If you hope to increase the number of customers you are winning at the bottom of the funnel, you either need to increase your conversion rates or increase the number of leads you initially draw into your funnel.
Assuming your conversion rates are consistent, you need to generate more leads. But how exactly do you do that?
Here are six lead generation tips to help get you started.
6 Lead Generation Tips for Beginners
1. Educate your audience with a blog
If you follow the inbound methodology, you probably already know how important a blog can be for your company. It can provide a means for potential customers to learn about the critical elements surrounding your business. By educating your visitors about these elements, you can help them understand their pain points and challenges, positioning your company’s offering as the solution to their problems.
A blog can also help attract visitors to your site. By writing your posts about high-level topics that people will be looking for, you can pull visitors from search engines to your website. With that in mind, optimizing your blog posts for search is crucial. If you concentrate each post around a keyword, internally link your content, generate external links to your posts and perform other SEO best practices, you can attract quality traffic to your site.
Overall, updating your blog and optimizing your content for search is the first step to converting more leads. Once you attract visitors to your site, you can present other pieces of content and offers to advance these interactions.
2. Help visitors take the next step with a call-to-action
Of course, getting people to your blog is not going to generate leads in and of itself. After you’ve attracted visitors, you should offer them an incentive, giving them an opportunity to convert. That incentive should take the form of a call-to-action (CTA).
A CTA should help a visitor progress along their buyer’s journey. Normally, they point to some sort of gated content offer like a guide, ebook, webinar, template or tool. The CTA you decide to place on a blog should directly align with the content discussed in that post and position your offer as a logical next step.
It should also use strong language, urging the visitor to move forward and providing them with an indication of the value they will receive in doing so.
3. Provide more value with a gated content offer
As we mentioned, after attracting visitors to your site with a blog post, you need to provide a logical next step for them. The key is that this next step should be gated.
Gated offers should be hosted either on a landing page or through a chatbot so that you can obtain information about the visitors downloading them. While there is no monetary exchange, these offers are not necessarily “free.” Acquiring information from visitors is how you actually create leads, so this exchange is crucial.
From there, you can also promote these pages through other channels. For example, here at New Breed, whenever we release a new gated offer, we run an email campaign letting existing contacts know it’s available.
4. Embrace social media
Your site could survive just having a blog that’s optimized for search. People could find their way through results pages to your posts, click on CTAs and convert. That’s a proven way to generate leads, and it will have returns over time. Overall, though, you shouldn’t rely on that alone.
It’s also wise to promote your content on social media. On average, people spend one-seventh of their waking lives on social media, so you would be remiss to overlook it. If you want to make your content as accessible as possible, promoting it on social is a big part of that.
It’s imperative you’re mindful of which social platform you’re posting on, however. Not all of them are the same. The structure of your audience and the content they are expecting will differ across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and any other platforms you use.
Some platforms are more geared towards starting a conversation. Others are better suited to post content directly. Ultimately, you should be conscious of how people engage with each platform and publish your content so it’s aligned with the channel you’re posting on. By appealing to the proper audiences, you’ll be able to attract high-quality traffic to your site.
5. Give your website a makeover
If your website is unappealing, difficult to navigate and offers a poor user experience, people aren’t going to engage with the content you’re presenting. At the end of the day, your website should look and perform in a modern manner to match peoples’ expectations.
If you're wondering why, consider a scenario where you’re grocery shopping and looking for items off your grocery list. As you walk through the aisles, good packaging stands out, and you’re more likely to grab products that have superior packaging — all else equal. Additionally, there are some aspects of packaging you simply expect to see. You might not buy a product if it didn’t have nutritional facts listed on the outside or use safety measures (like seals) where necessary. In the same way, if your site visitors encounter a website that doesn’t meet their expectations, they’re unlikely to stick around.
Of course, we don’t want to make it sound like you can’t be unique, innovative and different. You should simply ensure your website maintains a professional aesthetic and provides a great user experience.
6. Test, measure and optimize
When it comes to digital marketing, it’s tough to get everything right the first time. Generally, it’s necessary to put forth your best effort and try to improve from there. Performing tests, measuring key metrics and optimizing based on the results are key practices to ensure you’re always refining your website and marketing efforts.
One way to do so is A/B testing, when you experiment with two variants of an object (A and B) to see which version performs better. Some examples of A/B testing include creating smart CTAs, changing form fields and adjusting landing page content.
Of course, there are a number of best practices to keep in mind. First, if you’re running an A/B test, make sure you’re only performing the experiment around one variable. You want to be able to isolate results, so if they differ significantly, you can definitively attribute it to one change.
Another best practice is to make sure when you set up a test you also identify key metrics to measure. Often this is a combination of metrics that reveal a broader picture.
If you’re A/B testing a CTA, you should be measuring how many people see and click on each version of the CTA to calculate click-through rates. However, click-through rate is not the only metric you should be concerned about.
For example, you might have a CTA with a very high click-through rate that ultimately doesn’t have many conversions on the back end. To avoid focusing too heavily on one metric and missing relevant information, you should also measure the number of people who are converting on the offer to ascertain the conversion rate. With both the CTA click-through rate and conversion rate, you should be able to develop a better understanding of how your CTA is performing.
No matter what you are testing, you need to ensure you don’t make decisions in a vacuum and, instead, consider all of the relevant factors before moving forward.
The timeframe and number of runs your experiment should have will change for each company, but, no matter what, you should decide what type of results will make your results relevant ahead of time. Once you come to a conclusion, pick another variable to test. In this way, you’ll continue enhancing your site over time.
You don’t want to generate leads for the sake of it. You want to ensure your contacts are progressing through each stage of your funnel, becoming customers at the bottom.
Overall, this involves maximizing the quality of your audience, attracting leads that are good fits for your company. You can do this by starting a blog, using relevant CTAs, leveraging gated content, embracing social media and refining your website. From there, it requires you to efficiently move those leads through the funnel, optimizing your website and content to create a smooth buyer’s journey for every visitor.
This post was originally published April 17, 2014.
Isaac is an Inbound Specialist at New Breed. His passion for the inbound philosophy of giving value to customers before extracting it brought him to New Breed. In his free time, he's an avid outdoorsman.