GUIDE THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO A LEAN, MEAN, LEAD GEN MACHINE. How to make online lead generation work for your business. Firstbase

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1 GUIDE THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO A LEAN, MEAN, LEAD GEN MACHINE How to make online lead generation work for your business Firstbase

2 INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION In today s digital world, online lead generation is crucial for every business. While traditional routes like customer referrals, trade shows or telemarketing still have a place in the mosaic, the right online strategy is a cost-effective way to send lead gen skyrocketing. That s a good thing, because most marketers are unhappy with the status quo. A recent study found that only one in ten marketers believe they have an effective approach to lead gen and more than half thought their efforts were underperforming. So, if you re ready to learn how to build the ultimate approach to online lead gen, read on.

3 1. SEARCH - BE FOUND Pay per click (PPC) and search engine optimisation (SEO) should be the starting points for marketing your business online; search tops the charts for lead gen in 9 out of 10 industries according to recent figures. First off, survey the scene. Understand what you re selling and the audience you re selling it to. Monitor what competitors, or competing products, are doing online. Then use free tools, like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Wordtracker, to isolate high-performing terms. If possible, stick with highly targeted search terms of three words or more not only will this generate higher quality leads, it also reduces the competition. You ll then be in a great position to build content around your keywords so your brand is front and centre when customers go looking for information.

4 2. DEVELOP THE RIGHT CONTENT Motivate prospects to reveal their identity with compelling content and you ll add fresh, self-selected contacts to your online lead gen programme. Above all, make content useful and relevant avoid piling on those sales messages! Modern buyers have become experts at filtering out the constant racket of sales promotions and advertising, making it harder than ever to achieve cut through with your messages. Today, bombarding audiences with marketing is more likely to cause aversion and apathy than lead gen. You need to create content that understands who prospects are, what they need, their position in the buyer journey and how they found your business to begin with. We recommend developing buyer personas based on varying customer challenges, behaviours and influences. Next, think about the best format: are you targeting busy CEOs that prefer bite-size videos and blogs, or single-remit employees that need a detailed whitepaper on one challenge? SAY WHAT? Just because you want to say it, doesn t mean your audience wants to hear it: Avoid bombarding prospects with sales messages. Base content on your prospect s needs, not yours. Tell your audience something they don t already know. By building landing pages across your channels, you can easily gate content Don t crush your prospects under a and guarantee a measurable pipeline of landslide of automated engagement. inbound leads. Of course, demanding If there s market resistance to your details when a prospect first clicksthrough might halt engagement then quo with unbranded content. brand, consider loosening the status and there. Make sure that the content you re sharing is valuable enough for potential customers to part with their information a whitepaper may well be, but that 60 second video probably isn t. Your specific acquisition strategy should align to your business goals, the prospects you re targeting and the content on offer. Many organisations will want to take customers on a journey to capture strong sales leads, but prospect acquisition can be as quick as one click. And finally, content should be so engaging that people want to share it with others - so make it easy to do so with social integration.

5 3. & AUTOMATION Once you have a high-quality content pipeline flowing, timing is everything. Combine your content with marketing automation to ensure relevant messages are put under a prospect s nose at just the right moment. is still one of the best channels out there: Experian found that every $1 invested in marketing yields a return of $ Just keep them short, to the point, and clear in their call to action. Using images and design is also a great way to help readers understand your message quickly. Marketing automation offers an unprecedented level of targeting and personalisation, ensuring a consistent flow of qualified leads with minimal need for manual data handling. In fact, automation can deliver an enormous 53% uplift in marketing qualified leads. But beware, marketing automation should support a personalised and strategic approach, not just spam more content to more people, more often. From the ability to automatically trigger s or social posts, to tailoring content on your website for a specific viewer, these tools must be used with care. MARKETING AUTOMATION Improve targeting and personalisation, ensuring a consistent flow of qualified leads with minimal need for manual data handling. ANALYTICS Enable higher conversion and visibility into content performance, so your approach to lead gen can constantly be tweaked and improved. CONTENT OPTIMISATION Be found in search and social channels, ensuring your brand is front and centre when customers go looking.

6 4. BE SOCIAL From Facebook to Pinterest, there are plenty of social options out there for lead gen. Which is best depends on your business, but HubSpot recently found LinkedIn to be an outstanding performer. Traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor to lead conversion rate amongst HubSpot customers (2.74%) - almost three times higher than Twitter and Facebook. The advantages of an audience that s actively engaging with you, rather than passively listening to your messages, are enormous creating a stronger pipeline of better quality, better qualified leads. Once again, avoid the hard sell and try to solve the challenges your customers are facing. LinkedIn Groups can provide concentrated access to buyers by location, profession or problem - allowing you to tailor your approach accordingly. Relevant, shareable content is the key here: infographics, quick tips and mini-case studies can all work brilliantly. A simple way to assess the success of your social campaigns is monitoring website conversions. Marketers can measure the referral traffic back to a brand s website using Google Analytics and track conversions from these visits - understanding who clicked, shared or commented on content. SOCIAL SUCCESS 89% of IT buyers want educational content and will soon look to social media as the single most important content source to in form their buying decisions (IDG) General Electric is using Pinterest to share photos and other content, attracting over 17,000 followers to date. Cisco has already built a huge following on YouTube with 97,000 subscribers and a reg ular stream of informative content like Q&As, presentations and product demos.

7 5. MAKE THE WEB WORK FOR YOU Whether you re building a complete website or a one-off landing page, it s essential to optimise for the right keywords. And since potential buyers can land anywhere (thanks to search) include contact information across your site to make it easy for prospects to get in touch. And don t forget the mobile web. Today, 75% of UK adults own a smartphone and the average person will compulsively check theirs 110 times a day. B2B prospects are no different, spending nearly two full days a month on their smartphones. Consider responsive web design that automatically adjusts to the device your audiences are using to ensure a congruent content experience across all your digital channels. Content-wise, mobile lends itself to quick, low-friction actions. Short-form content like bite-sized blogs, videos or infographics are your best bet given smaller screen sizes. Forget trying to make that 10,000 word whitepaper readable on mobile!

8 HAS IT CLICKED YET? Online lead gen is a fluid process; paying attention, analysing your results and adjusting strategies is crucial to maximise ROI. Test different approaches to find the one that works for you. Set clear, measureable KPIs at every stage and ensure you are ready to track click-throughs and other crucial metrics as buyers engage with you online. To learn more about how content marketing can revolutionise your approach to lead gen, drop us a line at:

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