B2B Marketing Strategies for Small Business Lead Generation
Whether you own a small business or are tasked with getting the word out about a small business (or both), you know that marketing is crucial for lead generation—and ultimately the success of your business.
Let’s dive into how you can reach your lead generation and revenue goals by optimizing your brand, website, search engine ranking, content and social media.
Part 1: Brand
Small business lead generation starts with defining your brand. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend many hours (or dollars) to build a clear vision for your brand.
To start, begin by imagining that your company is a person. Ask questions such as:
- What would it look like?
- How would it act?
- How would it stand out?
- What is its mission or higher purpose?
When defining your brand you should also consider:
- If your product or service has special features you can incorporate into the brand
- If there are certain qualities you want to associate with the business
Start with the basics
When you’re starting out with branding, don’t go overboard. Logos, taglines and business cards are commonly recognized pieces of your brand. And that’s for good reason—these are important aspects of effective branding.
As you create your business identity (a.k.a. your brand), make sure you at least have a logo and a color scheme. Your logo should be identifiable and represent your business in a visual way across all marketing materials, including your website and any social media.
HERE'S A TIP: Hire a designer on Fiverr to create a logo for you, sometimes for as little as $5.
Find your differentiation points
As your company grows, you’ll learn what makes you different from your competitors. Continually gather information about your differentiation points from your customers, prospects and employees to keep your message fresh and relevant.
Ask the following questions to elicit clear differentiation points:
- What’s the most important quality of your product or service?
- Why is it better than what your competitors are offering? What are your advantages?
- Why do people ultimately choose your product or service over another?
There are many creative ways small businesses can promote their brand on the cheap to generate leads. To start, try one of these ideas:
- Create a fun or catchy slogan that will stick in the minds of buyers
- Make videos that capture your company story and essence (and use a smartphone to save money on filming)
Brainstorm creative ideas to extend your brand’s impact, but make sure the initiative matches your company story in order to be an effective branding strategy. Keep in mind those personality traits you identified earlier when looking for ways to promote your business.
Remember, your brand projects who are as a business, and that directly affects who you attract to your business … or who you dissuade.
Turn customers into brand ambassadors
You know your brand is successful when your customers become evangelists. Focus on building your customers into an involved community; they may become fans of your brand and promote your products and services to others. Encourage this behavior by finding free or cost-effective ways to reward your loyal brand ambassadors.
Make it easy for customers to tell their network about you. It may be by creating a funny video for them to share or posting an informational article, or encouraging them to share their experience on social media. Keep in mind that encouraging brand ambassadors is also as simple as providing superior products or offering exceptional customer service.
Part 2: Website
It has never been more important to have a strong small business presence online.
But to achieve your lead generation and revenue goals, you need for focus on more than simply being online. Potential customers look for (and judge) your digital “storefront” before even talking to you. This is why it’s crucial to build a website strategy that rocks.
Make it responsive
Mobile browsing accounts for half of all website traffic worldwide. What does this mean for you? If your site looks great on a desktop but is unreadable on a smartphone or tablet, you’re leaving money on a table.
HERE'S A TIP: If you don’t know if your website is responsive, test it! Look at your website on your desktop, then view the same page or pages on a tablet and cell phone. Test it on as many devices and browsers as you can; what looks good for one customer may not work for another.
If the site looks great on one, and less than perfect on another, you’ll need to update. But don’t worry, there are many free and easy website design tutorials that can help you.
Give every page a purpose
Your website is a conversation between you and your visitors, not simply an online brochure. Always aim to guide your visitor to a desired outcome, whether it is another page, an email opt-in or an online purchase.
Organize your content
Small business websites can increase search engine rankings by creating a large amount of relevant content, but make sure your content doesn't overwhelm your visitors.
HERE'S A TIP: Ensure that your blog posts are categorized by topic so people can easily find what they are looking for. You can also categorize other resources (like videos, ebooks, slide decks, etc.) by topic, intended audience or content format.
Make important information easy to find
Website visitors shouldn’t have to work too hard to find the information they want. For example, many restaurants put their hours, address, phone number and a link to their menu on the home page “above the fold” (the area of the website users see without having to scroll).
Create a new visitor area
When a new website visitor comes to your page, what information would they need to know about your business to make a buying decision? Make the path to purchase as easy as possible.
HERE'S AN EXAMPLE: If you own a B2B SaaS company, add an area about the benefits of your solution, and put a noticeable link on the home page that reads something like, “Learn more.” This should direct visitors to a page explaining who you are, what your solution is, how it can benefit them and how to contact you for more information
Speed up your site
Website visitors are impatient. If a website takes more than a second or two to load, your potential customers will hit the back button and find one of your competitors instead. This is not good for lead generation!
Check out Google PageSpeed Insights to see how you can speed up your site.
Remove unnecessary plugins
Too many plugins slow down your small business website. As you modify your site over time, you will likely collect plugins for various tasks. Plugins can be great, but only use the ones that are absolutely necessary for improving your site. Remember to update them regularly so they don’t slow down your page.
Fix problem areas
Sometimes it’s hard to see the problem areas on our own website. Fortunately, there are some excellent analytics tools that help us understand how visitors interact with our site and track how various changes perform.
We love HotJar for their heat maps that show you exactly what areas of your site people click and hover on, and which items people completely ignore.
When paired with an A/B testing tool like Optimizely, you can design a site that your visitors love to use.
Part 3: SEO
SEO must be part of your marketing strategy if you want to drive free traffic to your website. Here are a few strategies for getting started with SEO.
Do thorough keyword research
Before you start posting, conduct keyword research for every piece of content you publish. Identify which keywords you want to rank for generally, and which keyword(s) apply to a specific piece of content. These keywords should be long-tail (3 or more words) for easier and targeted ranking opportunities.
Layer keywords throughout your content to ensure your website ranks when your prospects search for those terms.
When other websites and blogs link back to content, it’s usually a good thing. However, backlinks from sites with low credibility, or spam sites, can hurt your search engine rank.
Many people look to image searches for quick and visual answers to questions instead of reading through a blog or article. Optimizing your images with alt text (text that search engines read to understand what the image is about) helps search engines understand what your page is about and boosts your rank.
Make sure your Google Business page is up-to-date
Google wants to be the most relevant search engine. In their effort to do so, they offer small business owners amazing free tools to feature their websites.
Make sure you register your business at Google.com/business and include your website, address, phone number and other relevant information to be featured in search results.
Part 4: Content
Having a strong content marketing strategy is an easy way to build value and credibility for a small business, driving more leads by sharing expertise.
Here’s how to build the foundation for a successful content strategy.
Create actionable content
Your content doesn’t have to be super long or in-depth to be effective. It does have to be one thing: actionable. Many marketers think that all content published by a company should be a deep thinkpiece, a thoroughly researched white paper or another lengthy endeavor.
It’s time to think about content marketing in a different way.
Actionable content allows your readers to make immediate changes in their day-to-day routines. When creating actionable content, ask yourself:
- What content can you create that will make the reader’s life easier?
- What content tools can you build or create that your prospect could use to improve a process within their business?
- When creating less actionable content, like an ebook, what can you include for your prospects to take away and use?
Create content that fits your brand
One of the most effective ways to generate leads on a budget is to create content that expresses your voice as a company. A great place to start is with a blog that shares expertise, advice and information that your potential customers find beneficial.
As you create that type of content, you build your reputation as an expert in your industry and a trustworthy voice. This is an incredibly effective strategy for lead generation, as it allows you to be seen as a voice of authority and keeps visitors coming back for more.
PRO TIP: Use a site like WordPress to host your blog for free.
You can also expand your content creation to pieces such as ebooks, infographics, checklists and other resources that would appeal to your audience. This extends your brand and can help you generate leads if you require a form fill before downloading the content (also known as “gated” content).
Promote your content … over and over again
So many companies spend hours creating a content offer, publishing it, promoting it for a week on Twitter—and then they move on to the next campaign. Does that seem like a waste to you? It should.
Promoting your content should take place over a series of weeks after you publish it and then still happen consistently, even after the “newness” wears off.
At Accelity, we constantly promote our content on social media, via email and on our website (to name just a few channels). Just because content may seem old to us doesn’t mean it’s not useful to prospective clients.
Collaborate on content with industry leaders
Partnering with thought leaders allows business owners to connect with like-minded people in the industry and has the added benefit of free content promotion.
More airtime for your content means more traffic to your site, which means more opportunities for lead conversions.
Examine your website conversion points
Your website should serve as a lead generating funnel. If your website isn't serving its purpose, it’s time to examine the conversion points on it and make sure you’re giving prospects plenty of places to identify themselves to you.
Possible conversion points include:
- Placing calls-to-action (CTAs) on every page with forms
- Creating a resources page or library to house your content offers
- Placing related content offers on every page of your website
- Including CTAs at the end of every blog to lead the visitor to a form
Part 5: Social
Small businesses need to accomplish a lot with limited resources. Social media marketing is a great way to reach a large audience at little to no cost. Learn more about how to make social media work for you.
Have a deliberate presence
Building a deliberate social media marketing strategy starts with defining:
What story do you want your brand to tell? Your social media is the vehicle for sharing.
Incorporate social advertising
Of course, simply having a presence on sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram can generate leads. When you add paid advertisements, your lead generation efforts will get an even bigger boost.
Social media is making it more affordable than ever to earn new leads through paid advertising. Spending as little as $50–100 a week on ads will bring B2B small businesses powerful results.
Creating ads on social media platforms is a cost-effective way to:
- Increase site traffic
- Increase number of leads
- Increase overall company visibility and value
- Increase blog views and content downloads
Contest posts receive some of the highest engagement rates because, well, who doesn’t want to win something? Tools like Rafflecopter and Rignite make it easy to manage social giveaways and further increase post engagement.
Great low-cost ways to drive leads to your business for social contest entries could include having your followers:
- Like your pages on all social platforms
- Share your posts
- Caption an ambiguous photo
- Use hashtags to get a campaign trending.
Share value-added videos
Videos is the best performing content type, generating more engagement than non-video posts across all social media platforms. Think of the lead generation possibilities!
A number of social platforms offer different ways to create and share videos. Instagram is good for short-form video, whereas Facebook and Youtube are used for lengthier videos.
Posting videos offers limitless opportunities for visual content and storytelling, like how-to-videos, tips and tricks, branded advertising and behind-the-scenes looks.
HERE'S A TIP: Use a service like Wistia to convert even more leads with your videos! Wistia videos allow you to add forms that convert video viewers into leads.
Live stream to increase engagement
It may seem scary, but live streaming allows you to have a conversation with your audience in real-time (such as a Q&A session), humanize your brand, promote new products and stream events as they happen. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube all offer livestream functionality for interacting with your audience on a platform where they already follow you.
At Accelity, we believe B2B business marketing should focus, first and foremost, on generating leads. We hope the strategies here will inspire you to try something new, take a risk and, ultimately, drive leads!
If you want to turn these tips into an executed strategy, contact our B2B marketing agency.