Inbound marketing is here to stay, and with it comes a change in the way marketers need to approach online lead generation. Consumers no longer want to be sold; they want to be engaged and educated. Long gone are the days of paid email lists, begging for contact information, and bombarding potential customers with ad after ad (unsubscribe, anyone?). Today, people are quick to delete “spam” emails and ignore ads. Our society is on information overload, and consumers are perfectly capable of searching the web for what they need when they need it.
This is why the old methods of online lead generation have gone the way of the typewriter. The modern shopper needs to be drawn to your website or social media pages through engaging and useful information. This is what online lead generation is all about. So how do you achieve it? Well, one thing’s for sure. You won’t get there with these four mistakes that will quickly kill your online lead generation efforts.
Creating Bland Content – Or None at All
You’ve more than likely heard the phrase “content is king.” Cliche, but true. There’s so much information online, and so many companies vying for the same customers as you, that creating relevant, engaging, and helpful content is the best way to grab your audience’s attention. In fact, last year HubSpot reported that companies who blogged regularly generated 67 percent more leads each month than those who didn’t.
Obviously, maintaining a blog is important – crucial, even. It’s home to all the great content you create. But blogging alone isn’t enough; you need exposure. What good is an amazing post if no one sees it? This is where your social media pages play a vital role. Sharing your blog on social accounts increases traffic and gets more people talking about your content, eventually turning visitors into leads.
Note: Content is about more than just written words. You can use infographics, podcasts, videos, and much more to get the attention of your target audience.
Neglecting to Prioritize
It’s easy in the midst of your daily work life to push back tasks like blogging and social media posting. After all, these things aren’t affecting your bottom line, right? Wrong. These are the things that feed your bottom line.
Think of content as the foundation on which all your online lead generation efforts are based. As such, it should be at the top of your priority list. Make content creation – whether blog posts, videos, or infographics – something you (or members of your team) focus on each and every day.
Being Too Greedy
Everyone wants the milk without buying the cow these days. People no longer subscribe to newsletters or email updates without getting something of value in return. Think of contact info – especially email addresses – as tokens at an arcade. You can’t play the games without them. Now, think of that one greedy kid who goes around trying to snatch everyone else’s tokens so he can play more games, get more tickets, and win the biggest prize. But his strategy doesn’t work, because eventually, someone’s going to kick him out of the arcade.
Don’t be the greedy kid; you won’t get any leads that way. Offer something your visitors will find true value in. Some examples are:
- Free trials
- Bonus tips
- Interviews with experts
Not Keeping Score
Lead scoring is the most effective way to keep track of which online lead generation efforts are working and which ones are wasting your precious time. If you aren’t tracking your results, then what’s the point of going through the trouble of creating content and generating leads?
The lead scoring technique assigns different values to various actions your leads take. Subscribing to your newsletter may be 10 points, whereas downloading an ebook could be worth five points. It’s also important to deduct points when necessary in order to accurately gauge the value of each lead. Unsubscribing from your newsletter, for example, would be cause to deduct the same amount of points (or more) as were gained by subscribing.
In this new age of social media and internet-driven inbound marketing, online lead generation is a crucial step for business success. With the right content and the best strategy, you’ll cruise through the process like an oversized sunglasses-wearing vixen in a red convertible.