One of the most crucial things to keep in mind about your marketing campaigns is that all of your efforts need to be purpose-driven whenever possible. You're not just trying to advertise for the sake of it - you're advertising because it's going to help you accomplish some particular goal that you wouldn't be able to accomplish through other techniques.
Case in point: lead generation. This is a very particular process wherein you're trying to get people interested in not only your products and services, but in the possibility of entering into a relationship with you. Everything you put out there must be in service of these ideas and if you really want to design a better marketing campaign with lead generation as your primary objective, there are a number of important things you'll need to keep in mind.
The Road to Better Lead Generation: A Journey Begins
Any of the best lead generation marketing companies will tell you that if you really want to make an impact on your target audience, your efforts need to begin with content marketing first and foremost.
Content marketing is effective because we've certainly reached something of a saturation point when it comes to online advertising. People are being bombarded by advertising messages during nearly every moment of every day. It happens when they visit their favorite websites. It happens when they log onto their social media networks to check in with their friends and family members. They're very, very good at simply tuning it out - which is why you need to really switch up your approach if you're going to attract the right type of attention.
This means focusing less on selling and more on simply providing as much raw value into someone's life as you can - which is an area where content marketing happens to excel. For the best results, you should be using a service like Respona to research the types of topics that people care about and to get insight into the conversations they're already having. You should figure out what you can add to these discussions, or leverage other opportunities to contribute in some meaningful way.
Is there a blog you can write that will help someone get more out of a purchase they've already made? Is there a piece of collateral you can design that will help them understand a topic that they don't, or that will meaningfully answer questions that have been lingering for far too long?
The answer to questions like those is almost always "yes" - which is why this is the critical perspective you need if you're going to be able to harness content marketing with an eye towards lead generation.
Even though people have grown tired of traditional advertising, they're still more than happy to interact with your brand - it's just that they want to do it on their terms, not yours. Therefore, content marketing isn't just a perfect opportunity to reach out to someone and start that conversation. It's also an ideal chance to establish your brand as a trusted authority at the exact same time.
Along the same lines, you're also going to want to take a look at your current lead capture efforts - meaning the ways in which you're actually collecting information about the people who are visiting your site and who are exposed to your landing pages. Never underestimate that if you don't adequately capture some type of personal information from these visitors (even an email address will do), the vast majority of them are probably not going to return.
Again, this requires you to rely on two tried-but-true principles of successful lead generation. First, you need to be willing to give something before you ask for something in return. People aren't going to give you their email address out of the kindness of their own heart. They want to get something for it and that "something" cannot be an endless amount of SPAM delivered right to their email inbox.
Have you recently used a tree diagram maker like Visme (which I founded to help people better communicate with one another) to create another stunning piece of collateral? Perfect - you can definitely use that as a way to entice people to take your desired next step. Create a landing page outlining what type of value they'll get from the collateral and give them the opportunity to download it... provided that they first give you their email address, of course. If every step of your marketing process is valuable in and of itself (which, let's be honest, it should be) you'll have a perfect "quid pro quo" on your hands. People will be able to immediately see what they're going to get if they give you their email address or some other bit of contact information, at which point they'll be able to make the decision themselves whether it's worth it or not.
If you've set everything up correctly, a better-than-average amount of those visitors will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that "yes, this is worth it."
Something like the tree diagram maker in the above example would be a classic lead magnet - and if you want to generate as many leads as possible, rest assured that you'll need as many of these as you can get. Other examples of lead magnets include but are certainly not limited to things like:
- Free trials of your products or services (which is especially valuable if you're in charge of something like a software development company).
- Access to webinars, training videos or other instructional offerings.
- White papers.
- Exclusive access to interviews with particularly compelling subjects, or on important topics.
- And many, many others.
Most of the time, your success to this end will ultimately come down to how well you've optimized your landing pages. Remember that landing pages are trying to accomplish two key goals at the same time. First, you're obviously trying to capture as many leads as possible. But secondly, you're also trying to warm up those potential customers and get them ready for the idea of one day making a purchase.
Because of that, you'll want to design your landing page with just a single call-to-action in mind but you'll want to use that CTA multiple times. Once you've made sure that your initial offer is actually as compelling as you think it is, go through your page and cut out all the fat and remove any elements that might distract from your offer. Make sure to use as much visual material as possible to really create an experience that people won't be able to say "no" to.
Overall, designing a marketing campaign with lead generation in mind isn't necessarily difficult - but it does require a bit of a shift away from the way you may be used to doing things. But provided that you execute your efforts with tips like those outlined above in mind, lead generation won't be something you have to worry about any longer. At that point, you'll be able to focus your efforts on actually taking those leads and converting them into satisfied, paying and (in a best case scenario) repeat customers.
Written by Payman Taei
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience and web app development.