What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is about the process of identifying potential customers for the company’s products or services. If you are a salesman or founder of a B2B company, you probably have some experience in the field.
Contrary to what some may think, lead generation is not just about making cold phone calls or sending out a lot of emails. It is much more complex.
In this post, we have compiled everything you need to know about generating leads for your business as a beginner.
What is a lead?
A lead is a person who has shown interest in your company’s product or service.
As a lead, you are contacted by a company or organization with which you already have some form of interaction, instead of getting a random cold call from someone who bought your contact information.
You may have completed an online survey to learn more about a particular topic.
If you then received an email from the particular car dealership whose investigation you participated in, it would be much less intrusive and irrelevant than if they had just called you out of the blue with no knowledge if you even care about car maintenance, or how?
And from a business perspective, the car dealer has great benefit from the information they have collected from you as this helps them understand what you need help with.
Why do you need lead generation?
When an unknown person initiates a dialogue with you by showing an organic interest in your company, the transition from unknown to customer is much more natural.
If we take a look at the chart below, we can see that lead generation is the second step in inbound marketing methodology. This is when you have attracted traffic and are ready to convert these visitors into leads for your sales team.
How to generate leads?
Now that we understand how lead generation fits into the entire inbound marketing method, we can go through the steps in the lead generation process together.
First, a visitor discovers your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your website, blog, or through social media. That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) – an image, button or message that encourages visitors to take some sort of action.
Your CTA takes the visitor to a landing page, which is a specially designed website to capture lead information in exchange for an offer.
An offer is the content or something of value that is “offered” on the landing page, can be an e-book, a course or a template. The offer must have sufficient value to allow a visitor to submit their personal information in exchange for access to the offer.
The form on your landing page consists of different fields that collect information in exchange for the offer. When a visitor fills out the form, you have a new lead!
To sum it up: The visitor clicks on a CTA that takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form to get an offer and become a lead.
Lead generation marketing
Once you have these parts in place, you can start using different campaigns to drive traffic to your landing page to start generating leads.
Content is a great way to guide visitors to a landing page. Usually, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can have CTAs anywhere in your content – “inline”, “bottom-of-post”, in the introduction or even in the sidebar. The more relevant your content is to a visitor, the more likely they are to click through to your landing page.
Email is a great way to reach people who already know your brand and product or service. It is much easier to ask them to take action because they have previously subscribed to your list. Emails tend to be a bit messy, so use CTAs that have a compelling copy and eye-catching design to capture your subscriber’s attention.
Ads and Retargeting
The only purpose of an ad is to get people to take action. Why spend money otherwise? If you want visitors to convert, make sure your landing page offers exactly what is promised in the ad, and that the action you want users to take is crystal clear.
The great thing about using your blog posts to market an offer is that you can tailor the whole experience to the end goal. So if your offer is an instructional video on how to set up Google Search Console, for example, you can write a blog post on how to choose your marketing methods. It would make your CTA very relevant and easy to click on.
Social media platforms make it easy to guide your followers to take action, from Instagram stories and Facebook bios to active social selling on, for example, LinkedIn. You can also market your offers on your social posts and include a prompt in the text.
You can avoid many barriers to a sale by offering trials on your product or service. When a prospect uses your product, you can attract them with additional offers or resources to encourage them to buy. Another good strategy is to include your “branding” in your free versions so that you can capture other potential customers as well.
References, or word-of-mouth, also work for lead generation but in a different way. It simply means that your brand is mentioned and seen in front of more people, which in turn increases your chances of generating more leads.
No matter what channel you use to generate leads, the goal is to guide your visitors to your landing page. As long as you’ve built a landing page that converts, the rest will take care of itself.
Why not just buy leads?
Both marketers and sellers want full funnels – and preferably quickly. Hence: The temptation to buy leads.
Buying leads, unlike organically generating them, is much easier, takes a lot less time and effort, even though they are more expensive. But you might be paying for advertising anyway, so why not just buy leads?
First and foremost, purchased leads do not actually know you. Usually, they have “opted in” on another page when they signed up for something and actually chose not to receive anything from your company.
The messages you send them are therefore unwanted messages and if you send unwanted messages you are intrusive. In addition, if they have never chosen to receive messages from you, there is a high chance that they may flag your messages as spam, which is quite risky for you. Not only does this train to filter out emails from you, but it also indicates to their email provider which emails to filter out.
When enough people flag your messages as spam, you end up on the “blacklist” which is then shared with other email providers. Once you’re on the blacklist, it’s really hard to get out. In addition, your email delivery and IP reputation are likely to be damaged.
It is always better to generate leads organically than to buy them.
Lead scoring is a way to qualify leads quantitatively. With this method, leads get a numeric value (or points) indicating where they fall on the scale from “interested” to “ready to buy”. The criteria for these measures are entirely up to you, but it must be uniform in your marketing and sales department so that everyone works on the same scale.
A score is based on the actions your leads have taken, the information they have provided, their commitment or other criteria that your sales team decides. For example, a lead can get higher scores if they regularly engage with you on social media or if their demographic information matches your target audience.
The higher the score a lead has, the closer they will become a sales qualified lead (SQL), which is just a step away from becoming a customer. The point and the criteria are something you may need to tweak along the way until you find the formula that works for your business.
Lead generation strategies
Lead generation encompasses a wide range of tactics, campaigns, and strategies depending on which platform you want to “capture” leads on. We’ve gone through different methods to best convert visitors to your site to leads, but how do you get them there in the first place?
Facebook Lead Generation
Facebook has been a method of lead generation since its inception.
Initially, companies could use outbound links in their posts and information in their bios to attract visitors to their websites. But when Facebook ads were launched in 2007 and its algorithm began to favor accounts that used paid advertising, there was a big shift in how companies used the platform to get leads.
Facebook created lead ads for this purpose. Facebook also has a feature that lets you put a simple Call-to-Action button at the top of your Facebook page, which helps you send Facebook followers directly to your website.
LinkedIn Lead Generation
LinkedIn has also become an effective channel for lead generation after increasing its advertising space since its early days. When it comes to leads, LinkedIn created “Lead Gen Forms,” which uses an autofill feature with users’ profile data when they click on a CTA, making it easy to capture information.
PPC/GoogleAds Lead Generation
When we say pay-per-click (PPC), we refer to ads on search engine result pages (SERPs). Google gets 3.5 billion searches a day, making it an excellent platform for all ad campaigns, especially lead generation. The effectiveness of your PPC campaign is heavily dependent on a seamless user flow, as well as your budget, keywords and some other factors.
B2B Lead Generation
B2B is a special business model that requires a certain approach to lead generation. HubSpot found that SEO is the best way to capture business leads, followed closely by email marketing and social media. In the end, it is the value of what you offer that determines how effective a particular channel is for your particular business.
Tips for successful lead generation
In some campaigns, there may be many moving parts. It can be difficult to keep track of which parts of your campaign are working and which need some fine-tuning. Here are some tips when building good lead campaigns:
Use the right lead generation tool.
- Create great deals for all different stages of the shopping cycle.
- Keep your messages consistent and deliver on your promise.
- Link your CTA to a dedicated landing page.
- Get your sales team involved.
- Use social media strategically.
- Be flexible and constantly improve
Now that you know more about how to generate leads for your business, we recommend that you try to create at least one campaign on your own.
The basics we’ve gone through in this blog post are just the beginning. Keep creating great offers, CTAs, landing pages, and forms. Be in close contact with your sales team to ensure that you regularly deliver high-quality leads. Last but not least, never stop testing. The more you tweak and test each step of your inbound lead generation, the more you improve lead quality and increase revenue.