Although lead generation is essential to your business’ success, it shouldn’t eat up countless hours every week. If it is, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Yes, it is possible to accomplish more with less work. To maximize your lead-generating power (and free up time in your schedule to focus on other projects), you’ll need to simplify and streamline your lead generation efforts.
But getting to this place of (nearly) effortless results takes a little legwork. After all, random chance is not a viable strategy — the only way to get real results is through an actionable plan. And when lead generation is a content marketer’s highest priority, the plan should work for him, not against him.
First thing’s first: Implement a hands-off system that uses software and tracking codes to automate as many of your lead-generating tasks as possible. (Why should tasks that you can easily automate by utilizing the right marketing automation software slow you down?) Then, take the following steps to make your marketing efforts leaner and more effective:
1. Prep to impress.
When you’re capturing the attention of a prospect, much of your future success depends on the first impression you make. It’s essential to do your homework and ensure all your content works toward making a positive impression that invites your prospect to learn more.
So, before putting any marketing materials out there — whether it’s a blog post or an introductory email — conduct thorough research, and survey your target market to come up with a few detailed buyer personas. Don’t overlook social media and social data to initiate outreach; these networking platforms are a great place to interact with and learn more about your target consumers.
This research with audience members directly and via social will allow you to understand your customer’s pain points, resulting in a strategy that speaks to your audience and one that has the power to generate more leads. Tailoring your message to your customers will also minimize your risk of hitting a sour note with legitimate prospects and turning them off with content that’s not designed for them.
2. Simplify your message.
Ditch the extravagant marketing materials, elaborate advertisements, and pretty presentations. These tactics can take a lot of time to create, eat into your ROI, and frankly aren’t even that effective. Concentrate instead on crafting a clearly honed, authentic message that communicates your value and speaks to your customer’s pain points every time.
Relay who you are and what you offer in a way that’s immediately and effortlessly understandable. If your campaign has more than one call to action, landing page, or offer, there’s room to simplify. Focus your energy on making that one call to action, one landing page, and one offer as effective as possible, and reduce the effort on the part of your audience to further engage with your brand.
3. Declutter your toolbox.
There are numerous tools that can assist with productivity and content development — it’s no wonder so many marketing campaigns (and teams) get bogged down with unnecessary steps and details. But just because you have nearly limitless software and process options to help you doesn’t mean you have to use as many as possible; using more tools doesn’t guarantee you’ll be a more effective marketer. Rather, it’s about how you use those tools to maximize your efficiency and deliver results.
Perform a thorough inventory of the tools and software you use. How does each help you? Does it actually make your job easier? How has it improved your marketing efforts? Get rid of any excess tools that are expanding your responsibilities but not generating leads. Even if you’re left with just one tool at the end of your inventory, that’s OK — as long as that one tool gets results.
4. Sharpen your copywriting skills.
Copywriting is the engine hard at work behind all your marketing efforts, and to ensure your content is as polished, engaging, and effective as possible, you have to improve your copywriting skills to match.
To skyrocket your conversion rates, you’ll need a clear, persuasive message and knowledge on triggering your reader’s emotion. Aside from practicing, you can sharpen your skills by enlisting a mentor, reading books on writing, or keeping a swipe file (a collection of copywriting snippets that can be used to structure marketing material).
5. Build and maintain customer relationships.
Build and maintain relationships with your existing customers to efficiently get referrals and build a network of new leads. Frequent, authentic rapport is key to building a trusting relationship. Besides, you never know what fresh leads will come up in conversation.
Again, content and social media are great resources to build trust in relationships. When you interact with your target audience online, you’ll encourage engagement and get prospects curious about your company and how you can help them. And that translates to a smoother journey from prospect to customer.
Lead generation is the top goal of most content marketers, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only goal you’re trying to reach or that you must devote countless hours each week to it alone. Instead, work smarter, not harder. Simplify your processes and select the right tools to help your team accomplish more by doing less.