Whether you’re an established business or just starting out, lead generation is typically a main priority. But generating quality leads isn’t easy and in this digital age of content overload and social media, it has become even harder. When the market is slow, businesses have to work twice as hard to get noticed. In this economic downturn, it has become essential to develop an effective lead generation strategy that not only drives quality leads but also keeps the budget in mind. Making matters more difficult, many marketers are finding themselves at the center of budgeting discussions, fighting to prove the value of their lead-generation strategies. But whether the market is booming or in a decline, quality leads are crucial for your sales team and business growth. Below we have outlined the ways to adapt your lead generation strategy so you can stay ahead of the competition despite having less money at hand.
Assess quality leads to know where to spend:
To adapt your lead generation strategy, you need to reevaluate the tactics you’ve taken and reconsider the tools at your disposal to enhance and improve the process. To borrow from da Vinci, a lead generation campaign is never finished, only optimized. Now more than ever it’s important to ensure your strategies are getting you results, so you need to improve and enhance your tactics’ performance using analytics. Utilize data gathering and tracking programs such as Google Analytics, Boston Digital’s eye-tracking lab, or Crazy Egg to help identify the needs of your audience. Learning about your customers is critical to understanding changes in their preferences when the economy plunges. Your company can use this information to create marketing strategies that provide value to your customers and fulfill their requirements despite the challenging times. Implement the most suitable recession-proof marketing tactics, and then identify the best-performing campaigns. When assessing where to spend your marketing budget generating leads, keep quality top of mind. A higher cost per lead may translate to higher ROI, so it’s important to understand the quality of leads coming from your strategy. Incorporating these quality elements into your lead generation strategy from the start will make the most of your budget and your time.
Strategies to keep your business top of mind and your budget low:
With a small investment, there are effective lead-generation strategies that you can use to drive leads and sales.
The adage “content is king” has been espoused by countless bloggers, consultants, and agencies. For good reason, too. With 82% of B2B senior execs reporting that content is a significant driver in their buying decision, your business’s lead generation strategy must include content development to stay competitive and relevant to your audiences. During a recession, providing users with informative and engaging content is both essential and low-cost. At this time, consumers tend to be far more thoughtful and cautious during the purchasing process, so providing them with compelling information that they need will not only earn your website more traffic but can help you gain their trust, which is crucial in this market. In terms of content marketing, the rush to cut costs can be a blessing in disguise for strategic marketers. The drop in competition and fewer users investing in SEO and content marketing tactics give you a better opportunity for a higher rank on your SERPs. If you utilize smart tactics such as in-depth keyword research and effective calls to action, you will increase your presence in search results. The low cost of content marketing is an added benefit. Each company must decide its own path to a successful strategy, but we recommend using the following steps good place to start: define your readers/consumers, identify their pain points, conduct thoughtful SEO research, and plan your editorial calendar. We suggest varying the way you showcase your content to appeal to different types of users and keep your editorial calendar fresh such as infographics, blogs, videos, imagery, guides, and eBooks.
Successful lead generation strategies require multiple channels for attracting new leads. One channel no strategy should be without, no matter the economic climate, is a blog. Besides its ability to drive leads, when done right, a blog presence can increase your organic traffic, brand reputation, and standing as an industry thought leader. According to HubSpot’s State Of Inbound Report, marketers who focus their efforts on developing a strong blog are 13x more likely to see a positive return on investment. Although it may be high effort, keeping an up-to-date, highly engaging blog is a low-cost way to attract new visitors and drive new leads into your funnel. When considering your corporate blog, the content you create depends on the goals of your business and the audience you wish to target. Your blog could focus on customer service, thought leadership, industry news and trends, and much more. Blog content is aimed at the top of your marketing funnel, attracting, and driving the widest viewership possible within your targeted audience so your focus should be on engagement rather than conversions. Therefore, keep content high-level and short to keep your users engaged and coming back. Your in-depth and lengthier content should be gated behind landing pages. If you’re using content marketing to increase leads, your blog strategy should align. Consider your blog as a complementary tactic. No need to spend large sums of money on advertisements to capture the reader's contact information. Instead, write secondary blog posts that pivot off ideas addressed in your larger publications to continue the story and point users in the direction you want them to go.
Use landing pages to easily convert website visitors into leads at little to no cost. At its simplest, a landing page should address a pain point for your prospects, provide a value proposition, and offer a simple solution that users can access by connecting with your business (e.g., a form submission or phone number). In a downturned market, creating conversion-focused landing pages is essential. A strong landing page focuses on one call to action—one action a user should take that aligns with your strategic goals. Too many choices are distracting and can overwhelm users with “analysis paralysis”; users will freeze up when faced with too many choices and simply not take action as a result. Your action of choice may include calls to action such as: download content, enter a contest, request more information, talk to an expert, demo a product, etc. Focusing on strategic content creation, engaging blogs, and strong landing pages is a powerful way to keep your business top of mind and keep a steady hold on your business’s lead generation without breaking the bank.
You put a lot of work into developing content and attracting new visitors, but with a looming recession oftentimes the visitor just doesn’t bite down and take the action you want. Advertising through retargeting allows you to direct new messaging to past visitors who failed to take a desired action the first time around. The brilliance of retargeting is that you get a second chance to make a first impression. When a visitor doesn’t perform the action you want, don’t just assume the prospect is not qualified. Prospects can fail to convert for reasons surrounding your content (didn’t resonate, too long to read, etc.) or circumstances outside of your control (bad timing, poor web connection, etc.). You can try again to convert the prospect through retargeting. Although it may not be the most inexpensive weapon in your arsenal, when done strategically it can have a higher ROI and affect 80% of sales and results.
Email marketing is often overlooked as a powerful tool for sustaining businesses during a recession. However, email marketing is likely the most effective way to keep your business afloat when weathering an economic downturn. Email allows you to reach the right audience, with the right message, at the right time by segmenting your contacts. A recession is the right time to buckle down on your email marketing in an effort to warm up old leads, reconnect with prior customers, and retarget prior deals. In addition, email marketing can help you keep your existing customers engaged which many businesses fail to do in this climate. With just email, you can stay in touch with your customers and keep them updated on information surrounding relevant details such as key hires, new business wins, services, and resources. This can help you maintain your customer base during a time when they may be focusing on saving money.
Regardless of the industry you operate in, your biggest asset in a recession will be your current customer base. So, make sure that your marketing strategies target your happiest clients because they can become your most valuable. These satisfied customers can recommend your business, bring in referrals, and leave glowing reviews and testimonials for you. These customer reviews are an essential strategy for marketing your business in a recession because they have the power to influence purchase decisions for prospective customers by validating your company’s reputation. According to a survey conducted by PowerReviews, 98% of consumers feel that reviews are an essential resource when making purchase decisions. People want to feel confident that they are making smart purchases and reviews are a great way to validate customers' decisions- and in a recession, this need for purchase validation is only heightened. So, investing your time into managing and generating reviews is a marketing tactic that will yield a long-term ROI. The best part is that getting online reviews can be done for free. Providing rewards for reviews or sending out personal messages to past customers are great ways to reengage with potential customers and grow your review database. If you notice you’re business is lacking reviews on an important platform, check other sites and ask those users to create another review on the site you had in mind. If they were happy enough to write a review once, chances are they’ll do it again if you ask. Simply by having reviews on a landing page or in an email etc. will increase your engagement rate and conversions. Therefore, asking your customers to provide testimonials will help you to recession-proof your business by differentiating your brand from the competition.
Now that you know the lead generation strategies that work in a recession, it’s time to implement them. Use email marketing to target your customer base and create engaging content such as blog posts, e-books, and captivating landing pages. You can also use social media for brand awareness, customer support, and encouraging reviews. Make sure all your marketing materials are customer-centric and generate leads. While these strategies will help you cut costs, they will also help you generate leads and sales in the long run.