“We’re running out of leads!”
That’s a common issue faced by several companies when it comes to raising sales. The real joy for a salesman is to get a concrete lead in hand. Lead generation has marked its presence in the business of sales since the time trade began. The era when merchants used to visit places to make contacts with potential buyers in order to expand their business. However, in the present corporate world, lead generation itself is considered to be a major business segment.
In simple terms, the action or process of identifying and cultivating potential customers for a business’s products or services. These leads are further being analyzed and organized for their ability to get converted into sales.
Leads can be generated from a variety of sources, and many companies struggle with finding the place to generate from or lack the knowledge on how to do it.
Here is an example:
As per Hubspot’s State of Inbound Report, lead generation is seen to be one of the most difficult challenges faced by marketers. Due to this challenge, marketers are constantly in search for newer lead generation techniques.
Unlike the primitive methods used by marketers to generate leads, the modern lead generation tools and methods are available on the internet, although the basic idea of validating expertise and developing relationships remain the same.
However, marketers should always keep their focus on how they are using a lead generation channel rather than what channel they are using.
There are various opinions when it comes to choosing the best lead generation channel. As per Hubspot’s research on B2B lead sources, SEO is the most effective channel for lead generation on the other hand Chief Marketer’s data claims that E-mail marketing is most suitable method. Moreover, according to other surveys content and social media are the best platforms for generating leads.
1) Email Marketing
92% of internet users access email, with 61% using it on an average day. Source: Pew Research
Although 23 years have gone since the introduction of e-mail, it still occupies the top position in the marketing list of B2B lead generation strategies. Moreover, we cannot ignore the fact that it has undergone several changes through the process of automation. Hybrid tools like marketing automation simplify the process by linking to the CRM which allow marketers to send mails to highly targeted customers and generate revenue in the process.
2) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In the present business world, search engine optimization is considered one of the best lead generation strategies (for long term). These days, maximum searches regarding any product or service takes place through Google. According to Search Engine Watch survey, about 85% of retailers considered search marketing as the most significant techniques to acquire customers. In short, Search Engine Optimization can offer tools for marketing which marketers can utilize to match suitable customers with their online content.
3) Lead Magnets
Lead magnet is the process through which content is exchanged for e-mail address. It can be very effective for marketers who are trying to generate leads. Some of the most popular lead magnets are Webinars, Training video series, eBooks, Surveys and White papers.
Almost all companies or websites prefer using it for getting authentic e-mail list for lead generation. These days, e-mail inboxes get so much overloaded with newsletters, emails and offer ads that lead magnet must be really stellar to make people include one more to their inbox. Just sending invitations to sign up for your newsletter isn’t enough to fetch proper results. Lead Magnet however works by valuing something in order to receive value for something- here it means the details of the customer.
4) Website Optimization
There are several websites that have been designed in a firm-centric, jargon filled manner rather than making it lead generation friendly. If your visitors get confused on what services you provide or what problems could get solved through your services, it is quite natural that they will move away from your site. Thus, it is very important for marketers and designers to optimize a website in a way that it brings visitors and make them respond to a business positively.
Including Landing pages, CTA-tools, performing enough A/B tests, Thank you pages etc are among the few ways to enhance online lead generation via websites.
5) Social Media Marketing
If you’re not using social media as a part of your marketing mix, you may be getting left behind. The 2017 Sensis Social Media Report External link shows that of the businesses surveyed, 90 percent of small businesses, 62 percent of medium and 100 percent of large businesses are using Facebook for paid promotion. What’s more, the percentage of businesses that found that advertising effective ranged from 69 percent for small businesses up to 100 percent for large business.
When it comes to social media marketing, there are opinions that considers it the least effective in terms of lead generation. However, marketers say that it is due to lack of proper social media strategies companies fail to get leads through social media. QUALITY and REACH are the prime factors that matters the most in social media. Moreover the tone of conversation greatly varies from Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn. Hence it is all about setting the right connections with the right people.
Evaluating the SMM KPIs to identify success levels for better lead generation.
- Awareness: How far could your brand’s messages reach?
- Acquisition: Relating to the growth of your community online
- Activation: How much are you successful in getting engaged with your community?
- Satisfaction: What does your audience feel about your business?
Here is a list of to dos to get the best out of social media:
- Share links to gated content.
- Run contests.
- Use social media advertising.
- Use Facebook custom tabs.
- Host a hangout, webinar, or live video.
- Use geotargeted search.
- Use targeted social media listening.
- Engage in social selling.
6) Content Marketing
Content is always at the ace position, no matter what your business type is. Blogging is a significant medium through which both B2B as well as B2C marketers can drive leads. Although blogs may not generate a lot of direct leads but it is certainly an effective medium to drive leads to websites indirectly. This is mainly because blogs enable creating a huge range of keyword friendly content which can easily appear in the search engines and attract quality leads to your site.
B2B content must not only be interesting and stimulating but also have utility and practicality. Its reader/viewer must be motivated to think how to apply your blog article, video, or white paper in some way to their own business. It should be your priority to become a leading source of useful, engaging, and quality information in your industry.
Another most significant reason of using content is to judge what works on your site so that you can improve the process of lead generation in due course of time.
Yes, lead generation is complex…
Visitors don’t necessarily follow a specific flow and there are a ton of little factors in marketing and one websites. Together, they combine to, directly and indirectly, impact your results. But these tips in place and strategy, and you notice the difference in your pipeline.