Digital marketing is not a creative pursuit we do just for fun. At its core, digital marketing is a strategy used to generate leads – and if it isn’t doing that, then something is going wrong.
What is “lead generation”, exactly? Well, it can be boiled down to how we attract customers to our product, service or brand, and then carry them all the way to a confirmed sale. Without this process, a young business can quickly flounder, and a large business struggle to see profit.
Here are 5 key digital marketing rules for successful lead generation:
#1 Do Become Easier to Find
Who Is Visiting describes lead generation as, “Placing your business where the audience is looking for the best return on investment”? So where are they looking?
71% of B2B workers start their research with a generic search. That means if you are stuck on page three, four, five, or fifteen of a search engine’s results, then you are not being noticed and you are missing valuable leads.
The baby steps of digital marketing is setting up an easily-navigated website and corresponding social media pages. In order to compete with the big kids, a suitable SEO strategy needs to be put in place. In general, organic traffic (that is, website visitors from search engine results) is the biggest driver of web traffic for the majority of industries, so it is important not to squander these opportunities.
The two core aspects of climbing search engines ranks are keyword rich pages and authoritative links back to your website. Carefully consider which keywords you want to target, and then set about weaving them through your content and page titles. Also decide which websites you think you could reach out to – relevant contact directories can be very helpful for getting your name out there, and lots of blogs are looking for insightful expertise from industry leaders to publish.
#2 Do Not Publish Boring Content
Speaking of content, you should make sure that what you are putting out into the world is actually worth reading. While keyword rich content is good for your SEO, it should definitely not exist simply to be read by search engines instead of humans. If your content is not well-written and informative, scrap it.
When deciding what to publish, think about the questions or problems your audience has and attempt to respond to them. You want to position your company as a thought leader in your industry. This will help people trust your brand and believe in what you are selling.
You might release some research your company has conducted, a thoughtful article about the state of your industry or a few help how-to guides. The only rule to your content is that it is of high quality.
#3 Do Connect with Your Audience Personally
To sell to your audience, you need to understand them. What do they value? What kind of sense of humor do they have? What sort of things are they struggling with, and what can you be there to help with? Even taking the time to consider what time they will be most likely on social media, or likely to open your email can make all the difference between clicks and misses.
Once your messaging is correct, you can look at other ways to get more personal with your digital marketing.
For example, social media and websites are well and good, but it has become apparent that reaching your audience in their inboxes is key to generating leads. Campaign Monitor even went as far as to say that for every $1 sent, email marketing has a return of $38. Whenever A/B testing was introduced, ROI could be increased by 49%.
#4 Do Learn from Your Data
A/B testing is also exceedingly useful for learning about your audience and applying it to future campaigns. If you want to generate leads, it’s crucial to learn from the data you have.
First of all, you should make sure you have a system in place to gather data about your digital marketing efforts. Google Analytics can tell you how well your blog posts are doing, and social media platforms are excellent at reviewing the success of both your organic and sponsored posts. If you want to review your SEO performance, you may need to invest in a paid platform in order to get a more thorough report on how your efforts are paying off.
Then, review the data. Analyzing the performance of individual articles, advertising campaigns and other strategies can make all the difference to your future endeavors.
For example, you might realize that most of your traffic is coming from a specific social media platform and so invest for heavily in advertising there, instead of spreading it more thinly around under-performing platforms. Alternatively, you may see that there are plenty of people visiting a particular how-to style article, but the bounce rate is quite high. That could be a sign that your article has all the right keywords, but is not a well written piece and could be in need of sprucing up before customers will take your brand seriously.
#5 Do Not Make Purchases Difficult
If you have brought your potential customers from being oblivious to your brand to actively wanting to buy from it then do not lose them at that critical stage.
Firstly, you want your website to be straightforward and easily readable so that when someone is ready to buy from you, they know exactly how to. Do not hide checkouts or order forms in strange phrases and company-specific lingo, or even fancy design. Make this part as straightforward as possible.
Secondly, don’t forget the call to action in your copy. If you have a new product launched on your social media, don’t forget to ask people to check it out and tell them where they can buy it. If you want more people to subscribe to your newsletter, ask them to, and give them the link where they can do it. Lead your customers.
It should also be noted that when it comes to submission fields for entering, for example, credit card details, make this as simple as possible. If a potential customer cannot confirm an order because their card number didn’t include a space, or postcode didn’t capitalize letters, you could lose them in the confusion.
It is essential that your digital marketing produces the results you are searching for. Otherwise, it is a mere exercise in creativity, and one which is too expensive and time-consuming to justify. Demand more of your content, connect with your audience and learn from both your triumphs and your failings, and you should begin to see more successful lead generation.