As an agency, it’s not uncommon for us to have clients or prospects ask us for ‘leads, leads, leads!’. Of course, there’s no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all solution to this perennial request. There are a myriad of things to consider when it comes to running B2B lead-generation campaigns in 2020.

We’ve distilled the top four factors that impact the lead conversion rates for your campaign. These are things we always consider when we kick off work for our clients. So next time you are going to embark on your lead-generation campaign, make sure you’ve addressed these factors to give the campaign a better chance of success.

Brand awareness

Simply put, low brand awareness and brand equity will affect campaign conversions. The better recognised your brand, the better your conversion rates will be. Sounds simple right? Yet we’re often surprised by companies insisting they spend on lead-generation/short-term activations over brand…understandably so, as it’s hard to easily attribute brand building spend to direct ROI.

Thankfully, there has been some research about the impact of long-term brand building in the B2B space. LinkedIn leads the charge with a report created by researchers Les Binet and Peter Field – The Five Principles of Growth in B2B Marketing.

The research has determined that brands who grow their share of voice will also grow sales. Their magic number? For B2B businesses, 10% extra share of voice grows market share by 0.7%. 

Further, remember how brand awareness impacts activation? The research found that “B2B businesses grow best when allocating 46% of the budget to brand-building activity and 54% to activation marketing focused on an immediate response.” While brand marketing requires more of an investment and doesn’t deliver immediate returns, its effects are much longer-lasting.

Other important factors mentioned in the report included: making sure you build emotionality in your brand messaging and working at making your brand ‘famous’.

The full funnel and customer experience

You’ve done brand awareness. Great. If you consider the marketing funnel, your campaigns should now start to nurture users from awareness through to interest and down to consideration. 

At the interest phase, you could consider a traffic-based campaign that drives users to your website’s service/product page. With enough traffic, you can retarget visitors with a case study, etc.

Taking the user journey further, questions to ask include: 

  • How easy is your user’s path to conversion? 
  • Are you sending them to a website that has a poor user experience? 
  • Is it easy for a user to get the information they need? 

A website that is optimised and aligned with your campaign parameters will help conversion.

Your CTA offer

So you’ve taken a full-funnel approach to your campaign and you’re ready to convert prospects at the bottom of the funnel with a fantastic offer or high-value content… but we’ve seen far too many lead-generation campaigns go to market with generic ‘me-too’ offers or with early-stage content that really shouldn’t be gated.

Consider offering a good incentive – this could take the form of an industry research report, an eBook or a webinar. It could be the offer of a free consult or a free trial. Make sure you offer value in exchange for lead contact details. 

Your industry, audience and budgets

Not all industries are built equal. What’s the size of the prize? The potential size of your decision-makers (your addressable audience) impacts how you reach them and where. Do you focus on email, SEO, SEM, paid social? And within each of these, how do you split your budget between each of the channels you are running your campaigns on? 

Understanding your target audience will help you create the right content and direction on where to place it. For example, there’s no point running Twitter ads if your research shows that your prospects spend more time on LinkedIn. If you’re operating in a niche industry, it might make more sense to run an ABM program or host an event rather than run paid media campaigns. 

Who do you really want to target? Every marketer and their dog wants to target the C-suite decision-makers. That makes it expensive, so ensure that you have the right budgets to reach them. Campaigns need budget behind it to be effective – apart from the actual media spend, ensure you have enough set aside for creating content and creative that cuts through.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution – instead, tailor your activities to your audience and industry.

Get a view of your potential pipeline

Forecasting and achieving marketing pipeline targets are key to success in B2B marketing. To help give businesses a good indication as to what they could expect by way of expected leads generated as well as the best channels to achieve these, we’ve created our bespoke B2B Pipeline Calculator.

The logic driving the results is based on our many years of B2B marketing experience and benchmarks – as well as industry best practice and third-party research. 

Give it a spin and if you have any feedback to help improve its quality and effectiveness, please send us a note.

Four factors affecting B2B lead generation and conversions in 2020

Shawn Low
Shawn has more than 15 years of content and marketing experience, working both client- and agency-sides. His diverse career has seen him work across both the B2C and B2B segments, as well as with start-ups. As Head of Content and Social for Green Hat, Shawn will drive effective content in order to meet strategic, commercial and business needs.