The next questions we normally get asked are, what does it involve and how much does it cost? We’ll come back to that last question, because right now we want to focus on what we actually do and why we do it. Because all businesses are different, there isn’t a one size fits all B2B lead generation approach. However there are some core elements that typically apply to every business that we work with and these can be divided into two stages – the set-up stage and then the ongoing monthly activity.
Let’s start by looking at what’s generally involved in the set-up stage. Here goes…
When we start working with a new client, the first step is to carry out a discovery workshop. We need to understand what your sales objectives and priorities are. For example, some businesses don’t just want to focus on generating leads, they are equally keen to build their brand and establish themselves as a thought leader in their industry. Brand awareness and thought leadership will actually happen as a natural result of our lead generation approach, but we need to know upfront how much of a priority it is. It will influence the campaigns we plan for you.
It’s important to get buy-in from your senior management, marketing and sales teams, so we strongly advise that all key stakeholders are involved in the workshop. They need to understand and agree what your sales objectives are; how we are going to achieve them and what your goals are. For example, we need your sales and marketing teams to agree the lead criteria together, so that they have a clear understanding of when a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). If they have clearly defined parameters and a clearly defined goal it makes it so much easier for them to work together as one team.
During the workshop we will get to know your business intimately. That includes understanding the types of customers you want (and even the types that you don’t want), as well as what your customers buying journey looks like, and what motivates them. We will also review any systems and technical requirements, such as a CRM system, and how leads are currently distributed and managed. This information gathering exercise should give us everything we need to start setting things up for you.
The next step is for us to work with you to create your customer buyer personas. These are detailed profiles that will help us define how we market and promote your product/service. You’re likely to have different categories of customer and the information we need to create each persona is usually held in your existing customer data and in the heads of your sales team. You may even want to conduct additional market research with a customer survey, it all depends on how much information you already have at your disposal.
We’ll look at demographics, behaviour patterns, motivations and goals. The more detailed the profile, the better. By the end of the exercise we need to be as familiar with what makes your customers tick as you are with your nearest and dearest's likes and dislikes.
Effective B2B lead generation starts with attracting prospects to your website and growing your organic search traffic. That’s where keywords come in. As I’m sure you know, a keyword is a word or phrase that a potential customer will type into a search engine to find relevant websites. The content we are going to be creating on your website needs to be aligned to those keywords.
That’s why the third step is to invest time in careful and comprehensive keyword research. We’ll use those keywords to optimise all the content on your website, this ensures that your visibility online continually increases and that when your prospects are looking online for your product or service, they find your website.
Now that we know who your customers and prospects are, we need to consider the type of B2B content we are going to create, in order to entice them in and get them to trust your business. The content doesn’t need to sell your product or service directly, it needs to address questions and concerns that they might have, and to help educate them. It’s got to be useful.
Your content plan will depend on how ambitious your growth targets are and how much content you want to create. We usually start with a three month content plan which will mainly consist of topics for B2B blogs, case studies and premium content (that’s the type of content that a prospect would be willing to give you their email address for).
The content plan needs to be fluid as it is likely to be adjusted as campaigns progress and we start getting results that we can analyse. This is where online collaboration tools like Google docs and Trello are useful. They give all stakeholders access and the ability to contribute to the content plan.
The plan will include a content schedule that has been agreed by contributors, as well as an ideas board to keep the fresh ideas coming. We know you and your team are busy, so whilst we encourage stakeholder involvement, we do try to keep it to a minimum. Most content can be researched and written by our team, without the need to take up any of your valuable time, although sometimes one of our copywriters may require a short telephone call to clarify any questions. That said, some of our clients like to have a lot more involvement with the researching and writing of content, and we are equally fine with that.
Each month, we will review the content plan with you and make sure there is always a healthy supply of ideas, topics and planned content.
HubSpot set up
The final step in the set-up stage involves setting up HubSpot. HubSpot is a web-based platform that works seamlessly across marketing and sales functions. It allows us to plan and execute campaigns and track the end-to end process of attracting visitors, converting leads and closing sales. You can find out more about it in our blog Tools that Make you Work Smarter, Not Harder .
Although we can carry out lead generation campaigns without HubSpot, we prefer to use it because it brings all sales and marketing data together in one place, and allows the seamless transition from visitor to lead to sale.
The HubSpot setup process includes things like:
Establishing what your current and future data needs are, and what customer and prospect profile data you want to hold
Understanding how your sales team is structured and how leads are distributed and managed
Understanding what your sales process is. We will mirror this process within Hubspot so that the sales pipeline reporting is aligned to your business processes, goals and objectives
Defining what reports you want created to monitor results
We will then prepare and add your existing data to HubSpot and show your sales people how to add data, grow their prospect base, nurture their contacts and manage deals. We will also show them how to perfect their follow-up timing by focussing on prospects who have interacted with the content we are publishing e.g. someone who has downloaded a white paper.
Our next job is to set-up workflows that will route leads to the appropriate teams of sales people and set up the notifications to alert sales people when their prospects are interacting with content. We will also create email and landing page templates and set-up marketing automation (if it’s required).
Finally we will link to any social media and paid advertising accounts so that we (or you) can promote new content on those channels and amplify it’s reach. This will also allow social interaction and paid advertising data to feed back into HubSpot.
Once everything is set-up, we can then start to run the monthly activity programme. Before we start we will agree your core package i.e. what activity we are going to conduct each month. This will be based on your budget and your objectives. Obviously monthly activity for different clients will vary, but we’ve outlined some of the main elements below.
How much you get involved in the process is entirely up to you. Some clients want to get heavily involved in the researching of topics for content and providing their views, whilst others are happy for us to do the legwork and just to be involved in approvals processes. Our aim is to have a minimum impact on your time, but maximum impact on results.
Creating quality B2B content every month is crucial to helping to promote your website, attract more visitors and grow your online footprint. Your initial content is likely to be case studies and blogs that are built around your keywords. We will also create conversion offer content, which will help to turn visitors into leads. An example of a piece of conversion offer content would be our own content plan template or keyword research template. They are pieces of content that we provide in exchange for your email address. This then allows us to send you future content that we think you might find useful and in doing so help to build your trust in us as a solution provider. Over time, we will create lots of content and conversion offers for each stage of the buyer journey (awareness, consideration, decision).
Strong call-to-actions (CTAs) and landing pages
Great content that attracts visitors also needs strong CTAs that will help convert prospects to leads. A CTA might be ‘download this document’ or ‘complete this form’. As part of our service we will ensure that the content we are creating and posting on your website has strong CTAs.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
We will also ensure that every piece of content that is created is carefully optimised for SEO. Part of this service includes monitoring how effective your content and keywords are, what impact they are having on your search rankings, how is it increasing the impressions and visibility you achieve and crucially, how many visitors it’s attracting to your website.
It’s important to keep an eye on what your competition is doing on the web. We want to keep one step ahead of them and rank higher than them in searches, so we will monitor how your competitors are performing and ranking. This can include keyword, content and backlink analysis.
Backlinks are links from an external website to yours. If you are creating original content that people want to read, there is a greater chance that other sites will want to link to you and reference your content. If the backlinks are from trusted, relevant websites, it reinforces to search engines that you content is good and has authority on a topic. Search engines like Google love sites with good backlinks. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher search engines should rank you. That’s why, as part of our service, we will constantly look for opportunities to get backlinks to the content we create on your site.
Conversion rate optimisation (CRO)
CRO is a process that allows us to monitor and adjust our strategy in order to constantly increase the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action. That might be completing a form or making an online purchase etc. CRO involves us monitoring how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what is potentially stopping them from completing your conversion goals.
Email marketing for lead nurturing
Did you know that on average, 50 percent of the leads in any CRM system are not yet ready to buy? Email marketing is a fantastic lead nurturing tool as it allows your business and brand to stay in frequent communication with your customers and prospects. This ensures that you are at the forefront of their mind when they are ready to buy, and they will go straight to you.
By providing timely, relevant and useful content via email, you will start to build a relationship with your prospects and earn their trust. In our view, email marketing is still the most effective way to talk to prospects. Gone are the days of blasting mass emails out to cold prospects, our email solutions allow you to deliver highly personalised, relevant and timely emails that generate results.
‘79% of B2B marketers credit email as the most effective distribution channel.’ (Content Marketing Institute)
In addition to leads generated through your website, your sales team will also be generating leads. Using HubSpot these leads are automatically fed into the email lead nurturing programme and your sales people will be notified when a lead clicks through or interacts on your website.
B2B Content promotion
We want the content that we create for you to be the hardest working asset in your organisation. That’s why we don’t just post it on your website. We need it to work harder than that. We will consider other avenues that we can use to promote your content, such as emailing your new B2B blogs direct to customers. Another avenue would be to promote it on social and business media channels and encourage people to like and share it. It might also be worth investigating whether a complementary business partner would consider promoting your content via their channels or carrying out a paid promotion on Google or on LinkedIn.
By promoting your content across multiple networks and channels we will ensure it is found, seen and shared. As your social audience grows and your content is shared, your reach will be amplified.
Monthly reporting and reviews
The degree to which we communicate with you throughout the month will depend on how much involvement you request. We do insist on a monthly meeting or conference call though. It gives us an opportunity to review performance with you, adjust the plan accordingly and agree the deliverables for the following month.
Sounds great, but how much does it cost?
The simple answer is that Brightly packages start from £2,000 per month.
We have created a range of packages designed to deliver a monthly level of activity with agreed deliverables as described above. The main difference between each package is the amount of content creation, which will accelerate results. Each client has different needs and we will design a package to suit your business, its objectives and its budget. Most clients pay a set monthly fee and then bolt on any adhoc work if and when it is required.
Our packages are designed to make B2B lead generation easy and affordable and they include all the key ingredients needed to deliver results. If you’d like any further information, then get in touch today!