Every business owner must know how difficult it is to find people that want or need the products and services they offer. Lead generation is the process of finding those people through phone calls, emails, advertisements, and other methods, all with the goal of converting them into customers.
What is Lead Generation?
The first step of the inbound marketing strategy, lead generation is the process by which a company gets customers by guiding interested strangers into a transaction. It can be done by crafting social media posts, creating surveys, and writing informative online content with the intent of identifying and attracting potential customers, who are called leads.
There are many ways to generate leads, but utilizing more than one method is usually more efficient.
Why is Lead Generation Important for Business?
Generating leads is important for your business because it is what turns strangers and visitors into customers, but only after you’ve caught their attention. This is crucial because leads are people who have shown interest in your business in one form or another, whether they clicked on a special offer on your blog post or filled out a survey about their preferences.
Because leads are one or two steps away from being a customer, focusing on generating leads allows you to narrow down your efforts and resources in finding the most likely conversions.
The Lead Generation Process
Lead generation can start out with a stranger visiting your website or social media page. With the right content to catch their attention, such as well-written information on a topic your audience would enjoy, the visitor then ideally clicks a Call-To-Action button or link to learn more about the topic or maybe claim an offer, like an e-book or a coupon. The button or link will take them into a landing page where they can provide information such as an email or mobile number, turning them into leads. You can then engage these leads afterward to begin the process of closing a potential sale.
It is also possible to buy leads instead of generating them, but that defeats the whole purpose of generating genuine leads. Furthermore, purchased leads tend to create a negative impression for your business because it is considered unsolicited or unwanted.
How to Generate Leads
It’s important to choose the right channels in order to generate the best leads. After you define your goal in a marketing campaign, take note of where your target audience is most active. Once you determine where you’re most likely to find the best leads that you can nurture into converted customers, it will be that much easier for you to influence their purchasing decisions through offers or content.
The following methods are examples on how to generate effective leads.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
Using your website to is one of the most effective means of allowing potential customers to discover you. Utilizing SEO helps you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), making lead generation easier. Some ways to properly apply SEO is by determining the best keywords to use in your product and service pages, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, and optimizing meta descriptions.
Using content to reach customers allows them to see that you’re especially knowledgeable in your industry. It also makes them warm up better to the idea of choosing you for your particular product or service. This includes writing blogs that explain different topics relevant to your potential customers, but keep in mind that it’s also important to know where to distribute your content. Social media and email newsletters are great ways to allow as many people as possible to see your content. It’s also best to diversify into different content types to experience the most benefits from content marketing, such as videos, infographics, or even full eBooks.
- Social Media
Establishing a presence on various social media platforms can provide valuable sales prospects, thanks to the vast audiences these platforms cater to. You can turn your social media accounts into highly effective tools in lead generation by using hashtags unique to your brand, holding contests or giveaways, and by engaging through live events such as Q&A sessions or webinars.
Unlike content marketing and SEO, which both take time to show significant results, PPC lets you speed things up and reach potential customers instantly. For PPC to provide effective lead generation, make sure to create landing pages specific to the kinds of ads you release instead of simply using generic ones. Use well-written copy that clearly states your offer and the benefits it can bring to customers to enhance potential click-through rates, and religiously monitor the metrics from your ad campaigns to know if you need to adjust your messaging.
Many businesses might be hesitant to put in the resources for lead generation strategies, especially in ones that involve spending money. If executed without a plan, they can easily incur high costs with low results. Branding agencies eliminate guesswork by employing a team of professionals who ensure that your lead generation methods follow the best practices to generate the best sales opportunities.