In just about every industry, from financial services and healthcare to technology and retail, marketing lead generation has become a critical component of a successful business strategy.
While lead generation may not seem like a precise or measurable marketing activity, it’s a fundamental building block of any marketing function, and digital marketers must be particularly vigilant in their quest for leads.
Today, many businesses use digital marketing to attract and delight customers. Marketing automation, content marketing, and email marketing are essential tools in every marketer’s arsenal. When used efficiently, these tools can help a business generate leads and increase sales. And how do you generate leads? You create interest and trust in some way that makes your prospect or customer a lead.
Unfortunately, lead generation is not a single, linear process, and following a set of prescribed steps, as if by magic, will get you there. The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to generating leads, and you have to find the right combination of tools and techniques for your unique industry and marketing goals.
Let’s take a closer look at how to buy lead generation marketing software such as Marketing Automation, Content Marketing, and Email Marketing software to name just a few.
Put yourself in the shoes of a digital marketer. Imagine that you’re tasked with generating leads for a technology company, and that you’ve been given a budget of $10,000. You know you can’t spend more than $5,000 on paid ads, so you decide to take a more organic approach and enlist the help of a marketing automation tool.
You decide to integrate your email marketing with marketing automation in order to attain better results from your email campaigns and bring more qualified leads into the top of the funnel. This involves integrating your email strategy with a marketing automation tool, like HubSpot, so that you can follow up with potential customers after they’ve been exposed to your content.
You need to find the right marketing automation tool for your needs, which in turn, will depend on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re looking to automate the entire lead generation process, from attract to conversion, you’ll most likely need a sophisticated marketing automation tool like HubSpot or J.Robbie.
If, on the other hand, your goal is to simply generate more leads via email, you can use a simpler tool like HubSpot or Marketo.
Let’s say you’re a luxury brand goods company that wants to grow its consumer base in the United Kingdom and other English speaking countries. You decide to put your money where your mouth is and invest in a content marketing strategy, specifically, brand journalism to engage with your customers and potential buyers.
You identify a successful freelance journalist named Emily, who has written for Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal among others. Through an editorial relationship with Forbes, Emily covers your industry and produces content that is highly relevant and compelling to readers. As a result, you attract a large and engaged audience, which in turn, generates leads and boosts brand awareness.
This is known as brand journalism, and while it can be incredibly successful, it’s not for the faint of heart. Building a brand voice that is both authentic and interesting will attract, engage, and convert your audience.
If your budget allows, consider investing in a content marketing tool like Narrative, Eloqua, or HubSpot to get an edge on your competition.
Marketing activity, including lead generation, entails a complex chain of events, which may or may not result in a conversion. In the email marketing world, this is known as the marketing funnel.
At the top of the funnel, you have interest, which is generally derived from a combination of activities, including lead generation, content marketing, and paid ads.
Once you have interest, you can move down the funnel to decision-making and ultimately, a conversion. Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-efficient means of reaching your audience and driving them to take action. That action might entail making a purchase, visiting a website, or applying for a job. To put it plainly, email is an intimate channel between businesses and consumers, and it’s ideal for driving sales.
You only need to look at Amazon’s email marketing strategy to see the power and effectiveness of this channel. The ecommerce giant uses email marketing to promote its products, manage customer relationships, and stay in touch with its audience. With over a billion users, Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world when it comes to email marketing. The list of successful brands that use email effectively is endless.
If you’re looking to grow your email list and eventually, your sales, you can use an email marketing tool, like MailChimp, to get started.
Finding The Right Combination
You need to find the right combination of tools and techniques for your unique industry and marketing goals. This is where the struggle often begins. Just because a company produces one type of marketing content (i.e., blog posts, white papers, case studies, etc.) does not mean that they are equipped to handle every aspect of your marketing strategy.
For instance, if your target audience is predominantly based in the United Kingdom, you might want to consider using a content marketing tool that is more tailored to the British market. Or, if you’re looking to generate leads through paid ads, you might want to use a marketing automation tool that is equipped to manage complex campaigns.
These tools, and the people that use them, are constantly evolving, so be sure to research the industry standards and be mindful of the platforms’ limitations. With the right combination of tools, you can effectively plan and execute a marketing strategy that will generate leads and boost sales.