Building an effective B2B marketing strategy may seem much more challenging than B2C promotions. C and VP-level buyers usually take a lot of time to make decisions. They arrange meetings, get into heated discussions, and run risk assessment before they make up their mind about your offer.
But the truth is many B2C and B2B marketing channels overlap. Both groups have social media accounts, come across paid ads, check their emails and mailboxes. Both value a customer-centric approach and when the needs of clients are put first.
They just expect a different tone of communication. B2B leads need more careful nurturing and a higher level of personalization across all B2B marketing channels.
Want to know how to generate leads offline & online and nurture them right? Keep reading to find out:
- What’s happening with B2B marketing: Key metrics on B2B marketing channels in 2020 and beyond
- B2B marketing channels used for online lead generation and nurturing
- How to generate leads offline and what channels are still effective under social distancing
- Direct mail automation for lead nurturing and lead generation strategies
What’s Happening with B2B Marketing: Key Metrics on B2B Marketing Channels in 2020 and Beyond
By now, 2020 turned out a much bigger surprise than anyone could have predicted. Especially, small and medium businesses that are now struggling to maintain supply chains, engage new partners, and find more affordable offers. 75% of companies surveyed in March reported a partial supply chain disruption, whereas 44% turned out to be totally unprepared for that.
Even though such disruption results in temporary problems, it also means that many supply chains will be rebuilt in a new way. B2B companies are likely to become more open to new business proposals and marketing communications.
These tendencies determine how to generate leads offline and online in 2020. With the right use of B2B marketing channels and flexibility, you can come out of the crisis stronger. Just make sure to always stay in touch with your B2B leads and update them on your current affairs across all the touchpoints.
As a guide on what B2B marketing channels and approaches are best to focus on, Inkit has collected some latest statistics:
- 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn
- 72% of buyers want to receive personalized communications from B2B companies
- 81% of non-C-level employees impact B2B sales decisions
- 70% of B2B marketers use content marketing to generate leads and 68% utilize content for lead nurturing
B2B Marketing Goals Achieved with Content
- 84% of C and VP-level buyers admit that social media influences their purchase decisions
- Over 60% of B2B companies use at least one marketing automation platform
- Email marketing is one of the most widely used B2B approaches with over 80% of marketers utilizing it in their strategies
- In some fields, including travel, transportation, real estate, and construction, organic traffic declined by up to 50% due to COVID-19. On the other hand, finances, food, healthcare, and media, show significant growth.
- Stay-at-home orders have increased time spent on checking online news, using social media, and reading print among all age groups
No doubt, pandemic combined with the economic crisis change our daily needs and preferences. People are shifting to online communications for obvious reasons but this doesn’t make them stop missing offline. Therefore, your updated marketing strategy must consider the interests of both online and offline leads.
B2B Marketing Channels Used for Online Lead Generation and Nurturing
To better understand how to nurture and generate leads offline or online, you should be aware of the customer journey your consumers make. Make sure to clarify what B2B marketing channels impact them most, and focus on them.
Here are some commonly used online lead generation strategies with proven efficiency:
Online Lead Generation via Social Media Marketing
SMM takes the lead among B2B marketing approaches with 95% of marketers using social media to promote their businesses. Blogging and email newsletters take the second and third places with 89% and 81% respectively. The popularity of SMM techniques for online lead generation and nurturing isn’t surprising – most VP- and C-level managers, as well as other potential decision-makers, have social media accounts.
Note that for B2B, LinkedIn is considered the top choice. It helps with inbound online lead generation and later on nurtures the engaged leads with relevant content and communications. Twitter and Facebook are also quite effective channels to expand your B2B target audience and grow brand awareness.
Online Lead Generation via Blog Posts and Content Marketing
Blogging and content marketing are great ways to show your proficiency and expertise in a specific field. Quality content creates trust between your company and potential customers, proving that you have what’s needed to help them. It’s a powerful tool to attract, nurture leads, and unobtrusively convince them that your product is the best.
And one more thing… Although content marketing comprises everything you publish online, be it infographics or podcasts, good old articles still rule. Especially for lead nurturing. 49% B2B of marketers name articles the most effective way to move leads through the sales funnel.
Online Lead Generation via Email Marketing
Emails are the foundation of any online lead generation and nurturing campaign. They are essential to communicate with potential clients throughout their customer journey. Marketing and sales teams use emails to welcome newly generated leads, update them on relevant product or service offers, help with solving any issues, and more.
The best thing about email marketing is an affordable price and broad automation capabilities. With modern software, you can run triggered-based email marketing campaigns perfectly tailored to each lead.
Online Lead Generation via Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
With the smart use of search engines, you can make your landing page more noticeable among competitors. SEO practices focus on a range of website’s characteristics – starting from load speed to on-page keywords density. Quality SEO will not only enhance your search ranking but also generate potential clients that are likely to convert. When the landing page appears for relevant search queries, the people who open it already know what they want. That’s why the generated leads need less nurturing and in some cases, may instantly go to the order page or your contact information to get in touch.
How to Generate Leads Offline and What Channels Are Still Effective Under Social Distancing
Just a few months ago, trade shows and event sponsorship would be listed as top B2B offline lead generation tools along with direct mail. Now, due to stay-at-home orders, the offline interactions of potential customers are limited. Even when the quarantine ends, people will need some time to get back to normal. Thus, many companies are puzzled about how to generate leads offline.
If you also aren’t sure how to generate leads offline under the current social unrest, consider the options below.
Offline Lead Generation via Sponsorships. Social Responsibility and Social Projects
Social responsibility is crucial for any modern B2C or B2B company that wants to build long-term relationships with potential clients. Show that your business cares about its B2B partners, employees, and average citizens. Find the ways to help your local community, medical institutions, or small businesses to go through the crisis, and your goodwill will be paid back. Brand reputation and readiness to cooperate have always been critical to earning the trust of your target audience.
Offline Lead Generation via Referral Programs
Reward your loyal customers if they recommend your company to somebody else and help you engage new B2B leads. Word-of-mouth marketing helps to build brand awareness free of charge. You just need to make sure your existing customers are satisfied with your service and can easily share it via referral link, for example. Once you get brand ambassadors, offer them some incentives. You can use brand swags, offer free passes to the conferences you hold, provide a sales commission, or unlock additional features if you sell software.
Offline Lead Generation via Direct Mail Marketing
Mail B2B marketing strategy is a universal offline approach that withstood the expansion of online marketing and will withstand the quarantine limitations. Direct mail has over 10 times higher response rate than emails, paid search, and social media. It can boost your conversion rates by offering digitally intoxicated B2B leads offline interactions they miss so much. Direct mail also helps businesses exchange important documents and print communications they cannot hand over personally. Most importantly, today, thanks to automation software, direct mail is as easy to send and track as emails.
Direct Mail Automation for Lead Nurturing and Lead Generation Strategies
Even though direct mail can be used separately, it works best when powered with online means. Use advanced marketing software to connect offline and online B2B marketing channels, creating a single customer journey.
In this respect, Inkit’s API integration platform is a truly unique solution. It automates your offline communications while integrating with hundreds of tools for lead marketing and management. As a result, you can build fully automated lead nurturing and generation campaigns with minimum effort. For example, your prospects may automatically receive a welcome postcard once they subscribe to your social media or enjoy custom discount catalogs based on the products viewed.
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