Top ten tips on how to generate leads and build a successful business

For a marketer, success is defined by the quality and quantity of leads generated. Yet, with only 1 in 10 marketers viewing their lead generation campaigns as effective, what the Facebook is going on?

If you’re tired of stumbling around in the dark, here are our top 10 tips on how to generate leads and make your business thrive!

1)Target specific buyer personas

In order to generate good quality leads, it’s vital that you (and your business as a whole) properly understand who your ideal customer is. This means breaking down the types of customers you want to attract into comprehensible buyer personas, which you can then use to tailor your content and approach.

For each type of buyer you are trying to capture, your buyer persona should contain…

  • Work and family info
  • Demographic details – job, gender skew, age, income, etc.
  • General demeanour and outlook
  • Communication preferences
  • Goals and ambitions
  • Challenges they face
  • Persona name – i.e. Traveller Tom

Collating as much of this information as possible, and even including real world quotes from strong examples of the type of buyer you are trying to capture, will allow you to hone your content production, speaking in an appropriate tone and manner for this type of customer, and offering real solutions to their real problems.

2) Create offers for different buying stages

Due to the amount of information online, consumers now research and buy in a whole new way. Every prospect will be met at a unique stage of their buying journey, and the offers you create need to reflect this.

Someone who’s just getting started on their journey will be more interested in an informational piece; a guide, an eBook, that sort of thing. Alternatively, someone who’s done their research and is well on the way towards purchase, will get more excited by a free trial or demo.

It’s important not to confuse your offers, so create a selection to cater for each stage of the buyers’ journey.

3) Use high value lead conversion offers

Not all offers are created equal. In terms of lead generation, some formats far outperform others, and knowing how and when to implement each kind is vital to marketing success.

The following is a list (in order of performance) of the types of offer that generate the most leads…

  • Ebooks or Guides
  • Templates or Presentations
  • Research & Reports
  • Whitepapers
  • Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
  • Live Webinars
  • On-demand Videos
  • Blog (including nav or sidebar offers)
  • Blog posts (Inc. a call-to-action)
  • Demo Requests

Using this insight, alongside your specific buyer personas, you can tailor the offers you create to stand out amongst your competitors, increasing your lead generation and ultimately your sales. But remember, it’s important to test which offers speak specifically to your audience, while these are generally the top performing content types, you may find that others work better for you.

4) Use dedicated landing pages

Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation. According to MarketingSherpa’s research, landing pages are effective for 94% of B2B and B2C companies, as they direct your visitors down a tunnel to one specific offer, without the distractions of everything else on your website.

Although a minor touch, using dedicated landing pages in this way can make a huge difference to your lead conversion rates. Calls-to-action should send visitors to a landing page where they can access the offer you are presenting, using a CTA for anything else is a wasted opportunity.

5) Use the right form length

When it comes to the length of the form, think about the value of the content that you are offering in return. The more valuable the insights are for your audience the more willing they’ll be to provide a few extra details.

However, there’s no magic answer when it comes to getting the length of your form just right. In general, the best approach is to…

  • Keep it quick and simple
  • Include no unnecessary questions
  • Match form length to value offered

Overall, the fewer fields you have, the more likely you are to convert. Visitors can be hesitant about offering their information, so making the form quick and simple is always going to be more effective.

Nonetheless, in certain situations asking for more information can be a good thing, as the leads it does generate will be of a higher quality. It’s all about finding a balance between quality and quantity, and showing an understanding of your audience, and where they are in their buyer journey.

6) Use clear call-to-actions

An unclear or unwelcoming call-to-action can make or break the conversion process. Simply getting the placement and wording right, can have a huge effect on your lead generation.

No one wants to ‘submit’ to something, and default labels are boring and ineffective, but a direct and clear call-to-action, placed where the eye will naturally land, is a big winner.

The key is to tailor your CTAs to the offer type and the desired action. If the form is to download a brochure kit, the CTA button should read, ‘Get your brochure kit’, or ‘Download your brochure kit’. Once you’ve got the wording right, CTAs can be intelligently placed in

  • product pages
  • display ads
  • email
  • social media
  • direct mail
  • and pretty much anywhere else you can market your offer…

Simply make it large enough, bold enough, colourful enough and button-y enough to be quickly seen and engaged with on the page, and that’s all there is to it!

7) A/b testing

When done correctly, A/B testing can offer a huge competitive edge to your company. It is a way of testing aspects of your online presence, one by one, to see which variants are working well and which are ineffective.

The easiest way to start is by testing two versions of your email, choosing one specific change per test. That could be the subject line, the position of the CTA, or whatever. Using the results you can optimise how your email works for your business.

Beyond this, you can test layouts, sizes, spacing, wording, buyer persona details, and anything else you can think of to create the perfect experience for your visitors; resulting in an exquisite combination of user friendliness and lead generation performance.

8) Email Marketing

Email marketing isn’t known for its lead generation potential, however, there are a few ways email can be used to generate new leads, whilst still performing as a channel of communication with existing prospects and customers.

First, you need to focus on an opt-in strategy. Buying mail lists or spamming, just isn’t chill. And your deliverability could take a hit with ISPs and email providers. Even if your content makes it through, people will quickly unsubscribe, and your company name will be dragged through the virtual mud.

To make email work as a lead generation tool, you need happy subscribers that enjoy and value your emails.

Sending valuable offers – whether it’s downloads, discounts or educational content – will encourage people to share your emails with their friends or colleagues. In case they do want to share, be sure to include a ‘forward to a friend’ link, or social media sharing buttons, to make it easy for them to do so.

9) Social Media

For a business, social media is so much more than cat memes and SFW lists of generic yet somehow categorised mischief. It is an ever-growing space that harbours unlimited potential for engaging with new prospects. Knowing how to use this space effectively is a different story entirely. Here are some tips…

  • Focus on building a loyal following. Aim for person-to-person, rather than company-to-person relationships.
  • Don’t shout about how good you are, again, that’s just not chill. Remember, social media is a dialogue with interaction being key to getting the most out of it.
  • When you share, don’t always post something that relates to your company. Share links to other interesting things you’ve found online. You’ll build trust, heighten your reputation and people will be thankful you are noticing their work.
  • Publish and share content that directs traffic to targeted landing pages. This is the single biggest lever to increase lead generation on social media. By sharing blog posts, engaging discounts (DISCO NUTS!) and new content offers (including links to landing pages) your presence online will quickly grow, and your lead generation will boom.

10) Organic Search

While a strong social presence is key, it’s equally important to make your landing pages stand out on search engines. To do this, you need to get your head around search engine optimisation (SEO). In short, here’s what you need to do to: 

  • Pick a primary keyword for each landing page, and optimise that specific page for that word
  • Place primary keywords in your headline and sub-headline
  • Include keywords in the body text, making sure to use them in context
  • Include Keywords in the ALT tag or file name of any images used
  • Include keywords in the page URL

The keyword of this section has been ‘keywords’. If you get this process right, and target realistic keywords (without overdoing it like funny old me), you’ll be generating new leads from all angles.

With funky content and offers tailored for buyers with personas on journeys, handed to them through well worded CTAs defined by the systematic testing of A against B and B against A, with pages on which to land with forms of just the right length, with well-meaning social relationships and keywords keywords keywords…

The potential of the online space for lead generation is vast, and getting it right across the board has the power to transform your marketing priorities and your business. Using great offers, calls-to-action, landing pages and forms – while promoting them in multi-channel environments – can reduce your cost-per-lead, while delivering higher quality prospects to your sales team.

The is just the beginning. Once underway, you can continue to tweak and test each step of your inbound lead generation process and ultimately master the online space.