Lead Generation Not Working? Here’s Why…

May 6, 2022
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In this post you’re going to learn some of the things you’re probably getting wrong within your marketing strategy that’s affecting your lead generation and sales.

Whether it’s traditional print advertising, digital content marketing or paid social media ads, investing time and money without generating sales and leads can be incredibly frustrating. You feel like you’ve tried everything but nothing is working. I’ve certainly been there myself and we’ve worked with clients who have experienced the same problem. The truth is there could be a hundred different reasons why you’re not seeing the results you’d like, but there are a few key things that lots of businesses get wrong and are guaranteed to move the needle.

Let’s start by defining some of the main marketing options you have at your disposal within the context of lead generation.

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a strategy for attracting your customers to you without having to reach out to them. The most common form of this is content marketing. What is content marketing? It’s simply the process of creating and sharing content online that appeals to your ideal customer. Inbound marketing examples include social media posts, blog articles, podcast episodes and YouTube videos. It can be incredibly powerful for a few reasons:

  • It allows for a two-way dialogue between you and your customer which can grant you valuable insights into their core needs.
  • It provides value to them by solving a problem which can come back to you in the form of a sale.
  • It was likely found through an intentional search by your target audience, creating the potential for a long-lasting relationship.

Inbound marketing is definitely a long term strategy but will work really hard for you if you maintain consistency over time.

Outbound marketing is the process of manually putting your message out to as many people as possible. Outbound marketing examples include TV commercials, paid social media ads, billboards, and magazine spots. The potential reach here is much higher than that of inbound marketing but that doesn’t mean the people seeing your ads are qualified to become customers of your business. It’s all well and good making a TV commercial for your wine business but not if you’re showing it at 9am on the History Channel. There’s very little opportunity here for a return on investment.

Outbound marketing can be an effective strategy especially when coupled with other inbound tactics, but by nature it relies on catching people in their everyday lives and disrupting whatever it is they’re doing. In today’s world, we are are much more resilient to this style of marketing than we used to be.

The Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working

Now we know what types of lead generation tactics we have at our disposal, let’s cover the big reasons why they might not  be working.

#1 - You don’t have a brand strategy in place

If you don’t know what a brand strategy is, simply put it’s the process of creating a long term strategy to build a human brand that will connect with your desired audience. An effective brand strategy uncovers why the company exists and why people should care, it defines the short and long term goals of the business, it breaks down who the core customer base is and how to connect with them by creating an authentic brand persona, and it gains key insights into the industry gaps that your company can take advantage of to achieve favourable brand positioning against your competitors. 

A brand strategy will inform things like your brand’s core message, the look and feel of your brand identity, what kind of people you hire, the alignment of the key decision makers in the business, innovation for new products and services, the company name, and of course your marketing strategy. How can your marketing strategy possibly be effective if you don’t have all of the information on who your audience is, where they are, and how to engage them? Knowing these in-depth demographics and psychographics informs exactly what content you need to create and where it needs to be shown in order to generate a positive return on your investment. 

Now, I will say there is nothing simple about creating a brand strategy but it is worth it. I would highly recommend enlisting the services of an agency that specialises in this area to offer a fresh perspective into your business and help create your strategy.

#2 - You don’t have a clear marketing funnel

It could be that the content you’re putting out there is strong and relevant, and it might even be connecting on a subconscious level with your target audience, but if there’s no clear next step for them then you could be letting hundreds or even thousands of potential customers slip through your fingers. 

In today’s fast-moving world you need to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved with your business. That means having a clear journey for your potential customer whilst minimising any friction points. Make it clear what you want them to do. Have a clear call to action with a link or information that takes them to the next step in the funnel. Don’t make them search for this because they will disappear quicker than they arrived. 

Also be clear about the objective of your marketing campaigns. Are you trying to get them to join your mailing list, buy your product or service, check out your store, read a blog post, or be more aware of your brand? You need to choose a clear goal for each of your campaigns because that will inform how you approach the creative and the strategy.

If you do have a clear customer journey, a well defined goal and a strong call to action, the issue could be that the barrier for entry with your brand is too high. In other words, you’re asking your audience to make too much of a commitment to experience your brand for the very first time. If your hero product or service is a considered investment, you shouldn’t devalue it by making it cheaper. Instead, try adding a low-commitment offer that provides an opportunity to try your brand at a lower price point. This could be a free e-book or downloadable, a product sample, or a simplified version of your full service. Once they’ve had a taste of the experience with you, providing you’ve served them well, they’ll come back to invest in the higher priced item.

#3 - You’re selfish

Okay you’re probably not selfish, but you might be coming across that way without even realising. In fact, the majority of businesses get this wrong. Their content is inward-focussed and they constantly talk about themselves, what they’re up to, and why they’re so great. They use words like “we”, “us”, and “our” far too much. This is okay from time to time but you would see much stronger results if you shifted your mindset to make your content outward-focussed. Try using “you” and “your” more often, and always be thinking of ways you can help your audience find a solution to a problem they’re having.

Here’s an example; instead of saying “Our team have been working on a tasty new fruit drink for six months now and we’re so excited to get it into stores”, how about “You won’t believe the flavour of this new fruity drink when you get your hands on it. It’s like nothing you’ve ever tasted before.” See the difference? A simple reframe could totally change the effectiveness of your content and generate more sales and leads.

#4 - You’re not patient enough

Lead generation can be a long process. You need to make sure you’ve allowed enough time for your campaigns to work before you go changing things. This is particularly important when it comes to Google Ads and social media ads. Give them time to work. If they don’t, then change ONE thing and repeat the process. If you change more than one variable at a time, you have no idea what is and isn’t working. By changing one thing at a time, you can uncover key information that you can take forward into your other marketing and lead generation efforts.

In addition, if you’re running paid ads online with a small budget, it’s going to take a lot longer to see a return on your investment. Think about it, you’re competing with potentially hundreds of other businesses who are advertising to the same audience as you, only they have higher budgets. Of course those ads are going to be favoured over yours, so your options are either to raise your budget or, once again, be patient.


So, to recap:

We discussed the different inbound and outbound marketing options available to you. From there, consider working with an agency to create a solid brand strategy that will help you find and connect with your audience. Refine your marketing funnel with a clear goal, journey and call to action. Shift your content from being about you to being about your customer. And lastly, be patient.

Thanks for tuning in. If you learned something new this episode, subscribe to the show for more tips on helping your business stand out. Leave a review on Apple Podcasts and we’ll give you a shout out on the next episode.  And if you’re hungry for more great resources or if you’d like to work with us on building your brand head over to venturagency.com - that’s Ventur without the “e”

Stay tuned for the next episode where we’ll be answering the question; “Is it time for a rebrand?”


Host: Kaine Levy
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