Without a doubt, some of the most common questions I get asked are based around lead generation. Not only how to start – but also what to do with those leads to convert them into customers.
An inbound marketing campaign is one of the most effective ways of not only generating leads, but also nurturing them into prospects and customers. In order to get results however, you need to follow the right steps from the start.
So let’s break down exactly how to create a successful inbound marketing campaign so you can start generating and converting more leads – on autopilot.
Step 1: Determine your goals
It’s always best to base your campaign around driving prospects towards a specific product or service offering.
So start with the end goal in mind.
For example: If you’re a designer, your end goal may not be to make a sale (as most of your sales are made face-to-face). So the goal of your campaign might actually be to get a prospective client to have a meeting with you.
Step 2: Identify who the inbound marketing campaign is for
Make a note of basic demographic information as well as information relating to their role, company and industry.
It’s also valuable at this stage to get an understanding of some of the most common questions, problems and struggles your ‘who’ has in relation to what you do.
If you’re not sure, scan through past emails or think back to recent meetings. Make note of some of the questions you get asked the most. You’re going to use this information in the next step.
Step 3: Create free content offers
Ideally you’ll need three pieces of content or offers to generate and nurture leads.
These assets could include: checklists, cheat sheets, e-books, webinars, discount offers or consultations. The information you gathered in Step 2 above will help determine just what content you create. And you would structure these pieces as follows:
Piece 1: An irresistible ‘lead magnet’
Given most people keep their email address under lock and key these days, to get someone on your list, you have to make it worth their while. So you need to incentivise opt-ins by creating some form of valuable content; a ‘lead magnet’ that educates your lead, not on your solution but on their need.
Let’s use our graphic designer as an example again and let’s say her clients are marketing managers who are struggling with maintaining brand consistency across their marketing materials. Potential ‘lead magnet’ ideas could include: a one or two page checklist – something along the lines of: 10 key steps to maintaining brand consistency or an educational ebook: How to maintain brand consistency.
Piece 2: Introduces your solution
The next piece of content you’ll need to create is something that demonstrates how your company can help solve your prospects’ needs. (At this stage prospects are aware that your products or services could fulfil their need and they’re trying to assess whether you are the best fit for them.)
So our graphic designer could use a great case study that demonstrates how her process has helped clients improve their brand communication.
Piece 3: A low barrier to entry, ‘foot-in-the-door offer’
The final piece in your content offering will be some form of free or low cost/low barrier-to-entry offering. This is your opportunity to convert a lead into a paying customer.
In this instance our designer could offer her leads a free brand audit, where she evaluates their existing collateral and produces a short report with three recommendations for ways they can fix their branding troubles. This report should be presented face-to-face where she provides
Note: For best conversion results, you’ll need to create a landing page for each of the pieces above.
Step 4: Set up an email drip campaign to convert leads into prospect
Drip campaigns are ideal for leads that aren’t ready to talk to you straight away.
They will help you build trust and credibility with your leads whilst slowly moving them towards the next stage in their buying process.
If your buying cycle is one-month, your drip campaign might something look like this:
Day 1: Introductory/ thank you email.
Day 5: Link to blog post
Day 10: Email next offer, case study, product webinar or demo video etc.
Day 15: Email your free or low cost offering.
Step 5: Promote your lead magnet
To get your content on the hands of potential prospect, you need to make sure you promote your initial ‘lead magnet’ to your followers, fans and subscribers. Here’s a simple plan for getting the word out:
Email your subscribers: Send a promotional email with a link to the landing page.
Promote on social media: Send a promotional post with a link to the landing page.
Reach out to colleagues and friends in your industry: Send them a link or ask them to share your link on their social networks.
Step 6: Assess your results once it’s up and running
As soon as you start your campaign, you should begin checking results. Review what’s working and making changes where necessary to improve results. Don’t be afraid to change things up if people aren’t responding to your offers.
And that’s it! These are the steps I follow in my business to generate a consistent flow of leads. The best thing about them? It’s the fact that anyone can follow the same steps … and reap the same benefits I do.
Have you tried an inbound marketing campaign for lead generation? Do you have any questions about the process described above? Ask away!