Lead generation is your lifeline as a business. Without leads, your business will fail. But, with a steady stream of potential customers, your business has an excellent chance of thriving.
Unfortunately, how to generate leads isn’t easy nowadays. That’s because in the 21st century, information is at a premium.
That means using traditional marketing methods won’t work anymore. New customers find YOU. Not the other way around.
In fact, Hubspot reports that only 18% of marketers say outbound practices provide the highest quality leads for sales.
Answers are a mere Google search away, and you must have a successful marketing strategy in place that ensures you’re providing the right information for the right customer.
So, how do you obtain and retain a lead in this era of information? Here are 3 steps to help you:
- Identify your target customer
- Create the right content for your buyer
- Track your progress
STEP 1: Identify Your Target Customer (Buyer Persona)
Buyers have changed, but have you?
Businesses have to accept the fact that the Internet has now entered the buying cycle, and it is making waves.
It’s no secret that the Internet has forever changed how people do what they do. In fact, when it comes to business, it’s the first meeting between a possible buyer and your business.
Therefore, your internet presence and presentation is of higher value than ever before.
Identifying your buyer persona, or your ideal customer, is critical to developing the right marketing strategy that will help you in retaining leads and developing new ones.
But, is a buyer persona necessary?
Yes. Creating buyer personas help you understand your customers and prospects, and they allow you to market your product or service more effectively by better tailoring content to fit their specific needs, behaviors and concerns.
Identifying your buyer persona also will help you identify what mediums you should take advantage of to showcase your content.
Why is this important? Here’s one example: Forbes reports 78% of consumers say that posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases.
If you want to catch a fish, you have to go where the fish are biting.
How do you identify your buyer persona? Our article, Keys To Finding Your Ideal Buyer Persona, walks you through the process of narrowing down this important component of your marketing plan.
STEP 2: Create The Right Content - Get The Right Bait
Once you get a consumer to your website, whether it’s through a search engine, social media or elsewhere, your work isn’t finished. In fact, it’s only just begun.
The challenge now is to hold the attention that has just been given to you.
In 2000, the average attention span of an American consumer was 12 seconds. Today, that average has fallen to a mere 8 seconds.
If you are going to convince buyers to stay on your site, you need to do it quickly. You can do this with site offers and features designed to incite interest and convert these visitors into potential leads.
Some effective types of content include:
Offers are incentives for business, solutions to problems or educational material aimed at helping buyers overcome the challenges they may be facing. They are presented in the form of ebooks, case studies, checklists, whitepapers and other informative documents that can be accessed and downloaded at the click of a mouse.
Calls-to-action are buttons or links on your website that push viewers to take action and to interact with your business. For example, “Download now” or “Attend a webinar” are popular options. When calls-to-action are done right and insufficient quantity, they can ensure visitors will come back for more.
Landing pages are the webpages attached to call-to-action buttons or links that promote your offers. These pages are critical since they provide visitors with the opportunity to download your offer and learn more about what you have to offer. Landing pages give you an opportunity to nurture potential customers into becoming potential customers.
In fact, according to Hubspot, companies with 30 or more landing pages generate 7 times more leads than those with fewer than 10.
Blogs rich with multi-media content include articles, videos and links to intra-site material topics that are of interest to your ideal consumer are key in attracting visitors captivated by today’s multi-media world.
Increased frequency of a site’s blog also increases leads. In fact, according to Hubspot, marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI.
Social Media Widgets
One area many companies overlook are embedding social media widgets on their sites. This is an easy way to encourage sharing of content on a variety of social media networks.
By giving visitors the option to share the content they are viewing to Facebook, Twitter and more, you are appealing to their desire for connection while also boosting the number of eyes your name and brand can potentially reach.
These are just a few of the ways content can help you obtain and retain leads. By combining social media with effective content, you’re on your way to igniting important leads for your business.
STEP 3: Track Your Progress
After identifying your buyer persona and creating the right content that appeals to that buyer persona, you may be wondering, how do I know this is even working?
You must track the activity your company is receiving online. In other words, you must assess both the traffic on your website and the content connections being drawn through social media networks.
If you are still not obtaining or retaining the amount of leads you desire, make adjustments and keep making adjustments until you get there.
After all, in this era of information, you must adapt to overcome the difficulties presented by the way today’s buyers look for information and ultimately make a decision.
For many business owners, this can present yet another challenge - finding the time to thoroughly examine whether your marketing plan is working.
The good news is, the right content marketing company can help you do a lot with a small business marketing budget. Not only will an inbound marketing agency create informative, engaging content that provides a long-term lead generation strategy, it also will utilize effective tools to help track the progress of your marketing plan.
Among the many benefits of working with an experienced marketing agency are:
- Expertise with your market niche
- Money savings by hiring to your specific needs
- No employee training required
- No additional overhead
- Execution of your marketing plan immediately
The right marketing agency will provide valuable resources that help you optimize SEO, manage your social media channels, create engaging content customized toward your customer base and track the progress of your plan so that adjustments can be made accordingly.
If you want to reel in the right buyers and retain these leads, you need to know who to target, how to implement the right content and know when adjustments are needed.
With this knowledge, you’ll be on your way to generating leads, and ultimately growing your business.
Bill is the CEO and Founder of InTouch Marketing. Bill drives the vision and direction of InTouch except when England's playing in a soccer tournament, because everything stops!