You already know that successful online lead generation often starts with bringing potential customers to a targeted, carefully designed landing page. And why wouldn't people fill in the form to get your case study video or download a white paper?
The truth is, even if they're signing up to get something of value for free, people want to know they can trust your business with their details before they fill in that form and click. People are more wary now about divulging information to an online party they don't know, so gaining trust is an essential part of online lead generation.
Why Trust Is Especially Important in B2B
In B2B sales, purchasers have a lot at stake. Not only are they probably spending more money than they would on a personal B2C purchase, to some extent they're staking their reputation on the purchase being a success and driving their own business value. B2B decisions are less emotional than B2C decisions, and B2B buyers feel the need to connect with companies and learn if they can trust them. Therefore, your online lead generation should be buttressed by practices that help you make those connections and build trust. You have many great options for doing this.
Teach, But Not Only About Your Products and Services
Obviously you want to educate prospects on the benefits and features of what you sell, but building trust requires that you do much more. Creating content that educates your target audience on solving problems, new technology, or industry best practices demonstrates that you want to build a relationship with someone rather than simply bombard them with marketing. You can do this through a free "resources" section on your website, through your blog, or via social media. You can find many terrific examples of this sort of teaching in action on LinkedIn's Facebook page.
Build Your Reputation as an Industry Expert
Developing a reputation as an industry expert is a close alternative to educating potential customers, but it is somewhat more removed. Demonstrating status as a thought leader involves steps like creating research papers on industry topics and publishing them with well-regarded authoritative sources. This type of reputational content is less intimate than, say a blog post about how to solve a particular problem, but it adds gravitas that shows you value your reputation, helping you earn trust. Expert interviews, professional informational videos, and articles published in trade or technical publications give you the bona fides you need to demonstrate expertise and industry leadership.
Answer Questions on Your Blog
Blogging is an important component of a successful social media strategy, but maintaining a blog can be hard work. One idea for using your blog to build trust is to periodically go through your emails and identify questions you have answered for potential customers. Use these questions and answers as the basis for a series of blog posts. Your best strategy is to answer questions that potential customers pose at various stages of their buying journey, so you can reach people at both the wider and narrower parts of your sales funnel.
Being Concise Is Not Always the Right Approach
There is a place for being concise. Social media posts, in general, should be brief and to the point. Your landing page should be a model of concise impact. But there are other phases of B2B online lead generation where you have license to build trust by going into more detail and providing visitors with a rich trove of information. If someone is considering making a high-dollar B2B purchase, they don't want to be tantalized, they want solid, detailed information about products and services, so don't be afraid to provide this information in your descriptions.
Successful online lead generation for B2B businesses requires that you build trust with potential clients. It also requires that the data you collect from them be of the highest possible quality so you can meet their needs with the utmost professionalism.
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