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Social media can be an excellent channel for engaging with potential customers. Used intentionally, it can also facilitate lead generation.

1. A Robust Content Strategy

Companies can get 4.5 times more leads by publishing 16 posts per month instead of 4, and 47% of B2B buyers pay close notice to content and will read at least 3-5 pieces before they make a decision to buy (or not), a HubSpot study has found.

Apart from posting often, however, your content must be engaging and relevant.

Each post should answer a question your target customers might be asking. When you answer their questions, you show you understand their needs and know how to meet them. Other ways to make your content more engaging:

  • Using video
  • Writing shorter posts that are fast and easy to read
  • Optimizing the heading and text for search engines (SEO)
  • A/B-testing

2. Video Marketing

B2C marketers understand the potential of video. It can be just as robust in B2B. To engage your prospects with a video, follow these simple rules:

  • Tell a story. Start with a problem your clients are likely to be concerned about, and end with a solution.
  • Pack with action, not words. "Talking head" videos are dull. Whenever you can, show your solution in action rather than merely tell about it.
  • Grab attention fast. The first 8-10 seconds of the video determine whether it will be watched to the end.
  • Keep it short. Businesspeople with tight schedules are not keen on video longer than 1-2 minutes.
  • Use subtitles in case your video will be watched without sound; many people do just that when at work.
  • Include a call to action (button or link) at the end.

3. LinkedIn Groups

Participation in LinkedIn groups is good for lead generation: It is not perceived as obtrusive by customers and not overused by marketers. This tactic may not get you many leads, but those you do get are likely to be higher in quality than the average online lead. Here are few steps to take:

  • Follow your buyer personas. What LinkedIn groups are they likely to participate in? (Probably those related to their industries.) Join those groups.
  • Comment on relevant issues. There will be some problems discussed in the group on which you can offer a piece of professional and useful advice.
  • No straight-to-the-face promotions. Those are generally frowned upon.
  • Have a robust profile. If you capture a potential client's interest with your smart and relevant comment, they will probably take a look at your LinkedIn profile. Make your value proposition and contact info conspicuous right away so they waste no time looking for it.

4. Micro-Influencers

There is evidence that micro-influencers (experts in a particular field with 2-25K monthly visitors) deliver 16 times higher engagement rates than those of paid ads. But who are the right micro-influencers for your business?

  • Businesses that follow you and share your content. They are easy to reach and convince, and some of their own followers may become your clients.
  • Bloggers writing about your own industry.
  • Local bloggers (if your business is focused in a particular geographic area).
  • Recognized experts in the industries in which your prospects operate.

How you might engage micro-influencers:

  • Stress the value and relevance of your campaign to their readers.
  • Provide them with freebies in exchange of an authentic review.
  • Approach them at tradeshows.

5. Mobile Optimization

You probably have no idea how many potential leads you are losing because of poor mobile optimization. Some 50% of Google search queries for B2B products and services are made via smartphone, and mobile can accelerate time to purchase by up to 20%, according to research.

Here is a quick checklist on what to optimize:

  • Your website. Is it convenient to navigate from a smartphone?
  • Social media content. Is it easy to read on a mobile screen? You may need to adjust the fonts and paragraphs size.
  • Ads. Are they intrusive and blocking any content in the mobile version?
  • Email newsletters. Their formatting should be checked again after each update of popular email clients, which can drastically transform the way your message is displayed to the customer.

6. Automation and Retargeting

Automated marketing outreach can improve lead generation:

  • Retargeting. Only 2% of website visitors make a purchase right away. By reaching out to them later in various channels, including social media, you are far more likely to make a sale.
  • Integrating email and social media content. You can use automated processes to deliver personalized emails to your prospects just at the moment they have indicated they may have a need.

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Each of these tactics can boost your number of leads. However, just as with other marketing instruments, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Experiment to find out which works best for your business.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Clarke is the owner of online writing company 15 Writers. She is a successful entrepreneur with 20+ years' experience in both freelancing and academic writing, specializing in business, economics, finance, marketing, and management.