Guest post by Nishant Maliakel Oommen
An entrepreneur may have many reasons why they run their own business. When you start evaluating those reasons, you’ll end up with two big reasons: a passion for what they’re doing and, the reason worth its weight in gold: the bottom line, the sales. Ultimately, an entrepreneur’s passion also will reflect in their bottom line, and lead generation is the highway to sales!
Marketing and sales have changed drastically over the past two decades. The buying process is moving more and more online. Online and social marketing are defining the landscape now. Outbound leads cost 39% more than inbound leads, according to HubSpot!
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Generating Leads Online
If you were to ask me to define online lead generation, I would say it is an act of generating in your target audience, an interest for your product or service. There are different stages to this. From a “zero interest level” to a ”ready to buy interest level” depending upon the stage of the funnel your prospect is in at the moment. Generating online leads gains in value when your product is more complicated and expensive when there is an inherently longer sales process.
Lead GenerationLead NurturingLead Conversion and Sales
In the above chart, I highlighted Lead Nurturing in bold to underscore this stage’s importance. Why? Because according to HubSpot, more than 79% of marketing leads don’t convert into sales, with the lack of lead nurturing as the leading cause. Before finalizing a product purchase, 94% of B2B buyers research online, which means that these prospects will contact your sales team at an advanced stage of the buying process. With a well structured online leads generating strategy in place, you will be able to successfully guide most of these prospects through your sales funnel before the average contact point. In short, you can beat the odds.
Capturing and converting quality leads
- Your Website: Design a user-friendly site. That seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised! Your website should be easy to traverse for your visitors. Being mobile compatible is a must these days, too!
- Optimization: Put some of the standard rules of optimization in place. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a must in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking, and this will drive traffic to your website. After all, increased traffic means more leads, right? Here are some easy to follow tips:
- Keyword research and optimal use of keywords in URL, headline, subheads and the body of the content.
- Use visual media extensively. Visual media helps capture your audience’s imagination and keeps them come back for more.
- Share: And by share, I don’t mean letting your audience cut and paste your URL! Make sharing EASY for your consumers. There are lots of sharing plugins available online (Jenn’s favorite plugin is Elegant Themes’ Monarch plugin*). Use a sharing plugin and place sharing buttons strategically around your content. More sharing by your users means a lot of entirely new leads for you, of course!
- CTA (Call To Action): Keep it short and sweet and visually compelling. Should be capable of enticing your user immediately. To make it more powerful, place your CTA above the fold.
- Signup forms: Another simple tool to help you with lead generation and conversion. In my view, the following points, if followed, result in better outcomes:
- Keep the form fields less: More the number of fields equates to more efforts by your prospects and also demands more of their time. A big NO, NO in today’s fast paced world.
- Showcase your short signup forms on your homepage/landing page.
- Long content is better than short. I know I am contradicting my statement above about today’s world being fast paced. But it is an absolute fact that thick, well researched long content drives traffic and generates leads much better than short content which covers surface level information.
A Case Study on Lead Generation
Before we wrap up this exploration of online lead generation, I want to share a case study with you. This case study will help you get bird’s eye view on how creative thinking delivers bountiful results.
How Neil Patel increased NutritionSecrets.com website lead capturing by 500%!
- In 2015, Neil Patel (the co-founder of Hello Bar!) came out with the $100,000 Challenge to start a health blog from scratch and made it grow to over $100,000 per month sales in a year.
- Neil launched a quiz that resonated with his target audience of health visitors: “Which Diet Is Right For Your Personality?” This quiz made good use of the findings of various studies that matching your diet to your lifestyle is the single biggest indicator of success.
How did Neil Patel used creative advertisement to achieve his desired results? Let’s check out some of the specifics:
- CTA: Neil added an eye-catching and prominent Call To Action (CTA) on the most-visited blog page above the fold. (We did cover talked about the above-the-fold idea earlier on in this article, remember?)
- SideBar: Advertised the quiz in the sidebar next to the quiz as a primary CTA for visitors scrolling down the page.
- Website Navigation: Added a link to the quiz.
- HelloBar: As visitors scroll down, a Hello bar would pop up at the top of the screen linking them to the quiz.
(For the full case study, visit LeadQuizzes.)
It seems simple, right? That just goes to show what creative thinking can achieve. Stand away from the crowd and try something creative and innovative! If you get out of the prescribed box, you can create outstanding results for yourself.
Go beyond the tried-and-maybe-true best practices in the industry – even the best practices can sometimes fail, after all! By relying solely on these methods, you will be diminishing your website’s potential.
So don’t go too crazy about what works and what doesn’t for the general industry. Try to move beyond this self-laid restrictions and try out new, innovative ideas and see how it works out for your target audience.
About the Author
Nishant Maliakel Oommen is a dreamer with a fondness for digital marketing. Inbound marketing is Nishant’s forte. He thrives in challenging environments and is adroit in Search Engine Optimization. His technical expertise and experience have enabled him to turn ingenious thoughts into written reality.