The inclusion of “correctly” in the title infers there is an incorrect way to market your business. Unlike all publicity is good publicity; not all marketing is good marketing, especially if you define “good” by the number of leads that funnel into your sales pipeline.
To oversimplify, a business’s marketing plan usually involves a lead generation component. Targeted prospects who interact with a component of a campaign (we’ll get to the components later) become a lead. The lead’s contact information is used to continually follow up with additional information (we’ll get to which kinds of information later). And, eventually, the lead becomes a customer.
Since lead generation is essential to growing your customer base (and thus, your sales), it takes a lead role in a business’s marketing strategy no matter how unique your sales process is. Back in the early days of the internet, your website was a star lead generation magnet. But, the days of your website being your only lead generation tool are gone, and there are many channels to which to turn, including email, digital advertising, social media, search engine optimization and content marketing.
The conundrum is that with so many marketing channels available, you have to work harder to gain your target audience’s attention, and especially their coveted contact information. You attract attention with content.
Content is at the Heart of Lead Generation
You must give compelling content in order to receive contact information. Content is the common thread running between all the marketing channels (email, digital advertising, social media, search engine optimization and content marketing). Content’s home base is your website, so that is where we’ll start building the foundation to correctly market your business with a lead generation focus.
Start with evaluating your website’s content.
- Is it good? Better than your competitors’? If so, you’re ahead of the game. If not, there’s no sense in starting lead generation until it is because most lead gen roads lead back to your website.
- Is it keyword rich? SEO helps your website rank higher organically so prospects searching for your product or service can find your business more easily. As EAG’s vice president of account planning says, “The best place to hide a body is on the 2nd page of Google’s search engine results.”
- Are you regularly adding fresh content? Maintaining a blog means you’re adding fresh, keyword-rich content to your website, which search engines reward with rankings. New blogs can be shared on various marketing channels, leading prospects back to your website where you can capture their information and put them in your sales funnel.
Will Offer Valuable Content for Emails
Capturing a lead, we mean a real, working email address, is hard work. Spammers are to blame. Unless you have something valuable to offer, you cannot expect an email address in return. The better your content meets prospects’ needs and curiosity, the easier it is to soften today’s hesitancy to share contact information.
What is considered valuable is what prospects want, whether they know they want it or not. What’s valuable is directly related to your specific business, product or service. Groundbreaking products or services will involve an educational component. Think iPods. Existing products from a new company will need a features and benefits component to encourage prospects to jump ship to your company. Think a better mouse trap.
Valuable content in the form of lead magnets takes many formats, such as (to name a few):
- Free trials
- White papers
- Case studies
Invitations to gain access to a lead magnet can be shared through email, digital advertising and social media, as well as on your website.
Get Specific with a Call to Action on a Landing Page
A landing page can be any page that a prospect lands on after clicking through an email or a digital or social media ad. Landing pages are not part of your company’s website and not found in your site navigation. Landing pages are used most effectively for a single marketing campaign or specific audience.
To tie together all you’ve read so far, think of it like this:
A person searches outsourced marketing. He or she sees an ad about the benefits of using outsourced marketing and clicks. He or she is directed to a landing page that offers a white paper download called, “10 Ways Outsourced Marketing Fills Your Sales Funnel” in exchange for an email address. Given he or she enters an email address to download the white paper, you now have permission to continue building a relationship with ongoing marketing campaigns. The ultimate goal of lead generation is turning him or her into a client.
Focusing on lead generation in your marketing strategy will optimize your conversion rates. It just takes building a great foundation of content and offering it in exchange for contact information in the right marketing channels.