A Basic Outline of a Lead Generation Campaign
You can generate more qualified leads by providing helpful advice to potential buyers, and nurturing them effectively.
But there’s a difference between knowing and doing.
So in the spirit of “walking the walk”, I’ve outlined a basic lead generation campaign below.
The specifics of this campaign will be different depending on your company, target audience and products/services. But the outline will apply to most companies selling instrumentation, software and equipment to science labs.
And I’ve deliberately kept things simple, since the idea is to get it up and running as soon as possible. Most of you are starved for time, so it doesn’t make sense to add a ton of detail.
Also, this isn’t theory. It’s loosely based on a recent lead generation project I did with a client.
The 7 steps are outlined below.
Step 1 – Create a report/white paper/guide that addresses a key challenge
First, outline a few key challenges that your buyers are dealing with. You then need to sit down and write a helpful guide that addresses one or more of these challenges.
This can be a white paper, a special report, a resource guide… whatever. It doesn’t matter what you call it, but be sure to give it a title that promises real value. You can do this by putting the challenge in the title, and an implied benefit.
If it’s early stage researchers who have just received funding, write a report that helps them. For scientists, a guide on how to manage a research project or survive their time in academia would be useful.
Warning: this needs to be unbiased. It needs to be genuinely useful, without pitching your company or product. Period.
Step 2 – Create a selection guide
Next, create a selection guide that helps your audience make a decision on what equipment they need. This is also known as a buyer’s guide.
I was recently on the website of a company that sells cryogenic research equipment. They have a “selection guide” posted on their website, but their marketing manager said they don’t do much else with it. They just have a link to it on their homepage. It’s not in PDF form either, just a webpage. And it’s not gated.
You need to think differently. For lead generation, you need contact details, so a downloadable PDF in exchange for this info is best.
Again, it needs to be unbiased. You can provide important criteria they can use to make a decision. Obviously, your products meet these criteria, but you’re not saying this directly in the buyer’s guide.
Step 3 – Write a list report
By a list report, I mean a short (1-2 pages) document that summarizes the most important points of one or more of the guides in Step 1 and Step 2.
It should be a quick read, and easy to scan.
You can use it as a lead magnet, a document to nurture prospects, or you can break it up into a series of emails to promote the guides. And be sure to put a number in the title of the report (like the title of this issue). For example, “7 Steps to Choosing the Right AFM for Your Research”
Step 4: Write the promotional material for the campaign.
This means the ads, emails and letters you’re going to use to promote these guides. The first thing you’ll need to do here is put together a separate landing page for every report you create.
And make sure these are “dedicated” landing pages that don’t have navigation links. Remember, you don’t want to send them to your homepage where they can get lost.
Step 5 – Clarify the sequence
You need to decide on how you’ll use these guides in the campaign. In other words, figure out the sequence.
Since we’re talking about lead generation, one option is to promote the original guide first, as this will be immediately helpful to your prospects.
The list report can be sent as a “summary” document to those who have downloaded one or both guides. Alternatively, you can use the list report to get people to sign up. Then promote the first guide and buyer’s/selection guide as a way for them to get more information.
It also helps to figure out the call-to-action for each piece of content. What do you want the reader to do next?
So, for example:
- Set up a landing page for each guide, and write the promotional ads and emails.
- Send the original white paper to your list. This should be people who are currently dealing with the challenge the white paper addresses.
- The call-to-action at the end of the guide should promote the selection/buyer’s guide.
- Send the list report as a summary to those who download the original white paper and the buyer’s guide.
Obviously, this is just one way to do it. But you can change the sequence depending on what works best for you (see Step 7).
Step 6 – Repurpose and Promote
I go on about this a lot, but it really is important. Don’t just write your reports, and leave it at that. Promote and repurpose them as much as you can.
- Feature the guides prominently on your website
- Email them to your list
- Share them on social media
- Create a series of blog posts from the guide content
- Repurpose them into articles, infographics and webinars
- Use them at tradeshows and exhibits
- Syndicate them through a content network
- Publish a press release about the guides
Step 7 – Measure response
Measuring the results of your campaigns is often overlooked, but it’s absolutely necessary. This will tell you what’s working, and you’ll be able to tweak various aspects over time to increase response.
For example, you might find that one particular sequence (like the one in Step 5) works better than another. So the idea would be to use this sequence again and again until you find one that generates a better response.
Creating enough material to help your buyers, and nurture them effectively is key to generating more qualified leads. While the above steps are simplified, they should give you an idea of what’s possible.
Until next time,