The components of a successful lead generation machine

When you set out to build a full-funnel lead generation machine, there are several essential components that you need if you want it to work.

These are used at different stages of the marketing funnel according to where someone is in their buying journey.

Let's break it down according to the different stages of the typical marketing funnel.

TOF 'Awareness' stage

Up top, we usually do all of these things:

1. Run search engine ads on Google that target relevant keywords

These are the text-only ads you're probably familiar with and that usually appear at the top of the search engine results pages, and are aimed at people who already have established wants and needs that they're looking for online. The purpose is to get you in front of them and just make them aware of you

2. Run paid social media ads.

These can feature attractive images and videos and we use these mainly to try and generate demand for your products or services among audiences that may not yet have established wants and needs

3. Run remarketing ads

These ensure that ads are shown to people online and on social media after they've either visited your website or have engaged with previous ads. They're great for keeping you front-of-mind and nudging people into the next stage of the funnel

4. Post organic social media content

Not only can a healthy social media presence get you noticed, it's better if you have a decent social media footprint - potential customers will check you out on social media, and if you're absent, only post infrequently, or have zero social posts, it will immediately undermine trust and confidence in you.

In the MOF 'Consideration' stage, our attention is focused on:

5. Create content that seeks to inform and educate

It's all about positioning you as the 'go-to' business in your sector. People need to see that you know your stuff, and we do this by creating and sharing everything from blogs to video explainers, audio-only guides, infographics and more

6. Back it all up with evidence

Whenever there's ambiguity in decision-making, we look to others like ourselves for cues on what to do. It's a phenomenon called 'social proof' and we serve it up to your potential customers in the form of case studies and testimonials in the MOF stage of the funnel

7. Encourage early engagement

Although people aren't always ready to commit to a meaningful conversation at this point, they're often willing to make what we call 'micro-commitments' that signify growing interest in you. We secure these micro-commitments by offering value-added 'gated' content - things like pricelists, specifications, infographics, reports and maybe even free trials - where a valid email address is required in order to access this exclusive content. Done well, it's possible to get a sense of what potential customers are most interested in, and it also then facilitates...

8. ...Nurture with emails

Once we've obtained someone's email address, we can add them to pre-built automated email sequences that allow us to keep in touch with people directly - occassionally sharing additional value-added content or even encouraging them into the next and final stage of the marketing funnel. But having an email list like this also enables us to...

9. ...Target ads at people with even more precision

The key is to try and personalise people's journey through the funnel, keeping everything highly relevant to them. By creating 'Custom Audiences' we can show hyper-targeted social media ads to people. For instance, let's say someone downloaded the specification for a particular machine you sell - you can serve them ads that reinforce the features and benefits of this machine and encourage them to submit a pricing enquiry.

And down in the BOF 'Conversion' stage of the funnel, our efforts are all about getting people to start those meaningful conversations.

10. Run ads online and on social media, and expand the use of direct response marketing emails

We target BOF ads exclusively at those who have engaged with previous ads, consumed MOF content, and made micro-commitments along the way. These ads specifically call on this 'warm' audience to take affirmative actions like 'Get A Quote', 'Enquire Now', 'Book Appointment' etc. They're reinforced by emails that contain the same Call To Action (CTA), all to secure their commitment to starting that meaningful conversation.

As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to assemble then proactively manage.

Read 'The role of websites and landing pages in your lead generation process'

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