As an inbound marketer, you work hard each day to attract potential leads. As a consumer, brands are working hard to attract you! Think of all the lead generators that come your way: online content, surveys, coupons and free trials. Some products and services you may have no interest in, but for those you do, you quickly become a lead.
The process of lead generation can appear straightforward and simple, but it’s more complicated than what meets the eye. Let’s learn more about how to successfully generate and secure leads so that you can grow your business in 2018.
Why is Lead Generation Important?
The great thing about inbound marketing is that customers come to you. You’re not forcing anyone to look at your advertisement or answer a few questions. People who naturally show an interest in your business are starting the conversation. This paves the way for you to swoop in and show them what your brand is all about! The organic nature of this relationship makes it easier for people to buy from you whether today or in the future.
We like HubSpot’s approach to lead generation. There are four stages in the journey:
- Attract. In the first stage, you’re attracting the attention of strangers. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as by using specific keywords and posting relevant content to your blog.
- Convert. As you gather visitors from your lead generation efforts, you can convert them into leads, or people who are interested in your products and services. Conversions happen through forms, calls-to-action, and landing pages.
- Close. In this phase, you turn leads into customers by closing the deal. How you “close” all depends on your product or service. This could mean purchasing your product or signing up for a software program.
- Delight. By delighting your customers, you encourage them to buy from you again and share their experiences with others. Surveys and social monitoring tools can help you better understand this audience.
As you can see, lead generation is an important process that molds perfect strangers into loyal advocates of your brand. By understanding consumer behavior and strategically moving leads through the funnel, you do more than sell your product. You develop relationships that can take your brand to the next level.
Components of Generating and Securing Leads
Now that we’ve covered the lead generation process and how it fits into the inbound marketing approach, let’s look at the individual components of generating and securing leads. By picking apart each one, you can better understand how everything fits together. For the purpose of this example, let’s pretend that you have a dog grooming business.
- Visitor. A visitor is someone who has discovered your brand from one of your marketing channels. This is good! It means that your promotional materials are doing their job. This can include your dog grooming blog, social media pages or website.
- Call-to-action. Each piece of content should include a clear call-to-action or CTA. Sometimes, CTAs can feel redundant, but many visitors are seeing your content for the first time. Each item should have a button or image that asks them to take some sort of action such as “Learn more” or “Schedule an appointment”.
- Landing page. Landing pages are pages that people land on for a specific reason. So, if a visitor clicks on your CTA “Schedule an appointment”, they should be directed to a landing page specifically for this. The page will then capture the appropriate information.
- Forms. Forms are most effective for capturing data. They are generally found on landing pages, though they can be anywhere that makes sense. In this case, you could collect the customer name, preferred time and date for the appointment and special notes about the pet.
- Offer. An offer is something of value that is being presented on the landing page. The offer has to be valuable and relevant. Offering 10% off a first grooming visit will be enough for some people to schedule the appointment.
Lead generation is a complex process, so it’s possible for some parts to work and others not. In order for everything to flow, you’ll need all components to perform effectively. To help with this, make sure that you are using the appropriate lead generation tools, creating compelling offers for all stages of the buying funnel, linking your CTAs to the appropriate landing pages and taking advantage of social media. And, of course, never stop testing. This is a great way to learn about what’s working and what’s not. By following these tips and understanding more about your lead generation efforts, you can continue to hand off great leads to your sales team.