Generating qualified leads is a key success metric for business-to-business (B2B) marketers in 2018 — and it’s also a key pain point, according to surveys. The latest BrightTalk industry survey revealed that 68 percent of B2B marketers are receiving an increased budget for generating leads and full-funnel demand this year, though 59 percent report generating high-quality B2B leads is their greatest challenge.
While qualified lead generation is never simple, the following fresh ideas are likely to drive results for B2B marketing organizations.
1. Showcase Industry Thought Leaders
Interview some of the best-regarded experts in your industry on trends, things to know or tips, and curate their responses into premium lead-generation content such as an e-book, white paper or video.
Ninety percent of B2B decision-makers consider thought leaders “important” or “very important” and spend at least one hour per week engaged with content in this category.
2. Create a Worksheet
Actually solving a problem for your customers will truly build trust in your brand and generate qualified leads. One powerful way to do this is to provide a worksheet that solves a common problem your buyers experience. Check out our example, which is our Marketing Strategy Planning Guide. It has been a great source of B2B leads for us.
“Focus on providing potential customers real value in the form of free tools or content before you ever ask them for anything,” recommends Andy Nelson, Director of Growth Marketing at Moz.
3. Make a Checklist
Many B2B buyers are overwhelmed by the research and decision-making process they’re undergoing. The Harvard Business Review says the abundance of information available to B2B decision-makers has resulted in a state of paralysis.
Create a buyer’s checklist that guides your prospects through everything they need to know to define their requirements and make a final decision.
4. Create a Research Report
There’s a great deal of heavy lifting involved in original industry research, including survey design and promotion, data analysis, report writing and publication. However, the final product can build thought leadership, authority and generate B2B leads. B2B marketers consider original research the single most effective form of content marketing, per eMarketer.
5. Host Webinars To Increase B2B Leads
Collaborating with thought leaders and experts on high-value webinars can be a powerhouse lead generation tactic in 2018. Seventy-nine percent of B2B buyers will share their email to view a webinar per DemandGen, making it a higher-converting tactic than white papers (76 percent) or e-books (63 percent).
Conclusion: Connecting With B2B Prospects in 2018
While platforms and best practices evolve, the best B2B marketers understand how to develop empathy for their customers and create multi-channel content that answers frequently asked questions and solves pain points.
With resources such as collaborations with thought leaders, original research reports or podcasts, you can build trust and generate sales-ready opportunities for your brand in the months to come.