Lead Generation and Conversion Strategies through Digital

2 Roundtable Discussions. 15 Participants.

I had the opportunity to facilitate two roundtable discussions on lead generation and conversion strategies through digital, and while both roundtable discussions were with different groups, on different days, the key takeaways were very similar. Discussion participants varied in their levels of experience in digital marketing. Some participants were very seasoned and some were more novice. Our conversations focused on the basic tenets of developing a lead generation and conversion strategy. Here is what we discovered.

A Common Theme
Marketing and sales managers struggle with how to build a successful lead generation and conversion strategy. 

  • Where do I start?
  • What efforts are most important?
  • What tools do I use?
  • What resources are needed? 

Understanding that participants were primarily focused on how to build a successful lead generation strategy, I am sharing our collective findings to the questions above.

Where Do I Start?
It was agreed that your company’s website is the most important component. There is no use in building a great lead generation campaign if you are driving (no pun intended) traffic to a website that does not accurately communicate your value proposition and brand promise. 

  • Build a strong website that has content tailored specifically for your target buyers.
  • Ensure your value proposition is clearly articulated and differentiated.
  • Develop robust content such as videos, case studies, industry reports and articles to pull visitors into your website.
  • Ensure your website is optimized for search engines and put a strong effort on a committed search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
  • Build a website beyond an online brochure. Incorporate calls-to-action, features and tools that engage a visitor and make their experience with your brand emotional.
  • Ensure a high-quality website experience. Make the site fast. Make sure your mobile responsive design is highly functional. Make your navigation easy to navigate.

What Efforts are Most Important?
Knowing where to put your marketing effort is perhaps the greatest area of confusion for marketing and sales managers. Should you focus on social media, SEO, email marketing, content creation, etc.?

The general consensus is yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Unfortunately, the time, money and resources required to build out a successful lead generation strategy through digital are cumbersome. However, this should not be a deterrent to getting started. 

A solid lead generation and conversion strategy should incorporate the following. I put these in what I believe is the order of importance.

  • Content Creation: Content is alluring for leads and an excuse to reach out and present the content to your target markets. Develop as much high-quality content as you can, geared specifically to your target buyers. Without content, you won’t have much to talk about in social media, email marketing or for SEO.
  • Social Media: Many in the group found a strong return on investment through LinkedIn and Facebook. (This was true for lead generation and talent acquisition.) The key for social media is not to sell, educate.
  • SEO: Many participants outsource this capability but recognize the importance of a strong SEO strategy.
  • Email Marketing: Everyone hates getting those emails in their inbox but email marketing works. Email marketing helps build brand recognition as long as you deliver strong, relevant content.

What Tools Do I Use?
Would you build a house without power tools? Professional-level tools can mean the difference between success and failure. While many roundtable participants were not currently using professional tools, of the participants that were, a majority were using HubSpot

There are many tools and software solutions to help you attain marketing success (HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, ActOn). At SyncShow, we recommend HubSpot for its robust capabilities and the ability to have all of your marketing tools in one software solution. Having access to cross-platform data all in one place makes it much easier to ascertain whatefforts are most important(as outlined above).

What Resources are Needed?
Building out a comprehensive lead generation and conversion strategy can be overwhelming and cost prohibitive, especially for small businesses. To define what resources are needed for success, you must first define your goals. How much new business are you looking to acquire? Once you have the new business number ($$), you can then determine what size strategy you are building out and what resources will be necessary. Provided below is a list of the skill sets most commonly needed for a digital marketing and lead generation strategy (in no particular order).

  • Writing & Editorial
  • Graphic Design 
  • Video Development
  • Programming
  • Paid Advertising (PPC)
  • SEO
  • Strategy Development
  • Email Marketing
  • Data & Analytics Analysis &
  • Social Media
  • Project Management
  • User Experience Design
  • Branding

As you can see from the list above, hiring for each of these areas of expertise is often cost prohibitive. Additionally, if you think you can hire one or two people to execute on all of these areas successfully, you should not be surprised if your employees become overwhelmed and your expectations are not met. 

From my experience in working with hundreds of companies, the most successful lead generators have a small internal marketing team. This team often manages both online and offline marketing efforts. Additionally, these companies work closely with a marketing agency with expertise that they do not have in-house. 

Having attended the TMSA Conference for three consecutive years, I can attest to the fact that digital marketing and lead generation are seeing rapid growth in the transportation industry. More and more companies are recognizing that sales is becoming more difficult and throwing more bodies at cold calling and old-school sales tactics are not working. At the same time, marketing and sales managers are struggling with how to pivot and implement a successful growth strategy.  

The key to success is what the attendees of TMSA’s annual conference are already doing. They are learning from their peers and industry resources and developing modern strategies to position their organizations for growth.

By Chris Peer, Owner and President of SyncShow, and has 20 years of experience in online marketing strategy, lead generation and corporate branding. 

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