Influ2 V2 has arrived
Posted by Nirosha MethanandaOct 06, 20227 min

4 Strategies to Generate Targeted Leads in Your Pipeline

Here's why you need a strategy for nurturing prospects and finding targeted leads.
Nirosha Methananda
Nirosha Methananda
Former VP of Marketing at Influ2

It’s not enough to have an excellent product or service to sell. You also need a strategy for nurturing prospects and finding targeted leads, the segment of your audience that's ready to buy.

The right plan to collect targeted leads is essential to your sales strategy. It will drive more conversions and ensure you don’t waste time chasing leads who aren’t the right fit.

However, according to a report by HIPB2B, collecting quality, targeted leads is a significant challenge for 42% of B2B marketers. That’s why we’ve listed the best tactics you can use to draw more targeted leads into your pipeline:

  • Always Validate Your Lead Data Information
  • Connect with Targeted Leads on LinkedIn
  • Curating Gated and Ungated Content for Every Stage of Your Funnel
  • Optimize Content for Target Keywords in Your Niche
  • Run Retargeting Campaigns

Always validate your lead data information

It’s not uncommon for spambots or temporary email accounts to creep into your list of leads. Even if a prospect matches your ICP, you can still lose out on a potential conversion if their information isn’t accurate.

When you collect a new lead, ensure that the data (including their contact information) is correct. Otherwise, you could waste time chasing a prospect using the wrong approach and an email that doesn’t exist.

“It's possible that the lead information you discover on LinkedIn profiles isn't always reliable,” says Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors. “To ensure that a lead can be reached, make sure to confirm with a few other resources. Every email that your researchers discover needs to be verified using an email verification tool.”

Examples of email verification tools you can use include:

  • ZeroBounce: ZeroBounce can run through bulk lists of email contacts to ensure they’re legit. Its email verification software can also integrate with other tools you might already use, such as Slack, Salesforce, or Mailchimp.
  • NeverBounce: NeverBounce allows you to verify emails coming through your pipeline from the second you collect them. These include leads you generate from your registration forms, newsletter signups, and website landing pages.
  • MailerCheck: MailerCheck not only makes it possible to verify your lead email contacts but can also test how different email content increases open rates. MailerCheck also comes with data on where your email leads come from through its usage reports.

You start the lead targeting process on the right foot when you get your prospect’s information correct from the beginning. It saves you time and effort as you’re not pursuing useless leads.

Connect with targeted leads on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an excellent platform to connect with other B2B professionals in your industry. Still, it’s so overpopulated with sales messages and connection requests that you must find ways to stand out. Here are different tactics you can use on LinkedIn to collect more targeted leads:

Refine your ads on LinkedIn

When you run segmented ads on LinkedIn, you can promote the product or service you sell to the right eyes and collect sales-ready leads. Tips you can follow to improve your ad performance on LinkedIn include:

  • Call out who your audience is in the first sentence of your LinkedIn ad: You must make it clear in your ad who your target customer is. For example, if your audience is product managers, use “product managers” to call out your target customer at the beginning of your ad.
  • Make your offer clear in your ad copy: Highlight the benefits of your offer in the LinkedIn ad. What’s in it for your target audience? Why would the lead click on the ad and provide their email address?
  • Keep headlines straight to the point: If your headline is too long, LinkedIn users will have to click on “See more” to read the rest of it. Use short headlines — no more than 65-70 characters — that are straight to the point and communicate what the ad is about.
  • Use bullet points to make the ad text more digestible: Long paragraphs make your ad look visually unappealing and deter your audience from reading the whole text. Bullet points are an excellent way to divide the ad text and make it scannable for users.

Optimize your  content on LinkedIn for engagement

You probably already know that sharing posts on LinkedIn is a good way to get exposure to thousands of people. But, if you want to get the attention of target leads, it’s important to share the right type of content on LinkedIn to maximize engagement.

Here are different types of LinkedIn content you can post to catch the attention of your audience:

  • Research on the latest industry trends: You can keep your audience engaged with updates on trends in your niche. For example, if you’re an eCommerce SaaS company that recently ran a survey on customers’ new expectations from brands, you can share it to improve authority in your area of business.
  • How-to content: This form of content helps build your authority on LinkedIn. Provide value to your audience with how-to content that helps solve one of their pain points or allows them to do their jobs better.
  • Videos: Ideas of videos you can post on LinkedIn include interviews with your own industry experts, trending news in your niche, or a promotion for one of your upcoming webinars.
  • Customer stories: If possible, you can share the story of one of your customers who got value from your company. It’s an excellent way to build social proof and showcase the value of your product or service.

Curating gated and ungated content for every stage of your funnel

Content is a powerful way to generate interest in your offering, as it's able to speak directly to your target audience. Gating has become a controversial topic for marketers, as many have moved to ungating all of their content. This all-or-nothing approach can make it difficult to collect lead information; fortunately there are ways to be smart about which content to leave gated or ungated.

With ungated content, you offer content with nothing in return except page views. With gated content, you offer something of value in exchange for the lead’s contact information. Gated content shows a higher level of engagement and interest, which makes it powerful for gathering targeted leads, but it only gets views from those willing to submit their information, which can limit your overall reach. It’s important to balance these two goals when deciding which content to gate or ungate.

The key is to offer a strong enough incentive for the lead to download your gated content. Think about the value prospects will receive from the resource and how it benefits them: for example, will they be reading tips that will help them improve in their jobs? Or learn about important changes in their industry?

Next, create different gated or ungated content for different stages of the funnel.

“For instance, visitors in the awareness stage are probably interested in reading an eBook,” says Rebecca Riserbato, content strategist at Scorpion, in an article on Drip. “On the other hand, a visitor in the decision stage might prefer a product demo or webinar.”

Here’s how you can optimize your content for each stage of your lead’s funnel:

Awareness stage

During this stage, the customer becomes aware of the pain point they’re experiencing. As a result, they search for potential solutions to their problem. Here ungated content works best, as the prospect is casually doing research and isn’t necessarily looking to have a sales conversation. The type of content that works the best at this stage includes:

  • Blog posts: Blog posts help you rank for keywords in your industry and improve your SEO. That way, when a customer types in the problem they’re experiencing, they can land on your blog post and have the opportunity to discover what you sell.
  • How-to videos: Outside of blog posts, you can also answer your target customer’s questions with how-to videos with actionable advice that leads can follow.

Consideration stage

During the consideration stage, the customer has identified various products that could solve their problems. They’re now researching each solution to determine the best product for their needs. The effectiveness of gating here is minimal, as you want prospects to view information about your product case studies and product FAQs without restrictions. The type of content that works the best for this stage includes:

  • Case studies: A case study helps show that your product or service works. You can ask some of your customers to share their success with your product and showcase their stories on a dedicated page on your website.
  • FAQs: An FAQ is a list of customers' most frequent questions about what you sell. Make sure to have a dedicated FAQ page on your website to help customers in the consideration stage find the answers they need about your product.

Decision іtage

In this final stage, the customer decides to start talking to the sales team(s) about the product that best fits their needs. For this type of content, gating is effective, as searching for detailed product specifications shows intent and the customer’s willingness to have a serious discussion. Here’s the type of content you need to land the customer:

  • Product comparison and spec pages: As the name suggests, a product comparison page compares the features of two products separately with their pros and cons. This also includes detailed product spec pages, and detailed technical materials.
  • Free trial landing page: Customers can test your product with no financial investment with a free trial. Make sure to optimize your free trial landing page with social proof (such as customer reviews) and copy that explains the value the customers will get from your product and A/B test which page design drives the most downloads.

Optimize content for target keywords in your niche

It’s essential to have a content marketing strategy and improve your SEO. That way, when your audience searches key terms in your niche related to their pain points, they will discover your website, the product or service you offer, and how it solves their challenges.

Seventy percent of B2B marketers agree that content marketing increases the leads they can generate. Follow these steps to get started with your content marketing strategy:

Identify keywords that your customers are searching for

The first step of your content marketing strategy is identifying what search terms your audience is typing on Google.

You can use a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush to run this keyword research. These tools will help analyze keywords based on factors such as search volume and ranking difficulty, along with what content currently ranks the best for those keywords.

Create a list of iopic Ideas for target keywords

Once you know which keyword you should target, you can focus on creating content that answers the search intent of these queries. Also, analyze the articles that already rank for your target keywords and determine how you can make your content better. Factors that will make you rank higher include word count, structure, better examples, or quotes from an authority figure.

Use SEO best practices

The best SEO practices for your content include:

  • Write solid meta descriptions: Meta descriptions draw your readers’ attention to search results and encourage them to click through the page. Write meta descriptions that match the search intent of your keyword, and use engaging ad copy to invite the reader to click.
  • Collect backlinks to your content: Backlinks are external links to your content that you collect from other websites. Google notes how many backlinks your content generates to help you rank on its search engine since more links mean more people respect what you’re saying. However, avoid cheating by creating lots of links from unrelated sites, as Google will spot them and lower your ranking.
  • Include various internal links in your articles: Internal links are a way to indicate to Google which pages are the most important on your website. On top of backlinks, make sure to collect internal links to your other website pages.

Run retargeting campaigns

Sometimes, the lead was interested in what you had to offer, but you caught them at the wrong time. Retargeting gives you a second chance to keep your product or service top of mind for the lead and land a new conversion. Follow these steps to retarget leads:

Run lead list segmentation

Not all of your lost leads are the same, and it’s why you want to use your data to segment your list of prospects based on where they dropped off in the funnel. Here’s how you can segment your list of leads:

  • Leads who downloaded some of your content but never converted
  • Leads who visited one of your landing pages and dropped off
  • Registered attendees of your latest webinar who didn’t show up
  • Leads who did a free trial of your product but never purchased

Run targeted offers based on the lead’s funnel stage

Based on where the lead dropped off in the funnel, run targeted offers via ads or email to retarget them.

For example, let’s say a customer completed the free trial of your product but stopped using it when they finished. You can send them a discount on their membership via email to encourage them to try the software again.

Collecting better, sales-ready leads starts with the right strategy

With these lead targeting strategies, you’ll qualify more leads. As a result, you’ll grow your audience, stop chasing leads who aren’t worth your time, and increase your revenue.

And if you want to take your lead targeting to the next level, you can use a person-based advertising platform like Influ2. Our tool helps you identify key decision-makers and buying groups to deliver highly personalized ads to them. Schedule a demo today to learn more.

Nirosha Methananda
Nirosha Methananda
Former VP of Marketing at Influ2

A proud marketing generalist driven by a strong urge to Always Be Learning (ABL). Nirosha has a career across many marketing disciplines and industries spanning close to 15-years. Now she is taking on the challenge to build out the evolution of Account-Based Marketing to Buying Group Marketing.

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