Every business wants more leads. According to the 2018 State of Inbound survey, 69% of businesses consider converting leads into customers as a top priority. Further, 56% of North American businesses want to improve the efficiency of their sales and marketing funnels. However, 61% of those surveyed noted that generating traffic and leads are one of their biggest challenges.
Lead generation is a widely misunderstood concept, and as a result, many companies are wasting their marketing budgets on ineffective strategies. You won’t increase your leads simply by throwing money at your website. You need a comprehensive plan.
At LaFleur, we’ve spent years studying and perfecting the arts of lead generation and nurturing. Keep reading to learn about our approach.
Understand Your Clients’ Journey to Generate More Leads
Before we talk about lead generation and nurturing, let’s explore your clients’ journey through the marketing funnel. While marketing and sales professionals love to talk about funnels, many business owners, law firm partners, and healthcare providers are in the dark.
A marketing funnel describes your client’s journey from start to finish and helps frame your marketing messaging based on their stage. Whether you are buying a car, retaining a lawyer, or researching surgeons, you follow a similar process.
At the awareness stage, your potential client realizes they have a problem. For example, they may have questions after a car accident or want to alleviate their back pain. However, they may not realize that your organization offers valuable services or products that can help.
Your potential client now realizes that they might benefit from a specific service or product. Now, they start researching their options, which hopefully include your business.
At this stage in the marketing funnel, your potential client has thinned their list of potential solutions to a handful. They start exploring the details associated with each solution and company with the goal of finding their ideal provider. While they may reach out to you, they might also continue their research until they’re closer to making a purchasing decision.
Convinced by your amazing content, exceptional customer service, and raving online reviews, your potential lead reaches out to your business and becomes a client.
What Is a Lead?
Leads are people who have discovered your company but are not yet clients. In the marketing funnel, they have progressed from the awareness stage and are considering your company’s solutions.
However, unless you build a comprehensive lead nurturing and tracking strategy, you will lose opportunities to strengthen your relationship with leads and motivate them further down the funnel. According to Forrester, many leads don’t reach out to a company directly until they are two-thirds to 90% through their journey.
How Do I Attract the Right Leads?
No matter how many leads you collect, your efforts will be wasted if they’re not the right leads. Unfortunately, many marketing companies don’t focus on lead quality, leaving you to sift through all the junk to (hopefully) find a diamond or two in the rough.
At LaFleur, we know that you deserve better. Here are a few ways you can improve your lead generation strategies and tactics.
Make Sure Your Ideal Customers Can Find You Online
The foundation for any lead generation or nurturing strategy is a well-built and navigable website that is optimized for search engines and conversions. If people can’t find you online or can’t easily navigate your site, they’re not going to convert. If it’s been a while since you lasted audited your website’s user experience, SEO, and performance, this is an essential first step in your new and improved marketing plan.
We realize that most business owners don’t have the time or expertise needed to perform a deep dive on a website. You can always contact LaFleur for help if you feel overwhelmed. We love doing keyword analyses, website audits, and competitive research for our clients.
Understand Your Marketing Personas
When we meet with a new client, we typically ask them about their ideal customer. Sometimes, they reply with “everyone!” In these cases, we push harder to find out who they really want to attract and engage.
While you may have a broad customer base, you need to understand the exact pain points and motivations of your clients. Your “everyone” may really be 40-year old couples who want to build an estate plan or commercial real estate in the greater Grand Rapids area.
Build Compelling Content and Landing Pages
Now that you have a better understanding of your ideal customers, you need to use the right messaging to connect with them. This includes ads, social media posts, and blogs that speak directly to their needs and interests.
Quality content helps build trust and demonstrates your expertise as a thought leader in your space. Research shows that it’s also one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing in the long run and can help you exponentially increase website traffic and conversions.
These pages also serve another purpose. Gated content, which readers access in exchange for their contact information, can help you better track your leads and then nurture them with email drip campaigns to push them further down the sales funnel as they learn more and more about your products and services.
Fine Tune Your Paid Advertising Parameters
Did you know that many paid advertising platforms will let you refine your audience to reflect your exact personas? That’s right; you can place your ads in front of your ideal consumers based on their location, age, income, interests, and even their online behavior. And since the goal is to connect with your ideal clients, build brand awareness, and maximize your marketing ROI, paid advertising online can be an especially lucrative lead generation channel.
I Have a Ton of Leads. Now What?
Are you drowning in leads? Congratulations! Now you have the daunting task of tracking and nurturing them. At LaFleur, we streamline this process using tools like SharpSpring that deliver compelling drip campaigns and track prospect engagement.
However, while automation and AI are powerful and effective, you should also reach out to high-value leads personally. This doesn’t mean you should call them hourly or stalk them online, but making low-pressure, exploratory phone calls or sending personalized emails to the people whose business you really want can help build rapport and trust.
How Can Lead Tracking Help Me Allocate Our Marketing Budget?
Many business owners and leaders use the popular “throw it at a wall and see what sticks” marketing plan. However, doing so leads to wasted time, budget, and resources because it’s not a thoughtful, sustainable, data-driven marketing strategy.
When you track your customer’s journey down the funnel, you can identify useful trends. For example, you might be surprised to find that you get more viable leads from Facebook than LinkedIn (or vice versa). Or you may discover that your ideal clients really love blogs that include easy-to-read lists or prefer copy-dense whitepapers.
Based on your lead tracking data, you can focus on the marketing messages, platforms, and strategies that work best for you — avoiding the expense and bother of less effective or efficient options.
For example, one of our clients, Myers Law, wanted to improve their conversion rates and organic presence without breaking their budget. We carefully studied their existing marketing plan and suggested a strategy that focused on blogging, video content, and social media. These recommendations helped increase the firm’s tracked leads by 280% and reduced their cost per client to a remarkable $511.82.
LaFleur: Let’s Take Your Marketing Plan to the Next Level
Whether your business needs to create its first marketing plan or is looking for fresh perspectives to boost their stale strategy, the team at LaFleur can help. We pride ourselves on our creativity, critical thinking, and commitment to our clients.
An, M. (2019). State of inbound 2018: Global Report. Hubspot Research. Retrieved from http://www.stateofinbound.com
Wizdo, L. (2013, January 24). Accelerating revenue in a changed economy. Forrester. Retrieved from https://go.forrester.com/blogs/13-01-23-accelerating_revenue_in_a_changed_economy/