Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned player with years of experience, you need quality leads. You’re a business, a business needs conversions, and leads create conversions—simple as that. It comes down to the fact that lead generation is absolutely vital to not only grow, but also survive, and is, therefore, key to every successful marketing strategy.
Briefly touching on demand generation to make sense of lead generation, the former drives demand for your products/services and the latter increases interest in your brand as the answer to their demands. Lead generation, then, comes into play after demand has been established, and is the act of gathering user information, such as names and email addresses, for your pipeline.
For a better picture of how things work, the first goal is to attract users to your site, the second goal is to get their information, and the third and final goal is to convert them. And now we arrive at the crux of the matter: capturing leads by getting your audience’s information, aka the second goal outlined above. Let’s get started:
1. Create quality content that makes a statement
Content is king and one of the most important tools in your lead generation arsenal. More often than not, content will also be what will initially draw your audience to your site and what will convince them to give you their information. Because of this, you need quality content that will not only attract people to your site but also convince them you’re knowledgeable in whatever area you specialize in so they feel comfortable enough to give you their information for future interactions.
First things first, quality content is all about knowing who your audience is, what they want and need, and how to best distribute your content in their preferred format and channel. For example, if you’re a fashion brand you’ll do well to post high definition pictures of your products on Instagram. In doing so, the more you post the more they get to you know you and like you, which will then take them to your site where they can sign up for email newsletters containing your catalog, special offers, and other converting tools you want to make use of.
Another content example is a white paper. You can publish and promote white papers with tips your audience can make use of, which functions to paint your brand as an authority figure who knows what they’re talking about and who they can trust, prompting them to fill your forms and become a new lead.
Keep in mind that a big part of content marketing and lead generation by extension is content syndication. In a nutshell, content syndication is when you partner with a high authority site to broaden your audience and increase your reach. The process goes like this:
- You create and publish content on your own site, blogs, social channels, etc., that deals with your future leads’ problems and paints you as their solution (without being too promotional)
- You partner up with a high authority site where you can syndicate your content
- Your audience expands to encompass the syndicating site, leading to a higher lead count
A couple final notes, content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing and generates approximately three times as many leads, and as this post explains, the focus in on engagement:
“Make sure the focus is on engagement, not on generating leads. The content that you provide should be compelling—and don’t make it just a teaser—it has to stand on its own. Make it useful and prospects will be happy to share their information with you. And be consistent – if I registered on your site or followed you because you provided A & B, don’t suddenly change your focus. No one likes a bait & switch.” -Barry Graubart, Content Matters LLC
2. Make it easy for mobile users to give you their information
There were about 4.77 billion mobile users worldwide last year and this year that number is projected to rise to 4.93 billion. The direct translation of this information is that there are many mobile users, and by many I mean MANY, and you need to capitalize on this by making their mobile interactions with your brand as seamless as possible. Think of it this way, if they’re ready to give you their information, why would you mess it up by giving them a poor mobile experience that leaves a bad taste in their mouth? Exactly.
First, you have to get a responsive site that resizes content for all screens. If you can’t get a responsive site, at least opt for a mobile site that won’t impede on UX (these are not as good as their responsive counterparts, but still, you need to be mobile friendly). Second, use mobile-friendly forms that take into account how they appear on smaller screens. As this post explains, there are a couple of things to pay close attention to, such as:
Number of fields: smartphones have smaller screens and you don’t want to overload your users with too many fields to fill out. Keep it simple and don’t include a high amount—if it’s an absolute necessity, consider a multi-step form that breaks it down for your users.
Field order and field inclusion: For best results, organize fields from a user’s perspective. Make it easy for them to fill out your forms and place fields in an intuitive order, such as name first, email after, then phone number, and so on. Keep in mind not to ask for something you don’t need, as this will make them wonder why you’re asking for that information in the first place and may leave them questioning their credibility.
Input fields: As you’re dealing with mobile users, make sure to fully utilize input fields by using the entire viewport, ensuring that fields are easy-to-tap and not too tall. Above all, the less friction the better (they better not have to pinch and zoom).
Field labels: Research has found that top aligned form labels are quickest for users to scan and quite effective, so consider that as you structure your forms.
3. Optimize your website
You’ll likely be collecting leads by getting users to land on your site, so a big part of getting quality leads is first getting them to land on your site by optimizing everything, from SEO and search to navigation and layout.
Starting with SEO, you want people to land on your site so you can introduce yourself and convince them to give you their information. As such, you want to partake in SEO activities that will increase your site’s ranking on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. There are many such activities, such as link building by disseminating content throughout the Internet (on high authority and trustworthy sites) and social media, migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS, frequently publishing content, getting a mobile-friendly site, and more.
With high rankings, you’re likely to see an increase in site traffic. Prepare for this by optimizing your landing pages and making sure to show what they’re expecting to see when they land. In other words, if they’re expecting to see a landing page for X, don’t show them a landing page for Y—this will only lead to a high bounce rate and few leads. As for your website as a whole, make it easy for your users to navigate it so they can find exactly what they’re looking for before they lose their patience, and include CTAs with sign-up forms throughout, just make sure not to be spammy.
4. Use the power of social media
Social media is an excellent source of quality leads because practically your whole audience can be found there, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. You have many options with social media, such as sharing posts or videos where you talk about who you are and what you do or taking the extra step with social ads that boost your visibility.
Specific for lead generation, LinkedIn has Lead Gen Forms that allow you to capture quality leads straight from the platform. For a seamless experience, these forms are pre-filled with LinkedIn data so that the only action required is to click send. These forms are available for Sponsored InMail and Sponsored Content, and allow you to track costs per lead, lead form fill rate, and the total number of leads garnered. As a bonus, you can also download leads from Campaign Manager or integrate them with the CRM of your choice. Here’s a testimonial if you’re still on the fence:
"Lead Gen Forms provide a frictionless way for us to reach out to customers. Within a matter of minutes, you can create a campaign and start generating quality leads. We've received great feedback from our admissions team as well as the prospects themselves." -Fareed Raja, Digital Channel Manager, Jack Welch Management Institute
Similar to LinkedIn, Facebook has Facebook Lead Ads that make forms simple for people and more valuable for businesses. Made specifically for mobile, you can customize these forms to gather the exact information you need and grow inbound inquiries. They’re fairly easy to set up, cheaper than alternatives on other sites, and come as pre-filled forms that pop-up when clicked. Let’s take a look at another testimonial for the undecided amongst us:
“This ad product has taken our customer acquisition efforts on Facebook to the next level. Lead ads have driven robust volume while maintaining exceptionally low acquisition costs—up to 50 percent less than comparable ad platforms. We are incredibly excited to continue scaling with this product.” -René Fielder, Marketing Director, Sona Med Spa
5. Create the perfect email
Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with a classic email lead generation campaign. While other tools come and go and rise and fall in prominence, email is and has always been a staple that keeps going strong.
First and foremost, make the subject and opening line count, as they’re what determines if the email will be opened or not. Grab their attention with the subject and keep it with the opening line. If you can, segment your audience so you can deliver more tailored messages that lead to higher click-through and leads. And as we covered earlier, it’s likely that a majority of your audience will be on mobile, so optimize your email for all devices.
A big part of email is testing to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. You have to know what works and what doesn’t, so definitely don’t send anything unless you’ve tested, retested, and then some by placing yourself in your audience’s shoes and sending yourself the email to make sure everything is perfect. Touching on a few points, ensure that:
- Everything is clickable
- All links take your audience to their correct landing page
- All content is displayed properly—this includes photos and videos
- There are no spelling or grammar mistakes
- You don’t sound too promotional or spammy
If you’re not growing, then you’re stagnating, and stagnation leads to lost business. You need to grow and to grow you need quality leads. And to get quality leads, you need to pay close attention to the five tips we covered today:
- Create quality content that makes a statement
- Make it easy for mobile users to give you their information
- Optimize your website
- Use the power of social media
- Create the perfect email
Best of luck generating leads!
Matthew is a copywriter for Aumcore, a digital marketing agency based in New York City that specializes in SEO services. He writes on a variety of topics that range from mobile and lead generation to the ever-changing trends in digital marketing.