Lead generation is the process of creating and distributing resources that will attract your ideal customers to your website.
But, just because someone visits your website, it doesn’t mean they’ll make a purchase — you’ll still need to work hard to turn your leads into sales.
If you’re still working out how to create a winning sales strategy for 2021, here are 7 of the best lead generation tactics that we recommend for smashing those sales targets
Publish case studies on your website
In order to earn more sales, you need to earn your prospective customers’ trust, and the best way to do this is by showing them the things you’ve done successfully.
Publishing case studies is ideal for this.
Case studies give you the chance to show the results you’ve achieved and share the thoughts of previous customers. They can also give an insight into your processes, which can help those exploring your organization decide if your business would be a good fit for them to work with.
If you would like some inspiration, check out CrankWheel’s case studies.
This method doesn’t just work for organizations with a B2B focus, though. Lawyers, scientists, educators, programmers, and more could successfully employ this method as well.
For instance, the law firm Allan Rouben does a great job of attracting potential clients by publishing a list of previous cases they’ve worked on to demonstrate their expertise.
Ask your customers for testimonials
People tend to trust word-of-mouth recommendations over marketing, so it’s a good idea to ask your customers for testimonials that you can publish on your website.
These will show that you’ve done a great job for your customers in the past and will build a sense of trust with new clients.
You can source testimonials from customer satisfaction surveys sent out post-sale or through a prompted link whenever you send out regular email communications. You could even include a link in social media posts or your profile bios.
It never hurts to ask and, even if someone isn’t available to write you a testimonial, they might be willing to do something else further down the road, like provide constructive feedback, or make a referral — this can also generate another great lead.
For a more in-depth exploration of ways to automatically build referrals and reviews into your sales pipeline, check out CrankWheel’s post all about the topic.
Establish authority in your field
Building authority in your field is great for both your SEO and for earning the trust of new customers.
There are a number of ways you can build authority. Publishing high-quality content about your niche, providing coaching sessions and webinars, writing guest posts for other people’s websites, and trying to get your work covered by the press are all great examples.
Basically, if people start visiting your site regularly for the information and resources that you provide, they’ll be more likely to also invest in your products or services.
The Million Dollar Agency has this process figured out. They provide coaching sessions, webinars, and run an informative blog. All of these sources provide actionable information to help other marketing agencies thrive. After successfully implementing the free advice they receive from Million Dollar Agency, businesses will be much more likely to reach out to work directly with the experts.
Babbel, a language-learning software company, uses a similar method that aims to provide additional resources for learners of all levels. Their blog, the Babbel Magazine, covers topics from culture to tech, and stories from other learners and fun interactive articles like quizzes.
They also have a podcast series with engaging content in a few of their most popular languages targeted at a variety of different levels.
Building authority in this way is an important factor for creating a low-touch sales model. This refers to a model in which the cost of acquiring new customers is lowered, increasing overall profit margins. For more info on how to generate more revenue with a low-touch model, read CrankWheel’s overview of the topic.
Create content for every stage of the buyer journey
People at different stages of the buying journey will have different needs, so you need to create content with this in mind.
At the beginning of the buyer journey, people might not know that your services exist yet, so how could they know that they need them?
Content targetting people at this stage of their journey should be presented as a basic introduction to your niche.
For instance, Venngage, a business that helps people create high-quality infographics, targets the first stage of the buyer journey with a long and informative article explaining what an infographic is and what it should look like. They also provide templates and design tips.
After learning about infographics and perhaps deciding to make their own, readers will be much more likely to go back and use Venngage’s products to do so.
The next step of the buyer journey is information gathering. Visitors at this stage probably know about your services, but they’re also considering a handful of your competitors, and they’re trying to figure out what differentiates you.
Agency management and client portal vendors, Service Provider Pro, target this stage with an article explaining why your agency should have a client portal. This works, because it assumes that visitors already know what a client portal is, and they’re considering investing in one, but they just need a little bit more convincing.
Lastly, before making their final decision, prospective customers are likely trying to figure out as much as possible about your business’s offerings, as well as maybe one other strong competitor.
InVPN is a website that helps people to compare and contrast different VPN options, and its content is primarily aimed at readers who are close to making a purchase. For instance, they have a round-up of the best VPN options according to Reddit users.
If someone is interested in this content, they’re probably close to the end of the buyer journey, as they’ve decided they need a VPN and are just finalizing their decision about which one to use. This is when buying guides and comparison pieces can work really well.
Use strong calls-to-action
Whether you want someone to visit your website, sign up for a free trial, or make a purchase, you need to tell them that with a strong call-to-action.
These should be everywhere, from your social media profiles to your landing pages and especially in your website content.
After all, if people like your content and are impressed by your knowledge, they’ll want to know what else you can do for them. A strong CTA communicates that.
Don’t know what a strong CTA should look like? Here are our tips:
- Use a strong verb. Swedish outdoor clothing and equipment company, Fjällräven, uses the verb “explore” as a call to check out their products. This works, not just because it’s a strong verb, but also because it reflects the company’s message, motivating people to explore the outdoors
- Create a sense of urgency or FOMO. Accounting software provider, FreshBooks, tells their visitors that they should “join [the] 24 million people who have used FreshBooks”. This encourages those visitors to get involved in order to avoid missing out on the fun.
- Make sure they stand out. A CTA that no one can find is a CTA that no one will follow. Huemor, a website development and design company, took this advice as far as possible, and created an almost full-page call-to-action, making sure that visitors see how best to contact the agency.
Keep an eye on your competition
To stay competitive and generate more leads than similar companies, you always need to keep one eye on what your competitors are doing.
Make sure you know which products and services they’re offering, how they’re marketing their business, and what keywords they’re targeting to boost their Google rankings.
You’ve probably been analyzing your competitors’ product offerings and overt marketing strategies for a while now, but competitor keyword analysis for SEO is a bit newer of a concept. Loganix’s guide will give you a step-by-step overview of how to perform this type of analysis, but here’s a quick explanation of why you should do it.
Competitive keyword analysis will give you a good idea of what does and does not work when you’re trying to rank for keywords relevant to your niche. By identifying what your competitors do well and where you can improve on their processes, you can begin climbing higher up the rankings yourself.
Consistently ranking well will further help to establish your authority, generate more awareness of your brand, and — most importantly — generate more leads.
Engage with your target customers on social media
One of the easiest and most effective places to regularly engage with potential customers is on social media.
First, do some research to figure out which platforms your target audience is most active on. All kinds of people frequent Facebook, although the middle-aged crowd is usually more prominent. Younger adults are still largely on Instagram and Twitter, although Twitter tends to have more of a professional focus, while Instagram is more artistic. Teenagers and young people of various demographics have made their way to TikTok now, and will generally follow the newest, most popular craze.
Once you decide which platforms to focus on, start curating strong social media content. Having an easily-recognizable personality that is either relatable to your target audience or a good reflection of your company values — or both — is a great way to go.
Then, employ the standard tenants of customer service: always reply to comments and DMs, reach out to people who you think might be interested in partnering with your brand, and share relevant content that communicates your brand personality, or shows customers loving your products. You should also definitely be posting your own content related to product updates, events, and links to your website content and service offerings.
To track the efficacy of your social media efforts, SocialPilot created a helpful round-up of social media analytics tools, how to use them, and what might work best for you. Keeping an eye on your analytics will give you a better idea of what’s working, what isn’t, and where you should focus your energy to achieve the best results.
Social media is also another great low-touch sales tool. CrankWheel has an article about how to use this method to keep prospects engaged, which is well worth reading for more inspiration.
Generating leads is a constant process. You have to keep finding new ways to attract more leads as your business grows if you want to stay competitive.
A great place to start, though, is with the 7 tactics we’ve covered here:
- Publishing case studies
- Asking for customer testimonials
- Building authority
- Targetting every stage of the buyer’s journey
- Using strong CTAs
- Assessing your competition
- Engaging on social media
For more tips on how to fill up your sales calendar, check out CrankWheel’s four additional tips.
About the author
Alex Ratynski is the founder of Ratynski Digital, an online marketing consultancy that focuses on helping small and medium-sized businesses achieve their goals. He set up his company after working as a local SEO director for a dental marketing agency, where he helped to turn clients’ ventures into thriving multi-million dollar businesses. He spends most hours strategizing SEO for his clients.