In today’s fast-paced world, it is more important than ever to take a look at how B2B companies approach lead generation. We know that success doesn’t depend on a fancy logo or clever tagline. Image advertising is not going to keep leads rolling in. Instead, success rides on finding ideal prospects, providing a ton of value, and nurturing the new relationship.
Consider the analogy of meeting an attractive woman that may be your ideal mate. You aren’t going to go up to the person and say, “Hi, my name is Ted. Would you like to get married?”
So what do you do instead?
You warm her up first with a glance from across the room, followed by a few phone calls, and an innocent cup of coffee. Eventually, you start doing drinks, movie dates, and romantic dinners. Before you know it, you’re changing your relationship status and meeting each other’s families. Finally, you know, love, and trust each other enough that a proposal, and a committed relationship, is a no-brainer.
The same thing needs to happen in the B2B world. As a marketer, it’s important to find a way to catch that first glance, develop the relationship, and get that commitment.
A recent research report from Gleanster indicated that 50% of qualified B2B leads aren’t ready to buy. In fact, at a “Google Think B2B Conference,” it was reported that two-thirds of B2B customers research three or more companies when they’re looking to make their purchase.
Just like in the dating world, there are a lot of options. So how do you stand out from the crowd? What equates to that first glance from across the room?
A lead magnet!
A lead magnet is something of value you offer to potential buyers in exchange for their contact information. The goal is to capture as many qualified leads as possible with the intent of eventually converting them to paying, loyal customers.
When you add lead magnets to your marketing arsenal, you’ll give your company a big boost in the number of leads and, ultimately, sales.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated, over-indulgent, or time-consuming.
8 Steps for Developing a Lead Magnet
- Identify the Target AudienceTypically, this is a potential customer and it’s important to get laser-focused here. Is the prospect in a certain industry, demographic, or associated with a specific product line? How sophisticated are they? Are they a start-up that needs a lot of hand-holding or are they well-seasoned?
Getting really specific here helps you to identity what pain point you are going to address and it informs your messaging. Which leads me to …
- Develop a Problem StatementA problem statement will clearly define what the problem or pain point is, how it can be solved, and why that solution matters to the prospect. In the prospect’s mind, it qualifies why your solution may be the best option.
As the inventor Charles Kettering said, “A problem well stated is a problem half-solved.”
What challenges does the customer have? With a little investigative due diligence, you can find out. First and foremost, talk to the company’s experts in sales, customer service, marketing, and technical support. What are they hearing from current customers? Other resources include LinkedIn groups, industry associations, and forums.
- Define the FrameworkNow that the problem and solution have been clearly defined, this will inform how the content should be delivered. There are many different formats to choose from, including the following:
- Video training
- “How-to” report
- Mind map
- Flow chart
- Free trial
- Online demo
- Quiz or survey
Once you choose your format, make sure you have the resources to pull it off. For instance, do you need a writer, editor, or videographer? Are you doing a product demo? Do you need to schedule time in the lab? Experts to demo the product?
Thinking all this through will ensure everything goes smoothly.
- Develop Your Lead MagnetThere are several elements of the lead magnet that are important to your success in capturing the lead. I mean, let’s face it, what you offer has to be enticing enough they’d give away their contact information. So, what qualifies as a good lead magnet?
Your lead magnet should include the following:
- A strong headline
- High perceived value
- Speak to a specific pain point
- Be easily consumed
- Build credibility and rapport
- Provide immediate gratification
- Identify Your Traffic Source Now that you have a lead magnet, how are your prospects going to find it? Think about where they “hang out” the most. Are they really active on social media and, if so, which platform? Are they more likely to go to your website, check out your blog, or read a trade publication?
- Create the Landing PageThe landing page should focus on one message and one offer. You want your prospect to take only one action: opt-in to receive the lead magnet. As a result, it is important to avoid distractions such as on-page navigation, extra images, and extra text.
Keep the copy, image, and call-to-action (CTA) button above the fold. You don’t want them to have to scroll down. Also, make sure that your CTA is specific, such as “Sign me up for my free 30-day trial,” not generic like “Download.” And, choose a button color that stands out from the rest of the page.
Only collect the information that is important to capture. Requesting less information is better so they don’t get overwhelmed and back out of the deal.
Use visual cues like an arrow to draw their attention to the opt-in box.
Also, consider using an image of a person actually looking at the opt-in form. Research indicates that the conversion rate increases if you use this strategy.
Finally, add social share buttons so people can share your lead magnet with others. This way, the number of leads you capture can compound over time.
- Write Your Email Series Once they opt-in, you should send them a message saying thank you and giving them the link to the lead magnet that was promised. You can follow this up with emails that ask if they reviewed your information; introduce you, your company, and your product; or encourage them to opt-in to another offer. After the first week, consider weekly email messages so you stay “top of mind.”
- Test Your Funnel and PublishI’m sure it goes without saying that you need to test your funnel before you launch it. Once you’ve verified that everything is working the way it should, you’re ready to go live and start collecting those leads!
So now you understand the steps to creating and launching a lead magnet! What lead magnet will you create first?
Happy lead capturing!