Just like everything with digital marketing, lead generation trends change all the time. It’s important to stay up to date with what people are currently interested in so that you can create the most seamless and organic lead generation strategy possible.
In this blog, we’ve outlined effective ways in which you can generate leads today from your current marketing channels.
- What is Lead Generation?
- Lead Generation Techniques
- The different channels you can use to generate leads
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation describes the process of stimulating and then capturing interest in a company’s product or service to develop prospects ready to be part of the buying process.
Lead generation has changed dramatically with the skyrocketing use of social media. In particular, the abundance of information readily available online has led to the rise of the “self-directed buyer” and the emergence of new ways to develop and qualify potential leads.
The Importance of Lead Generation
The buying process has changed, and marketers need to find new ways to reach buyers and get heard through the noise. Marketers must now focus on being found and build ongoing relationships with buyers.
Inbound marketing is “the process of helping potential customers find your company—often before they are even looking to make a purchase—and then turning them into leads and revenue.”
Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you.
How do you do that? You need to create interest by offering an appropriate mix of informative and entertaining content that builds a meaningful relationship with your audience. And you must make sure that you are distributing your content through all the right channels – where your buyer spends time.
Lead Generation Techniques
1. Lead Capture
Odds are that about half of your visitors will never return to your site if you do not adequately capture some bit of information from them. A working email address is the best thing a marketer can ask for here, the challenge is getting visitors to provide that information.
2. Lead Magnets
A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc.
3. Landing Pages
Wikipedia describes a landing page as:
In online marketing, a landing page, sometimes known as a “lead capture page”, “static page”, or a “destination page”, is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result, marketing promotion, marketing email, or an online advertisement. Landing pages are used for lead generation.
Landing pages are often linked to social media, email campaigns or search engine marketing campaigns to enhance the effectiveness of the advertisements. The general goal of a landing page is to convert site visitors into sales or leads. If the goal is to obtain a lead, the landing page will include some method for the visitor to get into contact with the company, usually a phone number, or an inquiry form. By analyzing activity generated by the linked URL, marketers can use click-through rates and conversion rate to determine the success of an advertisement.
This can be any page that someone lands on after clicking on an ad or other online marketing elements. It is also important to note that landing pages exist separately from your company’s website, and typically are used as a tool for a single marketing campaign.
4. Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a component of marketing automation software that helps prioritize your leads according to their levels of engagement with your inbound marketing content and ultimately help you figure out who is ready to buy
This technique is used to quantify interactions that prospects have with your content by assigning points for different types of engagement.
How do you do that? You need to create interest by offering a relevant mix of informative and entertaining content. And you have to make sure that you are distributing your content through all the right channels – where your buyer spends time.
Content and SEO
Your content is the foundation of your inbound marketing efforts.
Because search engines equate high-quality content with a high-quality website, creating content with value is very important. Conduct a content audit to see how many of your assets fall into the thought leadership vs promotional category. That means making sure that your thought leadership content has substance to it.
Once you have the right mix of high-value content, including visual content, start promoting it on social channels. The more engagement you get, the more Google considers your content to be of high value, which in turn boosts your SEO rankings. Search engines look for natural links, so the more informative your content is, the more likely people will link to it naturally.
Your website is where the magic happens. This is the place where your audience needs to convert. Whether it is encouraging prospective buyers to sign up for your newsletter or fill out a form for a demo, the key is to optimize your website for converting browsers into actual leads.
Your blog is a great place to create trust with your buyers. Readers can stumble upon your blog from all over the web, so you want to make sure it is search-engine optimized. Remember that someone reading the blog may not want to sign up for a demo immediately, so highlight the Calls-to-Action that ask your reader to subscribe to the blog or to follow you on social channels.
The increasing popularity of social channels has directly attributed to information abundance. Through social networks, buyers have been able to research and learn about products and services through influencers and peers.
Email is a critical component of every marketing campaign. Whether you are hosting an event, sending out a new piece of content, promoting a new service offering, or staying in touch with customers, email should be one of your primary forms of communication. Studies show that 81% of respondents cite email marketing as the most effective channel.
Display ads are typically highly targeted to different demographic or behavioural actions. You can select where you want the ads to be seen by choosing an online publication that you feel is a place where your leads spend time, or you can also leverage re-targeted ads that can cookie a lead that views your site. With re-targeter ads, once a person gets cookied, your ads appear on other websites that he or she visits afterwards.
With Pay-per-Click (PPC) ads you pay for each click on your ad which is displayed on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, or on a website. For PPC on search engines, your ads show up as sponsored results on the top and side of the organic search terms. Advertisers bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target markets, and your ads will display when a keyword query matches your chosen keyword list.