Lead generation and lead nurturing are among the top three goals of UK marketers, according to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
In its report Content Marketing in the UK 2015, CMI also polled marketers about the tactics they use to reach these goals and the perceived effectiveness of these tactics. It comes as no surprise to us that in-person events came out on top, with 72% rating them effective.
Webinars were also rated highly, scoring 60%. Newsletters were rated effective by 58% of marketers, while videos and whitepapers scored 57% and 56% respectively.
We thought we’d take a closer look at these methods to find out how they can be effective in building qualified leads for your business, and turn you into a marketing hero amongst your sales team…
Events, such as conferences, seminars, and showcases, enable businesses to get to know their prospects and gain an understanding of their needs. As well as talking to attendees in person, you can build a clearer picture of these potential customers through the data you request at registration.
For example, a car retailer who is hosting a test driving event could ask attendees details about their current vehicle, when they intend to replace it and what their budget might be etc. This valuable intelligence will help the retailer identify the most likely leads and focus their efforts on converting them.
Don’t forget, the Eventbrite platform allows you to collect any information you need by creating custom questions for attendees to answer when they register. Find out how here.
Like in-person events, webinars allow for real-time person-to-person communication and represent a great interactive marketing opportunity. In addition to the information you request at sign-up, you can gain further insight about the participants as they ask questions during the webinar.
The ability to ask an expert a direct question without having to actually put up one’s hand and then speak into a microphone is a major benefit of a webinar. For some audiences, the opportunity to easily ask questions may be as valuable (or more valuable!) than the formal presentation, so be sure to leave plenty of time for answering.
You can use participants’ questions as an opportunity for a ‘warm’ sales call. For example, “Peter, in the webinar you asked about xxx. Did your question get answered? Would you like me to explain a little more about that?”).
Email newsletters allow you to keep in contact with existing subscribers. Keeping your company front of mind by providing informative and shareable content can generate leads, while including highly interactive elements such as surveys can increase engagement. You can also use your newsletter as a platform to promote your other lead-generating activity such as events, webinars and content downloads.
Meanwhile, encouraging social sharing amongst readers can drive new sign-ups. Be sure to use an email marketing provider that can supply in depth reporting, helping you to monitor engagement and guide your business intelligence. For example, if a dental practice identifies a group of readers who engaged with their article on teeth whitening, they can send a follow up email offering money off that treatment.
Videos & Podcasts
Videos and podcasts on subjects of genuine interest to your audience can attract thousands of viewers/listeners, ramping up marketplace awareness of the solutions that your company delivers. In addition, when properly optimised, they can build backlinks to your site and increase your search rank.
While your broadcasts should be entertaining and informative, it is not necessary for them to be long or complex – in fact experts say they should be no longer than 4 minutes.
Don’t forget to use the opportunity to encourage people to sign up to your newsletter to be notified when new videos/podcasts become available. You can do this verbally or digitally, or both – Wistia’s Turnstile allows you to add email opt-in forms to your videos; these can be set to appear at the end of the video in time with a verbal call to action.
For podcast listeners, why not direct them to download a whitepaper or report offering more in-depth information on the topic? This is the ideal opportunity to capture their details.
Whitepapers, Reports & eBooks
Sharing valuable content is not only a way to establish yourself as an authority on any given topic, it is also a gold-plated lead generation opportunity. By making your content available free – in return for an email address – you can quickly build a list of pre-qualified leads.
However, the necessity to subscribe can be off putting so it’s vital the content on offer is sufficiently compelling. Make sure you provide a good summery of what the reader will find inside, highlighting key facts and figures.
To gain visibility, you will also need to promote your download – use your blog, newsletter and social media channels, as well as issuing a press release to industry media. And don’t forget to craft a buzz-generating headline!
Integrate the above tactics into your marketing strategy and it will quickly pay off with a surge in quality leads. Because you’ve invested time in creating useful content, you’ll have plenty of relevant things to talk to your prospects about, which will aid you in instigating the meaningful dialogue that will convert them to customers.
What other tactics have helped you build more qualified leads? Please share your insight with our community…