When it comes to modern business, you can do all the marketing that you want, however unless this translates into leads which your sales team can convert into sales all of your marketing spend will have gone to waste. The process of lead generation differs from business to business and from industry to industry, and marketers must often take advantage of any new technology that is developed to find new ways of generating leads.
In this article, we’ll explore the best practices to follow when looking for qualified leads for your business.
What Is A Lead?
Before we get into how to generate leads for your business, let’s first look at what a ‘lead’ is. According to LeadSquared, a ‘lead’ is “…an individual or organization with an interest in what you are selling. The interest is expressed by sharing contact information, like an email ID, a phone number, or even a social media handle.”
For example, if a person sends you an email asking for more information about the products and services you sell, then this person is a lead as they have the potential to result in sales for your business.
Define Your Target Market
The first, and most important thing that is required when you begin generating leads, is for you to have a clear picture of who your target market is. This is because if you know who it is that your product and/or service appeals to, then you know which platform you need to use to reach them.
Take social media as an example. If you know that your target market consists of people between the ages of 18 and 24, and you want to show your product off, you know that Instagram is your best bet as 75% of this age group uses it.
Choose The Most Effective Form Of Marketing
Now that you’ve defined your target market, you need to choose which marketing channel would be most appropriate for your company. Digital marketing offers so many avenues for you to choose from and, as such, you can reach people who you would not typically have with traditional marketing.
We’ve already mentioned social media marketing as an avenue that is available for you to use in your marketing. Other tools that you can use are:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO),
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising, and
- Content Marketing.
The type of marketing that you use to advertise your brand will depend largely on the nature of your business. To take an example from social media again, if your brand is a business-to-business (B2B) brand, you should be using the marketing solutions that LinkedIn offers, as people frequent this channel to connect with other like-minded business people and to form mutually beneficial connections.
However, if you’re more of a business-to-consumer (B2C) brand and want to generate awareness you’ll probably benefit from using Facebook to get your message out there.
Use Lead Magnets
As the name suggests, a ‘lead magnet’ is a tool that many marketers use to attract leads to their business. Optimonster offers a more comprehensive definition:
“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.”
The more applicable a lead magnet is, the more people will give over their contact details to get this incentive. Hubspot uses eBooks very effectively to generate leads for their business.
However, what can happen with useful eBooks is that people sometimes download them without any intention of buying the company’s product. So, if you do decide to use a lead magnet – and we strongly suggest that you do, because they are incredibly effective – make sure that there is a strong tie-in with your product and that the lead magnet gives people a reason to want to buy your product. Also, don’t give away too much information that your product is responsible for generating, as this takes away people’s incentives to buy.
Use Multiple Lead Magnets
In your marketing campaign, don’t wait to see if one lead magnet works before trying another one. Try out many so that you can get a comprehensive picture of what works so that you can implement similar solutions. For example, if you’re using an eBook on your site, also try posting a how-to video that people have to give you their contact details to download, to see which one attracts more leads to your business.
The world of commerce is particularly competitive, with many more players entering the scene daily. This means that you need to be continually nurturing your existing customer base and acquiring new leads so that they don’t migrate to your competitors. Keep a fresh stream of content on your site and other social media channels so that your customers and potential clients don’t get bored and are kept engaged with you and your brand.
Keep An Eye On Your Website Stats
Set up Google Analytics to run on the back end of your site so that you can monitor which lead magnets are most appealing to your website visitors so that you can generate more content such as this and quickly remove content that is not performing.
Although lead generation is not an exact science, there are strategies that you can follow to make sure that you get a return on investment (ROI) for your marketing spend. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques to see what works because you can quickly change if they don’t. That’s the beauty of digital!