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8 Ways to Develop your B2B Practices Online | How to Generate More Leads Digitally

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The traditional way of doing business (B2B) was to cold call companies, introduce your services via connections or participate in exhibitions where traditionally buyers and sellers would meet each other. It was far more time consuming and far less effective than a well constructed digital campaign online, this is now the best method for generating more quality business leads.  In today’s modern, digital landscape a comprehensive, highly visible, online presence is key.

How digital has changed B2B practices

b2b-sales

Source: overesandco.com

With the growth of the internet it became easier for businesses to search for each other, size up the competition, compare rates and look at the e-reputation of another business. We are much more connected than ever before which only highlights the necessity of online reputation, reviews, quality content and clear information. It also has leveled the playing field somewhat with many new companies able to succeed with a successful digital model despite being smaller and less established. This is the case in both foreign and domestic markets and a benefit of the globalized world we are living in.

Effective Ways of Lead Generation

Here are 8simple (yet effective) ways of generating leads for your business online: 

  • A quality, clear website

Having a good website is obvious yet important, new clients are sensitive to a nice design, clear offers, intuitive navigation and a site full of persuasive information demonstrating the advantage of being involved with your business proposition. Generating leads is pointless unless one can actually sell and market what they are offering on their site.

  • Demonstrate that you are the expert with quality content

Content based marketing in B2B is significant. Publish high quality content on your website/blog and disseminate this on social media and within targeted forums. Businesses like to see practical and actionable advice, content is still king. It is a good way to promote your best business practice and differentiate yourself from competitors. Include keyword tags, video and images for SEO purposes.

  • Social Media – Start conversations 

Establishing yourself as an approachable expert on social networks (focus mainly on Linkedin and Facebook) is important. Create groups where businesses can ask questions and curate the content in that group so it is of a high quality. Many businesses now have official accounts on social media and use them to interact and ask questions, the tone of these groups should be professional but conversational, you are looking to solve problems not overly promote yourself here. When your content is posted in groups that you have started and administrated it is often shared most prolifically. E-reputation can be built up through quality exchanges on social media. The key is that you create and join targeted groups relevant to what your business can offer, spend time researching what these are and join the conversation.

  • Highest quality traffic comes from search engines (SEO)

In B2B, the quality traffic comes directly from online research. This is logical. Businesses will initially search for keywords via the most prolific search engines. You can appear as part of the paid results or the natural results.

Paid results or PPC (pay per click) is good because it results in instant traffic but the quality of the traffic is often lower. How many professionals actually click on the ads? In reality very few.

Organic traffic is based on the natural search results and is the most powerful and effective in terms of traffic to lead generation conversion. Ranking highly in the natural results relies on SEO (search engine optimization) and takes time. Links to your website from other sites increase your ranking as does the output of original content that you publish. Keyword optimization on your site is also key. 

  • Avoid Costly Banner Ads.. Prioritize what you invest into Digital Marketing

You can try banner ads.. it will increase your visibility but according to my experience it does not deliver quality traffic and in B2B will not generate effective leads. It is the same problem, few professionals seek clients from banner advertising. Simply paying for advertising in the highly competitive digital marketing world no longer pays dividends like it used to. It is better to invest that money into SEO and social media marketing which in the long run, as your e-reputation develops, proves to be far more effective.

  •  Email, last on the list but not redundant!

A controversial one. It is still a cost-effective way to reach potential clients, yes inbox’s are overflowing and many do hit the unsubscribe button.

Having said that it may be that you are emailing leads too early if engagement is low, once a prospect is engaging with you and have expressed their interest they are ready to be cultivated by regular email updates.

Again don’t spam, send quality content, updates and information.

  • Online to Offline (and vice versa)

E Education Concept

Source: independent.co.uk

This concept in B2B is simple, people meet each other before they give a quotation/AFQ, and have to know each other,to a certain degree, before doing business together.

We meet each other online but also need to see each other. Likewise, through business networking events we meet potential clients offline but can retain that relationship online.

  •  Video

Making a video with your company details, what you do and why a client should choose you is still effective. The immediacy of a well-produced short video (2-3 minutes) will always outweigh longer bodies of text. It also gives you the opportunity to embed this video in your blog posts, website posts, social media updates etc. It also is good to embed original video content for SEO purposes.

The key then is you must increase your online visibility in a coherent, organic way rather than just trying to promote yourself through paid advertising. Yes it takes work but building an e-reputation in the long term will continually drive traffic and generate more quality leads for your business. In today’s digitally dominated environment it is vital to develop your presence in this field.

About the Author 

Benji is a marketing specialist based in Shanghai, for more information see his blog and website here

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