Regardless of industry or target audience, customers are vital to the success of a business. As well as nurturing existing customers, acquiring new clients should be a high priority in your marketing strategy. This is where lead generation comes in.
“Lead generation is the process of generating consumer interest for a product or service with the goal of turning that interest into a sale. In online marketing, this typically involves collecting a visitor’s contact information (called a “lead”) via a web form.”Optimizely
Understanding Lead Generation
Lead generation can be split into two categories, inbound and outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing is a more traditional marketing method which includes practices such as cold calling, TV advertising, purchased mailing lists, and pop- up ads. These techniques are seeking to ‘interrupt’ the audience’s activity and relies on the brand making the first move to start the conversation. These campaigns can be successful in certain situations, but consumers are becoming savvier and dislike the interruptive style marketing; call blocking and email filtering mean that some of these methods are being shut down before getting through to the prospect.
Introducing Inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is designed to attract customers to a brand using valuable content. This approach uses more modern marketing techniques and digital tools like search engines and social media marketing to make the first connection, however, the main difference between the two approaches is that inbound puts the power in the hands of the audience.
By creating content and building the brands image, the prospect can choose when and how they engage with the company. By going down this route, brands become more trustworthy and can nurture their prospects into returning customers.
Lead generation facts & statistics
73% of leads aren’t sales-ready and need nurturing to move them down the funnel – Marketing Sherpa
B2B marketers get most of their leads via LinkedIn (64%), Facebook (49%), and Twitter (36%). – IronPaper
As of 2019, research states that the top lead nurturing strategies are email marketing (62%), content marketing (60%), and in-person marketing (57%). – Tech Jury
Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 more responses than standalone email blasts – Active Marketing
68% of B2B businesses use strategic landing pages for leads – Marketo
The Lead Generation Funnel
Top of the Funnel (TOFU) – The awareness stage. You are targeting a wide audience at this stage, providing insight into your business and the value you bring. As this is the primary interaction with your business the visitor may not be ready to convert into a paying customer, so utilise relevant and engaging content to build trust and credibility with your audience.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) – The middle of the funnel is the consideration stage. These visitors are looking to address a specific problem and are looking for a solution. Position content that directly speaks to the buyers search intent and optimise landing pages to capture their data in order to push them down the funnel (MQLs).
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) – The audience at the bottom of the funnel narrows further, they are now classed as prospects at the conversion stage. The focus at this stage is sales, show the value, sell the why. Utilise a case study or demo, promoting the benefits and tailoring the content is key.
Simple steps to adding Lead Generation to your strategy
If you’re looking for ways to improve your customer acquisition and prove ROI on marketing efforts, read on.
- Research your target audience- Create a buyer persona, to help with the strategy going forwards, identifying which leads to focus on. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer founded from research and data collection (if you have more than one, you will need separate strategies for each persona).
- Set the right goal- Defining goals gives measurable data. Without a goal to measure against how will you monitor the performance and ensure you are on the right path? Put simply, what would you like to achieve, and in what time scale?
- Identify key channels- This links back to your audience research, you should have identified key channels to connect with your potential leads. Are they most active on Facebook? Do they prefer email communications? Being aware of their online and offline activities and preferences concerning communication will help you create a diversified and targeted campaign.
- Data, Data, Data- Make sure you collect all the leads that come in, even if they are at different stages of the funnel, segmenting the data will enable personalisation to ensure the right message is sent at the right time.
- Don’t shy away from nurturing your leads- As we mentioned earlier, almost three-quarters of B2B leads are not sales-ready at the time of becoming a lead. By nurturing these leads you gain trust and credibility so that when they are ready to make a purchase, you are there to make the sale.
Lead Generation from Content Marketing
You’ve more than likely heard the term, “Content is King”. Fundamentally, content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing relevant content in order to attract and engage a defined audience with the goal of driving profitable action. [content marketing institute]
When creating content, keep in mind the relevance to the audience and also what value will it bring. Is it promoting something that people need? Will it make people’s life easier or teach them something new? By attracting a relevant audience, you can generate leads, and once you capture these leads you can nurture them into sales.
Create a plan.
Who are you targeting? Where will you distribute the content? How often will you schedule the release of content? What content will you use to attract your audience?
Use a content calendar to stay organised and on top of the publishing schedule throughout the campaign.
Different content types:
- Blogging- A popular lead generation tool, blogging can drive traffic to your website, develop better customer relationships and position your brand as an industry leader. Blogging also enables the brand to collect data through subscriptions.
- Case Studies- Give your prospective leads an insight into previous problems you have solved. This will build trust and credibility in your business and the products/services you offer.
- eBooks- eBooks are classed as a ‘premium content offer’. This means it usually sits behind a contact form. A well-written eBook leaves potential customers perceiving you as helpful and knowledgeable. It generates leads while building your brand image.
- Infographics- Great for turning complex information pieces into visually appealing, and easy to digest content. They can be used across multiple channels (online & offline) and paired with blog posts to pique interest.
- Videos- Did you know, studies show that 96% of people turn to videos to learn more about a particular product and/or service! Videos offer consumers content that can be quickly and easily digested across a high number of channels. From B2C and B2B perspectives, they are effective at answering questions, giving information, and creating relationships, making them a must-have for your digital marketing strategy.
If you would like help with your content marketing strategy, PPC or Social Media Marketing, get in touch.
Using Social Media to Generate Leads
Almost 68% of businesses are using social media to generate leads.Hootsuite
Social media has evolved significantly over the past few years. Originally designed as networking sites, platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn have turned into high-powered lead generation tools. Nowadays, being present on a platform or two can provide businesses with sales opportunities. Social media is great for driving traffic to your website or capturing data from your audiences to combine with email marketing campaigns.
Check out these tips to learn how you can turn social media into a lead generation engine:
- Provide contact information: How do you want your customers to get in touch, and have you made these details readily available?
- Use call-to-action buttons: Facebook has the option to tailor the call to action button depending on your goal. If you want to send people to your website, choose Visit website, but if you have a newsletter you may want Sign Up. If you’re looking for an appointment, restaurant, or consultation booking, add Book, Reserve, or Get Tickets action buttons.
- Attractive content: This follows on from content marketing, great content attracts an audience, but bad content will get you nowhere. Social media has become a minefield of businesses competing for audience attention. A study conducted by Microsoft Corp indicates that people now generally start to lose concentration after about eight seconds. That’s less than a fish!
- What does this mean for capturing leads? Images need to be eye-catching and the copy needs to be exact. Make sure each post has a clear link & call-to-action or in cases where you can’t add a link, ensure the next steps are clearly defined (Instagram).
- Design user-friendly landing pages: If you’ve convinced someone to click on your link, don’t disappoint them with a sloppy landing page. For starters, the landing page must be relevant. If someone is expecting to find a certain product or specific information when they click on your link, it better be there. A good landing page will be visually seamless and easily scannable. It should provide users with a clear path, and attempt to be as personal as possible. If your landing page involves a form, keep it simple. Each question you add reduces the odds of someone finishing it. If possible, pre-fill as much information as you have available. Doing this increases the chances of someone completing the form.
- Use social lead ads: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube all have adverts designed to help marketers collect leads through promoted forms. Take advantage of the audience targeting tools available through these ads and personalise the content as much as possible to the target audience.
- Offer an incentive: Whether you use organic or paid for social media tools, sweeten the deal with an incentive. Whether you give a discount or an eBook, customers will be more inclined to give their details if they get something in return.
Using PPC to Generate Leads
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is an excellent and affordable way to generate leads. Unlike content marketing that can take time to nurture leads into prospects, PPC usually catches visitors at the middle of the funnel, when they have search intent.
Use the tips below to ensure you have an effective campaign.
- Create specific landing pages – To gain value from your PPC campaign you need to direct the traffic to the right page. As with social media, if your visitors end up on an irrelevant part of your site, they will most likely bounce. This is a wasted opportunity to gain a customer and a costly mistake for your budget.
- Monitor campaigns continually – PPC is not something you can set up and leave to do its thing. Once the campaign is running, keep an eye on the necessary metrics and KPIs so you can tweak them when needed.
- Write clickable ad copy – As with social media, competition on search can be high, so make sure you’re stating the important bits! Ad copy that states the benefits of your offer and understands the intent of the consumer have higher clickthrough rates than those that don’t.
Using Email to Generate Leads
Email continues to be a great tool when it comes to creating relationships and nurturing leads.
“59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.”Hubspot
As with all other marketing strategies, you need to start with your audience. Personalisation is key in 2020 and sending a tailored email campaign can be the difference between a click or a delete. Segment your mailing lists with whatever information you have obtained about the individuals, demographics, buying behaviour or stage in the funnel.
Utilise email automation software. Not only does this software make your life easier, but it can also be used for triggered emails. Sending out a specific email when an event is triggered by a visitor will greatly improve your conversion rate. For example, when a visitor signs up to a newsletter, an automatic welcome email will be sent, or if a customer has left an item in their basket, a reminder email or offer can be sent to encourage them to make the purchase.
Research shows that consumers prefer promotional offers to come via email rather than social media with 60% of consumers subscribing to a brand’s email list to receive promotional messages compared to 20% of consumers who will follow brands on social media to get deals.optinmonster
For more tips on email best practices, read the do’s and don’ts for a successful email marketing campaign, or to start your own email marketing campaign get in touch.
Ready to start your own lead generation campaign?
The digital world is awash with channels and methods to reach new customers and capture data. Attracting the right customers and leads can be challenging in this day and age and knowing how to capture customers and nurture them through the funnel is a must. With a comprehensive lead generation strategy, this can be easily achieved.
Do you want to grow your sales funnel with effective lead generation strategies? Contact us today!