Lead generation can be tricky. Trying to convince your target audience to follow up with your business through a newsletter or a subscription is a delicate art; and like any art, it may take a few tries to get it right. If you find yourself floundering through lead generation, you should know you’re not alone. But you can learn from other marketers who have been there. Here are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid when you get into lead generation.
#1: Skimming Over Your Target Audience Research
If you don’t understand your audience, you’re going to have a hard time convincing them to interact with your brand. Your brand needs to be relevant to them. It needs to be the answer to their questions. Customers also want to feel like they’re understood, like they’re not just a number to the brands they do business with.
Understanding your target audience takes time and effort. It takes research: scouring through social media, analyzing data, conducting surveys, and listening to your audience. Make sure you have a thorough grasp on your demographic before you begin your lead generation efforts.
#2: Failing to SEO Optimize Your Website
Before lead generation, you need to have eyes on your website. You do this by boosting your search engine optimization (SEO) to up your rankings on Google’s searches. You can use relevant keywords, long-form written content, meta titles and descriptions, or varied formatting to boost your SEO. If you have a business with a physical location, using local keywords can help to strengthen your local SEO.
If your lead generation isn’t taking off, it could be an issue with your SEO. Consider conducting an SEO audit to find areas you can strengthen and then try lead generation again.
#3: Offering a Product That Doesn’t Fit the Market
This is why it’s important to understand your audience. If your product isn’t a good fit for the market, you’re going to have a hard time generating leads. Your product should be something new, tackling a corner of the market that previously hadn’t been seized. It should be the answer to the issues your target audience might be facing.
If there are already a number of products out there that offer the same thing your product does, you’re facing a saturated market and it may be next to impossible to generate leads. Make sure you know what makes your product stand out, and that you know it actually fits the market. If it does not, you may need to tweak your marketing plan or the product itself.
#4: Using Non-Organic Methods of Lead Generation
Lead generation typically involves acquiring an email address from a potential lead, at which point you can send them promotional emails and further information about your brand. If the lead generation process is going slowly, some new marketers turn to services that allow them to purchase emails and contact information from users who never interacted with their business.
This may seem like an easy score for lead generation, but it can actually do more harm than good. In purchasing leads, you are sending your marketing to audiences who did not want that information and may not relate to it. Your email may get marked as spam, making it difficult to find the right inboxes in the future. It can also damage your reputation by going after uninterested parties.
Lead generation is almost never easy, but at the end of the day, organic methods tend to have the best effect. Paid contacts are often a waste of money.
#5: Using the Wrong Social Media Platforms
It seems as though everyone is on social media these days, and that’s not far from the truth. Over half the global population had a presence on social media in 2023. But not everyone uses the same social media platforms, and some are more popular with some demographics than others. Social media can be a great way to generate leads…if you know how to leverage it correctly.
If you’re trying to reach young college students or fashion influencers, you likely won’t find them on LinkedIn. Similarly, if you run a B2B service that mostly serves tax lawyers, Instagram probably shouldn’t be your go-to social media platform. Do some research to see which demographics utilize which social media platforms. Go where your target audience is and don’t waste time with other platforms.
Timing can make a difference, too. People use social media at different times, so if you want them to see your post, you should schedule it strategically. Although this will vary from demographic to demographic, people tend to check social media before work (8am-10am) and after work (6pm-9pm).