This article is written for CMOs who are looking for an effective, results-driven lead generation strategy. Treat this article as a toolbox that enables you to build your own lead gen machine as opposed to adopting a cookie-cutter one-for-all solution typically found in how-tos. Before we start, however, let’s highlight a crucial fact: you can’t build a machine without an engine. And in this case, the engine is HubSpot CRM.
Thinking of a CRM as a sales-only tool is a mistake you can’t afford. Especially when HubSpot CRM builds the alignment of departments that are crucial to an effective lead generation strategy. But enough about that: let’s start building.
The advantage of HubSpot CRM is that it has quite a few lead generation tools integrated: forms, emails and chatbots. All three are highly customisable, allowing you to choose everything from how they look to how they function. And, most importantly, to who are they being shown?
Three tools may not sound like a lot, but the opportunities they offer are literally infinite. It all depends on where and how you incorporate them into your strategy - and the options are only capped by your creativity.
The 4 Ls of a Lead Gen Strategy
Before we jump right into exploring the options out there, let’s talk about the four pillars of a lead generation strategy. They’re referred to ‘as the 4 Ls’ and are the following:
- Lead Capture - the means of creating a lead.
- Lead Magnets - the assets that are valuable to your target audience
- Landing Page Conversion Tactics - the way we communicate that value so that users become leads in exchange for the asset
- Lead Scoring - prioritising your leads based on levels of engagement with your content and evaluating their readiness to buy.
Excluding one of the Ls automatically deems the strategy ineffective.
If we don’t implement lead capture - we are not collecting information, therefore not generating leads. If we have no lead magnets, users have no reason to give us their information.
If we do have lead magnets but no landing page conversion tactics, the lead magnets become useless as people won’t part with their information for something they don’t see value in. If we skip lead scoring, we end up wasting time contacting people who may be entirely irrelevant to us and potentially miss out on opportunities of approaching the ones that are.
Think Outside the Box
As we have mentioned before, the ways of integrating HubSpot’s lead generation tools are infinite. But it would be unfair of us to leave you without a few examples.
Before we throw a bullet point list, remember that users today demand to be given something before being asked for anything. So, the ideas below are for lead magnets, focusing on providing value before you ask for personal information:
- Short, educational videos
- Gated offers with best practices
- Free-to-use tools
- Ability to download resources in PDF format
These are just a few assets the users could find useful enough to trade their information for. As we’ve said before - it’s up to your creativity, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Lead Generation Opportunities on HubSpot CRM
At this stage, you might be asking yourself how HubSpot contributes towards that - let alone how this is the heart of everything. Or where is the alignment of sales and marketing we have briefly mentioned in the intro? And you’re right to ask these questions.
Leads are generated and nurtured by marketing efforts that include consistent delivery of value and a highly personalised approach. HubSpot CRM stores and automatically update information on all the leads, therefore enabling the marketing team to deliver the right content to the right people, at the right time. When the marketing team passes leads to sales, a unified CRM allows the sales team to access the contact record of the lead and therefore carry on with smooth, consistent communications at any time.
With your questions now answered (if they weren’t - give us a call for a more in-depth chat), let’s talk in more depth about how you can build your strategy with HubSpot.
Content-Driven Lead Gen
We have already discussed that in order to generate leads, your proposition needs to add value to the users - and it needs to be communicated to them. And we have also discussed that before asking, you need to provide. One of the most effective ways to do that is content.
By producing good, relevant and targeted content that is capable of educating the prospect, you position yourself as a trustworthy provider of a solution they’re seeking as well as generate interest in your products. This means that you start the relationship off by providing value and this creates an opportunity for lead generation using HubSpot tools and assets. Let’s illustrate this with an example.
You can write a how-to blog post, walking your reader through the steps they have to take to contribute to solving their problem. At the bottom of the blog post, position a CTA, offering them even deeper insights on the topic via downloading an eBook. If they found your piece valuable but feel they need more information, they will click on it and be taken to the landing page.
This is where they will be presented with a form to fill out to access the resource. For conversions, you have proven that you understand their problems and know how to address them via the blog post - and then you offer them further help with it, but in exchange for their data.
If they understand the value you deliver, they will be more than likely to have this trade.
HubSpot CRM allows you to create CTAs, Landing Pages and Forms - all on the same platform. This means all the data collected through it will be stored at the same place, therefore easily accessible. You will have full visibility of how many users visited the article and how many clicked on the CTA. Additionally, you will see how many of those who went to the landing page have filled out the form versus those who did not.
Not only this is a way of generating leads, but this gives you insights on the journey towards converting/not converting which in turn allows you to create better value and optimise the lead gen strategy.
PPC Across the Channels
In the previous approach, you get users to come to the landing page by tailoring their journey by providing value first.
PPC, whether it’s done through search engines or social media, makes the process shorter as normally the ads take users straight to a landing page with a lead capture element.
Of course, you can always combine it with the approach described above - the users would land on a content page, find it relevant and then hit the CTA. However, the reason behind using PPC for lead generation is to make the cycle shorter by putting your value proposition in front of the target audience instead of having them explore.
In other words, it’s a more direct approach.
Other than what we’ve described before in terms of creating landing pages and supporting assets, HubSpot CRM also syncs with PPC platforms.
So, for example, if you’re running a Facebook ad lead gen campaign, you won’t need to export the leads generated on the platform to then import them into the CRM. When synced, HubSpot uses the information to either create new contacts or update the existing ones automatically.
Email is Not Dead
It is actually thriving. And to this day it remains the most effective strategy for generating leads online.
The key to email lead generation is not just providing value but also capturing attention. HubSpot CRM is ideal for that because not only does it come with tons of great, captivating email templates, but also heaps of automation options.
First of all, in our previous article, we’ve spoken about how important it is to create a personalised customer experience to market your products and services more efficiently. HubSpot enables you to do that not just on your website, but also on emails. This means the content users get in their inbox will be highly relevant as it is addressing their previous interactions with the website.
There are two routes to this: providing a curation of great, relevant content with CTAs that take users to landing pages OR including a link to the landing page with a lead magnet to the email.
For example, the user gets an email with smart content that contains two relevant videos, three relevant blog posts and a worksheet. The videos and the blog posts are educating the user further, and downloading a spreadsheet would enable them to also act. So, if they decide they want to get a worksheet, they will be taken to a landing page they can download it for - in exchange for their data.
Since this email would be smart, using individual data about the receiver that’s stored on HubSpot, the user would get multiple relevant pieces of content at the same time - as well as present an opportunity to get extra value for simply filling a form. Naturally, the user would feel they’re the ones benefiting from this and therefore their information is a bargain price to pay. However, do not forget that being too persistent can also make users unsubscribe from these communications.
Is There Anything Else to Add?
Yes. When it comes to lead generation, the options are limitless. And HubSpot CRM enables the creation of incredibly customised, sophisticated campaigns that streamline further sales processes.
In other words, this piece that is already lengthy could go on forever. But we will leave some room for your own interpretation. Before we jump to the summary, however, we have one last piece of advice.
Applying Best Lead Gen Practices in HubSpot
We have spoken about the foundation of a lead generation strategy and opportunities presented by HubSpot CRM. We also want to share the best practices you should aim to include in your strategy.
- Experiment with different channels. As we’ve said, think outside the box. Not with just content formats but also channels you use.
- Consistency. You need to be consistent with not just the value of your content but also with creating and pushing the said content live.
- Automation. Streamlining the process as much as possible is beneficial in more ways than adding smart content to emails.
- Use both: organic and PPC. Double the effort, double the result.
- Score, sort and segment the lead. Not all leads are equal - so don’t waste time on low-quality ones. Segmenting them based on your metrics will also allow building a more personalised approach.
- Capture the right information. Start small by asking for the basics first - name and email address. As you work down the pipeline, start collecting more information.
- Target the right audience. Buyer personas are the key to everything as ultimately you want to be addressing their pain points and positioning yourself as the best solution.
- Create lead magnets. The more high-quality assets you have, the more likely you are to generate leads.
- Optimise for mobiles. Smartphones are taking over a big part of our lives. Your target audience is most certainly using it, so make sure your forms and other means of lead capture are functional and convenient on the phones.
- Benchmark the conversion rates. Just because they’re improving month-on-month or year-on-year isn’t a sign you can relax. Compare them against your competitors instead for a more accurate information check.
Lead generation strategy is crucially important to any business. With consumer behaviour changing and competition growing, it is becoming increasingly challenging to adapt. The users are less willing to share their information for the sole reason of being bombarded with irrelevant content, therefore you need to prove to them you are capable of providing value. The lead generation strategy in 2021 is focused on precisely that.
The best way of achieving that is through building your strategy with HubSpot CRM. Not only does it allow you to build, test and optimise high conversion rate pages and comes with few lead generation tools, but it also aligns the sales and marketing departments. The smooth collaboration of the two is vital for generating, nurturing and converting leads.
So, now that you know what goes into a lead generation machine - time to start building one. And if you’d like some more clarity on some parts - give us a call.