Digital Lead Generation – Using Digital Marketing Activity to Generate Leads – B2B Selling has changed dramatically over the past ten years and one facilitating reason is the proliferation of technology and the Internet. According to CEB’s Marketing Leadership Council (www.thinkwithgoogle.com) business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is complete and a report from www.insidesales.com (2014) found that ‘50% of sales go to the first salesperson to contact the prospect’. Using digital marketing activity, thought leadership techniques and the Internet, how can a B2B company position itself to enter the sales process well before the 57 percent and add to ‘digital lead generation’?
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Through digital marketing activities the company website should help create awareness, customer acquisition, customer retention and customer advocacy (Feighery, 2014). Central to this activity is the integration of a strong ‘call to action’ into the homepage and architecture of the company website. Creating a reason to engage and allowing an opportunity to build a relationship with the prospect, show off the company value proposition, skills and illustrate the value that the company can provide.
The company website design, aesthetics, and layout must portray an image of professionalism and should try to convince the user to make an enquiry. The power of three and F heat map structure should also be incorporated into the website design, with a focus on ‘influence’ and converting the user on the website into a sales enquiry or form submission.
Google is the search engine of choice for over 95% of the Irish population and organic search receives more than 250% more traffic than paid advertising on Google (Maguire, 2014). Users on Google seldom pass the first page of results and thus first page results on average get 85% more clicks (Maguire, 2014). No company can afford to ignore the incorporate of SEO techniques into the company website.
Using Übersuggest.org to provide keyword suggestions and then entering these suggestions into Google Keyword Analyses allows companies to generate keyword ideas and to analyse the volume of monthly local searches related to each suggested keyword from Ubersuggest. This procedure should assist and influence the SEO build and architecture for the website around keyword density, url stubs, page titles, descriptions, alt tags, heading associations.
Website traffic and website popularity is a major consideration for Google, for a B2B website it is important the user has a reason to return to the website, thus an informative resource such as a company Blog will add to the website content, website traffic figures and creates more opportunities to be found on the Internet. A recent HubSpot.com study found that companies that blogged gained 55% more website visitors that websites that don’t blog. Vaughan (2010, Hubspot.com) also found that B2B companies that blog generate 67% more digital leads than those who don’t. Blog entries will in time lead to digital lead generation, increased personal credibility, thought leadership scoring and ultimately ‘sales’.
Encouraging the user to subscribe to the websites Newsletter will also allow B2B companies to push out regular e-zines with the latest blog post and news, again providing more website traffic, popularity, company branding and communication adding to more thought leadership scoring.
Content marketing such as blogging and email marketing will drive traffic to the company website, support SEO, improve ranking, increase backlinks, increase brand awareness, demonstrate expertise and increase trust, and create opportunities to build email subscription lists and followers on LinkedIn and Twitter. All aiding digital lead generation and adding to incremental sales influence.
Google considers over 200 SEO factors that relate to organic SEO preference, SEO results can take up to six months to gather momentum coupled with the fact that there are no guarantees with SEO activity and best practice. This fact creates a need to advertise using Google Ad Words campaigns, considering Google holds a 95% share of the search engine market in Ireland.
SEO initiatives can take considerable time and does not guarantee success, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising ensures that your company website will be seen however it comes at a cost to the company. PPC will provide two distinct advantages, it can increase company brand profile online and the digital lead generation campaign will provide more traffic to the company website which in turn increases website popularity adding to digital lead generation. PPC advertising will also provide direct and active digital sales leads which are very warm as this form of advertising is considered pull marketing.
Google search engine paid advertising is classified as ‘pull’ or response driven, ergo a person within a decision making unit has made a strategic decision to find a company that will provide a certain service or product. This response driven advertising will present your company and website in front of active and qualified digital sales leads. Your company will only pay when a user clicks on the advertisement and thus the campaign is controlled and offers a high Return on Investment than loosely targeted ‘push’ advert on mediums such as Radio or Newspaper. If the user does not click on the PPC ad companies will not get charged and will receive good online branding at the same time.
Any PPC Campaign should be drawn from the initial Keyword Analyses research undertaking when designing the website architecture for SEO, call to action (conversions) and usability. All PPC ads should include a clear ‘Call to Action’ and include company ‘Value Propositions’.
Its important to understand your search engine market place, who has what share, and in many English speaking jurisdictions Google has a monopoly position. So, it can’t be ignored. Here is an interesting piece on Google which you may find interesting.
Finally, Implement these digital lead generation techniques such as keyword analyses, website architecture, strong call to action, on page optimisation, content marketing, blogging, PPC advertising and your company will start to address the digital fundamentals associated with digital lead generation. Remember, companies must create an online digital brand which will help you gain entry into the buyer conversation and ‘front of mind’ awareness prior to the 57 percent buying process.
These digital marketing techniques will increase the likelihood of new clients, new business, online conversion, sales growth and digital lead generation.
Remember, if you need help with any aspect of your Sales process, consultancy, lead generation (digital and traditional), metrics, motivation, etc. Reach out, send me a mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or give the team a call.
Post Grad Dip. User Experience (UX), Dip. International Selling, Cert. Digital Marketing, MSc. BITS