On the weekends, you can find me at the beach with my standup paddleboard. I love everything about the sport. When I see a Facebook ad for the latest SUP equipment, I pay attention. I click. I submit my email address. I welcome the content, special offers, and other marketing messages I get in return. Thanks to all that communication, I’m up to speed on the best the marketplace has to offer. When I make a purchase, I’m willing to pay more for high-quality products, and I feel great about my transactions.
Imagine if your target audience was this eager to hear from you. Getting people to join, attend, and engage would be easy. But too often, people are tired of being “sold” to. They are generally skeptical that a brand will deliver on its promises. They hesitate to provide an email address in fear of receiving endless spam in return. But they still need products, services, and the support of associations.
So how can you get prospects’ attention, earn their trust, and entice them to engage with your organization—and feel great about it? You need a fresh approach to lead generation that includes creating valuable content and using it to convert visitors into prospects.
Here are six steps to increasing leads and conversions using a content-based lead generation strategy.
1. Capture leads
About half of your website visitors will never return if you don’t give them a reason to do so. You need to capture at least an email address to be able to communicate with potential prospects and move them through your sales funnel. Given inbox fatigue and data privacy concerns, your prospects won’t give you their email address on a whim. They need to trust you first.
2. Entice prospects with a lead magnet
To start building trust with prospects, you should offer them something of value in exchange for their email address—or offer it totally free if necessary. Provide content that speaks to audience pain points and solves their challenges.
Examples of lead magnets:
- Free trials
- Any other useful information
3. Use lead generation forms
In addition to offering this content on your website, you can take advantage of lead generation forms built into social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. Lead generation forms automatically populate with a prospect’s contact information. All the user needs to do is to click “Download.” They instantly receive your content and you gain their email address. Lead generation forms are easy for prospects and highly effective for marketers.
4. Harness the power of landing pages
Customized landing pages are a great tool for lead generation for two reasons: They allow you to capture contact information, and they help you upsell to visitors. Once you have a prospect’s attention using a lead magnet, you can encourage them to join your association, purchase your products, or sign up for your newsletter by clicking through from the landing page.
5. Score your leads
Lead scoring is the practice ranking your leads to sort out the serious buyers from the tire kickers and everyone in between. Marketing automation software makes lead scoring an easy process based on actual user behaviors.
Once your leads are scored, you can determine how best to follow up. Serious prospects with urgent needs might go directly to your sales team. The tire kickers might convert over time, so they can go into a sales funnel, where they will receive automated email drip campaigns to move them along the customer journey.
6. Be patient
This approach to lead generation is a proven winner. But don’t expect it to work in a month or two. People need time to get to know your organization and your value before they trust you enough to join, attend, or purchase. Building a high-quality prospect list and then converting prospects to members could take six months to two years. But the results are undeniable. According to HubSpot, businesses who use a content-driven lead generation strategy see 67% more leads per month than those who do not use content.
How You’ll Benefit
This approach to lead generation is good for your prospects and good for your business. It helps you meet people where they are and it saves you from spending too much time and money on less interested prospects. With enough time and effort, your prospects will be as happy and engaged as I am when I buy a new SUP.
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