There is simply no overstating the significance of online lead generation for all companies looking to enhance their B2B strategy. Nobody likes a company who relies on bullying potential customers and those who would have no intention of becoming a potential customer through a bombardment of telemarketing calls. Without garnering intelligent leads a company can spend vast sums on inbound marketing, advertising and other more hopeful forms of attracting customers. The hallmark of a successful online lead generation campaign is finding the right blend of promotion and brand awareness. But how to begin?
Firstly, we need to clarify that the goals of online lead generation are usually twofold.
- Increase traffic to a company’s website
- Increase the conversion rate of visitors to a company’s website
The first goal is often easy to achieve, but without plenty of wit and forethought can come to the detriment of the second.
One great way of beginning the battle to increase conversion rates is through A/B Testing, especially with regard to any Call To Actions (CTAs), which are a vital tool for online lead generation. Many companies fail to properly analyse the behaviour of visitors to their website and the rewards for such testing can often represent the difference between success and failure. For instance, research has shown that using the CTA ‘submit’ results in significantly less clicks than other terms such as ‘Contact Us’ and that ‘click here’ and ‘go’ are the top performing CTAs. By testing two or three versions of the same website, perhaps also experimenting with different colours and fonts for the CTAs you would begin to get a grasp of what works and what does not. It is important to make only one change at a time, however as otherwise you won’t know what it is that is making the difference. Also, be aware that this is just one (very effective) tool in the vital quest to understand your customer base.
Use Lead Generation Software
Lead generation software, based on IP address tracking, is aimed at providing the subscriber with invaluable information in the form of a back-dated story of who is visiting their site, where they are from and what they are looking for. Using such software enables the company to target those businesses with tailor-made follow up calls or emails instead of calling blind. This has been proven to be a highly successful strategy for many businesses the world over.
Use Reviews, Case Studies (Social Proof)
There is, perhaps little more important in the contemporary online lead generation field than social proof. Most of us wouldn’t even set foot in a restaurant these days without checking out peer reviews on the likes of TripAdvisor. The same is becoming true in all industry and presenting success stories clearly, boldly and confidently on your website is an absolute must, along with linking to any popular review sites on which your company is positively featured.
Use Social Media
Research has shown that social media has reduced marketing costs for 45% of companies. These are figures that simply cannot be ignored. A well-organised and efficient social media strategy is simply a must.
Here are some tips to get started on the right path to using social media for online lead generation.
- Use multiple channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc.) but do not bite off more than you can chew. Better to do two outlets well, than three or four half-heartedly
- It can seem a long road, but social media is a long term strategy
- Use hashtags to your advantage. They are the equivalent of SEO keywords in the social media world. Knowing your customers’ habits, problems and desires through lead generation software will help to this end
- Create a warm community and a consistent and idiosyncratic ‘company voice’
- Monitor the results of your tweets, posts etc. What works, what does not?
These four distinct areas are more than enough to make a positive start to your online lead generation campaign.