With so many available marketing channels, entrepreneurs looking for leads could have a hard time navigating the process. Business growth is directly connected with finding new clients or customers, and the faster this process is, the more time entrepreneurs and managers can devote to business development.
Lead generation is not a new way of growing customers network, but there are new ways of getting new clients that are time-saving. There is no need for long exhibitions at a trade show or setting up displays hoping someone will fill the form. Entrepreneurs and managers can spend their time much better now because new technologies can find leads on their own.
The lead generation process involves attracting more visitors from your marketing strategy and qualifying them. Lead generation is all about building trust with your audience and educating them about your industry and offerings along the way. In the era of digital marketing, lead generation means being available at multiple touchpoints to address customers’ concerns quickly and encourage them to progress towards a sale.
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In this article, we will address several issues:
- What marketing channels you need to generate leads
- Why are leads so important for the sales
- How to create your ideal customer
- How much will one lead cost you
- What is the best lead-generation strategy
Business owners, managers, and marketers who want to see their business grow in the 21st century will need to upgrade lead generation strategies. Here is a detailed explanation of what lead generation is, how it works, and examples of lead generation strategies that work.
What is Lead Generation?
The process of using digital marketing channels to find and attract potential clients is called lead generation. Leads are defined as people who could be interested in your product or service. They show such interest by interacting with your brand at some point, online or offline, but they haven’t made the purchase yet.
For these people to become your clients or customers, goal number one is to attract their attention. Goal number two is for this attraction to become action, and that action could be a newsletter subscription, a phone call, or a social media post, among other things.
When people show any kind of interest for your brand, they are becoming leads. The ultimate goal is to make a customer or a client out of a lead, but sometimes, that is easier said than done.
Businesses’ success mainly depends on how many customers they can get out of the leads and how many leads they can attract. This is why it is so important to learn how to attract new customers to grow business.
How Does Lead Generation Work And What is Sales Funnel?
The magic begins with attracting marketing leads and then turning them into sales leads. But to do this, one has to know how the lead generation funnel looks like. Describing leads path as a funnel is a great way to understand how potential customer becomes an actual customer. Some of the most important parts of the sales funnel are the following:
- Brand awareness – the first stage of the funnel, which happens when people are getting to know about the brand and what it offers.
- Consideration – people now know they have the option of hiring you or buying from you. They are evaluating what you are offering and maybe looking at what your competition has to offer.
- Decision – People are choosing to buy a product or a service. This is the funnel-bottom when the lead either becomes a customer or a lost lead.
Brand awareness is accomplished through social media updates, blog posting, social media videos, images, ads, etc. SEO plays an important role in this part of the funnel too. In fact, 57% of B2B marketers said that keyword rankings generate more leads than any other marketing technique.
We can imagine sales funnel as a huge group of people who have never heard of your brand before. Marketers are putting efforts into bringing their attention by using social media, content marketing, and SEO, among other things.
These people find you online and become aware of your existence as a brand, but they are not leads yet. To become a lead, one must engage with the brand in some way. Potential customers should respond to your ad, ask about the price of your products or services, or subscribe to your newsletter.
All this means they are becoming interested in buying from you, which is why they become sales leads.
Why is Lead Generation So Important For the Business?
No matter what kind of industry we are talking about, the clients are online nowadays, searching for solutions to the problem they have. Sometimes, they find multiple possible solutions, and then they start reading reviews. BazaarVoice did the research that showed almost half of the online buyers read product/service reviews online before buying something.
This means people have to find your brand online easily. You have to gain their trust and help them decide that your business solution or a product is what will solve their problem.
To find the right people and to ensure they find you, it is necessary to produce top-quality content, some of which is going to be sponsored. Understand that, on average, people tend to buy items only after four to seven interactions with a brand, which means that the brand needs to be present in its leads’ lives.
Be patient and use remarketing as often as you can so your ads can reach those who are interested in what you have to offer. Building customer trust is a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to provide them value, helping them feel safe about buying from you or using your services.
Is Lead Generation Process Expensive?
The main goal of every campaign is to collect as many leads as possible, and it is almost never entirely free. Lead generation campaigns take time and money to create, and a lot of resources to set them up, optimize, and run.
Obviously, better crafted campaigns with more information entail more expenses. If you’re worried about the costs of advertising online, they will rarely be higher than the costs of offline promotions. However, unlike offline marketing, online lead generation tactics are proven to be more efficient.
The most important part to memorize is to make sure you are earning more in sales than you are spending on lead generation. For this process, the customer acquisition cost is very important.
To count customer acquisition cost, you have to divide your lead generation marketing spending by the number of customers acquired. This is the most precise way to count how much one lead cost your company. This way, you will also discover the success rate of the campaign.
Customer acquisition costs will also show you if your campaign needs to be rebuilt or modified.
Where to Start with Lead Generation Marketing?
Making a strategy for lead generation is never easy. You need to know who your potential customer is, where to find her, and what you have to offer her to give you trust, money, and loyalty.
Define Your Ideal Customer
Get to know your potential customer. Be as specific as you can to target them more precisely. Discover how old they are, what are their education level, how much does they earn, what are they interested in, what does they do for fun, what are the problems they might need you to help them with, and so on.
Start with social media analytics to find out who are the persons interested in your product. Sales personnel can be of great help here as they can provide important insights for the research, thanks to their everyday customer interactions.
Adjust Your Website
Every lead generation action has one main purpose – to bring more visitors to your site or landing page. On the website, they will learn more about the business, products, and services. At the same time, you will earn their trust, or you will miss the chance to convert them into your customers.
That said, make sure you have multiple landing pages with specific offers, email sign-up forms, and pop-ups linked to the content people like consuming. The more time they spend on your website, the more interested in the product or services they will become, and you will have more time to make a closer relationship with them.
Invest in Content Marketing
Content marketing is here to attract leads, nurture, and encourage them to become clients. Content is used at every stage of the funnel we wrote about earlier. Your potential customers want to watch videos, read blogs, or test the tools you provide.
It is up to you to give your audience something that will keep them attached to your brand, so they remember you as a relevant source of information.
Get to Know the Basics Of SEO
Creating content is one thing; making it suitable for search engines is another. Your business needs to get online traffic first, so that it could gain leads later. There is one important thing you need to memorize — you can not cheat search engines. In other words, you may not use black hat SEO techniques, or else the search engine will penalize your website.
Google has to see that your content is written for humans, not for its system that indexes websites. Studying and implementing proper SEO techniques (also known as “white hat SEO) will definitely help you stand out from the crowded competition.
Search Engine Marketing
Search engine marketing is done by promoting your content via ads that show up when people are looking for stuff similar to your keywords. In other words, these ads will appear when people type the keywords you choose to represent your business. Promotional banners that you see on websites work upon a similar system.
Did you know that 99% of people check their email inbox every day? Almost half of them leave their email addresses on different websites to get coupons or valuable information. That said, email marketing is still one of the most intimate ways of building a relationship with customers.
To use email marketing efficiently, you need first to install a header or sidebar where people can leave their emails. Second, you need to give them something valuable in exchange for their email address. Once you have their email addresses, you get the chance to send them promo material and content you think they will find interesting and relevant. Needless to say, spamming them is a big no-no.
Simply put, a lead magnet is something you are offering to your customers in exchange for their email addresses. For example, ebooks and checklists are great lead magnets. These are valuable content you give out for free, which will convince a lot of your website visitors to trust you with their contact details.
According to We are Socials, around 4.5 billion people use social networks at the moment. For this reason, social media is one of the most powerful lead generation strategies. Not every social network channel will be the right choice for your content, though, so you need to learn which one of them your audience is most likely to use.
To discover this, you can use analytics to see what type of content is popular in your niche area and learn what your audience wants to see. This is the only way for you to decide what kind of content you should create and where to post it.
Once you learn all this, you will start attracting leads by sharing your content, running giveaways, publishing lead magnets, interacting with your online audience, and sponsoring your online ads.
How to Measure Lead Generation Success?
You have created the lead generation strategy, but how will you know if it works? One of the most important parts of every strategy is monitoring its success. First, you need to define what success is. Sometimes, lead campaign success means collecting your customers’ email addresses, but sometimes it could mean increasing sales.
In these cases, be aware of the number of people that sign up for a newsletter or visit the sales landing page. These are great measurement criteria for a successful lead generation strategy.
Sometimes, you will have to adjust strategy several times until you find out what works best for your business, your audience, and potential customers. This should not worry you, though. Remember that the lead generation process is a marathon, not a sprint.
The Final Word
Once you define a profile of your ideal customer, find out what their favorite communication channel is and what type of content they are most interested in. If you do this correctly, the lead generation process will not be as time-consuming as it used to be.
One size doesn’t fit all, so marketers need to do some testing before they create the ideal lead generation strategy.
Not all outdated strategies are bad. They could still work, but they need to fit in the new communication channels. Once your campaign goes live, don’t forget to measure its success – conversion rates and sales will be the best indicators of your efforts.
Beyond the obvious benefits of exposing your business to new people, your online presence will create a strong online community and even stronger brand loyalty.