Arguably, lead generation is the most important thing we do in marketing. It’s the fuel to the (hypothetical) fire that is financial success.
All roads lead to Rome, as they say, and in marketing, Rome is lead generation. The roads are content, SEO, advertising, brand building etc – but all ultimately with the goal of gaining customers or donations, or whatever it is the business needs to keep going.
As with most other important things, lead generation is probably the single biggest challenge in marketing, and businesses in general. Don’t just take my word for it though, lead and traffic generation was cited as the biggest challenge for marketers in the 2020 Marketer’s Survey.
At LikeMind Media, we integrate technology all through the content creation process and beyond. Each step adds value, and ultimately that helps potential customers decide whether you’re the right choice for them.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple recipe to gaining new customers? Sadly, that’s not the case. It’s more of a mix and match scenario, where you need to find what suits you and your business, often through a process of trial and error. That said, there is a lot you can do to narrow down the amount of guesswork needed. For starters, you should always conduct research before launching a new campaign. In terms of the topics I’m talking about here, I’d recommend covering the following as a minimum:
Research to generate your ideal customer persona is an essential part of knowing your audience and should cover two areas: your existing clients and your preferred clients, because sometimes they’re not the same thing. Starting with your existing clients, look into who they are, what they like and what they want. Consider the things about your clients that make them ideal for your business, and the things that don’t.
Use this to brainstorm what your ideal client would like. How would they interact with your business? What experience would they have? Put it all together and voila, you have a persona to base your campaign on.
As you generate your content, always keep your customer persona in mind.
No matter how much of an expert you are on a subject, your guesses are no substitute for data. Discovery tools such as BuzzSumo can give you everything you need to know about what’s hot right now and how people are engaging with content. As well as giving you insights into how existing content is being used, it can also suggest content ideas that you can go away with and create.
Choose topics you have a good amount of knowledge about, where you can add value to the audience. Low competition but high searches is the ideal combination, giving you the chance to get in front of lots of people.
Other tools to check out for content ideas and keyword research are:
Once you’ve done your research, and analysed it to create an idea or topic to base your content on, creating a content plan will make sure it reaches its full potential.
If, like me, you prefer to write your longest piece of content (eg a blog) first, then you create smaller nuggets of content from that. Take this blog you’re reading as an example. It will likely become an infographic, an email and some social media posts. I could also use it to generate a video or expand it out to create an eBook. Another out-of-the-box idea is an audio recording – they’re accessible and make it easy for people to listen along to while doing they’re day-to-day work.
You can listen to an example of an audio blog here.
You might be wondering what this has to do with technology and lead generation. Well, almost all the types of content I suggested above are possible because of software designed to make your content-creating life easier.
To use video as an example, depending on the type of content you want to make, there’s a tool out there to help. If you’re a dab hand at video editing, there’s an array of professional tools at your fingertips such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro that give you huge amounts of freedom to create and edit as you wish.
For someone who’s not a video-making wizard or wants a quick and easy video from scratch, I’d recommend Biteable, one of the platforms we use at LikeMind Media. They have a ton of templates to get you started and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. We’ve even got a blog explaining how to use Biteable.
If you’re creating a video directly from your blog content, you might also want to check out Lumen5. They do the hard work for you by automatically generating a video from your blog URL, all you need to do is amend it to get it exactly right.
I’m getting to the bit where all this effort this makes you money, I promise.
Once you have your lovely piece of content, you need to get it in front of people. The type of content you’ve made will determine how you promote it and how easy it will be to access. Typically, shorter, lower-value pieces of content can be shared openly on your website and on social media without any restrictions. However, high-value content such as whitepapers, webinars etc can be gated to generate the leads you’re looking for.
Landing pages are an essential part of generating leads from your content. Making sure they have enough information to pull your audience in – but not too much, so that there’s no need to download – is a fine balance, especially with gated content.
Leadpages is a brilliant platform for creating landing pages for both gated and ungated content. The ability to drag and drop widgets makes it so easy to design a page that directs your audience to the content you want them to download. When that content required details to fill out, you can get that information straight to your inbox.
So, what if your content isn’t gated? How can that be used to generate leads?
That’s where our lovely partners at Leadfeeder come in: their platform shows you the companies visiting your website, how they found you and what they’re interested in. Not only can they identify the companies looking at your website or content download page, but they can qualify your leads using the filters you’ve set from your customer persona data. (See, I told you this all linked together).
Leadfeeder suggests the best person to connect with based on their information and integrates with your CRM to send you leads. Easy peasy.
You can also use that data to plan more content that generates even more leads.
To sum everything up in a nutshell: if you use great technology to create great content, people will come, and you can use even more great technology to capture leads.
Technology is a core part of our strategies at LikeMind Media, from research to content creation and promotion to reporting. Speak to us about how we can create a technology-driven marketing strategy for your business.