[Column] Nick Durrant: Lead generation strategies that work
Marketers often focus most of their attention on design aesthetics, ignoring the many other factors that could turn website visitors into hot prospects. Lead generation is more important than ever, companies shouldn't underestimate the power of web design skills when preparing to invest in a new lead generation website.
Improving conversion rates sounds straightforward enough, but a lot of marketers struggling with the most fundamental aspects of lead generation and lead quality. How do you know what kind of leads you really need? And how do you know if your incoming leads are high-quality?
Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to a website and gathering relevant information that can be used to convert any interest into sales. In short, it's the fuel that any sales machine runs on. The right lead generation strategy is the differentiator that separates any company from its competitors, so understanding what makes a strategy effective should be a top priority across every industry.
Marketers need to adapt to new strategies to differentiate themselves from competitors and cater to a new generation of customers. Here are some new lead generation strategies that could help funnel and convert leads into customers.
Create content to attract your audience
Many companies spend most of their time crafting a headline and very little of the time on the actual content. One needs to understand what content is going to work for your specific audience. Weak content and good headlines can work short term and generate leads, but one should rather think longer term and make sure content is consistent with the quality of everything else you do.
Use digital events to collect quality data
Digital events such as webinars, concerts and livestreams are now at an all-time high, enabling marketers to drive traffic to their platforms. These events are a unique way to generate leads and collect quality data. Creating engaging digital experiences meets customers’ needs and captures their attention, consumers who may otherwise be unwilling to share information are glad to provide an email address and opt-in to cookies when they get something in return.
The rapidly changing digital world creates unique new opportunities for digital marketers, it provides an excellent opportunity to gather quality data on potential leads. Salesforce is one example of a company that has enjoyed huge success from its digital events. When their event schedule was uprooted, they adapted quickly and as a result, their virtual World Tour event brought over 1.2 million views to their social channels. That’s 1.2 million potential leads.
Targeting niche audiences
Casting a wide net catches the most fish, but it’s also the most expensive. Identifying a niche audience is a key component of any digital strategy. Targeted marketing is therefore the key to success because online communities are becoming niche spaces.
Offer value to niche customers in terms of insight and advice, this will earn dividends in terms of data and trust. Furthermore, use account-based campaigns to target specific customers with personalised messages. Strengthen your existing connections and pursue new relationships by incorporating account-based campaigns into your digital strategy.
Also, as the walls between personal and professional lives are coming down, many business people are looking for a more personal touch in their digital strategy. People want to feel like they’re doing business with unique individuals. Don’t be afraid to show off your unique personality through distinctive personal branding and personalised services.
More importantly, use digital video platforms – this allows customers to hear about your company and put a friendly face to it. Capitalise on the popularity of platforms like TikTok and YouTube to offer personable and informative content to your audience. In fact, 86% of digital marketers say video has helped them generate leads.
As personal lives are becoming more profession-centric, professionals are following TikTok creators, joining Facebook groups and subscribing to industry newsletters. Become a voice in those communities or even consider creating your own digital community.
Once you have a potential customer’s email address, it’s critical that your marketing material stands out from the rest of the hundreds of emails people receive each day. Filling your sales funnel with unconvertible data won’t meet your or your customer’s needs, so converting that data into leads is the key to successful email marketing.
Email marketing continues to have unparalleled ROI, but the saturation of email marketing also presents unique challenges. In addition to standard practices like A/B testing and writing compelling subject lines, here are some ways to leverage your marketing emails to generate leads.
Humans are pattern-recognising machines, and it only takes a few milliseconds for people to register a first impression. Unless your emails can be read in a fraction of a second, that means your potential customers are deciding how they feel about your marketing materials before they’ve even read a word on the screen. Avoid generic formatting, make sure the recipient actually read the email.
Use animated GIFs, email marketing containing animated GIFs has more than double the ROI of those who don’t. What static text gains in clarity, it loses in richness. Finding the appropriate balance of catchiness and usefulness means marketers should consider using GIFs in their marketing emails.
Personalise the experience, use dynamic content to tailor your email marketing to individual leads. Remember that people want to have their needs met, and if your marketing can speak to those specific needs, your product will sell itself.
Bring visitors back to your site by retargeting
Retargeting enables marketers to speak to visitors who left the site. The first thing you want to make sure to do is drop a retargeting cookie. Tools like Adroll are very simple to setup and use, it covers both web retargeting and Facebook retargeting. You can also do web retargeting in your Google AdWords account.
The useful thing about retargeting is that you can show different ads based on what pages people saw on your site. For example, if they went to the checkout page but didn’t buy, you can target them with ads that shows them a whitepaper that talks about cost saving. If they browsed the site generally and viewed 5 pages on the site, you can show them an ad that lands them on general educational content.
If someone downloaded a pdf aimed at finance companies, you can show them ads around how the product works well for finance companies. Or if someone starts a free trial, you can target them during the 14-day free trial period with content aimed at getting them to convert into a paid customer.
Offer a live chat service
Live chat services are becoming more sophisticated and most consumers expect them when visiting a site. It could be a major lead generator, companies should install a live chat tool on the pages where customers need the most assistance or information. It also allows marketers to collect and log insight on their product needs.
One can integrate the customer service team with the live chat feature, ensuring that every visitor has their needs addressed no matter where the conversation goes.
Unlock your digital potential
Solutions like Optimizely have a range of products and plans to empower you to provide winning digital experiences to your potential leads. Whether you’re working on dynamic landing pages, A/B testing, AI-powered content recommendations or any other facet of your content management system, Optimizely specialises in helping you take your customer’s digital experience to the next level.