What are the best lead generation strategies this year? What’s been working for us B2B marketers? How is generative AI shaking things up? How should we adapt our strategies to today’s economic downturn and budget cuts?
Yep, there’s an endless list of strategies to see successful B2B lead generation campaigns, like buying lead lists from B2B data providers, or launching cold email campaigns. But in this blog, we’re focusing on the cream of the crop.
Here are 15 of the best B2B lead generation strategies this year, based on our observations in the market, and recent B2B marketing trends data in 2023. Plus, we’ll focus on how these marketing strategies can help you generate real demand and leads, to help you hit your numbers as a marketer.
Whether you’re here to find a clearer marketing direction, valdiate your existing marketing mix, looking for inspiration, we’ve got you covered.
1. [SEO and website optimization] Use AI to repurpose and expand your content
Your website is your digital storefront. Ensuring it’s optimized for search engines is crucial.
Interestingly, 91% of B2B marketers believe that AI will significantly impact website and SEO strategies.
At the same time, 53% of marketers say they are focused on repurposed content this year, making it the top trend we’re seeing in B2B marketing.
The future of SEO is about leveraging AI-driven tools that can analyze user behavior and optimize content in real-time, and at scale.
Be sure to offer a mix of content, such as best practices, case studies, and thought leadership — and an easy way to subscribe. Post on a regular basis to keep prospects, leads, and customers coming back for more.
And basd on the trends we’re seeing, remember to actively repurpose content (which can help you bring up to 4x more pipeline).
Repurposing could mean:
- Repackaging and republishing an existing piece of content in different formats
- Syndicating content on different B2B lead generation channels or syndication platforms
This way, you can extend its reach and attract a wider audience, without too much additional legwork, and to maximize the impact of your content efforts.
2. [Video marketing] Create a free course as a lead attraction tool
A staggering 92% of B2B marketers agree that video marketing is an incredibly effective tool for lead generation. However, only 31% of these marketers consider it to be important in their current strategies.
The key to making video marketing successful? Leverage each video as lead generation magnet.
For example, offer a free course that your target audience can access online on demand. This approach taps into people’s natural inclination to learn about subjects that pique their interest.
And by sharing your company’s unique expertise in the form of a free course, you’re also able to meaningfully engage them in your facor, that significantly increase the chances of converting them into loyal leads and future customers.
Here are some examples of a free video courses you might like:
3. [Referral marketing] Ask your best customers for referrals
Given an increasing focus on human-centric marketing this year, partnerships with individuals rather than just organizations might become more prevalent.
Word of mouth is often considered an old-school marketing tactic. But it’s alive and well and very much a powerful lead generation strategy today. Think of every customer as an industry influencer that you can partner with to amplify your reach.
Often you can trigger word of mouth referrals via email, and add in some simple incentives or rewards. Or better, invest in a referral program. Partnering with an expert, like Referral Rock (we’re fans too!) will help you ramp up quickly. Personally follow up on any peers who get referred, to maximize your success.
4. [Content marketing] Produce user-generated content
Have raving fans?
Building on the previous strategy, user-generated content is about tapping into your most loyal customers and inviting them to share their exceptional experiences with your products or services. Their testimonials can be transformed into captivating stories that resonate with your target audience.
In fact, 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
Common UGC formats are social media posts, video interviews, or even quotes.
Not only does this strategy provide valuable content for your marketing efforts, but it also serves as a powerful lead generation tool. By showcasing real stories from satisfied customers, potential leads are more likely to connect with your brand and convert into loyal customers themselves.
“ViB delivered what they promised. We were blown away by the quality of the leads, the quality of our meetings, and the high rate of conversions.”
5. [Experience marketing] Engage website visitors with a free interactive tool
Experience marketing isn’t just about an immersive face-to-face event (that 50% of marketers are starting to focus on again this year).
Valuable experiences live on your website too. A powerful strategy for attracting new leads is to offer free interactive tools. These engage vistors way better than passive content.
Among the most popular options in B2B tech are:
- calculators that provide valuable insights
- quizzes that entertain and educate
- assessments that help users understand their needs
- interactive ebooks that offer an immersive reading experience
Then, pair your interactive tool or experience with a gated form that visitors must fill to unlock the full experience. Our client Illumio does a great job in this example:
The more engaging the offer, the easier it’ll be for them to give their valuable zero-party contact data.
Combining free and interactive is a potent combination. These interactive tools not only capture attention but also deliver tangible value to the users, increasing the chances of converting them into loyal customers.
6. [Chatbot marketing] Deploy a chatbot on your website
45% of marketers were already using AI-driven chatbots prior to the introduction of ChatGPT. But here’s the exciting part: as AI capabilities continue to advance, these chatbots are evolving into much more than just a handy customer support tool.
Chatbots are a smart way to engage with your website visitors in real-time. They can easily find what they’re looking for and ask questions that are important to them. This helps ensure they don’t leave because they can’t find what they need.
Now pair chatbots with generative AI, and these smart tools have the potential to create personalized and human-like interactions, that gently nudge users to a a tailored gated asset, like an ebook or free video.
By providing value where it matters, you’re sure to encourage better conversions.
7. [Event marketing] Attend or host online events to expand your network
An easy trick to generate leads even as an attendee? Be part of industry events that your audiences congregate in. These events are a great opportunity to network with peers, or even prospects who are likely to be interested in your products and services. Reach out to them afterwards, such as on LinkedIn to make a lasting connection.
Even better, run your own webinar, based on your agenda and ideal topic, to attract audiences that fit your ideal customer profile. This does take a bit more effort, so end-to-end webinar lead generation services are a great option.
8. [Appointment setting] Build trust by offering a free consultation
It’s incredibly hard to get meetings with tech prospects, but what if you twist your product-centric pitch into a customer-first consultation?
Free consultations are a strong lead generation strategy. For one thing, they give prospects the opportunity for a one-on-one dialogue with you. As a result, they can ask questions that are important to them. For another, you can make a strong connection while demonstrating what you can do for them.
9. [Email marketing] Use AI to personalize your email campaigns to drive leads
Email marketing lead generation is that trusty tool in every marketer’s toolkit. However, it requires a fresh approach to unlock its full potential.
Why? There’s a discrepancy: while 83% of marketers see email marketing as crucial, only 33% find it very effective in lead generation.
Open rates are dipping too. 14% is average email open rate in 2022 for the B2B tech industry (now compare that to other industries, with average rates hovering around >20%).
It’s time to give our email marketing campaigns a big reevaluation, and boost. Our take: personalize your email campaigns to drive leads.
The most powerful word in marketing has always been “you.” But perhaps even more powerful is a person’s name. This has been proven time and again in email marketing campaigns that are personalized with people’s names. They perform better than impersonal emails — including better open rates and higher conversions.
And now with generative AI, tools like Chatspot and more make it even easier to tailor the entire email to each account or recipient. This personaliation can boost email reply rates by up to 142%. That’s a huge win for us.
10. [Retention marketing] Build an online community
This strategy is all about building genuine relationships with customers, especially when our day-to-day is primarily digital. Online communities are virtual hubs where your stakeholders can gather with you, interact, and exchange value.
They can live on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, or a dedicated portal (like our ViB Community) and are game-changers in B2B lead generation. Here’s why:
- Engage them more personally: Catering to a niche audience ensures focused discussions, offering a direct line to user pain points and feedback.
- Showcase your expertise: Hosting interactions like regular webinars and Q&A sessions within the community can position your brand as an industry thought leader.
- Serves as a lead magnet: A vibrant community naturally attracts prospects, and there are many ways to then convert them, such as through premium memberships or value exchanges.
- Collect zero-party data: Platforms like ViB, with a community-centric approach, allow for direct data collection, which means more reliable intent and contact data for more successful marketing results.
- Deepen relationships with your prospects: Beyond casual chats, these spaces turn customers into brand ambassadors, fostering genuine connections.
Online communities are more than social hubs. They’re strategic tools, fostering trust, showcasing value, and can generate a steady flow of leads that are loyal.
That’s a big reason why our ViB Community generates some of the most qualified leads for our marketing clients.
11. [Advertising] Use retargeting to generate enaged leads
Ever wondered how those ads magically appear after you’ve checked out a brand? That’s retargeting. These clever ads are specifically aimed at people who have shown interest in your brand but haven’t quite made a purchase yet.
With 47% of B2B marketing leaders increasing their ad spending, allocating a portion of your budget to retargeting is a smart move. Why? Because it keeps potential leads engaged and increases your chances of converting them into loyal customers.
Unlike branding ads, retargeting is grounded in generating leads. So, don’t let those potential customers slip away – consider investing in retargeting ads to give your brand an extra boost and turn curious browsers into devoted fans.
12. [Market research] Offer original data to educate your audience
Like some of the statistics you’ve been seeing? That’s the perfect example of conducting market research to educate your audience.
Research isn’t traditionally a big part of most marketing mixes, with only 30% of B2B marketers considering it to be an important strategy today.
But, they do have great applications in product marketing, content marketing, and sales. 90% of B2B marketers see market research as effective in generating leads.
We’ve also seen clients use market research to generate $5 million in pipeline.
Understanding your target audience and what they’re thinking is a classic way to generate leads. With good market research, you can think like your prospects and deliver what they need when they need it.
And from the content perspective, you can endlessly repurpose your original data for SEO and thought leadership, especially with market research services with no branding restrictions or licensing fees.
Discover the latest trends and statistics — and the key actions B2B marketers and leaders need to take today.
13. [Social media marketing] Stay ahead with short-form videos
Let’s keep a close eye on short-form videos.
We know that short-form video yields the best ROI among all social media marketing techniques, with 30% of social media marketers intending to prioritize it over other trends in 2022. Yet in B2B, only 31% of B2B marketers recognize the importance of video marketing as effective. However, this statistic might just be scratching the surface of untapped potential.
While it may seem that some B2B marketers are missing out, the truth is that video and audio marketing have been proven to yield extraordinary results. With the rising popularity of platforms like TikTok and Twitch, it’s becoming increasingly evident that video should not be overlooked in any marketing strategy.
By incorporating compelling short-form videos, businesses have the exceptional opportunity to engage, entertain, and convert their target audience. If you have the budget and resources, it’s wise to get started and stay ahead of the competition.
14. [Pricing strategy] Offer promos and trials that focus on exclusivity
Another great value-forward ‘freebie’ to consider for your next lead generation strategy is to offer prospects trials for your products or services.
The try-before-you-buy approach is potent because it helps prospects move past the decision-making stage. They will appreciate the opportunity to test drive your product or service before deciding.
Like their name says, special offers make recipients feel special. That’s why don’t just do mass discounts, but launch exclusive offers to a select audience, or use the right messaging. Exclusivity is a powerful psychological tactic and irresistible to the right audience.
For example, as a valued reader, we’re happy to offer you some exclusive trial discounts for our flagship solutions that aren’t available on our standard pricing page:
15. [Outsource] Level up with a B2B lead generation agency
While in-house efforts have their merits, there’s undeniable value in bringing onboard specialists who eat, sleep, and breathe lead generation. Here’s why partnering with a B2B lead generation agency can be a game-changer:
Expertise on tap: Agencies bring a wealth of experience from diverse industries. This means tested strategies, fewer missteps, and quicker results.
Resource efficiency: Instead of spreading your team thin, let experts handle lead gen while your team focuses on core competencies.
Advanced tools & tech: Top-tier agencies, like ViB, leverage cutting-edge B2B lead generation software and data-driven methodologies, ensuring you’re always a step ahead.
Customized solutions: Agencies tailor their range of B2B demand generation services based on your unique needs, ensuring a fit-for-purpose strategy rather than a one-size-fits-all.
Consistent pipeline: With a dedicated team on the job, expect a steady stream of high-quality leads, enhancing your conversion rates.
And for a little extra help, read our blog on choosing the right B2B lead generation agency, or check out this one-page checklist of the 15 must-ask questions to ensure your agency is the right fit for you.
Scale B2B lead generation today
Which strategy did you like best?
Navigating the intricate maze of B2B lead generation can be daunting. But there are myriad ways to enhance your lead generation efforts, each tailored to different needs and industries. Yet, the common thread binding them all is the pursuit of genuine, high-quality leads that drive business growth.
If you’re looking to truly elevate your lead generation game, consider partnering with experts who’ve been in the trenches, understand the nuances, and have a proven track record. At ViB, we pride ourselves on our community-driven approach, delivering leads that aren’t just numbers, but potential partners in your business journey.
Ready to take the leap? Let’s embark on this journey together. Reach out to us for a 15-minute consultation, and let’s chart the course to your B2B marketing success. Your next big lead might just be a conversation away.