Unlock customer insights to improve digital lead generation
One of the first rules for producing great lead generation content is that it must resonate with your ideal customer. Miss the mark, and you won’t attract leads or – perhaps worse – you’ll attract the wrong leads. If you’re looking to generate more high quality leads, here’s how you can unlock customer insights to power your lead generation.
Lead generation is a multi-step process. Before investing valuable time and resources into producing content and setting up your lead generation campaign, it's important to understand: Who are your customers? What are their needs and challenges? What does their buying process look like? How does your offering support them? And what are the alternatives? The process we use here at Cross-Border Communications creates a strategic foundation that allows us to reach the right audiences on the right channels to drive lead capture and nurture opportunities.
Zoom out: The right research is a valuable investment
We can’t recommend customer interviews enough. This type of market research method is highly personal and ideal for open-ended questions, since an experienced interviewer is able to go beyond surface-level responses and investigate deeper. Don’t forget, you can also interview your sales team too – another great source of insights.
Meanwhile, you can use social media listening to track what the market is saying about products, services, or broader challenges. It also gives us an idea of the digital channel landscape to uncover where and when people are communicating. Pre-made industry reports, though less personal to your customers, can be a massive time saver. The data’s already been cleaned, organised and interpreted, and it comes in a format that’s quick and easy to share with your organisation. And if you haven’t already, now is the time for a competitor analysis: what and how are others communicating and where is there a gap for you to own?
Other sources of research include focus groups, web surveys, customer reviews – the list goes on. To find the right approach for your organisation, consider what you want to achieve, what data you’ll need, the pros and cons of each method, and the cost and time of conducting the research and analysing the results.
Home in: Turn this data into strategic tools and frameworks
Once you’ve digested this information, it’s time to put it to work. Personas are a powerful tool to help you create content that’s relevant and valuable to the right people. However, you might well be facing a complex landscape of multiple decision makers, influencers and stakeholders. In these cases, it can be more helpful to focus on broader buying centres, and boil down your information into overall archetypes for commercial, technical and operational decision makers, for example.
The same goes for mapping the buying journey, which can be both long and complex. Again, it often works best to focus on fewer key stages. From here, it’s easier and more productive to map your information for each buying centre onto a time (what step they’re at in their journey) and place (what channels and touchpoints they are on). This will provide you with a clearer idea of what type of content will resonate best, on what platform, and with what key messages.
Finally, a messaging framework can provide strategic guidance and consistency to your marketing communications. Using your insights, personas and buying centre archetypes, start adapting your value proposition for different buying segments with key messages, benefits and proof points for each. Keywords are important, but bear in mind you’re not ‘copywriting’ yet. Instead, you’re creating a foundation for copywriters, designers and other content creators to use later on.
What’s next? Turn insight into value-adding content
Armed with your research and strategic frameworks, you are now in a strong position to create value-adding content that will resonate with your audience. C.C.JENSEN is just one example of a brand leveraging insights to generate leads as quickly and efficiently as possible. Having identified unmet needs for different buying centres, we helped the industrial oil filtration company create an e-book and campaign content that surpassed its goals for sales qualified leads.
Stay tuned for our next blog post where we will share some key considerations for creating compelling lead generation content. In the meantime, you can see the full C.C.JENSEN campaign here. Or get inspired with more great examples of lead generation, including Brüel & Kjær and MAN Energy Solutions.