Category Archives for "Lead Generation"

Sep 16

In Quest of Finding the Perfect Customer

By Laura Kimball | Lead Generation

Create the RIGHT message by defining a target market & buyer persona.

Target Buyers PersonaIt is all too often that we have this image in mind of what it is that our perfect customer looks like. You may have taken formal steps to document your vision of such person through formal processes such as creating buyer persona’s or just brainstorming on who it is that will actually buy your product. In any case it is very similar to the old day dream of fantasizing about the perfect mate. That vision may go something like this, must be 6 feet tall, have blond hair and blue eyes, be athletic, etc… Then you happen to meet this guy out of nowhere that has brown hair and not a clue who your favorite sports team is but for some reason you hit it off and ten years later you’re driving a minivan taking your 1.2 kids to their favorite after school activity. So what happened? And before you ask, no this story is not about me as I would never drive a minivan!

There is always a gap between perception and reality. No matter how closely you envision your customers details there will always be some sliver of disconnect between your perception and reality. The goal is to gain as many accuracies as humanly possible to ensure that the message you are sending meets with its intended target.  This may vary tremendously on what exactly you are trying to market but in every case success comes from boiling down the commonalities.  The universal fact is that they all want what you happen to be selling!

All kidding aside let’s go back to the topic of persona’s and why it is important to formalize your perception of the ideal customer. First, the purpose of formalizing a persona is to identify the basic elements that make up your so called ‘ideal’ customer in terms of their demographics and online behavior including motivating triggers to help identify and socialize this representation. Once you have identified your average customer it is easier to move on to creating the properly messaging and experience targeting your imaginary customer.

One of my previous clients always used Bob as our example and in every conversation each scenario was about what would “Bob” do? A day in the life of Bob had to be a part of every concept from beginning to end. This made it very easy to communicate amongst the team once everyone participating understood who exactly Bob represented. You can clearly and easily create messages targeted to what Bob will need to convince him to purchase your widgets. Persona’s can provide an invaluable tool to remove communication barriers between team members and serve as a centering device to keep everyone on task.

Define Your Target Customer

Creating a persona may be easier than it sounds. It is important to identify the key elements that make up your ideal customers. Who are they? What do they want? How do they find their information? What is their key motivator?

Persona’s should include a combination of information such as the following:

  • Personal preferences relative to interests, attitudes, and opinions of the individual, such facts as lifestyle preferences , likes and dislikes, as well as motivational factors should be determined.
  • Demographic and background information such data as age, gender, income, occupation, education, or religion.
  • Shopping habits should be clearly identified. Where does someone go to find your product?

Your foundation should be data related. Build on what you can prove and add layer by layer as information becomes available. If you have an existing customer base take the time to interview what you consider a cross section. If you are just starting much of your buyers information will be based upon assumptions of what you think your buying will look like. This is a process that should evolve over time but you have to start somewhere.

Tailor Your Message

Now that you understand a bit about your target customer we can talk about ways to send the right message. You’re selling widgets. The best darn widgets ever invented which happen to come in every color under the sun. You also include free shipping because you know how to be competitive. How does your message stand out in comparison to all the other widget companies who are following the same rules and reading the same how to articles as you are? You have to have your own style, a little swagger so to speak, after all your widgets are better than any other widget on the planet. Don’t forget to convey your message with the same style and intention in which you designed the said widget!

Promote the Right Message in the Right Place

You should have already identified where your target customers go to find information about your widgets. It is important that you have the right message designed specifically to where it is being found. If you have just identified that most of your widget sales originate from a search engines your content should be readily available on SERP’s in both organic and paid if your budget allows. Don’t limit the promotion of your message to just one channel. Discover where your customers are and establish a presence with a well tailored message that fits your buyer persona.

 

Sep 28

Do you know where your leads are coming from? Part 2

By Laura Kimball | Lead Generation

In Part 1 of our 3 Part series on improving your lead generation strategies we looked at organizing your lead sources, now in Part 2 we will move on to reaching your audience before we finish up with effectively managing your contacts in our next part. Generating leads alone is a difficult task but do you know if the leads you are getting are really your target audience? I should ask first, do you know your target audience? These are the people that really want to buy whatever it is you’re selling. One tell tale sign is that these are the leads that are actually converting. Whether you are paying for a click with advertising or reaching people by any other means such as social, phone calls, or emails you still have an investment even if that investment is only your time.

blogtraffic

The first thing you need to determine is where your leads are coming from and what is that particular group doing on your website when they get there. Once again we go back to Step Two of the previous article with the focus on prioritizing your efforts . You must analyze the roots of your traffic. If social is working for you as far as getting visitors but the people coming are not buying perhaps you need to change your message or create content specifically geared towards answering their questions in your social engagement so they are well informed when they arrive. Reaching a broad audience is important but making sure the message they receive is relevant to your specifically is also a critical goal. This will help ensure that the traffic you generate is the traffic you really want.

Once you have established a correlation between your traffic sources and their activities you can effectively reach more of the audience that you want by staying focused. Create a test plan that includes specific content that answers your customers questions or provides valuable information they can’t get anywhere else. Think of the first question someone asks you when you mention your product and make sure your answer it repetitively. Make sure the information is easy to obtain when they arrive at their destination. If you try to please everyone at once, you will most likely fail. Focus on pleasing just your target audience.  

Surveys are a great way to get answers on what people really like or dislike and they are also a nice way to reach more people. You can gain valuable insight into the general perception of your company and your product. Just remember the purpose of a survey is to get feedback so that you can improve on the ways your reach and engage with potential customers. You should always have a take away that translates to an actionable task.

Gather information from multiple sources and fine tune your message to ensure that you reach your audience with the right message that will generate a more valuable lead.

Sep 26

Do you know where your leads are coming from?

By Laura Kimball | Lead Generation

Leads Out of Date?

This is the first in a 3 part series on improving your lead generation strategies. Today we’ll look at organizing your lead sources and then move on to reaching your audience and effectively managing your contacts.  Let’s face it if only your leads were stacking up like dirty dishes at an all you can eat buffet we would be having a very different conversation. First you should ask yourself if your approach in how you generate leads might be a little outdated. The world is constantly changing especially online. If you don’t know where your leads are coming from how can you decide where to focus your attention?

Step One

Take a little time to really determine the sources where you reach your potential customers. Of course your business is unique and hopefully you know it well but here are the likely sources.

  • Social – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn…
  • Search (both paid and organic)
  • Blogs
  • Reviews
  • Advertising Campaigns
  • etc

Step Two

Prioritize your efforts. You need to evaluate which sources are generating the best lead for your business. So you’ve jumped on the Twitter wagon and you now update all your followers with which coffee flavor you have chosen ever morning and you feel like you’re really happening now, but is it really working?  Social engagement is wonderful and you can make some very valuable contacts however you can also spend a great deal of time and effort with very little return if you don’t stay organized and have a plan.

For each of your potential sources write down a weekly time allowance which identifies the percentage of time you will dedicate to each source. This should align with the return on that investment. If you spend 5 hours a day on your tweets but you have never had a follower visit your website or read one of your blog posts it may not be the best way to utilize your time.  Create a complete content schedule that includes everything you will need to reach your audience in each of your sources from step one. This will help determine a realistic goal in what you can really achieve within the time you have.

Step Three

Now that you have identified your lead sources and prioritized the key areas of focus we look at ways to optimize your time. Let’s face it there are only so many hours in any given day so you must look at ways to save time at every opportunity, perhaps it’s scheduling your blog or social post in advance. There are plenty of marketing tools out there that allow you to streamline your efforts this may be time to take advantage of one. Using your content schedule will help you stay on task but now it’s time to execute.