An Expert's Guide to B2C Lead Generation

Writer:
Tricia Abney
Editor:
Casey Horgan
Published: Jan 24, 2024
Last Updated:
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Lead generation is vital for any business to succeed and thrive. If you're working at a B2C company, it requires a strategic approach to convince consumers to buy from you. Your approach to building brand awareness and generating leads will, of course, depend on your type of business. 

B2C lead generation describes how your business can find new prospects, engage them, and convert them into customers. This can include things like content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising, and much more. 

Here's how B2C and B2B lead generation are different, why your business should make B2C marketing a priority, and the best performing B2C lead generation strategies to produce the results you need. 

The Difference Between B2C and B2B for Lead Generation

Business-to-consumer and business-to-business lead generation aren’t the same. While many products and services — such as computers and real estate services — are used by both individuals and businesses, their marketing approaches have distinct differences. Here are some of the main differences between B2C and B2B lead generation:

  • Target audience: B2C lead generation focuses on individual consumers, while B2B lead generation targets businesses and decision-makers within an organization. 
  • Sales cycle length: It often takes businesses significantly longer to make purchasing decisions due to more decision-makers and resources involved in the process. However, in the B2C arena, many transactions tend to involve just one decision-maker and less money, so the process is shorter. 
  • Unique content: When it comes to B2B lead generation, your content may need to be more formal and tailored to a unique audience for the greatest effect, such as creating technical white papers targeting professionals in the dental industry. With B2C lead generation, you can be less formal with your content as long as you're still relevant and engaging. 
  • Effective channels: When publishing your lead generation content, it’s essential to understand which channels will be most effective for your audience. For example, while social media works well with both B2B and B2C audiences, LinkedIn is a better choice for B2B content than it is for targeting consumers. 

What Are the Benefits of B2C Marketing for Generating Leads?

As a business, you want to get your products and services in front of as many potential customers as possible. But there’s a significant difference between marketing activities that generate action and those that generate results. When done right, B2C marketing is the best approach for creating quality leads. 

Still not convinced? Here are some of the main benefits of B2C marketing for lead generation:

1. You Reach the Right People

B2C lead generation helps you reach the people who are looking for what your business has to offer. By understanding the specific preferences, needs, and behaviors of your ideal customers, you can tailor your solutions and marketing messages to more effectively resonate with them. With these strategies, you can refine your efforts to make the biggest impact on your target audience. 

2. You Spend Your Marketing Dollars Wisely

Because your message is targeted to the specific needs of your audience, B2C lead generation strategies are more likely to drive traffic and sales for your business, meaning they deliver an excellent return on your marketing dollars. When applied effectively, these solutions can broaden your reach. 

3. You Can Produce Evergreen Content

When you create high-quality content that attracts your target audience, there is the potential to use some of that material for years to come. Of course, it's important to update your statistics and optimize existing content as new information becomes available, but much of your efforts will be evergreen and offer long-term value to your business. 

4. You Allow Customers To Choose

Today’s consumers don’t like to be told what to do or be exposed to high-pressure sales tactics. B2C lead-based marketing essentially hands the sales process over to your customers. Because most of your efforts involve inbound marketing techniques, the customer initiates the contact with your business. They get to choose what content they will engage with, which is even more meaningful when they select yours.

Top 15 Business-to-Consumer Lead Generation Strategies

With these benefits in mind, how can your business do B2C lead generation well? Coming up with effective lead generation ideas can be challenging. Here are 15 B2C lead generation strategies that can produce results for your business when you tailor them to your target audience. 

1. Analyze Consumer Data To Fuel Your Campaigns

If you want the best results from your lead generation efforts, you need to target the right audience. Begin by accessing as much consumer data as possible from actual customers and potential buyers to figure out who is most likely to use your services or buy your products. Identify information like:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Buying habits

Create buyer personas using the information you collect from both internal and external sources. These are fictitious representations of your target audience that you can use to better fuel your lead generation campaigns. 

2. Use Gated Content To Get Your Potential Customers’ Details

Using gated content is another way to generate leads for B2C companies. When you offer content that is enticing enough, visitors will be willing to share their information in exchange for access to that information. Gated content is a worthwhile strategy to improve the effectiveness of your lead generation funnel, but only when it’s done right. 

It won’t work to gate every piece of content you produce. Consumers will only be willing to hand over their name, email address, or other personal data if the content truly adds unique value. For example, if you sell kayaks, you might create a gated piece of content that’s a guide to the best paddles or kayaking trails in your local area. 

3. Produce Video Content To Show Solutions for Pain Points

One undeniable trend in digital marketing is that consumers respond to video content. In the U.S., roughly 59% of adults watch online videos daily. When you post video content on your website, blog, and social media channels, it has a direct impact on boosting leads and sales. Consumers are up to 85% more likely to buy after watching a product video. 

If you’re looking for video content marketing ideas to show solutions to pain points, there are several options. For example, you can produce a Q&A video with answers to frequently asked questions, make a tutorial video teaching people how your product or service works, or have your past customers speak for you in a testimonial video. 

4. Leverage SEO-Friendly Content

Your target audience will have specific issues that they want to solve, and most of them will turn to a search engine for help. If you create content that answers their questions, your chances of winning their business will skyrocket. SEO-friendly content can generate three times as many leads as outbound marketing. 

Using keyword research, figure out what your target audience is searching for and produce content that addresses their most pressing issues. This organic lead generation will bring potential customers to your digital doorstep, giving you the opportunity to build trust and establish credibility. Another benefit is that SEO lead generation is a long-term play, meaning SEO-friendly content will continue to produce results for your business long after you publish it. 

5. Send Personalized Email Marketing Campaigns

Perhaps one of the most effective ways your business can nurture consumer sales leads is by investing in personalized marketing content via email campaigns. Traditional email campaigns send out messages in bulk without regard for the individual. Generic content might produce some leads, but they’re unlikely to be as effective as personalized emails. 

To be successful with this strategy, you can use a program that customizes your email messages with personal information for the recipient. This might include adding a person’s first name or including information about their last contact with your business. 

6. Don’t Overestimate Cold Email Outreach

If you want to generate more leads, don’t discount cold email outreach as an effective strategy. One way to make this work is to find a partner who has an existing list of people in your target audience. If you go this route, be sure you adhere to all CAN-SPAM Act rules

While these won’t be the hottest leads, an introduction from a trusted brand can produce surprising results. B2C cold email marketing also works well when you provide something of value to your partner, such as a referral fee or some reciprocal benefit. 

7. Build a Google Business Profile for Local SEO

Many B2C businesses target customers in a specific geographic area. Local SEO is a vital part of generating quality leads for these types of businesses. 

A sound local lead generation strategy involves researching and identifying the specific keywords and phrases that potential customers in your area are using to find your business and address the kinds of problems you solve. It’s also critical that you build and optimize your Google Business Profile so prospects can find you in local search results. 

8. Improve Your Reach To Get Results Fast With Paid Advertising

Your business can produce quality B2C leads fast through paid advertising. There are several ways to approach this. Using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, your optimized ads will appear at the top of the search engine results before organic listings.

You can also run ads on social media platforms like Facebook, where your post or ad will show up in your target audience’s news feed with the word “sponsored.”  With any type of paid ads, you're able to target your efforts so the material ends up in front of people who are likely interested in what you’re offering. 

9. Implement CRO Strategies for Your Landing Pages

One popular way to use B2C inbound marketing is to drive traffic to landing pages on your website, which are standalone pages specifically designed for your online marketing campaigns. Users “land” on the page after clicking an ad, a link in a social post, or an email button. 

According to HubSpot, the more unique landing pages you have on your site, the more leads you can convert. Companies with 15 unique landing pages on their site reported 55% more leads than those with only 10 landing pages, and those with more than 40 landing pages boosted conversions by 500%. The point is that the more you tailor your campaigns, the more quality traffic you'll convert. 

You can sharpen your tactics with this strategy through conversion rate optimization (CRO) for your landing pages. CRO is similar to SEO for landing pages, where you analyze visitor behavior to identify areas for improvement. For example, you can implement A/B testing, include more secondary keywords, use more video content, or offer some time-sensitive discounts on your landing pages to improve results. 

10. Don’t Neglect Your Social Media Channels

Social media can be one of your business’s most powerful lead generation tools. According to Data Reportal, 72.5% of the U.S. population were social media users as of January 2023. To capitalize on this, you can build a winning social media funnel by effectively defining your goals, knowing your audience, and posting engaging content. 

In addition to posting content on your social channels, it’s vital that you engage with prospects in other ways on social sites. For example, you can increase sales leads through social listening. This involves monitoring and analyzing online conversations around your brand or industry to learn more about your audience. 

11. Cross-Promote Your Content and Campaigns

It can be a mistake to focus all of your digital marketing efforts on a single channel, such as email marketing or social media. Reaching thousands of people on a social media post won’t do your business much good if that audience isn’t engaged. You can boost your overall engagement and increase your inbound leads by cross-promoting your content and campaigns. 

There are several strategies for cross-promotion to increase your engagement and leads. It can be as simple as adding subscribe links and social share buttons to your content. Your social media and email marketing teams can collaborate to produce interactive content for your target audience that will work well across various platforms. 

12. Provide an Excellent User Experience With Automation

There’s a time and place for automation in digital marketing. For example, you don’t want to rely on artificial intelligence to produce your content, but you can leverage some useful automation tools to save valuable time and drive more B2C leads. 

One example is chatbots. These are AI-based automation tools that offer guidance to your prospective customers 24/7. They can answer basic questions, direct customers to useful content, and even sign prospects up to your email list or schedule appointments. 

13. Consider Implementing Affiliate Marketing

An affiliate marketing program can be an effective lead process generator for your business when you are targeting individual consumers. Affiliate marketing is a formal type of word-of-mouth advertising. 

The people recommending your brand aren’t necessarily doing so to their friends and family. Instead, they are writing blogs, posting on social media, and producing video content to drive traffic to your website. If that traffic converts, those affiliates receive a commission on the sale. The benefit is that you get qualified leads and your affiliates are shouldering some of the marketing necessary to get the desired results. 

14. Leverage User-Generated Content to Your Advantage

While there are many ways to generate leads, an increasingly popular lead gen model is through user-generated content (UGC). This refers to any form of content created by customers or advocates of a brand, such as social media posts, testimonials, and reviews. 

Consumers appreciate UGC because they view it as trustworthy. If you have customers create content that drives leads, make sure your business acknowledges the positive feedback, which is something that can encourage even more of the same from others. 

15. Ask Your Existing Customers for Referrals

With a referral program, your existing customers can become one of your greatest sales tools and lead magnets. Considering that 82% of Americans say they look for recommendations from friends or family before considering a purchase, your B2C business can expect positive results by implementing some type of referral program. 

What’s great about this strategy is that it involves minimal capital investment. The key to having a successful referral program is offering something of value to both existing and new customers. For example, existing customers might get a voucher toward a future purchase for each referral, and the new customers get a certain percentage off their initial purchase.

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