$2.84 billion will be spent on digital lead generation in 2020 in the US alone. By 2023, that number is expected to grow to $3.24 billion.
But without the right strategy in place, these efforts can fall short, where you end up not only wasting money but also time with little to show for it.
That’s why it’s so important to have a crystal clear vision in place and use proven techniques that leads can’t resist.
Here are some of the top B2B lead generation ideas that’ll help you squeeze every last cent out of your campaigns and pull in heaps of targeted leads.
Table of Contents
1. Use a Drip Popup to Give Away Your Most Valuable Content
Drip is designed to help you engage with your visitors and create beautiful popups without hurting the user experience. That’s our bread and butter.
There are a ton of different ways to use Drip popups, but one of the best for B2Bs is to create one where you give away your A+, rockstar content.
For example, here’s the current popup we feature on the Drip site.
It’s really simple.
By signing up for the Drip newsletter, leads are notified whenever our posts go live and they get lifetime access to our best marketing resources.
We also highlight three specific posts that our readers have loved and that can help leads take their marketing efforts to the next level. And this is a formula that you can replicate for your B2B lead generation as well.
It’s just a matter of creating an enticing offer and creating a popup that well, pops.
For a walkthrough of how the Drip popup building process works, check out this post on types of website popups that’ll double your lead list.
2. Target The Longtail Keywords Your Competitors Aren’t
Many times B2B companies overlook longtail keywords because they don’t receive the volume of searches that broader keyword phrases do.
And it’s understandable.
But SEO expert Neil Patel says that’s a huge mistake for the simple fact that longtail keywords are less competitive and have ridiculously high conversion rates.
“The top 10 percent of landing pages convert at 11.45 percent,” Patel explains. However, “the average conversion rate for longtail keywords is 36 percent.”
Think about that for a second. You can theoretically get more than triple the conversions with a longtail keyword than you would get with a top landing page.
So it’s well worth your time to target the longtail keywords that your competitors aren’t.
Here’s an example. Say there’s a SaaS company like Teem that offers hot desking services where people can rent out a work station during different time periods.
They could target a broad search term like “hot desking” that’s saturated with content is and ultra-competitive.
Or, they could go after longer, less broad keyword phrases like “hot desk booking system,” “coworking space hot desk,” or “hot desk space near me.”
Although these keywords don’t receive the same volume of searches, they’re much easier to rank for, and the visitors they drive to their site are much more likely to convert.
3. Publish Original Data and Research Reports
At the end of the day, the main reason why B2B customers buy is because they feel your product can help grow their business and make their lives easier.
So it’s absolutely critical that you show that you know your stuff and that your product is legit.
One of the best ways to accomplish that and demonstrate your expertise, while simultaneously driving a ton of targeted traffic to your site is by publishing original data and research reports.
B2B customers absolutely eat this up, and the brands that deliver the goods are almost always successful.
A great example is HubSpot who’s earned a reputation as being a sales/marketing software industry leader with their comprehensive reports.
Take, for instance, the 2020 State of Marketing Report.
In it, they survey 3,400 marketers, have interviews with nine experts, and offer over 70 stats and trends that are immensely helpful for giving B2Bs direction in 2020.
And it’s jam-packed with great insights that help today’s companies navigate the current business climate.
Now admittedly, this is a significant undertaking that does take a substantial amount of time.
But the long-term returns can be amazing, especially when you consider the spike in brand equity, an influx of backlinks, and high-quality leads you can expect.
4. Offer a Free Tool
Hands down one of the best ways I’ve seen to get your foot in the door with B2B leads is to give them something of value for free.
A good example is these free SEO tools from Moz, one of the world’s leading SEO software platforms.
Say, for instance, you wanted to find the right longtail keywords like I mentioned earlier.
You would target them with Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Just enter a keyword or URL in the search box.
Moz then asks you to create an account, which is pretty straightforward.
Then you activate your account and can immediately start using the tool.
Another example is the free tools Shopify offers online business owners. They have a free logo maker, business name generator, slogan maker, and much more.
Offering a free tool serves two main purposes. One, it builds instant rapport and capitalizes on the law of reciprocity, which is one of social psychologist Robert Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion.
This law “states that human beings are wired to return favors and pay back debts—to treat others as they’ve treated us,” explains Marc Schenker of ConversionXL.
So you can bet that a good percentage of leads will return the favor by making a purchase. Two, it gives them a glimpse of what your business has to offer, which makes them more likely to buy a paid product.
This brings me to the next of my B2B lead generation ideas.
5. Offer a Free Trial Version of Your Product
Another great way to get your foot in the door is to let leads use a trial version of your product.
It’s like taking a car for a test drive where this gives leads a chance to check your product out, test out its capabilities, and see firsthand how it can help elevate their business.
This is actually a strategy that we use at Drip where we offer a free seven-day trial.
Users get everything they need to make killer campaigns to pull in more leads, including an unlimited number of campaigns, unlimited number of domains, and all products and features.
And here’s the kicker. There’s no credit card required to sign up. All they have to do is give us their name and valid email address and create a password.
I find that this is the better route to take as opposed to requiring a credit card—something that can be a big turnoff for many people.
I like what Lincoln Murphy of Sixteen Ventures has to say about this.
“If anything has changed in the last few years, it’s that people have become LESS trusting…not more. Less willing to whip out the credit card to TRY something. Why? Because 100% free options abound. So they don’t need to.”
“Couple that with the fact that people are busier and more distracted, and asking for a credit card upfront (what I call putting up a CC-Wall) becomes yet another distraction rather than something that helps them move forward to becoming your customer.”
So the takeaway here is that you’re usually better off not asking for a credit card and having no strings attached when trying out your product.
And as long as it’s legit, a good percentage of trial users should convert into paid users.
6. Create Success Stories
Any brand can talk a big game and tell leads how much of an impact using their product will have on their business. But this will only take you so far.
A more effective approach, I find, is to show them exactly how existing customers have used your product, along with some quantifiable results.
For example, you’ll find a section on the Drip website that’s devoted solely to customer success stories.
Here they can browse through different industries to see how our existing customers have successfully used Drip
In this particular success story, we explain the problem Dropshipping company Oberlo used to have where they needed a fully customized tool to promote their valuable content to site visitors and collect email addresses.
We then mention how they used Drip to create a popup for an eBook called Dropshipping 101 and include an image of it.
From there, we discuss the quantifiable results they saw, including collecting more than 5,000 unique leads in only six days.
We also include a couple of quotes from Oberlo’s email marketing manager, Siva Sankar for good measure.
In turn, this helps connect the dots for our leads and provides them with a real-life example of how a brand has successfully used Drip.
And besides the trust this strategy helps build, it can be a gold mine for generating high-quality leads because this type of content can be posted on social media and will appear in search results.
7. Offer Free Webinars
Just put yourself in your average lead’s shoes for a second. They’re looking for ways to improve their business, be more productive, increase revenue, and so on.
And if they can learn how to do that, while getting expert advice from a professional who knows the ins and outs of the industry, they’re all ears.
Best of all, it comes at no cost to them. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of webinars right now.
It’s a win-win because B2B leads are getting practical, helpful information that can greatly benefit their company.
And it provides you with a super-effective way to pull in tons of qualified leads (often 1,000+ per webinar as I just mentioned), while at the same time demonstrating your knowledge and expertise.
A good example is this upcoming webinar from Objective Management Group, a brand that helps companies find elite salespeople.
All a lead has to do is enter some basic information and they’re all set.
For a quick rundown on how to run a webinar through Zoom, check out this video from Podia.
8. Go After Top Tier Leads on LinkedIn
As of 2020, LinkedIn had over 575 million users, with over 260 million of them being monthly active users.
This means that it’s still the go-to social platform for professional networking.
And while I don’t generally recommend it if you’re targeting average, run-of-the-mill leads, I highly recommend it if you’re going after top tier leads that have the potential for having a high lifetime value.
After all, it’s the perfect place to reach out to B2B leads in your industry and form a connection.
From there, you have a framework in place for nurturing those leads and building strong relationships, thus setting the stage for a hearty conversion rate.
A great example of a brand that’s used LinkedIn brilliantly for B2B lead generation is business document creation company Templafy.
More specifically, they used LinkedIn to generate up to 25 marketing qualified leads (MQLs) each week, with 20% of those MQLs converting into active sales opportunities.
Not only that, they have a projected ROI of over 475%. Not bad!
For a detailed guide on how to use LinkedIn for B2B lead generation, check out this article from Aaron Brooks of Venture Harbor.
We’re living an exciting time in history for B2B marketing. There have never been more possibilities than there are today.
And as we’ve learned in this post, companies of all sizes have an equal opportunity to rake in high-quality leads using a plethora of different channels.
Hopefully, these B2B lead generation ideas have gotten your creative juices flowing, and the examples have shown you exactly how to execute.
Which of these B2B lead generation ideas are you most interested in trying?