And now, a brief message from Captain Obvious and his sidekick, Sidekick Boy:
The goal of marketing is to generate leads that convert to sales, thereby generating revenue.
What a thunderously, crashingly obvious statement! Captain Obvious saves the day again.
But seriously, it’s useful for marketers to occasionally contemplate this most fundamental truth about our profession. We’re not here to just raise awareness, get subscribers, or foster engagement. All of these goals should be parts of a strategy to get to the ultimate goal: lead generation.
We have more tools now than ever before to measure how our efforts translate to leads. Unfortunately, that means marketers—especially in B2B—are under more pressure than ever to improve the quantity and quality of the leads we deliver to sales.
To boost your lead generation efforts, you don’t have to torch your entire content marketing strategy. Start with these easy wins and expand from there.
10 Easy Wins to Improve B2B Lead Generation
#1: Use SlideShare for Increased Conversion Rates
SlideShare leads tend to be higher converting than leads from other social media sources. If your content is featured on the site, it’s a guaranteed boost in traffic. Create high-quality, visually compelling content with a strong CTA at the end, and you can drive relevant traffic to your landing page.
This SlideShare on Influencer Engagement was a great lead driver for our agency. We saw results for both of our dual CTAs.
SlideShare offers a pay-per-capture embedded lead gen form option as well. If your potential ROI is high enough, it’s worth using their native format to simplify conversion. Otherwise, a clickable link in the last few slides is the way to go.
#2: Mobile-Optimize Your Landing Pages
It’s easy now to create mobile-optimized social media advertising. All the major networks have a native format for paid content that looks just as good on mobile as it does on the desktop. But when a mobile user taps on the ad to visit your site, what does the landing page look like?
Make sure your landing page is designed to be responsive, or use a mobile-specific landing page to put your best foot forward. The page should be light on text, with no need to scroll or zoom to read. A sentence or two with a clear statement of benefit, a short form, and a submission button are all that should be on the page.
#3: Add CTAs to High-Performing Content
It’s easy to add new content in an attempt to get more eyeballs on your landing pages. But if you’re not refreshing existing content, you’re likely missing out on potential leads.
Check your analytics for older content that is still bringing in traffic. Give the content a refresh, then update the CTA to a current relevant offer.
I’ve seen far too many posts that CTA to, for example, register for a webinar that has already passed. Keep your CTAs fresh on old posts and they can continue to drive leads.
#4: Balance Top and Bottom-of-funnel CTAs
We’ve all heard the old axiom, “Don’t propose marriage on the first date.” It’s one of Captain Obvious’ favorite quotes. But it does hold true for lead generation.
For top-of-funnel CTAs, make the process as easy and frictionless as possible. Ask for a bare minimum of information and provide plenty of value in return. A blog subscription CTA is a prime example. They give an email address, you provide a newsletter with (hopefully) personalized, segmented content.
Bottom-of-funnel CTAs should require a little extra effort—that way, you’ll weed out those who aren’t ready for more commitment. For example, a “schedule a demo” link at the top of your homepage isn’t likely to get results. But a demo request at the bottom of your “About Us” or “Learn More” page should be more successful.
#5: Take the “Squint Test”
Your site visitors can’t convert if they don’t know where to click. It’s easy to get a little too into design elements and end up burying the CTA.
Look at your website and squint until you can’t read the text (or, in my case, just remove your glasses). Can you tell where the CTA is? If not, it’s likely that your readers can’t either.
#6: Refresh Your Personas
If your content isn’t converting, or if it’s converting leads that don’t end up qualified by sales, it’s time to take a look at the personas that inform the content. Personas aren’t meant to be set in stone; they should change over time as you experiment and explore your target audience.
Revisit your personas on a regular basis, evaluating them based on sales department feedback, keyword research, and content performance. Keep the content relevant and it’s likely your CTAs will be relevant, too.
#7: Diversify Your Content Mix
A B2B buying committee tends to have multiple stakeholders with differing interests and pain points. Factor in those who don’t make the final decision but influence the process, and you have a lot of different potential audiences.
So it’s important to make sure your content speaks to the interests of everyone involved in the decision-making process. You may never get the CEO to download your eBook—but the Human Resources Manager who does download it is likely to share what they learn.
#8: Try Audience-Specific Webinars
If your organization hasn’t tried hosting a webinar yet, it’s high time to give it a shot. According to research, up to 40% of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads.
Use webinars to speak to a single segment of your audience, providing value that is exceptionally relevant to their needs. Publish a preview blog post with a registration link, then promote the event with paid and organic social, too.
#9: Add a “Download” Option to Top Content
This one is as simple as it is effective. On your longer pieces of ungated content, give people the option to download it for offline viewing later. It’s surprising to see how many people will happily trade a little contact info for a downloadable PDF of content they find valuable.
#10: Analyze and Optimize Your Conversion Rate
There are two ways to increase the net amount of leads your landing pages bring in: increase traffic, or improve your conversion rate. While both are worthwhile goals, the latter will have far more impact than the former. Capture a larger percentage of your traffic, and you’ll end up with more and more relevant leads.
Take the Lead in Lead Generation
As Captain Obvious would say, the goal of marketing is to encourage sales that lead to revenue. Every marketing tactic should serve that ultimate goal. Use the tips in this article to start capturing more and higher-quality leads. And remember: Capturing a lead is the beginning, not the end. Make sure your lead nurturing strategy is on point, too.
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