Lead Generation is not new. It has literally existed forever.
In fact, we can track it all the way back to cavemen going cave-to-cave for recommendations on the best hunting materials to get. It continued evolving until the caveman turned to a salesman, and cave-to-cave became door-to-door!
This transformation was mainly fueled by the exponential growth in technology which allowed marketers and salesmen access to new and better ways to attract prospects and turn them into leads, and eventually to customers.
We can clearly see that lead generation is constantly transforming. So how can you use this information to your advantage as a marketer and boost your lead generation conversions?
Well, you first need to understand what the state of lead generation is going to be in 2019 and what tactics you can use to stand out and successfully increase your conversion rates!
Lead generation is still an integral part of most marketing strategies. In fact, 85% of marketers do generate leads in some form. However, only 1 in 10 marketers reported that their lead gen efforts are actually effective!
The reason why is actually very simple. Everyone is doing the same thing, following the same strategies and expecting great results. But like Einstein said (reportedly), insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results!
So instead of going into what doesn’t work and why 90% of marketers fail to get the results they were hoping for, let’s see what you can do to be a part of the 10% that do!
Research is constantly showing that the future of lead gen (and content in general) is visual content. Year after year, more marketers are realizing how vital visual content is and why it should be an integral part of your content strategy.
A recent visual content marketing statistics study shows that 69% of marketers now view visuals as an absolutely necessary part of their content strategy (surprisingly, almost half of those marketers don’t follow what they preach). Why do you think it’s becoming this vital?
Well, the infographic below could explain exactly why:
There are thousands of other studies and statistics online by marketers, psychologists and cognitive neuroscientists that prove this exact hypothesis: visual content is the future.
That brings us to the interesting part, how exactly can visuals help marketers boost their lead generation conversions?
We’ll look at 3 main ways you can do that.
1) Using visuals to attract prospects to your business.
2) Using visuals to generate more leads for your business.
3) Using visuals to close a sale and get a new customer to your business.
Let’s start with the first point.
- Using Visuals to Attract More Prospects
If you want to attract new prospects to your business, you need to first make it easier for them to find you! We’ll focus on one of the main ways prospects today can find out about your business: social media.
Marketers use social media for a variety of ways as we can see, but in a nutshell, you’d want to use it to increase your exposure and establish yourself as an “authority” in your specific domain. This will convince prospects to actually follow your insights, trust your brand, share your content and even become leads and/or customers eventually!
According to a 2018 social media marketing industry report, a staggering 80% of marketers use visual content in their social media marketing. That’s not surprising, given the popularity of visual-centric platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, which capitalized on the visual content facts we highlighted earlier.
Visual content (whether it’s an image, GIF, infographic, chart, etc..) increases engagement by 120-180%! It also increases the desire to read content by 80%. That means that not only would you get more clicks (which allows you to educate your prospects), but also more exposure (which leads to more traffic/exposure) and in turn, significantly increase your content marketing ROI.
But that’s not the only benefit. It also leads you to perform better on search engines (which is the other place prospects can find you). More clicks, shares, time-on-page and other factors would improve your search ranking Google and other search engines, which in turn leads to more prospects!
2) Using Visuals To Generate More Leads
Using visuals to attract prospects is great, but it’s more of a long-term play. It takes time to build your authority on social media and even more time to start ranking high on Google, so how can you use visual content to benefit your small business marketing today?
Well, in a nutshell, you need to offer people an attractive incentive to give you their email, phone number or other contact information (and become a lead). In most cases, that “incentive” is a piece of content, like an ebook, webinar, report, etc…
The type of content you offer depends primarily on your business and who your audience is, but here are the content types that produce leads with the highest customer conversion rates:
Now that you understand how we, humans, are visual creatures, it’s important to use visual content every chance you get. Whether it’s by beautifully visualizing data in your reports/whitepapers, adding more icons/images to your blog post, or creating video content to support your landing pages, visual content is truly a game changer in your lead generation projects.
Don’t take my word for it, a study by Wordstream shows that adding a video to your landing page can increase your conversion by 80%! As a marketing expert once said: “if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures!”.
3) Using Visuals to Close More Sales
That brings us to the last part of the lead generation process: educating your leads and turning them into a customer. In other words, the lead nurturing phase.
The primary goal of marketers in this stage is to educate their leads, gain their trust and show them exactly how your product/service can solve their unique problems.
In most cases, you nurture your customers by emailing them or providing them with content that can help them get more information about your business. There are a few tactics and hacks that you can use in this stage to increase your conversion rate.
The first is to provide your leads with a checklist or timeline in their first email to clearly track their progress and show them what the next steps are. Adding a timeline template to your email and/or communication is a proven strategy used by SaaS giants like HubSpot in their lead nurturing campaigns.
A second strategy is to provide your customers with video content for every stage of their journey with your product. That could be done by creating help videos or webinars that would answer their questions and provide real value and insights that address their unique concerns.
In general, you’d want to capitalize on what we’ve learned above and use visuals, whatever kind they are to nurture your leads and close the sale!
To summarize, the right content, targeting the right people, with the right visuals will ultimately skyrocket your conversion rates and set you apart from the oversupply of content available online!
Our brains are designed to process visuals, not text. In fact, 93% of all communication is visual, which is precisely why visual content attracts our attention and in turn, affects our attitude and behavior.
Marketers who understand this can use it as their secret weapon. After all, using visual content in every stage of the lead generation process continues to be the easiest and most effective way to increase your conversion rates and win more sales!
Name: Naser Alubaidi
Naser is a Growth Marketer at Venngage. He is a tech enthusiast with a B.A in Financial & Business Economics and a background in marketing. Naser is passionate about product marketing, strategy, and growth. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.