You need leads to generate sales but not all leads convert into customers. Some leads have a better prospect of becoming paying customers than others. As generating each lead costs your company money, an effective lead generation strategy should focus on maximising the number of high-quality leads, while filtering out those that are less relevant. How is this achieved?
1) Create One Or More Buyer Personas
To start with, create one or more buyer personas so you know exactly who you want to target, and where you will have the best success in targeting them. A buyer persona is an in-depth profile of a fictional but representative customer. It sets out their challenges, motivations, demographic details and habits – allowing you to create content that fits their needs. If you know who your target customers are and where they hang out, you can focus on the platforms they use and the type of content they seek out.
2) Target Quality Leads
Smart lead generation prioritises quality over quantity. Not everyone is going to be interested in what you have to offer, so focus resources on those who are most likely to buy, and those with the greatest potential long-term value. This involves thorough research of your target market.
3) Lead Scoring
Rank prospects according to their likelihood of conversion. Leads are rarely simply hot or cold but belong on a sliding scale of enthusiasm. Some people are ready to sign up immediately, while others are mid or long-term prospects. Others are unlikely to ever purchase from you. Establish criteria for grading leads in terms of their position in the sales and marketing funnel. This lets you formulate a multi-layered content plan designed to nurture leads through to their first purchase and beyond.
4) Use Social Media
Social media is an excellent way of attracting new leads and nurturing current prospects. There are many ways to use social media to increase brand awareness and authority. Start by sharing content, information, and special offers to social media to increase traffic to your website. You can also engage with leads directly through social media chat platforms, where it provides a fast and effective means of answering questions. Focus on the platforms most used by your buyer personas – and don’t forget that many platforms have intuitive paid advertising services to increase your visibility to particular audiences.
5) Use CTAs & Contact Forms
You’ll get more leads if you’re crystal clear about what you want people to do and give them an easy means to do it. Your call to action (CTA) for each email, landing page, and blog post should be straightforward, prominent and uncluttered. Don’t water down your messages by having more than one CTA on each page.
Establish a prominent contact form and CTA button on each page. On mobile layouts these are best placed at the top of the page. Keep CTA buttons away from other icons and links, so they are easy to locate on small touchscreens. You’ll need a range of CTAs for different audiences and stages of the buyer journey.
6) Marketing Automation
Marketing automation software assists lead generation by letting you set up automated workflows. These include content that is sent out when a prospect’s behaviour triggers a certain rule. For example, if a prospect clicks on a certain link in an email, or visits your case studies page, a special offer email, or seminar invite is sent out to them. Workflows are infinitely customisable, and can be as complex and multi-tiered as necessary. This saves time manually following up leads. Additionally, it helps you keep track of your sales process by logging costs, engagement points, and activities against individual lead profiles on your database.
7) Be Ambitious
The purpose of inbound marketing is to encourage customers to come to you. This doesn’t mean you can’t create an ambitious wish list of companies you want to target. LinkedIn is a good place to do research. Search for companies in your target market who are showing signs of growth, such as recruitment drives or restructuring. Target these prospects with personalised deals, discounts, and exclusive content.
8) ‘Smarketing’ & Lead Nurturing
Every business has a sales process, even if it is not a documented one. There will be a path every enquiry takes within your business. Your sales and marketing teams need to work together effectively for the process to be successful - a collaboration known as smarketing. The marketing team needs to know what makes a high-quality lead for the sales team and the sales team need to get involved early in the process. This is more important than ever as buyers are researching more and more online, often coming to a decision before even contacting you.
9) Do Your Keyword Research
Ensure your keywords align with what your ideal customers would search for so that you can attract them when they are looking for your services.
Lead Generation 101
There are a range of strategies you can put in place to generate quality leads. At JDR, we select the best and most appropriate methods to reach your audience and business development goals. To find out more about how an effective lead generation strategy works, please take a look at our free guide 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips.
Image source: Pixabay