The COVID-19 pandemic has radically transformed the business landscape. With no definite end to the pandemic in near sight, restricted movement, reduced in-person engagement, and cancelled events, B2B marketers are scrambling to meet their lead generation targets. Indeed, things will never be the same, and organizations must reinvent their B2B lead generation techniques to tide the storm and keep afloat in the new normal.
As Steven Soechtig, Managing Director, Customer Sales & Service Strategy at Accenture, said, “Unprecedented economic pressure is mounting. To survive and thrive, businesses need to remain flexible and resilient while looking to the future. The time is now to radically redefine how they operate to emerge stronger. Proactively outpacing change is essential. B2B sales methods must pivot in response – and create measurable results fast.”
In this blog, we’ll focus on the strategy and best practices that will help you steer your B2B lead generation endeavours in the right direction.
3 easy steps for B2B lead generation in the new normal
1. Realign your resources to digital marketing
With your targeted audience more active online and looking for products and information that your business can probably provide, now is the time to shift your budget to digital strategies.
Inbound marketing techniques focus on content development that attracts leads, builds value, and creates experiences tailored to the customer’s needs. Organizations may publish blogs, newsletters, social media posts, and content offers – customer testimonials, product information, how-to guides, and details about promotional offers and discounts – that add value and help solve unique challenges.
Additionally, B2B marketers may leverage a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy (using phrases and keywords related to their product and the challenges it solves), allowing their content to appear organically on the search engine results page. Or they may use pay-per-click (PPC), a marketing model wherein advertisers pay publishers for ad clicks that drive traffic to their website and generate leads.
- In the current scenario, to build trustworthy relationships, B2B marketers must refine their digital strategy to include messaging on how their organization is fighting the crisis. This may involve keeping all communication channels open to address the concerns of customers and prospective leads.
- 59% of senior executives agree that they prefer to watch the video if both text and video are available. Therefore, in addition to blogs and whitepapers, marketers must integrate video content like promo videos, testimonials, tutorials, etc., that garner interest and drive demand for the product or service.
- Moreover, the increasing use of social media makes apps such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram a great medium to generate leads and explore influencer marketing.
- Incorporate AI-enabled chatbots on your website and popular messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc., to handle customer queries 24X7, push relevant product information, and expand lead generation.
2. Organize virtual events
With in-person events cancelled due to the pandemic, B2B marketers should replace them with virtual webinars, conferences, town halls, and trade shows to maintain the momentum in lead generation.
Virtual events offer a plethora of benefits. They not only help marketers reach a global audience but are relatively cost-friendly and convenient to set up as organizations save on venue, travel, hotel, meals, staff, and much more. This helps reduce the cost per lead drastically. Moreover, while an offline/live event may take anywhere between 3-4 months to organize, a virtual event can be seamlessly executed within 4-5 weeks.
For the audience, it is an easy and interactive method to engage with the organization as anyone can attend the event from the comfort of their home. To enhance the attendee experience and gain maximum outreach, B2B marketers can deliver unique and valuable digital experiences through virtual networking rooms, Q&A booths, live streaming, AR/VR simulations, and real-time polls that collect feedback instantly.
At the Smarketers, we helped a Fortune 500 Industrial Automation company organize a closed-door virtual summit for senior decision-makers. Despite a short lead time, we were able to deliver a seamless ROI-driven event within three weeks.
The event generated 300+ qualified sales leads at less than a quarter of the expense of an offline event, thus reducing cost per lead by 90%.
If you also want to reap the benefits of a virtual marketing event, we can help you organize one from scratch. This includes outlining an effective strategy, creating engaging content, managing the logistics, and handling post-event conversion and nurturing.
3. Incorporate ad retargeting in your marketing mix
Ad retargeting is an exceptionally powerful marketing tool that helps B2B marketers attract the right audience.
Under retargeting, you can show paid ads to visitors on other websites after they leave your site without buying. For example, think about the time when you left something in your Amazon cart to find ads for 30% off on it on Facebook.
Ad retargeting ensures higher brand recognition as the more the audience sees a brand, the more they can relate to it when they come across it on other websites. Additionally, by focusing marketing efforts (offering attractive prices or communicating urgency to drive action) on people who have already visited your website or landing page and know your brand, retargeting increases the probability of converting leads. Moreover, retargeting helps upsell and cross-sell relevant products and services to existing customers who are more likely to purchase your brand again.
Traditionally, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, B2B lead generation was all about in-person engagement, wherein B2B marketers held face-to-face meetings with clients and prospects to maintain relationships and convert leads.
With customers moving online to search and buy new products and services, B2B marketers must leverage technology and adopt aggressive inbound marketing (SEO, PPC, and social media), incorporate virtual events, and focus on ad retargeting to generate leads.
At the Smarketers, we help B2B marketers generate qualified leads, reduce the B2B sales cycle, and improve ROI, with services, such as –
To learn more about lead generation and how we can help you drive new business and reinvent your marketing efforts, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.