Lead generation is the process of generating leads for your marketing efforts and creating a base of potential users. It’s an essential step in digital marketing and allows you to assess your prospects and approach your target demographic.
Depending on your business and industry, you’ll want to approach digital marketing differently, but there are some golden rules you need to remember when creating a lead generation plan.
We’ll list the four steps to creating a great lead generation plan. You don’t have to be a marketing specialist to make a good lead generation plan, as long as you remember the essentials listed below.
Identifying Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is one of the most critical steps in any marketing effort. Depending on your industry, services, or products, you’ll want to approach different people and do so in a different way.
For instance, younger people are less likely to be interested in your antique furniture business, and older people will not look for the latest vaping equipment.
This process represents the ground on which you will build the rest of your lead generation strategy, so you have to nail it.
Think About Your Products and Services
One of the first things you should do when trying to identify your target demographic is to think about what you can offer. If you do a detailed analysis of your products and services, the answer will likely come to you.
Considering what product you’re trying to sell or what service you might offer will give you a broad assumption of who is looking to purchase it.
Assess Your Existing Clients
If you have existing clients, you’ll want to analyze them as much as possible. Current clients are probably the best representation of your target demographic.
Knowing your existing clientele is easy – there are many analysis tools readily available online. Now, the gathered data needs to pass through a refinement process to become viable. This process removes redundancies, situational data, and faux data, leaving you with a clear picture of your customers.
Consider the Competition
An excellent way to gain an edge over your competition is to look at what they’re doing. Find out who your competitors are targeting, and use that information for your benefit.
There are many web crawlers that you can use to access data from your competitors. This action might not be legal everywhere, so make sure to check that. If all else fails, try to assess and analyze your competition’s marketing and lead generation efforts yourself, and think of ways to beat them.
Think About Your Brand
A good practice is to assess your existing brand. Your brand should appeal to a particular audience. When you have an established brand, you can offer new products and services to your existing clientele with assured success.
Researching Lead Generation Channels
Lead generation channels are readily available in the online landscape. Today, there are more ways you can sell a product than you can imagine. With everyone spending some time on the internet, investing in the right channels could increase ROI and generate natural leads.
If you want to generate functional, natural, and successful leads, you’ll have to know which channels you should invest in. Like assessing your target demographic, different things will require different channels – and proper lead generation channel optimization is the key to success.
After you have a general idea of who you’re appealing to, you’ll have to know how to hook them in. Below, we’ll list the most viable lead generation channels in 2020.
Social media is one of the most popular lead generation channels on the internet. Everyone these days is on social media, and most importantly, different demographics use different channels.
While there are universal options such as Facebook, which is still the most popular lead generation channel in social media, there are more niche-specific social media websites like LinkedIn. Another very appealing aspect is that these platforms already come with built-in analysis, assessment, and optimization tools.
Most social media websites already have a built-in advertisement and lead generation hub, which allows you to use all of their features for a fee.
If you want to generate leads naturally through social media, you’ll have to make your lead capture page attractive. Making catchy content that ultimately drives your desired user base to your lead capture page is essential in Social Media marketing.
Emails might be less popular than social media these days, but they give off a different feel. Most people don’t use emails to catch up with their friends – but rather for professional reasons.
That is why emails work as a great lead generation channel. Email marketing has been around since the dawn of the internet. It requires you to have proper content to present, which will drive people towards your lead capture page. Use your existing mailing lists to approach your current customers and entice them to share your products with others – we’ll get into that a bit later.
Another thing that makes email an appealing lead generation channel is that you can automatize it while remaining personal. You can send mass emails that appeal directly to the potential prospect with minimal investment and optimization.
PPC stands for pay per click. This is one of the most efficient lead generation channels out there. It’s a healthy way to generate leads as this method is fully flexible, scalable, and with some finesse – extremely efficient.
You can optimize your PPC advertisements with targeted keywords that appeal to your target demographic, and through appropriate content, you’ll generate a lot of leads. One thing that makes PPC appealing to most marketing executives is that this channel is fully scalable.
You can use PPC marketing for your global corporation conglomerate just as you can for your small local business. PPC advertisements usually consist of enticing, inviting, and exciting content that drives people to your lead capture page through a clever CTA.
You can include ad extensions into your PPC advertisement to make it more inviting and interactive. PPC is a viable lead generation channel, which results in natural, organic, and high-quality prospects.
Content marketing is one of the popular ways to generate leads, and making a proper content strategy is essential if you want to make the most out of it. A content strategy is the process of planning, producing, and managing different types of content for lead generation purposes.
Content can come in all kinds of forms, shapes, and sizes – and depending on your specific demographic, business, and brand, you’ll want to make different types of content to generate leads.
Some of the most popular types of content are:
- Case Studies
Depending on your industry, you’ll want to place your focus on different types of content. Studies show that video is by far the most popular type of content, and if combined with a good content strategy – it’s fantastic at generating leads.
To give you a better idea of what a content strategy is, we’ll split it into steps.
1. Planning Lead-Generating Content
Planning lead-generating content is one of the most critical parts of your content strategy. In this step, you’ll have to consider what type of content you should make.
One of the essential steps in the preparation of lead-generating content is establishing keywords. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and determines essential keywords that make your content stand out in search engines like Google, Baidu, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and others.
Categorizing keywords in your sales funnel based on their traffic is imperative, and finding the perfect balance between keywords and content is equally important.
In the planning step, you should ensure that you have a general idea of how the content is going to flow, where it should wind up, and how it can lead to your lead capture page. That is also the step where you plan your budget, so proceed with caution – content can get quite pricey.
2. Producing Lead Generating Content
Making lead-generating content is an adamant thing to do. Unless you’re a content producer, you’ll have a hard time making content that results in lead generation.
The most popular way to create lead-generating content is by outsourcing. With websites like Fiverr, Freelancer, and UpWork offering a vast selection of industry professionals, you’ll have an easy time hiring the right team for the job. You could even save quite a considerable sum of money by outsourcing.
3. Managing Lead Generation Content
While you might be tempted to share all of your awesome content all at once, spacing it out and managing it, it is essential if you want the content to work for your lead generation plan. Once you have an abundance of content ready for publication, you’ll have to pay attention to a couple of other things.
The content management process includes developing a content plan based on possible prospects and lead generation. Aside from this, you’ll have to manage your in-house team or oversee your outsourced content creation needs.
If the content seems to be flowing smoothly, you’ll have to focus on using your content in your lead generation plan. Then, you’ll want to ensure that your content drives people to your lead capture page.
While the whole prospect of lead generation might seem a bit intimidating, you can rest assured that we’ve reached the last step. Content promotion is the process of promoting your content in any way possible.
Your content won’t be of much use if people aren’t participating. There are numerous ways you can promote your content, and a couple of things you should do afterward.
Below, we’re going to cover content promotion and finalizing your lead generation efforts.
Content promotion is the process of distributing blog posts and other resources via paid and organic channels. We’ve discussed researching lead generation channels before in this article – but in this step, we’ll put them to use.
Paid advertisements are simple and relatively self-explanatory. Though paid advertisements, you pay different lead generation channels to advertise your content on their platform.
This form of advertisement is a more dynamic and short term solution to your lead generation needs. Some of the most popular paid advertisement strategies are:
- PPC advertisement
- Social media advertisements
- Traditional media advertisement
- Banner ads, roll-out ads and pop-up ads
- Advertising retargeting
Organic advertisements represent a process where you nurture leads organically and work to augment your lead generation and engagement by content optimization and management. Through organic advertisements, you can slowly garner traffic towards your lead capture page.
This form of advertisement is a more stationary and a long-term solution to your lead generation needs. Some of the most popular forms of organic advertisement strategies are:
- Guest posting
- Social media posts
- Search engine optimization
- Natural link building
Promotion aside, you’ll want to focus on new leads. This will give you a better perspective on your lead generation plan – and will provide you with viable information on how you can use those leads to the best possible extent.
You’ll want to nurture existing leads if you want to ensure that things will continue running smoothly. Aside from nurturing your new leads, it would be best if you also scored them on how they perform and how likely they are to result in ROI.
When you’re done with the lead generation process through your content strategy, you’ll want to pass those leads on to the next step, which is your sales or marketing team. Lastly, evaluate your content and lead generation plan as a whole to have a better idea of what you should do in the next one.
Creating a top of the line lead generation plan is not a challenging process. As long as you follow our simple four-step plan and remember the details, you’ll have a high-performance lead generation strategy in no time at all.