Lead generation is a huge topic for B2B businesses and effective lead generation takes two steps.
There’s the awareness step where you are creating awareness of who you are and what you do in your target audience. And then there’s the interest step, which is generating interest in those that are ready to buy in your solution and having them raise their hand to make contact with you.
Today, I’m going to talk about that first step awareness: how to select and deliver effective awareness campaigns.
What not to do
First, there are three common mistakes that you want to watch out for.
One is to rely on your sales team to do this for you. Awareness is all about reach and efficiency, and asking your sales seem to manually do that for you is a real waste of a valuable resource.
Second, that big event – the trade show you go to once a year and really invest in, or that ad campaign that you’re excited about that you place in a really important publication – doesn’t give you the end result you need.
It could be part of your solution, but you need to have a more steady state approach.
Third, it’s common to try to combine awareness and interest in one shot and expect to have leads come out the other end. That usually doesn’t work. You’re asking too much of a single tactic.
You may have experienced hiring a vendor to create a paid ad campaign, invest in SEO or deliver an email campaign, and it just didn’t deliver the leads you need.
Reach + frequency
By isolating awareness, you are able to greatly simplify every approach and come up with a very strong campaign at a really affordable price.
And quantifying what success looks like is straightforward: it’s the number of organizations that you’re targeting, times the number of impressions of your business that you want to create in them, within the time frame of a sale cycle in your industry.
Once you know those numbers, you can do the math and choose the tactics that make the most sense for your business.
There are three filters that you should use to decide on which tactics to use. Once you’ve done the math, you can rate your possible campaigns against:
- Focus – how targeted can you make that tactic?
- Spam risk – how sensitive will your audience be to getting hit by a message multiple times?
- Cost per impression
Some tactics may be stronger in one or the other of these factors. You want to look at all three to decide on which campaigns you can use.
Some common successful tactics for awareness for B2B:
- LinkedIn is one that usually does well in all three factors.
- Webinars tend to be pretty good on all, and very cost efficient.
- SEO is another one that, depending on how you get it done, can be a high return. You do have to watch the cost.
There are dozens of options. Be creative, think out of the box. This is a chance for you to personalize your approach. You want to think about what’s right for your business.
Time to execute
Okay, so you’ve got your tactics ready. It’s time to execute.
Keep these three things in mind.
- It takes time. You want to stick with your plan and don’t give up too soon. You typically want to commit to trying it for three sale cycles at least, before you change course.
- Keep it simple, because it’s just about awareness. The strongest campaigns have the simplest messages. An example is pay per click (PPC) advertising. You can use a version of that called pay per impression advertising (PPI), where your goal is just to get that ad in front of your audience on a web page. You don’t even need them to click for them to get an impression.
- Measure and adapt. You’ll probably want to have several campaign several tactics. As you go, try different amounts of investment in each and see which one works. It’s likely going to be a combination of different tactics that work best for you to gain those impressions.
Awareness can be very straightforward and very cost efficient if you focus on it as a particular tactic.