Time is moving faster than ever. Whilst the transition from blackand-white to colour television protracted over decades, the internet has developed at a phenomenal pace. Findings from content analysis leaders Worldstats reveal the internet expanded by almost 21,000% between 1995-2015; and, at this very moment,a staggering 4.1 billion people around the globe can now claim to have access to the internet.
Within the digitization era, a plethora of tools have been developed for companies to attract more and more customers with the goal of increasing sales. However marketers now have a new instrument within the industry: ‘lead generation’.Before explaining the latest strategies in generating leads, information will first be provided regarding the fundamentals of this modern approach in attracting customers and establishing a strong and enduring customer relationship.
So, what is a lead?
Marketers and salesmen have different opinions when defining a lead. A general definition of a ‘lead’, however, is as follows: ‘someone who is already affiliated within the target market of the company, such as a visitor, but showing more interest in the company when measuring their buying behavior.’ From the salesmen’s perspective, a lead is someone showing the need and willingness to buy the product, whereas marketers consider a lead to be someone who might have established this kind of buying behavior. Throughout this article we will focus more on the marketer’s perspective,and will start by explaining the most important topics.
Put simply, ‘Lead Generation’ is the process of attracting more customers in order to increase the interest and buying behavior. This is also known as converting prospects (visitors) into leads. A wide variety of tools and strategies can be used in ‘lead generation’. For now, let’s explore the themes of ‘content’ and ‘inbound marketing’ in greater depth.
The difference between content marketing and other marketing tools is the opportunity it provides in allowing companies to deliver truly relevant and valuable information through articles, blogs and videos. To be more precise, content marketing emplaces and demands a greater emphasis upon the quality of the content collected than standard marketing campaigns. Consequently, when a customer holds an interest in signing-up with a company to enjoy its products, it is far more likely that their characteristics will align to the stereotypes of the target market. This is due to the fact that they already have a favourable impression of the company after browsing the content.
On the contrary, for new customers gained via marketing campaigns, greater attention is placed upon the volume and quantity achieved. Given the reduced certainty that the customer fits within the target market, subscriptions become less valuable.
Whereas outbound marketing merely pours vast amounts of content, advertisements and promotions into the market in the hope of attracting customers, a successful application of inbound marketing ensures that visitors to the company’s website have the intention of obtaining more information. Inbound marketing ensures that customers return to their desire to engage with the company and it‘s products. This strategy is aligned to the needs and wants of the customers – and,importantly,comes at a lesser expense.
A small note: Did you know that the content marketing industry grows annually with 16% and – if current estimates continue – will be worth $412bn in 2021?
If you would like to be a part of this booming industry, the next post reveals the tools you need to start up your own content marketing campaign, and includes proven strategies, current trends and channels on which you could share your content.
How to take your leads to new heights
Due to the substantial competition within the content and inbound marketing industry, it is of the utmost importance to have a structured and robust marketing campaign before undertaking your own venture. Lead generation is divided into a number of different components: beginning as strangers before eventually evolving into promoters, enthused customers hold the potential to further promote your brand. They do this by sharing on social media and word-of-mouth advertising, neither of which necessitate any further cost on your part.
Attract thousands of visits
At first, many easily channels will need to be directed to your brand, according to the preferences of the customer. It is recommended to create 10 different channels, each with their own characteristics, such as:
- Twitter: Industry related articles
- Facebook: Status posts about the brand
- Instagram: High-quality pictures of the brand
- LinkedIn: Company Information
- Blog: Written articles within the industry
- Youtube: Promo video; tutorial
- Webinars: Greater depth info than tutorial videos
- Podcasts: Promotions via other channels
- Local events: Workshops, get2gethers
- Conferences: Networking, public speaking
Please note: While volume is important, the procurement of quality content remains the most important ingredient in determining success, given the vast amounts available both on and offline.
With the increase in new content, the customer’s attention reduces; whilst averaging at twelve seconds in 2000, this has since decreased to seven.In this short amount of time, the objective is that people will remember your brand as something unique,high quality and trustworthy – something that stands above its competitors. After creating these channels to attract more Visitors, it is now time to convert these into Leads. This is called the ‘lead generation’ process.
(Did you know that a goldfish has a longer concentration span than humans? Goldfish 9 sec. vs. Humans with 7 sec.)
Convert visitors to leads
It is time for action. A CTA button or link, situated at the end of a post or in other part oft he website, can result in a stronger relationship by exchanging information from B2C and B2B for free. The company will offer a free product, such as an ebook, document or video in exchange for their name and email address, which will strengthen the customer relationship in the long run.
When clicking on the CTA, the customer will then be directed to a landing page, where the marketer will be granted the opportunity to make direct contact with the prospective consumer. Given they are only on the landing page for a limited period, it is of paramount importance to use this time effectively! Take advantage of this, and be sure to promote additional products. It is highly recommended to keep the CTA clean and short.