Lead generation refers to the process of generating interest among consumers for a product or service with the end goal of turning that interest into a sale. In the world of online marketing, lead generation often involves collecting a site visitor’s contact information (the definition of a “lead”), usually through a web form or survey.
In the marketing funnel, lead generation is an imperative step for many businesses. In these cases, products and/or services can cost thousands of dollars and normal site visitors are less likely to purchase a product directly from the business website.
Collecting leads, then, allows the businesses to gather information to prospective customers while also nurturing them through e-mail marketing and other means before reaching out to them directly to make a sale. In other words, lead generation takes a beat to look at the whole customer – as a person and not just a potential patron.
This means building and nurturing a genuine relationship with them in hopes of a long-term connection between seller and buyer.
Lead generation (sometimes referred to as lead nurturing) is also an important step for online marketing because it utilizes the most effective online marketing channels (e-mail marketing, social media, etc) to gather information and insight on prospective customers. This way, though a sale may not be guaranteed immediately, there’s a much better chance of a purchase being made in the future.
Why is Lead Generation Important?
Lead generation is an important process for the growth of a business. The marketing funnel and buying process have both changed, therefore marketers should work to refocus their marketing efforts to stay relevant. If potential customers make it known that they are interested in your business, it means they are no longer strangers when it comes time for you to contact them and offer your products, services, or solutions. Since you know customer interest is already present thanks to your lead generation efforts, you can rest assured knowing that each time you reach out to a potential customer that a sale can’t be far behind.
How Does Lead Generation Work?
The lead generation process has two main components: attracting traffic to your site and then convincing that traffic to share contact information with you through lead collection efforts. To recap, collecting a lead online usually entails the use of a form on a website.
How do you get traffic to your website in the first place, though? This can be done a number of ways, and mainly depends on your business’ goals and financial constraints. The following are some of the most effective ways businesses use to attract traffic:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is an online advertising strategy that involves paying search engines like Google and Bing to display ads on their search engine results pages (SERPS). Since search engines are the primary way people navigate the Internet, engaging in search engine marketing is a great way to raise awareness amongst your target audience and ultimately drive traffic to your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Like SEM, search engine optimization is a strategy that involves getting traffic from search engines. Instead of paying for ads, however, SEO involves optimizing elements of your website for search engine algorithms so that it appears higher in organic search results. Some ways of doing this are through keyword research and subsequent strategies, updating existing content, and creating new content based on your findings.
Display ads refer to a type of advertising that involves the use of video, images, audio, or text to get the word out on your business. These ads are often purchased on relevant websites to help drive traffic back to your site.
Social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become some of the most important and popular sites on the web with millions of users worldwide. With this in mind, you can use these platforms to interact with customers, raise awareness for your products and services, and direct traffic to your website. Posting content to social media platforms is easy and effective, making this one of the most sure-fire ways to draw in site visitors and potential customers.
Once you have visitors arriving at your business site, you then have to convert them into leads using an online form. Some ways to do this are as follows:
The production of high-quality content can almost guarantee that users will be more likely to offer their contact information. This common practice in lead generation involves creating all sorts of content, from white papers and infographics to ebooks, videos, and blogs. The main idea of creating high-quality content is to entice the user with useful information as a solution to a common problem they have. At some point throughout or at the end of each type of content, provide a call to action that invites users to provide their contact information.
One of the best ways to generate leads is through your products. With this in mind, landing pages that are all about your products are a great way to raise awareness and invite users to leave their information. What’s more, you can optimize your landing pages to ensure that they’re ranking on SERPS on gaining visibility. Remember, an effective landing page presents your product in an attractive way that includes its benefits, uses, and other relevant information.
Lead generation is an important part of every business, so understanding how to do it and why it’s important is a large part of business success. To learn more about this process as well as other ways you can optimize your website, get a free proposal from Directive today!
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