As a small business owner, I’m sure that you are curious to learn how to best generate qualified leads and make more money from your website. In my previous blog, Know Your Buyer Journey and Generate More Leads, I discussed how a buyer progresses through 70% of the buyer’s journey before she initiates a purchase conversation.
In the blog, I also covered how to engage with your customer during the buyer journey so that the potential customer will consider you when it’s time to purchase through four key steps:
- Know your buyers
- Know your buyers’ needs
- Know what information your buyers will be looking for
- Provide your buyers with valuable information during each stage of the buyer journey
Today I will expand on this topic to discuss how to map your lead generation plan and I’ll also cover what you can do to ensure that you provide the best content, at the right time, increasing your chances of a sale.
Your Lead Generation Plan
Why is lead generation important?
Lead generation is important to all businesses that want to create awareness of their company, product and service, and in turn, build relationships that generate qualified leads that lead to sales. During this time, your company should be concentrating on building trust with potential buyers so these buyers will choose you when they are ready to make a buying decision.
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales at 33% lower cost.
As mentioned in Know Your Buyer Journey and Generate More Leads, there are three stages that the buyer takes when making a purchasing decision:
The first step to a successful lead generation strategy is to fully understand the stages that a lead will take towards making a purchase. Before you can determine how to engage the lead at each stage, you need to familiarize yourself with each stage; let me summarize this for you:
The Awareness Stage – Buyer acknowledges a sign of a problem but is unaware that she may have a need for the particular service you provide and may be completely unaware that your company, product and or service exists. At this stage, the potential buyer is in research mode and is looking for vendor neutral information to help identify the problem.
Approximately 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to buy.
The Consideration Stage – During the consideration stage, the buyer has identified that a problem exists and she is in the process of looking for alternatives to help her solve her problem. This is when you want to provide the potential buyer with educational content that will help her make an informed decision.
The Decision Stage – The decision stage is when the buyer narrows down her search and determines whether or not a company will fulfill her needs and help her solve her initial problem. The buyer thinks she knows what she needs and is researching to make a decision. The buyer will be looking at the details of each vendor including services, reputation and cost.
Content marketing provides approximately 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing per dollar spent.
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Content marketing is the most effective way to generate leads. Why? If you provide your potential customer with valuable, relevant and educational information that they are seeking at exactly the right time, when they are searching for this information, you will have a good chance of resonating with the potential customer. This will then help your chances of being the business of choice when they decide to move forward and make a buying decision.
But before we start mapping out what content works for each stage, it’s important to revisit your buyer personas and identify who your ideal customer is. In order to target your customer, it’s important to know everything about them. If you have not identified your buyer personas, check out this blog.
Once you have a full understanding of the journey your buyer will take and are clear on who your buyer is, it’s time to plan your lead generation. A lead generation plan will map out a buyer’s decision making process and determine the content strategy that will work best for the buyer at each stage.
What content works best for each stage of the buyer journey?
The Awareness Stage:
During the Awareness Stage, the potential buyer is in research mode and is looking for vendor neutral information to help her understand the problem, such as:
- White papers
- Analyst reports
- Blog posts
If you are a business coach, you may provide your followers with an e-book on how to create a high performance sales organization.
The Consideration Stage
During the consideration stage, the buyer is in the process of looking for alternatives to help her solve her problem. This is when you want to provide the potential buyer with educational content that will help her make an informed decision, such as:
- Comparison e-guides
- White papers
- Webcast/podcast/videos on your product and or services
If you are a counsellor specializing in cognitive behaviour therapy, your followers may benefit from listening to a podcast on how to address anxiety via cognitive behavourial therapy.
The Decision Stage
The decision stage is when the buyer will be looking at the details of each potential vendor including services, reputation and cost and will benefit from information on your company and its products and services, such as:
- Vendor and product comparison
- Case studies
- Product literature
If you are a business coach, you may benefit from providing your followers with a case study on how you worked with a large organization to increase productivity within the organization.
When mapping out your lead generation plan, be sure to keep the following tips in mind:
- Timeline – Assign a timeline, requirements and deliverables for each stage of the buyer journey
- Marketing Automation Software – Use marketing automation software to streamline your marketing efforts; the software will send out information to the potential customer based on their actions on your website, automatically.
- Measure and Revise – Ensure to measure the success of the campaign often and revise where needed.
- Ask for Permission – Ask your potential customers if you can keep in touch and to send them future communication.
- Call to Action – Always ensure that you have an effective call to action that is clear, concise and direct.
- Share it – Increase your chances of having your content read by more potential customers by sharing it on social media
Mapping your lead generation plan will help you increase your chances of getting the right content, to the right potential buyer, at the right time – helping to leverage you as a knowledgeable subject matter expert, and in turn, establish trust with the potential buyer. This trust will help to increase your chances of being the business they choose when they require your services.
If you have questions about how you can drive more traffic to your site by optimizing your lead generation plan, join Freedom Seeker’s Mastermind Facebook Group. Here you can ask a coach questions about your business and how you can generate qualified leads and make more money from your website. Sign up now.