The world of lead generation is changing. In a recent post, we discussed how the lead generation landscape has evolved over the years, and what’s different about how leads are found today. But how can companies reach the customers and prospects they’re looking for in this new era?lead generation techniques

In this blog post, we’ll explore lead generation techniques that can help you meet prospects where they’re at and find leads that are truly qualified.

How to Make Contact

One crucial aspect of generating qualified leads in this new paradigm is ensuring your website gets found. Prospects are doing their research using Google and looking at the sites of businesses with potential solutions to their problems. If your site never turns up as a Google search result for anything but your name, your prospect pool will be small and none of your other lead generation techniques will work. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to create a strong SEO strategy. Every page on your site should have a keyword that reflects something your customer may search for, and that keyword should be present in the copy, URL, meta description and image tags. Tools like the Keyword Planner in Google AdWords can help you find ideas for compelling keywords in your industry that match the concerns, interests and pain points of your customers. In addition, your site should load quickly, be mobile-friendly, and have a link strategy, which can be accomplished through linking to your site on your company social media accounts.

Once your site gets found, how do you capture attention and get prospects to listen to you? The best way is with compelling, valuable content. Although blog posts are helpful for attracting visitors to your site and establishing thought leadership in your industry, to truly capture a prospect’s attention you’ll need content that’s a little more in-depth and valuable, and that can’t be found anywhere else. This could be a white paper, an infographic, a recording of a webinar, a kit of resources…the possibilities are endless.

Whatever form your content takes, it should speak to the pain points of your customers, offer practical solutions to their problems, or help them simplify their work life. “Gating” your content, or requiring a visitor to share contact information before downloading it, is the only real way to get a prospect from content, and not just a nameless, faceless click. But if your content isn’t relevant, timely or valuable, prospects won’t consider giving up their contact information in order to download it. As the saying goes, the content has to be worth the contact.

How to Transform a Contact Into a Qualified Lead

Getting the contact information of someone who’s interacted with your content is a great first step. But a single interaction with content does not a qualified lead make. You have to nurture the lead in order to transform a curious prospect into an engaged customer with the intent to buy. When a prospect shows interest in a content download, don’t just stop there—continue to offer up valuable content that may further pique their interest. This is known as “feeding the hungry.” For example, if a prospect downloads a white paper, offer them an infographic, then a webinar, then a case study, related to the same topic. This content can be sent to prospects using a workflow—an automated yet personalized series of emails that are triggered when a prospect downloads gated content. As the prospect moves through the workflow, downloading and interacting with more content, they are also moving down the sales funnel and becoming more informed, more interested and better qualified leads.

Once you have prospects engaged like this, capitalize on their interest. At the end of the workflow, offer a consultation, one-to-one meeting, or some other form of contact that rewards the prospect for progressing through your workflow. The prospects who raise their hands for this final step are truly qualified. They’re engaged and ready to talk seriously about your product or service. They’re also ready for sales, because marketing has led them all the way down the funnel and delivered truly qualified leads.

The landscape of lead generation may have changed, but that doesn’t have to mean that finding qualified leads is impossible. Using these lead generation techniques can start your business on the journey to better, more qualified leads.