Search This Blog

Friday, January 30, 2015

Lead Generation Tips for Today's Marketing Landscape

According to findings in the B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends survey, lead generation is second only to brand awareness as a major goal for content marketers in 2015. But what strategies should you use? What small tasks can you accomplish each day to earn more qualified leads?

Let’s take a look at 6 ideas that can help you begin your sales cycle. 

1.      Embrace social media.
This concept isn’t rocket science, but it does mean more than just creating a Facebook page. Embracing social media to generate leads means selecting channels that your target audience uses, creating and curating content daily that works for those channels and that is compelling and relevant to your audience, developing a reputation as a thought leader in your industry and talking with your followers, not just to them. While you won’t see an immediate train of quality leads pulling into your brand’s station, you will begin to connect with those interested in your services and begin to foster relationships.

2.      Send direct mail.
Yes, you read that correctly. Direct mail may have its detractors, but don’t count it out when it comes to your lead generation strategies. HubSpot notes that 18-34 year olds prefer direct mail and that it’s an effective lead generation investment when targeting hyper-local communities. Many marketers focus solely on email to generate leads, so direct mail has more of an opportunity to stand out. Work with professionals who understand how to create the right content and who can target the right audience for your brand.

3.      Hold contests on social media.
There are several ways to hold contests on each social media channel, but for the purpose of lead generation, focus on email-gated contests. Followers will need to enter their email addresses before they can successfully enter your contest, and you can also ask for a follow or a retweet in addition to their contact information. If your contests include the submission of videos or photos, you can collect user-generated content (UGC) as well.

4.      Test and use hashtags.
In 2015, using hashtags should be a no-brainer. What some marketers tend to overlook is the need to test hashtags. Having your brand be a part of the conversation on trending topics and participating in Twitter chats are good ways to be seen as a thought leader, but as you become seen as more of an expert, you also want to create your own content and your own hashtags. Ensuring those hashtags will stick means ensuring your message will amplify its reach. 

5.      Create original content for LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is giving its members access to its long-form blog publishing privileges as a way to create a stronger community of professional insights. These blogs can be great resources for lead generation and can be posted to your company’s LinkedIn page as you further establish yourself as an expert in the industry. Create content that is helpful and interesting to your target prospects. Include a specific call-to-action to subscribe to your company blog or YouTube page and to follow your company’s social media accounts. You can also include a CTA to sign up for a webinar or download a white paper, but be careful not to leave your prospects with the feeling that they are being sold to. 

6.      Revise your strategies as needed.
Your marketing strategies are living, breathing entities; as the behavior and needs of your prospects change, so should your marketing. Measure the results of each activity regularly and revise accordingly. There is nothing about your target audience that is set in stone, so how you interact with them and earn them as leads must evolve as needed.

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360