Due to HubSpot's growing influence, smart marketers and sales organizations know about inbound marketing, content marketing, and online lead generation. And they're ready to start watching leads flow in through their own lead generation strategy.
Unfortunately, many companies are finding out the hard way that simply doing content marketing doesn’t necessarily equate to more sales. There's a lot that goes into creating an effective content marketing strategy that will generate quality leads and sales, and there are countless articles out there about best practices and tips—we even have plenty of them.
Rather than talking about all the details that go into creating and executing a lead generation strategy, let's talk about the simple questions that you and your team need to answer for yourselves before you even start creating a strategy.
6 Questions to Ask Before Launching a Lead Generation Strategy
The six questions you need to answer before you start developing your lead generation strategy come down to the six basic questions that most of: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW.
1. Who is Your Target Persona?
You need a clearly-defined target for your campaign—in the inbound world, we call this a target persona.
Having a clearly-defined target persona helps ensure that your efforts aren’t wasted developing content that attracts unqualified leads, or that doesn’t resonate with qualified leads. A good first place to start for identifying your best potential prospects is look at who your best current customers are.
Learn as much as you can about their lives
Where they live
How many kids they have
What their roles are
How they make decisions
How they search online
What questions they ask about your company and services
The more you know about your target persona, the more effective your lead generation strategy will be.
2. What Do Your Prospects Want to Know?
This question helps you determine what type of content to develop. The best way to get found online by your prospects is by answering the questions they're asking.
Start with all of the most common questions you're asked by prospects and clients.
Write out thoughtful answers to these questions in the form of blog posts, videos, SlideShares, reports, or even webinars.
Also, don’t just think about your product or service. If you sell printers, rather than blogging all about different printers, you can also generate content about sustainable workplaces, presentation tips, productivity hacks, etc. Think in terms of earning a place in your customers' minds so they begin to view your company as a common fixture and thought leader in your industry.
3. When Does a Lead Turn into a Prospect?
We call this part lead scoring — it’s how you determine that a lead from your site is ready to be contacted by sales. Each lead is in a different place in their buyer's journey, and all of them need to be handled in different ways.
Many of them don’t want to hear from a salesperson yet. Your sales and marketing team must work together to determine what a marketing qualified lead (MQL) looks like and what a sales qualified lead (SQL) looks like.
An MQL isn’t ready for sales yet but is ideal for nurturing that relationship with marketing material.
An SQL is ready for a salesperson to reach out.
You will base your lead scoring off of activity and key indicators. Determine some of the common buying signals you see in your business and identify metrics and activity that will help alert you to these types of indicators.
4. Where Do We Distribute Content?
This strategy is not just for blogs on your company's blog page. Depending on the type of content and the topics, you should aim to post not only to your blog but also to social media, industry pages, via emails, etc. For anything more valuable than a blog post, the content needs to be "gated" on a landing page that allows you to capture key information from your prospects in exchange for giving them access to your premium content.
5. Why Do Prospects and Clients Want To Do Business With Us?
This is supremely important to know and understand before you get started because your entire organization needs to be aligned when it comes to talking about the value of your products and/or services as well as what makes you different than your competition. Establish a clear "unique selling proposition" for your business and then let that permeate through everything you create for a lead generation strategy.
6. How Do You Track Lead Generation?
How will you determine if your lead generation strategy is working or not? Just tracking whether or not you got more leads isn't enough, and you likely wouldn't feel satisfied when you get to the end.
Set clear, trackable goals for metrics such as visits to your site, new contacts, and (of course) closes. Using a CRM makes it a lot easier to accurately track the source and status of all your leads so you can attribute success to things that worked to drive business. HubSpot offers an excellent free CRM that makes it really simple to set goals, track success, and connect the dots between where the lead came from and when they closed.
create a Lead Generation Strategy with sales results
When you have answers to all six of these questions, you will be much more equipped to make informed decisions about your lead generation strategy, and your company will have a much better chance of succeeding.
If you're ready to dive right in and start generating more leads for your business, then partner with an experienced inbound marketing and sales enablement company to remove the trial and error aspect of lead generation. LeadG2 is not only experienced with inbound marketing and lead generation but we were born from the sales strategy powerhouse, The Center for Sales Strategy, so we really know about creating sales results.