B2B lead generation seems to be a mystery to many marketers. Just do a search on the topic and you’ll find little that’s helpful.
In my opinion, there are two reasons for this. One – people are searching for that one killer lead tactic that will mask all ills or, Two – people fail to realize that successful B2B lead generation is made up of activities that are by nature very hard to quantify and pin down.
The latter then leads to plenty of articles spouting the virtues of practices such as inbound marketing and content marketing, but little hard advice on how to make any of it pay.
Here’s my take – the real problem lies in the fact that you don’t simply generate a lead today, you guide it.
You can no longer run an ad that say’s “hey, we’ve got what you’re looking for come and get it” and expect much. Once a prospect actually knows what they are looking for, they’re already looking for a price.
Are you doing the bare minimum when it comes to your small business website? Just having a website is no longer enough if it ever was. You’ve got to take action to get potential customers to discover, engage with and buy from your business. And that means creating an integrated online marketing plan where all parts of your Web presence work together.
Deluxe Corporation recently polled small business owners to find out what they’re doing online. Here’s some of what they found:
Small business owners say word-of-mouth is their most important way of engaging with customers 73 percent. However, they don’t seem to realize that social media has become a crucial part of word-of-mouth. Just 21 percent say social media is an important way to engage with customers; in comparison, 40 percent say business cards are.
What about websites? While two-thirds of small business owners have a business website, that number is still way too small. As I mentioned earlier, having a website is the bare minimum these days. Small business owners are also falling short in what features they have on their website. Fewer than half have photos or videos; just 32 percent use search engine optimization SEO, and only 28 percent have reviews or social media share/follow buttons.
A panel of experts was assembled last week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, who gave us their take on marketing to Millennials in 2014.
The panel, of course, agreed that brands must resonate with their target audience and have a realistic understanding of societal needs in order to have the kinds of conversations deemed to be relevant by millennial consumers.
In order to engage with Millennials, it was noted that brands must be willing to loosen up and give up control, which is a scary idea for most brands.
Some people may hate the term, but there’s no doubt that content marketing has caught on big time. As many people point out, there isn’t anything especially new in the concept of using content to attract customers, but what’s new is that content marketing roles are being created, and teams are being restructured.Content is becoming more tactical as a result. Today sees the release of a new content guide, 100+ Practical Content Marketing Tips: A how-to guide for editors, writers and content creators which presents the lessons we’ve learned from ten years of writing for this blog. Here’s a selection of 15 tips from the report, to give you a taste of the full version.
The business benefits of video for brand discovery, web traffic and customer engagement have been widely documented over the years. But do people really find videos helpful in making purchasing decisions? In a recent survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, we learned that videos created by businesses really do help people make more confident shopping decisions and feel more connected to a brand. A whopping 96 percent of all respondents said they find video helpful when making purchase decisions online, and 73 percent said they are more likely to purchase a product after watching a marketing video. These are pretty convincing reasons to invest in video!
Are you still advertising and marketing your small business based on how customers used to find your business years ago? Then wake up and smell the coffee: The way customers buy has changed in the last few years, and if the way you’re marketing your business isn’t keeping up, you’re going to be left behind.
Would you like to get more new customers without spending a dime? Business referrals are a great way to increase your business’s customer base while developing long-term business relationships that will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
In this episode of “The Little Big Show,” small business expert Denise O’Berry shares three simple steps you must take to get better business referrals today.
How to Get Better Business Referrals in Three Easy Steps