The internet is the face of new age businesses for the purpose of revenue generation. It is a gigantic tree that is patiently sown and planted.
Now let’s extend that analogy a little bit; if your online business is the tree, lead generation is the act of watering the tree and actually making it grow. It surely needs countless hours of had labor and patience, but the end result is more than worth the wait.
According to Forrester Research, lead generation drives a growth of 50 % in sales at a 33 % lower cost.
Let’s face it: content marketing without engaging your audience is a space filler and an absolute waste of time. You might as well move over and make space for someone else.
It really starts when you clearly define your audience along with their pain points, when you begin the journey of answering important questions and problems buyers face.
Against this backdrop, lead generation becomes that process of allocating your most congruous and business-defining prospects in accordance to your business type. Inexorably, this will necessitate a deeper understanding of three things:
1) The audience you are targeting
2) Their pain points (ambiguity, confusion, previous bad experiences etc)
3) Your product or service
Earlier, lead generation ended with collecting names of prospects and passing them onto sales & marketing. Today, buyers have become much more brand-conscious and like to do their own research.
In fact, Forrester suggests that buyers are typically anywhere from 66% to 90% of the way through their purchase journey before they reach the vendor.
A clearer picture of your audience and their needs allows you to weave stories that inform, entertain, educate and intrigue.
Sharing content via the right channels is equally important. What are the channels that your audience is frequenting? What is the best time to reach them?
It’s when your offering aligns with the specific needs of your audience at various touch points that any initiative – business-driven or otherwise – is transformed into a compelling, mutually beneficial venture.
This process of lead generation takes customer engagement to a different level and arguably forms one of the most important aspects of the sales funnel.
To locate the most relevant leads, look out for some key elements. These include demographic-related information like age, income, location, past and existing buying habits - and so on.
A data-driven marketer will take the time to identify not only the basic demographics of their prospects’ online activity, but also their actionable online behavior in the form of frequent searches, clicks, buying patterns and eventually, purchases.
Personalization is the missing link that bridges the gap between a cold, unattractive customer experience and a memorable one.
There is growing consensus on the fact that relationships are the lifeblood of all online and offline businesses. Personalization triggers the fire of familiarity of online presence with prospects, which, when taken a step further, leads to the establishment of trust.
This warmth further sublets other areas and becomes an integral part of the roadmap to drive ROI. The message that the entity personalizes then targets the lead and creates a loop of confidence; the constant act (or art) of interspersing such personalized messages in a selfless manner bridges any trust deficit.
Without doubt, personalization is a head turner with a penchant to get eyeballs rolling in the right direction.
We are inundated with examples where a personalized message that is of direct relevance or close interest to the audience is not only read and shared more often, but also responded to - as opposed to nuisance-ridden generic messages which provide no real value and evinces collective yawns, at best.
Modern marketers are challenged with competition, time and budget. Amidst this, they often fail to build awareness, influence the right prospects and in effect, personalize.
A proactive lead generation strategy needs to enhance your customer’s journey by taking customer experience to a level where it directly benefits them.
At each stage, marketers can leverage personalization to engage with their customers .
Better Conversions: The more you personalize your marketing campaign's leading channels, the more your audience is likely to come closer to your products and services.
Personalized campaigns allow B2B marketers to attain seamless customer engagement that translates into high conversion rates.
Higher MROI (Market Return on Investment): Increasing more visitors naturally means that the quantity (and quality) of leads leapfrogs, which ultimately leads to better MROI.
Emotional Appeal: Personalization helps you offer the much coveted human touch. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why most customers still prefer to shop offline, in-store or over the phone. In that sense, personalization replicates the human-to-human connection with your audience.
It is paramount that your promotional content is directed at interest groups who matter and can impact your business for the better or for worse. For instance, emails targeted to an individual with implied interests or a specific group has been shown to improve click-through rates by 14% and associated conversion rates by 10%.
By sending personalized emails and interlacing it with relevant content, it is possible to engage leads seamlessly without making any effort look blatantly self-promotional.
On the other hand, sending random marketing emails without any design or purpose is more than likely to turn the recipient off, potentially making them reluctant to engage with you in future.
Thus, targeted messaging serves the twofold purpose of heightened engagement and long term relationship building. Within the overarching theme of lead generation, it makes sense to figure out a buyer’s personal profile and segment the database accordingly.
These profiles, if based on the actual traits of customers, can pinpoint potential buyers with great accuracy. The information will make it much easier for you to churn out content that would be understood and appreciated in the right spirit. This culmination of lead conversion marks the first step towards brand engagement.
Powerful interactions make a memorable impact. And, a lasting impact, retention of messages, and engagement are some of the ingredients that any marketer looks forward to whilst preparing a mouth-watering dish - in the form of targeted content.
Every marketer needs to understand that an emotional appeal strengthens the impact of personalised messages. Apart from crafting stories that resonate with buyers, thoughtful visuals can also be used to aim at their primary areas of interest. Incorporate story elements and characters that make your audience feel like an integral part of a story that’s incomplete without them.
By making memorable impressions on your prospects, you can amplify your network and make it easier to penetrate related communities. Leaving positive impressions on leads makes your business remembered and recommended - both in the short and the long run.
We’re living in an era that is internet-obsessed and information overload is an inevitable reality. All the clutter makes it difficult to cut through the noise and catch the right signals.
In the context of lead generation, effective personalization means a genuine interest in your target audience. You simply won’t get the right results without being interested at all in them.
At the other end of the computer screen are emotional humans with real problems who’re waiting for someone to reach out. By showing them you genuinely care, you can create a lasting relationship and become their loyal partners.
Remember, when things become difficult, nothing succeeds like simplification.
Simplify, understand, respond, engage, attract and retain - then rinse and repeat!