In this round-up, our experts share the key steps to building an effective lead generation strategy – from framing your current efforts and defining your approach to practical advice on driving growth and refining your strategy.
In response to a recent survey by Lead Generation Institute, 80% of marketers considered their current lead gen efforts to be only slightly or somewhat effective. The survey also found that 68% of B2B marketing professionals state that increasing the number of qualified leads is their top priority.
In our latest workshop – ‘Investing in Inbound – A Consolidated Approach to your Lead Generation’, experts Dave Karellen, Head of PPC at Dark Horse and Julia Payne, CEO of Incisive Edge discuss what goes into a full funnel lead generation effort including how to avoid common mistakes, the shared threads across channels, how to prioritise the right metrics, and ultimately how to drive more valuable learnings from your inbound strategy.
Julia shares the common building blocks that businesses need to gain a more holistic perspective of their key focus areas and have an effective performance across any inbound effort – regardless of channel.
For any B2B organisation aiming to implement an effective inbound strategy, the first step is defining your Ideal Client Profile (ICP). This allows you to understand the institutional needs of that target market and tailor your marketing strategies to maximise the opportunities for conversion.
Julia highlights the importance of establishing clear buyer personas, “we always try and do buyer personas on the page so your team will actually use them, and we've seen from the sublime to the ridiculous, as in the buyer personas from like a two liner to a 24 pager is but you need to make them practical, so everybody's bought in.”
Once you have established the buyer persons, ask yourself – what are the stages that they go through when they have made a buying or purchasing decision?
Julia says, “one of the mistakes that we often see is people trying to shoehorn their target audience into their sales process and that doesn't work as effectively.
For example, if someone's never been to your site before, and the first visible call to action is a demo, it’s unlikely they will take it. Therefore, it’s important to understand that buying journey so you can marry up relevant channels with the customer journey.”
A clearly defined value proposition does not only improve the quantity of customers engaging with your brand but also improves the quality of prospective leads by appealing to your ideal consumer, this in turns means a higher chance of conversion.
Julia states that, “we often go on a website and see a logo, image or tagline yet we can't tell what that company actually does.
Achieving a clearly defined value proposition is far more than just a tagline. When budgets are limited as they are for most brands in this current climate, you need to be really front and centre about the value you actually deliver not just the features and benefits of your business.”
Questions to ask yourself when determining a clear position in the market:
“From an inbound marketing perspective, having those strategic foundations in place can’t be understated. They’re the building blocks of everything”, says Julia.
She adds for example, “having vital strategies in place such as consistency in your SEO and PPC keyword research but actually doing it in depth. So, it's not just a volume play but considering things like what keywords are your competitors using? Do you stand a chance of ranking for those keywords? And what's the keyword difficulty? This allows you to target keywords that have a higher ROI for your business.”
The need to deliver instant, relevant and impactful messaging is becoming more and more important. The use of messaging platforms can help you stand out from your competitors as well as reach and target your ideal clients with a strong sales-led approach.
Julia states that “a messaging platform for both your company, but also the buyer personas that you're targeting, so everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet, is essential. We do all that strategic work which packages up into something that we call a strategic blueprint and then off the back of that we create the marketing strategy from those strategic foundations, which then need to be reflected across, for example, your website or messaging on your social channels, etc.
Dave gives practical guidance for updating your lead generation performance, reporting, and processes to drive value insights from your channel's data.
Julia and Dave share the common view of brands acquiring external support to ‘see the wood from the trees.’
“Getting that external perspective to see different ways of forming the building blocks to your inbound strategy or perhaps exploring different channel strategies is absolutely invaluable”, says Julia.
In relation to outsourcing certain areas of your strategy, Dave adds “external specialists can have a more holistic view of your channels whether that’s PPC or SEO, to see if they are meeting their targets and driving the most revenue for the whole business rather than a siloed approach.”
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