How to Create a Lead Generation Strategy

How to create a lead generation strategy

Leads are the lifeblood of any business. Whether you have a sales team out in the field engaging in outbound marketing or you're relying on word-of-mouth and inbound calls to find potential customers, the prospects you interact with are leads. You'll need a steady supply of them to keep your business growing.

In this guide, we'll look at four key steps to building an effective lead-generation strategy.

Identify Your Target Audience and Go to Them

You'll have the best chance of generating high-quality leads if you know who your target audience is, what they like and where they spend their time. Whether you're a B2B or B2C business, you can't expect people to seek you out. Your customers are busy people with a lot of brands competing for their time. Go where they are and give them valuable content that'll entice them to look more closely at your business.

Social media platforms can still be a useful source of qualified leads, but the platforms you invest your time in will differ depending on who you're trying to reach. If your audience is tech-savvy, you may benefit from exploring federated platforms such as Mastodon. If you're trying to reach business clients, LinkedIn still has a lot of value. Do your homework and focus your efforts on the platforms that offer the most impact.

Identify Key Pain Points and Create Useful Content Around Them

One common issue that business owners have, especially if they're experts in their industry, is that they try to sell their product based on what it is or what it does. That might work when selling to other experts or enthusiasts, but it doesn't work as well for attracting a wider audience.

Rather than selling based purely on features and specifications, focus on benefits. You don't have a 1.2-liter, 1.5kw air fryer. You have an air fryer that can cook a meal for one or two people to perfection, quickly and for a fraction of the electricity cost of running a standard-sized oven. If someone buys your air fryer, they'll enjoy delicious food, and they'll save time and money. 

Base your content marketing on solving the problems your potential customers have. Write white papers that go into detail about the how and the why and that include actionable insights. Invite those who are interested in reading your company's papers to sign up for your email marketing list.

Use Frictionless Methods to Collect Information

Another hurdle that trips many marketers up is collecting information from potential leads. If you have a well-targeted PPC campaign or top-notch search engine optimization but your lead capture involves a long winded, intimidating form that asks for lots of information, a lot of prospects will hit the back button, and your SEO and PPC efforts will have been in vain.

Decide what information is most valuable to you, and capture it with a simple form. Ideally, have the form be above the fold, easy to use and all on one page. Once you've got someone signed up for your email list, or you've persuaded them to hand over their phone number, you can engage with them and drive them through the sales funnel bit by bit as you gain their trust. Consider offering live chat features so people can contact you directly from your website without having to go through a complex signup process.

If you're planning on capturing phone numbers and then using sales calls to build a relationship with a client, choose a good call center to handle that for you. Polite, friendly agents who are good at listening to prospects, identifying their needs and building a relationship with them can be invaluable for growing your business.

Plan for Re-Engaging Cold Leads

No matter how good your marketing strategy is, you'll have some leads that don't convert immediately. Perhaps they chose to buy from someone else, or maybe their circumstances changed and they chose not to buy at all. In some cases, they may have started doing research into a purchase very early, knowing full well that they wouldn't be buying this month or year.

Don't abandon those cold leads just because they haven't moved through the sales funnel as quickly as others. They could still convert, so it's worth keeping them in your database and maintaining some light touch engagement. Make a plan for re-engaging those cold leads, and make sure your sales team has some time to devote to that kind of engagement.

It's important to find the balance between nurturing the newer leads that are still hot and maintaining a relationship with older prospects. Social media and emails are useful for this, as they can keep your brand in the minds of those cold leads without making them feel like you're trying a hard sale.

Lead Generation Takes Patience and Consistency

Effective lead generation takes time, as you'll need to build brand recognition and forge a relationship with your target audience. Be consistent with your efforts, and provide high-quality blog posts and informative content on your social channels. Answer questions if prospective customers contact you, and build up a reputation as an authority in your niche.

Over time, this strategy will pay off by increasing trust in your brand, making it easier to seal the deal when you have something to sell.