Years have passed. Generations have come and gone. Trade and business has been on for ages, and it still is.
Yet, lead generation is an obsession with every marketer, business owner, medium and large business. It positions itself as a true answer to business problems. Who can possibly deny the possibility of positive cash flow and profits thanks to an effective lead generation strategy?
The strategy, however, isn’t a straight path, “follow this and you’ll get that” approach.
Lead generation always matters, and it’ll continue to do so.
Here are a few tips to get it right:
Lead generation isn’t straightforward
Here’s a marketing secret: no one gives a flying squirrel about you. No one cares that you showed up with a $1000 logo and a $50,000 website backed by another $2.3 billion in VC funds.
The only thing your prospects want to know is this:
- How do you solve that burning, “this keeps me awake swatting mosquitoes in the night while I stare at the ceiling” problem?
- How efficiently, quickly, and consistently will you solve this problem?
- How personable, approachable, and cool are you?
Now, with businesses backing their front porches with solid products and services, this shouldn’t have been a problem.
Yet, it is.
Products and services are expected to solve problems. It’s the granular, almost invisible layers of requirements that your prospects have that seem to cause problems for businesses.
Leads don’t come because you showed up
Did you stop to think why inbound marketing is all the rage? Do you know why your blogs and effective social media presence leads to sales, brand building, engagement, and traction?
It’s because you are putting in all the work leading to the final transactions (and then some more) to build up trust, the “likeability factor”, and paving the path to long-term relationships with your prospects through inbound marketing.
Expensive or not—Inbound Marketing works like a switch for businesses because suddenly it’s not about products or services anymore. It’s about value, relationships, and trust.
Line up your marketing elements for a cause
The cause: conversions, results, traffic, sales, transactions, opt-ins for your newsletters, and subscribers for your blog.
Go ahead and fill up the blank:
This set of campaigns is to help us generate [Insert Number] in [Insert Goal Here] by [Insert Time Frame].
Campaigns roll out for each set of those blanks you’ll fill.
Once you decide what you are launching marketing campaigns for, it’s time to line up your marketing elements to get those results.
For instance, let’s assume that your goals were to launch a campaign to help you generate “6000” “Opt-in subscribers for email” in a year.
You’ll need at least one free giveaway (I’d recommend more) like an eBook or a Webinar, a well-developed landing page, and CTA buttons that work. You’ll need a strategic set of initiatives to achieve relevant traffic and conversions that’ll help you create a database of leads. You’ll then nurture those leads.
Engagement is key
I call it engagement because it sounds nice.
You could call it anything you want. Maybe you think of engagement as conversations on Twitter, posting answers on Quora or LinkedIn, or maybe even American Express Open Forum. You could call it anything but the key is in “giving”, “solving Problems”, and “showing up when you are needed”. Here’s how it plays out (whether it ends up in a sale or not):
I call it the circle of love and trust. You’ll need that before you think of lead generation. If all you had to do were to throw money at campaigns and seek leads, you’d go exactly as far as your money lasts.
Take the “Content. Trust. Love” route and you’d be able to do a lot much with much less.
Consistency is Key
Your social media presence or your blog posts, eBooks or any other forms of content you’d create will all need a consistent delivery. As magazine subscribers expect magazines to arrive at a particular frequency, your content delivery will now have to meet those expectations.
Apologies won’t work. Your reputation takes a beating. Your brand value dwindles. Your subscribers lose hope and unsubscribe.
If you believe that lead generation is a happy event that you’d like to boast about, you couldn’t step back on the super-human effort it takes to generate leads in the first place, can you?
Have systems in place
So, you did what you were told.
Leads pour in consistently through the awning gap at the top of the sales funnel. You’ll need an efficient way to score leads, track your most relevant leads, purge the irrelevant ones, and then setup a long-lasting program to nurture leads to help convert leads into sales.
Technology, as always, can help you develop efficient processes and even semi-automate your workflow. Plug into CRM systems, use email marketing to your advantage, outreach through social channels, and keep records of every piece of communication on every prospect or customer.
I’ll admit that none of these steps are easy.
Business isn’t a walk in the park anyway. You got to do what you got to do.
How do you generate leads for your business? Do you count on “spraying and praying” or “generating leads through trust, love, and engagement”?
Img Credits: Alex (Eflon)