Everyone wants to turn prospects into leads (and of course, leads into customers). There’s so much advice out there on how to achieve that goal, but what works and what doesn’t?

We’ve developed a fool-proof formula for a powerful lead conversion strategy for marketers. Read on to learn about the pillars you need to have in place to attract the right leads.

Do You Know Your Target Audience?

You can launch all of the marketing campaigns you want—email, social, paid search—but none of them will work unless you have a deep understanding of your audience. A profound knowledge of your customers is the starting point for any lead conversion strategy.

When a visitor comes to your site, he or she doesn’t want to waste time. That visitor wants a particular result and if your site doesn’t deliver it, he or she will leave. For example, if Jack is searching for a used minivan, he doesn’t want to see pop-up messages for a sporty new roadster.

How can you gain this deeper knowledge of your customers? Use technology to connect to them. For example, when you visit Intercom’s homepage, a targeted message pops up that invites the visitor to share feedback. Another popular method is to ask visitors to complete a one-question survey on their satisfaction with your site. Or, you could configure a pop-up window asking visitors exactly what they’re looking for from your site.

When you make an effort to get to know your prospects better, they’ll feel respected and valued. They want to do business with someone who’s not going to waste their time and who will give them what they want.

Content Marketing and Search Marketing: Perfect Together

Content marketing is a perfect complement to search marketing. In fact, content marketing is what helps you get found in the first place. So, how do you do it successfully?

The first thing to remember is that you’ll only get leads if you create content they care about. Figuring out what they care about involves doing research. HubSpot recommends talking to your customers, your customer service team, and your sales team. Your customers are the best first choice—they’ll be able to share with you exactly what kinds of content would help them. However, you shouldn’t discount your customer service reps or salespeople; these employees come into contact with customers and leads on a regular basis and pay attention to what customers say to them.

Don’t forget about keyword optimization. The content you create should be topic-driven, not keyword-driven. That being said, figuring out what keywords your leads search for should inform the topics about which you create content.

Social Media Marketing: An Integral Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing has become an integral part of marketing strategies. In a study, nearly a quarter of respondents said they would look at Facebook before making a purchasing decision. That same study said that the average decision maker spends 13 days a month on Twitter and LinkedIn (and 18 days a month on Facebook). Social media has clearly become a source of information for B2B and B2C buyers, and if you’re not leveraging it, you won’t reach them.

Social media marketing should be about sharing useful, helpful content. Many firms choose to post content that’s clearly self-promotional and doesn’t provide the reader with any value. Moreover, if you have no followers on social media, your content won’t make an impact.

Creating or posting helpful content dovetails with your content marketing strategy. Your content should focus on topics people want to know more about (which will be informed by reaching out to your customers as well as keyword research). You don’t always have to create your own content – finding relevant content someone else has created and sharing it makes you look more reliable because then you’re showing that you’re not just about self-promotion.

How do you attract more social media followers (aside from posting useful, helpful content)? Social media is about engagement. Are you interacting with your followers online (like thanking people when they comment positively on a post or answering questions)? Do you follow other relevant accounts and comment on their posts? These are two ways to increase engagement.

In addition, whenever you create content, make it shareable. Add social sharing buttons to every piece of content (be it a blog post, a white paper, a video, or an infographic). Those buttons make it easier to share and save the reader or viewer time.

Automating Your Marketing Efforts: Tying It All Together

All of the techniques mentioned above take time and effort. Many marketing departments struggle to do more with less, and although lead conversion is a priority, it’s one of a number of competing budget demands.

Marketing automation enables you to make the most of your scarce resources. You can use your marketing technology stack to notify you every time they take an action that makes them a better lead. This notification tells you when and how to communicate with that person (a call from a salesperson or emailing a white paper, for example).  

To learn more about how to maximize your marketing automation efforts, check out our expert guide: Applying AI to Enhance Your Lead Generation MarTech Stack.

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