How to Grow B2B Leads 385% with Digital Marketing

How to Grow B2B Leads 385% with Digital Marketing

Vertical Measures first started working in digital marketing in 2004 and published one of the earliest books on content marketing in 2011. We’ve grown countless B2B websites into traffic and revenue powerhouses. HubSpot reports that B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who do not. Additionally, they’re 13x more likely to receive positive marketing ROI.

The problem? It’s hard work and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Having a blog is no longer enough.

Measuring success by traffic growth doesn’t cut it, either. More than 97% of your website visitors leave your site without engaging. You need to build an audience that you own and then leverage your audience to generate revenue.

If you’re interested in building a marketing asset that drives real, long-term revenue growth – then continue reading. Here’s a framework and example of how one business, Business Enterprise Mapping (BEM), was able to achieve these results:

How-to-Grow-Your-B2B-Leads-BEM-Goals

Proven Steps to Grow Your B2B Lead Volume

Traffic, leads, and revenue growth doesn’t happen overnight. Despite what you might read, there’s no magic tactic that will solve your marketing and sales woes. It’s hard work, execution, and sound strategy over the long-term that will make you a success story like BEM.

Here’s a framework that will put you on a path to long-term growth:

  1. Getting executive buy-in
  2. Establishing a Digital Marketing Strategy
    • Audience Strategy
    • Content Strategy
    • Website Strategy
  3. Finding Writers
  4. Optimizing Your Content
  5. Publishing Content
  6. Test, Learn, Iterate

Getting Executive Buy-In

If you have a substantial paid media budget, this tends to be easier as the executive team will see immediate results.

If you don’t, this is likely the single most important step of all.

Your goal is to build a marketing asset that drives revenue for years to come. Like the construction of other business assets (an office building, for example) this requires a time-investment and an executive team that understands the ROI timeline and why content is created.

Business Enterprise Mapping

Establishing thought-leadership in the industry was a key initiative for BEM and critical to their success. Not only did the executive team understand the investment timeline, goals, and strategy they created much of the content themselves and were heavily involved in content promotional efforts on LinkedIn.

While this level of involvement isn’t required to be successful, the buy-in and support on the initiative is critical.

Establishing a Digital Marketing Strategy

A strategy defines what you’ll need to be successful and ensures that you stay aligned with that direction years from now. You’ll want to define 3 critical aspects of your strategy: Audience Strategy, Content Strategy, and Website Strategy.

These should change over time as you test, learn, and iterate along the way.

Download our FREE actionable playbook to creating a content marketing strategy, based on a proven success model that works for businesses across the spectrum.

Business Enterprise Mapping

In its most basic form, BEM’s initial strategy included:

  • Audience: Find buyers among the noise
  • Content: Consistent publishing (50+/year)
  • Website: Redesign to improve the customer journey

Audience Strategy

At this step, you’ll define who your audience is and how you’ll reach them with content.

You must reach your audience effectively at each stage of the customer journey. If you don’t, you’ll find them seeking out information elsewhere: on your competitor’s websites.

You’ll also want to create personas at this stage as well to help your writers and internal team members stay aligned each time new content is created.

Interested in bringing your own buyer personas to life? Find out how you can build accurate personas mapped to the customer’s journey.

Business Enterprise Mapping

As is often the case with B2B businesses, BEM had different people with very different needs seeking information at each stage of their customer journey.

Armed with this knowledge, they were able to create content that effectively addressed their audience’s pain points, based on who they were and what questions they were asking.

B2B-Leads-BEM-Audience-Strategy

Content Strategy

Your content strategy will define what you’ll create. This is based on what types of content (written, video, visual, interactive, long-form, short-form, podcast, etc.) your audience prefers to consume at each stage of their journey.

This will also help you prepare for what content creation mediums you’ll need to create. Every audience is unique, and every industry has unique content gaps waiting for a brand to step into.

Business Enterprise Mapping

A mix of long-form/short-form written content, visual, and video content was optimal for BEM’s audience. This mix was then aligned to the customer journey.

B2B-Leads-BEM-Content-Strategy

Website Strategy

Your website strategy will define how your website will help your audience move through their customer journey. Getting your audience to your website, of course, is the first challenge.

Once on your site, your website’s job is to turn them into an owned audience by getting them to take a conversion action.

Business Enterprise Mapping

To better align BEM’s website with their audience’s customer journey, a website redesign was completed. This had a dramatic impact on user experience and user flow through the site.

A new website is not the right answer for everyone. Like any other marketing decision, this should be assessed in terms of ROI and projected results with and without a redesign.

B2B-Leads-BEM-Website-Strategy

Finding B2B Writers

Quality, not quantity, is everything when it comes to your content production. Quality, in the sense that your content speaks to your audience’s needs and completely answers their questions, is critical.

Finding content producers doesn’t have to be hard. You have 3 main options when it comes to finding writers or you could utilize a mix of each:

  1. Partner with an agency
  2. Hire and manage your own team of freelance writers
  3. Produce your own content

Business Enterprise Mapping

Because BEM operates in such a technical niche, they felt it was important to produce most of their content with their in-house experts. BEM did look to Vertical Measures for video and other highly visual/interactive content types.

Optimizing Your Content

The first step is to create awesome content people actually want to read. This is easier said than done and is the most common point of failure for businesses that are consistently producing content.

Next, make sure it’s optimized so that those people who want to read it, can find it.

Our CEO, Arnie Kuenn, explains our methodology in detail:

Publishing Content

To grow your site performance, you must publish regularly.

If you’re starting from scratch, aim for 4-5 posts/month to get started. Once you get into a rhythm and used to the process, increase from there.

The main reason that businesses fail at digital marketing is that they’re too focused on getting it perfect, so they never make progress.

They never hit publish.

Business Enterprise Mapping

From Day 1, BEM was committed to their content calendar and publishing 50 times/year.

Their executives believed in the long-term payoff and for months published and published with minimal ROI. Today, they have an outstanding blog and fully built out resource center. 76.3% of their total site traffic each month is driven by organic search.

Test, Learn, Iterate

A digital marketing strategy should be a living, constantly updated thing, not a document collecting dust on your bookshelf. The industry and your audience change too rapidly to be successful any other way.

Beyond that, you won’t get it perfect right away. We don’t, and we do it every single day!

Formally scheduling a review is the only way to make sure you’re constantly improving. At a minimum, you should schedule a quarterly review of your efforts. Use this meeting to review:

  1. Completed Work
  2. Results
  3. Opportunities
    • To improve results
    • To improve communication and workflow
  4. Updated plan
  5. Goals for next quarter

Business Enterprise Mapping

While we got a lot right from the start with BEM, we got some big things wrong too! The ability and humility to quickly identify and refine those items led to the results BEM has today.

Here are a few of the biggest adjustments we made along the way:

  • Persona Development
    • The original personas weren’t wrong, but they were too broad. Narrowing them further enabled the content to speak more deeply to the audience’s pain points, improving engagement.
  • Awareness Stage Content
    • While awareness stage content was driving significant traffic volume, there were concerns that the audience was too broad (example: people just looking to learn about six sigmas but not meeting any other audience criteria).
    • Along with the revised personas, BEM shifted focus towards the consideration and decision stage content driving better engagement levels.
  • Lead Nurture
    • As BEM’s audience and lead volume has grown, so too has the volume of unqualified leads. A lead nurture system was put in place to build to brand loyalty and hopefully retain these unqualified leads until they have a future need.

Now it’s Your Turn…

Do you have a plan to build an audience that you own?

When your audience goes to Google are you anticipating their needs so that your brand is in the right place, at the right time, with the right answers?

Following the steps above will get you started on the right path to creating a game-changing asset for your company growing your B2B lead flow.

Build Your Own Audience, Then Leverage It For Revenue Growth

We measure everything we do. We can show you the average results for all our clients, and they are impressive. 

  • Our average SEO & content client increases their traffic by 66% in the first year.
  • Our average coaching client increases their traffic by 96% in the first year.
  • Our average Paid Media client saw increased leads of more than 140% and decreased costs of more than 40% last year.

We let our results speak for themselves – and they are, indeed, typical.

See Our Case Studies

Zach Etten
zache@verticalmeasures.com

Zach is a seasoned leader with nearly 10 years of digital marketing experience. His analytical and goal focused approach has helped businesses achieve lofty growth initiatives through search, social, and content marketing. Outside of work, you can usually find Zach cheering on any of the Boston sports teams.