5 Strategies to Optimize Your Lead Generation
5 Strategies to Optimize Your Lead Generation
How do you optimize your lead generation efforts? In every industry, from B2B to B2C, the answer to this question is becoming increasingly crucial. Particularly for businesses with long buyer’s journey, getting leads into the funnel is a prerequisite to effective, targeted, marketing and nurturing efforts.
Of course, everyone is asking the same question, and looking for the same answer. How does your business stand apart in this crowded environment? Here are 5 lead conversion optimization strategies that can help you gain a competitive edge and feed members of your target audience into the sales funnel.
1) Build Gated Content
At the core of inbound marketing, which is increasingly considered to be the most effective digital marketing philosophy, is generating inbound leads on your website. Following the reciprocity principle, these leads sign up to get value in return. If you offer that value, your leads will come.
Gated content is a crucial component when taking advantage of this philosophy. If you can build in-depth content such as whitepapers, ebooks, or newsletters that your audience wouldn’t get elsewhere, you can safely gate it behind a sign up form and still receive audience attention. Communicate the unique value effectively, and your audience will be happy to give you their contact information in return.
Proposal software company, Proposable, does a great job of this by producing hundreds of free proposal templates that they make available on their website. To download them, you have to at least enter an email, but to use the template on their software it requires a trial account. This not only gives them a great footprint for SEO keywords, but it drives a ton of trial accounts and fills up their newsletter list.
2) Hold a Webinar
An advanced form of gated content is a webinar, which entices your audience to register in exchange for topics relevant to their areas of interest and industry. Find a topic, and discuss it for 30-45 minutes while also allowing for audience questions. You can even invite a guest who is known among your audience to be a topical expert in order to increase interest.
Particularly in B2B industries, webinars can be immensely successful in generating leads. In fact, a 2015 study by eMarketer found them to be the second most effective digital marketing tactic, behind recorded video. Depending on the topic, they can be used either to generate leads or to nurture existing leads toward sales qualification.
Webinars can be effective beyond their initial air date, as well. In fact, only 16% of your audience prefers a live webinar over an existing recording. After you hold your webinar, simply convert it to a recorded video and offer it as gated content on your website to continue receiving leads.
3) Optimize Your Website
Sometimes, lead generation can be as simple as making sure your audience knows where to find your content. If you have created relevant gated content, along with topical webinars, but your leads still aren’t flowing in, maybe your website is the problem.
Ideally, every single page on your website should have a natural ‘next step’ for your audience to take. That next step, in most cases, should be a landing page that opens the door to gated content. The landing page itself, of course, should also be optimized according to best practices, including elements such as a short form and social proof.
To be successful in generating leads, your entire website should be optimized toward that goal. Easily visible call to action buttons, relevant to the content on each page, are just as important as conversion-oriented copy that focuses on the benefits of becoming a lead. Build your website the right way, and the leads will come.
4) Go Native on Social
Increasingly, though, inbound lead generation is not limited to your website anymore. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter now offer the opportunity to run ads with lead-gen forms attached, and LinkedIn will soon follow that trend.
Facebook’s Lead Ads, for example, allow users to click a button on your ad and be redirected to a form on the network. That form autofills information from their profile, and feeds it into your database automatically upon submission. Twitter’s Lead Gen Cards operate in a similar fashion, though only the prospect’s name and email will be captured. LinkedIn is rumored to follow suit in early 2017.
Above all, taking advantage of native lead generation reduces friction. It saves your audience a click to your website, eliminating a step during which they could change their mind. In addition, autofilled form fields make it easier for your prospect to fill out a form, giving you more information about them in return.
5) A/B Test Continuously
Finally, don’t underestimate A/B testing as a crucial part of your lead generation strategy. No digital marketing campaign is perfect, and you can always make adjustments to your efforts in order to improve your results. Through A/B testing, you can slowly nudge closer toward building a lead generation mechanism that reliably converts your audience.
For example, your landing page may not convert at industry average rates. Begin to test its various elements, from the headline to the social proof, the length of the form, and the language of the ‘submit’ button. Over time, you will arrive at a page that has been backed by data to convert visitors at a higher rate than the page you started with.
Building a reliable lead generation strategy can seem daunting. But fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. Tactics like the above will help you generate a steady flow of contacts into your database, getting you one step closer to your ultimate goal: growing your business by marketing to relevant leads.
By: Danielle Sabrina, Contributor
Brand & Media Strategist