How to Eliminate Waste in Your B2B Lead Generation Efforts

According to research conducted by Forrester, consumers study 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision. Despite the fact that this is only a slight increase from Google’s Zero Moment of Truth Macro Study (10.4), these figures underscore a truth we’ve come to know in modern business: quality leads are tied to quality content. 

It’s no secret to B2B marketers that creating quality content starts with informative, relevant subject matter your audience seeks. While the needs and appetites of your audience will evolve over time, your business will always measure success through one primary metric — leads generated.

To define your success, you’ll need to establish two things: 

  • Your method of generating leads
  • Your method of measuring leads generated

We’ll breakdown the three most common lead generation methods and how all B2B lead generation measurement methods aren’t created equally.

The 3 Most Common Lead Generation Methods

Let’s do it, Pete.

There are many ways to generate a lead. However, some are more ubiquitous than others.

1. Inbound Lead Generation

It’s likely that when you think of content-centric lead generation, you think of inbound lead generation, aka inbound marketing. 

Popularized by HubSpot in the early 2010s, inbound lead generation occurs when a visitor enters a portion of their contact information in a capture form on a landing page. It is generally assumed that someone who completes and submits a lead generation form is considered a targeted and relevant lead.

Leads can be generated through a variety of sources, including organic visits from search engines and referral websites to social media traffic, email campaigns, newsletters and more. Over time, these sources can be scored as well, allowing you to better determine the likelihood of a conversion from a given source. 

2. Paid Traffic Acquisition

Assuming you know your audience (and you have the budget), paid traffic acquisition can be one of the most cost-efficient and generally effective marketing tactics at your disposal.  It should be noted, however, if you don’t have a handle on who your buyers are, paid amplification could do nothing more than waste your advertising budget.

These tactics are often run through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other ad networks, where buyers are targeted with the intention of being captured as a lead. Because you’ve already paid to access a specific audience through one of these networks, it’s likely that your lead capture form will be longer. This is to ensure that targeting is accurate and that the leads you’re receiving match your intended buyer.

3. Lead Sourcing

Lead sourcing is the process of collecting and building a lead list without any marketing activities. Due to the low barrier to entry and minimal investment, it’s the cheapest of all lead generation forms. In addition, lead sourcing is probably the least effective (and certainly the least ethical from a data privacy standpoint) of any generation method.

This process finds targeted leads either by data-mining and extracting information from a specific source, manually, semi-manually or automatically, or by purchasing data from a third-party. These sources often provide names, phone numbers, addresses and more. Naturally, the quality and quantity of lead information is limited by the quality of the source.

Measuring Lead Gen Success

To determine whether a lead is good for your business, each submission should be scored. Lead scoring allows you to judge the success of your lead gen approach based on the response of your target audience(s). 

Beyond scoring, how you quantify the full value of a lead needs to be measured appropriately. How you score your leads will likely look very different than your neighbor’s process and perhaps even your competitors. What you’re more likely to share is how lead generation performance is actually measured. 

The three lead gen methods we reviewed are often measured by two common calculations:

  • CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)
  • CPC (Cost Per Click)

However, there is a big issue with using these methods independently that can be summed up in one word: waste.

The Major Problem with CPM Lead Generation

Quantifying this waste is quite easy to do.

At its core, CPM budgets are allocated to audiences who see your ad but never react — and we mean never act. According to research compiled by SmartInsights, Marketers are knowingly pouring 99.96% of their budget down the drain. SmartInsights’s report found that only 0.04% of people that see a banner will click on it.  

SmartInsights found that only 0.04% of people that see a banner will click on it. That means that marketers are knowingly pouring 99.96% of their CPM budgets down the drain. Click To Tweet

That’s one in every 2,500 views. Forget generating qualified leads, how effective can any campaign be if nearly 2,500 people ignore you?

CPC Waste in Lead Generation

There are similar issues with the CPC (Cost Per Click) model when it comes to lead generation.

Using a CPC approach for generating leads means the vast majority of your budget will be allocated towards sending traffic to a landing page with a lead gen oriented CTA and form. While it’s a standard approach and one that’s been used for nearly three decades, there hasn’t been much improvement in that time. This is a problem.

People landing on the lead gen splash page will only convert into a solid lead 2.35% of the time. Despite the fact that this is a slight improvement over the CPM model, Marketers are still burning 97.65% of their budget and hoping for the best with the remainder. Why would they do that?

See, Jack Lemmon knows.

Hoping for a strong eCPL (Effective Cost Per Lead) from CPM/CPC is one of the more costly, and least efficient method of generating leads, regardless of industry.

Is there a better way? Absolutely.

The Benefit of the CPL Model

For B2B marketers who are serious about generating leads, the CPL method is the best way to prove the value of your message and your product. 

In both the CPC and CPM methods, the efficacy of this value is secondary to the click and the impression. It should not be lost that impressions and clicks are important to B2B marketers; but if your primary goal is to generate leads, measuring the effectiveness of a lead gen campaign should start with understanding the CPL. 

The CPL model allows marketers to be much narrower in their scope. Instead of seeking the largest common audience, this approach enables marketers to see how well their best content performs for the buyers that actually want to find your solutions.

Thanks, Robin, we miss you.

Why NetLine Uses the CPL Model

NetLine is 100% focused on democratizing B2B lead generation and leveling the playing field for B2B marketers. We’ve delivered the ability for B2B Marketers to launch a content-centric, and performance-based, B2B lead generation campaign in the time it takes to sip a cup of coffee.

As we shared at the top of this blog, quality content and quality leads go hand-in-hand. The more completely and succinctly your content addresses the informational and commercial needs of your buyers — the right buyers, that is — the better your lead gen efforts will perform. 

Each of the lead generation methods we reviewed earlier needs something else to be successful. Inbound lead generation will struggle without proper amplification. Paid lead generation will struggle without proper targeting and messaging. Lead sourcing is…well, likely to lead only to more struggles. 

Marketers have budgets. These budgets are often designed to be as lean as possible, putting pressure on every decision and every dollar. Knowing this, why would you want to allocate your funds on initiatives that burn more than 97% of your budget?

Using the CPL method, we put all our chips down on performance. B2B marketers want leads and a CPL is the most efficient way to get them. 

Despite the fact that CPC lead gen campaigns only convert 2.35% of the time, #B2Bmarketers still use it, hoping against hope for quality leads. Click To Tweet

Focusing on Content-First Lead Generation

B2B lead generation doesn’t need to be painful, time-intensive, complicated, or priced to the point where only Enterprise organizations can partake.

With the NetLine Portal, you can run performance-based content syndication lead generation campaigns without subscription costs, IOs, or crazy contracts. You can set specific filters to capture intent-based leads matching your campaign criteria. The best part? You only pay for the leads that explicitly meet the defined filters of the campaign. 

Beyond those core features, the Portal provides the opportunity to layer account-based marketing (ABM) targeting on top of any filtering you create, as well as the ability to capture in-market intent signals from prospects by offering additional content during peak engagement.

Reducing the waste in your lead generation efforts is easier to do than perhaps you’d ever considered. By taking the content you’ve invested time and resources in and placing it into a system designed to do nothing but produce leads, you can maximize your budget and look like a genius in the process.

Hopefully this information helped to offer another perspective and most importantly placed you on a path to achieve lead generation success, with content.