The Complete Guide to Online B2B Lead Generation

Read Axon Garside's definitive guide to optimising your B2B lead generation activity to increase site visitors and get them to convert.

Picture of Lauren Nuttall Lauren Nuttall

Published: 20 Oct 2020

20+ minutes read

The Complete Guide to Online B2B Lead Generation

Chances are, your company is online, and you’ll be making some attempt at trying to generate leads online. However, perhaps you’re relying on guesswork, or don’t have a proper strategy in place. Maybe you’re relying on outdated online B2B lead generation tips, or aren’t using multiple methods cohesively.
Whatever you’re currently doing, it’s undeniable that there’s untapped potential to get more leads online, and it can be a real disappointment when you realise there’s a B2B lead generation channel you’ve not been taking advantage of.

So, we’re going to start at the beginning. We’ve put together this quick guide to help you understand exactly how to get more B2B leads online. Let’s get started.

 

Contents

 

Are you being found online?

Identifying how much traffic you’re getting

How to get leads online: Boosting your traffic

SEO Optimisation

Social Media

Link Building

Paid Social & Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Email

Are you being found, but no one is converting?

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Where you could benefit from CRO

Experimentation

A/B Testing

Calls-To-Action Optimisation

Heatmaps

Chatbots

Content Strategy & Messaging

Optimise your content for lead generation

Make your messaging consistent

Mix up your content

Use smart content

Reviews and success stories

What next?

 

ARE YOU BEING FOUND ONLINE?

When looking at improving the amount (and quality of) B2B leads you’re generating online, you need to first take a step back, and ask yourself, can my ideal customers find me?

After all, if your customers can’t see you online, they can’t engage with your content, and ultimately, won’t convert into leads. No matter if you need to understand whether you are being found online, or if your customer is even aware of your online presence, the answer is the same. Start with how much traffic you’re generating to your website.

Your current website traffic will give you an indication of how many potential customers are finding you successfully online. While not all this traffic has the potential to become leads, you’ll at least have a starting point for how you can convert a good number of users into customers.

 

 

Identifying how much traffic you'RE GETTING

Understanding how much traffic your B2B website receives and where these visitors come from should be your first priority. 

To do so, check out Google Analytics.

If you don’t have Google Analytics (GA) set up on your website then do so immediately. Setting up your account is straightforward, requiring you to:

  • Name your Google Analytics account
  • Enter a website name
  • Add your website’s URL
  • Choose an Industry Category
  • Select your time zone

GA provides an often overwhelming level of detail but at its core, it provides valuable insight on how many people visit your website and how they’re doing so.  

Google Analytics audience view

 

Not only will Google Analytics tell you who is making a visit, it can tell you a whole lot more about demographics, region, interests, browsers used, and  general behaviour. 

For example, if you’re a construction company based in the NE of England and you’re receiving a lot of traffic from Newcastle, Australia, you know that something needs to be amended. 

By doing exercises like this, you’ll begin to form a picture of when, where and how your potential leads are engaging with your site. 

Your content management system (CMS) can usually help you with web traffic analytics too. Take Hubspot, for example. Hubspot is far more than just a CMS, but this element of the tool can help you pinpoint where your visitors come from. With this information you can begin to build a strategy and plan which helps you augment the channels which provide the least value. 

 

Hubspot source view

Though it might seem daunting at first, seeking to understand exactly how users are coming to your site allows you to analyse your online presence at an overall level. Once you have metrics on where users are coming from, you’ll be able to determine where you have a good online presence, and where you need to improve. 

Based on these metrics, you’ll be able to form a strategy to boost your web traffic - our first method to generate more leads online.

 

How to get leads online: Boosting your traffic

Getting enough people to your website is of paramount importance to any online B2B lead generation strategy. It’s simple really - if no one is engaging with you online, how will you educate, inform, and sell to them? 

Fortunately there are a lot of things which you can do to improve both the quantity and quality of the traffic hitting your website, and as a result, boost your online lead generation.

Here are the top 5 ways of improving traffic:

SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) remains one of the most important strategies to get noticed online. Climbing the rankings onto the first page of the major search engines not only boosts your online presence, but can also directly help you attract and convert visitors into qualified leads. 

The specifics of SEO change quite regularly, but the core principles remain pretty consistent. Fundamentally, when forming a strategy for SEO, you should:

  • Set your goals - if your aim is to get more leads for a particular service, then make keywords around this your core focus
  • Identify relevant keywords - again, make this relevant to what you’re trying to achieve
  • Research keywords further to work out their viability - this means looking at things like keyword difficulty and volume to understand whether or not you have a chance of ranking. Tip: the higher the difficulty number, the more difficult it is to rank for - try and find a happy medium where possible.
  • Align your keywords to your web pages - this gives you a starting point for boosting your rankings
  • Rework online content to cater for the keywords - if you have other online content, such as a YouTube channel, you can optimise your content for chosen keywords there too. This will help you get leads in all online areas.
  • Continue developing content to appease the algorithms - search engines such as Google love it when businesses keep their content up to date and fresh. So while you keep an eye on your rankings, keep optimising!

When it comes to SEO for B2B lead generation, it’s best to start at the beginning. Even choosing the right keywords can be difficult, but fortunately we've got you covered. SEO is the first step in developing a long-term strategy for online lead generation. 

You read right - SEO is a long-term strategy. Crucially, it’s not a quick fix. 

But if it’s not going to help me now, we hear you ask, why suggest it?

Think of SEO like water - people will always look for the easiest route to their solution. If you rank highly  (and ideally, on the first page) you're far better placed to get visitors through the door, so to speak. Especially in the B2B world, no potential buyers are going to waste their time searching for your business anymore. Times have changed.

Putting the work in to climb the rankings can get you anywhere between 25 - 40% of all traffic for a particular search term or key word. So trust us, SEO is more than worth it, even if it does require patience. 

This has probably just whetted your appetite for SEO knowledge. We’ve got you covered with our comprehensive look at SEO. For a deeper dive into the world of SEO for B2B websites, consider reading our comprehensive guide.

 

Social Media

Ah, the ongoing debate for B2B companies everywhere. Cue questions such as:

“Should we really be using social media for our B2B lead generation?”

“Do B2B buyers even use social media?”

And our personal favourite:

“Why not just use outbound instead?”

Despite us now being firmly in the 2020s, we still regularly hear these debates. We don’t really understand where the myth that if you work in a B2B industry you don’t use social media has come from, but quite frankly, it’s garbage

While it’s true that not every person you’re looking to target will use social media on a regular basis, you simply cannot afford to completely ignore it all together. Especially if you’re looking to generate more leads online. 

Nearly 80% of marketers said that they saw increased traffic with a little as 6 hours a week invested in the right sort of social media work. 

“Right” is the key word here. By encouraging the B2B world to use social media, we’re not suggesting that a legal company should start making Tik Toks - but matching your social strategy to your audience. 

Often in the B2B space, the “right” sort of social media work consists heavily of LinkedIn, which provides over 46% of all social media traffic to B2B websites. 

LinkedIn in particular is particularly useful to B2B companies, as it allows you to:

  • build an online presence through thought leadership 
  • engage in industry topics and discussions
  • contact leads directly. 

It also proves particularly useful for not only driving traffic to your website, but acting as a funnel through which you can nurture visitors into leads, and qualified leads into paying customers.

But it’s not just LinkedIn you should be focusing on to generate more leads online. Social media channels that have traditionally been shoved aside by B2B companies are fast becoming increasingly popular among their target audience. 

Take Instagram for example. We’ve experienced people say that Instagram “just isn’t relevant” to their audience, which in some cases might be true, but the reality is that (especially in the aftermath of the past year) more people than ever are using social media to connect with others - and that includes your business.

Even Facebook, a channel which has traditionally been seen as poorly performing for B2B businesses, has its advantages. While the younger generation have found new ways to play, a lot of the older generation remain on Facebook. That means that, for the most part, the CEOs, the decision makers, the buyers are all still on Facebook

Additionally, another social media channel that has skyrocketed in popularity is YouTube - which, when looking into audience research, has some pretty surprising stats.

  • According to research, YouTube is most popular with users 35 and under, but only slightly. 73% of Americans aged 36 to 45 use YouTube, along with 70% of those aged 46 to 55 and 67% of those 56 and older. This shows a different pattern from other social channels, where users in older age groups tend to decline. 

This is game changing for B2B companies. Why would you want to miss this lead generating opportunity?

If you’re still by some miracle not convinced that social media is a tool to benefit your website lead gen issues then read our blog, Six reasons you should be using social media for B2B lead generation.

But if you’re thinking, these stats are all well and good, but where do I begin with a social media strategy when I’m not too familiar with it?

Start small. Begin with something achievable that will allow you to maintain constant usage and then, as you start seeing website traffic increase and begin to understand what works for your audience, you can develop it.

We recommend a simple 3 step process:

  1. Research
  • What does success look like for your business?
  • Listen to & monitor conversations on social channels to know where you can fill content gaps

  1. Plan
  • Be consistent with your brand voice
  • Select the most suitable channels for your audience
  • Set how often you’d like to post

  1. Publish
  • Vary the content and tone by channel and audience
  • Automate & schedule posts

Based on the principles above, we’ve got a more comprehensive guide to developing a social media marketing strategy. Read it here to help you start driving traffic and generating more leads online. 

 

Link Building

Link building is the process of gaining hyperlinks from other websites to your own, and it’s a great way to boost traffic and improve lead generation. A link from a highly-visited website with a good domain ranking could not only lead to a surge in traffic, but more potential customers.

If the link is from a relevant website to your own - even better. The leads you will get from these types of links will be genuinely interested in your product or service, and therefore more likely to engage with your business, and even make a purchase.

There are 9 ways, as identified by Axon Garside’s link building experts, to start building valuable links on your site:. 

  • Creating link-worthy assets and outreach (AKA link bait)
  • Guest blogging
  • Infographics
  • Broken link building
  • Local citations
  • Directory submissions
  • Sponsored content
  • Answering questions
  • Link reclamation

Read more about these 9 areas and how to implement them here.

“Are all links born equal?”

No.  Search engines can frown on the use of certain links and penalise the website. As a result, it’s best to be cautious about dropping links in the following areas:

  • Links to your website in other site’s blog comments
  • Directories that aren’t moderated
  • Guest post signatures
  • Unmoderated forum links
  • Links from irrelevant or inappropriate sites

Like SEO, link building is a long-term strategy, so don’t expect an influx of visitors and qualified leads right away. But maintain your consistency, and who knows what could happen (we do, you’ll get more leads).

 

Paid Social & Pay-Per-Click (PPC) 

Ah - finally a method that works in the short term!

Well, that is, if correctly targeted. Not only is digital advertising extremely quick to generate online leads, it is scalable and predictable. A godsend when you’re looking to accurately forecast results & ROI. 

The obvious downside to these avenues is the ‘Paid’ & ‘Pay’ aspects. Costs can quickly mount and become unsustainable. But that being said, if you have the budget, and need to get leads online in the short term, paid advertising is likely your best bet.

But before you get your cheque book out, consider these ‘dos and don'ts’ of using paid advertising to generate leads.

Do:

  • Set realistic goals - think about how many leads you want to generate, and their quality. It’s all well and good to see a huge amount of leads come through an ad, but if they aren’t qualified in the slightest, this will cost you time and money
  • Carefully consider what type of ad would work best for your company - this means looking at your audience and where they look for information, as well as how much each type of ad is going to cost you. Again, it shouldn’t be about the quantity of leads but the quality.
  • Consider the buyer journey and how an ad fits within it - this is really important. If you’re looking to generate leads, then you need to use ads that are slightly higher up the funnel than selling your product/service immediately. Luckily, you can create ads for just about anything - why not make your audience an offer they can’t refuse?
  • Use the ad tools to target your audience by demographics - we can’t stress it enough: do this. If there’s one thing that’s going to get you more, better qualified leads it’s a highly specific, personal ad.
  • Experiment and be smart with your approach - don’t be disheartened if you don’t see hundreds of leads right away. Again, better qualified leads should be your main goal.
  • Use a broad range of platforms (at least until you know what works for you)

Don’t:

  • Be too sale-orientated - remember where your hopeful leads are in their journey! People are much more likely to click on ads that speak to them directly, rather than force a sell.
  • Be static - your adverts need to evolve and remain relevant, which means constant testing and iteration to get them just right.
  • Be too reliant on this approach - paid advertising in its very nature can become very expensive if not used correctly. Look at this method as part of your entire strategy, rather than your sole method for lead generation.

This is the holy grail if you’re looking for rapid, almost immediate results. If you need more convincing that it works, check out our blog - Paid Social Media: Does it work?

 

Email

Email remains one of the most effective means of communication and is proven to generate good quality B2B leads online. 

As a B2B organisation, you should have a stable list of contacts you can send updates to, such as blog subscribers. Then, whenever you post a new blog (or any other piece of content) you can send an email to all contacts who will then be directed to read the piece on your website. 

To take it one step further, you can segment your email lists so that content is only sent to contacts who are likely to be interested. This way, not only will you boost your traffic, but visitors will be more willing to be nurtured by your business - meaning you can work to convert them into leads, and then paying customers. Email is particularly useful as part of an inbound marketing campaign, as you can create lists based on specific buyer personas. 

Unfortunately, there is a caveat associated with email. It’s not always a feasible solution. 

With GDPR, obtaining an effective database is more complicated than it once was. The upside of this is that the people you do have within your database should be relevant, interested parties who, at the time, may not have been ready to buy. 

The downside is that developing a rich database of contacts often requires good traffic and conversion - which we’ll come back to later.

Learn how to rejuvenate your email marketing for online lead generation in our blog.

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So, that covers a sizable chunk of options when it comes to boosting traffic to your website as a fundamental way of generating more leads online. However, getting a decent level of traffic is only the beginning

You may have users coming onto your site regularly - but is that all they’re doing? If users are simply entering your site, having a look around, then exiting swiftly - this is a major problem. They’re not taking action, and therefore aren’t converting into leads.

Let’s take a closer look at what this means, and where you can improve.

 

Are you being found, but no one is converting?

If you just jumped to this segment, it might still be worth casting your eyes over the first section of this guide. After all, you can never have too many people visiting your site - and going back the very beginning is a great way to start generating more leads online.

If not, we’re glad to hear that you’re getting good traffic on to your site. But there’s clearly still a problem. People are aware of your online presence, they might be engaging with your content now and again but they just aren’t converting.

What does it actually mean?

A conversion is classed as when someone completes a desired action. In doing so, they show intent and, usually, identify themselves. This can include signing up to your blog, filling a form, sharing content on social media, or even purchasing a product. 

If you’re getting a lot of visitors but they remain anonymous, then you need to be improving conversion. Luckily, there are proven techniques to employ which will go a long way to helping you out in generating more leads. 

But before you can improve anything, you have to understand what you’re looking to improve. That’s your conversion rate

To calculate your conversion rate, you divide the number of conversions by the number of visitors and multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage. With that percentage in hand, you can get to optimising. 

 

Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

Conversion rate optimisation is the process of increasing the number of people converting into leads on your website, no matter where they came from. 

Like many things in inbound & digital marketing, CRO is a cross between science and art. Data should lead your experimentation, but sometimes gut feeling and a spark of creativity will help really turn your conversion rate around.

 

Where you could benefit from CRO

Here are four areas of your website that have the potential to largely benefit from conversion rate optimisation.

 

  • Homepage

The homepage is typically the most viewed page and first port of entry on your website - making it a haven to capture leads, and a prime candidate for CRO. Without overloading potential contacts & customers with too much information, you should clearly emphasise relevant offers or sign up buttons. If you want more leads, give people a reason to stay or remember you.

Additionally, chatbots which offer to support your visitors as they tour your site can help both improve their experience, and when done right, can even gear them towards a purchase.

 

  • Pricing Page

Experimenting with your pricing page can be the difference between a sale and a rejection - making it absolutely vital for lead generation. Altering how prices are viewed (pricing intervals), making it easier to read more information about services and products, or providing easy access to speak to experts or get a personalised quote call-to-actions (CTAs) will undoubtedly guide those who are interested towards a sale. Featuring pricing is a fear for many B2B companies, but if you’re looking to generate more qualified leads, it’s one of the easiest places to start. After all, what’s the point in spending time and money nurturing a lead only for them to drop out down the line because they could never afford your services in the first place?

 

  • Blog

It should go without saying that your blog is key to improving your lead conversion rate. It’s a landing point for so many people looking to gain thoughtful content online, and it provides an opportunity for you to persuade them to stick around. Using CTA buttons or subscriptions to provide further insightful content are a must on your blog articles, as they allow you to find out more about your visitors. 

Subscriptions also mean you can gather more information on your visitors, and use email marketing to send them content that serves to nurture them towards a sale.

 

  • Landing Pages

Landing pages are built almost exclusively to get your visitors to take action - making them a vital tool for online lead generation. They are regularly used to gate content or encourage people to register for an event, and as such, have to be prominent in your optimisation strategy if you want to generate more leads.

Landing pages are usually pretty easy to edit, to A/B test, and to experiment with, so go crazy - the possibilities are endless. 

This leads us smoothly into the next section.

 

Experimentation

The language of CRO is the language of experimentation. Come up with a hypothesis, test it, and use the data to influence your future experiments. The process is evolving and iterative. If you fail, you fail quickly, sure - but the good thing is you have the data to avoid it in the future. 

Sometimes data supports how you choose what to do to optimise lead generation and conversion. Other times it can feel like the most arbitrary changes - such as changing a CTA button’s colour - can alter the dynamics of a page. That’s not a bad thing, you just have an audience that prefers red buttons to blue ones. It’s small differences such as these which can make a huge difference in the amount of leads you get.

A/B Testing

Perhaps the most common form of experiment is the A/B test. 

An A/B test is about splitting a web page, for example, into an A and B version, and slightly altering the second version of the page to test a hypothesis against the original. You determine the timeframe for the test and then use a CMS like Hubspot, which has this functionality integrated within, to randomly assign visitors to either page A or B as they enter.

After a given period of time, if the B version of your page has received more interest then you amend the page accordingly. The best practice and most systematic approach would be to alter a single facet of the page each time. This enables you to precisely identify which variable has improved lead generation, and impacted the conversion rate.

Think of A/B testing as a means of proving or denouncing your hypothesis and a valuable tool to support your actions when gaining buy-in from stakeholders.  

 

Calls-To-Action Optimisation

Probably the most obvious question to ask when discussing CRO is…

Do you have anything with which a visitor can convert into a lead on your site?

The most common means of getting someone to convert into a lead online is through the use of calls-to-action (CTAs). CTAs do what they claim to do. They get people to act. They can come in many shapes and sizes, such as forms, ‘learn more’ buttons and social sharing links to name just a few. 

So, do you have any?

Without any form of CTA then you may as well not have a website in the first place. Plain and simple, you're missing out on lead generation opportunities. And because of this, you may be losing potential revenue. 

If you’re looking for a great introduction into CTAs and the types which could add value to your site then Hubspot is a great place to start.

But if you’re looking to boost what you already have then we can help. At Axon Garside, we follow these rules:

  • Keep CTAs simple and make them clear - don’t make it confusing. You want people to convert? Keep things simple! Tell users exactly what they can expect by taking the desired action.
  • Give people the choice (where possible) - this means not forcing users to go where YOU want them to, but allowing them some control over what they do next. This might seem counterintuitive when it comes to generating leads, but trust us - if you force users into doing something they don’t want to do, they won’t take very kindly to it.
  • Make sure you have an unmissable proposition - think about it, would you click on a vague offer that didn’t showcase any value whatsoever? No. Don’t expect your users to, either. If you want them to convert to a lead, make the offer irresistible. 

Top tip: Optimise your CTAs by language, location and device in order to deliver a more personalised experience is an indispensable tool available to marketers.

 

Heatmaps

Heatmap tools such as Hotjar give further insight into how visitors are interacting online.. With heatmaps implemented on your site, you can see exactly where people click, and how far down they scroll. 

Clicks on a heatmap show clear intent. Most of the time those clicks are going to correspond to a button or hyperlink but not always...

Hotjar Heatmap Example

Take this example from one of our blogs. There’s been a sizable number of clicks around the term ‘B2B website’. If the data suggests people want to know more about a certain topic - appease them. 

Next, consider the scroll maps. If you can see that 80% of your audience make it 50% down your page and then there’s a noticeable drop off by the time you reach the 60th percentile, where should you place your CTA button?

It’s worth implementing heatmaps across your site and assessing the placement of your CTAs. You could find out that your less than average conversion rate is in part down to the placement of your forms and CTAs.

Heatmaps provide some of the science and data to substantiate your experimentation and are a quick and easy way to rectify conversion issues on your website. Based on your findings, you may find new ways of converting your visitors into leads that you’d never before considered. 

 

Chatbots

For the end user, chatbots are increasingly the norm. In many cases, they are the first ‘person’ a potential online lead will ‘talk’ to from your business. This makes your chatbot your first chance to make a good impression.

As the technology matures, people are becoming far more comfortable with bots. If programmed properly, people know they’ll get the answer they need without the hard sell. This is key. If you programme your chatbot to be genuinely helpful, there’s almost no doubt it could help you generate more leads online. 

Just some of the cool things chatbots can do include:

  • Lead Qualification

Ultimately, chatbots are there to BANT (budget, authority, need and timeline) qualify or gather the information you need to turn a visitor into a contact, or contact into MQL. Even if you don’t get them to fully qualify a visitor, there’s valuable data to be gleaned from the products or services they request more information about. 

For example, if you used a chatbot to direct users to a relevant training course, not only would it prevent a user not being able to find what they’re looking for, the time taken to sell is significantly reduced by giving them what they need upfront.

 

  • Improve customer service and response times

This has a knock-on effect on your conversion rate. Poor customer service is often the difference between closing and losing a sale. Having a chatbot in place ensures that if potential leads or customers have urgent questions, they can be answered right away.

If your prospects have queries resolved and questions answered quickly through a bot in the buying process - they’ll remember it, and could recommend you to their peers. 

 

  • Schedule Meetings

You can even link your bot to your consultants’ and sales people’s calendars to provide a seamless, real-time way to book meetings and schedule appointments.

Read more about some of the successes we’ve had implementing bots here. 

 

Content Strategy & Messaging

When you’re even slightly serious about increasing your online B2B lead generation, then content is absolutely going to be a fundamental part of your strategy. If you’re not creating content, then it could very easily be the reason why you’re failing to get leads online.

Content not only drives traffic, but aids conversion. Think about how many times a company has sent you an email newsletter, or sent you a piece of content they somehow know that you’ll love. But how do they do it?

The secret is, there’s no secret. You can learn a lot about your potential customers through what content they’re consuming. Even better, you can use that knowledge to better nurture them towards a sale. But to do this, you need to be regularly creating content.

But how?

Well, creating content is like a muscle. The more you do it the stronger you get. The better your knowledge on a subject matter is, the more trusted you will be, and the more conversions you will see as a result. 

Optimise your content for lead generation

If you’re regularly sharing content on social media platforms and distributing content via email, your blog pages will be some of your most visited.

But are you making the most of potential leads coming to these pages? Make sure you are, by:

  • Including CTAs on all blogs

Your blogs should end with calls-to-action for a relevant eBook or offering in exchange for a reader’s information. This is a sure-fire way to start generating more leads.

 

  • Making it easy for your blogs to be shared

Social sharing buttons are CTAs too. In the short term, they may seem less useful than a filled form or requested quote but you should never underestimate the power of peer advocacy. If the reader deems it worth sharing then they must also know people with similar pains and problems - generating further leads.

 

  • Reviewing your best performing content

Use your CMS to identify which blog pages convert best, and see if they align with the most visited pages. If so, consider writing more around this subject area, as there’s clearly interest.

If not, identify the differences between the pages. The most visited pages likely have subjects (or titles) which intrigue the reader, but there’s clearly something stopping them from converting. Try rewriting them or mixing up the content a bit to get results.

 

Make your message consistent

Businesses often pivot internally and fail to reflect this throughout their presence online.. This is especially true in the current climate, as organisations look to react quickly and adapt to the new normal

If there are even the slightest changes to your business that may affect new and existing customers, make it clear online. Alter the messaging on your site, publish social posts, create a video - whatever you do, just communicate. Language that worked well previously may no longer work with new value propositions or USPs. 

 

Mix up your content

Reading dry, text heavy content will begin to bore even the most ardent bibliophile, and will completely dissuade the time-pressed buyer you’re trying to attract. 

If you do need to use a lot of text then:

  • break it up
  • separate out sections, and;
  • make sure that it is navigable with a contents page..

Make it easy for people to engage with your content. This will help them convert.

Cross reference your content styles and format with your personas and the buying stage. Many businesses lose patience with a content approach because they repeatedly post blogs and fail to see any progress. 

The following isn’t a rigid format nor is it exhaustive but is usually a pretty good guide to types of content where they are most effective: 

Awareness stage (attract)

In this stage, use content such as:

  • Blogs
  • Infographics
  • Cheatsheets
  • How-to guides
  • Ebooks - which subsequently provide a great opportunity to convert visitors into leads by gating (placing behind a form) the eBook. 

Keep it light. Keep it helpful. Use this to support the prospect’s journey as they identify their problem.

 

Consideration stage (convert)

This is where you really want to nurture your leads into customers. Use content such as:

  • Case studies
  • Product/Service specifications
  • Free Trials/Samples

Your potential leads are now looking for who will help them with their pains. Make it obvious that your offering can help.

 

Decision stage (close)

The last mile. Secure their business with content such as:

  • Discounts/vouchers
  • Consultations
  • Quotes
  • Demos

Final decisions are taking place. Help yourself stand out. Can you attract people with a reduced price or attentive customer service/pre-sales?

Once you start mastering which formats resonate most with your audience take your personalisation one step further and think about implementing smart (or custom) content across your site.

 

USE smart content

Smart content allows you to alter your content based on the interests of the visitor or previous browsing habits. As with most online lead gen methods, smart content creates a more personalised experience for the visitor by removing content that doesn’t interest them so they can focus on what they really need. 

It sounds difficult but there’s technology out there to make this sort of personalisation relatively pain-free. For example, users of HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional and Enterprise customers, can create smart CTAs, forms, and rich text modules on landing pages, website pages, or in email.

Intelligent use of smart content can do wonders to your CRO.

 

Reviews & Success Stories

You’ve managed to create a personalised experience for visitors to your website, how else can you improve your lead generation and conversion rate with content?

User generated content!

People want to hear from people you've worked for. They want to hear how you did from the client themselves. Even if case studies usually need client approval, you can be creative with the story. Reviews and content created by the client - which you can't edit - paints a truer reflection of your business relationship.  

Help turn visitors into leads by letting other people wax lyrical about your work. 

 

What next?

Congratulations. You made it to the end... or you didn't and you've skipped to the end to download it and read at your leisure. 

Either way, there's a lot for you to unpack and implement here. The bottom line is, in order to generate leads online, you need a cohesive strategy that doesn’t rely on one method. But more importantly, you need to be sure that your online presence is sound. 

That’s right. You need a good website. And if yours isn’t up to scratch - it could be time for a new one. We’ve created a free guide detailing pretty much everything you need to know about redesigning your website - so you know what it entails, before you go all in. Having a website that works is the foundation of your online lead generation strategy - make sure it’s good enough.

Download your copy below.

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The Complete Guide to Online B2B Lead Generation. Find out everything you need to know to optimise your lead generation efforts. 

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