By Natalie Boyd

It's the start of a new year, a new decade, and a new quarter.

Not only is it a better time than ever to start fresh, but you likely have a new set of goals that you need to work toward—so without further adieu, here are our five favorite B2B lead generation tips marketers can use to help reach their goals.

1. Make sure all your content is gated (even your videos!)

While this should be a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at how many organizations of all size are still giving their valuable content away for free.

Now let’s be clear: we’re not advocating businesses charge actual cold, hard, cash to access their lead generation content. What we are advocating is making sure that all valuable content is available at the cost of online currency: a visitor’s email address.

So that infographic you spent months creating? Post it on social media, write a blog about it, and put screenshots of it on your product pages, and be sure to gate downloads of it with a landing page. The 30-minute webinar your boss ran last month? Use something like Vidyard's in-video form to require an email address to access a video—or continue watching. 

With the exception of product videos, spec sheets, “about us” content, and other content that’s more about you than it is about educating the buyer, all educational offers should be gated behind a landing page.

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2. Re-optimize existing content

Also known as “historical optimization,” re-optimizing blog posts, landing pages, and even website pages you’ve already created is a great way to breathe new life into assets that may have been gathering dust on your site. 

While it’s a good idea to periodically re-optimize all your content, if you’re looking to meet this quarter’s goal and are short on time, B2B marketers will get the most bang for their buck by focusing on optimizing the pages on your website that get a lot of traffic but have a below average conversion rate.

Once you’ve identified which pages meet these criteria, swap out stale CTAs for new offers, make sure your offers specifically address your persona and the correct stage of the buyer’s journey, and tweak conversion path language as much as possible to match what appears on the page.

Voila! Better-than-new content.

3. Re-package existing content

There are few things in marketing that have as direct a correlation as the relationship between publishing fresh, targeted content offers and generating new leads. You need content to convert leads, after all.

While creating new content is always a good idea, you can rack some quick wins by repurposing or repackaging some of your existing content into a new offer. Published a series of blog posts that explore different facets of the same topic? Great! Write a couple of transition paragraphs between each post, add a few design elements, and you’ve got yourself an eBook. You can also re-purpose internal trainings, checklists, processes, and memos into externally-facing content for not much added effort.

4. Seek out new channels

Whoever coined the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” clearly never had a quarterly lead goal to hit. While staying the tried and true course has its benefits, marketers looking to grow their databases with qualified prospects should be utilizing at least as many channels as their personas are to share their content. This includes the standard social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and especially LinkedIn and LinkedIn groups, but depending on your persona may be able to be expanded to include networks such as Quora and even Reddit. 

Finding new marketing channels to use goes beyond experimenting with different social media networks. To help get your lead conversion opportunities in front of a larger audience, consider adding one of your most popular articles to your email signature or even contacting industry news sources or partners to see if you can get a targeted piece of content in their newsletter.

5. A/B test

For some B2B marketers, hitting a quarterly lead goal isn’t about having enough content to gate—it’s about making sure those offers are positioned in the most effective way.

This can be especially difficult for newer organizations or companies who are expanding into new markets, who may know less about their personas’ likes and dislikes.

Using A/B testing, in which two slightly different variations of an asset are tested to see which performs best, can help make sure that you identify and use the best positioning possible for each offer. A/B testing the CTAs for a lead generation offer can be a fast and easy way to help make sure your offer click-through rates are as high as possible.

Regardless of what route you take, maximizing your lead generation comes down to three things:

  1. Having content that your ideal buyers (i.e. your personas) are interested in
  2. Transforming that content into an offer by gating it behind a call-to-action and landing page, and
  3. Using various distribution tactics to make it easy for the right people to find your gated offer.

Where there are a million and one ways to create and distribute content, as long as you follow these three steps, you’ll see lead generation success.

This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated since.

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Natalie Boyd

About the author

Natalie Boyd is a Marketing Coordinator at SmartBug Media with 10 years of experience supporting in-house, freelance, and agency clients. She is passionate about using inbound marketing to help businesses succeed and make meaningful connections with their target audience. Read more articles by Natalie Boyd.

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