10 Expert-Approved B2B Lead Generation Strategies
According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is a top priority, but 44% rate their efforts as neutral when it boils down to effectiveness.
That’s not to say content marketing isn’t a valuable tactic—it is. But it’s certainly not the only one at B2B marketers’ disposal.
Here, we’re looking 10 B2B lead generation strategies, including content marketing, to share how you can add these to your marketing plan and make sure your hard work and effort is effective—and certainly not ending up neutral.
Let’s get started.
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is certainly a popular suggestion, and perhaps worthy of its own post. That’s because, like consumers, businesses also want to arm themselves with information before a big purchase.
“[B2B marketing publication] the Demand Gen Report estimated that 47% of buyers read between three and five pieces of copy before contacting a sales rep while [research firm] Gartner estimates that more than 65% of purchasing decisions occur before a buyer ever makes contact with a supplier,” said Anu Ramani, founder and managing director of content marketing agency Isoline Communications.
And so, Tony Mastri, digital marketing manager at B2B agency Marion Integrated Marketing, said nothing beats an ongoing SEO campaign with B2B content marketing support in generating leads.
He recommends using a tool like SEMrush to identify keywords and content length recommendations for your core product/service pages and to then build out said pages to address your perceived user intent. Mastri also says to go as niche as possible with your pages and blog posts.
“For example, if you’re a child support lawyer in Dallas, Texas, all of your long-form blog content should be about child support issues in Texas or Dallas specifically,” he said.
This can also help compensate for advertisers in industries with high CPC rates.
“In these industries, paid advertisements are often too costly to achieve a positive ROI, so organic traffic with positively compounding results is the clear strategy of choice,” he added.
Similarly, Md Mohsin Ansari, marketing manager at office chat and messaging app Troop Messenger, said the startup decided to target “Microsoft Teams vs. Slack” rather than broader keywords like “team chat apps,” “office chat” or “business chat” thanks to...
User-Generated Images Come to Google Shopping Reviews
Recently, Google made an announcement that should prove immensely impactful for online retailers who sell to shoppers in the US: You can now include user-generated images in the Google Shopping reviews submitted by your happy customers. For now, prospects will only see your customers’ photos when browsing on mobile. In the coming months, however, Google plans to expand user-generated images to more countries and more device types.
An example of a user-generated image in a Shopping review. Via Yotpo.
We’ll kick off this guide by taking a look at the update Google has rolled out and talking a bit about the power of user-generated images to boost your Shopping reviews. Then, to make sure you’re fully prepared to capitalize on this update, we’ll share three basic tips for accumulating more Shopping reviews going forward. Finally, we’ll wrap up with some insights from WordStream’s ecommerce marketing experts: Kelly McGee, Holly Niemiec, and Sam Drane.
Show off user-generated images in your Google Shopping reviews
A key advantage that brick-and-mortar retailers hold over online retailers is that a shopper browsing a physical store has the ability to touch and try on different products. This, in turn, allows the shopper to easily visualize what post-purchase life would be like. When a recent college graduate tries on an outfit and clearly sees the confidence boost it will give her to thrive at her upcoming interviews, that’s a powerful moment—probably powerful enough to convince her to make the purchase.
By allowing you to include user-generated images—photos taken by your customers—alongside your Shopping reviews, Google is essentially giving you the tools to enjoy that advantage long held by your brick-and-mortar competitors. With customer photos, you can give Shopping users windows to the future—snapshots of what it’s like to use or wear your one-of-a-kind products.
Another example of a user-generated image in a Shopping review. Via Google.
Here’s how you can get it on the action.
Shopping advertisers are eligible for a Google-owned program called Product Ratings. If you’re a participant, a star rating on a scale from one to five—based on aggregated review data compiled from multiple sources across the web—will appear in Shopping ads for the products you sell. Participating in the Product Ratings program—you can sign up here—is...
Looking for Google Shopping Help? Try WordStream’s NEW Google Ads Grader
Since 2011, WordStream’s award-winning Google Ads Performance Grader has been helping time-crunched business owners and digital marketers figure out how to most efficiently optimize their paid search campaigns. Used by hundreds of thousands of advertisers to analyze over $3 billion in aggregate spend, the Grader is a free, fast, and effective tool.
But something’s been missing. Although good ol’ fashioned Search campaigns will remain integral to advertisers’ strategies for years to come, another type of Google Ads campaign has become incredibly important to the success of many small businesses: Shopping campaigns.
The ecommerce explosion we’ve witnessed in recent years is precisely why we launched WordStream Advisor for Ecommerce—a software solution built specifically for online retailers—this past spring. Today, I’m excited to announce that we’ve taken another big step to more effectively serve the needs of ecommerce advertisers.
As of now, the Google Ads Performance Grader provides detailed, actionable insights into both Search and Shopping campaigns!
Here’s how it works. When you connect your Google Ads account to the Grader—which, by the way, is completely safe and secure—it will automatically detect whether you’re spending money on Shopping campaigns. If you are, you’ll get two complete performance reports in one: one for your Search campaigns, and one for your Shopping campaigns. Of course, if you’re advertising solely on Shopping—not at all on Search—you’ll still get performance report.
Let’s get a sense of what your Google Shopping performance report will look like.
Ready to get your grade now? Click here!
A look at the new Google Shopping performance report
When your performance report is ready for review, you’re greeted with three high-level metrics. In the case of this example, those metrics are click-through rate, Shopping conversions, and impression share lost. Depending on which areas of your account need the most work, the metrics you see in this part of the report may vary.
Scroll down to the next section of the report and you get a more nuanced (and segmented) look at your Google Ads performance. Here, you can toggle between data from your account as a whole, data from your Search campaigns, and data from your Shopping campaigns. No matter which segment you choose, you’ll see:
How much you’ve spent.
10 Copywriting Tips & Exercises to Jumpstart Your Creativity
Starting with a blank page is never a good idea. For me, it’s the quickest way to realize I need to check my inbox one more time. Or finally organize the files on my desktop. Or run to grab a coffee so that I can focus. (I don’t think I need to tell you that these coffees don’t do much for focus.)
The bottom line is that, whether I’m writing an email or a blog post or a tagline, if I don’t start with some words on a page right away—or, better yet, already there—I have a very hard time getting started writing at all. That’s where copywriting tips and exercises help.
Copywriting exercises are like warm-ups; but instead of lunges or jumping jacks to get you moving, they’re short little prompts to help ease you into writing. By giving you a head start at generating or planning your writing, these prompts help you focus your copy before you even jump into the project at hand—or reset when you hit a wall that you can’t write through.
Whether you need to avoid the blank page or revise a project you’re stuck on, here are 10 quick, easy copywriting tips and exercises to help you start writing better copy sooner.
1. Write down the requirements
Most of us aren’t starting from scratch. We have a medium and, likely, we have a topic and goal. That could be writing a Google Ads headline for your dog walking business. It could be drafting Facebook posts for your restaurant. It could even be writing a blog post about copywriting exercises.
If you have this information—the medium, the topic, and the goal—use that to get started. Are there word count goals or restrictions? Will the copywriting appear on a blog, on product packaging, or on social? Is this a blog post, a PPC ad, or a video script? Jot all those details down at the top of the page so they stay top-of-mind.
Remember underlining key words in school writing prompts? Same idea.
From here, you should be able to identify the audience, the scope, and the purpose. Write that down, too. Once you have that, you have a clearly outlined project. And, well, you’ve started copywriting.
2. Rewrite your favorite ad
A good way to get started is to start with something else. Have an ad campaign that you loved? A blog post you always use in your portfolio? A favorite commercial?
Grab those copywriting examples, read them, watch them, and then rewrite them. Rework that ad campaign so...
3 Tricks to Make the Most of Google Ads Automation
Machine learning and automation can seem pretty terrifying for PPC: These technological advances could lead to the end of human-run campaigns in favor of robots that will never have the adaptability to scale a campaign and will certainly never have that “human touch.”
A big part of these fears come from the inevitable lack of control delegating tasks to machines represents. Digital marketers live for control and not being able to own the process of bids, creative, or how queries get matched to our carefully crafted campaigns is nerve-wracking. It doesn’t need to be terrifying, too. Because as digital marketers, we can offer more than controlling the process of bids and query matches. We can offer strategic planning—and automation might just be able to help.
As automation evolves and becomes more integral in running successful campaigns, we need to be clear that delegating tasks to the machine doesn’t diminish our value. It opens our mental bandwidth up to take on bigger challenges and focus on strategic tasks. That’s why this month’s free WordStream webinar—live at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16—is all about how to use automation and machine learning to get ahead.
During the webinar, we’ll share six strategies to make automation work for your account and for you. But today, we’re sharing three workflows you can test out now to start using automation to your advantage—and to build your trust in machine learning.
Want in on all six tips for Google and Facebook automation? Register now!
1. Try Smart bidding in at least one campaign
Smart bidding used to be exclusively a large budget luxury: The amount of data ad networks need to intelligently adjust bids precluded anyone with less than 100 conversions in a 30-day period. Thankfully they’ve evolved and now can support campaigns out of the gate (provided you trust your conversion tracking). That said, many advertisers are reasonably weary—they’ve been burned in the past and don’t want to try again.
Based on data from 3200 client accounts in July 2019.
Based on data from 3200 client accounts in July 2019.
In many of these cases, we incorrectly assumed all smart bidding solutions would give us volume and value in the same strategy.
Knowing the pros and cons of each Google Ads automated bidding strategy is key. Once you understand that, you can figured out which...
7 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Sales This Holiday Season
Most of us love holiday rituals and traditions like gift-giving, so it’s no wonder that 40% of consumers begin shopping before Halloween.
For brands, this means that the holiday shopping season is already here. To satisfy holiday shoppers, most brands start working on their holiday sales campaigns in advance and brands get ready for the season earlier than ever before.
Case in point: In 2019, Dunkin' launched its new lineup of fall foods and beverages in stores across the United States on August 21, six days ahead of its major competitor, Starbucks, and its Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL).
The bottom line? It’s never too early to plan your holiday marketing. And if you want to stay ahead of your competitors who hope for the attention of the same audience, you need to promote your holiday sales campaign on Instagram.
Why Instagram for holiday sales?
Why? Firstly, almost 40% of all ecommerce purchases were made on a smartphone during the previous holiday season. Secondly, as one of the fastest-growing visual platforms, Instagram has become a perfect marketplace for online shopping: 80% of users follow at least one brand on the platform, 60% of Instagrammers discover products in-app, and one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses.
Simply put, it’s more likely your target audience is ready to discover and buy holiday gifts on Instagram. What is more, it is easy for brands to sell on the platform: The company has introduced product tags, shopping Instagram Stories stickers, and in-app checkout.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could boost seasonal sales on Instagram? To make the most out of the holiday shopping season, see what worked the previous season for top brands and learn from them. Here are seven tested tactics to boost seasonal Instagram sales.
How to increase your Instagram sales this holiday season
Modern customers are savvy: It doesn’t take much time or effort to do research before making purchase decisions, so the deal-seeking is on its rise. And when it comes to closing seasonal sales, customer hesitation is your biggest enemy. Thus, it’s important to know how to create encourage your holiday shoppers to take the desired action immediately.
Let’s talk about seven ways to drive Instagram sales this holiday season.
1. Use limited-time offers and deals
Believe it or not, time-limited offers and deals still work: Although...
7 High-Converting Event Landing Pages (& How to Copy Them!)
Picture it: Your boss just gave you permission to go to a conference in, say, Hawaii. Amazing! What a dream come true that your company will pay for your flights and hotel to paradise. So you google the event and try to find where to sign up—and when it's happening again and which hotel they recommend booking. But instead of finding a one-stop shop full of answers, you have to click and click to get all the information you need.
That won’t do.
Event landing pages, like general lead generation landing pages, need to be compelling and scannable. For event marketers, the event landing page should be designed specifically for your needs—which means that all event landing pages should be designed to compel visitors to register for your event or sign up for post-click events, i.e. a page for people who engaged with your company at an event.
But the best event landing pages—to drive registrants or post-click actions—are designed to compel visitors to act now.
Here are seven examples of great event landing pages, plus how you can copy these techniques to create your own high-converting pages!
Basic requirements for all event landing pages
Before we dive into some stellar examples, it’s good to lay some groundwork. You need to know the basic requirements before you can go above and beyond, after all.
To get started, think about your event landing page as an invitation to a party you’re throwing or trying to convince your friends to go to. What information do people need to know? What details would you need to include?
The who: That would be you, the host. Who are you and why are you an authority on this topic or hosting this event? Alternatively, if you’re an affiliate or sponsor of the event, why are you attending and/or encouraging other people to register as well? If you’re the host, do your sponsors a solid and throw their logos up. It’s just good manners.
The what: As in, what is this event all about? Conferences can be hyper-focused on a niche topic, like, I don’t know, how to create a great event landing page. Or they can be broad and come with lots of bells and whistles, like SXSW. Make sure you tell your audience what to expect.
The details: Where and when is the event? You don’t need to get as specific as the actual address, but make sure to include the city. These details should be featured prominently on your landing page, probably...
8 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads Today
LinkedIn is the best platform for B2B targeting in the PPC space, bar none.
In recent years, LinkedIn has become a more popular destination for users to consume content. Rather than seeing what your great aunt ate for lunch on Facebook or hearing someone yell about politics on Twitter, you can check LinkedIn to see what your contacts are up to and what topics are trending in your industry. For advertisers, the targeting options allow you to zone in on just about any part of your audience’s profile, and since the platform also has many benefits for their users, it’s in their best interest to keep their profiles up to date.
That’s why LinkedIn is the place to be if you want to generate higher quality B2B leads. But, if that’s your goal, you need to know that not all strategies are created equal.
Here, I want to talk about LinkedIn Lead Generation Ads and some best practices for you to leverage in your account. Let’s dive in!
1. Have something valuable to offer
This is the biggest issue I see with advertisers on LinkedIn. Every business thinks what they have to offer is amazing—and I’m sure your product or service absolutely is. But that doesn’t mean it’s appealing for someone to start hard selling you on their offerings without generating any type of connection with you.
I’m sorry, but a demo for your software to a cold prospecting audience likely isn’t going to do well with LinkedIn advertising.
If the content or offer you have isn’t important, no one is going to want it no matter what type of campaign you’re using. So you need to make sure you can offer something of value to your prospects.
This could be anything from an industry report to a rundown of common issues your customer base faces and how to solve them, sometimes without your product involved. Do some research and know what your market wants, and then deliver something fantastic to them for the low, low price of one lead gen form fill.
2. Integrate your CRM to follow up with leads right away
Depending on what platform you’re using, LinkedIn might allow you to directly integrate with your CRM for lead gen ads submissions.
Although you can manually export your leads, I highly recommend you integrate your CRM. It will make life so much easier for a couple reasons.
First, it saves you time of logging in and manually exporting leads on a regular basis....
6 Tips to Choose a Stunning Website Color Scheme
When it comes to your website, you need to give your customers a terrific experience to get them hooked on your brand.
Imagine you launch the perfect website for your business. Everything is flawless—the layout, the performance, the navigation, the copy. It all creates the dream experience for your users, and people rave over it.
Well, you’ll only be able to make that happen if you choose the right website color scheme, and I’ll show you exactly how to do that—even if you have no experience in design.
Color plays an integral role in how we perceive the world. Consequently, it can radically affect how we perceive a website. But when it comes to website design, color scheme often takes a backseat. In this article, I’m going to share six important tips you can use to create a stunning website color scheme:
Get to know color psychology basics
Acquaint yourself with color theory
Think about mixing color combinations
Keep it simple
Contrast your colors
Integrate your branding
Whether you have a working knowledge of color theory or aren’t quite sure of the difference between primary and secondary colors, these tips will help you select the ideal color scheme for your website. Let’s get started!
1. Get to know color psychology basics
The role of color psychology in marketing is an important one. Going over all the details would take way too long, so here are the most important basics you need to know.
Color associations are powerful. We develop them when we’re infants, and they usually stay with us for life. These associations are instinctive and often subconscious.
Many of these associations are fairly universal. For example, everyone learns to associate green with leaves and nature and yellow with the sun.
However, some are cultural. One study found that Americans associate envy with black, green, and red, while Russians thought black, purple, and yellow were the envious colors.
These cultural associations are more important today than ever before since so many brands maintain a global presence. Depending on the colors you use, people from certain countries might associate something negative with your brand, which you definitely don’t want.
2. Acquaint yourself with color theory
In a nutshell, color theory is the science of how color works. The longer version isn't as easy to explain—there are entire college courses for...