How to Generate Leads

Lead generation is vital for any business to survive.  It is the process of sourcing people or companies who are interested in buying your product or service.  Operating a lead generation strategy has a number of benefits:

  • Target the right customers – Companies can focus their resources on targeting specific markets, which in turn will save money, increase sales and improve ROI (Return on Investment). 
  • Increased awareness – Lead generation can also build brand awareness and reputation. When people discover your brand, you will be able to supply them with more information regarding product features and benefits.
  • Brand Loyalty – Companies can build larger communities of like-minded customers, which can, in turn, improve customer loyalty.
  • Opportunity to collect valuable prospect information – Lead generation has the potential to gather important marketing information from prospects. Customer information such as needs, wants, and preferences can assist you in tailoring your product or service to suit your customers’ needs. For example, companies can obtain this information through registration forms.

When it comes to lead generation there are two distinct types of leads you can go after, and two approaches to generate them:

 

Outbound Leads

Outbound leads are users with an interest in your offering which you find by reaching out to them yourself. Outbound leads most likely won’t know you before you reach out to them, and the marketing material you use to connect with them will be the first interaction they have with your brand.

There’s a lot of debate surrounding what qualifies as outbound marketing, generally the idea is it’s any marketing activity where you are reaching out and initiating contact. You can consider outbound lead generation to include tactics such as paid ads, cold calls and emails, and certain social media campaigns designed to initiate content.

 

Inbound Leads

Inbound leads are the users who come to you. These users will discover you and the content you put out through search engines, social media and other online platforms.

You can drive inbound leads by engaging in inbound marketing activities such as creating engaging and valuable content, optimising your website for lead generation, engaging in SEO activities, and doing whatever else you can to help users find you and form an interest in your business. 

Some effective ways to generate leads are outlined below:

 

Optimise your content

The best approach you can take to generating leads is implementing a variety of strategies to drive traffic to your landing page, and then using your onsite content, as well as some special offers to encourage users to sign up with their email address.

When users land on your website you want them to be instantly engaged, compelled by your offering, and ready to sign up and become a lead.  The best way to do this is with a well-executed and exciting landing page that grabs users’ attention, highlights the value of your offering, builds product interest and ultimately encourages them to sign up.

 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Getting your website to rank highly in search engine results is a proven way to drive organic traffic to your website, which can then convert to leads.  There are a number of technical steps you need to take for this to happen and it takes time and resources.  

 

Blogging

Creating regular content for your website that readers find useful is a good way to generate leads.  Providing new articles will make people visit your site regularly, and if they relate to your products or services your readers will be good leads as they have an interest in topics surrounding your offering.  Regular blogging is also a good way to improve your website’s search engine ranking for specific keywords and phrases.  Guest blogging on other websites is another good way to drive traffic to your website and improve your SEO.

 

Social Media

Putting together high-quality blog posts will help you drive relevant users to your website through search engine results, but this is far from the only way you should be finding readers.  Share your blog posts across of your social media channels, and encourage readers who liked your post to like, share or comment on it. This will help you reach an even wider audience and maximise your chances of driving leads.

 

Create Case Studies

When you set out to create a powerful content strategy it’s always a good idea to diversify the types of content you’re producing. This will allow you to cover more topics, appeal to a wider audience and figure out what works best for you.  One of the most valuable types of content you can start producing are case studies about customer success stories.  These will encourage enquiries from similar businesses.

 

Competitions and Giveaways

Running a competition or giveaway is a way to generate a large quantity of leads.  People exchange their contact details for the chance to win a prize.  Everyone loves a freebie and this is likely to generate a lot of leads.  However, the leads may not be of the highest quality – what you really want in a lead is someone who is interested in your products, not someone who just wants a giveaway.

 

Offer free trials and discounts

A great way to kick your lead-generation into high gear is offering free trials or discounts on your products to users who sign up.  This gives you the opportunity to convert leads to customers if they like your product.

 

Host a Webinar

A great way to provide your target market with valuable knowledge, insights and skills is to host a webinar. The best course of action is to put together a webinar in your area of expertise.

Focus on a topic that’s relevant to your niche, incorporates your product, and is valuable for people to learn. You need people to want to join your webinar after all.  If you can successfully execute a webinar you will be able to connect with your market, position yourself as a trusted authority in your niche, explain and promote your product, generate leads, and kickstart customer relationships.

 

Advertising

A good way to ensure you appear at the top of a search engine results page is to run pay per click (PPC) adverts with Google or other search engines.  Very few web visitors convert on their first visit to your website. When a user clicks on your PPC ads, you can use display retargeting to show visual advertisements for your products on other popular sites across the web. Digital advertising can take some time to perfect, but it can be one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business.

 

Customer Referrals

Customer referrals are one of the oldest lead generation marketing strategies out there. If your product or service has delighted a current customer, ask them to share their experience with their friends who also might benefit. The quality of your business’s offerings may be good enough that customers do this for free, or you could set up an incentive system. For example, give your customers a certain percentage off their next purchase for every client they refer. 

 

Trade Shows

Attending an industry specific trade show or exhibition is a great way to generate qualified leads.  Visitors are there in buying mode and research shows that 80% of exhibition attendees have buying power within their organisation.  If you need help with an exhibition stand, contact an exhibition stand contractor like Black Robin Exhibits

 

Email Marketing

Lead generation doesn’t always have to stem from exposure to a new audience. You might have untapped business potential in your email lists.  If you’ve built your own list of email subscribers, consider putting together a special offer which can effectively turn a passive bystander into your next paying customer. You can also target email offers to other people’s email lists. If you’re actively networking or partnering with complementary businesses in your industry, you can structure a deal that lets you promote yourself to their audience. If you are using this strategy, be careful who you target and how, you don’t want to come across as spam.

 

Create Videos

Putting together an informative (and interesting) video about your product is a terrific way to concisely explain and demonstrate your offering in an engaging way. This will help build favourable perceptions, build product interest and drive leads.  You can share product videos on your landing page and across social media, or you can even get users to watch them as part of a giveaway.

One particularly effective way you can use videos to aid lead generation is by creating helpful how-to videos on YouTube which provide viewers with real value whilst positioning your product as a solution and driving users through to your products.  Producing how-to videos on common situations that people are actively searching for will help you find viewers, but it’s always a good idea to promote your content across social media (and possibly on your own website) to maximise views.

Hopefully this has provided you with some inspiration on how to generate more leads for your business.  Remember to nurture your quality leads, after all they are your future customers.

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