Thought Leadership on Leadership in Marketing presented by Beholder Productions, Inc.
Brand marketing and lead generation are going to merge, and it’s going to stay that way. It is no longer enough to say, “Well, here’s some content” or “Here’s a great piece that we created.” Content needs to actively generate results. Corporate executives and small businesses alike are evaluating efforts and matching them with ROI on shorter cycle intervals. And while it is important to keep track of trends, sales, revenue, and brand marketing efforts, there there are steps you need to take to bridge the gap from brand awareness to lead generation.
At Beholder, we call this the “Push vs. Pull” brand marketing effort.
Push: Brand marketing
There are a few things you need to have in place for brand awareness:
- Foundation: Digital: Is your site capable and functioning? Can it grow and add blogs to it? Is it mobile responsive – meaning can people see it on any of their devices? Is copy on the site relevant and SEO-optimized? Do you have landing pages and forms that work? Traditional: Do you have brochures and other marketing materials to help your consumer learn more about your product or service?
- Message and positioning: What is your brand message and what is your position? What do you stand for? What are the things – products or services – that you’re trying to sell? What’s the consumer’s need and how does your product or service help? How would you engage your consumer? Having this is essential as you start to develop your brand strategy.
- Be a resource and thought leader: A lot of the companies think, “My marketing should just reflect promotions of my particular product or service.” That is not how consumers take in information anymore. We are a research generation. We review things. We can go to multiple sites, get background information, and really make our own decisions before we decide to click or pick up the phone to buy. Your position needs to be one of explaining, being a resource, showing that you’re a thought leader, and that you have a full understanding of how your product or service works for the consumer. That’s the point at which you move toward a lead-generation opportunity.
- Diverse content connects: You have to not only connect and garner attention, but also engage with your consumer. With engagement comes a lot of content: blogs, social media, video, photography, graphics, infographics, etc. – a slew of content that you can actually have available for those searching for you. Remember that not all consumers look for you the same way. Be prepared to have multiple resources for consumers so they can connect with you in a way that’s comfortable and appealing to them. (Watch the video below for further explanation.)
Pull: Lead generation
Viewers are diverse in how they process information. Now you can start to understand and appreciate why a brand marketing and content marketing campaign needs to be diversified so you can make sure you’re attracting your audience.
Start your lead-generation efforts with a solid plan:
- Plan your campaign: What goals do you want to achieve? Leads? Product Sales? Further reinforce the purpose behind the content. Whether organic or paid, create a specific campaign based on your goals, objectives and budget. Create landing pages, and use white papers as downloadable opportunities for viewers to connect with you.
- Sales collateral: Recognize the difference between a pull campaign and a push effort. Use the sales collateral to drive leads and start a nurture funnel. Just because it’s not a hot lead doesn’t mean they’re not worth the sales cycle effort.
- Gather data: Get people to sign up for a webinar, download a white paper, or engage with any other type of documentation that you may have to give to them. By engaging your consumer, you’re gathering data.
You may think, “Oh, I’m giving something away for free.” Well, having customers give you their phone number, their email address, their name or any other bit of information is an asset to you and your sales team. It may not mean that they’re going to buy right away, but the lead-generation process is a combination of hot leads and the effort to develop a nurturing funnel.
Shift your mindset
If your current mindset says, “Well, why do I need content? I have a website.” or “Why do I need social media? I just want leads,” you have to understand that there’s a full process to getting leads in. If you’re skimping out, or thinking, “Oh, this is irrelevant, I don’t need this,” you’re missing out on opportunities to further nurture prospects who are doing what we all do… research and think before we decide our course of action.
Every purchase is reviewed prior to making it, from our restaurant of choice to a crib for a new baby. The best brands know that using brand awareness through a content marketing campaign helps generate leads and sales.
- Brand marketing and lead generation go hand in hand.
- Develop a strategy. Work the plan.
- Be consistent and relevant.
- Be sure your sales team is prepared for when the leads come in.
- Recognize if someone is a hot lead or needs to be nurtured.
- Use your content to further nurture the lead.
- Actively follow up.
If you don’t have the time or resources available to develop your brand strategy, find it difficult to develop consistent content, have a tough time being objective about your messaging or simply feel overwhelmed by the whole thing, a brand marketing agency can help.