page, inline CTA's give content creators the ability to add targeted call-to-actions in a non-intrusive way throughout their content.
Take a look at a content upgrade that's currently being used on the Wishpond blog that allows users to download a PDF version of the article:
We can even get specific to the exact place in the article a user is at. For example, here's an example of a inline CTA that offers a free course on Instagram photo contests directly after a point is made about Instagram photo contests:
For more information on content upgrades and inline CTA's check out my article How We Generated 2302 Blog Subscribers in 10 Months Using Content Upgrades.
There you have it, 33 lead generation ideas, strategies, optimization, and examples to get you inspired for your next lead gen campaign.
Have a question about generating leads for your business? Feel free to reach out to one of our marketing experts for a free consultation.
Thanks for reading!
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