While a lot of industries have been shaken up in the past year, one thing remains constant: the need for leads. Every business needs leads to thrive, and establishing a steady channel will keep the profit flowing for months and years to come. 

We’re going to discuss a few tips that can help optimise your lead generation as you move into the year –a comprehensive and diverse list of options you can pick and choose as you see fit. With leads, the focus isn’t just on quantity, but on cultivating quality to make sure you’re optimising your ROI.

Invest in Content Marketing

This is one of the most popular and suggested methods for generating quality leads, and there’s a reason for it – it works. Simply put, creating high-quality content is the best way to build your brand, cultivate your relationship with your audience, and even boost your SEO down the line. Despite the pandemic, a CMI survey revealed that 53% of marketers were making no change to their content marketing spending, while 18% decided to increase it. The ROI on content marketing is simply too high to ignore. 

That said, there can be a decent barrier to entry depending on your industry. You need to do research to discover the kind of copy your audience best responds to, you have to figure out your approach to generating content, and you have to plan for the future (as content marketing strategies are most effective when they’re consistent). Plus, there’s learning SEO – which, while a time investment, can pay off in dividends as you integrate keyword targeting into your content to help generate targeted leads indefinitely. 

Tools like SEMrushAhrefs, and Google’s KeywordPlanner are good for getting started with SEO, as they’ll help you greatly with finding keywords your audience is using (and, in the case of Ahrefs and SEMrush, you get access to powerful competitor analysis tools to boot).

Invest in Social Media

Social media is ubiquitous and is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to connect with your audience and remind them of your presence. But how effective it is, and which social media websites you should use, is going to vary greatly depending on your niche, and your approach – perhaps more than any other aspect of marketing.

For your chosen social media sites, competitive research is going to be a powerful option to cut down on costs as you figure out your campaigns.

What are other businesses doing to reach their audience, and how well is the audience responding to their methods? You can see how well their social media pages are performing by eye, or you can use websites like ArticulateMarketing and SproutSocial to get a general idea of how marketers in various niches approach their chosen social networks. 

Build an Audience Profile

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of the content you’re going to be making, whether that’s intended for your blog, social media, or other avenues – you should invest the time to understand your audience. What are their wants and needs? Their pain points? Can you do field research (in person or virtually) to immerse yourself in their conversations? (Forums and websites like Reddit are great for this). 

Determining the methods you use to relate and connect to your audience can help your business stand out in a big way, and depending on your type of business – that impression could easily lead to your clients referring their peers to you.

Develop a Lead Nurturing System

It’s one thing to bring traffic to your site, it’s another thing to convert it, and another beast entirely to retain it. You want to make sure that before you launch an effort to capture leads, you’ve optimised your business both for conversion and retention to ensure you’re maximising your ROI overall. It’s the most prudent way of operating.

What offerings do you have to convert those leads? Do you have high-quality content or otherwise provide value beyond just the product or goods you’re selling? Do you reward leads for staying with you with reduced prices or special offers? The goal is always high-quality leads, so you should make sure you’re presenting as a high-quality business for them to engage with.

Manage Your Data

Once you’re set up for lead capturing, how are you planning on optimising to ensure you’re getting the best ROI possible? Data is the name of the game – specifically, tracking your leads, seeing how well they’re converting, and trying out new methods to increase your conversion rate.

Tools like Hubspot can serve you well in this regard, offering a way to track lead data, monitor your CTAs, and see where you’re gaining (or losing) potential leads. You can also outsource this if you find it too tedious, but it’s important to have some sort of plan to learn from what your experience and your audience is telling you. 

Develop an Outreach Plan

Are you able to get in contact with an established business, and how can you use that to help drive leads? Hosting an event (online or offline) with an industry influencer would immediately draw their existing audience to your brand, and help establish your authority just by virtue of having a known quantity. 

You can also work out deals for paid promotion by finding an industry presence whose views align with yours. The important thing here is to do your research into that influencer or business and make sure their audience overlaps significantly with yours – otherwise you may get a few leads, but a lack of connection to your material would make the outreach a poor investment.

Outreach can also be used directly to connect to clients, although cold emails typically have low success rates so finding clever ways to warm them up to your approach could be critical.  

Invest in Yourself

Regardless of how you plan to proceed with lead generation, don’t forget to stop every now and then and analyse what you’ve achieved so far. What’s worked, what hasn’t. You can lose a lot attempting to adopt new methods when solutions could exist in your previous attempts. Try to reach out to lost leads and see what made them bounce off, and what could have brought them back. What are your competitors doing?

Lead Generation is an involved effort, but a rewarding one. The more you make an effort to reach, appeal to, and understand your audience, the more your business and your clients will benefit.  

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