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While there is a huge amount of information available for businesses interested in generating business-to-consumer (B2C) leads and sales using digital marketing, it’s significantly more difficult to find detailed information on B2B lead generation.

Part of this is due to the more competitive nature of B2B marketing. A successful company is unlikely to give away its marketing secrets, and consultants in the B2B sales industry are equally unlikely to give away valuable information for free.

While B2B marketing can seem difficult, it’s far from impossible. Using four simple methods of traffic generation – Google Adwords, SEO, LinkedIn Ads, and display ad networks – your industrial business can easily generate its own sales leads.

From scalable search marketing platforms to direct-to-influencer advertising, read on to discover four digital platforms and strategies that industrial businesses can use to generate business-to-business leads.

Google Adwords: Paid Search Engine Traffic

Google’s Adwords advertising platform is one of the web’s most popular marketing solutions. Every day, billions of advertising impressions are served across Google’s large network of publishers and search engines.

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on Google search advertising on the Adwords Search Network. By bidding on keywords that you think your prospects will search for, you can access valuable traffic that can turn into qualified leads.

Google Adwords is a great research tool for B2B lead generators interested in using SEO to generate traffic. By running an Adwords search campaign, you can identify the keywords that are most likely to convert into customers and incorporate them into your SEO campaigns.

SEO: Organic Search Engine Traffic

While Google Adwords gives you immediate access to traffic, it comes at a cost. Due to the immense level of competition for many B2B keywords, that cost can often be as much as thousands of dollars per day to generate just a few useful sales leads.

By focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), you can generate the same level of traffic from Google as a paid search campaign can provide at no ongoing cost. SEO is a long-term solution to the short-term traffic costs of Adwords.

Just like great search marketing campaigns depend on high quality keywords, great SEO campaigns depend on excellent, proven keyword research. Use Adwords to find good keywords before adding them to your long-term SEO campaigns.

LinkedIn Ads: Direct Access to Influencers

While networking on LinkedIn is a time-consuming, slow process, using LinkedIn’s ad platform to generate leads is quick and simple. LinkedIn Ads lets you target your prospects by job title or company, making it easy for you to generate leads from the people that matter the most to your business.

By selecting a specific job title – for example, purchasing manager or environmental manager – you can laser target your campaign and only pay for clicks from the users that are most likely to convert into customers.

Display Advertising: Contextual Traffic

While display advertising is primarily used for B2C marketing, a growing number of business-to-business marketers are running display campaigns aimed at producing short-form sales leads.

Because display advertising targets a passive audience – people navigating another website, rather than directly searching for your product and service – it’s best suited to generating short leads such as names, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Display advertising is also an excellent choice for raising awareness and building a brand for your business. Many display campaigns produce ‘view through sales’ due to people viewing ads then purchasing your product or service at a later date.

Experiment to discover the best B2B lead generation platform

Every business has a unique benefit or advantage that makes it suited to Adwords, SEO, LinkedIn Ads, display advertising, or perhaps another form of traffic. Since it’s often difficult to know which form of traffic is best for your business, treat your first few lead generation campaigns as small experiments aimed at a greater goal.

After a while, you’ll be able to identify the marketing methods that produce the best results for your business at the lowest cost. Focus on discovering the most profitable form of marketing for your B2B business, and then scale up your efforts once you’ve found the most suitable digital marketing system for your goals.