Lead generation is a term we continuously hear about, specifically in the marketing industry. The term is only evolving and becoming more relevant with the development of new platforms, channels and methods. There are various ways to generate leads – this can be both helpful yet overwhelming at the same time. It’s common that marketers overdo their lead generation campaign and create a mess. The question is, how do you avoid this mistake and successfully generate valuable leads? Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it seems.
Lead generation 101
Many marketers work on acquiring leads without actually knowing that it’s the process of lead generation. It basically means initiating consumer interest around a product or service (potentially converting it into buying customers). A lead is who we call a person or subject who has shown interest in a company’s product or service. They can be used for purposes like sales leads or e-newsletter list acquisition. Leads can come from blog posts, online content, specific generating tools, advertisements and many more. In 2016 statistics showed 85% of B2B marketers said lead generation was their most important content marketing goal, and the percentage is only growing.
Tips for a successful lead generation strategy:
Identify your lead goals
A lead can have different meanings and value for different people. E-commerce stores see results of lead generation in their sales, while other platforms that focus on content or landing page tools have different lead priorities. Determining what a valuable lead is for a given project will help during later stages and can save you from disappointment. The marketing department might think that most leads are delivered through newsletters, while the sales department will be waiting for leads through commercial contacts. Deciding this at the very beginning of the process saves a lot of time and nerves.
Figure out your target audience
Not only must you define your target audience, but you should also look for places where it’s active online. It would be helpful to figure out your persona – this is your ideal model created to represent a user type that might use your site, service or product in a similar way. It combines the interests, preferences and characteristics of your target audience and preparing this type of example will help you create customised content and messages. Lead generation methods for places where your target audience is unreachable will most likely be ineffective. If you haven’t created a persona profile yet, you can use HubSpot’s free persona creator or find an online template that matches your needs.
Focus on fundamental issues:
- Specific elements of a sales funnel – what is the predicted amount of time each element will take and what are the desired actions within them?
- Dividing your target audience based on their relationship with the brand – different activities can be selected for the audience that has already had some experience with the brand, others for those who have converted several times, and a completely different set of messages for those who haven’t had any contact with the funnel yet.
- Content form and lead magnets – the key to the success of B2B lead generation is to send the right message at the right time. Even a perfectly prepared message won’t work if it reaches the audience at the wrong time.
Choosing the best methods and tools
In order to start working on specific lead generation activities, you must have a clear image of your target audience and your goals. Various methods and tools will be really helpful in this process. It’s worth learning tactics of using particular methods and adding them to your strategy.
We all know social media is king in today’s society. This can be used to your advantage for generating leads.
Studies show Facebook remains the most widely used social media platform – about 68% of U.S. adults now report that they are Facebook users. Facebook even offers an ad format called Facebook Lead Ads that allows you to generate leads from their platform directly. You can also generate leads and share ideas through posts, groups and events.
PayByShare is a useful tool that can be used to share content with your audience. It uses the mechanism of gated content to earn shares on social media in exchange for access to a piece of content (by requiring users to share links). This is a great way to distribute ebooks, infographics or checklists.
Content marketing is often an underestimated part of a lead generation strategy, but it can be very effective. It’s simple: if you share valuable content, you will receive valuable leads. Case studies or posts explaining specific problems and solutions are popular and may cause a potential customer to fall into the sales funnel. By using different forms of content like webinars or dedicated demos, the client moves further in the funnel, until they reach the conversion. Content marketing isn’t all about posting on blogs regularly – it consists of activities that lead to conversions and maintain the interest of leads at every stage.
Web push notifications are a successful method for generating leads. The mechanism is quite similar to email marketing. The way they work is that they’re presented to subscribers of a given website after they open it. This said website should have previously sent a message to the user before confirming that they agree to receive the notifications. After allowing notifications the user becomes a subscriber. No personal information is required – the subscriber is identified based on the information of that their web browser stores. The notifications take little time to create – the process takes less than five minutes.
Generating leads isn’t a simple process – it requires a lot of effort, planning and testing different methods. Different solutions work for different companies, so it’s best to see for yourself which one works best for you. Keep in mind that these solutions may take some time to work – don’t rush it! Focus on the most important aspects of having a proper strategy and in no time you’ll be a lead generation pro.