Financially Responsible Marketing

Help! I’m lost in lead generation – how do I actually make it work?

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018

Number one goal of all our customers? Lead generation.

Sounds good. But how?

 

Two types of leads

In the world of marketing, there are two types of leads ­– marketing leads and sales leads:

  • A marketing lead is a person who has identified themselves as being interested in a service or product offered through a marketing campaign. They become a qualified lead only when they provide contact info.
  • Once qualified, we have a sales lead.  That lead can now be vetted by a salesperson to weigh their interest and capacity for making a purchase.

 

Now let’s talk lead generation

Lead generation is the collective term for the strategic, ordered set of magnets used by marketers to attract prospects into a product or service’s communication stream. Note that this process assumes you have already defined your target audience, ideally with buyer personas to help your team visualize and connect effectively.

Digitally, there are two main magnet pathways: organic or paid.

 

Organic

  • You seed strong content into your communications channels
  • Communications channels include:
    • those you own/control: e.g. your website, self-run in-person, i.e.: an event you run yourself, online events, emails
    • 3rd party: search engines, social media, externally run in-person, online events, trade and mainstream publications.

 

Paid

  • You build a lead generation campaign with defined steps and a clear purpose using strong content (e.g. once a prospect downloads a piece of gated content, you will send a follow-up email with a client story, next you will send a link to a … etc. etc.)
  • Your marketing team crafts a set of key messages that collectively describe your reason-for-being and competitive edge – the messages you need your prospects to hear (e.g. “We build IT infrastructures that help clients make their business goals happen, every day”)
  • Now, your marketing team crafts content around these key messages, in the form of social media posts, blogs, whitepapers and case studies
  • You pay a 3rd party (Google, LinkedIn, Facebook) to promote your content to your target audience through search advertising, social media, or media publications, and thereby drive prospects to your website.

 

Now what?

Now we’ve captured the attention of potential buyers.

How do we turn them into leads?

  1. Great content engages; trite content does the opposite. Invest in and settle only for content that gives your reader something – new ideas; real examples; new understanding or ways of viewing issues. Plus, an occasional dollop of fun/humour never hurts.
  2. Plan a clear path for engagement – build a step-by-step path that leads your interested prospect inexorably to you.
  3. Make it as easy as possible for prospects to give you their contact information. Make your offers warm/interesting/inviting; eliminate any barriers to entry. Throughout your website and landing pages, have forms for prospects to communicate with you and in some cases, gain access to the (gated) content you’ve promoted.
    • Typically, blogs, news releases, and even case studies are not gated. On these pages, your email newsletter sign-up form is best used to initiate a connection.
    • For heavier, more valuable content, such as whitepapers and events, you’ll want to gate the content (require prospects to provide contact information). This, of course, allows you to continue to communicate, nurturing them into a qualified lead based on their initial interest.
  4. Work closely with your sales team! The marketing-to-sales baton is so often dropped – typically because the two groups aren’t working in concert. Without buy-in from your sales team on the content you create, that baton’s going down down down, every time.

 

In summary

  • Generating leads is all about creating the right content, in the right place, with the right message, at the right time, to the right audience.
  • Making sure your marketing and sales team work in concert.

Do that, and you’re on your way to generating ongoing, qualified, profitable leads.