Generating B2B leads online might sound intimidating in a world where corporate networking builds better business relationships.
This shouldn’t discourage you from trusting online marketing channels, simply because the internet is a goldmine for B2B lead generation.
In fact, 93% of the B2B buying process begins with an online search (Source: Pinpoint Market Research & Anderson Jones PR).
Although millions of companies operate in the B2B spectrum, fighting for the same piece of pie, only a few thousands emerge victorious in getting the lion’s share.
The search term “how to get b2b leads” has more than 7 million results, implying that online searches do account for 93% of the b2b lead generation process.
If you asked me what factors affect the success of a B2B lead generation exercise, the following would be my top answers:
The right strategy:
- Answering questions like who are my customers?
- What’s my approach?
- How will my customers find me?
- What’s my USP?
The right marketing channels:
Not all online marketing channels are the same.
This doesn’t mean they’re ineffective.
It implies that each platform has a unique crowd.
The trick is to choose the right B2B channel for your business by understanding where does your target market hang out;
The right communication:
Let’s suppose your potential customer finds you online (luckily).
- How easy is it for them to find what they’re looking for?
- How are your salespeople nurturing them?
- Are you providing the best service that fits their requirements?
The bottomline is - to understand your business, your target customers and most importantly, understand what are the best channels for lead generation that will prove to be effective for your type of business.
So without further ado, here are the 3 different types of online B2B lead generation methods using Google Adwords that you should incorporate in your business growth strategy for a stellar marketing performance.
1. Pay-per-click (PPC Search) advertising:
One of the most common forms of online lead generation tactics, pay-per- click (PPC) ads are a great way to get noticed by people looking for your goods or service.
It works on a keyword-basis, where your ads are shown to people who type the keyword you’re targeting.
In online terms, this form of lead generation tactic matches the demand for a service (the searcher) with its supply (your ad).
To get more clicks on your ad (and ultimately more leads), make your ad copy clear, engaging and compelling.
Here’s an example of a PPC ad in action:
The first 3 search results are ads by websites bidding on keywords like “marketing software”.
Notice how the first ad mentions “Try it for Free” to make the ad more attractive to prospective customers.
Here’s how to achieve success with PPC advertising for your B2B brand:
- Understand your business & target audience;
- Make a list of keywords that represent your business;
- Filter that list based on keyword demand, competition, bid price and so on (using the Google Keyword Planner)
- Run a campaign in Google Adwords by assigning a budget;
- Monitor results in a week’s time to understand what keywords give you the most ROI;
- Repeat the campaign with the valuable data you’ve gathered in the previous step;
If you’re a B2B software provider, remember that the top sources of new business for brands like yours are organic search (SEO), PPC/Search Engine Marketing, and word of mouth referrals (Source: Capterra)
2. Display advertising:
Display ads are the online version of the famous quote, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.
These ads are, you guessed right, visual and more catchy than their textual counterparts - PPC.
They’re highly effective for B2B lead generation because:
- They can be created in a variety of formats such as images, gifs, videos, flash animations, pop-ups and so on;
- You can choose websites to show your ads on based on targeting options such as keywords, audiences, topics, domains (specific websites), interests and so much more!
- You can create them in different shapes for better coverage throughout your host websites.
Here are some of the 50 most creative online display advertising ads to inspire your next lead generation campaign.
Display advertising is one of my favourites because of the endless potential for creativity and granular targeting of your potential customers.
If you ever plan to launch a lead generation campaign for your B2B business, make sure to try it.
Done rightly, it could prove to be a huge boon to your business.
The 6 ways you can excel at display advertising are:
- Begin with remarketing campaigns (more about this in the next section);
- Take advantage of managed placements/detailed targeting options;
- Start with a small budget and monitor your ROI until you can afford to start pumping in more money;
- Create ads in both text and display formats. This enables displaying your ads even though a particular website might not support a type of ad format;
- Design simple & visual ads that are easy to understand and not too cryptic. Your business’ value should be visible and compelling;
- Display advertising should be given the same (or even more) amount of attention as your text-only PPC ads. Remember, it’s a slightly different animal but needs the same amount of care;
This online lead generation tactic also goes by a different name called “retargeting”.
Remarking ads are extremely identical to display ads (in fact, they’re a form of display advertising) but with a different motive.
They’re not just displayed as ads on select websites, but instead chase their leads until the point of conversion.
In simple words, when a visitor lands on your website and leaves without converting, remarketing ads can follow them and appear there to “remind” them of your website.
You can design these ads in a way that’s compelling enough to make your leads complete the purchase or take any other desired course of action.
This diagram does a great job in explaining the logic behind remarketing ads.
These type of online lead generation is quite cost-effective because you’re targeting visitors who have already interacted with your website.
Since they’re aware of your brand and what your services are, it can be easier to convince them to take an action as compared to approaching them randomly.
You can even try A/B testing your remarketing ads to find out which ones perform better and therefore display more of the winning ads.
Here are 5 tips to run a successful remarketing campaign:
- Find out your top-performing campaigns and run them.
Since those ads have a better ROI that’s proven in the analytics report, you have a higher chance of conversions;
- Bid more on visitors that have interacted deeply with your website.
A visitor who has just been to your homepage and hasn’t taken any action hasn’t really entered your sales cycle.
So, pay more attention to visitors who have checked out your service pages or viewed your pricing page;
- Don’t forget to focus on actual customers too.
Although retargeting interested visitors is great, make sure to keep your customers in mind too.
You can in fact specifically target website visitors who have already made purchases.
In cases like this, you can inform them about sales, discounts and other special offers made just for them;
- Give special incentives to people who have “abandoned” your conversion stage.
Best example would be e-commerce websites where visitors leave without checking out their cart.
You can even follow them via remarketing ads and “make them an offer they can’t refuse.” (Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather)
- Don’t irritate potential customers with innumerable ads in a desperate attempt to get conversions.
Adjust the duration and frequency of your ads based on your sales cycle and schedule your communication accordingly.