If you’re like every other business, you face this online challenge: how do you generate more online leads from your business to business (B2B) strategy?
You may be contemplating all sorts of complex online marketing strategies, but these five B2B strategies are simple and they really work. Give them a go to generate more online leads.
Clients are sometimes skeptical when we recommend online advertising. They make comments like: ‘Oh, but no one clicks on the adverts.’ Statistics indicate otherwise. For example, when Google reported global revenues of US$74.5 billion for 2015, the lion’s share was from its online ads.
A paid online advertising campaign will give you instant feedback from the market, and some fairly immediate results. If executed correctly, you can expect your return on investment (ROI) to increase over time while spend remains flat (the perfect investment!). Focus on long-tail keywords to keep costs down and produce leads that are more qualified and more likely to buy.
We’re also big fans of businesses having a strong paid presence on Facebook. Why? Because you can effectively target your customers, the ROI is great, and the entry cost is low compared to Google’s paid channels.
Whenever your business attracts a lead, keep them engaged by giving them content that’s so good that they’ll want to share with their network. That’s why, in your online marketing world, quality content generation should be your goal.
Customers digest online content in bite-sized chunks, in short windows of time, so integrate this into your strategy. Your content can include blogs, news articles, infographics, newsletters, podcasts and lots more. Timing is important too – fortnightly or monthly is a good cycle to follow.
Good content marketing works hand in hand with an effective email marketing campaign, and will also have a positive impact on your organic search rankings.
Your untapped email database is worth its weight in gold (your competitors would certainly like to get hold of it), so start leveraging it today and build stronger relationships with your customers, past and present.
Email marketing is all about the content, and it must provide the reader with perceived value. This is not necessarily about selling to your database. Instead, it’s about engaging with an audience who knows you; it's about educating them, and reinforcing your identity as an industry thought leader. Email marketing, as long as it provides quality content, fosters more trust than any other online channel.
We wouldn’t normally promote signing up to the premium version of an online tool, especially when the free version is so good. However, the small monthly fee for LinkedIn Premium is worth every cent.
Aside from all its valuable insights and search capability, it also allows you to use InMail. InMails are direct messages that allow you to contact someone you’re not connected with on LinkedIn. This is particularly useful if you want to contact C-Suite executives, who can be notoriously difficult to get hold of. It shows you place value on the contact request, having sought them out - although it's important to tailor your message to each individual as professionally as possible.
It’s the oldest rule in the book, and in this digital world it’s as valid as ever: the best form of advertising is word of mouth. Align yourself with like-minded organisations and industry bodies, and support each other to create a referral and partnership network.
When other people refer you, or provide testimonials, both your credibility and capability are enhanced. When you take this further and foster networks through the online channels above, your own success can snowball. It’s a smart way to gain new leads in the online space, so play the long game – it will pay off.
About the author
This article was written by Rhys Kerr from Webfirm – Access1st’s digital marketing and web development partner. Webfirm offers a range of free and discounted services for Access1st partner associations and their members. Full details behind your association or client log-in.
A version of this article first appeared in NIBA’s Insurance Adviser magazine.