The Key Ingredients to B2B Online Lead Generation

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Attracting qualified traffic to your website is only the first step in a successful online marketing program. The next step is to convert unknown visitors into leads through effective lead generation strategies that prompt them to take action.

Online Lead GenerationOne of the primary goals of online marketing for B2B firms is to generate leads and new business, but it takes more than simply having a website and attracting visitors. Here are several key components a company needs to have in place to make online lead generation happen.

Premium Offers

A premium offer in the context of online lead generation is a piece of content that has enough perceived value that a visitor is willing to give some personal information in exchange for it.

Examples of premium content offers include:

• Whitepapers
• eBooks/guides
• Research reports
• Product demos
• Webinars
• Free evaluations/consultations

To keep your offers fresh and the leads coming in, you should invest time and resources developing at least one new piece of premium content every one to three months.

Landing Pages

As we previously discussed, landing pages are an essential part of an online marketing program. Landing pages are website pages with only one purpose: lead generation. Creating an optimized landing page specifically for each premium content offer allows you to more effectively convert website visitors into leads by promoting the benefits of the offer, simplifying the offer process and eliminating distractions. The design of a landing page is critical because it allows visitors to quickly understand what they’re downloading or registering for and how it will be valuable to them.

Lead Capture Forms

Landing pages designed for lead generation contains lead capture forms that “capture” contact information from a visitor in exchange for an offer. They’re a critical piece of the lead generation process as it gives a way for an unknown visitor, with some presumed level of interest in your company or product, to essentially “raise their hand” and make them known to your marketing or sales team. Once they become known leads, you can begin a process to nurture the relationship through a digital lead management process.

Also, marketing automation tools such as Act-On, Hubspot and Marketo can generate real-time lead intelligence from individual leads visiting your website so that marketing and sales can know exactly what leads come to your website, what web pages they are looking at, what content they are interacting with and what brought them there, using just a tiny snippet of code similar to that of Google Analytics.

Calls-to-Action

What good are premium offers and landing pages if no one knows you have them? Premium offers should be featured on custom landing pages and promoted in multiple places on your website, blog, emails, etc. using engaging calls-to-action (CTAs). A CTA is text, an image, banner or button that uses persuasive, action-oriented words to link visitors directly to a landing page. They should be designed in such a convincing way that visitors are compelled to click on it.

An effective CTA will get visitors to your landing page and an effective landing page will contain a lead capture form with a CTA button that jumps off the page with action-oriented text as well. Instead of “Submit,” an effective form CTA button will say something more benefit oriented, such as “Download eBook Now,” “Register Now,” or “Get Your Free Report.”

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Many websites were never designed with a lead generation strategy in mind and serve as nothing more than an online collection of marketing collateral. So if your website isn’t fully optimized for lead generation with premium offers, compelling calls-to-action and landing pages that convert, you’re website isn’t serving it’s purpose and your online marketing program is not going to be as effective as it needs to be.

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Vice President & Director Of Digital Innovation

Tim is a syndicated blogger and sought-after national speaker, providing keen insights on modern marketing and an uncommon perspective gleaned from nearly 15 years of B2B and A/E/C experience.