The way consumers purchase products and services has completely shifted due to the digital age. Customers are no longer simply attracted to “in your face” and "over the top" advertisements. Commercials and aggressive sales pitches may have been effective a few years ago but today, the marketing mindset has had to evolve with the times. This includes the way marketers approach lead generation.
Generating leads is one of the most important steps in marketing and sales. This is because lead generation is how businesses collect their list of prospective clients that can eventually be converted into paying clients. Lead Generation should be broken down into sets of marketing activities that relate to the specific stages of the buyer's journey. This begins with generating traffic, converting those visitors into leads, and eventually converting those leads into loyal customers.
In order to create a successful lead generation campaign in the digital world, your strategy needs to take every aspect of your marketing into consideration. This includes PPC, web design, and social media strategy. But one of the most important aspects of your lead generation strategy is “content creation.” They don’t say “content is king” for nothing…
With a world of information at our fingertips and a social community on our screens, content is something we are all inundated with on a daily basis and without even realising it, we are always searching for and digesting new content. Businesses need to capitalise on this and it has become vital to provide customers with engaging and high-quality content to keep them interested and informed.
So, how is this achieved? Instead of sourcing customers through mass advertising campaigns, marketers need to focus on being found and learn how to build loyal and consistent relationships with their customers. This is done by sharing thought-leadership articles, creating interactive and shareable social media posts, and providing your target audience with helpful information. By doing this, your business or brand has the opportunity to create a close-knit community. It is this kind of community that leads to trust, which in turn leads to loyal customers
How to use Digital Marketing and Content Creation to Generate Leads
The digital marketing era has drastically altered the way we do business, and it is vital for marketers to consistently keep up with the demands of their prospective customers. This is done by designing a streamlined lead generation strategy.
Not sure where to begin? Below are four steps that will help you on your sales lead generation journey:
1. Quality Content Marketing for Lead Generation
As mentioned above, producing quality content is the foundational step in creating a lead generation strategy. According to a survey conducted by Demand Gen, 96% of Business to Business buyers want content from industry thought leaders and 47% of buyers viewed 3 - 5 pieces of content before even engaging with a sales representative.
This is where the importance of establishing your business as an industry thought leader becomes critical. No matter what industry you work in, branding yourself and your business should be a priority. In the global marketplace where competition is getting progressively higher due to online reach, establishing your brand’s digital presence is imperative. The best way to stay on top? Set yourself apart as a thought leader. This is done by creating a consistent and high-quality blog.
Through blogging, you have the ability to gain leads by solidifying your place as an industry expert on topics that your service or product solves. To establish your business as a thought leader you should be posting regular blogs, tips, and news articles regarding your industry.
You should also consider creating extensive and helpful guides that visitors can download via your website. The more helpful you are, the more potential customers will appreciate and trust your business. Not only will these guides or white papers establish brand trust, but they also offer a way for you to collect data. When people choose to download your guides, you are able to collect their information and nurture a relationship with them going forward. This will allow you the opportunity to turn those leads into loyal customers.
Another important element of content creation is to make use of online marketing tools such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), social media platforms, and email campaigns. Producing great content won’t make a dent if your target market can’t find it.
2. Local Search Engine Optimisation for Lead Generation
Do you ever click on the second page of your search engine results? Probably not. Every business wants and needs to be on the first page of Google when someone searches for their services or products. This is why organic search is one of the most valuable long-term lead generation strategies.
Local SEO refers to the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results. This is often referred to as an organic ranking or earned results. This kind of organic SEO allows your business to find users when they need you the most.
There are hundreds of factors that can influence how Google ranks your website within the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). With a variety of factors affecting search results, the best place to start is to begin spending time optimising your local SEO with great content. To put it simply, if you want to be found on search engines, you have to commit yourself to the grind of consistently delivering quality and optimised content.
Google’s algorithms are constantly evolving in an effort to deliver useful and relevant results as quickly as possible. The “useful and relevant results” that Google is trying to deliver are the bits of content that are available throughout the web.
These pieces of content are ranked by their order of relevance and usefulness to the individual performing the search. So, for your content to have value, it needs to be beneficial and helpful to searchers. It cannot be something frivolous and without merit. Slamming in keywords and key phrases that the user is searching for within your content will not help your cause. Google and your consumer, are smarter than that.
So, how do you make your content stand out?
Make sure to keep your content:
- Useful and informative: Include information that your potential customer needs, such as contact details, business location, an outline of your services and products as well as your expertise.
- More valuable and informative than your competitors: This is how you establish yourself as an industry thought leader. If you provide helpful industry-related information, answer questions, and provide much needed advice that benefits your target market, you will solidify your place in search engine results.
- Credible: Show your credibility by using original research, links, citations, and testimonials. This will boost your website's credibility and trustworthiness.
- High Quality: Make sure your website's content is unique, high-quality and specific to your industry, and expertise. You do not want to provide content that has been mass produced. You want to provide your clients with useful information as opposed to feeding them content just to serve your search engine results.
- Engaging: Bring your site to life with colourful visuals, GIFs, videos, and images that grab the eye. This will keep your audience engaged in your content. You can also engage visitors by interacting with them through blog comments, regular updates, and social media widgets.
When these particular elements come together, you will maximise the value of your SEO.
As we have seen above, engaging content is key to reaching and maintaining your audience and will help in converting your audience into leads - and ultimately, clients. The same is true for social media content creation and lead generation.
3. Social Media for Lead Generation
When used correctly, social media can be an incredibly powerful tool for lead generation. For this to be used successfully, you need to invest effort into building your audience and engaging with them. This will develop a sense of community and trust, which will convert your social audience into leads.
There are a variety of social tools to choose from and the first step is to identify which of these tools will work best for your brand. You can run paid social advertisements on a variety of platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Facebook and Lead Generation
If you are unsure of where to begin, it is important to note that most internet users are present on Facebook. This is why Facebook is one of the most popular social tools used by marketers to drive traffic and collect leads. Facebook offers a specific lead-based paid advertising campaign option. This is known as Facebook Leads Ads. This advertisement format is designed to gather information from prospective customers without them having to leave the platform. Your advertisement can include a variety of options to help you gather information from individuals who engage with the advertisement.
Because of this option, Facebook removes any added complications and lowers acquisition costs. This in turn allows for a much easier user experience which will help drive leads to your business.
- Instagram and Lead Generation
Instagram lead generation is made up of more than a post and a few hashtags. Just like all lead generation options, Instagram requires planning and strategy. Generating leads through Instagram and other social media platforms goes a lot smoother when built into your overall marketing strategy. Be sure to map out your Instagram campaigns, content, stories, and even hashtags ahead of time to get the most out of your Instagram marketing efforts.
Lead generation ads are the best (and simplest) way to collect leads via Instagram and can be done in conjunction with the Facebook lead generation ad as mentioned above. To use Instagram lead generation ads you will have to create a Facebook page and an Instagram business profile. The two work hand in hand.
Once you have those two things in place, go to the Ads Manager to start building your ad. For step by step instructions on how to create lead ads, visit Facebook.
There are many other tools at your disposal on Instagram to help you reach your audience. Not only can you build a look-a-like audience through your Facebook page that connects to Instagram, but you can also create interactive stories, engage with your audience in the comment sections and create conversation and community through the platform.
However, Instagram may not be the best option when it comes to B2B lead generation. LinkedIn is the king of B2B!
- LinkedIn and Lead Generation
LinkedIn is sometimes overlooked when it comes to lead generation. However, it is the proverbial diamond in the rough when it comes to successful digital marketing and lead generation - particularly from a B2B perspective.
LinkedIn is a buzzing social platform that is filled with active users. There are over 500 million users on LinkedIn, and it houses more than 9 million business profiles from all over the world.
Unlike a lot of social platforms, on LinkedIn, you are able to target your audience on a deeper, more precise level. This includes geographic location, current company, past company, industry, profile language, non-profit interests, etc. This is why LinkedIn is ideal for highly targeted communications, which allows for higher conversion rates.
It is important to keep your LinkedIn page active to ensure you generate leads. This is done by updating your page regularly so as to become a constant fixture in the feeds of businesses and individuals in your network. Just like all your content, make sure your posts and articles are helpful, engaging, and informative. Keep your audience engaged by writing articles, developing white papers, and e-books and publish links to these (ideally from your own website) so that you give people a reason to engage with your business.
Creating consistent content is key, but there are greater ways to use LinkedIn to your advantage to help generate quality leads. If you want to increase awareness and reach, sponsored LinkedIn content is one of the most effective ways to generate a new stream of high-quality connections and leads.
LinkedIn also offers tools to help track the conversion rate of your InMail or Paid campaigns, which makes the process smoother and more efficient. If you want to start generating targeted leads on LinkedIn, this is absolutely possible with the right strategy in place.
These are just a few social media platforms that work well for lead generation.
Other platforms include, but are not limited to, TikTok and Snapchat. The social opportunities seem endless, but when you put in the research and the time, you can create the ultimate lead generation social strategy for your business.
4. Email Marketing for Lead Generation
Email marketing has been around for years, and every year, it becomes smarter. It is a powerful tool that when used correctly, can reach prospects or up-sell to current customers.
An important aspect of email marketing is to tailor your message to target specific segments of your leads database. As it is today, marketing automation is a great method to assist marketers in sending highly targeted emails to potential clients. Your leads can be placed into an email campaign workflow once you have collected their information from a website form, social media form, or landing page. These leads can then be reached via email and can be sent content that matches their specific interests or needs. These campaigns can include a subscription to your thought-leader blog, a follow-up email filled with helpful content, and a strong Call to Action.
Through this process, you will gain greater insight into each of your leads and will be able to tailor your messaging to help move them down the leads funnel.
Lead Generation is imperative for growing a business. Successful lead generation is about nurturing leads with engaging content and powerful automated lead management tools. A healthy dose of perseverance and education takes place along the way.
The need for quality leads and the tools to help convert these leads into customers is real and vital for business success. Crafting a solid sales lead generation strategy will help you attract leads and separate the “ready to convert” from the “just browsing.” Through this, you can nurture your leads down the funnel and through to your sales pipeline.
Does your business need a regular flow of qualified sales leads?
Our team of experts can help.
Nexa has been generating highly qualified sales leads for businesses of all types for almost a decade. We have both the experience and proven track record to help businesses in all industries generate highly qualified sales leads.