B2B Lead Generation: Leveraging Prospect Engagement Tools to Uncover Intent
February 12, 2019 | Kara Widdison
Peanut butter and jelly. Peas and carrots. Interactive assets and qualifying leads.
That third pair may not be as well-known as the other two, but it should be—at least among B2B marketers. B2B lead generation would be far more effective if more marketers used interactive assets to uncover buyer intent.
Why? Because interactive assets stand out from the sea of static content that B2B buyers are so familiar with. These assets don’t have to be gated, and they provide your prospects with some value in exchange for their information. As a bonus, interactive prospect engagement allows for personalization—something B2B buyers value highly. It also improves marketing and sales alignment, helping marketers qualify leads that their sales team will approve of.
Creating an interactive experience for prospects will help you uncover their intent, whether you start with a new blog post, white paper, or webinar, or you repurpose existing content. Here are the benefits of using interactivity in your lead generation marketing campaigns.
1. Interactive Assets Get Better Engagement Than Traditional Lead Generation Content
Who wants to read yet another text-heavy white paper? Not many of us. Especially if we have to fill out a lead generation form to gain access to the white paper. However, that form is going to result in a flurry of sales calls and emails—calls and emails that won’t consider who we are or if we need their product or not.
Interactive assets maneuver around the resistance to B2B lead generation forms because people don’t have to fill out a form to engage with you. If the lead gate exists at all, it’s optional. So, prospects can view your content (which you paid a lot for them to be able to see). And because there is no lead gate, more B2B prospects will look at your content than would see it if you kept it locked up behind a lead gate.
So, does it work? You bet. Successful B2B content marketers are more than twice as likely to incorporate interactive features into their templates.
2. Interactive Marketing Tools Allow For More Personalization Later On In The Buyer’s Journey
You know how vital personalization is right now. B2B buyers expect it. In fact, 72 percent of them “expect vendors to personalize engagement to my needs.”
Interactive assets rely on sales enablement questions to bring the prospect along on their journey with your brand. It responds when a prospect clicks on it. It changes based on their inputs. Overall, it provides a more engaging experience than a static pdf.
Like it or not, most of us would often rather not read unless there is obvious value to be gained. Utilizing interactive assets will help get your message through.
3. Interacting With Prospects Delivers Detailed Buyer Insights To Sales
Asking leading questions is definitely beyond the capabilities of static, text-only content. And the questions we can ask result in B2B lead generation gold. Questions allow us to qualify leads, for starters. That means marketers can identify the high-quality leads and give them more attention and resources. This is a crucial goal for marketers today. Lead quality trumps lead quantity in most B2B marketing departments.
But that isn’t the only reason it’s good to ask questions. The answers to those questions let us personalize other marketing campaigns, like follow-up emails.
Even if you only ask B2B prospects one or two questions while they engage with your asset, their answers will let you deliver more tailored—and thus more useful—marketing and sales campaigns.
4. There Are Plenty Of Interactive Formats To Choose From For B2B Lead Generation
By customizing interactive asset templates with sales-qualifying questions, you can know ahead of time whether the subject matter is something your audience is interested in or not. Creating these assets has a significant benefit: It means you don’t have to worry if people will like the new content. So, look at your top 10 most popular pieces of content in the last year and ask yourself, “could any of those be made into a quiz, an assessment, a poll, or some other form of engaging content?”
For example, assessments are particularly useful as a B2B lead generation tool to use with email nurturing. All those questions people answer on assessments can be crafted into personalized content. But there are plenty of other content formats to pick from.
This interactive quiz from CoreSite, for example, lets the marketers do several things at once. For starters, the quiz is an interesting piece of content that attracts people to their site for the first time, so it worked as a demand generation tool. But it also worked as a lead generation tool. And by asking a couple of carefully-chosen questions, CoreSite’s marketers were able to qualify the leads this quiz attracted.
The questions also allowed CoreSite’s marketers (and salespeople) to learn a lot more about each prospect. Integrating the answers to these questions into tools like Pardot or SalesForce will append this data to a prospect’s file. As a result, duplicate leads or data quality don’t become a problem.
All those answers can also be used to tailor customer experiences and interactions, too. More useful and relevant assets lead to more trust and authority with the prospect. After a series of touchpoints like this, many prospects will be ready to talk to a live salesperson.
Finally, at the end of the quiz, the prospect sees an old-school lead generation form. The only difference is that it’s optional. Only people who truly want to hear from the company will complete the form, once again giving the marketers substantially higher-quality leads.
Also, notice one more twist: By filling out this form, the prospect can benchmark themselves against their peers. They’ll get a customized report. So, there’s some more personalized content for them.
Quizzes aren’t the only possible format for prospect interaction that you can use for a B2B lead generation application like this. The chart below shows what other marketers have said are most successful for the early, middle and late stages of the buyer’s journey:
Prospect engagement tools and interactive assets complement each other beautifully, and they solve a slew of problems in B2B lead generation.
Your messaging will benefit from having interactive capabilities. These assets are more intriguing to potential prospects than static text content. They allow for personalization, both while the prospect is interacting with the content of your asset, and later on when they have customized experiences based on how they answered any questions.
The questions asked also allow marketers to qualify leads and improve marketing outcomes. So, the tool generates not just more leads, but better leads. It’s an elegant solution to many of the problems B2B marketers face. And it fits in perfectly with most existing marketing automation programs.