The key to successful B2B lead generation doesn’t have to be a mystery. Here’s a breakdown of the twelve most successful B2B lead generation tactics as ranked by B2B marketers.
“You’re out of business if you don’t have a prospect.” Zig Ziglar
B2B Lead Generation Tactics as Ranked by Marketers
The 2019 Demand Gen Benchmark Survey results underscore a basic principle behind all successful B2B (business to business) selling: B2B buyers are people too. It’s list of the most effective B2B lead generation tactics shows that those which engage real people in real time (or at least a recording of real time) work best to generate leads and conversions for B2B marketers:
- 76% – In person events (real people talking to real people)
- 58% – Lead-nurturing campaign (warm leads, often already-generated)
- 58% – Webinars (real people talking to real people via tech)
- 40% – Case studies (stories about real people)
- 38% – Videos (real people creating relevant video content for real people)
- 30% – Content syndication
- 23% – Infographics
- 16% – Assessments / quizzes
- 13% – Buying guides
- 11% – Checklists
- 8% – ROI calculators
In-person events were also listed as effective and important at every level of lead generation and nurturing, not just the top of the funnel.
You might also like: B2B Buyers Are People Too
Most Effective B2B Lead Generation Tactics by Funnel Stage
Of those marketers who listed in-person events among their top 3 B2B lead generation tactics, 46% listed it as effective in early-stage lead generation, and 44% said it was effective in driving conversions in the middle/late funnel. In early-stage lead development, email was ranked number one as the most effective tactic – not surprising given that email is often a leading tactic used in lead-nurturing:
- 54% – Email
- 46% – In-person events, trade shows
- 42% – Website
- 42% – Search
- 36% – Social
And, as we have previously reported, 70 percent of B2B buyers prefer to receive brand communications via email. When it comes to middle and late-stage lead generation and nurturing, in-person events came in on top, but just barely:
- 64% – Events
- 63% – Case studies
- 58% – Lead-nurturing campaigns
- 48% – Webinars
- 40% – White papers
It’s also worth noting that nearly every one of the B2B lead generation tactics scoring lower in the list can be utilized in “real people” tactics that are ranked more effective by marketing pros. On their own they might not be as persuasive, but when incorporated into in-person events, lead-nurturing campaigns, webinars and videos offer additional persuasive content that can lead to conversions.
Think about how you can combine tactics that used to be marketers’ go-to (infographics, white papers, case studies, etc.,) and repurpose them into the higher engagement tactics such as in-person presentations, videos, webinars, etc.
This type of content also provides for rich and effective social media content. Marketers increasingly value social media as a brand introduction tool. One study found that for both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) sellers, 87 percent said that social marketing was effective in increasing brand awareness and nearly 8 in 10 said that social marketing increased traffic to their web site and online content.
Indeed, 84 percent of in-person event marketers use technology in trade show exhibits and more than half incorporate technology into corporate events. They believe that using tech in face-to-face marketing has and will become increasingly more important. B2B marketers plan to spend significantly more money on demand gen this year, with 46 percent saying they would increase their demand generation budget compared to just 32 percent who said the same last year. Only 6 percent of respondents said their demand generation budget would decrease next year:
- 16% – Increase of 30 percent or more
- 30% – Increase by more than 20 percent
- 25% – Increase of 1 to 10 percent
- 23% – Budget won’t change
- 4% – Budget decrease of 1 to 10 percent
- 2% – Decrease by more than 20 percent
Read the entirety of the 2019 Demand Gen Benchmark Survey here.