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According to Cultivate Communications’ 2014 Benchmark Study on Marketing for Manufacturers, lead generation has become a top priority. However, what makes this change so notable is the fact that marketing manufacturers have decided to generate leads through inbound marketing rather than trade shows, printed directories and trade magazine ads. Inbound marketing allows companies to attract leads by providing helpful, educational and interesting information. Therefore, only those interested in your content and offering will give you their name and emails. As a result, the sale team won’t be wasting hours on dead-end leads (or complain about them!). Now, let’s dive into some effective manufacturing lead generation techniques.
If you’re planning a lead generation campaign using inbound marketing techniques, use the following six steps to guide your efforts.
Step #1) Start with the Buyer Persona
A buyer persona is a profile of a fictional buyer but based on real-life data and characteristics that help you understand who your best buyer is and how they function. By developing this profile, you’ll be able to make your efforts more targeted. As a result, lead generation and customer retention will grow more effective. After all, you’ll be creating more targeted content and offers. To create a buyer persona, use the following questions:
- What is your ideal customer’s demographic?
- What is your client’s level of seniority and decision-making authority?
- How does the client’s average day look like?
- What are the customer’s pain points?
- What are their values and goals?
- What channels do they conduct their research through?
- What is your clients’ ideal shopping experience while looking for your goods and services?
- What issues are usually highlighted?
Step #2) Decide which Channels to Target Through
According to Cultivate Communications, manufacturing marketers use the following to generate leads:
- Referrals (62%)
- Email (53%)
- Social Media (45%)
- National Advertising (44%)
- SEO (34%)
- Tradeshow (30%)
- Display (25%)
- Telemarketing (23%)
- Blogs (19%)
- Video (18%)
- Pay Per Click (15%)
You need to consider your buyer persona to determine which of these channels can help you generate maximum leads. For instance, if your target buyers are usually online, you can choose between email, social media, PPC and organic traffic. To further save your time and money, find which of these channels is most profitable and use it more often. For instance, CEOs aged 45+ are bound to rely more on email and organic traffic, so work on these channels to be visible through them.
Step #3) Develop a Lead Magnet to Offer to Your Target
Lead magnets are usually free offers which you provide to get potential clients’ email addresses. They make your prospects super excited, especially since they get ample value without paying for it. To develop a lead magnet for your brand, you can create a downloadable offer to convert traffic. Here are some options you can go for:
- Case Studies – Case studies offer relevant, necessary and engaging content. Moreover, they document client satisfaction and success, assuring prospects that they aren’t new test subjects. As a result, case studies are effective in building trust in brands and products. However, you need to write them effectively to maximize their benefits.
- Guides/Reports – Though they’re the most common types of lead magnets, guides or reports can be quite tricky since it’s easy to violate the specificity rule (i.e. creating content that isn’t too lengthy, complex or time-intensive). So focus on a single problem, offer solutions and be simple and direct in your approach.
- Cheat Sheets – Cheat sheets and handouts are very effective. Usually one page or so, they cut straight to a specific point, delivering a blueprint of sorts to readers.
Choose the best lead magnet according to your persona. For example, CEOs and decision makers will prefer concise case studies since they showcase your brand and how it can solve issues similar to those they currently face. Next, create content they may be interested in. That way, you’ll get them to read what you’re offering until the very last line.
In addition to your lead magnet, you’ll need to have a landing page that incorporates the following suggestions:
- Include Important Components – Your landing page should have a headline, brief description of the offer, at least one image that complements your text, and a form for visitors’ information.
- Remove Main Navigation – It’s your job to keep your visitors on your landing page, so don’t distract them with links to your website. So remove the main navigation from the page to increase its page conversion.
- Keep Things Simple – A cluttered page will distract, confuse, and/or overwhelm your visitors. So add more white space whenever possible and keep text and images very simple.
- Emphasize the Offer’s Value – Highlight the benefits of the offer either with a brief paragraph or a few bullet points.
- Encourage Social Sharing – Add buttons of social platforms your buyer persona uses to evangelize content and offers. Even if your prospects don’t download your magnet, someone in their network might.
Step #4) Create Content around Your Offer
Generate a buzz around your lead magnet by creating content around it. For instance, if your buyer persona is mainly online, you can have social media posts and blog posts explaining the value of your freebie and what others can expect from it. Even if your clients are offline, you can write about your offer in your trade show brochures. Just make sure to use graphics that stand out and content which can appeal to readers so that they can take note of your new addition.
Step #5) Promote Your Content
With your offer and complementary content in hand, it’s time for you to start promote both and generating leads. While you can use trade shows’ brochures and ruffles for this, inbound marketing trumps every time. You can use the following three for this purpose.
- Social Media – Social media, especially LinkedIn, has the power to increase your reach to B2B clients. Therefore, run a few posts highlighting your freebie and what it has to offer.
- PPC – Be it through LinkedIn or AdWords, Pay Per Click allows you to capture clients searching for your type of offerings or services. They’re also more effective than regular calls to action since they provide value rather than just hollow promotional materials.
- Emails – Use the email lists you currently have to tell your existing clients about your new content. If some of them are already active as brand evangelists, they’ll help you generate leads by sending your email to their own circles.
Step #6) Rinse and Repeat
Take a step back to determine which channels have ensures more conversions. Compare your results with the key performance indicators you established at the beginning of the campaign and tracked throughout. Based on your data, modify your campaign to ensure better results. Make sure to establish a plan for this process as well as a schedule. That way, you can hone your marketing techniques and ensure an edge over the competition.
With these steps, you’ll be able to increase the amount of leads and results of your sales and marketing teams. However, make sure to take into consideration othertips and guides to maximize the return on your efforts and ensure value for money.
Do you want to learn more how you can increase your sales and marketing results with inbound marketing? Download the guide below by clicking the image.