The start of a New Year is time for a fresh look at business goals. For many, the strategic plan will include increasing or improving your lead generation. This is often a top objective for the SMEs that we support, so what do you need to attract and convert more prospects?
How to start with Lead Generation
As an existing business, the first step is to know your current position. Do you know how many leads are coming into the company and where they are coming from? Do you understand what percentage of enquiries convert to customers?
If not, start with what you do know and create a spreadsheet to record the information. Start collecting the date, name, type of enquiry (phone/email etc) and source of the enquiry (advert/online/radio/networking). Make any relevant notes, assign actions and responsibility for the action, along with the outcome.
This insight is invaluable for informing future marketing campaigns. You’ll know how many leads are required at the top end of the funnel to distil down to meet your sales goals. You’ll also understand which marketing activities have been successful. Both of these will assist in calculating your ROI (return on investment).
Focus on Quality over Quantity Lead Generation
As we move onto marketing planning, I want to make it clear that increasing leads is not just a numbers game. Your business needs people who are genuinely interested in your offer and has synergy with your brand values. Fewer quality leads are better than a massive list which lacks genuine interest.
As with all marketing strategies, the starting point is knowing your target audience. Consider who they are and think about what they want and what matters to them. Equally, what might instantly switch off their interest in a product or brand.
The deeper your understanding of your ideal prospects, the greater the chances of lead generation success. This applies to both B2C and B2B brands.
Create Opt-in Marketing Opportunities
Lead generation is about attracting interest in your brand with valuable, irresistible content that fits with your target audience’s aspirations and desires – think about their needs and what problems you can solve with your product or service. You need to give enough to capture interest and tempt them in, however, your objective is to gather information from them.
Consider creating resources, competitions, offers, limited edition products or insight that can only be accessed in exchange for the information you need to maintain contact and what would be useful for you to collect – most typically a name, email address and for B2B, a company name.
This gated content captures the details of individuals with a genuine interest in your offer – your warm leads. They may not be in the position to buy now, but they see your offer is relevant to their needs.
Place your Content where your Leads are Active
Great content is no good if your leads never come across it. You need to put it in front of them, so where are they looking? For B2C, social sites and local media might fit the bill, for B2B, email marketing, networking and industry forums could be more appropriate. There is no standard answer, it depends on the leads your business wants to target.
With paid advertising on Google, Facebook and Instagram, there are options to target a very specific audience. The plan is that only those matching your designated criteria will see the advert and only at the times you specify, thereby optimising and maximising your budget. Pinpointing your audience in this way can help to keep the cost per click low, whilst delivering a message that resonates.
Have a System for Capturing Data
Your business needs an effective means of capturing any information supplied by leads and securely storing it in compliance with GDPR. For small businesses, the free basic packages of CRM tools including HubSpot, Zoho and Insightly may be sufficient to meet needs. For higher volumes and a wider selection of reporting and integration options, a monthly fee is payable.
Your CRM system combined with Google Analytics and other measurement tools will provide insight – who is opening your emails and what percentage are clicking through to your website or actioning other defined goals. Tracking this information will help you to qualify the type of content or activity that converts leads and assess the value of the lead (the likelihood that they will buy).
Segment your Leads
With prospect and customer data stored on a system, it becomes easier to start segmenting the leads. The more you can tailor the content to the recipient, the greater the chance of them seeing it as relevant and valuable. This helps to build positive relationships.
Segmentation might be based on geography, age or other demographics. Equally, it could relate to the offer that enticed them to sign up or their buying pattern.
What is important is to produce plenty of fresh content that maintains their interest, builds trust in your brand and encourages them to engage, rather than unsubscribe.
Convert Leads to Customers
Include calls to action on your web pages, in your blog and social posts, your social profiles, newsletters and other correspondence.
Your warm leads may need an extra enticement to convert them to customers. As such, your communications may include offers and promotions including time-limited discounts or a free 1-month trial. Consider vouchers as part of magazine advertising or refer a friend to gain added benefit.
Also, consider ways of connecting with leads directly. This could take the form of invites to a taster session, an exclusive shopping event or hosting webinars.
Hertfordshire Marketing Agency
Alison Page Marketing specialises in supporting SMEs with their marketing strategy and our expert team helps to put plans into action. Based in Tring, Hertfordshire, we are the local marketing agency for businesses across the Home Counties.
If lead generation is on your agenda for 2022, get in touch to see how we can help you achieve this goal. Call 07963 002065 or email email@example.com.