After a successful year of marketing you are probably looking towards next year and wondering how you are going to generate leads online faster and more efficiently. In this blog post I will lay out a four-step guide to generation leads online using a combination of content marketing and SEO. A complete Online Lead Generation Guide is available as a free download.
First, it may be useful to identify exactly what a lead is. In professional services online leads come in two flavors – early and late stage.
Early stage leads are people who are on the web searching for information about your service offering. Late stage leads have already gathered information and are looking to make a buying decision. Normally the firms that do the best job educating early stage leads will win the business as the lead “matures”.
For this post let’s focusing on early stage leads and identify the key steps to help you attract them online.
Step 1 – Start blogging
Educational content is the key to drawing early stage leads to your website and your firm. If you are willing to educate people that are looking for information, you will begin to gain their trust. When it comes time to make a buying decision, the firm that the lead trusts the most is the one that will likely get the business.
Step 2 – Repurpose your content
Once you have started blogging, your blog following will start growing your website traffic. The next step is to repurpose content. Look for natural themes in your blog posts and start to compile them into guides. Guides should consist of 5-7 blog posts and should be packaged to look, feel and read like a “stockier” content piece. You can find examples of guides in Hinge's library.
Step 3 – Collect Email Addresses
Early stage leads take the form of email addresses. Set up landing pages that include forms on your website. Use these landing pages for newly created guides.
It is also critical to promote the guides all around your website. See the download guide button at the bottom of this post? Use offers like that to promote your guides as well as provide your audience with even more valuable information. You have to be careful to make sure the content piece you are offering has a logical relation to the page you place it on. This will improve your conversion percentage and will build on visitor trust.
The point is that the visitors will click on your “offers” and exchange their email addresses for educational content. Through these exchanges you will begin to build a marketable email list. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Step 4- Nurture your early stage leads
Now that your website is ready to generate leads online, let it run for a few weeks and watch the email addresses pour in.
As you develop new content, use it to continue to nurture your early stage leads. Send them email blasts with new content and blog posts to keep educating them on your industry and services. The more you can educate them, the more likely they are to turn to you when it is time to sign a contract. Be sure to send emails consistently and keep them light hearted and educational when possible. Everyone gets plenty of emails so make sure yours stand out and provide value for your readers. Doing so will ensure that they keep reading.
Follow these four steps and your website will be ready to generate leads in no time.
Note: Before embarking on these four steps, it’s very important to develop a strategy and ask your prospects and clients what issues they are most interested in. Once you have that information, it will be much easier to write your content around real solutions for your potential clients and win them over!
A well-oiled lead generation machine is not an easy tool to set up, but it definitely works! For more help on online lead generation, download our guide.