What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of identifying and engaging with your prospective clients in an effort to promote your business’ services and or products. Lead generation is carried out through various forms of direct marketing methods with the aim of increasing your client base and building a sales pipeline.
Why is lead generation important?
Lead generation is vital to the success of any business. If there are no customers, there is no business, it’s as simple as that. Some businesses will not see as much success from some lead generation methods as others might. Finding the right approach can take a bit of trial and error but once you have found it, you have a method which you can use to generate business leads and increase brand awareness.
What are the methods I can use for lead generation?
There are a range of lead generation methods out there, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Navigating the various methods of lead generation is not a simple task. You may have a method which suits your area of experience, and in some cases, limited budget, but you have to think about an approach that will have a positive impact on your target audience or any money spent will be wasted. Here are some of the most popular lead generation methods:
Creating quality content is a huge part of online marketing. Despite content creation being vital for customer engagement, many businesses are still making easily avoidable mistakes, that are harming their content marketing efforts.
In this article, I’m going to be highlighting 7 common mistakes that many people are still making. Identifying mistakes and how to avoid them in the future will help you to create better quality content.
Mistake #1 – Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
We are starting with the most obvious mistakes; spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG). Despite being one of the simplest mistakes to spot and resolve, there is still a lot of content being published by businesses that have these blatant blunders.
One of the most common places you can find these mistakes is Facebook. There are many media companies that are posting articles on Facebook that are laden with SPAG mistakes.
This may be due to a race to beat the competition when posting news surrounding subjects within a business’ niche. When trying to beat their competitors to the punch, they are forgetting to check their content for mistakes, and many audiences embarrassingly pick up on the errors.
The easiest way to avoid SPAG mistakes is to proofread your content. Relying solely on word processors to check the spelling, punctuation and grammar of your content will not always produce a polished final edit. Read and re-read your content to ensure that it sounds right and that the writing flows well.
If you cannot find any mistakes, ask someone else to proofread the content, they may find mistakes that you have missed. It doesn’t matter how much value your content may provide, if your audience struggles to read it, it will likely tarnish your professional reputation.
Mistake #2 – Keyword Stuffing
There are many authors writing content for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), rather than their audience. ‘Keyword Stuffing’ is an example of writing for SEO purposes. Keyword stuffing is the method of overusing words or phrases that may have a correlation to your business in order to manipulate search engines.
The keywords are typically hyperlinked so that they are picked up by web crawlers. This results in a bad experience for your readers and also contravenes most search engine guidelines. Keyword stuffing can result in penalties such as removal from the search engine index.
If you want to write content that provides value to your audience and helps with your SEO efforts, then allow time to plan. Before writing your content, think about who your target audience is and what they want to see. For example, this article is aimed at people who may be new to content writing and want to know what mistakes they should avoid making.
Using descriptive titles and sub-headings that include keywords, not only informs your readers of the content theme but also gives information to search engines. Adding links is not a bad thing, just make sure you are giving consideration to links that do not negatively impact your audience’s experience or violate search engine guidelines.
Mistake #3 – Content Value
When writing content, your primary focus should be value. If your content does not provide value to your target audience, then why should they read it? Your audience expects to gain something from your content, whether it’s entertainment, information, emotion, reviews or more. Without it, you are not going to see much traffic.
Your content does not have to focus on just one of these elements, it can provide entertainment and information, information and emotion, emotion and entertainment, or all of them at once! For example, the value that this article aims to provide is information about content marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them. Entertainment and emotion factors would not really suit the purpose of the content as you, the reader, would have come across this article when looking solely for information.
Mistake #4 – Focusing On Conversions
Content marketing, if executed correctly, is a powerful tool that can be used to gain more traffic without needing to spend a fortune on advertising. Some marketers believe that looking at sales is the best way to measure the success of a content marketing campaign, however, they seem to be missing the point.
Content marketing is not just about sales, it’s about building a solid relationship with your audience. Your audience should enjoy reading your content and you should enjoy creating content that fulfils their expectations. Creating this relationship with your audience will not happen overnight, it builds over time through consistent posting, valuable content and personal engagement.
The more your content benefits your audience and the more it resonates with them, the more likely they are to buy from you. Content marketing is not about boosting sales with each article, blog post or video; it’s about building a strong, trustworthy relationship with your audience that will help to steadily increase sales over time.
Mistake #5 – Quantity Over Quality
This mistake is usually made by people that are new to content marketing. They may believe that the key to success is the volume of content that you ‘push out’, however, the quality is far more important than the quantity. If you are pushing pieces of content out every day, you are not giving yourself nearly enough time to research, plan, write, and check the content.
A lot of work goes into creating valuable content, which starts with ‘idea generation’, ideal platform research, then looking at platforms with similar content and ways you can make your idea unique. You then have to create the content, edit it, proofread it and a plethora of other things. That’s a lot of work to do every day and may mean you cannot put your full effort into each piece.
Setting realistic goals and creating a plan is the best way to deal with content creation. You will then be able to plan when content will be posted and give yourself enough time to create something that your audience will benefit from as much as possible.
Additionally, if your audience is constantly bombarded with low-quality content every day, they are likely to lose interest and look somewhere else for entertainment or information. If you post once a week but spend a considerable amount of time and effort on your content, then they are going to be eagerly awaiting your posts each week.
Mistake #6 – Inconsistent Posting
Similar to Mistake #5, posting too much or too little is going to have a potentially negative effect on both your business and your audience. Posting too much may frustrate your audience and diminish the value of the message you are trying to give. Posting too little will reduce your core audience engagement. If you post consistently you are more likely to retain and grow your audience, provided that the quality of your content is good enough.
The best way to maintain consistent content posting is to create a schedule. Map out your week in terms of when you are going to begin creating your content, when you aim to have it completed by, when you are going to make all the relevant checks e.g. proofreading, and then a set date and time to post the content. Informing your audience of some aspects of your schedule will mean they know exactly when to expect new content from you and they will be looking out for it.
Mistake #7 – Content Promotion
The promotion of content is just as important as creating it. If you put a lot of time and effort into your content, you should put just as much, if not more, into promoting it. After all, if a car manufacturer just spent years perfecting their latest model, you can bet that you would be seeing television, magazine, newspaper and social media advertisements about all of its great features. Now I’m not suggesting you should fork out for a prime-time TV advertisement just to promote your latest blog post but, making a few posts on your other social media platforms will go a long way.
A lot of marketing experts say that you should spend twice the amount of time promoting your content than you did creating it. You could post an update on Twitter letting your follower’s know that you have just posted a new article on your website and give them the link.
One of the most popular forms of content promotion is through email marketing. If your posts gain a lot of traction and your audience can see the value in your content, they may want to be notified when you next post. By adding a form to your website or blog, they can supply you with their email address and you can build a subscriber list. When you post new content, you would then create an email to go out to everyone on the list to let them know about your fresh content.
We hope that you enjoyed this article and that you found something of value to take away. If you have any feedback, we would love to hear it!
The General Data Protection Regulation has been in place for just over six months. Most businesses have had time to come to terms with the new legislation and make all of the changes required for GDPR compliance. Even though these businesses have had the time to learn about and implement the necessary changes, there are still many misconceptions out there that are causing businesses to overwork or even underwork themselves in terms of GDPR.
In this short article, we have investigated 6 GDPR myths and taken a look to see if they really are just myths or important aspects of data legislation that you need to be aware of.
Myth #1 - GDPR Doesn't Apply to Businesses Outside of the EU – FALSE
This is something that quite a lot of business outside of the EU are still oblivious to. Many people see GDPR as a way to restrict a business’ use of customer data, which of course is true, but what many businesses are forgetting is that the main purpose of the GDPR is to protect personal data belonging to EU citizens. This means if you operate outside of the EU, but you still have both current and prospective clients that live in the EU, you must comply with the GDPR when contacting these clients. Just because you aren't in the EU, does not mean you are safe from fines under GDPR.
Myth #2 - Having a Data Protection Officer is Mandatory - FALSE
With GDPR, comes the misconception that every business must appoint a Data Protection Officer. This is not true. Appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is only mandatory under the following grounds:
- You are a public authority.
- Your activities consist of large-scale, methodical observation and online behavioural tracking etc.
- Your activities involve large-scale processing of special data categories e.g. criminal conviction data.
Myth #3 - Consent Given For The Processing of Personal Data Must be Clear-Cut - TRUE
This is absolutely true. When depending on consent to collect, store and process personal or sensitive information, the consent given must be explicit. There are many ways to obtain this consent, such as email confirmations, written consent or even simple 'I agree' or 'I do not agree' options. However, always ensure that any consent and the format in which it is given is suitable for any and all requirements.
Myth #4 - Fines Can Reach €20,000,000 - TRUE
Despite the fact that no one has been given the maximum penalty at the time of writing, the Information Commissioner's Office has the power to impose fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the company's annual turnover, whichever is more. To date, the largest fine given by the ICO. was £500,000 to Facebook for 'serious breaches of data protection law'. The full details are here: https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/enforcement/facebook-ireland-ltd/
Myth #5 - Biometric Data Comes Under 'Sensitive Data' - TRUE
Biometric data such as fingerprints, retinal scans even ID images are all classed as 'sensitive data' under GDPR. However, not all biometric data falls under this category. Biometric data that cannot be used for identification purposes, is not classed as 'sensitive data'.
Biometric data that is considered as 'Sensitive Information' include:
- Retinal Scans
- Images Used For Identification
- Facial Recognition Data
- Written Signatures
- Voice Recognition Data
Myth #6 - You Can Only Collect Data If Consent is Given - FALSE
Even though GDPR has brought stricter rules regarding data collection and consent, in some cases, you will not need consent to collect or process personal data.
There are six grounds on which you can collect personal data, some require consent, some do not. The six grounds for data collection are:
1. To protect the vital interest of the individual - (In order to protect someone's life)
2. Public Interest - (Necessary for the running of a public task e.g. teaching)
3. Contractual Necessity - (Required for contractual agreements)
4. Compliance with legal obligations - (Collecting or processing is required for the compliance of UK or EU legislation)
5. Unambiguous consent (Clear, easy to interpret consent from the individual)
6. Legitimate interest of the data controller - (Your own interest whether commercial or individual, must be balanced with the data subject's interests)
Please Note: Despite having a lot of experience with GDPR and being a GDPR compliant company, the information contained within this article should not be taken as legal advice. We have made every effort to ensure that the information in the article is accurate, however, always do your own research and verification before making any changes concerning GDPR compliance.
With engineering companies making up over a quarter of the UK's enterprises, new entrants to the industry have a lot of competition. It can be hard for these new businesses to stand out amongst the crowd and increase their awareness with so many others trying to do the same. This short article explains how three different marketing methods can be used to effectively increase your company's awareness, boost your sales and grow your business as a whole.
The first important step in growing your company is increasing brand awareness. When it comes to increasing awareness of your products, services or your business in general there are many different ways of going about it. As mentioned in the title, I am going to focus on three different marketing methods that can be used to achieve this.
The first method is social media marketing. Say for example your company specialises in vehicle engineering, not everything you do will warrant a post to social media, however, unveiling the designs for a new range of 4x4s will be something you will want to share with your target market.
Using a social media platform such as Twitter, you could create a post with images of the designs, a few short sentences and tags that will allow you to reach your target audience. For example, the tags you could use in this instance could be '#4x4, #OffRoader, #NewCars, #CarDesign', obviously these are just basic example tags, however, car enthusiasts that are looking for the latest designs might use these tags and could find your post about your amazing new vehicle.
Another method that you could use to increase your awareness is email marketing. Email marketing is a great way to increase awareness through well-designed, personalised email campaigns that tell your prospects exactly who you are, what you do and why they should buy from you. Email is a bit more of a professional approach to marketing as it's not as informal as some social media networks. If your target market is mainly businesses, this is when email marketing might be better than social media.
Using this approach you may be contacting your prospects and letting them know about your new range of 4x4s that have brilliant features for the travelling salesman. For example, you could highlight it's great fuel efficiency or comfort for longer journeys. When using email marketing, you want to make sure you understand your prospect's needs, and explain how you can fulfil these needs. If you are using email marketing, you will need a good understanding of different email techniques and which methods will work best for your offering. You also need to bear GDPR in mind as you will be contacting your prospects directly.
Telemarketing is a great method for increasing your company's exposure, not to mention an excellent sales tool. The reason that telemarketing is a great tool to use is that you are in direct contact with your prospective clients, meaning you have the opportunity to tell the client about your new products and how it could benefit them, in a more in-depth, personalised way. Even if the prospect isn't interested at the time, your brand will stick with them so that next time they are looking to buy a new car, for example, they will think back to the time you explained all of its brilliant features and took the time to hear what they had to say.
When attempting to increase your sales, there are many ways to go about it. As previously mentioned, increasing your brand awareness is something that will definitely boost your sales. The more people that recognise your brand as a trustworthy and reliable figure in the engineering industry, the more likely they are to buy from you. Increasing your sales can be done by using the same methods above, and typically increasing brand awareness and sales happens simultaneously.
Social media marketing can be used to promote new deals and offers that you are currently offering. Provide in-depth demonstrations of your products via video platforms such as YouTube and develop more of a personal business relationship with your clients. When attempting to increase sales via social media, you shouldn't just go for the hard sell, you need to provide interesting, useful content about your offerings that your prospects will enjoy watching. If they are interested in the videos, images or other posts, they are more likely to follow the links to your products page or enquiry page. You can use different tools that measure the conversion rates of different types of posts on different platforms, and then adjust your marketing activities to maximise your sales.
For business-to-business sales, email marketing is one of the primary tools that a company can use. 76% of businesses in the UK have reported that they see email marketing as 'very important' to their businesses, with 8% of all UK businesses acquiring over half of their sales via email marketing. With email marketing, all you really need to invest in is a good quality software package such as Campaign Monitor or MailChimp, and a set of GDPR compliant data. You then have everything you need to create an email marketing campaign of your own. Making email marketing one of the most cost-effective marketing methods.
Telemarketing is the most effective sales method out of the three when it comes to B2B sales. The reason that telemarketing has the edge over the other two methods is that it allows you to have a much more in-depth and personalised interaction with your prospects. This is something that not only benefits you, but it benefits the prospect too. You will have the chance to get your point across clearly whilst also hearing what the customer has to say. Telemarketing also offers you the chance to get to know your prospects, on a more personal level, allowing you to build a trustworthy relationship with your clients. Sending emails is a great method for generating sales leads, however, it can sometimes take weeks of sending emails backwards and forwards to get the prospect to agree to a call or a face-to-face appointment. This is where telemarketing speeds up the process. Instead of weeks of emails, you are instantly at the point where you are in contact with the prospect directly. Provided you can get past the gatekeeper first!
How Can You Manage This?
When it comes to the planning, you may be wondering if you will have the time to run these campaigns. After all, running a business especially in the engineering sector is very time-consuming. You may not have the time to organise, set-up and run the campaigns yourself, or you may not have someone who is dedicated particularly to marketing. This is where outsourcing is your best option. By outsourcing your marketing activities, you are able to carry on with your usual business responsibilities whilst still receiving all of the benefits of the campaigns. In short, another company does all the work, whilst you reap the rewards.
At Inspired, we offer services such as lead generation, appointment setting, email marketing, GDPR compliance and verification, data cleansing and more. We handle the full campaign process leaving you and your teams to do what you do best, close business. Our cost-effective services allow you to make the most of your time as the leads and appointments we provide are qualified to ensure their quality.
If you still haven't sorted your marketing strategy for the New Year, don't panic! We offer full end-to-end campaign management that can double or even triple your conversion.
Contact us today to find out more about how our services can help increase your sales and grow your business.
As the most hectic time of year approaches, one thing all businesses are going to be looking at is marketing. Whether it's looking at marketing strategies before or after the New Year, there will be a lot of preparation to do and very little time. Every year, some businesses find themselves short on time when it comes to marketing, and as a result, end up missing out on the many opportunities that come around at Christmas and in the New Year.
Why Is Planning So Crucial?
There are so many aspects to consider when it comes to marketing, it can take months to plan for a single campaign. When planning a campaign, it's not just about getting organised. You have to think about what approach suits different situations. Whether it's planning the best strategy to use on different platforms, what tone you are going to use when writing the content or what your prospects might be expecting to see, you are unlikely to have much success without the time to fully consider all of your options.
So, in short, without good planning, campaigns are unlikely to gain much traction and could end up wasting time and money.
With the New Year approaching rapidly, businesses need to begin their planning their marketing strategies for 2019. Most businesses will have already begun their planning, but there will be some who are leaving their planning to the last minute. This of course is a risky way of running marketing ventures for the business, as there will not be enough time for analysis, comparison and evaluation of different strategies and how they will fit in with the business' plans for the New Year. Not to mention, all of the work that must go into these strategies to make them effective.
How Far In Advance Should I Plan?
The answer to this question relies on a multitude of factors such as, what type of campaign you are running, how much work there is to be done, how long the campaign will run for, how much needs to be organised and more. Smaller campaigns could take a month in the planning, but for larger ones, you could be looking at needing 2-3 months to ensure you have considered all the options to increase the success.
To put this into context, you might already have a preferred strategy and all you need to do is create content or a script and source good quality data. If you're a veteran marketer, you may have done this hundreds of times and might not need months to plan. However, if you're relatively new to the world of marketing and haven't had much experience creating campaigns, you will need to give yourself more time. You might need to take on more staff to manage the campaign, and recruitment can take months. You might need to conduct research on which marketing strategies will best suit your business, products or services and goals. You may need to find a supplier of regulation compliant data, or even find an appropriate alternative such as outsourcing.
So, to answer the question "How far in advance should I plan?", you need to consider experience, workload and resources.
What Should I Do If I'm Short On Time?
If you find that there is far too much work and planning to do in a short amount of time, don't panic, there are ways to sort it. Instead of running yourself into the ground trying to put something in place in terms of marketing, look for an alternative marketing method that isn't just a fall back.
If you know you won’t have the time to put a good marketing strategy in place, outsourcing becomes your best option, this is especially true for newer businesses that may not have an abundance of marketing experience.
By outsourcing your marketing strategies to a more experienced company, your campaigns are more likely to be successful as they will have been planned and executed by marketing experts that can tailor campaigns to fit your requirements. You will also have more time to focus on and perfect other marketing ventures, improving your overall marketing efficiency. Not to mention making the busiest and most stressful time of the year, a little less busy and stressful.
On this page you will find all of our informative mini-articles written by our expert telemarketers and other members of our team.