As we continue to see improvements in marketing automation, demand generation, and analytics, marketers are being held more and more accountable for generating leads.
Now that the data can specifically map out each individual consumer’s journey from awareness to purchase, it’s more important than ever to be able to tie our marketing efforts to revenue. Do we have to sell the customer on the product? No—that’s the job of the business development team. But we do have to pique their interest enough that they start to seriously make their way through their own buyer’s journey.
If you need to generate more leads in a true and tested way, here are a few tips on what you might be missing (or could be optimizing):
1. Claim Your Local Business Listings
You may have already claimed your listings on the major search engines and called it a day. But do you know how you’re listed throughout the Internet, especially in places that aren’t Google, Bing, or Yahoo?
Do a quick search of your business: run through the first few pages of results to see if your business is listed on any other website that you haven’t yet claimed. Then begin the process of claiming them according to each website’s requirements.
The more consistent your presence is across the Internet, the more findable you are.
2. Develop Gated Content
Gated content is content that an audience can’t access without first giving you their information. These are eBooks, white papers, and how-to guides that you and your creative team write.
Once they’re written, make sure they’re well designed, branded, and easy for your audience to understand. Then, hype up the asset before and after its release: create a landing page that asks your potential leads for the information you need from them in order for them to access your content. This could be name, phone number, job title, company, or anything you might be looking for.
If they want the piece of content you are providing, they’ll give you their information to receive the content—and now they’re a lead!
Related Content: 6 Fundamentals of B2B Demand Generation Marketing
3. Use Social Media Ads
Both Twitter and Facebook now have ad campaigns specifically designed to help you acquire leads. The ads run like normal native social media ads: when a user clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) button, a lead form opens up in the native platform for them to fill out. (This is also a great way to promote your gated content.)
For instance, if you have a product demo that you’d like a specific audience to sign up for, create an ad promoting the demo, and then get hyper-targeted with the audience you select: age range, gender, location, occupation, interests, and even certain purchasing behaviors.
Once a targeted person clicks on the ad, they fill out a form to receive the demo…and voila. You have your lead.
4. Run an Email Campaign That Includes a Special or Discount
Don’t believe the myth that says that emailing discounts trains people into only responding favorably to you when they have a discount opportunity: it’s simply not true.
In addition to being another great way to promote your gated content piece, email marketing campaigns can feature promotions, discounts, and specials that may entice potential customers into buying, or at least learning more.
Put together a special every few months to entice subscribers to want to learn more. Remember to create a landing page for when they click the link—the landing page can ask for the same information that you need in your gated content landing page. Using your email platform’s analytics, you can also track who clicked through the email to read more about your promotion.
5. Try Multimedia Content
Blogs, eBooks, and social media content are non-negotiable if you’re trying to put together an integrated marketing strategy that covers all your bases.
But don’t stop with the written word or just blog formats: try new things like videos, infographics, webinars, podcasts . . . go crazy!
And remember that not everyone in your audience retains information in the same way. Some people are visual learners, so data visualization, interactive graphs, infographics, and webinars will speak to them. Podcasts are great for auditory learners, and SlideShare presentations are good for people who like bite-sized pieces of information.
Don’t forget to include a CTA at the end of each asset, or you risk losing a potential lead!
6. Tap Into Someone Else’s Audience
The great part about asking someone to guest-blog for you is that they will, in theory, promote it to their audience as well. This means that your content ultimately gets shared with both your audience and their audience. But how do you land a good guest blogger?
Find a friend of your company, a high-ranking executive already in your company, or a major influencer in your industry and ask them if they would be willing to write a blog for you. Keep in mind that you may have to ask several people: people who already have great audiences are usually very busy. But even if they all say yes, that just means more content for you.
Ideally, your guest bloggers’ followers will visit your site to hear from their favorite thought leaders and see how your company is connected to them. Leads, anyone?
There are so many techniques to generate leads; this is only a sampling of some of the best and most efficient. Above all else, make sure that your integrated strategy includes a variety of these pieces so you have several different pipelines for leads. Don’t get stuck with just one!