4 step guide to generating B2B Tech Leads

Grant Cole Content, Email, Lead Generation, SEO Leave a Comment

This guide is going to show you how to put in place a powerful system that allows you to predictably generate high-quality , B2B Tech leads.

It’s really important you go through this process in order and try not to rush anything.

If one step isn’t working, it has a knock-on effect on the next, so whether it’s your content, your email marketing series or your traffic sources, make sure they’re done to the highest quality possible.

With that said, let’s get started!

Introduction

Are you tasked with generating leads for a B2B Technology company? Whether you're the Digital Marketing Manager for an enterprise software company, or the founder of a small SaaS startup, it's essential you have a water-tight process for taking someone from being a stranger to being a client.

This blog is going to show you exactly how to do that.

Here’s what we’re going to be looking at:

  1. How to create a piece of content that provides real value and demonstrates how your technology solution benefits people
  2. How to create a lead magnet related to your blog post that will get your readers to provide you with their email address
  3. How to create an email marketing strategy that builds trust with your new email list member and makes them more likely to become a client
  4. How to get as many people as possible to the top of the process
  5. BONUS: How to use paid advertising to scale your process

So, if you’re ready to get started, let's find out how you can start generating leads for your B2B Technology company on demand.

Step 1: Create an amazing piece of content

It’s almost impossible to get away from hearing it. “Just, create great content”

The thing is, though, it’s true.

BUT.

There’s a bit more to it than just writing it.

Creating great content is a good start but it’s only the foundation of a strategy that takes someone from barely knowing about you, to them seeing you as being valuable to them.

So, in that case, what tools can you use to make sure you’re going to create content that people really want before you’ve written it?

Using Buzzsumo

A great first place to check is Buzzsumo. This will show you what people are already reading and sharing within your industry right now.

First off, go to Buzzsumo and type in a topic. For this example, I’m going to act as if I provide content marketing software for businesses, so I’ve used “content marketing”.

This gives me an idea of what’s already working within this topic.

Taking a look through the list, the two things that stick out to me most are:

  1. List-based articles work really well with this audience
  2. The best content is either speaking about trends or how to improve your content marketing skills

From here, we can also go through each article and work out why they’re so popular and what ideas we can borrow to make something even better.

Make this content “evergreen”

Something to remember is that the content we’re creating should be “evergreen”, which basically means it won’t become outdated for a long time.

A good example of evergreen content above would be “10 Grammatical Errors That Damage Credibility” as the rules of grammar are (hopefully) not going to be changing for a considerable while.

An example of content that isn’t evergreen would be “2019 Creative Trends Infographic”. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great piece of content but it will become irrelevant as soon as we start to get to the latter part of 2019, or maybe even sooner.

Next up, we want to make sure the content we’re going to write is actually being searched for on Google.

Using SEMrush to create a keyword list

We're going to use SEMrush to quickly do some keyword research. This will allow us to optimise our content and gain traffic from people searching online using search engines.

To start with, go over to https://www.semrush.com/and type your keyword in. It may prompt you to create a free account, if you haven't done so already.

After this, you'll be provided with a stack of data for your chosen keyword. Take a note of anything you think is interesting, such as  the search volume of similar keywords.

To get ourselves a substantial keyword list, we'll be clicking on the Keyword Magic Tool on the left. Add your keyword into here, also.

Now, we can use the filters on the lift to find keywords that we can use to target with our content idea.

It's also important to note that we can reverse this process i.e. first find a keyword and then find content ideas for it. It depends on whether you want to be targeting current search intent or want to take a stance of thought leadership. Often, the best option is a mixture of both approaches.

Who are you writing for?

Another thing to consider when creating your content is having your intended target audience in mind. Do you want to reach the Managing Director, Finance Director or the Chief of Operations?

Depending on which person you’re targeting, your article should come out very differently to cater to their interests.

For example, if you're targeting a Finance Director, there’s no point creating an article about how cloud computing can be used to store data more effectively – they couldn’t care less.

But, turn the angle of that article into something that explains how much money is saved by not having to buy expensive physical storage solutions and, suddenly, you’ve got something powerful to work with.

Going the extra mile

Finally, make sure the quality of your content doesn’t just end with the text you write.

By adding elements such as headings, images, and videos, you’re able to improve the aesthetic of the article and make it into a much more enjoyable read.

This makes it more likely that your audience will continue to read the article once they’re there, further boosting their trust in you.

If you aren’t confident about your ability to write or simply don’t have the time, it is possible to get someone to write for you.

However, it’s essential that you get someone with experience, otherwise, you’ll either be spending time editing their work so it actually makes sense, or publishing content that reflects badly on your company.

Step 2: Create a lead magnet

If you haven’t come across a lead magnet before, you may have heard it referred to as an opt-in.

Regardless of what it's called though, they all have the same goal of offering a piece of content in return for contact details. The contact details you request can vary from just an email address to their full name, phone number, job profession, and more.

As you might imagine, the more information you ask for, the less likely someone will be to fill it in, so it's good to scale this based on the user's intent.

For example, for Vine Leads we only ask for a first name and an email address when downloading a resource, but will ask for more details when someone is filling out a contact form, as this suggests to us a higher intent.

Content upgrades

When it comes to actually creating your lead magnet, there’s definitely a varying degree of quality and the last thing you want to do is spend resources on something that your audience wouldn’t actually be interested.

Because of this, we’re going to look at “content upgrades” as our main lead magnet.

Content upgrades are a gated resource that is highly-related to a piece of content. The benefit of this is that it  makes it easier to predict it will be successful in converting readers into leads.

As an example, here's a content upgrade I would expect to be successful in generating conversions on a blog titled "The ultimate guide to keeping people on your blog".

"The exact blog outline template we use to keep readers on our blog for an average of 10 minutes".

It’s relevant, specific, and a natural progression from the content they’ve just read. It’s essential you keep this in mind when you’re considering what to have as your content upgrade.

Note as well that the example above is just a downloadable template, rather than an expansive report or white paper, and should serve as a reminder that your content upgrades shouldn't be particularly long. The content pgrades that work best are those that are small, easy-to-consume, and specific.

Creating a cover image

You'll also need to create an image for your content upgrade. Although it is a completely digital offering, this provides a sense of increased expertise and value.

It doesn’t have to take you long, though. Here’s the cover I used for the content upgrade for this guide.

Although it looks professional, this only took about 5 minutes on a website called Canva.

If you haven’t heard of Canva before, it’s an amazing resource to use for super-quick graphic design work.

99% of it is free and the only things you’ll have to pay for will be completely optional "premium" images in their library (these only cost $1 each) and a “Canva for work” subscription.

Setting up a landing page

A landing page is, essentially, a web page designed purely to create an action and we'll be using one to get as many people to download our content upgrade as possible.

We'll be using this page when we are sending somebody to our lead magnet, e.g. from a link within our blog post.

Below is the example of the landing page for this blog’s content upgrade.

When I create my own landing pages, I use a combination of Cornerstone, which is a drag-n-drop WordPress plugin, and Mailchimp to take contact details.

It really doesn’t matter how you create it though, just as long as you make sure it's super simple, clean and has only one thing that you can do – download the resource.

That means not getting too creative with your landing pages. The less you have going on, the better it will convert.

As an example, think about every time you go to your checkout on any eCommerce store (e.g. Amazon) and notice how the design and layout get incredibly simple when you’re about to buy.

Creating Pop-ups and in-content links

You need to make it as easy as possible for your potential clients and customers to go from your content to your content upgrade.

In a lot of cases people put their call-to-action at the bottom of the article but, in reality, most aren’t going to read the entire piece - especially if it's 1,500 words long. Because of this, by only leaving a link to it at the bottom of the article, you’re going to be missing out on a load of email signups.

To solve this, make sure you have links to your content upgrade’s landing page throughout the article. Obviously, don’t overdo it and make the blog post seem too promotional but do feel free to break up your text with calls-to-action.

Below is the in-content link I've used to get people from this blog to its content upgrade.

Image

FREE GUIDE

4 Step System:
Ultimate Guide to Generating B2B Tech Leads

As well creating in-content links, look to use pop-ups to take people from your content to your landing page.

I am fully aware that popups are spoken about as being annoying but the reality is that they do work when used carefully.

For my pop-ups and images, I use a WordPress plugin called ConvertPlug, which costs $21. There are a number of alternatives, so do your research into which one you believe will serve you best.

The “Thank You” page

After they’ve signed up for your content upgrade, you’re going to want to take them to a Thank You page.

Your Thank You page will aim to achieve these two things:

  1. Introduce yourself to the person that's downloaded your resource
  2. Provide the next step for those that are really serious about taking action

To explain the reason for number 2, roughly 1-5% of people (depending on the quality of your content and/or your type of tbusiness) that download your content upgrade will be looking to take immediate action. Because of this, we want to make it as easy as possible for them.

For a lot of companies selling high-ticket items, you’re going to want them to jump on a call with you. For this, either list your contact details or, even better, use scheduling software (check out Calendly) to get them to book in a call.

Below is how I set up the thank you page for this lead magnet.

Notice here, again, how it’s super clean and doesn’t cause for any distractions.

This is because I want as many those people as possible who are ready to take action to join our team on a call.

Still, we know that around 99-95% of people who arrive at this thank you page aren’t yet ready to speak to us on the phone.

This is what we’re going to address in our next step.

Step 3: Email Marketing

Ok, so we’ve now impressed somebody with our content, convinced them to provide their email address for our content upgrade and had one or two people take immediate action.

Awesome!

Still, we’re not going to stop there. We now need to turn as many of the remaining 95-99% of those who downloaded our content upgrade into sales-ready leads.

The most efficient way to do this is by sending them emails that provide further demonstrate our value and build more trust

If you were, don’t worry about the idea of having to send individual emails on your list. In fact, pretty much every time you download a lead magnet, the first few emails that people will receive are already set up and automated to send.

This is what we’re going to do and it will allow us to have our new list members receive high-quality emails from us in the background, while we get on with other work.

If you haven’t already got an email marketing automation system, the one I would recommend for starting with is Mailchimp, if you’re on a budget.

If you're a larger company or have a lot of experience with email marketing, I’d recommend either Market Hero  or Active Campaign.

What emails to send out

As you may expect, there is certainly a right way and a wrong way to send out emails to your list. The most important thing to remember is you have to offer value.

If you just send email blast after email blast about sales, offers and promotions, you’re going to get unsubscribes left, right, and centre.

This value can be in the shape of further blog posts, updates on the industry, or more. As long as it’s beneficial to the recipient and relevant to your service, it’s fair game. This is really important as it’s this trust and value that builds you a list of people happy to spend money withyou.

As well as ensuring you offer value to your audience, if you decided to go with something like Market Hero or Active Campaign, you can take this further and set up a process that reacts to certain behaviours.

For example, you could set up specific emails to go those that didn’t open your previous email, giving you a second chance to have it read.

Your imagination and creativity is the limit with your email marketing and experimentation is essential to generate the best results.

As a final note, while I preach about offering value in your emails, it's important to remember there is still space to be promotional in your emails – it’s just important you know the right way that you do it.

For example, at the bottom of all of our marketing emails, we offer people the opportunity to book a call in with us. It doesn't often take the main focus but is always there for people who are ready to take the next step.

Step 4: Build traffic to your content

Now that we have our system in place, it’s time to get as many people into it as possible.

This is because if you get 1,000 people to your content, you’ll have twice as many customers coming out of the other end than if you had 500.

Makes sense, right?

Because of this, we're going to take a quick look at the best sources of traffic to your website and it's content.

SEO

To get traffic from search engines, we need to optimise our content for our targeted keyword, which we have already found in Step 1.

In regards to any tools you'll needIf your website is based on WordPress, then Yoast is pretty much everyone’s choice for this. If you’re using something like Squarespace, there are in-built functions you can use for this.

The below is what you need to implement on your article – just replace everything with your company and targeted keyword.

Title Tag: [Main keyword] | [Your Company]

H1 Tag: An article heading. This will contain your main keyword.

ALT Tag: Assigned to one of the images on the article. This will also contain be your main keyword.

Meta Description: A quick description of what’s on the page, no more than 156 characters and contains your targeted keyword.

Here’s how it’ll look if you’re using Yoast.

Optimising your page like that may be enough to get you ranking on Google’s first page. However, if not, you’ll need to look at building links to your website.

If this is something you’re not knowledgeable of yet, use a blog such as Moz to understand more.

Social Media

As well as optimising your article for search engines, you can also utilise any social media channels that you currently manage.

Whether you’ve got a LinkedIn company page, a personal Linkedin account, Facebook page, Twitter account, or more, these can be used to distribute your blog post out to as many people as possible.

As well as sending out content to those who follow or like your page, make sure to join other relevant groups to distribute your content as well.

Guest appearances

If you don’t currently have much of an audience or an email list, guest appearances are a great place to build awareness.

Look for websites related to what you do and try to get accepted for writing a guest post. As you would expect, make sure it’s of the highest possible quality you can manage and look to send people from your guest post to either your blog post or straight to your content upgrade.

As well as guest posts, you can also look at featuring on other places such as YouTube channels or podcasts.

BONUS Step 5: Scaling with paid traffic

As a bonus to this article, here’s a method you can use to really scale this and start getting it to generate some really big numbers for you.

Assuming you have your content marketing system in place and have confirmed it as a viable way to get clients, now you can work out, on average, how much money each person on your email list makes for you.

As a real simple example, let’s say on average out of 250 new people that join your email list, 20 of those (8% conversion rate) become £99 p/m clients, making a monthly total of £1980.

Now, if we then divide £1980 by 250, we can work out that every single person you get onto your list will make you, on average, £7.92 p/m.

You still with me?

This is so important as if you know how much on average every person on your list makes you, you can use paid advertising to get people on your list for lower than that amount.

For our example, we know we can spend up to £7.91 on getting someone onto our email list and start making profit on the very first month.

Luckily, using paid advertising to get someone on your list will often cost from around £1-5, depending on who you’re targeting.

That means that if you were consistently getting people to join your email list for an average of £3 you’re making an average of £4.92 in average profit every month, per person.

Now imagine getting 100 new people onto your email list a month and you’re making an average of £4,920. Pretty exciting to think, right?

Once you’ve got your head around this and get those sort of numbers working for you, it’s simply a case of scaling it up and growing even further from there.

Conclusion

So there we have it, a large post that has the potential to create large results for your company if put in place.

The theory on this is quite straightforward – drive as much traffic as possible to your content upgrade and use email marketing to generate revenue from your list.

Still, where the real challenge lies is in having each element working as best as possible. Otherwise, you could be spending a lot of time doing a lot of testing to find out why your steps aren’t performing as well as they should.

Got any questions?

Schedule a call

Or email grant@vineleads.com

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