In the past, marketing used to be about blasting out one message to as many people as possible in the hopes ye olde customer would listen and follow the “yellow brick road” to purchasing your product. That mentality (and reality) is completely gone with the new ability to access large amounts of user data. The marketing “Emerald City” of leads is now reached by making it personal to each person wearing ruby red, salmon pink, fuchsia, or whatever colour slippers. Okay, so maybe the Wizard of Oz metaphor only goes so far. If I only had a brain (alright, I’ll stop).
Regardless, lead generation is now being used to market to specific customers, with specific messages, on a one-to-one basis. Even more important is your web design as well, especially since that’s basically the first impression people (and potential leads) now think of your company. So how do you generate leads nowadays? Where do you even start?
It might seem, with the age of the internet, that people are buying on impulse more than ever, but that’s simply not true. This mentality may apply to some customers that as soon as people see something they’re interested in they buy it faster than your hungry friend eating all your fries before you have even a quarter of them, but most people aren’t like this.
In fact, people are increasingly making multiple steps before purchasing products and services. They go online, they look at current releases compared to past products. They look at the reviews of your company and product on Google My Business results, Amazon pages, and 3rd party review sites. So when it comes to generating leads people need to trust you. You need to provide a reason as to why you’ve got the better toaster than your toaster competitors.
This all starts with content. Create content to establish yourself as an authority in your market. Provide people with tips about your industry, news about what’s happening with your market, and social media posts sharing both of these things in addition to blog posts about your company. You need to give before you can get. Make sure this content is search engine optimized as well. Content is only as good as long as it’s actually being seen by people.
Some of your content can be even better optimized to draw people in. These are known as lead magnets, where people can get access to some higher quality content for providing a small amount of information like their email address or social media follows. However, it’s important that this content is free, not paid for.
The content should also be focused on being educational. A video guide on how to nail a job interview, or a free trial of your accounting software are both great choices for setting up lead magnets. Lead magnets are also a great opportunity to reach other people in your field. You could shoot a video of an interview with a leading expert in your industry, create a white paper with an experienced professional in your field, or provide a short video tutorial on web design (if you’re in marketing). The point is that you provide just enough quality content that justifies getting a lead’s contact information. Plus, educating your customers further helps establish you as an authority in your industry.
While landing pages typically refer to website pages that people “land” on (how strange right?) you can also use landing pages to drive leads and conversions. First off, you can set up pages on your website that are hidden unless people already have the link through search engine marketing ads or Facebook ads for example. These are great to inform your potential customers through a blurb about your services, but should be kept to about a one-page length since customers can always check out your website if they want more info.
They are also a prime location to get interested customers to convert to leads by getting them to fill out a call-to-action on the landing page. Remember though, it’s important to give before you can be expected to get. Therefore, your landing page needs to provide some additional value to your leads if you expect them to stay leads and give up their information.
Keep in mind that people at this point of the buying cycle are different than those interested in lead magnets. These people who came to your landing page actively clicked on one of your ads to learn more about your product. Therefore, you should tailor your offer to be more in tune with this interest. Consider offering a discount on their purchase of a yearly subscription to your software or free shipping on their next order in exchange for more valuable contact info.
Once you’ve got leads coming it, it’s time to evaluate their quality. Just because someone gave you their email address does not necessarily mean they are a high-quality lead. Getting their email address is like getting the whipped cream but not the dessert—you’re happy about it (it is whipped cream after all) but it’s probably not going to satisfy you. That is unless you have large amounts of whipped cream which is great for a little while until you start to feel bloated.
There are exclusive software programs for evaluating lead quality, but Google Analytics is a great free option to help get you started. By using Google Analytics you can define what are and aren’t considered conversions. Once you’ve established that, and your data is coming in, you can evaluate what conversions you need to work on improving in numbers.
By following these steps you should be well on your way to generating leads. You can also incorporate this guide into your lead strategy to provide a level of direction for future lead generation strategies.