Effective lead generation begins with a strong understanding of management. Without the right controls in place, it's nearly impossible to be successful in generating relevant leads and responding to them with the necessary speed and accuracy.
What does 2015 hold for lead generation?
There's no question that lead generation is on the minds of most marketers heading into the new year. Citing data from an Ascend2 study, eMarketer explained that organizations will continue to focus on the quality of the leads they bring in, as opposed to high volumes. Why? You can't effectively sell products or services to customers who don't see them as relevant. In other words, a shoe merchant likely won't benefit from attracting shoppers interested in property and casualty insurance. Accordingly, there's a higher priority placed on data. Without access to the right data, lead generation strategies have a tendency to fall through. In 2013, marketers around the world listed not having an effective lead generation strategy as their top obstacle, but this year, that's shifted to include data quality. In addition to having limited financial resources allocated for marketing efforts, organizations also have to contend with a persistent inability to track and analyze their strategies and a lack of attribution models.
What data do marketers need?
One of the fundamental issues that marketers face is understanding which channels perform best, in terms of driving both high-quality traffic and sufficient volumes. By identifying where the best leads come from, you're then able to adjust, prioritize and optimize each channel. Another issue connected with this goal is the time constraint. Lead data quickly grows out of date. Marketers need access to real-time information to make well-based decisions. This is especially important in the world of digital marketing, where tactics are constantly shifting.
Consider the different strategies that companies are using to increase lead generation:
● Search engine optimization: According to a study released by Conductor and Ascend2, the most important SEO objective in the new year is lead generation. The second-most critical area of focus is increasing website traffic, which is inherently tied to acquiring new leads. More than half of companies surveyed indicated high-quality content is the most effective way to boost SEO outcomes. However, this is also a perennial challenge for many organizations. Keyword is one of the most important attributes of successful SEO, meaning organizations have to research and constantly evaluate how well certain search terms perform in Google and similar search engines.
● Social media: Traditionally viewed as a vehicle for customer engagement and brand awareness, social networks have often been neglected as sources of lead generation, explained Social Media Examiner. In reality, platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide marketers with access to an enormous consumer population that social ads can reach. Facebook has objective-based advertising, while Twitter provides lead generation cards that invite people to click on targeted offers.
● Content marketing: While this brand of advertising is fairly broad in terms of definition, the meat and potatoes of it revolve around blog content, white papers, e-books, infographics and videos. Content marketing also depends on both SEO and social media to really take off, which means it can get complicated. At the very edges of the sales funnel, many consumers discover a brand's products or services through Web content, such as a blog or news section of their site. However, the deeper the customer gets into the research phase, the more important content marketing becomes. White papers and more information-rich marketing collateral can provide added motivation to move customers to make a purchase. Fundamental to this strategy is the use of Web forms to collect lead data, which allows for more accurate qualification and scoring.