Lead Generation According to Joana Inch
Your website is your shop front – the first platform where potential customers can connect and engage with your business, and the more visitors you have, more leads tend to follow.
But how do you decide which digital marketing tactics to implement, to generate high quality leads, converting site visitors into sales?
Leading digital marketing strategist, co-founder Hat Media, and author of Go To Market, Joana Inch, has set the record straight on the key priorities Australian start-ups must acquire to take the reins in generating more fruitful leads from their website. The ‘one size fits all’ approach simply won’t cut it.
When a start-up decides to take the plunge to create and deliver a lead generation campaign, the aim is to increase brand awareness, build and consolidate relationships, acquire sound leads and ultimately, make a sale.
It is imperative that businesses take the time to do the research to discover and unpack the suite of digestible and doable lead generation digital marketing actions which exist to ensure their ROI is sound and justified.
Be a trailblazer when generating leads
There are a suite of lead generation touch points which can be play a significant role in brand awareness.
From Pay per click, (PPC), Paid Social which encompasses Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, as well as other social channels including Twitter and Instagram.
According to Joana, brand awareness is crucial for start-ups trying to cut through in a competitive market and be remembered and considered as a thought leader in the space.
“Lead generation campaigns may bring you many leads, however, branding is what’s going to help close deals. You want your ads to exude a positive, respectable and memorable message out there. One that is also educational and not necessarily focused on getting you a demo or meeting booked.”
“Creating and promoting collateral such as ebooks, webinars, branded video content and whitepapers are sound and robust ways to get your customers’ attention, authentically.
It is best to test
Don’t assume your pay-per-click campaigns are automatically engaging - you cannot be complacent and assume that your ads are working. You need to test.
Testing allows you to experiment with different audience types, creatives, messages and landing pages to determine what works best.
There are various forms of testing which can be done including A/B Testing which includes testing your audience targeting parameters including age groups, demographics on Facebook or company growth percentages, company sizes and skills on Linked In. Also you can look at testing your ad creative and landing pages.
“But be aware that there are things that don’t make good tests including platforms such as testing Google Ad words vs Facebooks. You need to ensure you look at the holistic data and understand your customer’s conversion paths before you decide against a particular platform. And don’t test content types against each other - sticking to one bit of content-type is not a good idea. Similarly to platforms, your customer likes to consume different types of content.”
SEO is the go
One of the other stars with lead generation is Search Engine Optimisation, which does take time but is considered a better long-term strategy, but there are ways to accelerate your SEO efforts.
“SEO should be run side-by-side with your pay-per-click campaigns. Once you’re optimised, you’ll start to generate free traffic to your website and won’t have to spend as much on media costs. Big media budgets with the likes of Google, LinkedIn and Facebook are not likely every single month and hence if you want a consistent flow of website traffic and leads, you’ll need to supplement this with organic or referral campaigns.”
Getting your website right
First and foremost, make sure your website is built on a secure platform such as HTTPS which Google advocates.
And your Metadata needs to be unique and relevant for each page. This includes your title, description, as well as headers on the page.
“If your website is built on WordPress, simply install the Yoast SEO plugin which allows you to do this and get a score of how good it is for your target keyword. How do you get your target keyword? You want to use a keyword that’s both relevant to your business and also trending. Type in some potential keywords related to your offering into a tool like Google Trends or Answer the Public to see the trending options.”
“Once you have these foundations right on your website, the next crucial step is content creation! The more content you create and the more you share it via social media platforms with a link back to your website, then the more traffic you would obtain. You also give Google another reason to come over your house and inspect the new rooms. Once it does that, it gives you a better page rank.
“Research shows that customers will see anywhere from 7 to 10 pieces of content from you before they actually convert on your website. So start creating engaging content, NOW!”
Link Building is another factor of SEO that should be a priority and involves a link back to your website from another website.
Historically, link building has acquired a bad reputation, especially with many websites having used the services of disreputable link building companies to get as many links as possible which did help with their SEO efforts.
However, this usually consisted of low traffic websites being created that just featured links on them and no relevant or engaging content. Google cracked down on this and has since penalised any website that has used these.
Joana’s advice around link building is simple.
“Quality over quantity. Do your own link building by posting new and engaging content on your social platforms with a link back to your website in some of your posts. Dedicate time each week to writing content. You’ll be so happy you invested that time when months down the track, your organic traffic is growing and sales are following.”
Lead generation is a process with the ‘ends justifies the means’ as you continue to grow and evolve a website, rich with content, ready to take on customers.