Lead Generation is one of, if not the top, element in any businesses overall marketing strategy. Yet very few marketers will say that their lead generation efforts are effective. The world of marketing is constantly evolving from a tactical and platform point of view and if marketers aren’t evolving with it, well, it’s of little surprise that the efforts fall flat.
There are some simple reasons (albeit possibly complex in theory) that typically point to the pinnacle of failure for lead generation. Following through with the wrong leads, content that’s not optimized for the stage of the process, landing pages that don’t seize the opportunity, and generally a lack of resources. “Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of marketers”. But none of these are insurmountable with the right amount of planning and execution.
What is a Lead?
A lead is a consumer who has, through any means (channel), indicated interest in what your company has to offer. Whether it be products, services, or even information. A lead is someone who has taken even the smallest step in the direction of finding out who you are and what your company can do for them.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead Generation is turning someone into that ‘someone’! Turning a consumer into a lead. Whether your business is hyper-local or completely global, attracting a new person (prospect) and generating interest within them, and ultimately nurturing that interest into a possible conversion. Catering to the needs of the prospect and communicating your brand, expertise, and how you can best fulfill their needs is what will turn a precious stranger into a loyal customer.
Leads can be generated through various means, like, online content, email, ads, blogs, live event, coupons, and social media. The process generally goes as follows: Discovery – Call to Action – Landing Page – Offered Value – Form (subscription) – Lead – Nurturing – Conversion
The process essentially goes from the attraction stage to the purchase stage…with the in-between being the nurturing stage. The attraction stage can be quite tedious and most definitely needs to be robust in planning yet tethered in its approach. The nurturing stage is where your strategy will take a prospect from the start, all the way to the finish. If you’ve attracted the right audience and your nurturing stage is solid, specific and highly zoned into your businesses sales process, the purchase stage should follow right along.
Tips For Maximizing Your Lead Generation
Know Your Audience
It is the top of the list and hands down the most important part of your lead generating efforts. Without it, producing quality leads will be a shot in the dark. You have to know who you’re looking for, who fits the demographics and purchasing behaviors for your business, and who’s interested in your products and services. If your buyer personas are well defined and understood, it will make all of your remaining efforts that much more effective.
Quality Over Quantity
Having your sales force spending valuable time and efforts on 100’s of unqualified leads is not only a waste of time, it can also lead to frustration and burnout because, as every marketer knows, remaining fresh and successful requires wins. Doing the right research to ensure you’re targeting the right audience, the one that gives you the highest chance of buying your product or service, finding the quality leads, is paramount. Ideally, your sales efforts will be spent nurturing leads have the potential to covert. Maybe not immediately (but that’s the whole point of nurturing) but at some point down the road.
Likewise with your content. Quality content will go much further than an overabundance of bad or mediocre content. You can have 100’s of blog posts that are attracting no one (and imagine the resources that went into producing all of that content) and therefore irrelevant, or a smaller number of highly relevant pieces that are engaging your audience …and ideally getting them moving through your sales funnel.
Using Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is the king of brand awareness and interacting with your audience. But it can be so much more when it comes to nurturing your leads.
- Growing Your Following – Once you have a relationship with your audience it is far more likely that you will become a trusted source and that your audience will purchase from you. By sharing your expertise, your brand, and how you can fulfill the need, your audience will stick with you. And when it comes time to make purchasing decisions, you will be on top of the list. You can also grow your audience/leads through ‘Sharing’ by presenting awesome content that inspires your current audience to ‘Share’ it…therefore bringing you new leads, organically
- Communicate – Unengaged leads don’t convert. In this day and age where a lot of businesses don’t have a face or a personal presence, communicating with your audience, not necessarily even on business, can go a long way to building trust, loyalty, and most importantly engagement. When people are ready to purchase they will more likely come to the place where they already know there’s a human presence behind the brand. 50% of buyers choose the vendor that’s quickest to respond
- Sharing What You Know – Sharing relevant content displays your expertise, highlights that you’re an industry leader, and directing people to where you need them to be, your website, is most effective for generating leads. Sharing product discounts, links and blog posts will get traffic moving into your sales funnel in the direction you want it to
‘If You Build It They Will Come’, But You Need to ‘Capture’ Them Once They Get There
Getting the traffic to your website is one thing. Seizing the opportunity once they are there is the important part. Creating landing pages that make it simple and easy for your audience to convert, having clear and concise Call-to-action activities, and using forms to capture as much data as possible are all very important to the success of your lead generating efforts.
Opt-In Email campaigns can be highly effective if used properly. The simple fact that someone opted in, said ‘hey, I’m interested’, is extremely valuable for qualifying leads. By delivering ‘value offers’ and links to detailed landing pages, your audience has a clear and easy path to discovery. Hand delivering your most powerful information and latest promotions, with easy link access, will prove to be successful if you’ve done your homework on your target audience. The key is timing though.
Inundating your audience will only lead to losing them (unsubscribing). Emails must have tremendous value and pull…but not be overloading. 47% of marketers believe email marketing is the most effective lead nurturing tactic *A side note on unsubscribing. It’s a necessary option in order to be compliant, and shouldn’t be viewed as a negative. The last thing you want is to be sending time again nurturing leads that have zero interest. If someone unsubscribes, good, it helps to boost the overall quality of your list.
Focus On Your CTA
Call-To-Action! Make them stand out. No, make them (((jump))) out. But make them clear and obvious. Ensure your message is short, sweet, and completely easy to understand what is expected. Follow the rule that ‘Less is More’ and make sure you’re only presenting one CTA at a time on any given page or email. If you’re CTA is routing your audience to your general homepage, where they must search for the offer you were providing them or what they came to find, you will lose them before you even get them started. CTA’s need to be directed to a specified place, whether it’s a form or specific offer or content, it must direct them where they expect to go.
‘Personal Space’ – Limiting Your Ask
If you’re asking for information, which you should be, keep in mind that asking for too much personal information right out of the gate will repel, not encourage. In generating a new lead, it needs to be remembered that these people haven’t yet had much experience with your business and might be hesitant at first. Make sure the information you are asking for is quick, simple, and sticks to the basics of what you need. If someone is unfamiliar with you and you’re asking for more than 4-5 pieces of personal data, they will more than likely back out.
Your Lead Scoring Process
Having a scoring process for lead generation is really the only way to determine what actions convert best and essentially which leads are worthy of nurturing resources. A high score for watching a video or attending a webinar is more valuable to understanding a lead than if you hold equal value to other activities like opening an email. They are most definitely not equal in assessing the quality of the lead. Establishing a hierarchy for your leads will make the efforts that go into converting them be much more effective and timely.
When done properly, lead generation can help bring in a steady stream of potential customers who can help to make your business a success. No matter the source of the lead, having access to high-quality leads can help any business improve its bottom line.
For many industries, lead generation is by far the most effective marketing strategy available. For others, it might not be the right choice. An agency, such as Inwurx can help you determined what’s right for you, and help find the best possible leads, targeting the right audience, and help you improve your conversion rates and reach your business goals.