Top Lead Generation Practices for Marketers in 2016

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Lead generation is a main focus of marketers everywhere, but it is not an easy task. In a recent article, it was reported that 84% of marketers say that their lead generation strategies are not sufficient with their goalsThere are constantly changes in the way consumers interact with brands, and with that comes challenges in adapting lead generating techniques. With that said, there are many tools to help companies achieve their goals, including referral programs, well designed landing pages, and interactive content.

A lead is someone who has indicated some form of interest in your company. The process that leads up to the initial interaction, that includes attracting potential customers and transitioning them into buyers, is the process of lead generation. This is a multi faceted process and requires marketers to be active in many avenues of the generation process.

Here are some of the tools and practices that are important for marketers to use to generate leads in the modern marketing landscape:

Content Marketing: A good content marketing strategy, comprised of blogs, webinars, and other storytelling methods can do wonders for companies who are stuggling to obtain leads. Studies have shown that marketers who blog receive 67% more leads than those who don't. Carrying out a well crafted content marketing strategy paired with thourough market research will put your marketing team in good position to recieve qualified inbound leads. By creating useful content, you will build trust and loyalty with your readers, and if they are in the market for your product or service, they will think of your company. It's important to remember to place a call to action within your content, as it will allow visitors who want to learn more to either create an account, sign up for a newsletter, or submit a request for contact. This is key if you want to convert readers into leads.

Interactive Content: It is difficult to attract new visitors to your site. It is also hard to engage them once they get there. One tool that can help in this regard is interactive content, such as interactive polls, brackets, lists, or quizzes. These content types can really captivate the attention of your consumers through highly visual interfaces and gamification, making the interaction more meaningful and making the visitor more likely to become a lead. Additionally, interactive content types allow you to obtain information about them. By filling out a fun poll or quiz they are giving you insight into their preferences. Additionally, you have the option to insert a pre or post action email capture, meaning your content can do lead generation work for you. For example take M&M Meats, the largest specialty frozen food store chain in Canada. M&M ran a bracket campaign allowed people to vote on their favorite foods items. To incentivize participation, they offered a $500 prize package to one lucky participant. As you can see below, M&M required participants to sign up before they could vote and be eligible to win the prize. This enabled them to generate large numbers of leads through the email capture that occurred during registration. With the campaign, M&M saw a 29% conversion rate and thousands of entries within the first week of the campaign. 
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Referral Programs: Referral programs are a great way to turn one lead into many. Word of mouth is often the best method of marketing your brand, so instituting a program that incentivizes people to do so can do wonders for lead acquisition and conversion. It is important that your referral program is well constructed and that you can convert the referred visitors into costumers, otherwise your money is wasted with nothing to show for it. One example of a company that effectively built their user base through referrals is Uber, the ridesharing mobile app. Uber used the power of referrals to build a massive pool of clients and drivers. They did this by offering a large discount on the first ride for the new rider and a discount for everyone who referred someone. This allowed first time users to realize the convenience of the service and incentives user to invite as many friends as they can.Uber-Referral-1.png

Well Designed Landing Pages: A good landing page is the difference between a page visit and a new lead. A landing page that does not have a smooth experience or does not clearly and concisely convey the value of your product will negate all the hard work you put into attracting that visitor to your site. Additionally, your landing pages needs a clear call to action, so visitors to your site do not need to jump through any hoops to be able to get more information on your company and it's products. For example, look at the page below from Unbounce. If someone arrives already knowing what Unbounce offers, they do not have to hunt for how to get started, there is a clear path to with their "get started now" call to action. On the other hand, if you have no idea what Unbounce offers, there is clear and concise explanation below that allows the visitor to learn about the company.unbounce-landing-page-example.png

Conclusion

Today, navigating the lead generation landscape can be tough, but taking advantage of the resources available to modern marketers will allow you to make strides in you marketing goals. Taking appropriate steps to attract and convert your visitors will be telling of your success going forward, and paying attention to the trends in lead aqusition will help you meet the demands of the ever changing market.

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