1. Create quality content

When a person is ready to make a buying decision in the moment, he or she is likely to use a search engine and start comparing options. As a seller, being one of the options is a disadvantage. What you want is the absence of comparison to the competition. You can accomplish this by allowing your leads to find you before they are ready to make a buying decision. The best way to do so is create content that your leads are looking for before they are ready to buy. For example, before a person walks into a dealership to buy a car, the person is likely to be interested how to avoid being ripped off when buying a car. Therefore, if you were a car dealer, you could create a guide with tips about buying cars. By doing so, you could generate leads before they start comparing you to your competition.

Free quality content is the best way to drive more marketing qualified leads because requesting free information is risk-free. When someone signs for a free diagnostic session, a demo or any other kind of interaction with a live human being, the prospect may feel uncomfortable for a variety of reasons. These reasons include fears of having someone trying to sell a product or service before the prospect is ready, having to disclose sensitive personal information and so on. None of these fears are present when requesting content, which is why content can be such a great tool for lead generation.

2. Create content in different forms

As little as a few decades ago, businesses had very limited choices of ways to market and advertise a company. There have been TV, radio, print and direct mail. Today in addition to these sources, there are all kinds of social media where a business can have a free presence, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, and LinkedIn. There are pay-per-click ads, search engine optimization, native ads, placements and much more. While you do not have to be present everywhere, it is helpful to be on multiple platforms and services that your clients use. Some of them may not follow you on Twitter but will watch your Tube video. Others are not on Facebook but do check LinkedIn.

Your goal should not be to try and create something new for every new platform. It that becomes your goal, all you will be doing is creating new content. The goal is to figure out how you can create quality content quickly and effectively and then use it multiple times across various platforms. For example, you can shoot a video and then also extract an audio from it. Then, you can have someone transcribe the video. Next, you can use the transcription to extract quotes and create pictures with quotes. It means that now you have an audio, a video, a text transcript and pictures with quotes from just one piece of content.

3. Drive paid traffic to your content

While the idea of having a natural organic free presence both on search engines and on social media is very attractive in theory, getting high ranks and achieving visibility on popular sites such as Google and Facebook is a lot of work. Getting to the first page of Google or getting your Facebook business page to attract users to your business organically is also likely to take a long time.

At the same time, paid ads, including Google Adwords and Facebook ads, offer quick entry, are scalable, and provide results that are measurable and easy to track. Paid advertising will also give you a wealth of useful information about what works and what doesn’t, what your customers are reacting to and what they find to be irrelevant. For all these reasons, you should not ignore paid ads as a way to drive marketing qualified leads even if your other marketing activities are bringing results.

4. Use social media to share your content

Tools such as HootSuite, HubSpot, MeetEdgar, Sprout Social and others allow you to share content by publishing to a number of social networks at the same time. The tools also allow you to track user engagement, keyword, and hashtags from one dashboard. This means that you can analyze the results of your social media activities and stay organized and productive even when you are managing a number of platforms at the same time.

5. Use retargeting

The attention of most people in the modern world is fragmented. They may be trying to pay attention to their email, watch a video, manage their calendar, do online shopping and text someone all at the same time. Trying to get such a person to consume a long marketing message will simply not work. However, what will work is retargeting your website visitors, Facebook page fans and other leads that have somehow indicated that they are interested in what you have to offer. Then, you want to retarget these leads and be everywhere where they are, including Facebook and various websites.

6. Have attractive offers and calls to action

If your goal is not to just build a brand image but to drive marketing qualified leads, you need to have offers and calls to action in your advertising. Most of the advertising you see around you either has no calls to action and no offers or has very weak offers. Figure out what your leads really want and then give it to them.

One of the ways to create an attractive offer is to break down the process of getting results in whatever field you are in into steps. For example, if you sell computer monitors to consumers, the first step for a customer may be to learn about monitor sizes, resolutions and figure out what size is right for him or her. This means that your offer could be a quick test consisting of several questions and the results of the test will help the customer find out what screen size and resolution would be best for him or her.

7. Use testimonials and case studies

What others say about you is much more powerful than what you could ever say about yourself because people expect you to be saying good things about your product or service. They know that your agenda is to sell the product or service and they expect you to say good things about it. When they hear the same things from someone else, the level of trust is much higher because they perceive that someone to be much more objective. This is the reason why testimonials work so well and why they can improve virtually any sales page and any marketing funnel.

When creating testimonials, let users of your product or service tell their full story, from how they realized that they have a need to how and why they made a decision to do business with you. If you only leave the part where your customers praise what you do, all your testimonials will look the same. If you let them talk about their issues before they found you and the doubts they had before they made a buying decision, your testimonials will look very different and unique and their impact will be higher, too.

8. Build a follow-up funnel

There are a lot of reasons why people may not buy after being introduced to your offer for the first time. The purchase may need to be included in the budget. A prospect may not have the time at the moment to do what buying from you will require him or her to do. Someone may not trust you enough yet to buy from you. For all these reasons, you do not want to give up on your leads easily. Build a funnel, follow up, deliver value even to those who do not buy right away and you will close more sales.

9. Show how you take care of your existing customers

All people know that when someone is trying to sell them something, that someone will be saying good things about products or services being sold. What your prospects are really trying to figure out is what will happen after the sale. Will you deliver on your promises? Will you help them after they actually give you money? Show them that they will not be alone after you make a sale and your sales conversion rates will increase.

10. Have a referral program

Leads that come through a referral pipeline have a number of advantages over cold leads. Even though referral leads may not know you, they already trust you because someone they know trusts you. Referral leads are also more likely to question your pricing less compared to cold leads. If you know that your friend bought something and is happy, you are not likely to start digging into how much your friend paid. If you trust your friend’s judgment, you assume that the price was fair. For all these reasons a referral program could be a very effective way to increase the number of marketing qualified leads for your business.

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My name is Brian and I’m a Graduate of Business Administration Marketing. I work full time in Sales and Marketing. I am also the owner of Blog Engage a social network I created specifically for bloggers. Come and join us on Blog Engage

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