When you don’t have a big budget, you must focus on using free or low cost marketing strategies to attract your B2B customer. But which B2B lead generating efforts are most effective?
If you’re a SaaS B2B, your lead generation tactics will differ from the traditional marketing wisdom dispensed to B2C companies. In this post, we’ll focus specifically on B2B marketing, and discuss how to leverage free and readily available strategies to pull in high quality leads.
Create a Buyer Persona
The first step to attract high quality B2B leads is to deeply understand your ideal buyer. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, you won’t be able to focus the beam. But think beyond basic demographics. You must also know their pain points and motivation to buy in order to create the right marketing strategies to reel them in.
That starts by creating a detailed buyer persona. Even though you’re a B2B, you still need to appeal to the individual stakeholders in each business. This person is who your marketing efforts will initially attract and also who you’ll deal with directly during the lifespan of your relationship.
Here’s how to craft a B2B buyer persona:
Get the basic demographics out of the way first. Demographics, such as age, location, and job title, are usually the first things you’ll know about your target buyer.
Delve into their educational and professional background. How much experience do they have on the job? The way you’ll introduce your business to a new director will differ from how you’ll handle a seasoned pro.
Describe the target buyer’s behavior. What do they do each day? In what way would they be most likely to find you (search engine query, social media ad, guest post on a popular industry blog)? Where does the buyer “hang out” online (social media, industry forums, blogs)?
Understand the business that they represent. What is the business’ goals? What is the industry? What do you know about that industry? What are its current challenges, and how does your SaaS offer a satisfactory solution? What size is the business? Does it have multiple locations? Which department(s) will you assist and how?
Understand the business’ pain points. What problem can you help solve? How does the business currently attempt to solve this problem? Why are they reaching out for help now? What terms would they use to describe these problems?
Understand the business’ hesitations. What stops them from buying your solution right away? Will the key stakeholder need to receive approval from others? What is their budget? What will positively influence their decision to buy from you? What is the process for purchasing?
In addition to creating your ideal buyer persona from scratch, you can also take a look at live examples from your previous or current B2B customers. Another option is to take a look at your website’s analytics. This demographic data can tell you a lot about who’s currently attracted to your business’ offerings.
Here’s a template for crafting your B2B buyer persona.
Create a Lead Generating Marketing Funnel
After nailing down a detailed buyer persona, it’s time to create an effective B2B marketing funnel.
Why do you need a marketing funnel to bring in B2B customers?
You need it because not everyone you attract will be the ideal customer for your B2B SaaS, and you only want to deal with ideal customers. Trust me.
You’ll sift a large amount of prospects through your funnel to arrive at a relative few who will actually buy from you. Because you have a limited (or non-existent) budget, it’s crucial that you nail down your lead generation funnel to produce the highest quality leads. Let’s discuss how to make that happen.
Construct a simple funnel with the following stages:
- Awareness – Attract attention through inbound and outbound lead generation tactics.
- Inbound lead generation means that you lead a trail back to your business. You can do this through SEO, blog posts, guest posts, press releases, social media posts, and videos.
- Outbound lead generation means that you interrupt and temporarily block the prospect’s path. This can be done through cold-calling, cold emailing, direct mail, pop-ups, and video ads.
- Lead nurturing – Continue to engage your ideal prospects through content marketing. You’ll use your content, such as blog posts, to educate your prospects on their problem and point them to your product or service as the solution. A big part of content marketing is building trust with your leads by answering their questions and reducing their hesitations to buy from you. You can use email marketing and social media marketing to keep your leads on the hook. Here’s how:
Use email as an individual channel to reach your prospective buyer. To build up your email list with the right buyers, offer a B2B-friendly lead magnet, such as an eBook, guide, or template. Then segment your email list according to buyer persona so that you can tailor your messages specifically for them.
Use social media as another way to stay connected to your prospective buyer. For the B2B crowd, you’ll need to think carefully about which social media platform the key stakeholder is most likely to use and be influenced by. The answer depends on your target industry, but may include LinkedIn and Facebook. Use tools like Facebook remarketing to reach prospects who haven’t returned to your site.
- Action – After you’ve educated the prospect and gained their trust, it’s time to convert them to customers. This is the beautiful stage where you gently push your prospects into a decision. You can do this through various offers, such as product demos, webinars, white papers, comparison guides, one-on-one consultations, and trials. You can also use email or remarketing tools as a platform for these calls to action.
Focus on the Top of the Funnel
Now that we’ve taken an overview of your B2B marketing funnel, let’s focus in on the top of the funnel, which is where you’ll generate your leads.
As mentioned before, there are two marketing strategies you can focus on: Inbound and outbound. When you have little to no budget, inbound marketing is always the right choice because it’s the cheapest.
It’s also a lot easier to attract leads through inbound strategies because they’re meeting you halfway. Here’s what I mean:
With inbound marketing, you draw prospects to you through a carefully planned strategy that includes content, social media messaging, and SEO. Your prospects are currently looking for solutions to these problems, and then they luck upon your blog post or YouTube video. (Is it luck or is it killer SEO?)
That’s right— Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, plays a pivotal role in attracting and generating prospects. If your ideal prospect uses Google Search to find solutions to their problem, will they come across your business blog?
To entice the right leads through search, you must:
- Understand your prospect’s pain
- Know the exact words and phrases (a.k.a. keywords) that your prospect uses to describe that pain
- Create content to answer their queries
- Use those exact words/ phrases in your content, titles, meta descriptions, and image tags
SEO isn’t the sole focus in your top of funnel lead generation. You should also use social media. Here are a few ways to leverage social media to bring in more B2B prospects:
- Promote your content, including blog posts, guest posts, white papers, eBooks, case studies, and more
- Identify and build relationships with industry influencers
- Get involved in social media groups that contain your target buyers
- Repurpose your content into videos that you post on YouTube, a major social media platform
- Remarket to people who’ve visited your website
Hey, before you go, check out these related lead generating resources:
- Optimizing Your Site for Organic Search Engine Traffic: A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Use Contests to Gain Exposure for Your SaaS Business
- Increase Traffic to Your Website With These Hacks
- How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy From Scratch
- SEO for SaaS: Here’s What You Need to Know
Don’t forget to download your B2B buyer persona template here.