A b2b lead isn’t just a random potential customer. Actually, it is the one that is just a step away from you. As part of your b2b lead generation strategy, all you have to do is attract them, prove that your offerings will solve their pain points, and then deliver true value with a great experience.

More than 85% of B2B marketers cite online lead generation as their top priority, but a little more than 44% rate their efforts as neutral when it boils down to effectiveness, based on research from the Content Marketing Institute.

The recent explosion of content addressing customer concerns, pain points at each step of the buyer’s journey has developed increasingly informed customers. Apart from this, advancing technology has heightened customer expectations for customer experience. Research by Walker Information projects that the customer experience will surpass product and price as the key brand differentiator by next year.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report, 61% of businesses say that lead generation is their biggest marketing challenge.

There are so many b2b lead generation strategies out there, but only some of the b2b lead generation strategy will actually help you to generate qualified b2b leads and build a scalable revenue model where you can maximize your ROI.

In this blog post, we’ve put together 5 effective b2b lead generation strategies that will help you to generate more qualified b2b leads in 2020 and beyond.

While some B2B businesses are getting much better at converting their prospects, many other businesses are stuck with old, obsolete tactics.

When it boils down to b2b lead generation, what truly affects the bottom line?

But before we dig deep and discuss the effective b2b lead generation strategies, it’s vital that you get the foundations right to ensure that you can easily capture and convert a big percentage of b2b leads from all your campaigns.

Avoiding the leaky bucket effect:

Many B2B marketers pour a lot of their time, money, and resources into leaky buckets (marketing funnels). Instead of fixing the leak in their bucket, they pour more and more water (traffic) into their bucket trying to keep their bucket full.

This is a tactic for below-average results and inflated acquisition costs.

The biggest culprits for this are the landing pages and the form on them that captures the b2b leads. These forms separate the leads from non-leads, and have a huge impact on your conversion rates and also on the overall b2b lead generation results.

Let’s say you get 1,000 visitors to one of your landing pages at a cost of 3 dollars per visitor. If your form converts those visitors at a rate of just 1 percent, you’ll get 10 b2b leads at a cost of 300 dollars per b2b lead.

On the other hand, if you improve your form and start to convert those visitors at a rate of 3%, you’d get 30 b2b leads at a cost of 100 dollars per b2b lead.

That’s huge! It’s 3x more b2b leads for one-third of the cost per b2b leads without spending any more money, just by improving your online lead generation form.

Once your marketing funnel is optimized for conversion and you’re confident that there aren’t any opportunities left to improve your landing page or marketing funnel, it’s time to get more traffic.

But, what are the b2b lead generation strategies or channels you should use?

Well, the answer to this question depends highly on who you ask.

We’d conclude that SEO is the best online lead generation channel if we were to go with Hubspot’s study of the best B2B lead sources.

On the other hand, if we use Chief Marketer’s data for the same question, we’d conclude that the most effective channel for b2b lead generation is email marketing. Needless to say that there are many more surveys reporting that content marketing and social media are also the most effective channels for b2b lead generation.

On the other hand, if we use Chief Marketer’s data for the same question, we’d conclude that the most effective channel for b2b lead generation is email marketing. Needless to say that there are many more surveys reporting that content marketing and social media are also the most effective channels for b2b lead generation.

Why so much variation in these reports?

The most likely answer has to do with audience biases. A survey conducted by a leading ESP (email service provider) is almost certainly will have very different results to the ones conducted by PPC (pay per click) management software/tool, as their target audiences have very different skill sets as well as biases, skewing the results of their sample. And as such, we should take a specific ranking of different strategies in these studies with a pinch of salt.

Leaving all the inconsistencies aside, the online b2b lead generation channels that consistently come out at the top are:

  1. Email marketing
  2. Search marketing
  3. Social marketing
  4. Content marketing

Always keep in mind that how you use a b2b lead generation channel is much more important than what channel you use for b2b lead generation.

While a B2B brand’s twitter handle can be used to close a $50,000 deal, it can also be used spam potential lead and tarnish the entire bran’s reputation. So, while the strategy or channel you choose for b2b lead generation will play a big role in how effective your b2b lead generation is, how you execute your campaigns will play an even bigger role.

Now that this caveat is out of the way, let’s look at the following 5 b2b lead generation strategies that generate impressive results;

 5 Ways to Generate B2B Leads:

We’ll cover the four b2b lead generation strategies listed above, as well as a strategy that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the studies;

1.Search Marketing:

Organic search marketing (SEO) is arguably one of the most valuable, long-term strategies for quality b2b lead generation.

Getting on #1 in Google’s SERP is much harder today than it was a few years ago, and it can barely be summarized in just a few sentences.

Interestingly, just 10% of search engine users go past the first page of the search results when looking for information. No matter how well-designed or informative, that makes it difficult for any business to get their website in front of potential leads.

While SEO may seem like a mystery to many marketers, the core tenets of search engine visibility actually boil down to three quite easy-to-grasp ideas:

  • Provide good information
  • Give answers to frequently asked questions
  • Make sure that your writing is clear and concise

2.Email Marketing:

One of the very few marketing channels that have stood the test of time for b2b lead generation is email marketing. Actually, email is 24 years old this year and still manages to trump the top spot on the b2b lead generation strategy of many b2b marketers.

Right now, one of the top trends in email marketing is marketing automation that has generated great results for many b2b brands.

Not exactly sure what the fuss about marketing automation is? The marketing automation tools, in short, are effectively hybrid tools for email marketing that connects with your CRM to enable you to send targeted emails automatically to leads that are personalized specifically to them.

Although traditional newsletters and email marketing are still vital to a business, the ability to use behavioral triggers and capture more data on users has enabled b2b marketers to get savvier with how they target users in the inbox.

3.Content Marketing:

According to the public accounting firm Crowe Horwath; by creating videos, infographics, and Q&A blog posts targeting C-level prospects of large market cap financial institutions, they generated $250,000 in revenue attributed to content marketing.

Excited yet? No! Maybe this will get you excited.

Xerox in 2012 created a micro-site giving relevant tips to business owners. This resulted in 70% of the companies targeted interacted with their micro-site, generating 20,000 new contacts to be added to their pipeline, more than 1,000 of which scheduled appointments. And the total value of all those appointments crossed $1.3 billion in pipeline revenue.

A good question to ask, given the broad scope of content marketing, is what type of content B2B businesses should be focusing for b2b lead generation?

You could easily go with the most common tactic for online lead generation used by other b2b companies, shown below. But, the risk of that b2b lead generation strategy is that you’ll be doing what everyone else is doing.

There is some wisdom in following such trends, however, there’s a good argument to implement the opposite of what other companies are focusing on for b2b lead generation.

A good content marketing strategy for better b2b lead generation needs a degree of experimentation and diversity to understand where the topmost growth opportunities are for your company, whether you’re a contrarian b2b marketer or prefer to stick to what’s working for others.

So whether you use research reports, micro-sites, blogging, or infographics, the most critical thing is to test what is and what isn’t effective so you can b2b lead generation strategy. So, experiment with all the un-common and common strategies as well.

 4.Social Media:

To begin with, calling social media as an effective lead b2b lead generation strategy is a highly controversial discussion.

Although social media scored quite well on both of the aforementioned studies, we can very easily find several reports where social media is considered as the least effective for online lead generation.

The bottom line is that social media inherently isn’t the least effective channel for b2b lead generation strategy. The reason social media is often-times rated so poorly on these aggregate research and studies is because, to put it politely, most b2b organizations have an ill-fitting social media strategy in place.

While a small number of companies use their social media channel to nurture and generate millions of dollars worth of b2b leads, tens of thousands of organizations blast out self-promotional drivel. In such scenarios, it’s best you learn from the minority rather than the majority.

One of the most effective and obvious tactics to generate b2b leads from social media is through LinkedIn.

Another valuable consideration is that social media is an integral part of content marketing. If no one is following your organization updates on social media, how successful will your content, whether blogs, infographics, reports, be?

5.Putting it all together:

It’s often said that success leaves clues. It might be a good clue when a $37 billion company generated a 5,100% ROI on a $1 million dollar marketing campaign.

From just a million-dollar investment in an integrated marketing campaign that included email marketing, display ads, content marketing, and campaign website, the company Optum managed to generate 52 million dollars in new business.

So, what’s the clue here?

It’s this: exceptional online lead generation results come from consistency and a relentless willingness to experiment with different strategies, and to combine strategies across multiple marketing channels.

You can truly know about what works and what doesn’t only by experimenting. And when you understand this, you can effectively use your budget, time, and resources to generate higher ROI and much better online lead generation results.


B2B lead generation is so challenging because you just can’t copy and paste a successful online lead generation strategy that has generated great results for some other business. The things that work for one company might fall on its face for your business.

The key to a successful b2b lead generation strategy that works for your company, in the majority of the cases, the foundation of effective b2b lead generation is some form of content. It all boils down to knowing your target audience better and how they interact with your offerings and your company.

Categories: B2B Data

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