You know the B2B marketer type who keeps banging on about how they get too many leads in month after month? Me neither. In this article, I’ll cover 9 creative ways to use chatbots for lead generation. I bet you haven’t tried all of them.
B2B lead generation is hard work
There’s no way around that. You have to really understand the customers and your value prop, keep up with several different tech solutions along your funnel and continuously experiment & improve. All this, while churning outputs that feed the lead generation engine.
Fortunately, the struggle forces us marketers to discover new ways of achieving success. In this article, I list proven lead generation techniques specifically related to conversational software. So here you go, 9 creative ways to boost B2B website lead generation with chatbots.
Convert leads from your blog posts
Blog posts are the perfect place to create deeper engagement between the audience and your brand. Let’s say you’ve published an article titled The Most Delicious B2B Donut Trends for 2021. A reader enjoys your content so much that they reach the end. And what do you know – your seamlessly embedded chatbot strikes at just the right time to continue the conversation.
At this point, donuts are all the visitor can think about, so the conversation your bot started couldn’t be more relevant. You could ask about their favorite trend from the list, have a quick chat about how much you both would like one 🍩 Chocolate Frosted with Rainbow Sprinkles On Top 🍩 right now. After finding a common passion, your chatbot could casually ask whether the visitor would like to stay up-to-date on future donut trends and recipes.
If yes: Great! You’ve just converted a newsletter subscriber. If no: That’s cool, too. Not everyone will convert. However, the conversation didn’t go to waste. You collected valuable information about your potential customers (in this case: which donut flavors they salivate over the most). And if you have visitor identification & tracking in place, you now have a profile for that person, outlining their company, as well as past & future interactions with your content.
Only imagination limits what you can do with a chatbot at the end of your blog post – or why not try one between chapters. Depending on the content, you might even be able to book a meeting straight from the article!
Bring added value to case studies
You’ll start to notice a recurring theme here: there are creative ways to use chatbots for lead generation with pretty much any content type you have on the website. Case studies are a bit different compared to blog posts, and you want to address this change in the reader’s state of mind.
Again: the chatbot brings a natural, non-intrusive and 100% relevant continuation to the content that your website visitor has just been reading. It brings static content to life and activates visitors on another level.
With case studies, you could for instance design your chatbot to present additional testimonials or further information about your customers in a specific vertical. To capture the lead, you could build a useful material with more case studies, and let people download it directly from the chatbot. If it helps them, it will help you.
Grow your newsletter mailing list
We touched on this above with the donuts. (still can’t get them out of my head)
This is one of the easiest and most versatile methods for generating B2B leads. Now, you may argue that a new newsletter subscriber doesn’t match your definition of a lead. And it’s true that it doesn’t really entitle you to give them a sales call.
Patience, padawan. A newsletter subscriber is a lead that has shown significant interest towards your offering and expertise. And that’s enough right now. So play it cool – deliver a ton of value with your emails, and follow up with the lead once they have downloaded some materials or attended your events.
Even if you never close a deal with the person, you’ll have made a fan who’s likely to endorse your business to others. And all it took was a simple bot in the right place.
Some of our customers are masters at growing an audience with chatbots. Take for example The Marketing Meetup.
Collect sign ups to your events and webinars
Event and webinar sign ups are among the most valuable lead types to B2B companies. It’s already a win to get a person signed up and spending anything between 6 to 60 minutes listening to you speak about of topic of their interest.
With chatbots, you don’t need to push event registrants away from your website to an external service. That would be quite counterintuitive, considering the amount of work you put in to get them on your site in the first place. Instead, you can collect registrations for your B2B event smoothly, whilst setting the mood for the upcoming event with a honed in bot conversation.
Newsletter, event, webinar – chatbots are great for collecting any type of sign up, really. Don’t get me wrong, traditional contact forms are sometimes the most intuitive way to collect visitor information quickly. But conversations have so much more potential in building up excitement and engagement.
Interview and qualify job candidates
This one is a bit different. As you know, the B2B sales lead is not the only kind of lead, and not even always the most difficult one to convert. Job candidates are another important target group.
Especially tech companies have to really battle for each and every high-quality job candidate. But, industry aside, who wouldn’t like to receive more applications to an open role at a faster rate?
Chatbots are remarkably effective in generating recruitment leads. You can place a customized chatbot within each job ad page, or even make a generic one for your careers-section.
Here comes the best part: you get to ask the most important questions that determine whether someone would be a good fit for your open position and the missing link to your team. This is valuable to you, but also the candidate, as they will get a better understanding of what’s required.
Replace contact forms with chatbots
I already brought this up above, but it deserves another mention: chatbots are a fantastic alternative to traditional lead gen forms. Whereas contact forms can be a turn-off to potential leads, chatbots endorse the most natural form of human interaction: a conversation.
We’ve all been there. Trying to summon magical intuition to find our way through a form with a set of cryptic open fields. In some cases, the form is just so heavy that we won’t even bother.
A bot counters the pitfalls of contact forms effectively. You can disclose information progressively, and engage the website visitor bit by bit. Every step takes them closer to conversion, and the threshold is much lower compared to forms with anything more than 2 fields.
Most Leadoo customers complement contact forms with chatbots. This tactic gives people with different preferences an equally appealing method of contacting your business. If your data backs it up, you can even fully replace contact forms with chatbots. In most cases, though, we’ve learned that chatbots and forms can coexist successfully, both bringing in their share of leads.
Make it easier to buy your product or service
I’m kind of stating the obvious here. I mean, this is what chatbots do. The fresh idea is to place the chatbot where you list your product alternatives and pricing information. That’s a place of big questions and strong reactions. In other words, a place where you either make or break a deal.
The unfortunate truth is that B2B product and service offerings are usually difficult to grasp, especially for someone who’s not familiar with the space and alternative solutions. Your job is to make understanding and choosing the best solution as simple as possible.
Enter the chatbot. Here’s a couple of ideas on how to help out the visitor and even capture the lead. 1: Explain your solutions in understandable language and tie them to the related benefits for the customer. 2: Ask a few questions and suggest the best fit solution based on the visitor’s answers. 3: Let the visitor send a question about a specific solution. 4: Let the visitor book a meeting or demo.
Voilà! One new lead with clear intent en route to the sales team’s open arms.
Create engagement with lovable chatting experiences
It’s true that people don’t normally visit B2B websites just to pass the time. Truth be told, visitors on your site are either busy as heck, or bored as hell. Maybe both. But what if you could turn even a small part of those visits into something memorable and delightful?
Like, who said chatting with a bot should be dreadfully serious and lack all emotion? Chatbots can be truly entertaining conversationalists that make visitors feel something special towards your brand. Take for example The Boredom Bot, created in their infinite ingenuity by one of our lovely customers. Or scroll back up to find a treat.
The chatbot can be an honest attempt to bring some joy to visitors’ lives, but you’ll want to be ready for when that joy starts turning into more serious affection. Your local laws probably don’t allow declaring a chatbot husband or wife, but at least you can provide your expertise to the visitor by giving them a call afterwards. The conversation they had should serve as a solid icebreaker.
Combine multiple CTAs within one chatbot
It’s great to make a list of the conversion types you’re collecting on your website. For most B2B companies, these include a general contact request, demo booking, event sign up, material download and newsletter subscription to name a few.
Now think about how you can combine some of those CTAs to boost your lead generation and marketing performance.
Maybe you’re collecting event registrations with a chatbot. When the visitor has signed up, you could point out what a great opportunity it is to subscribe to your newsletter while they’re at it. This is just one example of a method we’ve found very effective.