Lead generation is the primary objective of any B2B marketing strategy. While the eventual objective is certainly sales, the sales process can be lengthy and begins with lead generation, lead nurturing and subsequent follow-ups.
There are many types of B2B lead generation campaigns that a company can engage in. The premise or scope of lead generation has certainly evolved in recent years. Today, the different kinds of lead generation campaigns can be grouped in distinct categories, such as B2B content marketing, direct mail, public relations, events, branding, phone calls, email, social media, online marketing, website and referrals.
These groups are in no particular order of importance. Every method is equally important. What matters is how a company uses these different types of lead generation campaigns. To further illustrate every category, here’s what a company should be doing or working on in each type of lead generation campaign.
- Content marketing should encompass articles, blogs, podcasts, e-books, video, speaking, info-graphics, meme, videos, guides, book reviews, case studies, research and original data, interviews and how-to content.
- Direct mail must encompass self mailers, postcards, dimensional mails and personal letters.
- Phone calls must cater to identification and verification of contacts, developing relationships, gaining internal referrals, uncovering business needs, opt-in for content notification, identifying sales ready leads, inviting companies to upcoming events and reengaging past opportunities.
- Emails should be in the form of one-to-one, one-to-many and newsletters.
- Social media engagement should encompass podcasts, video marketing through YouTube and Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
- Public relations activities must include editorials, public speaking, press releases, contents such as white paper, news coverage and article placement.
- Online marketing should include organic search, paid search or pay per click advertising, newsletter, sponsorships, banners, portals and online directories.
- Websites should account for search engine optimization, landing pages, pay-per-click campaigns, blog and RSS.
- Events must include seminars, workshops, webinars, teleseminar, conferences, tradeshows and executive briefings.
- Branding must attend to advertising, sponsorships, associations, newsletters and events.
- Referrals should entail vendors, consultants, customers and partners.
Lead Generation is more than just cold-calling. The right lead generation campaigns will depend on a strategy that considers a range of characteristics unique to you, including your industry, your value proposition, your product or service and your target audience. It’s important to think outside the square: there are so many ways to generate leads, you just have to determine which are the most effective.
There may be varying degrees of focus on specific types of campaigns. The results from each category would also vary for companies depending on the nature of the products being marketed and the target audience. But all these types of business marketing strategies should be considered by every company.