While I love content marketing, storytelling and expressing business concepts through the written word and images, it’s all useless if you haven’t laid out a lead generation plan for your company. The phrase lead generation can seem overwhelming to non-marketers. I assure you that there is nothing to fear. Here is a quick-start guide to your lead generation plan and understanding a common "marketing funnel" in action.
This is the step you are most likely doing right now. When you publish a blog, publish a post on social media, attend a conference, or speak at an event, you are creating awareness of your company / brand. Make the best use of these tactics. When it comes to website content and social media, allow readers to subscribe to get updates. This can be done with an email newsletter or using an RSS Feed.
The difference between awareness and interest is interactivity. This is how you will be generating leads for your business. Starting with social media, make sure that your content is truly engaging and that you aren’t just shouting random information at your followers. Did you know that Facebook posts with photos can get up to 80% higher engagement than posts without photos. Community engagement on social media can be a key differentiator to make your business more appealing than your competitors. Your job is to create a space where people feel welcome to engage.
On your website, share blog posts with content your ideal customers will find value in, and maybe add a compelling testimonial too. This kind of information can cause readers to take further interest in your product or service because you're offering deeper insights into your process and past success – you're building trust.
Consideration can be triggered by a change in circumstances, an event, a budget increase, a simple need, or even an advertising message. This often happens between the fourth and seven "touch" of your marketing efforts. The tactics used in this stage are focused on turning awareness or opinion into preference and taking an action.
If you can find a way to get directly connected with your lead, then this is the time to have the conversation. This is the moment when someone may actually fill out a contact form, spend more time on your website, subscribe to your e-newsletter, or even call your office to learn more about your offerings.
At this point, the your lead has taken an interest in your offerings enough to do some further evaluation. This usually includes reading reviews, learning about your specific services or products, making comparisons, asking for opinions, and doing research into their options.
Once your lead takes an action such as setting up a meeting, filling our a quote request, or getting a referral from a friend, your job is to make it easy to connect with your company. This time is about tying up loose ends, making sure the lead feels comfortable and ready to move forward with you.
After the lead becomes a client or customer, the marketing and communication efforts shift to listening to their needs and interests. In addition, you can use marketing automation tools to help with your lead nurturing strategy. To determine what kind of marketing automation software that you need, consider the following:
The cycle or funnel continues to go in a similar rotation. Once a customer or client has received your product / service, he or she is the hottest lead you have for making another sale. So what will you do to keep him or her buying more or again?
Always be listening to what customers are saying. Improve your business to better serve that customer. And show him or her that you value their feedback. This is how you will turn customers into fans. Fans are the greatest marketing tool of all.
Create Awareness --> Interest --> Consideration--> Evaluation --> Purchase --> Nurturing --> Recurring Customer --> Fan
Fan --> Creates Awareness with others --> Get their interest --> Consideration--> Evaluation --> Purchase --> Nurturing --> Recurring Customer --> Fan
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