Do this. Don't do that. Do more of this something, and less of this something else ...
Marketing is nonstop. If your wheels quit turning, the entire organization grinds to a halt for lack of revenue. Do you ever stop to consider what -- of all the activities you do for online lead generation -- is actually working? Or do you keep trying to do it all, hoping something will actually stick?
Researchers at Ascend2 recently surveyed 244 business people, including marketing pros, sales folks, business owners, executives, etc., and asked them (among other stuff) which channels were actually the most effective for generating leads online. About half of the respondents work in B2B, about a quarter in B2C, and another quarter in a combination of B2B and B2C marketing. Here's what the results were.
Nearly half of all respondents believed email to be the most effective channel for online lead generation. However, it is essential to do email right, because bad email marketing lands you squarely in the junk heap. First, keep it to a minimum. Don't get spammy. Spend as much time developing your subject lines as you do the actual email, and keep email bodies brief and concise. Use strong images, and rock that CTA. If email isn't working for you, it likely has more to do with execution than the channel. Revise your strategy and give it another go.
Another 45 percent put lots of stock in content marketing for online lead generation. Again, success has as much to do with execution as it does the actual channel, so be sure you're using quality writers and designers, and that you're not stuck in a content rut. Content includes everything from web page writing to infographics to your YouTube channel, and don't forget your gated content, like white papers and e-books. Make it clear how your product is going to change things -- how it's going to revolutionize the way your customers do business. Surprise them with the unexpected. Don't simply rehash what every other marketer in your industry is spinning out. Be different.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is ideal for online lead generation because it allows you to very precisely target your market. Almost 40 percent of marketers feel this is a highly effective channel, as long as you adhere to the social media advertising basics. Look for brands that have a high crossover between their customers and yours, and target their followers with your messages. Make sure you're targeting social users with the right products for their particular needs, and be sure that you're doing more entertaining and story telling than you are hard selling. Connect with them on the level of interesting technologies, current events (mainstream or within the industry), humor, or other emotional and practical levels. Once you build a rapport, they're yours for the taking.