Be Bold takes a different approach to marketing, one that operates according to the inbound marketing model.
If you don’t know what this model is all about, then feel free to read our intro to inbound marketing first.
Introduction: what is lead generation?
The entire principle behind lead generation is of course that you don’t send adverts (and their budgets) to just anybody, but that your approach will be well-targeted. By making sure you target well, we’ve noticed that adverts often receive much higher engagement. And in doing so, you’ll be aiming for the next important step in marketing automation: generating new leads for your business!
GENERATING LEADS: IT’S A LEARNING GAME
Even if you had the best customer database in the world, I’d imagine you would still like to find new customers, or not? But how do you do this online without violating the GDPR law? How can you convince someone to leave you their email address, which you can then use for marketing purposes?
Thanks to all of the marketing messages people get bombarded with every day: how does your business stand out from the crowd?
Commandment 1: Thou willst create relevant content
“During my first experience with the brand, I really enjoyed their hard sales messages to me!”, said no one ever.
Trying to hard-sell people who don’t even know your brand and what you stand for? Unfortunately: that is simply not going to work. So, think about who your target audience is. Can you image someone? Can you anticipate what he or she might think is interesting? Maybe your ideal customer persona has got a problem that you have the solution to?
Create content – i.e. blogs, social posts, articles, whitepapers, videos, podcasts etc. – that’s going to be relevant to your specific target audience, without turning into a classic sales talk!
Commandment 2: Thou willst only choose relevant channels
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: think about your customer persona!
Which channels does your persona prefer? Does he or she enjoy watching television? If so, what kind of programs would interest him/her? And if social media turns out to be important: which social media channels are most appropriate? Choose your channels based on your customer persona!
Don’t think this: “Oh, Instagram is so cool and all the truly inspiring brands are present on this platform, so I must be present as well!”
Do think this: “Oh, my audience is really active on LinkedIn and my product/service fits into that context, so I’m going to be present!”
Commandment 3: Thou willst use CTAs
Having the right content for the right target audience across the right channel… also has to be coming through at the right time for the potential customer.
The timing for lead generation is, of course, obvious: we’re at the beginning of the customer journey. But how do we make that first, real connection with a potential lead?
Your content and your chosen channel will make the first move, but what you can’t forget is a great call-to-action that will genuinely resonate with your target audience. Stand out from all the marketing messages by communicating clearly!
Keep it short and sweet and make sure that visitors know what kind of page they can expect next when they click on your CTA. “Read more” doesn’t say much about the next page to come, whereas “Sign up to the newsletter” is much more clear.
Commandment 4: Thou willst only ask for relevant information
Ok, you’ve created your content and you’ve published on your preferred channel with a clear CTA that will resonate with your target audience. Now what?
This blog post is about lead generation, so how do you collect that important contact data that you’ve been wanting to obtain all this time?
Whatever you do, to create a successful lead gen campaign, it’s a good tip to ask for contact information before your audience can consume your content. For example: you could already publish part of your content (i.e. the first two paragraphs of your blog post, or the first chapter of your whitepaper etc.) to generate some excitement about your content. And then in order to be able to read the rest of it, visitors have to sign up to receive everything!
When you do ask for the information, be sure add in all the fields you may want, but to only make certain fields mandatory which carry the information that you genuinely require. All other fields can remain optional, so visitors have the option of filling them in but they don’t have to. So when you’d like to invite people to your business event, “company” can be an interesting field to make mandatory. But “job title” may be optional instead. Does that make sense?
Commandment 5: Thou willst follow up your content with… more content!
Let’s say that someone has gone through your lead gen campaign and you have then sent an email to that visitor with the content they asked for. That shouldn’t be the end of your journey together!
Firstly, check whether the recipient of your content actually did something with it. Did they open the email or not? Did they share the blog article on their own socials or via email? Because based on the actions that visitors take, you can start thinking about what other content could be interesting to guide them further through your marketing funnel.
Makes sense, right?!
And just like that, you’ll start thinking about the next steps you can take to warm up your lead – which is actually no longer lead generation, but lead nurturing!
Read more about lead nurturing in our blog The Bold Approach: Lead Nurturing!