Are you focusing on Lead Generation?  Do your in-house marketers really understand Lead Generation?  Does your agency?

The company president advised me, “we’ve had 2 agencies in the last 18 months . . . the first was a design firm.  They did great design, but they couldn’t deliver on the words.”

“I told the second agency I needed a smart strategy — they assured me they were great with strategy.  But as we started to work together, they had no strategy.”

What this client actually needed was an agency who understood Lead Generation — and how to get maximum value from every visitor.  He needed to create some logical “Lead Generation Paths” to tie all of his marketing efforts together.

Step 1:  Make Every “Traffic-Driving” Effort Part of a Lead Generation Path

For each marketing activity that drives traffic, how can you tie that activity into a Lead Generation Path?

THE SEO LEAD GENERATION PATH

If you’re doing SEO, how are you measuring its success?  lead-gen-1

Increases in Organic traffic — and increases in number of pages visited, time on site, and decreases in bounce rate (from Organic traffic) — help indicate your keywords are drawing the right audience, and your pages are meeting that audience’s needs.  But what’s your plan for converting that SEO-driven traffic?

Appropriate Offer on each page of your website — do you have this?

Are you hiding your white paper or checklist or special industry report or worksheet so visitors have to search for them?   Most visitors won’t — so don’t stop your SEO efforts at traffic.

Encourage Organic traffic to convert — by including an appropriate Offer on EVERY page of your website that could logically appear in Organic search  listings.

THE PPC LEAD GENERATION PATH

The Lead Generation Path for Pay-Per-Click advertising efforts is similar:

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THE SOCIAL MEDIA LEAD GENERATION PATH

It’s amazing that a significant number of marketers and business owners still question the value of Social Media.  Maybe that’s because they don’t understand social media’s role in the Lead Generation Path:
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On Social Media, you need to attract an audience — by posting useful information.

The more valuable or intriguing your posts, the faster your audience grows.  As your audience grows, each of your future marketing efforts gains an expanded reach.

Social media is NOT just for consumer products.  B2B is driving traffic and leads successfully through Social Media.

Yes, LinkedIn is very useful for this — but surprisingly, many B2B clients are driving the bulk of their Social Media traffic from Facebook (!).

And don’t forget to use Social Media Updates to promote your Offers (so you could have at least 2 different Social Media Lead Generation Paths).

Step 2:  Craft a Low Commitment Offer to Reach Prospects at Early Buying-Stages

Obviously, the Offer in each of these Lead Generation Paths is KEY.  And this is where useful Content can become an effective Offer.

A Low Commitment Offer is an easy Offer for your audience to take advantage of.  It requires little effort on their part — typically just providing some basic contact information.  The easier you can make it for your audience to take advantage of your Offer, the more leads you’ll generate. (Concerned about Lead Quality?  Be sure your Content Offer is something tailored specifically to your audience.)

What kind of Offer should you make?

Most companies focus on the “middle” Buying Stage — when the prospect has already figured out what type of solution they need, and are just comparing options.  But focusing here misses a HUGE OPPORTUNITY to reach prospects early in the process.

Ad Age reported that 43% of B2B buyers have already decided what they’re going to buy and who to buy from before they contact any vendor.  (June 2014)

If you’re relying on your CONTACT US or REQUEST A DEMO to generate leads, you’re missing at least 43% of your audience.

So how can you reach your audience at an Early Buying Stage?  Create an Offer that helps them determine what type of solution they need to solve their problem.

For my business-owner client who couldn’t find an agency who knew how to solve his Lead Generation problem, a white paper like this might have been helpful:

 “Why Your Website Isn’t Generating More Leads”

This type of Offer could have steered him toward the TYPE of solution he needed — a Lead Generation agency. And it may identify those companies EARLY in their agency search.

Step 3:  Use Email to Nurture Your Leads (and Prepare Them to Talk to Sales)

Email performs the heavy lifting in lead conversion.  Email is where you prove your expertise, build your credibility, and educate your prospects about the benefits your solution offers.

A smart email series will also deliver Next-Stage Offers — so those ready to take the next step and talk to Sales are easily identified.

Are there other Lead Generation Paths you’re using?

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