Content Marketing
7 Strategies to Convert More Leads with Less Time and Money

7 Strategies to Convert More Leads with Less Time and Money

August 31, 2020
5 min read

Everyone wants to convert more leads.

Statistics say over 80% of leads will never convert into a sale. Hear that? Never.

If a secret formula to convert leads existed, companies would never go bankrupt or struggle to meet sales goals.

Sorry to say, you still need to follow the tried-and-true strategy of understanding your audience, delivering a stellar product, and providing an optimized experience.

The question is, how?

Quick Takeaways:

  • Today’s B2B buyers demand informative content that solves their pain points.
  • B2B buyers often jump from casual reader to hot lead before a company’s marketing or sales team knows they exist.
  • B2Bs should create an empowering digital marketing experience focused on human conversations and relevant content.

What’s Wrong with Your Lead Generation and Nurturing Processes?

B2B buyers today expect a totally different experience than they did 10 years ago. B2B marketing, on the other hand, hasn’t kept up.

Millennials have risen to key decision-making positions at B2B companies:

  • 56% of millennials working in B2B hold director-level positions or higher.
  • 42% hold managerial positions.
  • 21% have vice president or C-level roles.
  • 44% say they’re the primary decision maker.
  • 73% are involved in buying decisions.

They aren’t playing the same game as their Gen Z or boomer counterparts. Sales teams aren’t information gatekeepers anymore. When B2B buyers want to learn something, they research themselves.

Buyers spend 45% of the journey researching independently and only 17% meeting with potential suppliers. And that 17%? It’s spread out over all potential suppliers. In other words, your company only gets about 5% of each lead’s time.

Plus, the buying process is complex and in no way linear:

Buyers jump from casual visitor to prospect to hot lead before your sales team even knows they exist.

Your job as a marketer is to create a website experience that empowers your buyers. Gatekeeping information and publishing content for its own sake don’t do you any favors.

How to Convert More Leads with Less Money and Effort

If you want to convert more leads, your website must build trust in your brand while educating your audience. Buyers use your website and online presence to evaluate your expertise, products/services, and place in the industry.

Focus on using your resources to make their lives easier.

1. Reimagine Your Content Marketing

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but most of your leads think your content is garbage.

According to a Forrester study, 57% of B2B buyers say most of the material they receive is completely useless. Not only that, but 66% say they receive too much content from vendors, and 60% end up going somewhere else to find the information they need.

Forrester goes on to explain that buyers don’t want:

  • Product features and overly promotional content
  • Long-form content like 10-page reports or hour-long webinars
  • Content created by nobodies

So, to convert more leads, create content that:

  • Solves pain points through use cases and case studies
  • Is authored by industry experts
  • Is concise and gets to the point

Bear in mind, every buyer consumes about 13 pieces of content from a single vendor­ before making their final decision.

Those 13 pieces include a mix of first-party content you create and third-party pieces in multiple formats like peer reviews, industry blogs, and social media posts.

2. Make Your Site Easier to Navigate

You might think your site is slick and easy to navigate, but you already know where everything is.

How many clicks would it take for a lead to find the most relevant case study? Probably too long, right?

Every added click increases your chances of a lead leaving your website. 73% of buyers say they’re pressed on time for research. You can make their lives easier by improving how you organize your content.

  • A whopping 68% would appreciate categorizing your content by pain point.
  • 58% would like to see it organized by industry or vertical.

If you create a pleasing website experience, people will stay on your site longer to binge content and you’ll ultimately convert more leads.

3. Beef Up Your Social Selling Strategy to Convert More Leads

Social media plays a larger role in B2B decisions than many marketers might realize.

Sure, they might acknowledge the importance of sharing links and running targeted ads, but social media’s real B2B value comes from social selling:

  • Some industries see 50% of their revenue coming from social selling (it’s even higher in MENA and APAC regions ).
  • 92% of buyers willingly engage with established thought leaders.
  • 78% of brands with a social selling strategy outsell their peers.

It all comes down to authentic, relevant, and valuable conversations.

Do you find it valuable when someone spams your inbox with the text equivalent of a cold call? Absolutely not. But if someone saw a post you shared and sent you a related link to start a conversation, you might respond, right?

4. Revamp Your Thought Leadership Content

Most marketers take the wrong approach to thought leadership – and the results aren’t great.

I define thought leadership as:

A type of content marketing where you tap into the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience on a particular topic.

Thought leadership is:

  • Authoritative
  • Comprehensive
  • Holistic
  • Consistent
  • Superior quality
  • Useful

Thought leadership is not:

  • Pedigree
  • Centered on opinions
  • Unique for the sake of it
  • Riddled with jargon
  • Designed to impress other experts

Position yourself as a leader in your industry through comprehensive content and use your opinion sparingly to differentiate yourself.

5. Take Your Email Marketing Seriously to Convert More Leads

It’s easy to convert more leads with email marketing – if you do it right. Like anywhere else, B2B buyers want concise content that addresses their specific pain points.

They don’t want to hear about how great your company is and what you’ve accomplished unless it directly relates to their issues and needs.

Set up an automated and personalized drip campaign for your leads. Create email segments for distinct firmographics or companies (if you’re running an account-based marketing strategy).

When someone clicks a link in an email, use that info to send them down a more personalized path based on their buying stage, company, or vertical. The goal is to gently guide them down the sales funnel with useful content.

6. Create Valuable Resources for Customers

Have you seen Xerox’s awesome business resource centers?

The first one helps you to troubleshoot your product with seamless interactive buttons and any problem you may have:

The second (specifically for small businesses) offers a ton of free templates for everything from coupons and event flyers to birthday cards:

Customer resources like these physically show that you care about your customers. They work on multiple levels:

  • They prevent customer churn.
  • Sales and customer service teams can direct leads/customers to seamless self-help.
  • Leads value ongoing customer support.

7. Be Human to Convert More Leads

This underscores all the points above. 83% of business buyers say treating them like a human – not just another number – is the secret to winning their business.

Everything you do – from social selling to website navigation – should be centered around authenticity and human conversations.

Make Your Content Marketing Work Harder to Convert More Leads

You can’t earn trust without the right content. Consistent thought leadership pieces demonstrate your industry authority and knowledge.

Leads might not give you a ring to chat anymore, but they will examine your site.

What do you think are the most important aspects of content?

You need consistent quality content. Our Content Builder Services handle everything from SEO to writing so you can publish up to four awesome blogs per week on autopilot.

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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