5 Ways to Shift Your Website Lead Generation Strategies During COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses are struggling with lead generation. And for a good reason: These are unprecedented times. On a positive note, that means your customers and prospects are working from home and spending more time in front of a screen. Lead generation is a cost-effective and integral part of every consumer’s journey to becoming a customer.
How can you continue to move business forward and get your organization in front of qualified prospects? Grab their attention during downtime? Catch their interest for your product or service? Acquire them, as a marketing qualified lead? The solution is to create and execute smart website lead generation strategies to help your organization adapt to the startling transformation and improve demand in a short period of time.
Why? The life blood of any business or association is its ability to turn qualified leads into customers or members. A lead generating website is a marketing tool that will promote your business or association all day, every day. It never takes a break or vacation. It also works on holidays and even during a pandemic.
But, how should lead generation be fine-tuned now during the global coronavirus crisis? The answer is: Reshape your strategies to generate demand. While it may be difficult to drive revenue now, you can still generate leads that will pay off when recovery comes. Improve your response rate by retargeting your audience, reallocate dollars for digital and offer virtual events.
According to HubSpot, 61% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. If your website, content and social media profiles don’t show up, when prospects are searching for information, you aren’t in the game and don’t have a shot. However, even if all of that shows up, the second hurdle to overcome is that close to 96% of visitors who come to your website aren’t yet ready to buy, Marketo reported. Therefore, creating an opportunity to capture their information allows you to follow up with them later, through email, thus maximizing your website lead generation efforts.
The strategy behind a lead generating website is different from an informational website, which doesn’t generate leads. Smart website lead generation strategies start with the end-user in mind—the customer. You must understand who they are, as well as their demographics, psychographics and buying behaviors.
Building a customer avatar, also known as a buyer persona, is crucial in determining:
- Key messages
- The look and feel of the website
- The type of website content
- How the website content is delivered
- How the website lead is captured
- What happens after the visitor completes a lead capture form or call
One of the many advantages in developing website lead generation strategies is that it forces you to look at your organization from a different perspective. Many businesses and associations know their business and industry inside and out. They also know all of the jargon.
Yet, many often don’t take the time to look at their website through the eyes of their customers—who typically aren’t searching for branded solutions. Instead, they’re searching for their problems. In the era of COVID-19, what they are looking for has shifted even more. Unless your website speaks specifically to those problems and how your business or association can be the solution, they’ll never find you. Meet your customers where they are, show them that you care and anticipate what the post-COVID-19 world will look like and what that will mean for your business.
In order to have a lead generating website, it must systematically walk visitors through their problems. This will enable them to relate to your business or association and understand how it uniquely solves their problem.
Follow these tips to maximize your lead generation efforts during COVID-19:
Tip #1: Leverage Digital Channels
As the threat of coronavirus expands, use your digital channels to keep your audience engaged. Use social media to interact with prospects on a personal level. For example, Facebook the most commonly used social media platform for lead generation, allows businesses to create their own pages to capture leads.
Take advantage of the built-in lead generation features like hashtags and live streaming that are offered by many social networks. According to Hootsuite, businesses grow by 24% by using social media’s lead generation features. You may be wondering which social media lead generation platform is best for your business. Test each one for three months to see which one generates the most leads.
Tip #2: Create Lead Generation Forms that Convert
Don’t employ “hope” marketing. Provide clear calls-to-action on your most important website pages. You might think that including your company’s phone number on your website is common sense, but for many businesses and associations, it’s not common practice. Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Be sure to include a contact phone number that’s easy to locate on your website and social sites. Depending on your sales process, leveraging your phone number as a call to action could be the perfect option.
Don’t forget to add a simple, branded contact form. This will help the user easily complete them, in little time. Second, you can also include contact forms on more than just the website contact page. Landing pages for your specific products and services are good locations for contact forms.
Tip #3: Provide Gated Content
Right now, people are home in isolation and may have a few extra minutes to spare. Content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. If you have valuable content, whitepapers, case studies, blogs or webinars to share, those are valuable resources during this downtime and excellent lead generation magnets.
Repurpose your content so it is fitting for the current times and make it available on social media to help gather relevant leads. Consumers are looking for valuable information. And it’s your website’s job to provide it. Answer frequently asked questions and entice them to learn more. This can be facilitated by offering expanded information and education for download through a lead capture form.
Tip #4: Host Virtual Events
With so many events cancelled and postponed due to COVID-19, replace in-person events with virtual conferences or offer a webinar. Bring your business solutions to your customers’ homes. Not only do virtual events require minimal equipment, but they are engaging and easy to host. And, the good news is virtual events like webinars help you establish trust and credibility as a thought leader while capturing high-quality leads. Attendees are most likely to have a need for the solutions or services you are offering.
Don’t forget to create a landing page, an important piece of the lead generation puzzle, that tells visitors why they should attend your event. Your branded landing page also needs to be designed to collect basic information like a registrant’s name, email and phone number.
One of the most imperative areas to test and measure is your lead capture form. Hubspot shared critical components of lead capture forms. Some include the importance of the lead form’s positioning on the landing page, which should appear above the fold, to asking only essential questions. By just changing a single word or shifting the location of a form, you can increase conversion rates.
Tip #5: Test and Measure
All lead generation campaigns need to be tested to make them better over time—lead generation strategies can always be tweaked and improved. If you’re not testing and measuring, you’re going to severely diminish your chances of increasing traffic and conversions. Test everything including your website design, landing pages, headlines, calls-to-action and subject lines.
There are many tools that can assist you in understanding your metrics on a deeper level, consider these:
- HotJar – Enables you to test website performance, to see how visitors are really using your website and collect user feedback.
- Google Optimize – Offers A/B testing, website testing and personalization tools to help deliver engaging customer experiences.
- Google Analytics – Helps you understand where your traffic is coming from, along with what visitors are doing on your website and across landing pages.
CMA delivered digital marketing results for its customers, by utilizing these website lead generation strategies. For Amerlux, a national lighting manufacturer, CMA increased conversion rate by 401% through a landing page redesign. The company executed a website redesign for another client, International Card Manufacturers Association (ICMA), a global transaction card association. Results included an 80% increase in users and average session duration.
Website lead generation is crucial to successful digital marketing campaigns. The days of just having an informational website are gone. You must have a website that’s a lead generation machine, along with a strong marketing strategy, to turn leads into qualified prospects. You can’t look at website lead generation as a one-time project. It’s an ongoing effort. It also requires expertise in testing, measuring and continuously optimizing content, design and traffic generation strategies to fill the sales funnel—which is why choosing the right marketing agency to partner with is key.
It is no secret that business development is facing unexpected challenges. By shifting your website lead generation strategies, you can leverage your digital channels and keep your audience engaged. Lead generation is a simple concept that requires research and effort up front but pays off heavily in the end. Dive in, strategize and pivot your business for growth while you have some downtime, so you are set up to thrive when recovery from the coronavirus comes.
Whether you’re writing blogs, creating video content or growing your audience through social media channels, there’s a lot to be done to build the right connections through lead generation.
Contact us today to get the conversation started.