So what does this mean for the marketing manager, start-up entrepreneur or seasoned professional looking to grow their businesses or portfolios? It means getting clear about your online lead generation strategy and optimising as you go.

Here are five simple steps to ensure that you win in digital lead generation:

1. Define your audience

Having a deep understanding of who it is that you want to engage with is fundamental to the success of your digital lead generation campaign. Defining an audience using traditional market segmentation strategies, or the LSM framework just doesn't work anymore.

You've got to get closer to your audience by creating personas. These can include:
  • What is your ideal customer's name?
  • What are their dreams and desires?
  • What are their greatest fears?
  • What do they care about?
  • Where do they choose to spend their time online?
Answer these questions for your audience first and then create your offer (that is visually compelling), which speaks directly to them, one on one. The power of defining your audience allows you to craft messages that resonate with your audience on a personal level.

2. Build your offer

Differentiating in 2019 and beyond is critical in standing out from your competitors. In highly competitive markets with customers bombarded with promotions and adverts, creating a can't-refuse-offer is the only way to break through the noise online and ensure that your business is receiving high-quality, convertible leads that you need to grow and win.

3. Map out your funnel

Define your funnel online. Choose which platforms you'll use to create awareness, and decide where you'll position your offer. Defining where you're going to capture and convert your leads will ensure that you never miss an opportunity to generate the leads you're looking for.

Take post-its or grab a whiteboard and physically map out and unpack how you're attempting to guide the right people through your funnel.

4. Automate engagement

If you're generating leads at scale, it's impossible to respond to every lead in real-time; however, it is a non-negotiable. This is where automation plays a key role. Define your onboarding journey for new customers and ensure that you select the right automation tools that will engage them and keep your leads warm until you can respond to them yourself (that is if you cannot automate the entire sales process as well).

With personalisable chatbots on social platforms and powerful email automation software available, there is just no excuse to let solid leads grow cold.

5. Assess and assert 

Often, we build what we think will be amazing lead generation pipelines, and never stop to assess and adjust. Assessing the success of your pipelines on an ongoing basis ensures that you are able to tweak, adjust and optimise those pipelines to get better results.

If you're not continually looking at how your lead generating strategies are performing, you won't be able to optimise as your audience changes or new technologies emerge. Digital lead generation is not as complicated as it seems.

If you're clear about who you're trying to reach, spend time crafting an unbeatable offer that drives value, clearly map out the online journey and automate well, you're going to win and you'll win big.

*Image courtesy of Vecteezy