All the online marketing efforts of your company have one primary aim: to generate leads. Visits and valuable traffic are great, but the final aim is to urge the target audience to take a specific action. It could be as simple as persuading them to try out one's product or services for free, or as complicated as convincing a potential client to request a quote and give details about his project requirements.
You can just go through the motions - get the basics right - and hope that the right person will fall through your funnel right into the lap of your web page. Or, you can invest your time and energy in a compact process that yields immediate results. If you are hungry for sales, take the following steps to generate a lead within 12 hours.
Step 1: Research Target Audience and Content (0.5 hours)
Define and specify your target audience.
Research the needs of the target audience to find questions they are asking or information they are seeking.
Choose a topic that allows you to help the users and promote your products or services at the same time.
TIP: Checking Quora, WikiAnswers, Yahoo Answers or niche industry blogs customer queries can be extremely useful in finding the right topic.
Step 2: Create Killer Content (2.5 hours)
Be crystal clear about the goal of your content - resolve user issues, establish thought leadership and market specific services or products.
Create easily accessible content that can be consumed within minutes.
Unlock the marketing context in the topic to market your products.
TIP: Leverage existing resources and information in your organization to speed up content creation.
Step 3: Post the Content on your Website (0.5 hours)
Publish well-formatted content with relevant and attractive images.
Place prominent call-to-action buttons within the content (as we have done below!) and at the end of the content.
TIP: Publish the best content on your website (as opposed to guest posting). This allows you to promote the content through different channels and send visitors to directly your own website.
Step 4: Email the Content or Link to Targeted Audience (0.5 hours)
Create a teaser email on the basis of your content, or use an extract from the content for email marketing.
For example, we might send a marketing email titled 'Generate a lead in 12 hours' to our target audience for this content.
Select the relevant segments of users through email marketing tool and send the mail with link to the prospective customers.
Step 5: Promote the Content on Social Media (6.0 hours)
Prepare a list of groups of Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn relevant to the topic tackled in your content.
Invest two hours in finding groups and posting the link to your article creatively for each social media site.
TIP: Remember, social media is all about engagement and interaction. So, be quick to reply to comments and queries by users.
Step 6: Post the Links on Microblogging Sites (0.5 hours)
Promote your content on quality microblogging websites by posting the link to your content along with enticing comment.
Popular websites: Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Plurk, Yammer, Dipity, and Blip.
Step 7: Promote the Content on QA and forum sites (0.5 hours)
Visit the top Question-Answer websites, find relevant questions, answer the questions in a few words and place your link for further reference.
Popular websites: Quora, WikiAnswers, Yahoo Answers, AskVille, AnswerBag, and BlurtIt.
You can also visit niche, industry-specific forums to answer questions and point readers to your article.
TIP: It is best to answer to the most recent questions - answering month-old threads may not be very fruitful.
Step 8: Comment on Top-Notch Blogs (1.0 hours)
Search and identify recent articles in high-quality blogs that are related to the topic of your article.
Go through the comments section, and submit relevant comments. Add your link to the comment to substantiate the point you are making.
TIP: Comment only on recent articles as there isn't much chance of people visiting the comments section of older articles.
Step 9: Keep your eye on the mailbox and get ready to answer queries from prospective customers!