It's time to put your website to work for the business!
The humble website has come a long way. From multibillion dollar social networks to live streaming online news channels, there seems to be no limit to what websites can do for us.
As a marketer, your main concern should be what your website can do for your organisation. The answer is: plenty. But the single most important role it can play is lead generation.
That’s right: your website carries out a crucial function as the centre of every marketer’s lead generation strategy. Your website is where potential prospects, customers, leads, and advocates all interact with your organisation and learn more about you.
What better place to capture their details and bring them into your funnel?
Lead generation is a key priority for CMOs
When it comes to priorities for Chief Marketing Officers, Heads of Marketing, and Marketing Managers, generating quality leads is right at the top.
The need to drive up lead generation goes alongside an emphasis on proving ROI. Are those increased budgets translating into better leads that convert into customers?
Your website is your weapon
In the constant fight to win supplies of high-quality leads, your website is one of your strongest weapons. But it can only perform at its best when working in sync with the rest of your marketing armoury.
Instead of being treated as an isolated asset, your organisation’s website must work as a part of the overall marketing strategy. The path to achieving this may well involve updating, changing, or even rebuilding the website altogether.
4 things you need for a successful lead generation strategy
We’ll now look at four crucial components of a successful lead generation strategy.
High-quality, compelling, content is an absolute, non-negotiable essential in any lead generation strategy. Your potential customers need to be wooed. What can you do for them?
This is not about selling your benefits or trumpeting your achievements. Instead, the focus of your content should be about helping your prospects solve their own challenges and achieve their own goals.
This useful content can take many forms. The basic blog format is a good way to present entry level, open-access information to get potential leads interested in what you have to say. If you make a good enough impression, they will be willing to sign up for more informative content such as ebooks, eGuides, emails and webinars, converting them into a lead.
Call to action (CTA)
When it comes to persuading casual website visitors to convert into known leads you can contact, the call to action is a vital tool, employed by many of the most successful lead generation websites to great effect.
Creating effective CTAs involves considering a combination of different factors, which include design elements, wording, placement and priority signalling. Bright colours that contrast with the surrounding page, as well as greater size to indicate importance, are both key features of impactful CTA buttons.
Active language is a must; famously in one charity campaign it increased action by more than 15.75%. ‘Free eGuide here’ encourages less action than ‘Get your free eGuide’. A call to action should tell your reader exactly what to do next.
Great landing pages need to be consistent and compelling. The purpose of your landing page is to ‘sell’ the content you’re offering and convince that casual visitor to identify him or herself to you in exchange for that content.
The benefits need to be clearly and compellingly spelt out. How will downloading an eGuide or signing up for that webinar meet their needs? Be clear about exactly what they’re getting and they will be more likely to convert.
Consistency between the original start point and the landing page is crucial. For example, if they clicked through from an ad touting ‘10 benefits of working in the cloud’, don’t send them to a generic homepage - make sure the landing page delivers what was promised. Design, look, and feel are also important - experiment with different layouts to optimise performance.
Once you have captured leads into your funnel, that’s when the real actions start!
“Lead scoring lets you assign a value (a certain number of points) to each lead based on the professional information they've given you and how they've engaged with your website and brand across the internet. It helps sales and marketing teams prioritise leads and increase efficiency.” (Hubspot)
The goal is to create a system that will guide your sales team towards the prospects most likely to convert to customers, thus maximising return on both time and money invested.
Coming up with this system will involve a combination of analysing past prospects and customers, discussions with the sales teams, and employing a little bit of instinct. Greater levels of interaction with your channels (including the website) generally indicate interest and receptiveness.
Factors to consider when scoring leads
Demographic information - do they fit the buyer persona?
Company size - are they the right ‘type’ of customer?
Online visits - how many times have they browsed your site?
Email interactions - are they opening, clicking your messages?
Social media - are they engaging with your channels?
Last word: The Lead Generation Engine
Hopefully by now it is abundantly clear that your website is not just your website. Gone are the days of the pretty but vacuous online brochure: your website must be a Lead Generation Engine.
Take a long hard look at your current website. Is it hosting compelling, useful, content aimed at your buyer persona? Does it employ clear and impactful calls to action? Are the landing pages capturing enough good quality leads? And are you following up by scoring and qualifying those leads ready for the sales team?
If you answered no to any of the above, your current website’s days are numbered.
→ The most important role of a website for marketers is as a lead generation engine
→ Websites cannot work in isolation - they must fit into the wider marketing strategy
→ Valuable content and compelling calls to action are crucial
→ Landing pages must be designed and worded to maximise conversion rates
→ Once leads are captured, lead scoring helps to identify the most potentially receptive leads