As you move forward in your healthcare company’s inbound marketing efforts, targeting qualified leads becomes increasingly important.
To be able to target qualified leads, you must take a crucial first step: identifying what a qualified lead looks like.
A qualified lead can take many different forms for different industries, spanning regions, demographics, business sectors, etc. The better a company is able to identify what a qualified lead is to them, the better they are able to target qualified healthcare leads.
Think about your ideal buyer persona. Who are your marketing efforts attempting to reach?
It can be difficult to pinpoint your most ideal persona; the key is to ask yourself the right questions. When you engage in social media, such as groups through LinkedIn and Facebook, what are the types of people you are trying to capture attention from? What is the common want or need that you are attempting to fulfill? When you can identify this tangible, (or sometimes intangible) commonality, you’re on your way to knowing what a qualified lead is. You’re also on the way to knowing how to target it with some of the tactics below.
Quality over Quantity
This concept can’t be stressed enough, especially when it comes to sales and marketing. Not all leads are quality leads. If you get 50,000 website visitors, attract 100 leads, and are only closing the deal with one of them, you're not reaching potential customers who are qualified for your business. At this point, the 50,000 website visitors becomes irrelevant. Luckily, there are few steps you can take to truly identify and target those qualified leads.
Fortunately, with the development of online tools and marketing automation, creating different messages to target different groups becomes easier. It’s important to segment your ideal audiences to find quality leads.
First, your marketing material is not one-size-fits-all. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
Segmenting allows you to tailor your message to whomever you are targeting. Secondly, it allows you to create messages ideal for different channels. Your email campaigns shouldn’t be the same as your social media campaigns for a number of reasons, but most importantly because your audiences won’t be the same.
You can segment your audience many different ways. The most obvious segmentations are by geographic location or industry. As a B2B company, consider the type of professional you may be targeting: what is their role or status within their company?
Let’s look at an e-mail campaign, for example. It’s crucial to segment your audience in an e-mail campaign, because different people within a company will be interested in different aspects of your business.
If your email campaign discusses aspects of research and development in the medical fields, the pharmaceutical rep department won’t necessarily be interested in what you’re saying.
To make the most of targeting qualified leads, identifying the differences through segmentation is key.
It’s a no brainer that keyword strategy comes into play in many aspects of marketing. In terms of targeting qualified leads, that strategy may be even more important than you think.
When you develop your keywords that you hope to rank high on search engines for, there is always the possibility of someone searching your term for purposes not related at all to your business. These are not qualified leads. They aren’t leads at all.
So how do you weed out these people who find you through search, but aren’t actually looking for you? Alternatively, how do you make sure the people who do want interaction with or content from your company can actually find you?
Focus on the longtail.
Longtail keywords are a better way to make sure those who are searching for very specific terms are able to find you. Longtail keywords are phrases, rather than singular words, which lend themselves to more specific searches. By targeting longtail keywords, you are ensuring that those searching for match terms are looking for exactly what you are offering.
Paid search campaigns are an easy way to claim these longtail keywords, though it is possible to rank organically as well. Research the demand and competition of longtail keywords as you would regular keywords to find a strategic option for PPC and organic search optimization.
Another way to target qualified leads through search is by competitor targeting.
This may seem like an underhanded way to get leads, but it actually is a great way to find those highly-valuable qualified leads.
The healthcare B2B sector is highly competitive, so potential customers searching for keywords related to a direct competitor could potentially become your customers, too. Through targeting keywords related to competitors (as long as they are still very closely related to your business), you may be able to generate leads that you otherwise would have missed.
In doing this type of targeting, you are also increasing brand awareness in a space that could be crowded and highly competitive.
Landing pages are another highly effective way to target qualified leads in the B2B atmopshere. Using landing pages for your marketing campaigns, and as lead generation tools, ensures that you are helping those qualified leads to locate you and find ways to contact you; this system works in both directions, in fact.
Landing pages are crucial components of your website. By creating strategic landing pages for social media profiles, email click-throughs, and specific paid search terms, you have a higher likelihood of securing a lead.
Why? Think about the level of interaction a potential customer has gone through when they are navigated to a landing page. They have either found your social profiles, opened an email, or seen a paid search ad that is relevant to what they need. That level of interaction is already one or two steps further than someone who may be randomly searching terms online.
Because that level of interaction is greater, you are able to better target them through specific messaging or forms on landing pages, and it isn’t necessary to navigate them directly to your homepage. These leads, coming from social media, email call-to-actions (CTAs), and paid search ads, are most likely more qualified anyway, so targeting them in this way is a strategic move.
Last but not least: customer referrals.
Referrals are not often considered an aspect of marketing, but I’ll tell you why it should be. Referrals can be one of the best ways to get those qualified leads.
Ask any company that has a referral or incentives program in place, and they’ll probably tell you the high rate of referrals for generating business.
Referrals are great, because they naturally create trust and credibility for your business without the need to particularly ‘woo’ a prospective customer. That work has already been done for you.
Additionally, a business who works with or for a customer of yours is more likely to have a shared interest. At the very least, they will probably be in the same industry or sector.
If you don’t quite have the infrastructure to put into place a referral incentives program, consider simply asking your current customers and business partners for some of their contacts.
If those customers are happy with your business, they might be more than willing to hand over a list. Referrals can also strengthen your relationship with your customers and partners, by motivating a conversation about their satisfaction and willingness to work with you to target qualified leads.
There are many things you can do to ensure that the leads you are getting are actually qualified.
Remember, especially in the B2B sector, it may be difficult to weed out the prospects who have the true potential to become an actual customer.
If you can implement strategy to target qualified leads, energy and resources won’t be wasted on tactics that attract an unqualified general audience, rather than those who need or want your business.
When you focus on the quality of your leads, rather than the quantity, the faster your business will grow.