Table of Contents
Any channel that generates interest in your website or business can be classed as lead generation, both online and offline.
The most common channels used include:
Lead generation should be a primary objective of all marketing efforts. But where should you start, and what tools do you use?
My name is Ryan-Forrest, and I’m the marketing director at Kennected. With this blog, we hope to engage your mind on what it means to generate leads and where you go from there.
What Is Lead Generation?
Whether it is a big business or small, B2B or B2C, lead generation is key to sales. If you’re a salesperson, you’re always looking for more leads.
If you’re a marketer, you’re discovering new ways to generate them.
Lead generation is defined as the action or process of identifying and cultivating prospective customers (prospects) for a business’s products or services.
It’s the act of initiating an interest of potential customers.
There are some related terms, including demand generation and customer acquisition.
Lead generation is incredibly important for marketers and the businesses they want to grow.
Increasing leads means increasing brand awareness and interest in your products or services, nurturing curious prospects through the marketing funnel and into your sales pipeline.
If done well, lead generation strategies create strong relationships with qualified customers who have invested in your business for a long time.
Most of us have to generate a regular flow of leads to win new business. But if you achieve results with one lead generation tactic, you can get ‘tunnel vision,’ ignoring other possibilities.
There are many ways to generate leads, but not all of them will suit your business or the product you sell.
Lead Forensics is a multi-award-winning B2B website visitor identification software that eliminates the need for on-site inquiries and instantly increases website conversion.
You can discover the identity of your website visitors and convert them to sales.
LinkedIn is becoming the most used social platform for professionals worldwide.
Cloud Kennect utilizes lead generation content in personalized outreach methods to build healthy relationships with other professionals.
So not only are you drawing hundreds of leads weekly, but you’re growing your network too.
Why Is Generating Leads Important?
Lead generation increases the pool of potential customers in your sales funnel and, therefore, increases the chances of a sale.
Lead generation helps you grow your business by bringing in quality leads that can be converted into customers.
Lead generation tactics intrigue prospects with bite-sized information about how your products can solve their problems to be ready to go to the next stage in your sales funnel.
What Is Lead Management?
Consider Your Marketing Budget Before You Generate Leads
Deciding how best to allocate a budget can be tricky, and there is no easy answer – regardless of whether your budget is $1,000 or $1,000,000.
Here are some issues to consider:
What are you hoping to achieve?
How quickly are you looking to reach your targets?
How should you measure lead generation?
With traditional outbound lead generation, you have to pay every time you market your business – whether you buy a mailing list to send direct mail, an advertisement, or a pay-per-click ad campaign.
These types of advertising are “paid media” – you pay to play.
With inbound lead generation, you also have to invest money and/or time setting up your website, writing website content, and building an audience on social media.
If you have people on your team who know how to write good web content and use social media the right way, then inbound lead generation can be a cost-effective marketing tool in the long run.
This strategy takes a lot of upfront efforts and can take months to generate leads; whereas with, let’s say, cold calling, you can start generating leads the same day.
Create Buyer Personas
Creating accurate buyer personas is key to planning how best to reach your audience, and deciding where your precious time and money should be focused to do so most effectively.
There are several tried and tested methods that perform well for most companies.
For B2B scenarios, marketing qualified leads, or MQLs, might be industry, company size (revenue or employees), title or department, and geographic location.
For B2C scenarios, MQLs might be demographic or psychographic profiles or personas (age, gender, interests, geographic, etc.)
When an MQL displays sales-ready behavior, like requesting a demo or signing up for a free trial, they become a sales qualified lead.
In contrast, sales qualified leads, or SQLs or opportunities, begin as MQLs and are converted to SQLs with some type or level of qualification.
This is the creation of high-quality content tailored to your audience and their needs.
It helps establish you as a trustworthy brand leader, keeping your name fresh in their mind when they come to make a purchase.
Content marketing can be among the most effective means of generating leads.
An infographic published by Demand Metric reports that each content marketing dollar spent yields about 3x as many leads as traditional marketing methods.
To attract interested prospects and drive them toward your lead magnets, create a plan to target the terms they search for.
Do keyword research to discover phrases your ideal prospects search for at the top of the purchase funnel. Then, target those keywords in multiple ways.
Guest blog on sites with a high share of voice for the target terms. Be sure to follow best practices for SEO to boost your chances of showing up on page one.
The more visible you are in search, the more interest and traffic you’ll generate from potential leads.
Segmenting your email list is a great way to make your lead generation efforts more effective. There are many ways a company can approach segmenting leads.
Some list segments might be based on age, location, company size, or job title.
The content of your email could then use language that would appeal to that specific type of reader.
Another way to segment an email list is to send targeted emails to users that have taken a particular action.
Social Media Marketing
Nearly all lead generation software can interface directly with a CRM, automatically adding details of new leads without manual input.
Most can also integrate with social media accounts, ensuring everything is aligned across all platforms.
Every social media platform can be a precious lead generation channel, depending on your business.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are essential for business to consumer; LinkedIn is elementary for B2B.
What Is Segmentation?
It categorizes leads according to their information, activities, and lead magnet that attracted them.
Create A Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is an incentive that drives prospects to become new leads.
This attracts valuable long-term and short-term leads. You’ve attracted someone interested in buying from your brand in the long term.
You can quickly convert bottom-of-funnel prospects who are ready to buy into customers in the short term.
Retailer Bed Bath & Beyond encourages website visitors to fill out their lead capture form by offering 20% off to first-time subscribers.
Design on-site funnels that segment your audience and drive them toward the lead magnet most likely to resonate with their needs and interests.
Accomplish this by promoting lead magnets around your site. Highlight it as the primary homepage call to action. Promote relevant lead magnets at the end of blog posts and pages.
Chatbots can be a great lead generation tool. The technology is excellent for building rapport with prospects since chatbots are available 24/7.
Set them up to match your brand personality, so they function as automated extensions of your marketing and sales team.
Instead of generating leads, lead brokers will provide you with multiple focused, high-quality leads while allowing you to concentrate on closing deals.
Not all lead brokers are, however, provided equal results for leads. This is why you should probably assess their ability and prior performance in previous projects.
Convert prospects interested in your products and services by offering a coupon or discount as your lead magnet.
Offers are another type of lead generation offering products or services for free or at a discount.
Most businesses also use their partnership and offer conjunction with another product to increase their leads.
Create a referral rewards system where your customers bring leads to you for a benefit or discount.
Customers value and trust recommendations from their friends, so encouraging existing customers to spread the word about your brand can be a powerful way to fill your lead funnel.
Capture leads from interested and qualified prospects by offering a free trial or freemium product.
Free trials and freemium products attract qualified, interested prospects who aren’t ready to buy.
Once free trial users sign up, you can convert them into paying customers later by teasing paid features and delivering drip email campaigns that promote the benefits of upgraded accounts.
In Google Analytics, the lead source is classified based on the following default channels:
Direct: lead types your URL into the address bar, or clicks on a bookmark of your site
Organic: lead finds you from organic search results
Social: lead arrives on your website from social networks
Email: lead follows a link to your website from an email
This is the number of visits to your website from unique URLs, not including your employees. A higher number of website visits means more people are landing on your site.
This traffic is acknowledged by Google (and other search engines) to indicate your website’s authority.
As a result, your website starts ranking higher for keywords you’re targeting.
One way of getting more visitors to your website is by promoting it extensively on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.
Click-Through Rate (CTRs)
CTR is an important lead generation term. It can be defined as the number of clicks on your CTA button, versus the total visitors to that landing page or ad.
If 1000 people visit your landing page/view your ad, and 650 people click on the CTA, your CTR is 65%.
Watch the data for unsubscribes and high bounce rates.
Closely monitoring your unsubscribe data and landing page bounce rate will help you hone in on what’s working in your lead gen campaign — and what isn’t.
If you create a new landing page or change the design and begin seeing a substantial uptick in unsubscribes, you need to reevaluate your landing page design and content.
To have an effective advertisement plan, you need to figure out an authentic way to reach your target audience.
Otherwise, you will be wasting many resources, especially money, since printed offline ads are way more expensive than online ads.
If you know that your audience, for example, likes to read magazines, then you should probably publish a printed ad in that magazine.
Clicking on a PPC ad takes the visitor to a landing page, which collects the lead’s information.
PPC ads work because they contain keywords relevant to your audience, plus they appear on page one of Google.
The benefits of the pay-per-click channel are that it attracts visitors to your website, analyzes what people are searching for to perfect your message, track ROI, and possibly grow your database of leads.
Sixty-two percent of online users click on the first website they see on the first page in the search engine. This indicates how important search engine optimization is for every business.
Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising includes Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, and more.
Digital advertising or paid search includes pay-per-click (PPC), including Google AdWords, remarketing, and display advertising.
Another way to use the content as a lead magnet is by creating a must-read newsletter that encourages interested prospects to connect and stay in touch with your brand.
Newsletters encourage interested prospects to connect and stay in touch with your brand.
This lets you stay top of mind with customers and share promotions for your products and services that can drive prospects further down the purchase funnel.
Content for your newsletter might include:
New blog posts
Updates about your products or services
Compelling content can take any form, but it’s imperative to always include a “call-to-action,” or CTA, at the end of your message.
A CTA directs the reader or viewer to their concrete next step, taking them deeper into your sales funnel or customer journey. We see CTAs all the time.
You might urge blog readers to join an email list, or click on a link to “learn more” by visiting your website.
Use multiple offers or calls to action throughout your website, emails, blogs, and related assets. CTA examples include:
Website Gated Content
These offer valuable, educational resources in the aforementioned forms, including guides, white papers, how-to-manuals, e-books, podcasts, etc.
Gated content is private content not in the way that it’s not accessible, but surely users cannot access it without filling out a form.
Whether it’s paid or free, you cannot have it without actually subscribing, registering, or paying for it.
This lead generation strategy is effective because it gives the audience something of value for free while attracting high-value leads interested in topics related to your brand or offerings.
There are two main ways gated content can pay off for your business. The first way is a traditional lead generation model.
Users simply enter their email address, and they can view your most valuable content in return.
Another way that more and more businesses are profiting from gated video content is by using the material to directly generate revenue.
After all, online learning is one of this decade’s most lucrative industries.
HubSpot, a content marketing software suite, has a dedicated resource section on its website.
It includes dozens of gated content assets that users can access once they fill out a lead capture form.
Want more helpful tips for HubSpot? Read more about the CRM here.
Website Registration Forms
These use website forms liberally, balance required information fields and optional information fields to minimize form abandonment, and email privacy statements and Captcha.
Website Resources Page
You’ll need a well-optimized website with a robust and consistent brand message running throughout to generate leads online.
To generate more leads, make sure website visitors can easily find your lead magnet.
Optimize your website to promote your lead magnet. To generate more leads, make sure website visitors can easily find your lead magnet.
Web visitors will rarely arrive directly on your homepage (unless they’re searching for your brand specifically), so every page on your website needs to be aligned.
It should also fit your brand identity and be as customer-centric as possible. Special landing pages tailored to your audience are key.
These are the pages that a user will ‘land’ on when first coming to your website. They need to cover a specific niche or intent.
A successful webinar takes a lot of work, especially planning and promoting it, but with the right strategy, it can be a great way to generate high-quality leads.
Lead generation strategies can happen online and off.
Host an in-person or online event to attract and serve your target market while capturing their contact information via event registration.
Also, use live events as opportunities to connect with customers in real-time so that you can answer questions, respond to objections, learn about your audience, and actively guide prospects to your product(s).
Create A Buyer Funnel
Create your buyer funnel and map the kinds of content you can (or have already) created that fits into your larger strategy.
A buyer funnel is simply a plan that introduces strangers to your brand and then exposes them to relevant content that will (hopefully) nurture them as leads.
Creating a funnel doesn’t have to be complicated.
For example, you can do a quick audit of content you already have in place and think about how it can be used to promote your buyer’s journey.
Inbound Lead Generation vs. Outbound Lead Generation
What’s the difference between outbound and inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is any method that invites your potential leads to learn more about your company’s product or service by reaching out to you.
Inbound methods include your business’s website, blog, contact forms, and social media posts.
The outbound lead gen method involves a proactive attempt to reach out to your audience. This usually begins with purchasing lead lists.
You then contact these leads through cold calling. Businesses look beyond lead lists for a wider reach and use billboards, print ads, television ads, and radio ads.
The emphasis here is on budget, media connections, and how much marketing muscle you can flex.
Ideally, your business should strike the right balance between inbound lead generation and outbound lead generation.
While not all aspects of inbound lead generation or outbound lead generation are right for every business, most businesses need a mix of both.
If you have a strong outbound marketing program, you can identify prospects and proactively reach out to customers who are the right fit for what you sell.
Which Lead Generation Strategy Is Best For Your Company?
For example, some types of lead generation only make sense for high-value products. Other types of lead generation are more general and can work for nearly everyone.
What’s your goal after you convert leads? How important is social media lead generation to you?
Answering questions like these can help you reach your target audience and generate leads more efficiently.
Take Your Lead Generation To New Heights With Cloud Kennect
Kennected provides sales prospecting and lead gen services to Business-to-Business (B2B) technology, engineering, and services companies.
We automate these services using our in-house software, Cloud Kennect.
We can help you generate sales leads by identifying prospects that match your target profile, automating sales emails, tracking responses, and integrating them into your CRM system.
Want to reach your target audience, but don’t know how to get there? We can help.
Check out Kennected today!