Online lead generation is now the number 1 tool for B2B marketers. We show you what strategies to employ to improve your website lead generation.
What is strategic lead generation?
Ultimately, it’s the process by which marketers collate the contact details of prospective new customers and assesses their potential to become sales targets.
In marketing speak: it’s the process by which Marketing Qualified Leads - or MQLs - are generated and funnelled down the pipeline to become Sales Qualified Leads - or SQLs - and, ultimately, customers.
Firstly, you need to ensure that your sales department’s time is not wasted chasing prospects who aren’t red hot sales leads - not every interested party – or MQL - who has visited your website and left their contact details, will ultimately qualify to become an SQL.
With quality lead generation now the number one priority for B2B marketers, and websites cited as a B2B marketer’s most effective online lead generation tool, how can you ensure your website lead generation system is working hard to produce quality leads? And how can you then assess their SQL potential?
Using your website to generate Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
1. Create topical content that resonates, educates and entertains.
Publishing quality online resources is a proven online lead generation tactic. 62% of respondents in a recent benchmark study reported that content marketing had led to an increase in the quality and quantity of leads in their pipeline, including things like:
- White papers
- How to guides
- Free trials
- Survey results
- Video content
- Product reviews
2. Create bold, highly visible calls to action
Whether you’re promoting online resources, a blog, or social media pages, ensure your CTAs stand out. CTAs must compel customers to act, and develop a more intimate relationship with your brand.
Did you know: 67% of a buyer’s journey is now done digitally.
3. Create simple landing pages for each piece of content
A landing page allows leads to submit brief contact details before completing a download. This will enter them into your MQL database and will ensure you are not giving away something for nothing.
4. Search engine optimise
A well-executed SEO strategy ensures maximum organic traffic to your site. Research has shown that organic SEO leads have a successful close rate (14.6%) which is more than eight times higher than that of outbound sourced leads (1.7%).
5. Create a manageable pipeline for nurturing MQLs
The only thing worse than generating no leads, is generating leads which you fail to follow up on. This process is vital for assessing your MQL’s future potential as a customer.
6. Actively encourage your MQLs to get in touch
Ensure your website contains highly visible and inviting contact information, sign-up forms and social media links. Remember, the aim here is to capture and retain your audience.
Your website can only do so much work. Now it’s up to you to assess which of your MQLs are genuine sales prospects…
To evaluate sales potential, your marketing and sales teams need to devise a lead scoring system. This assigns a numeric value to each MQL, based on a number of criteria which could include: job title, number of website visits, level of product interest, industry sector and so on.
Only high-scoring leads will progress down the pipeline as an SQL. This process helps to whittle out poor quality leads, but more importantly is designed to improve the efficiency and productivity of your sales department by feeding them fewer, higher quality leads.
In summary, your strategic lead generation website should:
- Be a source for easily-accessible, quality content that captures leads to your database.
- Generate valuable organic leads for your sales pipeline.
- Be the basis for a simple lead scoring system to progress prospects down your pipeline towards a final sale.