Is Your Lead Generation Campaign Missing Something?

Is Your Lead Generation Campaign Missing Something?

I’ve never met a B2B marketer who wasn’t concerned about lead generation.

It’s usually the reason B2B marketers exist—sure, we need to build brand awareness, create compelling messaging and foster customer loyalty. But it’s all done to support sales and revenue. And without lead generation, both of those things are next to impossible.

As marketers, we carefully plan and execute campaigns, hoping to strike gold with a consistent flow of qualified leads. Sometimes it works pretty immediately… sometimes it takes a good amount of testing and adjusting to find what clicks.

But just because a campaign isn’t working doesn’t mean it should be abandoned, or that it’s time to start back at square one. There might just be an element or two that needs to be layered in or tweaked.

Keep reading to discover missing (or misguided) elements that could be holding your lead generation campaign back, plus a few tips for building a lead generating machine.


Understanding the lead generation funnel

Figuring out what’s missing in your lead generation campaign means understanding every part of the marketing funnel, and evaluating yours to see where it falls short.

Imagine a funnel: it’s wide at the top and gradually narrows at the bottom. A lead generation funnel visually represents the potential customer’s journey from initial awareness to becoming a qualified lead. Each stage of the lead generation funnel plays a vital role in the overall success of your campaign. Neglecting any stage can contribute to missed opportunities and a leaky funnel.


Stage 1: Awareness

The top of the funnel represents the awareness stage of the marketing funnel, when audiences first become (wait for it) aware of your brand, product or service.

At this stage, the goal is to attract potential leads and educate them about your brand and offerings. Content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) are essential strategies at this stage. Engaging blog posts, informative videos, and eye-catching social media posts and content can generate awareness and capture the attention of your target audience.

The goal of the awareness stage is to cast a wide net, and get in front of a large audience–but there’s a balance. Creating content or running ads that reach unqualified buyers will only result in unqualified leads—or none at all.

Why it’s important: When you’ve established your brand in the minds of an audience, you have prospective leads to nurture toward conversion. This stage sets the foundation for the entire funnel and ensures a steady flow of potential clients.

When audiences engage with the campaign at this level, indicating interest in the brand, product or service, those users can be retargeted and pushed through the funnel into the next stage.


Stage 2: Consideration

Once you’ve grabbed the attention of potential leads, it’s crucial to nurture their interest.

This stage is about building trust and establishing your brand as an authority. At this point, prospects are aware of their needs and are usually evaluating potential options. In B2B industries, they’re usually gathering data, discussing needs with other internal stakeholders and asking peers for referrals.

Webinars, e-books and email drip campaigns are effective tools for nurturing new leads and keeping them engaged.

Why it’s important: Especially for companies with long sales cycles and high-value products or services, the consideration stage can take months. Staying in front of audiences throughout this stage and maintaining the connection will help ensure you don’t fall off their radar.

But there’s a lot to consider: brands need to differentiate from the competition, build trust and show prospects how the company can solve their biggest challenges. Failing at any of these will lead to prospects leaving the marketing funnel and heading to the competition.


Stage 3: Decision

As leads move further down the funnel, they start considering their options and evaluating different solutions. This is where you need to showcase your unique value proposition. Clearly communicate the benefits and advantages of choosing your brand over competitors. Case studies, testimonials and product demos can instill confidence and drive leads toward the decision stage.

A strong user experience and customer experience are key in this stage, as well. Prospects are considering what it will be like to work with your brand—and if the process isn’t easy and enjoyable, it suggests the product or service won’t be, either.

Why it’s important: If you fail to sway leads about why they should choose your brand, they’ll turn to your competitors, and all the work you’ve done to cultivate leads so far will be for nothing.


Stage 4: Conversion & Loyalty

At the bottom of the funnel, leads finally take action and convert into customers. Depending on your sales process, this could be scheduling a demo, requesting a quote or signing a contract. The goal is to make the conversion process as seamless as possible. Strong calls-to-action (CTAs) and optimized landing pages can significantly increase conversion rates at this stage.

Why it’s important: This is the big kahuna. All your efforts pay off at the action stage as leads take the desired outcome.


Identifying the missing pieces in a lead generation funnel.

The four-stage lead generation funnel is a great tool for easily outlining how prospects go from an unknown audience member to a paying client.

It’s also misleadingly simple.

Lead generation is almost never that easy.

HubSpot’s State of Marketing Report shows 61% of marketers consider lead gen their biggest challenge. So, recognizing and avoiding common pitfalls can significantly improve your lead generation outcomes. Start by looking for these:


Missing piece #1: Clear call to action

Yes, this one’s obvious.

And yes, it’s also very easy to overlook.

But clear, compelling CTAs are often where lead gen campaigns fall flat.

Imagine attracting visitors to your website, but when they arrive, they’re asked to sign up for a newsletter, register for an event, request a demo and watch an explainer video.

And none of the CTAs explain what’s in it for them.

With too many avenues to take action, or not communicating the benefits well enough, or just not putting CTAs in the optimal spot on your landing page, the page becomes nothing more than a dead end.

It’s a waste of valuable traffic, your team’s energy and potentially even ad spend.

To avoid this, make sure every piece of your lead gen campaign clearly shows audiences what to do next—and only one thing at a time.

The call to action should align not only with where the user is in the buyer journey, but the medium through which they’re engaging with your company.

Social media ads in the awareness stage should encourage users to follow the account or sign up for emails. A landing page targeting audiences in the consideration stage should offer a free demo or consultation call.

And design plays a huge role here.

Your call to action should be prominent and direct visitors to the desired outcome. Color, size and location all affect whether audiences will take action.


Missing piece #2: A well-defined target audience

Picture yourself shooting arrows in the dark, hoping to hit a target.

Or trying to sell cookies outside a gym.

If your lead gen campaign isn’t targeting or reaching the most likely people to buy, even the best creative and biggest media budget isn’t going to make a difference.

Ideally, any lead generation campaign should start with a thorough understanding of your company’s ideal customer profiles and audience personas—and perhaps the specific audiences that are relevant to the offering you’re promoting.

Make sure you understand details like firmographics and demographics (the companies and people who are most likely to buy and benefit from your brand) but also psychographics (what do they care about? What do they need to get done?)

Armed with this knowledge, personalize your promotions, content and messaging. Make them feel understood and valued. Doing so increases the chances of resonating with them and capturing their attention.


Missing piece #3: Diversified lead sources

Don’t put all your lead gen eggs in one basket—or one tactic or channel, either. Relying solely on one or two sources of leads can limit your success.

Of course, there’s an important balance here. Only focusing on one channel for all of your lead generation means leaving opportunities on the table. But trying to leverage too many tactics, especially with a limited budget or team resources, isn’t the answer either.

Consider which mediums align with your target audience and their preferences.

Do they use LinkedIn or Reddit for researching SaaS tools? Do they like long thought leadership blogs, or a series of short emails in their inbox? Select the most effective channels and focus your efforts there.


Missing piece #4: A nurturing strategy strategy

Imagine planting seeds but never watering them. If you build tons of brand awareness with a strong top-of-funnel approach, but fail to nurture your leads and guide them toward the bottom of the funnel, you miss out on the opportunity to cultivate them into paying customers.

Lead nurturing involves building credibility and trust over time.

Take the length of your sales cycle and develop ways to provide value throughout that cycle—you might need to cover months or even years of consideration.

Personalized touchpoints that keep audiences engaged and informed are key. Email marketing is perfect for this, and can be automated to save your sales and marketing teams a ton of time. Paid social media campaigns can work well, too. Nurtured leads are more likely to make substantial purchases, so don’t let this element slip through the cracks.


Missing piece #5: Unique value proposition

If you can’t answer the question, “Why should someone choose you over your competitors?” neither can your target audience.

To stand out from the competition, make sure your unique value proposition is clearly communicated at each step in the buyer journey. What makes your brand special? Is it affordability, premium quality or ease of use? Understanding the industry and what your competitors are saying to audiences is important here, to make sure that your company’s messaging stands out.


Unlocking the power of your campaign to generate leads.

Even with all the essential elements for success, your lead gen campaign might still have opportunities to improve. Keep these tips in mind to optimize your outcomes.


Tip #1: Revisit your audience personas

Those audience personas and ideal customer profiles we mentioned when talking about targeting: grab yours now.

…do you have them?

…have they been updated recently?

…are they accurate?

Audience personas or buyer personas are a key ingredient in B2B marketing. They’re also one of those things that teams tend to overlook.

Your team should be continuously revisiting your personas to make sure they actually align with your prospects. And the information shouldn’t be based on assumptions, but instead actual data—from your CRM, revenue reporting, conversations and interviews with clients, and more.

They should go beyond generic demographics and delve into the motivations, challenges and preferences that shape your target audience’s purchasing decisions.

By developing a detailed buyer persona, you’ll gain invaluable insights into your customers’ pain points and jobs-to-be-done.

When you tailor your marketing efforts to resonate with your buyer persona, you create a powerful connection that cuts through the noise and captures their attention.

The days of generic, one-size-fits-all marketing messages are over. Today’s consumers crave authenticity and relevance. By leveraging your buyer persona, you can create content that speaks directly to your ideal customers—addressing their pain points and offering solutions that feel tailor-made for them.


Tip #2: Focus on meaningful metrics

To truly gauge the success of your lead generation campaign, track metrics that align with your sales and marketing goals. Look beyond vanity metrics and focus on meaningful indicators like sales revenue, time to conversion, conversion rate, marketing qualified leads and customer acquisition cost. You can accurately assess your campaign’s impact by measuring these key metrics.


Tip #3: Optimize for conversions

Setting up systems to generate leads means looking for any leaks in the pipeline.

Optimize your website and landing pages or eliminate friction points that hinder conversions—think poor page load speed, too many calls-to-action or confusing messaging.

Make the conversion process seamless and user-friendly. Streamline your forms, ensure a fast-loading page and provide clear and compelling calls to action. By optimizing for conversions, you’ll maximize your chances of turning prospects into customers.


Tip #4: Conduct an experiment or two

Humans can be hard to predict—so testing different messaging, landing pages, ad creative and offers is necessary to determine what your audience is most likely to respond to.

Conduct A/B tests around calls to action, landing page design, targeting… any element that could be impacting the campaigns success. But make sure to only test one element at a time, and with a large enough sample size and length of time to get accurate results.


Tip #5: Embrace mobile

With more than 60% of the global internet population using mobile devices, optimizing your lead generation campaigns for mobile is essential.

Ensure your website and landing pages are mobile-responsive, with smooth navigation and fast load times.


Tip #6: Retarget. Retarget. Retarget.

Not every prospect will convert immediately into a paying customer, but that doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. Implement nurturing and retargeting campaigns to keep them engaged and move them closer to conversion.

Provide valuable resources, such as e-books or guides, personalized emails tailored to their interests and irresistible offers that compel them to act. By nurturing and retargeting leads, you’ll increase the likelihood of conversion and maximize your return on investment.


Tip #7: Craft content for every stage

The buyer’s journey is dynamic, and your content should adapt accordingly.

Craft lead-generating content that caters to prospects at different stages of the journey. Create awareness-building content for those in the early stages, educational content for those considering their options and persuasive content for those ready to purchase.

By tailoring your content to address their specific needs, you’ll have an easier time guiding prospects through the buyer’s journey and increase your chances of conversion.


Tip #8: Be wary of buying leads

Buying lists of leads to target with cold outreach can result in wasted resources and time. Instead, focus on generating leads organically, which are more likely to be genuinely interested in your product or service and have a higher conversion rate. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about the legality of buying leads or the ethical implications of using acquired data.


Tip #9: Embrace analytics

A successful lead generation campaign is not a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. Analyze performance metrics to continuously track and test your efforts. Monitor each element of your campaigns to ensure they deliver on their objectives, and adjust your strategy and tactics to maximize the return on your investment. Stay agile and be prepared to make changes quickly.


Tip #10: Team up for success

Sales and marketing are intertwined functions that work best when aligned. So make sure to involve both teams in the development of your lead generation campaigns.

Fostering collaboration and communication between sales and marketing eliminates friction in the flow of information (read: leads) and a shared understanding of goals. By leveraging the expertise and insights of both teams, you can make informed, data-driven decisions, improve prospect quality and achieve greater success in your lead generation efforts.

Remember, unlocking the power of your lead generation campaign requires a strategic and holistic approach. By implementing these tips, you’ll optimize your campaign, engage your audience effectively and drive meaningful results. Stay focused, adapt to changes and continuously refine your strategies to maximize outcomes and return.


Achieving your lead generation goals

Remember, the ultimate goal in lead gen isn’t just generating leads, but generating qualified leads—those who have a real interest in your offerings and have the resources and capability to buy. By adopting a strategic and targeted approach to lead generation, you can attract the right people, nurture them effectively and ultimately drive improved conversion rates for your business.


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