Our goal with this Cheat Sheet is to help you map from brand strategy to demand generation, customer acquisition, sales, and ultimately revenue growth.
Blueprint Creative’s Lead Generation Cheat Sheet
1. Stop pitching and selling.
Most small businesses approach lead generation something like this:
“Our company does XYZ and can help you go from A to Z and save you money in the process. Our proven system has done this for hundreds of clients just like you. We’d love to show you how. Let’s set up a call.”
Just like this example, your B2B marketing is probably 90% selling and 10% marketing - always pitching and always selling. Instead, it should be 90% marketing and 10% selling. Lead with brand and allow that to sell and attract prospects without having to pitch. Essentially, your brand is your pitch.
Leading with sales puts you in a rat race. Leading with brand drives organic revenue growth. When you lead from this latter position, the role of sales is simply to close and convert. That’s because before prospects are handed over to your sales team, or if you don’t have a separate sales team, before you start pitching your business to a prospect, they should be warm AND qualified as proven in their interaction and engagement with your marketing funnel. And based on the concept of Pipeline Acceleration, the faster you successfully navigate prospects through the funnel and to sales, the faster you can accelerate revenue growth.
But how do you lead with brand if you’re still struggling with growing awareness? Ah ha, that’s the premise of this Cheat Sheet. In order to consistently generate leads, attract prospects, and increase sales, you have to shift and restructure how the company is positioned and engaging.
2. Content drives organic sales.
Content is sorely under leveraged, and businesses aren’t exploiting content like they should. To be really successful with content, it has to be produced at scale. In a nutshell, getting the right type of high value content in front of prospects repeatedly and consistently is the key to driving brand.
Content drives thought leadership. It adds to brand value. It educates your audience. And also helps to expand your digital footprint.
It seems nearly impossible to produce content at the type of scale we’re talking about: 50-100 pieces of content each week whether it’s a Tweet or Instagram post, LinkedIn comments, a podcast episode, blog post, or email campaign. For content to work effectively to scale awareness, build brand, and accelerate your pipeline of prospective customers, you have to become a content factory.
How do you achieve this type of scale? The easiest way to think of this is to either become an educational brand or act like a media company. The former is about giving your best advice for free. Educate and add value without expecting anything in return. It shows that you’re on the side of seeing your customers win. The latter - acting like a media company - is about becoming an industry whisperer, being the trend reporting source, and to build a marketing company within a company.
Organic sales is so much easier than having to constantly churn leads. And if you become the educational brand as your positioning strategy, then you essentially have a sales engine working organically around the clock.
3. Use a funnel system to engage prospects.
Marketing automation saves lives. That’s a bit of exaggeration but it’s to overemphasize how important it is to arm your prospecting with a marketing technology stack that automates engagement and nurtures leads through an entire funnel.
A funnel is a series of marketing activities that takes a prospect through a series of touchpoints in order to build the relationship and awareness all the way through conversion. A funnel often starts with an inbound activity (i.e. search ads) that triggers the prospect to enter the funnel, and as they engage with your content, they continue to advance through the funnel with automated actions up until they achieve an automation goal or exit.
With the right tech tools, analytics, and automation programs, you can perform a variety of lead nurturing tactics, including website personalization, email automation, lead scoring, retargeting, etc. The goal is to stay top of mind and in front of your prospects to convince them to buy your products and services. When you automate the process, it puts marketing on autopilot, and when combined with content development, you’re helping to drive brand.
4. Drive traffic to a landing page that speaks to an audience of 1.
We see a lot of ads that drive traffic to a website or a product/service page. There’s two reasons why we don’t like this - 1) it makes it too easy for the visitor to navigate away from the page and browse to other pages on the site 2) the content on the page may not be speaking to one single audience.
We strongly suggest creating campaign-specific landing pages that speak to one single audience and where the content matches the ad creatives. Landing pages help to keep the visitor focused on the end goal and should have a prominent call to action above the fold - at the top half before needing to scroll to see more. There should also be very few navigational links. We want them to stay on the page and convert. We don’t want to risk them browsing around and losing where they were.
In addition to these 4 tips, there’s other tactics to use in your lead generation campaigns, including the following:
Create a company blog
Create a themed podcast and inviting prospective clients
Leverage the power of display remarketing to build awareness
Provide a free tool, app, or resource
The ideas are endless. The underlying point to remember is that marketing should drive lead generation and not sales. Sales takes over after a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) has shown interest and a high potential to convert. When both marketing and sales collaborates, it becomes a seamless process and an easy handoff to convert once marketing has fully engaged the prospect.
We hope that this list of 4 tips immediately helps improve lead gen. There’s a lot more in the Cheat Sheet but it would be way too long if we included it all in one shot. So we’ll share a cheat sheet later for growing brand awareness, using Facebook ads, and more.
90-Day Blueprint: Restructure your entire marketing strategy in 90 days or less!
This is for you if:
Your marketing is underperforming, at a standstill, or non-existent
You have little to no brand awareness or your brand is stale and needs a refreshing
You have no lead generation strategy and need to build an organic pipeline of leads
Your content strategy sucks
Your business needs to scale and grow to its next level
COVID-19 has forced your business to restructure
You don't want to keep making the same branding mistakes in 2021
90-Day Drip: Restructure Your Entire Marketing Strategy
We've created a practical system to help B2B companies restructure their marketing infrastructure so that it ultimately results in a funnel that generates, nurtures and converts new business into revenue.
How to Build Brand
B2B businesses typically fail to think about branding in the larger context of how it builds thought leadership, establishes credibility, raises awareness, and organically drives sales and new business growth.
Your business may be innovative, but your content doesn’t scream it. Content is undervalued because it’s underutilized in the sense of it being the driver to building brand, accelerating your pipeline, etc.