Mastering lead generation requires you to be a bit of a jack of all trades. You need to be able to attract prospects to your funnel, write informative (and persuasive) content and convert.
Each stage is a crucial step that a prospect must experience before they have a relationship with you and are qualified for a sales call. So are you an expert in every stage? Are you happy with the amount of leads you are currently generating?
We’ve teamed up with Siobhán McGinty of HubSpot (the inbound marketing experts) to create this guide on attracting more prospects, writing awesome content and converting 50% more leads with live chat.
Stop what you are doing and read these quick tips now. You might think that your lead generation game is strong but we’re sure that we can provide at least 1 new technique to give it more muscle.
Attracting prospects to the funnel
There are a tonne of things you can do to attract prospects into your funnel. Here are a few ideas:
Create a good headline
They say that you have one chance to make a good impression, and that’s certainly the case with content. Put thought and love into your headlines. Really work to find that “hook” that will make people really NEED to click on your headline. Here are some ideas:
1) The ‘Best’ Headlines
2) The ‘Make My Life Easier’ Headlines
3) The ‘It’s a Race’ Headlines
4) The ‘If I Were You’ Headlines
5) The ‘What We Do When…’ Headlines
(If five ideas aren’t enough, we’ve got eight more right here)
And remember, headlines are not just for blog posts. You need to think about your headline for social media posts, landing pages and longer-form content too.
Invest in creative
When it comes to promotion, you cannot underestimate the power of a great visual. Thankfully, gone are the days where you have to spend budget on creating really slick-looking images for your campaign. By using tools like Canva, it’s very easy to create something eye-catching.
However, don’t stop there. Creating GIFs and short promotional videos can do wonders for catching the eyes of your target audience. We recently experimented with this short promotional video for a LinkedIn Kit we created, and it resulted in far higher engagement across social media, compared to static images.
— Siobhán McGinty (@Siobbz) December 8, 2015
Think about promotion before you create the asset
In my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes marketers make is obsessing over the content before even thinking about promotion. Once you nail down whatever your content piece is going to be, sit down and plan out your potential promotion plan. Is there anything you can do outside what you usually do? Experiment with different channels and tools. Is there any way you can create your content asset to be more suitable for a channel you know will work well?
By flipping the content creating process on its head, you will uncover more and more ways to attract new people into your funnel. By relying on the same channels and tactics for every campaign, you’ll limit your potential audience.
Warming with content
Your content warms prospects by providing them with value and you also begin some basic qualification with gated content. You start to build a relationship by offering value and solutions for little in return.
Content is one of the key components of building relationships with prospects and warming them as leads — essentially lead nurturing. However, it’s important to understand where different types of content sit at each stage of the funnel.
Helpful blog posts (that don’t even mention your product or service) are great as a means of attracting traffic to your website and generating prospects, but they aren’t the strongest tool for generating leads. So if you’re a company starting out, building a frequently-updated blog is a great way to get started in terms of driving traffic and prospects. Of course, you cannot expect blog posts to transform the top of your funnel by themselves. You need to put thought into how you’re going to promote them — whether that’s through various social media sites (organically/paid), guest posting, outreach, or using platforms like Inbound.org.
Longer-form content is valuable once you have a base of prospects to work from (though, if you’ve got a bank of organically-ranking longer-form content, it can also be a great way of attracting people into your funnel too!).
As you can see from the illustration above, we typically assign different types of content to the different stages of the funnel. It doesn’t make sense, for example, to offer a live demo to someone who’s not really aware of what you offer.
Helping prospects with the next steps
After you’ve nailed the inbound marketing process set up, the next step is looking at how you can convert more browsing visitors into quality leads for your sales team. What if we told you that you could push your inbound marketing process into a new gear and convert 50% more leads from your existing traffic? Well it’s true, you can.
Once you’ve got a good flow of traffic to your content (say at least 10,000 visits a month) you don’t want keep increasing spend on paid social and PPC to increase conversions.
Take your existing traffic and make it work harder. Don’t convert 2% of your traffic, convert 3% and more.
Admittedly you probably won’t achieve such an impressive conversion uplift without some professional guidance. This is the kind of result that we, as live chat experts, achieve through our Live Chat Outsourcing service (we’ve got over 260,000 chats worth of experience you see).
We’re going to share some of our secrets with you right now, so that with or without us you’ll be able to generate more leads from your existing website traffic and marketing content. And if you have a decent amount of traffic, you’ll be surprised at how many more quality leads you can generate from your inbound marketing process.
Live chat lead generation
To begin generating more leads with the help of live chat, you need to do more than stick a button on your website and occasionally answer the odd question that comes through. You need to approach your website visitors (not all of them, more on that in a second) and start having real conversations that allow you to learn much more about each other.
No regurgitating FAQs or using robotic scripts, thank you. Fill in the information gaps that prospects have,start building a relationship with themand provide more reasons to convert. Just like your content should, your conversations should nurture leads and begin to qualify them for the sales team. Give value to prospects in the form of solutions to their problems and learn more about their individual needs (and therefore start to qualify them for sales).
It’s all about providing your prospects with a better user-experience. Ask questions to make a recommendation that they appreciate and trust. This will encourage them to take a call with your sales team (or whatever your next sales step is).
Targeting your content readers
You don’t want to just wait for prospects to come and chat to you…often website visitors need further information but they aren’t prepared to reach out and get it.
To generate more leads you need to start directly engaging with prospects that are reading your content. You need to proactively invite prospects to chat when they have the potential to be high quality leads in need of further guidance. There are so many website visitors that currently read your content and then leave, but that’s not necessarily because they aren’t interested in buying.
Invite these people to chat. Instead of mindlessly trying to invite every Tom, Dick and Harry to chat though, you need to be smart about it. Most live chat software allows you to program the chat window to pop up at certain stages of a visitor’s journey. This is called proactive live chat.
Work out when to engage with someone based on your website analytics data. We study the flow of visitor behaviour through a website to determine where we might use proactive live chat or where we might leave prospects to come to us.
When do you want to engage someone? If it’s your first time using live chat then we suggest starting off by analysing website averages and using these as indicators. How many pages does a prospect read before they convert? Engage the prospects that have been reading the right content but have not taken the next step.
You should also use targeted interactions that are connected to specific marketing campaigns. When a prospect reaches your website from a specific advert (based on their referral URL) talk to them about the problem they might be facing, based on the ad they clicked.
We know that not everyone needs our help and that not everyone is a suitable, potential lead. To make sure that you’re only engaging with visitors that are likely to genuinely need your help or that have a real potential to be leads, stack instructions in your live chat code. For example you might only engage visitors after they have read at least 3 pages and been on your site for 2+ minutes.
You can add more complex invites, test and improve as you go. This will increase the number of relevant chats that you have and the number of leads you website is able to convert.
If you need more inspiration on the sort of proactives you could use, check out LiveChat’s Chat Greetings Efficiency Report. Each live chat software has different capabilities though, and we’ve even built some proactives in-house to suit certain visitor behaviours.
To increase lead generation by 50%, you need to do more than just invite the right people to chat of course. You need to chat with them too! And those conversations need to be real conversations, not robotic scripts.
We encourage our Live Chat Experts to let their personalities shine through when chatting with prospects. Real conversation allows a relationship to be built between prospect and client.
Content and conversations with prospects should answer the questions they have, whilst asking them questions in return. Get to know prospects to understand how you can help them. Guide them with great advice and the solution perfect for their needs, whilst you qualify them for your sales team.
Your inbound marketing process should be genuinely useful to the prospect. Put their goal before yours in order to build relationships and trust that encourages conversion.
This post was originally published in http://blog.thechatshop.com/mastering-lead-generation-from-content-to-chat by Miles Hobson