Customers are a vital element of any business and every company out here is on the constant lookout to expand their customer database. Therefore, growing your business requires an access to a steady stream of sales leads – customers that have an interest in the products or services you’re selling.
But in recent years, the lead generation or the process of identifying potential customers and capturing their interests in your business, has been undergoing substantial changes.
This is mostly due to the emergence of new digital marketing tools and expansion of social media which now offer new ways to identify and reach the customers.
A lead generation is an ongoing process which also requires collecting information and reaching out to our prospects constantly and it goes much further than simply getting their email address.
Here are 5 ways you can make it efficient on your own.
#1 Identify your audience and their needs
We cannot reach out successfully to our customers if we don’t know who they are. So, the first step of lead generation is to identify your target audience. Considering your business and the products you sell, ask yourself: Who are my potential customers and in which area they live? What they do for a living and why would they be interested in my business?
After finding the answers, create an ideal customer profile and plan your marketing strategy around it. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, think of their interests, expectations, online habits and make sure your website, blog and/or social media page offers something tailored to their needs.
Keep in mind that each of these offers have to provide a value to the visitors, so that they are willing to take the action and give you their personal information in exchange for it.
In short: Your prospects need to respond to your CTA which takes them to a landing page, then fill out a form to get an offer (such as eBook, free online course, product sample, etc.) at which point they become a lead.
#2 Write a blog
Are you writing a blog yet? You should be!
The great thing about using your blog posts to promote your products and show your expertise is that you can make your CTA highly relevant and make your prospects click on it as soon as they see it.
To convert more customer via blogging, you need to speak to one specific audience and write about topics that are interesting to them. Having a defined customer persona will help with this one too.
Also, there are several very useful online tools which can help you to discover frequently shared topics and keywords on Google and social media. For example, after entering the industry related keyword in the search bar, BuzzSumo can help you to see which content has the highest number of shares on social media. There is also a Google Keyword Planner, a free tool which shows you keyword-related terms people are searching for on Google.
Paying attention to your potential customer’s interests on social media via so-called social media monitoring tools such as Keyhole or Hootsuite can also help you to find ideas for your future blog posts.
#3 Generate an email sequence
Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools in your digital marketing. It’s free, it’s trackable, and best of all – automatable. Automating the email marketing with email sequences takes it to another level as it both saves your time and strategically targets the specific audience.
An email sequence is a series of emails sent based on pre-set time intervals (just after opt-in, 2 weeks after purchase) or automated, trigger-based sequences sent whenever someone takes an action on your website (i.e. abandoned shopping cart) or within a sequence itself (clicking a link in an email).
Email sequences can turn people which never heard for your business to your customers and even brand advocates. Relevant and timely sent emails can deepen the relationships you have with the customers over time, increase the sales and the visibility of your brand.
And last but not the least: Keep in mind that it’s very important to be able to send one email to a person that just opted in for your offers and another to a customer who just made a purchase from you. A key to success is in segmentation of your customer database and creating the different email lists for the different groups of customers you have.
#4 Use PPC advertising
From a marketer’s perspective, the use of PPC advertising is an excellent choice if you need to generate valuable leads within the shortest possible time. Still, as PPC is a paid advertising, it is wise not to waste money and ensure you have the right strategy for your PPC campaign:
- To get those valuable leads, direct your prospects to a landing page, not your website home page or social media pages. Although these can have the comprehensive information about your business, a landing page is the best tool to generate a direct action from a visitor and convert them either as business lead or an actual, paying customer.
- Make sure that the content of your landing page responds to your PPC advertisement. If your PPC ad is focused on a certain topic, your landing page should be too. It’s simple as that.
- Optimize your form and don’t ask too many questions which can create distractions from the primary focus of the landing page. Think of rewards or special offers that you can give to the lead prospects and make sure these are clearly visible and easy to obtain. Also provide easy ways for prospects to contact you and always respond to their calls and/or emails.
- Keep track of your PPC campaign conversions to establish if the campaign is giving you the results you need. You are paying for it and you need a clear picture of its success.
#5 Use social platforms and channels to engage with potential customers
To get more leads and build a stable and reliable brand, we need to find the ways to establish a long-term relationships with our customers on social media. This means developing the unique tone of voice and defining an approach most relatable to your brand mission and vision.
Don’t waste money on building fake audiences that will never convert to customers and also engage in less expensive and more effective guerilla marketing tactics on websites such as Quora, Reddit and LinkedIn.
These websites offer businesses and marketers a great chance to build a niche for their brands and use it to gain new leads and increase conversions.
For instance, Quora is driving traffic to your website as the people who are asking questions and looking for answers are those who are already interested in purchasing the product or a service.
When trying to reach your target audience online, you look for places they hang out the most and Reddit is definitely one of those places. It’s easy to create a niche on the Reddit, but the actual marketing on the website is a bit harder.
Reddit users love news, humor, creative and inspiring images/videos and live Q&A’s so you will need to think outside the box and use your social media talents to reach out to your target audience.
Although often overlooked by digital marketers, LinkedIn is a thriving social platform and home to a more than 200 million users and 9 million business profiles from all over the world. On LinkedIn, you can target your audience based on a geographic location, current/past company, industry, school, languages and more. Having your prospects already segmented liked this will generate more leads and increase the conversion rates much faster than you thought is possible.
Still, keep in mind that the secret to a successful lead generation via mentioned platforms is hidden in the following:
- Optimizing your profiles and pages and keeping them SEO friendly. Think of buzzwords and do a keyword research and include them in your company/position description, posts and answers to your prospects.
- Being helpful and producing the content which answers to your prospects questions and needs. Avoid shameless promotion of your brand and products and engage in conversation with your followers.
- Sharing knowledge, building authority and spreading awareness about your industry and/or business. These steps are essential to lead generation as they’re increasing the trust and helping you to establish yourself as an industry leader, not only a company desperate to sell.
In order to get more leads in 2018, it’s important for you to establish yourself as an expert in the field and distinguish your company from similar businesses in the market. This means you need to use new and advanced digital marketing tools and automate your marketing, but also constantly work on your content marketing tactics and build an online community around your brand.
To be sure you’re doing this the right way and generate more quality leads, you will need to:
- Identify your target audience and their interests so that they are willing to take the action and provide you with their personal information
- Write a blog about specific topics related to your business and expertise to one specific audience you want to reach
- Generate an automated email sequence and provide your target audience with relevant and timely offers you may have
- Use PPC advertising with strategically crafted content and take your prospects to a specific, ad-related landing page
- Use social platforms such as Quora, reddit and LinkedIn to share your knowledge and expertise and build deep relationships with your lead prospects and potential customers