STRATEGY

5 Lead Generation Strategies That Work In 2018 (And 5 To Let Go)

It takes constant work for businesses to bring in new leads and keep their company vital. The rise of digital marketing made it possible for companies to tap into a constant stream of fresh new consumers every day.

The virtual renaissance explosion over the past 10 years forced companies to adjust the way they traditionally designed ad campaigns. As we continue through 2018, let’s review some of the best practices for lead generation currently in use. We’ll also touch on tactics to curtail and even eliminate. It’s important to keep things fresh and interesting as you design your future-thinking lead generation strategies.

Do Thorough Research

Research makes a real difference as you determine the right lead generation strategies for your business. The two main areas of focus are keyword and competitor research.

Keyword Research

Your keyword research should focus on two main areas:

  • Finding the right keywords for your company
  • Using them properly in your content

Keywords help attract people to your site when they’re looking for something in particular. Try to incorporate phrases commonly used by people looking for your products and services along with unique combinations with a low usage rate and a high click-through return to help with lead generation.

Competitor Research

It’s always good to be aware of what tactics your competitors employ in their own lead generation efforts. Track down the type of social media sites they use and how they engage with their customers.

Look for gaps in their strategies and design yours to fill them. Adjust your message to counter any offers they’re making.

Make your presence known in a way to differentiate yourself from them and show users why you’re the better choice.

Effective keyword and competitor research also help you design paid ads to stand out from the others and encourage lead generation. Confirm this by trying out different versions of an ad with A/B testing.

Valve+Meter Performance Marketing provides their clients with unparalleled research and analysis capabilities. We’ll help you optimize the content across all your marketing channels and give you a leg up on your competitors.

What you should STOP doing

Don’t concede marketing channels to a competitor because you don’t feel you can design lead generation campaigns to challenge theirs.

Stop being afraid of venturing into the unknown. You won’t get anywhere sticking to well-worn areas and exhausting your current customer base.

Generate High-Quality Content

It’s great when you design ads resulting in clicks. Just don’t neglect the content greeting visitors when they land on your homepage.

When was the last time you took a good look at the content on your page? How much of it is actually current or reflective of your business outlook today?

Any effort you put into purchasing and designing ads for lead generation go to waste if users determine you have little to offer them. Here’s what you can do to ensure the quality of your entire website:

Perform a Website Audit

This may be a task to delegate to an outside company. An audit identifies the following problems across your entire site:

  • Broken links
  • A lack of meta descriptions for pages
  • Old or outdated content
  • Bad image links
  • No clear path to conversion
  • Problems with slow loading or lack of mobile optimization
  • A lack of site security and
  • Difficulty navigating your site

Remember your webpage is the face of your company and it has a job to do. How well do you think you’ll do with lead generation when visitors see a neglected website? It plants the question of “what else are they neglecting in their business? Will they neglect me as a customer?”

Review and Update Your Content

Add content accurately reflecting how you want your company to be viewed and encouraging lead generation. Look for the following as you go through the pages of your site:

  1. How consistent is the messaging across your site?
  2. How well do your products, services and brand tie together?
  3. Do the topics presented relate to your stated business goals?
  4. How well is the content designed to attract the attention of your desired audience?
  5. Is your content optimized to appear at the top of any SERPs?
  6. Are you using well-designed long-tail keywords in your text content?

Which posts are customers engaging with the most? Which channels are they using to share this information?

Make use of analytics tools to analyze the patterns of your website visitors. This practice will help inform future decisions about changes you make to your website.

If you’re starting from scratch, here are a few tips as outlined by influencer Neil Patel on creating an appealing content page.

  • Make the first impression positive
  • Add elements to build user trust
  • Use a mix of both video and text content
  • Make sure your content satisfies the user’s needs and
  • Allow users to use their social media credentials to log in.

What you should STOP doing:

Don’t be lazy about what you put up on your web page. Consumers should be able to find the latest information about products or services offered by your company.

Visitors should not be greeted by products your company no longer sells. Also, you shouldn’t go years without posting new articles or news.

You can’t broadcast yourself as an expert in your field if you’re still promoting ideas no longer being widely used. No one wants to remain on a site providing them with “yesterday’s news.”

Remember most people now view content from a mobile device. Don’t neglect the mobile responsiveness of your website, assuming everyone views it on a large monitor. Don’t ask users for detailed personal information when they’re looking for a simple to-do page or to look at an infographic.

Build Organic Email Lists

Email marketing remains one of the most important tools available to advertisers. Businesses should be taking advantage of new automation tools to maximize their lead generation efforts.

Properly implemented automation provides you with the following benefits:

  • A reduction in staffing costs
  • Enforces accountability by tracking response leads not being nurtured to their full potential by the sales department and
  • Allows you to time any email releases to other digital marketing efforts.

Make sure your email content answers any questions the user might have about who you are and what you offer. You should have staff available and prepared to answer any responses you receive.

Your content pages should make it easy for users to sign up for your email updates. Require them to confirm their choice to sign up before adding them to your scheduled email blasts.

Design your emails to provide fresh updates. There’s no point in sending out the same information over and over again. That causes people to get tired of your emails and unsubscribe from your lists.

Some other ideas you could use to make your emails engaging include:

  • Write eye-catching headlines
  • Add the user’s name to the subject
  • Get to the point quickly
  • Gear your emails toward the right audience
  • Test the content before sending it
  • Encourage users to perform an action in response (CTA)
  • Use A/B testing to see how well different subject lines test with the audience you’re targeting and
  • Include links allowing users to easily visit your main site.

What you should STOP doing

Don’t take shortcuts by buying email lists. Continuously sending your emails to someone who hasn’t explicitly requested them gets you labeled as spam.

Refrain from cold-calling people who haven’t shown any indication they’d welcome hearing from you. It only causes irritation and has an extremely low rate of success.

Your emails should read like something personal being sent to users. No one wants to receive clearly mass-produced copy that speaks to none of their interests.

Optimize Your Social Media Presence

Social media marketing effort requires a more personal touch to be effective in lead generation. This is your chance to directly engage with your customer base and show them a side of yourself they may not get to see elsewhere.

Facebook

Combine images designed to draw the user’s eye with offers linked directly to a landing page on your site. Use clear wording to let the user know exactly what will happen if they click on a button or link.

Instagram

Your posts here need to be both visually appealing and full of information to answer the user’s questions with very little text. Even B2B advertisers can use this platform to design content to personally appeal to their business base.

Live-Streaming

Live streams are a great way to give users an impromptu view of the inner workings of your business. You could talk to them about what’s going on that day, showcase events you’re hosting or feature your commitment to a cause or local community.

Podcasts

Podcasts let you get more in-depth on specialized topics of interest to potential customers. This is a chance to highlight the expertise of your workers or for your CEO to talk about the next path forward for your company.

Expert Answers

Sites like Quora allow you to respond to user questions. It’s a chance to provide users with valued feedback responding to their individual needs. This builds trust and encourages people to look up more information about your company. It’s important to keep the focus on sharing expertise, instead of pitching your business.

Videos

Videos offer you an excellent opportunity to put together a more stylized presentation of the strengths of your customers. You can also design short-form content designed to go viral among your targeted customer base.

What you should STOP doing

Not every social media channel works for everyone. If the demographics don’t align with your customer niche, don’t invest a lot of time in it. In addition, it’s better to do a few well, than to spread yourself or your brand too thin across too many channels. Most platforms provide you with additional analysis tools to help you measure the traffic generated from different campaigns.

If you notice you’re not getting nearly the amount of lead generation you’re seeking from a platform, adjust your efforts or decrease your investment there regardless of its popularity.

Make Use of Automation

Earlier, we touched on using automation when sending out email updates. You can also use it to schedule regular social media updates.

How automation helps lead generation:

  • Lets the marketing and sales department coordinate on which leads qualify for follow up
  • Breaks up campaign silos by allowing the sharing of data from all digital efforts
  • Allows team members to coordinate the timing of social media and website updates and
  • Helps you view the results of A/B testing efforts company-wide and store them for future reference.

Any company planning on embarking on an extensive digital campaign should make the investment in automation tools to support those efforts. It saves you time and money because you need less staff to keep things running.

Other ways to use automation include recognizing frequent visitors to your site and making it easier for them to reach the premium content they want.

What you should STOP doing

Stop using manual procedures segmenting different departments off into their own silos. Failing to coordinate your marketing leads to confusion and a lack of cohesion in how the company presents itself in the digital sphere.

Valve+Meter helps companies refine their lead generation strategies and meet their ROI goals from their digital marketing efforts. Find out more about what we do by calling our offices at (317) 820 – 2376.

AUTHOR

Ashton Searcy
Ashton Searcy
Business Strategist

Ashton Searcy is a business strategist within Valve+Meter, providing strategic insights and recommendations for partners based on a holistic and innovative approach to marketing. She brings experience in account management, media buying, strategy development and campaign execution in virtually every marketing platform across multiple business verticals.