The digital age has changed the buying process, which means the way we market and generate leads must change as well. Eighty-nine percent of internet users are searching online before making a purchase decision. Are you equipped with a successful lead generation engine for the digital age?
As marketers we need to leverage our websites to deliver valuable content that helps the buyer through that research process—generating not just more traffic, but more qualified leads as well. Below, we offer 6 tips to help you create a successful lead generation engine —one that keeps the sales funnel full of prospects and your bottom line moving in the right direction.
1. Create compelling content.
Your content is the “irresistible offer” and driving force behind attracting leads, which means you need to create high-value content that will be useful to potential buyers. The idea is to produce something that will solve a problem or accomplish a goal, so create offers that are helpful. Some example offers include e-books, whitepapers, free consultations, coupons and product demonstrations. Create an offer that will be so useful to the visitor that in exchange for that offer, they will be willing to share some information about themselves with you.
2. Distribute content thoughtfully
Great content won’t matter much if it’s never seen. Make sure you put thought into the distribution channels you use to deliver it. According to research, organic search is the biggest source of high-quality leads. That makes the work you put into search engine marketing (SEM) and optimization (SEO) crucial to your success. Beyond search, consider which channels your prospects are likely to use and respond to—from social media to email marketing—and push relevant content through them appropriately.
3. Make your call-to-action clear
After developing your useful (and irresistible) offer, it’s time to create a call-to-action (CTA) to bring website visitors one step closer to becoming leads. A CTA is a clickable image, text or button on your website that takes a visitor to a landing page to request the content you offered (i.e. the e-book or consultation you created in step one).
CTAs should be clear, easy to read and the wording should match the offer being presented. So, if you are offering a free downloadable e-book, your CTA could read, “Download E-Book Now.” The idea is to make the CTA attractive and easy to understand so visitors will know where they are being directed, and most importantly, be compelled to act.
4. Push visitors to landing pages
Landing pages are the specific pages that visitors are redirected to after clicking on a CTA. The goal of a landing page is to provide more information about the offer and essentially “sell” it to the visitor so they will give you their contact information in exchange for that content.
Landing page best practices include keeping the page simple by removing the navigation, using images that demonstrate the offer and providing a short summary of the offer you provided earlier. The landing page should be specific to the offer. By utilizing clean and simple landing pages, the visitor won’t be distracted from providing you with their information. Keep wording and keywords consistent throughout these steps to maintain the trust and attention of the visitor.
5. Use forms to capture lead information
So you’ve developed your offer, created your CTAs and incorporated offer-specific landing pages. What’s next? The ultimate goal of this process is to capture the visitor’s information to convert them into a lead, and you can’t do that without a form. Forms collect contact information in exchange for the content offer you presented. So in order for the visitor to get an e-book that will highlight 10 web design mistakes, they need to share a little bit of information with you.
The information you are asking for in the forms should be consistent with the offer you are presenting. For example, an e-book has a lower perceived value than a product demonstration or assessment, so an e-book form might only ask for the visitor’s name, email, and company. Match the value of the offer with the value of what you are asking the visitor to provide, and the visitor will be sure to take the bait and convert into a successful lead.
6. Track and refine the process
So you’ve captured the info you need to deliver qualified leads for your sales team. You’re done, right? Wrong. Along with all those leads comes a wealth of data—data you should be tracking and using to see what’s working and what isn’t. Use it to refine your content choices, SEO and form structures. Over time, you should see results improve. But your lead-generating engine should never stop evolving. It should be designed to grow and adapt to changes in technology and consumer behavior. Just like your business.
Want more ideas on how to generate qualified leads with your marketing? Download our 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips today!
Editor’s note: this blog post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated to include additional information.