There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to generate business leads. The situation is made worse when you lack real solutions. After all, it’s not like you don’t generate enough content. In fact, you consistently produce content week-after-week. However, despite your best efforts, the results aren’t forthcoming.
The most effective marketing strategies are adaptive to measurable results, or lack therof. If something isn’t working, then do something different. If you are generating qualified leads, then improve upon your success. Here are five reasons why your once bulletproof B2B marketing strategies may need an upgrade.
Having a strategy session always helps.
1. Relying Upon Content Alone
Yes, content is king and it’s extremely important in today’s digital marketplace. However, content alone won’t get it done. It doesn’t matter how well-written your pieces are or how well you incorporate videos and infographics. Content is only one compontent of a complex system which must be aligned with a hightly targeted audience at specific stages in the buyers journey. Content requires authority, context, and might require both inbound and outbound promotion to effectively drive new sales leads.
Ultimately, relying upon one B2B marketing approach to generate leads doesn’t work. It’s the companies that combine approaches that come out ahead.
2. Being Good, but Not Being Different
Don’t make the all too common mistake of stating that you have the best offering. Best compared to who? From your customer’s perspective, your business only exists in a world of comparisons between alternative choices. Differentiating your business doesn’t mean simply picking out the attributes that you believe are strengths. A successful differentiation strategy requires that you pick a plot of mindspace that you can own. Make sure that you understand the other perceived positions that your competitors likely own in the minds of your ideal customers and build your strategy on the feasibility of owning a unique space that is currently unnoccupied or taking over one that is currently held by a competitor. Everybody claims to have fantastic customer service, the best products and excellent after-sales service and support. However, that’s not a value proposition and it isn’t enough to win your customers over.
You need to distinguish your company’s value by defining why you’re unique, why customers should buy from you and why you should be their first and only option when they need to reorder. This comes from having a well-explained value proposition, one that clearly distinguishes your company and one you use throughout all of lead generation approaches.
3. Thinking Social Media is a Self-Managing Process
For some inexplicable reason, companies have assumed that a social media strategy means merely existing in a social media environment or publishing promotional content. That’s like saying that your “word-of-mouth” strategy is simply showing up at the right parties and talking about yourself. “Social” is code for conversations – those between peers, or between influencers and listeners. Users of social media are unlikely to promote a company’s messaging without thoughtful and consistent engagement. You have to invest time and effort to transform your social media activity into real world, measurable business value. Becoming a proactive social media partner requires directly engaging, educating, responding, and measuring interactions with your audience.
4. Not Measuring Results or Defining Success
It’s common for companies to become enamored with generating leads online. Many companies are excited about activity for activity’s sake, even though they might be generating poorly performing leads and wasting sales resources interacting with unqualified opportunities. Companies that fail to drive a successful B2B marketing strategy are typically not measuring performance. They may not be tracking incoming leads to their website and they might lack an understand of the important process of converting users from visitors, to leads, and then to prospective customers. Without a specific, measurable goal to guide your campaign, it is unlikely that you will be able to manage the process effectively.
Your goal is to generate leads, get new customers, win business and keep those customers coming back. If you aren’t tracking conversion rates on website visits, then it doesn’t matter how many leads you generate.
You can change course and achieve fantastic results.
5. Lack of a Clearly-Defined Strategy
So, what if you are a company that combines multiple lead generation approaches, and yet still can’t seem to turn the tide? Well, you’re probably lacking a cohesive strategy. It’s not enough just to use multiple platforms; growing a digital brand requires a plan and the follow-through capabilities to measure that plan’s success or failure.
A number of companies pay lip service to generating leads online. They create content, run digital advertising campaigns, and get involved in social media, because they read somewhere, or heard from someone, that these things are important. However, they don’t have a strategy to bring all of these marketing ideas together.
A content creation and B2B marketing calendar will help you bring that strategy together by marrying multiple approaches under one roof. A perfect example might include identifying an upcoming tradeshow on the calendar and planning all of your lead generation strategies to coincide with that date. This ensures that you’re one step ahead and always prepared.
At some point every company needs a B2B marketing refresher. Every company invariably encounters a period where its marketing ideas and approaches become stale and outdated. It’s common. However, doing nothing is not a plan. Take that first step and make a change.