Lead generation sounds like a dream if you can do it right: put yourself out there, let the internet work its magic, and leads will trickle right into your inbox. Well, it’s a little trickier than that – how can you collect high-quality leads that can be nurtured and converted?
There are countless ways to go about lead generation; in order to narrow down your strategy, you’ll first have to do some personal reflection and goal setting. Ask yourself these questions:
- Given the existing customer base, what are reasonable expectations for your lead generation campaign?
- Would you rather cast a wide net to achieve many general leads, or would you rather zone in on fewer, but higher-quality leads?
There’s no blanket answer for all businesses, but consider your current figures for customer retention, churn, and renewals. For example, if there isn’t a high ROI on your product, perhaps it’s not the best idea to spend marketing dollars on leads that aren’t guaranteed to convert.
A recent eMarketer survey listed the most effective lead generation tactics used by B2B and B2C marketing professionals. While the rankings different slightly for the two groups, these techniques made the list as the most successful lead generation strategies.
1) Make your emails lead-gen machines
Perhaps unsurprisingly, topping the list is email marketing. It’s an extremely targetable and customizable medium, and there are many techniques you can use to create an outstanding email marketing campaign.
Strengthen your email’s lead generation capabilities by incorporating content that appeals to customers at every stage in the sales cycle. For example, you can reach out to a broader audience by using a combination of these in one email:
- A fun video for casual browsers
- Quick product tips for interested readers
- A free trial offer for commitment-ready customers
What’s more, most email marketing systems now allow you to see which links have been clicked. You can draw on this information to segment your subscribers by their sales readiness and deliver customized content that’s relevant to their interests.
2) Be smart about your paid search & online ads
Between product listings and sponsored listings with ad extensions, there are plenty of opportunities to capitalize on search ads. In fact, for keywords of high commercial intent, over 2/3 of clicks went to sponsored results.
PPC ads are also becoming more easily targetable by location, demographics, search behavior, etc. Even on social media, advertisers can now narrow down their audience by incredibly refined variables to achieve better clickthroughs.
3) Ramp up your SEO
Customers who are actively searching for solutions already recognize that they have a need for your product, and are thus more likely to purchase. Reach these customers first by ensuring that your website ranks high in search engine results.
You can raise your search ranking by:
- Regularly publishing keyword-rich content. Focus on one main keyword per post and create separate landing pages for different offers.
- Updating your local Google listing
- Utilizing responsive design
- Composing distinctive titles and description tags for each post
While direct ads may be more effective for B2C businesses, SEO is particularly important for B2B companies, as they are often discovered by highly specific long-tail terms.
4) Let content lead the way
As more marketers utilize content marketing to build brand recognition and loyalty, those efforts have also become increasingly focused on lead generation. A recent study showed that companies who use content creation strategies are able to convert 29% more organic traffic into high-quality leads than those who do not.
Consider offering free and valuable resources such as whitepapers, how-to guides, case studies, etc. in exchange for the reader’s contact information. By generating content that’s relatable to your product, you can draw in many qualified leads.
Don’t forget to make it easy for visitors to submit their contact info. Clearly state the benefits of downloading your content, minimize the number of fields in the contact form, and incorporate multiple calls-to-action to encourage submission.
There are scores of lead generation ideas, ranging from tried-and-tested to flat out bizarre. Most importantly, figure out what’s suitable for your business by assessing your product, goals, and budget.
Lead generation is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to managing your customers. Stay tuned next week for our post on how to nurture and follow-up on your hard-earned leads!