Lead Generation

Content marketing is the fertile soil from which new business leads grow. Before any B2B client will reach out to you in person, they have already gone through a pre-selection process. According to a recent study, one out of 3 search queries for products and services started from Google. Not surprising – just ask yourself what you do in your private life. For how many recent purchases have you been searching first on the internet, unless the product/service was recommended to you by word of mouth or because you are already a loyal client of the brand? In our B2B world two out of 3 social media leads come through LinkedIn. As content is king/queen, content marketing is vital for your lead generation and a necessary process for your business re-development process. The global pandemic is not over yet and as latest meetings industry research has forecasted, pick up is only really forecasted from Q3 onwards. So you still have time to be ready for the re-launch of the events industry!

No country for old men

Let’s start from the beginning, as absolute strangers. How can you start to attract new business when trade shows and workshops have gone back to the future and online/hybrid has not inspired our Zoom fatigued audiences too much? The answer is keep on inspiring your audiences first and foremost. Social media does play an important role here but needs constant fresh content delivered in the form of blog posts, story telling or Instagramable imaging that tell a thousand words. Video and live stream take on much more prominent roles as well now because they live up the experience. Soon we will not be strangers anymore. Because through inspiration these prospects will have turned into visitors of your products or services. It means at least you have eye-contact now!

OK, that first look into your eyes has captured some form of interest, how do you convert this further so that next steps are being taken. On social media, the use of websites and blogs are crucial in this process. Hence the importance of creating an inspiring landing page that has a subscription form and a call to action. Jan Vermeiren, in his e-book ‘The Client Acquisition Pathway’, calls this a ‘lead magnet’. Something that has value for the client and which he/she can download or fill in. This can be an e-book, and e-course, a tutorial video or even a pre-recorded webinar. Others include a short checklist, an assessment, an RFP form or even a quiz. In most cases this is all digital but it can also turn into a product or teaser being mailed out to the prospect. What we did now was turning an interest into a lead! A promising beginning of an interesting journey ahead.

Other than LinkedIn, which is great for new business connections and for generating leads through content and brand awareness, also Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are important social media platforms to consider in your communication mix. With Facebook you will connect primarily with professional friends around the globe and capturing prospects attention. It is a good channel to drive traffic to your blog or website. Instagram is building a lot of cloud in content generation as well. Visuals are telling the story. It’s a vey humanized way of creating community around your brand. Twitter will expose your services to primarily new audiences and the use of #hashtags can spark some interest with total strangers. Twitter also allows you to take part in trendy conversations and is an interesting tool to find out what your competitor is doing as well 😉 . More recently, also YouTube and Instagram have joined the big five of digital communication. More about this in a separate article.

Video courtesy of Kalitumba Travel

What do you mean with content?

Honestly, there are so many things you can use to create content. As we are operating in the field of meetings, conferences, corporate events and incentive travel, we most of the time have some exciting case studies to talk about. Every event is unique and has a story to tell. It must not even be a full case study, you can use anecdotes, surprising outcomes, unique experiences, comments from a client, exciting new venues, new service offerings, new digital and hybrid solutions, technological innovation and of course anything sustainable. People also like to read on who you are, what happens in your team, put a face to the name. And finally, digital trips have entered the arena too. Just make sure that the message you will carry is clear and precise. One topic – one message remains an important marketing rule.

Now that you captured interest and you know whom you are talking to it’s time to plan follow up actions. First of all, with the capture of some basic data from the prospect, we have been able to feed our CRM system with a new candidate. Now let’s continue the conversation by ways of email marketing (no it is not dead), newsletters or other forms of continuous communication. Leads are ready to become customers now if their needs and wants match with what we can offer. And so, a total stranger turned into a lead and has finally booked his/her business with you. Bravo! But it’s not over yet.

Next, you want to turn the customer into a repeat client. If there is no repeat possible in the short term, there is always the opportunity for our delighted customers to start sharing their experience with others. Or create a lead to one of your colleagues or partners whose destination is up next. So first of all ask for their testimonial and their agreement for you to use it (with or without their name or the name of their organisation). Talk about the event on your social media, in your newsletter or website. Publish a story on your blog. This way you are creating very dynamic content which can inspire other like-minded and need-sharing customers. You have now turned absolute strangers into clients and finally in co-promoters of your business!

If you want me to make an assessment of your content marketing and lead generation structure and suggest new pathways ahead, please contact me on hugo.slimbrouck@gmail.com or give me a call on +32 475 75 52 73

Published by hugoslimbrouck

I am a destination marketer with a specialisation in meetings, events, conferences and incentives. Destination marketing, training and consulting as well as business networking are the things I'm good at. For the past 14 years I worked for the MCI Group and managed our global portfolio of strategic partners for the Ovation Global DMC brand. I'm also a past president of SITE and JMIC. During my career, I travelled an average of 120 days which allowed me to build a global network of buyers, prospects and influencers. Please check me out under my LinkedIn profile as well, either under my name or my alias hugosmartypants. I'm a father of 4 and grandfather of 6. Hiking out on the countryside is one of my favourite hobbies.

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