A lead is a potential buyer or a person who shows interest in a business, its products, services, or ads in any way, shape, or form. In the digital marketing realm lead and lead generation are terms often heard at every turn, be it a startup looking to find steady ground among the battle hordes of hungry competitors or a multi-national deciding to collaborate with the next most popular influencer.
Businesses and marketers communicate with leads through various channels. While there are many ways to approach your target audience, lead generation does things differently. Unlike intrusive methods of advertising or cold-calling, a process is set up to make sure that people’s interest in your products and services is real and trackable. This often happens through surveys and sign-up sheets that collect the interested party’s personal information like contact details and email addresses.
Let’s say you go to the mall and see a new clothing store has just opened up across the street. You like how it looks on the outside and decide to browse through the display items. After carefully walking between the aisles and not finding something of interest, you choose to leave.
As you’re starting to leave, a salesperson comes up to you inquiring about what you need. As you briefly explain what you want, you’re assured that the store has much more to offer, and new items matching your taste will be stocked within a few weeks. The person assures you that if you leave your contact details with them, they can send you an inventory of everything available, pictures included, so you can browse from the comfort of your home. You have nothing to lose, so you leave your email and Whatsapp information and leave the store.
This process of creating interest and building a potential sales pipeline is called lead generation.
What Does Lead Generation Entail?
Customers are getting smarter and potential buyers are more informed than ever because they can easily search the information they need. This means businesses need to create highly personalized, relevant, and exciting content for their audience.
Contemporary marketing and advertising strategies require companies to be able to reach, track, engage and intrigue potential buyers. While the concept sounds simple enough, in theory, more than 60% of marketers claim it is one of the most challenging aspects of marketing.
Sifting through tonnes of content, consumers want something that catches their attention, which is why first impressions are a critical aspect of the successful lead generation process.
Once you’re able to retain interest, you can nurture targets and set up a sales pipeline till they’re ready to buy.
The actual trick lies in rightfully identifying and separating the good leads from the unqualified ones. Quality leads translate to higher sales and better revenues, helping your company grow, increasing overall brand awareness.
But How Do You Generate Quality Leads For Your Business?
Research into changing trends and shifting market dynamics helps startups and marketers catch up with new consumer behaviors. As behaviors change, marketing methods change as well. Lead generation has come a long way, and currently, these four foolproof methods are proving to be most effective for generating high-quality leads.
High-value content is crucial in building search engine optimization, and position you as a credible source of information.
While many in the marketing industry have been known to use the term ‘blogs’ interchangeably with content, epic and value-offering content go way beyond that. It can be anything from infographics to survey, video, white paper, guide, manual, whitepaper, eBook, or product reviews.
There are two ways to leverage content for lead generation:
- Gated content has the credibility of being insightful, targeted, and high-value, which means interested parties offer their personal information in exchange for access. Content created with the intention of gatekeeping is highly researched, focused, and often only developed for people actively searching for what you have to offer. It strives to bridge the information gap in the market.
- The other way to gain leads through content is by including call-to-actions (CTAs) strategically in the content. Potential customers and general readers all have access to it alike; however, its aim isn’t to wall off information in exchange for information but to make sure the right audience is entering the sales funnel.
Personalized Email Marketing
Both B2B and B2C companies benefit significantly from employing email marketing to generate lead sources. Market surveys and research indicate that companies that incorporate emails with a personal touch in their marketing strategy can earn 6x the revenue.
Regardless of the content, something as simple as spelling out the recipient’s name in the email can get higher engagement, and quicker response than a generic email sent out to a mailing list.
The personal touch conveys to the audience that you care, allowing you to build a loyal customer base. Emails containing multiple clickable and trackable links also drive more leads, giving you a chance to experiment, adjust and modify content based on click and open rates.
One of the proven ways to create high-quality leads, Facebook ads offer various targeting options if you have the budget and are willing to pay to play. From location to age, interests, gender, and overall demographics, marketers can experiment and ultimately modify strategies to achieve the best outcomes.
Whether you’re writing copy or targeting an audience through videos and visuals, here are a few things to consider when using Facebook ads for lead generation:
- Every ad must be highly contextual if you’re expecting results. Your audience will only take interest when the ads are relevant to their needs.
- The right color scheme can do wonders for catching and holding consumers’ attention. Make sure your pictures aren’t blending with the background blue and white color.
- It’s also important to understand that cost per click (CPC) and cost per impression (CPM) are two different advertising strategies, so learn the difference before investing.
Referrals and Partnerships
Startups and small businesses can use referral partnerships to build not only community but also leverage engagement on their content. By partnering up with other companies, you access quantifiable leads, increasing your overall conversion rate.
With referrals, you’re also able to earn a small percentage of revenue by redirecting your audience to your partner and vice versa. Make sure to carefully consider stipulations and convey your expectations about percentage tiers, quality/quantity of leads, and total sale amount, among other things.
Whatever strategy you, it’s important to continue testing and evolving for the best possible outcome.