What is best practice for lead generation?
User attention spans are getting shorter. You’ll have just 3-7 seconds on average to capture a visitor’s attention.
With such a short amount of time to get your message across, you firstly need to ensure you have a well optimized website that immediately shows what products and services are being offered and what value they offer to the potential customer.
Very few visitors will ever land on your homepage, unless they’ve arrived there via a direct link, or searched for your brand directly. They are far more likely to land on an interior page that is relevant to their specific search query. That means every page on your website needs to be consistent in design and quality. If one page looks out of place, or doesn’t get your message across effectively, then the whole site will suffer.
The secret is to test everything and test regularly. Never assume one page is better than another, or that one call-to action is more effective than another without having hard data to back it up.
You may think you know exactly what messaging will work on your audience, but even the most skilled marketer is sometimes wrong. Making small changes, such as tweaking the color or position of a CTA or form, can affect the performance of a page. Just remember to only test one element of a page at a time, or it will be impossible to pinpoint what was responsible for any change in its effectiveness.
Once you’ve got the data back from one test, analyze the information and make some informed changes to your landing pages, then test again.
Be realistic, especially regarding time and budget. Set a strategy you can stick to and dedicate yourself to completing it fully. If one avenue of lead generation isn’t viable for your current circumstances, then use another method until things change.
Define who your perfect customers are, using insights gained from your existing customers where possible. Create a buyer persona for each then work on targeting each persona specifically. This will help you connect with your audience in a number of ways; understanding what drives and motivates them, what pressures and problems they face and how you can help alleviate them.
Once you know who you’re targeting and what their key issues and ‘pain points’ are, address them directly. Avoid talking about yourself and your product. Instead, talk about your customers, their problems and what you can do to help. Potential buyers don’t want to read 10 pages about you, they want to know how you can make their day easier.
Get active on social media. 75% of B2B buyers are influenced by information they have found on social networks, so it’s vital for you to be as visible as possible on as many platforms as possible. That’s how you’ll get your brand seen and remembered.
Social media is never about making a direct sale. It is about connecting with your target audience and building a relationship with them over time. To learn more, check out our tips for more effective social media marketing.
Content marketing is becoming increasingly important for lead generation. The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reports that almost 90% of marketers now leverage content marketing because of its effectiveness and low cost in comparison to other similar channels.
It is in the search engines’ best interests to show users the most relevant results, so they’re constantly on the lookout for new, compelling content and will favor websites that consistently provide engaging content that answers user queries.
To get started you need a solid content marketing strategy that you commit to fully. It should pinpoint exactly who your target audience is, what they need and where they can be found. The aim being to create the right content, for the right audience, at the right time, delivered in all the right places. Whilst Content marketing is a powerful method for lead generation, the results won’t be instant. It can take many months to gain traction, so don’t grow disheartened if you don’t see a big impact straight away.
Go for a multi-pronged approach with your lead generation that covers lots of different avenues and tactics. Every method has its own strengths and weaknesses, and no single method ticks all the boxes by itself. If you’re running a long-term content marketing campaign, then consider bolstering it with something that does bring immediate results, such as a pay-per-click campaign. Plan your strategy wisely to ensure you achieve the optimal results for the available budget.
How do I get more leads?
There are countless ways to generate leads for your business, but the most important thing is to find a lead generation strategy that works for your business.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to lead generation. You need to research who your ideal customers are and work out how to draw their attention.
For example, does your ideal customer spend a lot of time online? What are their browsing habits? Are they active on social media?
Creating accurate buyer personas is key to planning how best to reach your audience, and deciding where your precious time and money should be focused to do so most effectively. There are several tried and tested methods which perform well for most companies. These include:
- Content Marketing: the creation of high quality content which is tailored to your audience and their needs. It helps establish you as a trustworthy brand leader, keeping your name fresh in their mind when they come to make a purchase.
- Email Marketing: nurturing leads by building a relationship with them over time through carefully planned emails sent at exactly the right time. These emails should offer advice, new content or other helpful information and resources, without being intrusive.
- Event Marketing: getting face-to-face with potential customers is one of the most effective ways to form a lasting bond. You’re unlikely to hit gold first time, so try out a few different event types and review each carefully, to find the most effective one for you. If you’re unable to host or attend in-person events, then webinars can be an equally powerful tool. Whichever way you go, attendees must feel they have spent their time well and accessed valuable information.
- SEO: targeting terms that are likely to draw in relevant, high quality traffic from search engines which will be valuable for your business. While competition will be high for broader, generic terms, there are often several longer variants available, known as “long-tail” terms, which can be considered. For example, if you were aiming to be found first for the term “Lead Generation”, you’re unlikely to see results. However, creating a page dedicated to “lead generation software for small businesses” is far more likely to rank. The key is to find a niche that your business excels in, then to research search volumes and assess the competition before choosing what to target.
- PPC: Pay-Per-Click advertising is the act of targeting key terms or phrases within search engines with a relevant advert, which will only appear when the specified search criteria are met. As the name suggests, you then pay when someone clicks on your advert. PPC is used by loads of businesses – and with good reason. The results of a well set up PPC campaign are near immediate. Google estimates that businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 they spend.
- Social Media: hard to get right, but powerful when you do. Social media lead generation is all about being where your customers are and showing them your approachable, human side. The aim being to build a personal relationship with them, which will put you at the forefront of their mind when they come to buy.
The key to successful lead generation is to plan, experiment, evaluate then adapt. Some things will work better than other for your business. Make sure you test out each strategy for long enough and that you are gathering the data you need to make an informed decision on whether it’s right for you or not. If it’s not working, simply move on and learn from your mistakes. Mix it up, using different tactics and fill in any gaps. The secret here is always to be where your customers are.
To learn more, visit our blog: 45 of the best lead generation tips ever.
Who should I target?
Generating traffic is all well and good, but if you’re attracting the wrong kind of leads (those who are unsuitable and never going to buy what you have to offer), then all your hard work is going to be wasted. So how do you know who you should target, and how best to reach them?
The first step is to identify your target market – i.e. the top-level market you want to reach with your product or service – and to think which business model may work best for you.
Who do you hope to reach? This will have a huge effect on your overall tone of voice and methods of communication.
Are you a B2B company targeting other businesses, or a B2C company targeting consumers directly, or even a B2B2C that deals with employees in a company in the hope of one day landing the company itself?
Once you know what your target market is, you can then break this down further into customer profiles; ideal customers that are the perfect fit for you and your business. To do this, you need to look at your existing customer base to see who gives you the highest profit margins and who you enjoy working with. Focus on bringing in more clients like these ones.
Once you’ve analyzed all available data and defined who your target audience is, you should work on developing your buyer personas further. Find out what really makes them tick and use this knowledge to create content targeted at your ideal audience.
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