Is the primary goal of your business-to-business advertising sales lead generation for your salespeople, representatives, distributors or resellers? If so, consider the following proven lead generation techniques gleaned from working with more than 170 companies and some of the best marketers in the business.
Don’t use image ads. Have you seen the ads showing butterflies and oil wells co-existing, illustrating the oil company’s concern for the environment? This kind of advertising may do a lot to improve the company’s image, but it isn’t designed to generate B2B sales leads.
Focus your advertising’s message on the benefits and applications of your products or services. Then, let the layout and design of your ads enhance your company’s image.
Put benefits in your headlines. Including a benefit in the headline improves your chances of catching the reader’s attention and generating an inquiry or request for more information. If, after reading the headline, the reader asks “so what?,” you probably described a feature instead of a benefit. The answer to “so what?” is the benefit.
Discuss applications. If your product or service is ideal for specific applications, say so. When readers recognize their application for your product or service, they will be more likely to respond. For example, you’re more likely to get an inquiry from someone in a medical records department of a hospital if they notice that your barcoding software is ideal for tracking a patient’s medical records.
Make your ads easy to skim. Everyone seems pressed for time these days, including the folks reading the trade publications where your advertisements appear. With this in mind, make it easy for readers to “skim” your ads and still get the message.
Use bulleted copy, subheads and illustrations or photographs to quickly communicate key points.
Use testimonial ads. Your prospects expect you to be biased. However, they trust their peers to tell it like it is. Use this to your advantage by including quotes from happy customers in your advertising. Or, mention the companies you serve. Another option is to use statistics such as “chosen by nine out of 10 design engineers.”