How to quickly generate quality leads
Are you one of the 49% of businesses planning to prioritise increasing customer numbers this year? The first step is to generate high quality leads. Here’s how to optimise that crucial process.
Here's what we will cover...
- Would you recognise one of your customers?
- Building your lead generation machine
- The art of the lead magnet
- Nurturing your list
- The PPC boost
- The social factor
No matter what industry you’re in, digital marketing is always something of a numbers game. You need to get enough of the ‘right type’ of person through your doors – virtual or otherwise – to pay the bills and make a bit of profit.
It is easier to detect and track down leads (aka potential customers) if you know what a typical buyer looks like. So that’s a great place to start if you’re looking to improve lead generation.
Would you recognise one of your customers?
If you don’t know what a customer looks like, how can you attract more of them?
There are plenty of shady marketing firms happy to take your money to drive hundreds and thousands of random people your way but this won’t help your ROI.
Genuine lead generation is a targeted process which begins with building high resolution profiles of your key customers. These portraits are known as marketing personas. We have written a number of articles on how to create personas to improve your marketing success so be sure to check these out.
In a nutshell, you need to trawl through all the objective and subjective data you have on your customers to work out how old they are, their gender, where they live, their occupation, how they spend their time, what social media platforms they use and anything else that will help guide your lead gen strategy.
Happy with your personas? Then it’s time to build your lead generation machine.
Building your lead generation machine
Lead generation is not a single process and it can help to visualise it as a machine made up of various interconnected parts.
The first task of this machine is to capture the contact details of genuine leads. You can achieve this through the smart use of online forms.
In the early days of the web, online forms mostly came in two varieties: static and pop-up.Today, there are many more options including:
- Conversational forms. These walk your visitor through the signup process one question at a time.
- Distraction-free forms. These remove or blur out the rest of the page so your visitor has to focus on only the form.
- Exit pop-ups. Forms that appear as the visitor is about to leave the page.
- Scroll pop-ups. These appear when the visitor has reached a certain point on the page or is scrolling up the page.
- Section CTAs. Forms that appear at natural breaks in the page content – often on a subtle banner.
Going back to your machine visualisation, you will need to connect this part of the mechanism to the section holding your lead/customer data. This might be a customer relationship manager (CRM) service or an email service provider (ESP).
Integrations for signup forms will be available from the form provider or the CRM/ESP. Your web developer or marketing agency should be able to lock these together for you.
The art of the lead magnet
If online forms are the ‘how’ of lead generation then lead magnets are the ‘why’.
A lead magnet is a tool for drawing authentic leads out from the general mass of visitors to your website.
It is a valuable product, provided free of charge, that is designed to appeal specifically to your core audience. Now do you see the importance of the persona exercise earlier?
Examples of lead magnets include exclusive video footage, access to a members’ area, survey results, templates, content downloads and, yes, free physical products.
In fact, a lead magnet can be anything you can dream up. There are only two rules: make it relevant to your target audience and make it tempting enough that your prospect will happily enter their name and email address in your signup form to get it.
Nurturing your list
Your lead generation machine should now be taking shape in your mind: you have a means of attracting the right type of visitor, extracting their details from them and adding them to a list.
The next step is to imagine that that list feeds into a funnel. At the bottom of the funnel are those leads that are on the verge of taking the plunge and becoming customers. At the rim of the funnel, they’re still getting to know you and your brand.
Nurturing your list requires serving leads the right type of content based on their position in the funnel. If you check out the sidebar, we’ve linked a handy Vu article on merging content strategy with your sales funnel.
We recommend using your ESP (we use MailChimp) to create regular newsletter campaigns featuring a digest of your articles. You can even create customised newsletters for different audiences. Again, we have included a relevant article link in the sidebar.
The PPC boost
Now the strategies we’ve introduced you to so far are part of a long-term strategy that, over time will serve you well. However, we promised to tell you how to ‘quickly’ generate leads.
According to the latest research by HubSpot, online advertising and audience targeting are the top ways to drive leads in 2020. These come together in the form of Pay-per-Click (PPC) advertising campaigns. These include Google Ads, some forms of social media advertising (e.g. Facebook Ads) and industry specific ads (e.g. Amazon Advertising).
These platforms all offer prominent positioning, fine-tuned customer targeting and affordable rates. For best results, we strongly recommend you connect your PPC advertising to custom landing pages (NOT your website’s home page). We’ve linked an article about that in the sidebar too (heck, we do a lot of writing!)
The social factor
The template for your ultimate lead generation machine is now almost finished but there is one huge thing you should really do to truly maximise its potential – connect it to social media.
Any potential customer you add to your pipeline will be connected to dozens if not hundreds of people like them. If you can engage them effectively with your content, you can be sure they will share it via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or whatever social network they prefer (which, of course, you will have discovered by now!)
Social media share buttons can easily be added to your blog posts and landing pages so make sure you do this (ask your friendly web developer or digital agency if you’re stuck).
Social media management platforms like Hootsuite will enable you to not only post content to multiple social media channels at once but also to monitor and join in with conversations about your brand. They also include handy automation features such as advance post scheduling.