First, it is good to know that your online presence is a crucial part of the decision-making phase of your future customers. Adobe found out that today’s customer is usually 57 percent of the way through their decision-making process before they directly connect with a company for the first time. In most cases, they’ve already made somewhat of an assessment about your products based on your digital platform. So, what can you do to have a better lead generation strategy? Follow these 4 steps:
At the beginning of the customer journey, customers may become aware of your product or service but not quite ready to purchase. Some may not even be viable buyers. Nurturing a relationship with those that are ready to move closer to the buying stage will help drive quality leads. To do that, recognize that names are not leads, but just names. Instead, find your target customers to nurture a lead. Generating and identifying quality leads requires effective tactics and targeting methods. First, identify all characteristics of the target customers. Think of these as your ideal customers and reoccurring customers. This information can be gathered through existing contact forms, sign-ups for special offers, and newsletters. Second, create customer personas based on those characteristics. You will likely have more than one persona to define. For example, in the manufacturing industry, engineers are often a target persona. They also have special needs –– they require technical information that is validated by other engineers. And the buying phase often requires their sign-off. A marketing automation tool that uses AI-powered account profiling and selection will help streamline this process. With predictive ideal customer profile models, you can rank your entire database in seconds, providing you with an eagle-eye view of which accounts are more likely to convert into revenue. You want these names to have a meaningful interaction with your business. An engaged customer means they expect relevant communication from your business. Once an individual is interacting and fits your target criteria, you can start delivering them engaging content.
Once you have identified your target customers, the next step is to create quality, engaging content. Develop content that is useful to your audience. Creating content just for the sake of content, will not be as effective as having a thoughtful content strategy in place. Try to find the intent of your customers, what are they looking for and what questions do they need to have answered. Customers are looking for more meaningful dialogue with organizations from the first touch, all the way through the buying process. Think of content as the fuel for all your marketing campaigns. This may come in the form of blog posts, articles, case studies, and use video, audio, and images. Content that is custom for your key personas will perform better too. Additionally, great content will impact your business in multiple ways. It will shape brand preference and influence future purchases. It generates social media shares and inbound links. It also has a lower resource cost than many other marketing tactics. Overall, content marketing generates higher quality leads than the traditional outbound marketing model.
Next, you’ll want to drive traffic across your digital channels. Customers want a balance of technological convenience and relationship-driven engagement that shows your company understands their needs. Building an integrated, fluid, and engaging experience across all channels and at multiple touchpoints throughout the relationship will help increase traffic. To do this you can use tactics like email and social media tools to bring potential leads to the landing page. Since customers interact across multiple digital devices and channels, your content, processes, and digital assets will perform best when they work on any of the devices or channels the customer uses. The right marketing automation tool will help you build marketing campaigns across channels in a personalized way, without support from IT.
When you have put effort into the first three steps you only need to do one more thing: convert your visitors to leads. There are a few tactics you can put in place to capture leads. First, guide customers through the customer journey to reveal gated content that they will find useful. Second, let visitors fill out forms to access whitepapers or eBooks. Lastly, design landing pages carefully by using offers, forms, and calls to action. Additionally, leveraging a marketing automation tool to distribute content and connect with customers will help you stay agile. This is particularly helpful for small marketing organizations. With the right marketing tool, you create, automate, and measure campaigns across channels, regardless of the size of your team. And added insight into customer behavior will allow you to quickly respond with targeted messages that guide customers through the buying cycle. As said before this process is something you have to do with both your marketing and sales teams. Only when you make sure these two teams work together, this strategy will work. Improved integration between sales and marketing will help increase customer leads in many ways. Data monitoring and analytics are at the foundation of better lead generation, this means data sharing between the sales and marketing teams is imperative. So, before you can start with these steps, you have to make sure your sales and marketing departments are working together. Keep in mind they have the same goal in mind, getting new leads and converting them to customers.