Starting a new lead generation campaign is exciting. But it’s all too easy to rush into things before the strategic groundwork has been laid.

Before you do anything else, sit down with a pen and paper and answer the five questions that underpin any successful marketing activity:

  1. Who are we targeting?
  2. What do we want them to do?
  3. What reason do they have for doing this – or what can we offer them in return?
  4. Which channels are available?
  5. What assets do we need to create?

Who is our B2B lead generation strategy targeting?

Be specific. For example, I’m targeting client-side B2B marketers who want to improve their B2B lead generation strategy. It’s important to know not only who they are but also what their goal is. It’s the goal, not their demographic, that will dictate what you create. This is because it’s better to target by intent than demographic.

Ideally, to ensure that the leads you’re capturing are relevant to your business, this goal will also be closely related to the product or service you offer.

“Marketers who try to reach their audience solely on demographics [as opposed to intent] risk missing more than 70% of customers.”

Google, 2017

What do we want them to do?

For example, do you want them to submit their contact details in return for some gated content? Do you want them to begin a free trial? Do you want them to request a consultation?

Your lead generation campaign should have one core goal. If you’re not clear on what that core goal is, your user won’t be either. 

In the past, clients have told me their goal is awareness. Awareness is not a valid goal in and of itself, because it has no tangible ROI. Aim for a ‘hard’ metric (such as data capture) and awareness will be generated as a bi-product.

What reason do they have for doing this – or what can we offer them in return?

A simple way to answer this question is to return to the customer goal highlighted in the first question – the thing that your target audience is trying to do. What content can you create that will help them do this thing?

More often than not, B2B content marketing lead magnets take the form of a guide or ebook. Although it can be a series of tutorials delivered by email, a checklist or a webinar.

The crucial thing to appreciate is that what you offer them (often called a ‘lead magnet’) needs to be valuable or enticing enough that they will hand over their contact details for it.

The best way to do this is to put yourself in their shoes and really consider what they’re trying to achieve and the format they’re most likely to want that information in.

The best lead magnets aren’t necessarily the longest and they’re not necessarily ebooks or whitepapers. They’re anything that helps the audience do something. 

If you want to build a successful B2B lead generation strategy you need to invest time, effort and creativity in creating an awesome lead magnet. It’s tempting to cobble together a short PDF from existing content you have kicking around. But these lead magnets are rarely effective and aren’t really worth time and cost of creating a campaign around.

The lead magnet is the core of your campaign. If it’s weak, the whole campaign will be weak.

What channels are available?

Once you’ve created your lead magnet and hosted it on a landing page, you’re going to need to drive traffic to it. Landing page conversion rates can range from around 2% right up to 20%, but even with a strong conversion rate you’re going to need to drive a significant amount of relevant traffic to that page to generate results.

It’s important to have a clear plan for how you’re going to do this before you begin. Otherwise your lead magnet and landing page will be wasted.

What assets do we need to create to execute our B2B lead generation strategy?

Obviously, you will need to create a lead magnet. But in order to drive traffic across your available channels you’ll also need to create content for each of those channels. This may take the form of:

  • Website: blog posts & banners
  • Social: socially-optimised imagery, gifs & copy
  • Email: email-optimised copy & templates
  • Search: optimising web content for relevant search terms
  • Paid media: paid media-optimised imagery & copy

You’d be amazed how often people start with this final question. They figure out want they want to make, then work backwards towards what the message will be. Always answer this question last.

If you need help defining your B2B lead generation strategy or have questions about anything above, get in touch using the button below.

Looking for a freelance B2B lead generation & content marketing consultant?