“I want more leads” i
s a client request we hear often, especially as digital data continues to play a larger role in marketing and brand strategy. In fact,
shows that 45% of marketing professionals believe the most important data-driven marketing objective is acquiring new customers.
Today we have the ability to personalize marketing messages to specific customers online like never before. So why are brands still having trouble converting leads? Why are website bounce rates high? Why are visitors not completing a form to learn more? Clients have all this data and still aren’t converting.
This leads-first mentality often results in hyper-focusing on data and using it to hit people with misguided messaging that struggles to boost sales and drive leads. The solution seems almost counterintuitive. All the data and metrics in the world can’t replace the value of an authentic, more human connection with customers.
This is because data is not a strategy for selling. It is a tool. It takes more than a pile of wood to start a fire. You need something that can make a spark. In our line of work, it’s called a brand strategy.
Our response to clients who want more leads is: “Do you have the right branding, messaging, content and strategy in place?” While data is still critical, it’s how you apply it to your strategy that makes the difference. Develop a strategy with a center that everything goes to, whether it’s a store, website, webpage or social channel. And once they arrive, give them content that entertains, informs or engages. Content will add more value than a landing form every single time.
An example of this brand-first approach to growing leads is the digital presence we revamped for a heritage coffee brand. In an effort to expand their consumer base (drive new leads), the client began repositioning its brand to appeal to younger coffee drinkers.
For us, this meant making significant changes in their digital presence — updating the navigation, style guide, digital narrative and content structure to appeal to a digital-age demographic. Consumer data helped us understand what consumers were looking for when interacting with the brand online, helping us build a tailored experience for our target audience.
To execute this type of strategy in your own business, you’ll want to leverage qualitative data to develop personas. Observe factors such as the physical traits, taste preferences and purchase patterns of various demographic groups who are frequently purchasing or engaging with your industry or brand. You can use this information to identify specific audiences, determine consumer interests and touch points and guide brand messages that resonate with your customers.
Use quantitative data to identify factors such as top ranking pages, page views, bounce rates, average time on pages, and entrance and exit percentages, which can all lead you to take specific actions. For example, when we looked at the quantitative data for our client, we saw how customers are moving through the website and which content grabs their attention or leads them to purchase.
Insights from both qualitative and quantitative data informed our approach to design by structuring the content in a way that blends product selling and brand storytelling. From recipes, brewing guides and seasonal product promotions to stories of sustainability in origin villages and giving back to schools in communities served, our client’s new website is a strategic balance of leveraging heritage and legacy while displaying a fresh face to the digital world.
By bringing data and brand together, you will be able to turn your brand’s website into an agile, experience-driven sales asset for markets new and old, complete with a design update.
If you decide not to tackle your brand strategy in-house and are looking for the right partner to help drive leads for your brand, be sure to listen in for these topics before committing to a partnership:
• Website: This must be part of the plan because it’s essentially your online storefront, where customers interact and engage with your brand’s sales funnel.
• Conversion Copywriting: This is important not only on your website, but on social channels, videos, etc. Clear copy converts people to make a purchase or contact you, resulting in better leads because you’re clear about what you offer and the benefits.
• Content: Videos, photos and other content assets all allow customers to see and hear for themselves why they need to engage with your brand. A good agency partner will be able to tell your brand story and develop a connection, loyalty and relationship with your brand before developing a sale. Ask the agency to send referrals from other clients that have walked through the brand experience and hear firsthand what it is all about.
• Agency Structure: The firm should be staffed to develop a brand strategy and know how the brand will affect the organization both internally and externally. The agency will have mentions of culture, branded environments, mission, vision, values and purpose, along with graphic designers and writers who are experts in branding. Having true brand consultants on staff who have a strong business acumen will help to align the brand with the growth of the business and its overall objectives.
Take a few steps back and analyze the larger picture. Is your business growing? Are people loving your brand? Understanding the importance of brand will have more of an impact on your business than hyper-focusing on numbers and clicks.