- January 22, 2019
- Posted by: afolabi akinwunmi
- Category: Uncategorized
To generate successful leads for your business and reach a constantly evolving and elusive audience, marketers must be investing their resources in the most effective lead generation channels. Because think about it, take a second and think about the number of advertisements you see in just one day. When you take into account all of the billboards, social media advertisements, and online banner ads targeting you throughout the day, the number is probably somewhere in the hundred range. Yet, consumers, including yourself, are getting better than ever at ignoring these blatant marketing tactics. So much so, that seeing becomes ignoring. So, where does that leave today’s digital marketer? The answer: Refocusing their efforts into lead generation channels.
This has led me to write on the best and most effective channels that should be used by marketers to reach target audience, generate leads and how each channel can be optimized to achieve laudable results. Let’s get to it; shall we?
The Most Effective Lead Generation Channels
- Email Marketing: According to a recent report from Ascend 2, email marketing is still the most effective lead generation channel and for over two decades, it has remained like this. The latest trend in email marketing that your business should be utilizing is marketing automation. Marketing automation tools work by connecting with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database and allowing you to send automated, highly-targeted and personalized emails to leads. This can include personalization in the form of adding the customer’s name to the subject line, incorporating an element or phrase they have recently searched for online in the email copy, or mentioning their current business name.
Here are the best ways emails can be optimized to generate leads for your business
- Offer an email newsletter with high-value, relevant content.
If you want to do any kind of lead generation with email, you need peoples’ email addresses first. Many businesses don’t collect email addresses anywhere on their site.
- Set up triggered emails
Triggered emails (sometimes called “autoresponders” or “drip campaigns”) are automatically activated when someone takes a specific action. That could be downloading a whitepaper, filling out a contact form, or placing an order.
When the trigger of events happens, your email marketing system automatically sends out a series of emails. The emails have content tailored to the sort of person who would take that particular action. This basically lets you automate your follow-ups. It’s leads nurturing on autopilot.
- Segment emails according to subscriber behaviors.
Segmenting makes your emails more relevant to your readers. Relevant email messages, emails that have content subscribers are actually interested in; get more opens, clicks, and sales.
There are dozens of behaviors to segment by. Like these:
- When subscribers signed up
- Which links subscribers clicked in an email
- If someone clicked through on an email but didn’t convert on the landing page
- No behavior? then resend an email to people who didn’t open it the first time (just change the subject line).
- Gate your content.
This is the oldest lead generation technique. It goes all the way back to before the Internet when magazines published ads urging readers to write for a free report or to request a product sample. That was lead gen via postal mail.
Now a common setup for gated content is to drive traffic to a landing page (aka a “squeeze page”) and have people enter their information in exchange for a free report. Or you can offer valuable content on your website and require the email address there.
- Content Marketing: Content is the foundation of your lead generation and lead nurturing efforts. Marketers have come to rely on content to engage prospects and customers in today’s buyer landscape, but to do so, your content must educate, inspire and beg to be shared. It should help leads overcome challenges and achieve their aspirations. If you are able to do that, leads will flock to you, and you will gain their trust.
In Ascend 2 report, content marketing was ranked as the second most effective lead generation channel. However, content marketing is one of the hardest lead generation channels to execute on. This is because ensuring your content is reaching your intended audience is easier said than done. To effectively generate leads through content, you must be creating content your audience is interested in and capable of reaching organically through a Google search or while browsing the news feed on the social media platforms they frequent. The best way to generate leads through content marketing is to experiment. Create various types of content, including blogs, whitepapers, infographics, videos, and podcasts, to see which best resonates with and attracts your customers. Track performance of content through analytical tools to identify which types of content should be continued. Work on identifying customer personas to better target your audience’s pain points and create content that addresses them in order to generate more leads.
- Social Media Marketing: Another one of the most effective and controversial lead generation channels is social media marketing. The effectiveness of this channel is up for debate as some businesses find social media marketing to be extremely effective, while others find their efforts resulting in minimal conversions.However, it has been working for both brands and buyers as shown in the statistic below.
- More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least two years report it helped them improve sales. (Hubspot)
- 90% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. (Hubspot)
- 83% of all marketers actively pursue social media marketing initiatives. (Aberdeen, 2016)
But despite all that, 63% of marketers still report that generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. (HubSpot)
Here are the best ways social media can be optimized to generate leads for your business
- Establish Thought Leadership: It’s the oldest trick in the book…except it’s really no trick at all.
Offer your audience relevant, valuable content, and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry or niche.
You become a thought leader by identifying your expertise and routinely updating your networks with the latest information, valuable insights and ideas related to that subject.
When done right, you’re no longer marketing or advertising your products, you’re marketing your expertise.
Once you’ve proven to be a valuable resource in your given area, customers will naturally be more interested in your products or services.
- Share Links to Gated Content: Ever been to a website that offered you a complete guide, in exchange for your name and email? That’s gated content.
It’s content that’s currently locked away, and is only accessible if you provide the requested contact information.
The gate essentially implies that what lies behind it has more value than what could be found for free in blogs or other media updates, so you must ensure your gated content is a tier above the rest.
It’s so effective at lead generation because if gives brands the contact information of those that are truly interested in their product or services. If they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t fill out the form.
Other popular gated content includes eBooks, cheat sheets and checklists.
To leverage that content and collect more leads, make sure you’re regularly sharing it on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and twitter.
That way, when leads come in you can directly link them to your social media accounts and keep tab on its effectiveness.
- Run Social Media Ads: Social media upped the ante when it comes to advertising. With its ability to target highly specific audiences, it’s become one of the most effective ways to put your brand in front of those users most likely to convert.
And now, it’s gone a step further with ads designed specifically for lead generation.
Facebook Lead Ads work much like gated content. Users are presented with an opt-in form, but rather than enter the information themselves, Facebook automatically populates the form with their contact information.
LinkedIn Lead Gen Ads work similarly, auto-populating forms with contact information from their LinkedIn profiles once a user has clicked on your ad.
Essentially, it simplifies the process for the users, which means they’ll be more likely to submit in return for your content.
And the easier the process is for them, the easier it is for you to collect leads.
- Run a Contest/Giveaway: Running a contest can be a great way to use social media for lead generation. But it too has to be done right.
There needs to be a prize valuable enough to incite users to enter, but for the purpose of lead generation, it must appeal specifically to your ideal customer.
You’ll also want to make sure you familiarize yourself with the different sites’ rules. Facebook specifically has banned contests that ask only for likes or shares. Of course, the process can be streamlined using third-party contest sites like Woo box, Short stack and Heyo.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): SEO is another one of the most effective lead generation channels worth investing in. This is because a majority of the other channels on this list rely on customers organically finding your business website, content, or social media profiles in order to generate leads. However, the only way customers can find your website, content, or social media pages organically is if these items are ranking high in search engine ranking pages (SERP), which is determined by how SEO-friendly they are. SEO encompasses everything from the types of keywords and phrases found on your website, to the types of links found in your content, and whether your website is mobile-friendly. Businesses looking to improve their search engine rankings must hire the qualified SEO talent necessary to do so. Considering how crucial SEO is to your overall lead generation efforts, your business simply can’t afford to put off hiring for this need any longer.
- Landing Page and Website Optimization: Rounding out the list is another effective way to generate leads is from your business website. Having a responsive website for your business is not enough to generate the number of leads your business needs for continued success. Additionally, your business website and landing pages must be optimized to drive ideal customer and user behaviors. To do so, you’ll need to enhance and improve the user experience (UX) of your website. Landing pages are crucial to driving leads on your website since these pages are often where most of your website leads will be generated from. Which means even more attention needs to be given to the design and usability of these pages. Are they easy to navigate? Is the design of the website and landing pages current and sleek? Are loading times fast enough? Are all links correctly navigating to the next page? These are the types of questions you need to continuously address to effectively generate leads through this channel.
Investing in the most effective lead generation channels is crucial to ensuring the future success of your business. Email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, SEO and landing page and website optimization make up the most effective lead generation channels and result in the best opportunities for filling your lead bucket.
If your business lacks the qualified lead generation talent it needs to utilize these channels successfully, Pentacept today. We’ll match you with the talent you need to keep that lead bucket full.