Lead generation is central to business growth, bringing in fresh customers and the capital you need to flourish and expand. Yet it’s considered to be the most challenging aspect of their job by 61% of the web’s top marketers.
Many factors contribute to the almighty challenge lead generation poses to everyone from small business operators and digital marketing experts. One of the biggest issues arises from the fact that approximately 92% of visitors to eCommerce websites aren’t there because they’re ready to buy.
This doesn’t mean you can’t convert them to customers, but it does mean you need a powerfully effective lead generation strategy to ensure you snag their business.
Treat audience data like the precious commodity it is
The key to successful lead generation is deceptively simple – gather the right information and act on it in a timely manner. You need to understand your target market’s demographic information, but also their typical needs, challenges, hopes, and desires. The more you understand about them, the better you’ll be at creating targeted lead generation campaigns that work.
Collect and analyze data
Through tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot, you can analyze your web traffic and gain deeper insight into the behavior of your visitors. You’ll also be able to track the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns and follow up with leads in a timely manner.
Ideally, you’ll want to revisit the information you gather on a monthly basis to ensure you’re still tracking with the needs of your target audience.
Always act swiftly when it comes to leads
It’s worth repeating that time is of the essence when it comes to lead generation. Fail to follow up swiftly with a lead and they will likely have gone elsewhere by the time you get back to them.
Have you ever contacted a handful of businesses looking for a quote on a product or service you need? The business that gets back to you first is often the one you go with, particularly if they’re offering excellent customer service, a fair price, and great quality. They may not have been the top search engine result, but because they were fast, friendly, and efficient, they earned your business.
Take advantage of social media
Social media offers you the chance to reach a global audience of millions. Though Instagram and Facebook are the favorites among business owners and lead gen strategists, there are plenty of other sites for you to experiment with.
Some of the best social media platforms for lead generation include:
- Facebook – great for long-form posts, and for sharing your blogs, video content, images, and media mentions.
- LinkedIn – ideal for sharing articles and blog posts with a more professional audience.
- YouTube – a great platform for giving valuable content, creating a connection with your target audience, and generating qualified leads.
- Instagram – perfect for sharing visually appealing content and generating leads while also gaining insight into the behavior of your target market.
- Pinterest – great for encouraging fans to share your content.
- Quora – a brilliant platform for gathering data about your target market, understanding their challenges and desires, and building your reputation as an industry influencer.
- Twitter – endless opportunities to connect with your target market and potentially have your message go viral.
- Reddit – brilliant for learning about your audience and getting on top of new trends before they hit the mainstream.
By using these social media platforms, you can reach your audience in a targeted way that brings you valuable qualified leads. Develop a powerful social media marketing strategy, get to know your audience, and share content with them that enriches their lives while low-key demonstrating how much expertise you possess.
Build a consistent and engaging social media presence
To achieve this, be sure to post plenty of engaging content that doesn’t involve asking your audience for anything. Be a positive and helpful member of the online community, and when people are ready to buy, you’ll already have a place in their mind as a trusted provider of what they’re looking for.
You’ll need to be on social media on a daily basis if you wish to make such a prominent place for yourself in people’s minds. Over time, this habit will help you establish authority in your industry while also ensuring that your following never stops growing.
Daily posts on every platform you use would be ideal. However, if that’s a bit much, then aim for a minimum of three posts a week on each platform, with plenty of customer interaction in between.
Be a friendly and active member of the online community
Responding to comments is key to this strategy. Though it may be called a “platform,” you should never treat your social media presence as a podium from which to preach.
Instead, focus on engaging in conversation with your followers, replying to comments and reviews, and engaging with groups relevant to your industry. People feel more connected to brands that display personality, and this is one of the most powerful ways to inspire loyalty.
Optimize your lead gen posts
When you do create posts designed to generate leads on social media, make sure your message is crystal clear. Many marketing campaigns fail because they make things too convoluted.
Competitions are often the worst for being confusing. Do you need to just like the post to be entered? Do you need to like, share, and comment? Or do you need to head over to the company’s website and fill out a form?
Aim for simplicity and clarity in every lead gen strategy you employ, on social media and beyond.
Supercharge your website with lead gen boosting extras
While we’re on the topic of clarity, make sure the call-to-action you have on your website is as straightforward as it is enticing. Take advantage of a user testing service to ensure that your call-to-action is attractive rather than annoying (those exit-intent pop-ups can really turn people off if they’re handled poorly).
Make the following two things instantly clear to your audience:
- what you want them to do;
- the awesome reward they’ll get in return.
It’s also essential to ensure your call-to-action appears “above the fold” (aka, close to the top of the page where it grabs attention).
Small requests, powerful results
Email list sign-ups are a common lead gen approach as they open up avenues for you to create email marketing campaigns. As one of the most successful marketing strategies in terms of sales generated, the simple act of getting an email address from a visitor can have a monumentally positive effect on the future of your business.
The power of social proof
Another great way to supercharge your website is to get happy customers on board via positive reviews and testimonials. These are wonderful on social media, but they also have a place on your website.
Rather than creating a dedicated testimonials page (that many people won’t notice), intersperse these positive messages on every page of your website. Known as “social proof,” this is one of the most powerful ways to convert casual visitors to qualified leads.
Don’t let your leads go stagnant
Many business owners make the mistake of doing all the hard work of generating leads and then failing to follow through with a targeted campaign. They build up an email list but then don’t deliver regular, engaging content. Some even create social media contests and then back away slowly, never declaring a winner.
If you’ve started a lead generation campaign, it’s important to follow through. Otherwise, all that work was for nothing. Nurture these qualified leads with content that’s informative, engaging, and valuable. Keep the conversation going because even if a person isn’t ready to buy today, you want to be the one who springs to mind when they are ready.
If you think back on your own spending habits, there have probably been a few times when your motivation to buy something came from an email offering a discount or even just some valuable information on a product you’ve been considering for a while. Every time you share something valuable with your leads, you’re boosting your chances of converting them to customers.
Always track the performance of your lead gen strategies
The only way to truly understand which of your lead gen approaches is working for you is to track the numbers. Keep an eye on the relevant metrics after each campaign you launch. Through this, you will be able to get an idea of which strategies are working for you and which ones are taking up more time than they’re worth.
Maybe you’ll find that social media competitions are the best way to garner new followers and boost your website traffic. However, simply sharing your articles on social media doesn’t do a lot. Perhaps each time you write a guest post for a particular blog you get a wave of new followers, but on another blog you get zero reaction. It’s only by tracking your metrics that you’ll discover these things and learn to direct your energy into the strategies that are giving you the best results.
Lead generation: final thoughts
If you’ve been struggling with lead generation, take heart in the fact that even the world’s top digital marketers are struggling along with you. This is not an easy strategy to master.
However, if you focus on providing value to the people you hope to engage, follow through on every lead generated, and track your progress, then you’ll soon see the results you’re looking for.
Do you have any questions regarding lead generation strategies? If so, please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.