Lead generation is a challenge for a majority of B2B marketers. According to B2B Technology Marketing Community, 61% of B2B marketers report that generating high-quality leads is one of their biggest pain points. One of the ways they can solve this issue is to create lead generation offers that appeal to their target audience and drive conversions.
When creating a B2B inbound lead generation strategy, marketers should focus on producing great content that will intrigue and engage their desired buyers. Here are seven ways to do that:
Ebooks should be at least three pages long, but are typically much longer — sometimes they reach up to 20,000 words. There is no set length, however. Marketers should write as much as they need to adequately explain a topic. If a topic can be explained in five pages, writing fluff for the next 15 pages isn’t going to help the reader.
They dive into trending industry topics that have not been covered previously, or take a different approach to a popular topic. Oftentimes, they’re designed to solve a specific problem within an industry. Examples of ebook titles would include things like, “XX Ways to Generate More Leads,” or “XX Compelling Statistics to Drive Your Content Marketing Strategy.” Take a look at HubSpot’s “How to Use Instagram for Your Business” for a good example of a well-researched and laid out ebook.
To find topics to write about, read industry blogs and search social media to see which topics are being talked about. Make sure the ebook matches your brand tone and style. You should also include original content that readers can’t find on your blog, as well as an attractive design to make the text really pop. To communicate your authority on a certain topic, the ebook needs to be well-researched, accurate and include statistics to back up any claims. Doing this will show that you are authoritative on a certain subject.
When marketing your ebook, make sure you create a landing page where visitors have to enter their email address in order to download your content offer. Getting a prospect’s email address is the first step of the lead generation process, and will allow you to target them with more offers and/or start a conversation with them about your products and services.
B2B professionals are often looking for ways to increase their skill sets and become more marketable in their careers. Free courses are one way to give them knowledge in a certain area and also kickstart the lead generation process.
These courses, which can be delivered to buyers in the awareness stage, come in the form of pre-recorded videos, live webinars, podcasts or written text, and can cover how to carry out certain industry-related tasks or solve problems on the job. The type of courses you deliver will depend upon your audience. For instance, if your target audience is busy salespeople, they might only have time for a 30-minute webinar.
Evaluating audience reaction to courses is the only way to determine which courses are effective. Measuring attendance at webinars, seeing how many emails you collected during the webinar sign-up process and evaluating how many buyers were pushed into the consideration stage following the webinar, for instance, is critical. As for the content of these courses, you can create original classes or dive into your content library for inspiration.
Check out HubSpot’s webinars for inspiration; they include topics like, “Design for Non-Designers Workshop” and “How to Use Video Marketing to Drive More Client Value.”
When posting this kind of content offer, ask leads for their email addresses, company size, budget and position at their current company. If hosting a live webinar, ask participants to register ahead of time so you can send them reminder emails and offer them additional content after your broadcast is over.
Free trials of your product or service can ultimately entice leads to convert. For instance, you can offer a 30-day free trial of your product or service so your leads can get a feel for how it works. To gain access to free trials, leads will provide their email addresses and company information. Throughout the trial, which could run from just a few days up to 30 days, send out emails to leads who haven’t yet used the trial and ask if they need help getting started. For those who have started, offer to answer any questions or address any concerns they may have.
One thing to keep in mind when creating your free trial offer is that it may not be wise to ask for credit card information. Statistics show that when you don’t ask for credit card information, sign-ups rise from 2% to 10%, and the end-to-end conversion rate – that is, the number of users who are still paid customers after 90 days – doubles. Of course, whether or not you ask for this information, you should have a pricing page on your website that shows exactly what leads will receive when they buy your product or service.
4. Cheat Sheets
Cheat sheets are short, easy-to-digest pieces of content that quickly teach a B2B professional about a certain topic. They are best suited for topics that can be explained in a bulleted list, and not for topics that require much technical knowledge. For example, these marketing cheat sheets highlight best practices for social media marketing, SEO, website launches and copywriting. Cheat sheets can come in the form of checklists, blog posts or infographics, if they can be explained visually. Just keep in mind that infographics are highly shareable, and will appeal more to leads who are visual learners.
Keep the cheat sheets gated on your website, and make them only accessible with an email address. Since leads will likely want to share them, put your company name, logo and website address on them so others know where the cheat sheets originated. This way, they’ll be more likely to visit your website.
Like a cheat sheet, a checklist is a simple content offer that gives your leads a rundown on an industry topic. Instead of reading an in-depth ebook or tuning in for a webinar, your leads can look at your checklist and know what steps it takes to accomplish a task.
For example, this content marketing checklist gives readers the basic information they need to run successful content marketing campaigns. It includes tips, tools, best practices and accompanying graphics to keep readers engaged.
You can post a preview of a checklist on your blog for anyone to see, and then have leads enter their email addresses to download the full checklist. The goal of the checklist is to help leads stay organized with certain processes, as well as demonstrate your authority on a subject. By walking leads through the steps to do a task, you are helping them and showing your expertise at the same time.
Kits are comprehensive guides for B2B professionals that help them with processes for their own companies. They can include a number of different components, such as checklists, templates and key terms and definitions. For example, if you were putting out a blogging kit, you may include a blank editorial calendar template a list of definitions that include terms like “SEO,” “WordPress” and “responsive design” as well as a checklist to set up a blog that includes finding a platform, hiring writers and editors and having a promotional plan in place. Create a landing page for your kit as well as a link to download it once leads have entered their contact information. There is no specific amount of content you should include in a kit; simply include what items will help leads carry out a task in the best way possible.
7. White Papers
Taking a deeper dive into content and providing original white papers on topics of interest to B2B professionals is another way to engage potential customers. With white papers, you can offer in-depth, authoritative reports that educate readers on particular topics.
White papers are heavily researched, much like the kind of information you’d find in an industry journal. They’re typically between 3,000 and 5,000 words and rely on statistics, quotes and documented facts to make their case. White papers are intended to be purely informative and can help give potential customers greater insight into a particular topic.
Because they are so thoroughly researched, filled with irrefutable facts and presented in a logical, non-emotional approach, white papers are a powerful tool for attracting potential customers. According to Curata, 76% of buyers are willing to share information about themselves in exchange for a white paper, and Forbes reports that 79% of B2B buyers said they’re likely to share white papers with their colleagues.
Amping Up Your Inbound Lead Generation Tactics
With these seven lead generation offers, you can target your ideal leads and get them engaged in your sales funnel. Remember to show your expertise, target your audience with offers at the right stages, make sure the content is useful instead of salesy and test different lead gen tactics to see what works best. If you are successful with your lead gen offers, you will take your leads through the sales funnel, and ultimately compel them to convert.