Every business needs good, qualified leads. Without them, you have no customers. And without customers, you have no business.
That’s why unexpected dips in lead generated or completely unmet goals are so frustrating. When you spend so much time on your lead generation marketing strategies and fall short of your expectations, it can feel disheartening and downright unfair.
But before you blame your sales team for not calling enough people or your product team for not making great products, you might want to first look inwardly at your marketing campaigns and ask yourself these six questions to make sure you’re doing all you can to generate more, better leads.
1. Are We Solving the Right Problems?
The absolute first question you need to ask yourself is: is this something people actually care about?
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about what their problems actually are. In order to solve your customer's problems, you need to really get to know them and understand them.
This would be a great place to review your personas if you have them — or create them ASAP if you don’t.
As you think about your audience and their needs, ask yourself:
What are the top two to three things keeping them up at night right now?
What is the timing on these issues? Are they always bothering them, or is it a temporary thing? And how fast are they moving to solve them?
In what ways can we offer advice and help them reach their goals in their desired timeframe? Do we have content written on that?
At what points in the buyer’s journey are they experiencing these problems and is our content set up to answer the questions related to those stages?
Anything that doesn’t fit within these criteria should either be scrapped or reworked to make sure they align with these goals. Otherwise, it’s just stale content that could be dragging down your website performance.
Once you understand what problems your audience is experiencing, it’s time to take a deep dive into your existing content with that frame of mind and be critical about what to update and revise, leave as is, or even archive and unpublish completely.
This way, every single page of your website is set up to help your audience — and in turn, generate leads.
2. Are We Just Offering the Same Thing as Everyone Else?
Let’s take AI marketing as an example.
As you can see in the graph below, it’s one that has recently grown a lot in popularity. After all, it’s something that a lot of businesses are interested in and have a lot of questions about.
As such, if it matched up with your audience’s needs, this would be a great topic to write about. But you wouldn’t be the only one. Very quickly, it’d become oversaturated as your competitors jump in on the same hype.
To have any hopes of attracting your audience, especially for key phrases that are higher on the keyword difficulty scale, the key is to make sure that your content is both highly personalized for your specific audience and offers a unique perspective/twist on what’s already out there.
Let’s do a quick exercise. Think about a topic that is maybe already on your editorial calendar or maybe you’ve already published content on. Take a look at the top five to 10 results for the top two to three keywords related to this topic. Then, ask yourself the following questions:
What audience is this targeted to? Try and get as specific as possible — is there a particular industry that it’s tailored to, or maybe a certain job title you can identify?
What are their strengths, and, more importantly, what’s missing that you can add your own unique perspective to?
How can you adjust the topic to match up with just one of your personas and their specific needs?
The more personalized your content is and the more it offers something unique for your audience, the higher chance it has at not only generating the right kind of traffic but also converting them into leads later on (as long as the other issues in this blog post are also addressed).
3. Is My Content Presented in the Best Possible Way for Lead Generation?
Everyone has their favorite way to consume content.
Some like to listen to a podcast while taking a walk to separate themselves from their work. Others prefer to do a quick Google search, skim articles, and pinpoint the answer to their needs as fast as possible. And others set aside time every week to attend webinars, watch live streams, or just catch up on the latest information to help them with their professional development.
It’s your job to not only understand what problems your personas are experiencing and tailor your content to exactly that but also to understand how they prefer to consume your content and when they are most likely to take the desired action on it.
Think about what your persona is doing during the day, how much time they have to conduct research, and how they prefer to consume content.
Note: If you aren’t sure of these answers, this is a great time to update your personas and ask your existing clients and leads!
With this information, you may find that a video with a CTA to register for a webinar (another video) or download an ebook (readable content) is the best way to engage with Persona A, while a blog post with just a CTA to download the ebook (both readable content) is the best mix for Persona B.
No matter what your findings are, it’s critical to test regularly and monitor your results to get the most out of your content creation efforts.
Before working on your next piece of content, ask yourself the following questions:
What is my persona doing when they are thinking about this problem?
Am I relying too heavily on blog posts when maybe a video, social post, or other media is a better option for X persona? (Note that multiple media variations may be the answer — and that’s where repurposed content comes in handy!)
Does the CTA on this content match up with what my persona is most likely to be doing/ready for when they engage with it?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you may want to rethink your content’s ideal medium and the right CTA to tie to it to align with your persona’s needs.
4. Does My Audience Know What to Do Next, and Does It Fit with What They Want to Do?
Speaking of CTAs, the reason why you might not be getting the leads you expect could be because your audience just simply doesn’t know what to do next or what you want them to do is different from what they want to do.
For example, if you just have a decision-level CTA (such as, “Schedule an appointment to get started today!”) on an awareness-level piece of content (such as an introductory blog post), you’re essentially asking your audience to get married to you before they even get a chance to get to know you.
As you’re thinking about what CTA to add to your content, consider the following questions:
Is it clear what the next step is after engaging with this content?
Does it align with where the reader is at in their buyer’s journey (are we asking them to marry us before we’ve even gone on one date)?
5. Am I Promoting, Reviewing, and Optimizing Regularly Enough?
Many people make the mistake of setting and forgetting their content, sticking with the mindset of “if you build it, they will come.”
However, just like building a pub on the corner of a less-traveled street doesn’t mean suddenly it’ll be packed, just hitting “publish” and leaving your content alone doesn’t mean it’ll drive hundreds of leads overnight.
No matter which tactics you decide to use to drive leads, the key to success is to set goals, review your progress, and make optimizations often to increase your results.
For example, during your audit, maybe you noticed that quick “how-to” guides paired with longer, more in-depth/tactical workbooks as a CTA/download are generating the most leads for your business.
Focus on creating more of those that align with your audience’s needs and continue monitoring to ensure your theory is correct.
6. Is It Time to Get Some Lead Generation Help?
At the end of the day, once you’ve crossed all your t’s and dotted all your i’s, the best thing to do is get a fresh pair of eyes on the problem and a new perspective altogether from people who just get lead generation and what makes visitors turn into loyal customers.
And yes, you’ve guessed it, that’s us!
If you’re tired of spinning your wheels and have exhausted all your other options (or want to save your time and resources before exhausting all your other options, which is, you know, probably better), then let us know. We’ll work with you to determine the best strategy for your business to take your lead generation to the next level!