The reality is, not everyone in your target audience will become a lead. If you’ve ever wondered why despite a growing number of social media followers or increasing website traffic you’re not hitting your sales targets, your lead generation strategy — or the lack of one — is why.
The Basics of Lead Generation
Successful sales is all about effective lead generation . This starts with qualifying who leads are, and focusing marketing resources on them to ensure higher conversions.
Not all website visitors and social media followers are leads. Leads are prospects: potential customers who have expressed interest in your brand through queries and contact form submissions as a result of internet marketing strategies, such as content or email marketing, brand awareness campaigns, and promotion or referral codes.
The Cost of Unqualified Leads
An effective lead generation strategy allows you to identify the best sales prospects from these interactions, and nurture them through regular, targeted touchpoints to realize a sale.
Unfortunately, this is where many brands falter: instead of grading leads and assigning follow-ups to sales teams in order of interest and likelihood to convert, they devote equal time and resources to pursuing unqualified leads. While these can still be converted to qualified leads, churn rates remain high, ultimately resulting in low ROI.
8 Lead Generation Strategies
Struggling to convert clicks and views to leads and sales? Let’s explore these industry-leading strategies for qualifying prospects. Learn how to focus your marketing dollars on generating leads that convert — customers who buy and likely to form lasting relationships with your brand:
1. Find Qualified Leads
You already know the value of qualified leads — and the cost of chasing down unqualified ones. But who are these qualified leads? These can be repeat customers or referrals, as well as prospects defined through buyer personas with a clear need for your product or service.
Lead generation starts with buyer personas. Map out the demographics, interests, and shopping preferences of your target customers. Build out their fictional identities: age, gender, occupation, and purchases to identify their motivations for buying.
Use these buyer personas to guide marketing and lead generation campaigns. Craft compelling content that clearly positions your product or service as a solution to their needs and preferences. Optimize these for each persona across lead generation tools, including landing pages , service pages, and social media posts.
2. Customize your Digital Presence Across Social Media Channels
Remember the golden rule of social media : get social. To get potential customers to take action, interact via comments, replies, or likes.
A lead generation company can also help you stay on top of new tools, such as “Send a Direct Message” and “Shop Now” buttons on Instagram ads . With thousands of potential customers shopping on social media, it takes a cohesive and interactive brand to attract and convert leads — and a unique approach on each platform.
Here’s a quick guide to lead generation on social media:
- Facebook : Use compelling headlines, CTAs, images, and videos, and optimize your page according to your audience to increase followers and engagement. Explore tools like automatic replies to capture customer information and provide excellent, interactive service.
- Twitter : Use custom graphics, add a share button to your website to encourage social sharing, and keep an eye on trending hashtags. As Twitter increasingly becomes the ‘customer support app’, make sure to respond to tweets and replies.
- Instagram : As part of the Facebook family, your ads can serve across both platforms, reaching twice as many users. Explore other interactive tools, such as story replies, tags, and live sessions to connect with customers.
- LinkedIn : The professional networking platform is ripe with B2B lead generation opportunities. Leverage these by publishing content and connecting with prospects.
3. Optimize your Website
Your lead generation strategy is only as strong as your website. Once customers are directed to your site from a Google search or social media post, it’s up to your website to offer a good customer experience.
When was the last time your website was refreshed? Try these core strategies for optimizing the user experience and driving conversions:
- Mobile responsiveness : Is your website responsive? How does content look on different screens? A mobile-first website signals the start of an excellent user experience. When potential customers struggle to browse or submit a form, they will leave the page, resulting in lost leads.
- Start on the homepage : The cliche holds true — first impressions do matter. Good SEO allows customers to land on interior pages that directly answer their Google search, but the homepage is still at the top of navigation. To keep bounce rates low, add exit pop-ups with an offer or question that encourages them to keep browsing.
- Use strong CTAs : Get customers to take action with a combination of strong verbs and interactive buttons. End pages and blogs with a contact form CTA, add Contact or Get a Quote buttons on sidebars and footers, and animate these to capture attention. Every aspect of your website must be optimized to give users every opportunity to convert.
4. Use Lead Magnets
Awesome products and services are the core of good business, but how do you get customers to purchase them? Your lead generation strategy should include lead magnets: enticing offers that qualify leads and allow you to cultivate views and clicks into prospects.
Examples of lead magnets include assets, such as free guides, e-books, forms, and templates that offer value-added product resources or industry knowledge — benefits that are impossible to turn down, even when they’re not ready to purchase outright. Invite customers to subscribe to your email list to access these, and start nurturing them as leads to convert.
5. Offer Premium Content
Customers are growing tired — and largely annoyed — of persistent, “sales-y” content. They know you want them to buy, and they likely will when they are ready, but pushing these obvious pitches will drive them away.
Instead, focus your lead generation strategy on creating value and building lasting customer trust. Aside from product information, your content strategy should include a mix of blog posts, how-to guides, and even events like webinars.
While not overtly selling, these methods will establish your brand as industry leader and a valuable resource for product information. Knowing that your brand provides these resources increases their confidence to purchase, and builds lasting trust you can leverage for longer or repeat sales cycles.
6. Focus your Landing Page
Unlike your website, landing pages are built on specific offers. Perfect for limited-time promotions and brand awareness, landing pages need to be focused, designed to generate leads and convert them to take a defined action, such as a purchase or scheduled discovery call.
The best-performing, high-conversion landing pages are built with clear headlines, compelling graphics, and strong CTAs. Before launching, perform A/B testing, and track page analytics to inform ongoing optimization.
7. Nurture Leads via Regular Touchpoints
Whether it’s early on in the lead generation cycle or conversion is stalled, you need to nurture leads to realize sales. In the process, you build customer trust and maintain interest in your brand. Lead nurturing requires multiple touchpoints managed in your CRM tool , each tailored to the level of interest expressed by a potential customer in each interaction.
- Email marketing : Send regular newsletters with curated offers, coupon codes, and graphics (and HTML options) to stay in touch with potential and repeat customers.
- Marketing automation : Use marketing automation tools like chatbots and automated thank-you or follow-up emails once a potential customer accesses a lead magnet or gets a quote. Leverage this open line of communication to schedule a discovery call, update them on new deals and offers, and enable a sale.
- Remarketing : Use existing customer segments generated from website visits or ad campaigns to track customers across the web. “Following” them around allows you to stay connected, constantly reinforcing their motivation to buy.
8. Monitor Lead Quality
How likely are leads to convert? Find out to focus your efforts for maximum ROI.
Lead generation companies use tools like call tracking to collect refined customer data and monitor lead quality. These generate valuable insights into the most likely conversions, and therefore deserve the most attention from sales teams.
Regularly scoring leads can also guide future lead generation strategies. Once you learn where and how qualified leads are generated, you can find them accordingly, and apply lessons learned on the best ways to convert them.
Let’s Create Your Lead Generation Strategy
Ready to revamp your sales process? Go back to the beginning — and where it matters most with an effective lead generation strategy.
For many businesses, this is why sales are stalled. Often, it’s too tempting to cater to too large a target audience and entice conversions. But with steep competition measured against resources, brands need to be smart and focused.
A lead generation company can help you cut through the noise and meet the right customers: ready to purchase, and eager to build lasting relationships with your brand. With the right lead generation strategy, you can attract qualified prospects, and reap maximum ROI from every marketing dollar.
Struggling to hit sales targets despite increased digital engagement? Consultus Digital can help. Let’s talk about your lead generation strategy , and learn more about the best ways to reach leads that convert in a big market like Toronto.