Many B2B companies find it challenging to convert their website visitors into leads. In fact, over 40% of B2B marketing professionals say that converting leads into customers is the biggest challenge they face. They don’t know where or how to begin, but they know they need more – and better – leads. For them, lead generation and conversion is still entrenched in the traditional methods of referrals, direct mail, cold calling and advertising.
If you’re convinced that your website should be converting more leads but you’re unsure just how to get started, there are some B2B marketing strategies you can try.
Conversion Tactics to Generate New Leads
B2B sales are more complex than consumer purchases and require a steady series of small conversions that lead up to the eventual sale. Everything on your website is designed to persuade a visitor to deepen her or his relationship with your business. The goal is to convince someone to continue reading, visit multiple pages, and then capture their email address. Without that contact information, you lose the opportunity to nurture these leads until they are ready to buy. There are a number of ways to achieve this.
1. "Soft" Conversions
Typically done through things like the “Contact Us” form, soft (or micro) conversions occur when visitors show an interest in your company’s product or service, but don't have to give up their identity to do so. Soft conversion examples include following your company on social media, watching a product or service demonstration video, and sharing your content with others. Along the way you need to convince these prospective leads that your company has the solution to their problems or needs.
2. Landing Pages
Landing pages exist for one good reason: to capture a visitor’s information, effectively turning him or her into a lead. Landing pages are where the most important transaction is done, that of exchanging your premium content for a prospect’s contact information. Make sure your landing page is designed so that visitors are focused on completing the form in exchange for your offer.
3. Hard Conversions
These regular conversions happen when a prospective lead makes a purchase or responds to a CTA to either be contacted or receive a quote. For B2B companies, offers to provide quotes capture bottom funnel leads who are ready to buy.
When designing your CTAs, think strategically about who your audience is and what their likely place in the buying process is as they visit your site. Include at least one CTA on each web page (e.g. “Request a Quote Now”) for those visitors still in the research phase, and one for those who are farther down the funnel.
4. Lead Nurturing
Your business can offer gated content such as white papers, eBooks and guides as prospective lead enticements and then use a lead nurturing program that takes the captured leads and guides them into the buying stages. There you are able to single out which prospects are most likely to convert. A best practice is limiting the gates to just a few assets.
Lead nurturing via email drip campaigns can be used through the entire length of the buyer’s journey; for example:
- A series of welcome emails will keep customers engaged and provide them with content needed to build awareness.
- Top-of-mind drip campaigns that use your gated contented are spread out over a longer timeframe and serve as non-intrusive reminders of what your business offers.
- Competitive drips educate prospective leads on how your product or service differs from that offered by competitors. Keep these emails focused on your positives, not the competition’s negatives. You can then begin to segue to emails that target prospects who have moved closer to the middle and bottom of the funnel, and that reinforce your brand is the right choice.
- For customer retention, an upsell drip lets you provide existing clients with incentives to expand on the products or services they currently use. These emails should concentrate on benefits, not hard sell tactics.
Know Your Audience
Hard and soft conversions, landing pages and lead nurturing are all good B2B marketing strategies, but they don’t mean much if you don’t know who your prospective leads are. As with all forms of marketing, you have to know who your targeted audience is in order to craft content that draws them in. Your website should speak to your prospective lead’s needs and spell out the benefits your product or service offers them. The best way to define who your leads are is through detailed buyer personasthat lay out both the industries your prospective leads are in as well as the types of people you’ll be dealing with.
Don’t make the mistake of having your website be all about your business. Avoid just listing products or services and remember that your site exists to tell prospective leads about the benefits they’ll achieve by using the solution you offer.