If you are a marketer looking to bring digital transformation to your organization, you likely have heard of a lead generation program. 

What does that look like in an on-line world?  Below are the basics you’ll need to generate a lead, qualify it and send it to sales so they can close it.  This is all in the context of business-to-business (b2b) industries and not necessarily in order…

Website: This is probably obvious, but it’s not the home page you should be focusing on.  Whatever campaign you put together should target a specific service or product.  You’ll need to make sure you have a page that is hyper focused on that.  Bonus points if you have a tracked phone number or form so that people can easily contact you.   

Keyword Research:  Once you have your web page ready, the immediate next thing you need to do is understand what your desired audience is looking for that would get them on that page.  That can be done through what is known as keyword research.  A good tool like SEMRush or SpyFo will allow you to generate common keywords, what their search volume is, how hard it is to rank for them and show you any competitors that are currently ranking.
  
SEO:  Once you know what people are searching for, it’s time to go back and update your website accordingly.  Make sure you have a relevant title tag and meta description that includes the keyword or phrase that you’ve chosen to target.  You’ll also want to make sure you reference it somewhere in your header and/or first paragraph of text.  This now gives you a chance to show up when people search for said term or phrase.  When someone does so and makes it on your page and fills out a form, BOOM.  You’ve now generated a lead.
    
Pay Per Click Advertisements:  I made SEO sound really easy above.  It’s not.  It takes time & patience and some trial & error to be able to rank on the first page of Google or Bing.  If you want to speed that up, you can run Pay Per Click advertisements through Google or Bing for the same key words and phrases from your research.  Based on your bidding strategy, you may have a much better chance at showing up on the first page or top of the results.

Automated E-mail Thank You and Follow-ups:  Once someone fills out a form, you have indeed generated a lead, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good.  You now need to qualify it.  You can do so by setting up automated e-mails that provide additional information about your company, products/services or information you think will be relevant.  Check out this article for some easy ways to get started on the technical end.  

Retargeting advertisements:  Another easy way to qualify a lead or keep someone interested is to establish retargeting ads.  You can do so automatically with Google and Bing.  You can also setup a social component using Facebook (and other platforms) that will show an advertisement in users mini feeds when they log in.   

CRM Integration:  By tracking e-mail metrics and how the engagement of additional advertisements, eventually you can make assumptions about who is interested in you and who is not.  When you think they, send the lead over to your company CRM so that sales can pick it up and close.  


Finally, everything above is contingent on three factors:

1 – You need a compelling story that will get people’s attention.  Make sure you have that.

2 – Don’t try to be perfect.  Focus on getting each component up & running and connected.  

3 – A Marketing Automation platform that will allow you to tie together these elements and send to CRM when ready.  Mailchimp will do all of this and it’s very inexpensive.  So no excuses!


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