For some business owners, online lead generation is a bit of a mystery. Why DON’T we get more leads/sales through our website? Yes, it’s confusing, I know. But good news: the crew at Zero-G has this down to a science and so I’m going to give you some insight into Online Lead Generation 101.
There are five crucial ingredients to online lead generation, and each item is a prerequisite for the one that comes after it. So when you consider our five basic ingredients which are…
- A Great Website
…remember that having outreach without awesome content is fairly useless and building great traffic for a web property that isn’t updated consistently with great content is a waste of time. And while you can build a great website at any point, it isn’t going to help you much as a lead generation tool until you have the other four items locked and loaded.
To answer what I’m sure your next question must be, YES, this really works and I’ll be happy to break down my five key ingredients in detail:
Content: It’s counterintuitive, but in most businesses people don’t really want to hear about what you’re selling. Chances are, they already knew what you were selling before they hit your website. Many of your website visitors — even those who might consider entering into a sales discussion with you — are looking for information. They want to be educated, they want to know what you think and how you might approach their problem. That’s why a large percentage (in my opinion anyway) of good web content comes from blogs. And, in my experience, it’s theonly marketing collateral that your prospect is likely interested in actually reading. They may accept your brochure when you hand it to them at a meeting but, as we all know, they probably won’t read it. If you put an informative, well-written blog post in that same prospect’s email however, they will not only read it but will probably also thank you for it.
Outreach: I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it a million more times: “if you build it, they will come” is NOT a marketing strategy. If you don’t work to put your content in the hands of people who are inclined to read or share it no one will do it for you. The content you post should be distributed via social media, email marketing, a sales follow-ups and in any other practical/repeatable way you can think of.
Consistency: Creating and sharing great content a couple of times or maybe for a couple of months does not work. Marketing needs to be a weekly activity and by that I mean EVERY week and not just the weeks you want to or the weeks you have nothing better to do. There’s an Aristotle quote that I use a lot in presentations. He says, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The same applies to excellent marketing. An analogy I like to make which seems to resonate as well is that online marketing is like a shark. As long as it’s moving it can be an extremely powerful creature to contend with. But if it stops moving, it dies. Keep the sharks swimming.
Traffic: Combining the first three elements will, over time, help you build traffic organically. You will get more traffic from within your client base and online networks, and, because great content that is created and shared frequently is exactly the sort of thing that Google looks for, your search engine traffic will increase as well. But despite the fact that it is a natural byproduct of engaging the first three ingredients, traffic is also — in its own right — a prerequisite for consistent online lead generation. If your website has a 1% conversion rate (not too shabby!) but you only draw 90 visitors a month, you’re maybe getting one lead out of that if you’re lucky. And you may endure long periods of silence after getting a lead or two and thinking that things might be turning around. At 1,000 visits per month though, things would be different. Traffic is an important piece to this puzzle.
A Great Website: All this hard work is useless if your site is not built well, or built in a manner likely to convert visitors. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need an expensive or fancy website, but that you need something that loads quickly, is well designed with clear calls to action, that is organized well and easy for visitors to use. And please, leverage landing pages!
I’ll post more about lead generation in coming weeks but hopefully this is a helpful start. Good luck!