The 3 Stages of Lead Generation for Your Business
Following a lead generation strategy is important for ensuring a pipeline of potential customers to your business. There are a range of various lead generation strategies which can be used to bring opportunities to your business whether that be business to customer or business to business outreach.
At TheCut360 we believe that there are 3 broad areas on which an overall lead generation strategy can be based on: Acquire, Engage and Convert. Within these three areas, are further techniques which can be further identified and applied. We will concentrate on these 3 broad categories and in later posts provide a breakdown of techniques which can be used within each lead generation category.
This is the first stage in a lead generation strategy; attracting traffic to your website. There are two ways to do this: free and paid acquisition strategies.
Free Customer Acquisition Strategies (attracting web traffic)
Publishing content for free on your website should be the first option. Ideas for blog posts include product or service comparisons, publishing a useful customer checklist, answering common questions about your industry, service, or product, presenting showcases about features of your service or products, industry trends.
Blog posts can also be ‘re-packaged’ and posted on your social media profiles in ‘byte sized’ chunks. Posting blog content is also important for SEO (search engine optimisation) meaning that the search engines will crawl and index your website. If the blog post is also posted to social media and is deemed relevant and useful to searchers, then there is a chance the post will also be indexed and crawled by search engines which means that content published via your blog is available in search results.
The more quality content posted, the higher possibility that posts will generate backlinks (enabling other web properties to link back to original content) which is therefore in turn a vote of confidence in the authority of the website. The number of quality backlinks in turn increases the chance of a website being found in the search results. Posting quality and useful blog content regularly is important for SEO and if that content mirrors what users are searching for then that is a bonus.
Free Social Media Posting
Start with all suitable free options and then consider using paid social media and advertising options.
Free options are the easier and available choice to start with and should be used for ‘seeding’ the internet with posts about your business, services, products, and other associated content that will be useful to a potential customer group. This includes posting on any social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.
Social media posting can be important for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) because content posted via social media can be available for Search engines such as Google and Bing to crawl and index.
Although the search engines do not use social media shares, follower count, number of likes per post as ranking identifiers for SEO, the search engines do index relevant social media content which is why it is important to post the right type of content to social media regularly.
Relevancy of Your Social Media Content
If the content posted on social media will be of use to a person searching for a solution via one of the search engines and has attracted a lot of engagement and therefore has been shared, there is good possibility that it may be indexed by search engines. It is because of that engagement pushed by the social factor which increases the chance of a post being indexed by search engines especially if that content is regarded as highly relevant to searchers and has attracted a number of backlinks.
As with blog posting, posting to social media regularly is also important as it helps builds backlinks and the more quality backlinks generated, the more authority a website gains. Not all social media posts will be indexed – the post content should hold some type of relevancy which the search engines consider as important, relevant, and useful to searchers.
The Cost of Free
Free is free – the cost of free social media posting is time but posting intermittently without a posting or content strategy even when posting for free can waste time and opportunity if there is no strategy behind what is being posted.
Setting up a schedule for what is to be posted, sourcing or creating any images required and using a scheduler such as Buffer or Hootsuite which both have free plans can free up time by allowing a planned posting campaign in one chunk and scheduling posts regularly.
Once a regular posting schedule is running, carry out a review of the performance of each post such as follower stats, engagement, comments, number of followers.
Paid Social Media Advertising (PPC)
Such paid social media options include pay per click (PPC) advertising. The benefits of PPC are that a budget can be set, and the performance of the PPC advertising campaign can be closely monitored. By seeing how much is paid per click each time a paid advertising campaign is clicked on, the performance and cost of a campaign can be easily tracked.
The benefits of a paid social media campaign are that potential customers can easily be targeted, profiled, and segmented, social media reach can be increased more than with organic posting (as organic posts are designed to have less reach) and paid posts have more reach because of the targeting opportunities presented. Paid PPC advertising will further boost awareness of your business because that is what PPC is designed to do – increase reach to an audience that organic social media posting or blog posting would not otherwise reach. Specially prepared content which is suitable for paid promotion to a targeted audience is likely to perform better and your content in a paid campaign is available to mobile users.
Funnelling Leads from Paid Per Click Advertising
A Pay Per Click campaign will have a main call to action. Calls to action (CTAs) are the signallers that are used to convert visitors who have engaged with a paid advertising campaign. Again, the objective is to get visitors to your website via a call to action and to convert them into leads and then customers.
Some examples of Calls to Action are:
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The Engagement Stage
Engaging visitors or users to your website is key to increasing your online customer base. Allowing potential customers to read a blog post, enter a giveaway/competition or opt-in for information updates is the first step in converting visitors to buyers.
Driving traffic to a website is the first part of lead generation. Once on the website or social media platform allowing the visitor to engage either via comments, liking a post or following a social media profile is important. However, the main objective is to get visitors to your website, for them to sign up for a newsletter, read content, testimonials, case studies, engage with blog posts, complete an interest, or contact form, and have them ask questions about the business, website, or product.
If visitors see a value in what is being offered, they will tend to revisit the site and/or social media profile and share content. The higher level of engagement, the higher chance that these engaged visitors or users will become customers.
How a visitor engages with your website, social media channels and associated marketing assets such as paid advertising campaigns is important. Engagement can be measured through any number of visitor actions such as reading a blog post on your site or social media channel, using one of your coupons to purchase a product or service, consuming online content about your business via social media, signing up for a trial, responding to paid advertising campaigns, entering competitions and giveaways, filling out a survey, signing up for a newsletter, filling out a contact form or interest form.
Types of User or Visitor Engagement
Types of visitor or user engagement include the following:
Reading Website Content
This can be content hosted included the site such as information about the business, service, product, FAQs, blog posts. An interested and engaged user will click through the site to download, complete a contact, or interest form and ask questions. An interested and engaged visitor or user will spend time on the site and will make a decision as to whether what is being offered meets their needs and influences them to buy or sign up for updates.
Generating a case study on a potential customer problem and the solution provided, white papers on the state of an industry or upcoming trends in an industry can be a way to offer useful content which is then consumed by potential customers. In return for an email address and/or other contact information, each person who requests a downloaded asset can be considered a lead.
Engagement participation encourages a visitor or user to your website to interact with certain content. This can be in the form of encouraging visitors to take part in fun polls, quizzes, giveaways, complete surveys, enter competitions. Adding interactive content can help increase visitor or user engagement levels and helps to build trust. Building trust and offering value means that interactive content such as polls is more likely to be shared.
Content Sharing Engagement
If a visitor or user likes the content available on your website, they should be given an opportunity to share content either via social media, email etc with their friends.
Social Media Engagement
Becoming a follower, liking a social media post or comment, retweeting, forwarding, regramming an Instagram post, are all engagement actions which can signal high levels of engagement. Again, getting social media visitors to ‘make the break’ and click the link from the social media platform to your website URL is the main objective.
Signing Up for More Information
Once a visitor or user signs up for more information and supplies their email address, this can be considered as gaining a lead.
Engaging visitors to your site should end in them opting in to receive further information about the products or service your business offers. As well as lead generation strategies such as email and social media campaigns, we can generate landing pages used for specific engagement campaigns all designed to drive potential customers to your business.
The final stage in the lead generation process is to convert visitors to your website into leads then into customers. When a visitor indicates they are interested in your product or service than they are considered a lead. Visitors to a website are at different stages of the purchasing journey- not all visitors will buy at the first visit, or even on the second or third visit. Engagement strategies as described prior are important as they drive the patch from engagement, to lead to conversion.
About Our Services
The services we provide are designed to bring visitors to your website and to enable them to engage with your website via several actions to increase the chances of those visitors becoming customers.
Lead generation campaigns effectively managed, bring visitors to your website who then go on to complete one or more of a number of engagement actions either via a website, social media, or advertising channels or by other platforms or means. Campaigns are based on the particular needs or situation of your business.
All of the services we offer are designed to help attract and acquire potential customers to your business whether that be business to consumer or business to business. Our Social Media, Lead Generation and Content strategies ensure that visitors to your website do one or all of the following: read, opt-in and purchase