What Is Lead Generation?
1. What Is A Lead?
A lead describes any person that demonstrates interest in your product, service, or brand. People can show interest in a range of ways, including by downloading a free guide, completing a contact form, following a social media account, and more.
In almost all cases, your business will hear from a lead before a lead hears from you.
While you can initiate communication first (like by cold calling), this approach generally doesn’t perform well. That’s why many companies try to attract leads. When you bring leads to your business, they’re more likely to have a genuine interest in your products or services.
Now, you can attract four types of leads:
Marketing qualified lead (MQL): MQLs come from your marketing efforts, like offering a downloadable guide. These leads often aren’t ready to connect with your sales team. They’re in the early stages of the buying funnel.2.
Sales qualified lead (SQL): SQLs show an immediate interest in your products or services, like by submitting a quote request or a contact form. They usually want to speak to your sales team and occupy a lower stage of the buying funnel.
Product qualified lead (PQL): PQLs demonstrate an interest in your products or services too, like by signing up for a free trial. They usually take action after trying your products. A PQL, for instance, may contact your sales team to ask questions and learn more about your offerings.
Service qualified lead: Service qualified leads have an active interest in your products or services because they already use and pay for them. These types of leads will usually contact your sales team about making an upsell, like by choosing a different cable or Internet plan, for instance.
Understanding what leads are, as well as the types of leads, can help with lead scoring later.
your own text and edit me. It's easy.
2. What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation describes the process of identifying, attracting, and converting people into prospects through outbound and inbound marketing channels, as well as lead generators. Common lead generation channels include search, social media, email, and your website.
3. What Is Lead Generation In Digital Marketing?
In digital marketing, lead generation still focuses on identifying, attracting, and converting people into prospects, but uses online channels and strategies. A few examples include running paid ads on social media, offering free product trials via a website, and launching an email campaign.
4.Why Is Lead Generation Important?
Lead generation matters for B2B and B2C businesses for a few reasons, including:
Lead generation supports healthy business growth: Without leads, your company can’t grow. While you may receive referrals, those often aren’t enough to grow your business the way you want. You need a way to attract and convert prospects, and lead generation provides that.
Lead generation attracts qualified leads: Next, lead generation offers a solution to finding qualified leads, versus any lead. While you can spend time cold-calling potential leads, this strategy rarely results in a lead — only unhappy people with a bad image of your brand.
Lead generation offers a natural transition from consumer to customer: With lead generation, your business can also provide a seamless customer journey. People can move at their own pace from consumer to customer, like by downloading an online guide or completing a contact form.
Most of all, lead generation benefits your business because it works — when done right.
5.Outbound Lead Generation vs. Inbound Lead Generation
Before exploring five of the most successful lead generation strategies, it’s essential to explain why inbound lead generation, versus outbound lead generation, is the best approach for your business, no matter your industry.
Ok, but what is outbound lead generation and inbound lead generation?
Outbound lead generation: A lead generation strategy that uses outbound market channels focuses on pushing people towards your business, products, or services. It uses strategies like cold calling, advertisements, and trade shows.
Inbound lead generation: A lead generation strategy that uses inbound marketing channels focuses on pulling people towards your business, products, or services. It uses strategies like social media, blog posts, and videos.
No matter what your company sells, you will almost always generate the best results with inbound marketing. That’s because, when you use inbound marketing, you’re reaching potential leads when they’re looking for your business, products, or services.
They’re researching, and you’re serving as a helpful resource.
For more perspective on the performance of inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing for lead generation, consider the cost of outbound leads and the opinions of marketers.
On average, outbound leads cost almost 40% more than inbound leads. Not to mention, only 16% of marketers feel outbound marketing brings in the highest quality of leads. Inbound marketing offers better costs and results, which is why most lead generation strategies focus on inbound channels.
6. Lead Generation Strategies
Now that you know the answer to “What is lead generation?”, are you ready to build your strategy?
Get a preview of how your business can generate leads online with these five lead generation strategies:
1. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful inbound marketing tactics for lead generation. With SEO, your business can reach users as they search on Google, Bing, and other search engines, and quickly become their trusted resource and company of choice.
What is search engine optimization?
SEO is a digital marketing strategy that optimizes your website for search engines, like Google, and the people that use them. When you optimize your site according to SEO best practices, your website can appear at the top of search results, versus on page two.
For example, search for “best dash cam reviews.”
If your company offers dash cams, you want a top spot in that search result. Even if your business doesn’t appear in that search result, you can use other SEO tactics, like outreach, to help earn press and exposure for your product.
How can I use search engine optimization for lead generation?
You can use search engine optimization for lead generation a few ways, including the following:
Attract bottom-of-the-funnel leads with optimized product and service pages
Reach middle-of-the-funnel leads with optimized blog posts, articles, and more
Optimizing your website for search engines and users offers another benefit: Outranking your competition. If your online competitors don’t use SEO, your company can earn a top spot in search results with ease because these organizations aren’t optimizing their site.
When you earn a top spot in search results, you provide your business with direct access to leads.
For perspective on the value of this position, consider the following research: The first three search results on Google get 75% of all clicks. Not to mention, only 25% of users go to the second page of search results. They usually stick to the first page.
Learn More About SEO for Lead Generation
Search engine optimization is useful for dozens of different purposes, including lead generation. Leads driven through SEO are notoriously inexpensive compared to leads obtained through other channels, so why not use it as often as you can? After all, leads are the heart and soul of your business.
2. What Does SEO Cost?
The cost of SEO services varies depending on what is included. Most SEO projects in 2020 cost between $750-$2,000/month based on the scope of the project. A one-time project will range between $5,000-$30,000 and hourly rates for consultants fall between $80-$200/hour.
3. How Long Does SEO Take To Work?
Anything worth doing is worth doing well. For anyone who is undertaking his or her first search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, there’s a corollary to this rule: anything worth doing is worth waiting for.
4. Professional SEO Services
WebFX is the best SEO agency in the world — and we have the track record to prove it. With our MarketingCloudFX technology platform and elite SEO team, WebFX can help increase your bottom line with an SEO campaign that is specifically designed for your business. Start earning more qualified search traffic to your website today with our search engine optimization services.
2. PAID ADVERTISING
Paid advertising is another useful lead generation approach that can act as an inbound or outbound strategy. That’s because your business can advertise across search results, websites, social media, and more, whether you’re looking to generate manufacturing leads or insurance leads.
What is paid advertising?
Paid advertising describes the use of paid ads, like pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, to attract potential prospects and customers to your business, products, or services. While you can use traditional advertising formats, like billboards, digital ad formats tend to offer more value and flexibility.
You can see paid ads across several online channels, including:
The advantage of paid advertising for lead generation is that your company will usually pay on a per-click or cost-per-click (CPC) payment model. What does that mean? Your business will only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
You can also, depending on your ad settings, pay for an ad based on views or conversions.
Even better, paid advertising includes advanced targeting options.
With these options, your business can create hyper-targeted ads that focus on the most valuable leads for your business. Plus, your ads can reach users when they want to hear from your
business, like by searching for something related to your company, product
, or services.
Learn More About Paid Ads for Lead Generation
When you use pay-per-click advertising (PPC), you create an avenue for driving leads and revenue. The question, however, is how to generate leads with PPC ads. Keep reading to get the answer and learn how to tailor your ad strategy and campaigns for PPC lead generation!
In 2018, the average small and medium-sized businesses spend between $9,000 and $10,000 on PPC every month. Pricing is dynamic for PPC and always changing. Whether you are a first timer looking to start advertising using PPC or a seasoned vet, this page will work you through how much PPC costs, an inside look at PPC management fees, and how to set the best budget for your campaigns.
3. How To Improve our Ad ROI?
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) gives you a huge opportunity to bring in more revenue for your company. It’s can be a low-cost, high-yield form of marketing, and it’s useful for every kind of business from a fresh start- up to an industry giant
4. Professional Online Advdertising Services
Give your business the tools to grow with digital advertising services from WebFX. With our complete suite of online advertising services, plus custom strategies and dedicated team of 200+ strategists, we can help your company improve its brand awareness, sales, revenue, and more.
3. EMAIL MARKETING
Email marketing is one of the most common lead generation strategies, with 78% of organizations using email to attract, nurture, and convert qualified leads. With email, your business can take a personalized and long-term approach to growing your company and its relationship with potential clients.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing offers an all-in-one solution for communicating with prospects, as well as clients. With email marketing, your business can create various audience segments and email campaigns to send users content tailored to their interests, concerns, and more.
Companies across industries use email marketing because of its effectiveness, as well as return on investment (ROI). In fact, businesses see an average ROI of $44 for every $1 invested in this top lead generation strategy.
How can I use email marketing for lead generation?
You can use email marketing for lead generation a few ways, including:
Build a relationship with MQLs, like by highlighting informational content
Provide follow-up bottom-of-the-funnel content to SQLs
Offer updates, offers, and more to current clients with the potential for upsells
For the best results with email marketing, ensure your company offers valuable content.
While you may want to send content that highlights your services or products, remember to think about your users. Give them something valuable. Otherwise, they will unsubscribe from your emails or not even read them.
Learn More About Email Marketing for Lead Generation
One of the most effective digital marketing tactics is email marketing. This method has the potential to earn your business $44 for every $1 spent. A great email marketing campaign starts with a valuable email marketing list.
Email is the best way to stay in contact with your leads and move them through your sales funnel.
When your company appears in a lead’s inbox on a regular basis, you can be sure that they won’t forget about you or the services you offer. But your emails need to be just as helpful as the rest of your content –it only takes one bad email for a user to unsubscribe and leave your list permanently.
Here’s how to use email to communicate with your leads and to convert them.
Email marketing allows you to connect directly with customers and potential customers, and it yields an extremely high ROI — $44 for every $1 you spend. If you want to learn more about how email marketing can drive results for your business and how much you should pay for email marketing services, just keep reading!
4. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AND ADVERTISING
While considered one of the most challenging lead generation strategies by almost 50% of marketers, social media offers immense opportunity for companies that can master networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
What is social media marketing and advertising?
Social media marketing and advertising revolves around marketing and advertising your business on social media networks. The marketing side focuses on making posts and content for followers, while the advertising portion encompasses creating ads to build your following.
Each of these strategies involves engaging with users, like by responding to comments.
For the best results, most businesses spend around six hours on social media each week. According to 66% of marketers, that amount of time tends to drive results when it comes to generating qualified leads.
How can I use social media marketing and advertising for lead generation?
You can use social media marketing and advertising to generate leads a few ways, including:
Launch targeted ad campaigns to drive follows, likes, and even shares
Post informational content to drive brand awareness and website traffic
Respond to comments, questions, or concerns
In most cases, social media will serve as a channel for reaching top-of-the-funnel users. While you won’t generate leads from this channel immediately, social media can help you reach people (before your competitors) that will become qualified leads.
Learn More About Social Media for Lead Generation
5. CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing is another powerful lead generation channel. With original, audience-focused content, your business can support all your lead generation efforts, from search to social to email, and attract the leads you want.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing describes the creation of original, helpful content that your business hosts online, like on your website, blog, or social media profile. When you use content marketing, you aim to capture users at varying stages of the funnel and move them towards becoming a lead.
A few examples of content include:
In addition to creating content, you also optimize it for search engines and users. That means your content marketing efforts will include SEO, which is why businesses almost always use SEO and content marketing together.
How can I use content marketing for lead generation?
You can use content marketing for lead generation a few ways, including:
Publish free, downloadable online guides
Write informative blog posts for users in the early stages of the buying funnel
Create viral content, like infographics, to earn fast exposure
Build resource libraries for supporting your sales teams
You should cover lots of different information from different angles with content marketing. You can even use site content to address common questions or concerns that you hear from leads you’ve already generated from previous marketing campaigns.
For example, a dental practice looking to attract leads may use its website to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about certain procedures. They could cover questions related to the recovery time, as well as procedure costs, to help potential patients.
The more quality information you provide, the more likely you’ll be to generate leads on your site.
Learn More About Content Marketing for Lead Generation
3 tips for making your lead generation campaign a success
If you’re looking to make the most of your lead generation strategy and campaigns, follow these tips:
1. Get insight from your sales team
The success of lead generation often depends on your sales team for a few reasons. They connect with your leads one-on-one, which allows them to offer unparalleled insight into the questions of potential clients.
Collaborate with your sales team by asking about their experience with leads and learning:
What leads want to know
What leads desire in a product or service
What leads expect from a product or service provider
Understand your leads better, and your team can develop a better lead generation strategy. You can adapt your content marketing initiative, for example, to cover a frequently asked question among leads or tweak your social media network usage to reach your ideal lead.
2. Develop consistent messages
While you may use a range of channels and techniques to reach potential leads, you want to create a consistent experience. If you don’t, users may not recognize your business, products, or services when seeing them again, like via a paid ad.
Consistent messaging and branding also makes it easier for users to transition from stranger to prospect. They feel confident that they’re working with the same company, for example, when moving from your social media profile to your website.
3. Provide every user a unique offer
When it comes to lead generation, companies can struggle to create compelling offers for users in the earlier stages of the buying funnel. While it’s easy to offer a free trial or obligation-free quote to bottom-of-the-funnel users, that kind of offer doesn’t work on users still researching and considering.