In this article, we discuss proven online lead generation strategies for business. So let’s get started.
Lead generation is important for both B2B and B2C marketers. It’s how you find new customers and nurture them until they are ready to buy from you. If you do it right, you’ll have a deep and passionate customer for life whzo will spend a lot of money with you over time.
In this internet age, it is all the more important for your business to understand how to use online lead generation strategies for your business.
Online lead generation can be one of the most profitable and effective tools in your arsenal for increasing sales, profits, and market share. However, many business owners don’t know how to do it or simply don’t have the time and/or resources to do it properly.
Let’s discuss further.
What is a lead?
A lead is any person who expresses an interest in a company’s products or services.
Typically, leads hear from the company after they give the company their personal information (like phone number and address) by submitting that information via an application, survey, or some other method.
Having the right leads is important. They represent the first step toward becoming a customer, and therefore they are part of the broader buying cycle that customers go through when they make the transition from being a potential buyer to becoming a customer. Not all leads are created equal, nor do they qualify as such. There are different types of marketing leads based on how they’re qualified and what stage they’re in the buying cycle.
What are Online Lead Generation Strategies?
An online lead generation marketing strategy is simply any type of marketing campaign you run online that has the goal of generating leads.
A “Lead Generation Campaign” is a specific type of online lead generation strategy that includes all of the following components:
Lead Capture: In B2B marketing, lead capture often refers to the process of capturing and storing information from people who have shown an interest in your offer but have not yet purchased from you. This could be an individual interested in a certain product or service, a person who visited your website, or someone who requested more information. Once you have this prospect, you can continue to market to them until they are ready to buy. Lead capture can also include activities such as phone calls, sending emails, direct mail, faxes and postal mail.
Lead Magnets: An incentive that drives prospects to become new leads. Lead magnets are often freebies given to people who sign up for your list that you use to attract them into becoming a lead.
Example: Free Report Reveals How To Get Out Of Debt Without Going Bankrupt! As a valued subscriber, you are entitled to a free copy of my book called “Debt-Free: A Proven Plan To Get Out Of Debt Fast… Without Going Bankrupt!” This is the kind of offer that gets people’s attention and makes them eager to provide their contact information.
Lead Qualification: The process of determining whether a given lead is likely to purchase from you or not. This includes things like his or her industry, job title, company size, and any other relevant details you have about your prospect. Usually, this is done by examining a lead’s browser activity (e.g., which pages were visited, which links were clicked) when he visits your website to determine their interest level.
Lead segmentation: The process of segmenting leads based on their information, habits, and activities (e.g., job title, lead magnet that attracted them, pages they visited on your website). It’s not enough to simply send a sales message to people; you must also “segment” or customize the sales pitch to each individual based on his or her needs, desires and buying behavior. In other words, you must to each person at the their level or stage of buying individually.
Types of Qualified Leads
Marketing qualified leads are contacts who’ve engaged with your marketing efforts but aren’t ready yet to buy. An example of an MQL is a contact who fills out a landing page form for an offer.
Sales qualified leads are the easiest leads to convert because they’ve shown some interest in what you have to offer. They might have tried your product or service and have indicated interesting in becoming qualified customers. They are good leads.
3 Stages of a sales marketing funnel or buyer’s journey:
In order for us to become good online lead generators, we must first understand the 3 stages of a sales funnel or buyer’s journey.
The 3 stages are simply named, top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and end of the funnel. These translate into navigational, informational and transactional stages respectively.
Now, let’s take an in-depth look at each of these stages.
Typically, for any buyer, their first stage online will be navigational or top of the funnel. During this time, they are aware that they have a problem that needs to be solved. However, they don’t know what the solution to it is. Hence, they are shopping around for a potential solution. They search or navigate around the internet in search of different solutions.
For most of us, when we don’t have to urgently fix a problem, we tend to browse through forums, social networks and use search engines to find relevant articles to read.
Middle of the funnel – Informational stage
The informational stage is all about education and providing answers. Your potential customers have decided what they want and they are now at the learning and discovery stage of their buying journey.
During this stage, they want to know as much as they can about what you are selling. They want to know all about your product or service before they buy. This is the time when they start to ask questions. Some of these questions might be “Is it safe?”, “How much does it cost?”, “What will it do for me?” and “Will it work?”.
Your sales pitch should be all about providing answers to these questions. You should try to provide as many answers as you can without being too pushy.
Bottom of the funnel – Transactional Stage
This is where the money is made. This is the transactional phase where contacts are ready to buy. It typically accounts for only 3% of all the people who enter your funnel. Most visitors would leave before they reach stage 3.
Why is this so?
Every day, people have problems they want solved but they are not yet at the stage of immediately buying. That is why, you will find most people in the top and middle funnel. They are searching and learning about how to solve a problem.
They will only buy when the itch is too great or the problem is beyond their means to solve. Hence, the 3%.
If you target only this group of people, you would have left out the rest of the 97% of your potential buyers. Hence, it makes sense to help the rest to move through the various stages to your high conversion transactional pages with strong calls to action.
A competent consultant will walk you through these 3 phases.
Online Lead Generation Techniques that Work:
Optimize Your Website to Promote Your Lead Magnet
Your website should make it easy for people to find and read your lead magnet. Make it stand out.
In addition, you should test different locations for your lead magnet. Don’t rely solely on the sidebars. The best way is to test above the fold, below the fold, at the top of the email version of the webpage and any other place you can think of. Highlight it as the primary call to action on every page.
Use different types of lead magnets. Rotate lead magnets featuring different CTA’s. Use it at the end of every blog post and webpage. Include it in a lead generation pop-up.
Utilise Gated Content
Once you know your buyers, create content that addresses their needs. Then, use lead capture forms to gate that content. This allows you to capture high-quality leads who have shown an interest in what you have to offer.
An example of gating content would be a case study or resource section on your website. If you sell a software product, you might create a report or guide that reveals how to set up a basic marketing campaign using the software. You then give the reader access to this report or resource once they provide contact details (like their name and email address).
Gating educational content also works well for e-books, whitepapers and other types of extended content. Once the reader completes a lead capture form, they get instant access to the entire gated content package.
Include calls to action in all your content marketing. The CTA is the one element of any successful piece of marketing that most people overlook. But, it can have a dramatic impact on your results.
Segment your Content Creation based on your customer groups
Once you know who your buyers are, it’s time to think about where they are along the customer journey and how you can help them solve a problem or fill a need. This is one of the long time best practices and most effective ways to ensure relevancy.
If you’re selling B2B products or services, this means creating valuable content that addresses their individual problems or needs. If you’re writing for an existing customer base, you should pay special attention to their individual concerns and desires.
A great way to start thinking about the type of content you should create is to think about the “wish list” items your buyers have when they walk into your office for a first meeting. These are the things they want you to address in the very first conversations, even if they don’t know it yet.
In many cases, this will be something as simple as providing them with enough information to understand the nature of the business and the challenges they face.
Turn your blog posts into a series of in-depth guides
Blogs are an amazing source of low-hanging fruit. You’ve probably already got a bunch of great content on your site that nobody’s ever seen before. Why not turn all that hidden treasure into much larger, more valuable pieces of content?
It only makes sense to take that content, group it in relevant categories and then create much larger pieces of content out of it. Start with your most popular posts. For example, your posts on ecommerce consumer trends could be combined into a long, in-depth article called “20 Hot Products For Sale on the Internet” or something similar. This would be a huge interest to anyone who is selling anything on the Internet.
These topics are of interest to your readers, because they are driving traffic. Based on the amount of traffic each individual piece of content is generating and the level of engagement each social post is getting, the data will reveal what your audience finds most interesting.
The best thing about this formula is it allows you to test virtually any topic you can dream up. You don’t have to limit yourself to the ones that are most profitable or most talked about.
Employ SEO – Optimize for Mobile Traffic
It’s not as sexy or glitzy as a pay per click campaign but it is arguably more important in generating a steady stream of profitable revenue over time.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting your website higher up (or at least on the first page) of the list of results returned by an internet search engine whenever someone uses a search query with commercial intent.
There are millions of searches with commercial intents that cannot be fulfilled directly online. These include services for accounting, legal, loans, construction etc.
In SEO, buyers are self-educated and self-sorted as they go through your content. When your brand or your product appears often in search engine result pages, your credibility, perceived value and status in the eyes of the public increases.
The last few years has seen a dramatic increase in the percentage of mobile traffic. This is due to a number of factors, including the proliferation of smart phones, and more and more people using those phones to access the web.
This change has been dramatic and it has happened almost overnight. What used to be a trickle is now a flood. Make sure you are thinking about how your website performs on mobile devices.
Make sure your website is accessible: The most common complaint I get from people when they discover that their favorite website isn’t mobile friendly is that it’s hard to read. That’s not good. You want your visitors to fall in love with your website… not to hate it. Make sure your site is easy to read and use on all devices.
*Find out more about SEO packages here.
Use Email List Building And Direct Marketing for lead generation
As they say, the list is where the money is. People on an emailing list have shown interest in what you have to offer and are more likely to convert into paying customers. In fact market data suggests an astounding 4300 percentage return on investment!
So once you have identified your target market, you need to start building an email marketing list!
Being qualified leads, they are much more receptive to your message. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Offer your potential subscribers something of value. Maybe it is a free book, a special report, a seminar, or an audio or video series. Whatever it is, make sure it is valuable enough for them to give up their email address.
But don’t abuse it. Don’t send 100 messages to one lead or to a small list of leads.
Remember to test, test, test. Split test everything for best results. Even the color of your links. Test headlines. Subject lines. Offer positions. Price points. Call to action buttons. Etcetera.
Host an Online Event
Lead generation strategies can also happen at online events. For example, if your business offers a free teleseminar series or trade shows, you could extend the offer to include collecting email addresses from those interested in attending the live events.
Then, send a short email with the details about the upcoming live event and ask people to sign up to be notified when it is scheduled. You could also use this strategy for a non-event related promotion such as a free teleseminar on how to improve your website copywriting (for example).
Another way to generate leads at an event is to use the event itself as an opportunity to connect with customers in real time. This can be especially effective at larger events where there are many attendees who may not know each other but have similar interests.
Use Google Hangouts, Zoom, Facebook Live, or some other online conferencing tool to bring your attendees together in a virtual room. This will allow you to ask questions, answer questions, and engage your audience in real time.
This builds rapport and trust between them and your brand.
Social Media is not just for big brands. It’s also a useful and low-cost source for lead generation. The trick is to use social media sites strategically for lead generation.
Choose the social media platform where your target audience spends most of their time on, then begin adding links directly to the landing pages of your offers within your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other social media posts. Tell your followers that they’ll be taken to a landing page.
Another great use of social media for lead generation is to ask questions and get people talking. Asking a question can generate a lot of interest and conversation, which in turn can generate leads.
Here are some other ideas for generating leads via questions. Ask your customers questions to learn about them: What do they like? What do they hate? Where do they work? What would they find most interesting? What would they find most surprising?
And ask them questions to help you sell them something: What TV shows do they watch? What movies? What music do they like? What books do they read? What hobbies do they have?
Another powerful technique is called “seeding”. Seeding is when you subtly encourage people to talk about something by starting a conversation with them.
You can also use contests to generate leads. Pick a platform like Facebook, add a few twists, and let the party begin! It’s a great way to engage your followers, and to simultaneously learn a lot about them.
Social media is a great lead-generator. Increased engagement results in greater brand awareness from new potential customers and increased loyalty from existing ones.
Paid Adverting for Generating Leads:
Google Ads and Other Search Engine Marketing
Google is an effective lead generation engine online. But, don’t expect miracles.
Only 6% of keywords in the average Search Ads account ever deliver a conversion (form fill, chat, call, etc.). That’s 94% of keywords in Search Ad accounts resulting in clicks but not conversions.
But if you focus on time, targeting and tracking in your search ad campaigns, you can still end up with an extremely powerful lead generation engine powering your business.
This is because you understand about funnels and the customer journey that we’ve discussed above.
Most internet traffic is navigational and informational. Taking this into account, you can use search ads to bring visitors to the top of your funnel, then slowly nurture them into leads and then transactional customers.
Why are Facebook, LinkedIn Ads and other Pay Per Click display ads great for lead generation
Facebook and LinkedIn ads can be a great source for lead generation because of their highly targeted audiences. They also give you the ability to run multiple ads simultaneously. They offer very detailed reports which allow you to easily identify what works and what doesn’t.
An example is the Facebook Lead Generation ad. These types of campaigns work well because of the highly targeted audience Facebook has at its disposal. A particular ad can target people who are of a specific demographic, location and have exhibited certain behaviour. You may target 25-35 year old females based in Singapore who like trendy sun glasses.
Most businesses don’t use PPC because of the cost. They don’t realize the potential ROI that a good PPC campaign can return. Google stats show on average you can earn eight times what you spend by using PPC. You should at least investigate the possibility, even if you decide not to use it.
You should always track where your sales leads come from, and if you are going to be seeing a ROI (Return On Investment) on your marketing campaign. But also you should know which channels / media are most effective for generating those leads.
You can use paid placement campaigns to find out what your audience likes, what they respond to, and what adjustments you need to make in order for you to be able to reach your audience with a stronger, more powerful message. This allows you to prove to your superiors that paid placement campaigns are an effective marketing tool.
If you want to take the plunge and go all-in on PPC, you should hire a marketing agency specializing in paid acquisition to help you out.
Tips for B2B Lead Generation Campaigns:
Know your audience
If you don’t know your audience, how can you expect to reach them?
Most likely, you’ll be reaching them with a different message than the one they received from your competitors. Your message won’t connect with them — and therefore, it won’t generate leads.
How well do you know your website visitors? Do you know their names or their email addresses? How about which pages they visited, how they’re navigating around, and what they do before and after filling out a lead conversion form?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s probably because you’re not using the right lead gen tools. You should be able to answer these questions and know them cold. In truth, if you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s a strong indication you may need some help generating leads.
Use the right tools
Use templates and tools to create different lead generation assets for your business:
- Form Scraping Software: Such software include lead capture and contact insights features. They allow you to scrape any pre-existing forms on your website and add those contacts to your existing contact database. They’ll help you turn website visitors into leads immediately.
- Visitor Tracking Heatmap Tool: If you have a site with a lot of traffic, you should definitely use this powerful tool. It will help you identify hot spots on your site (areas where people spend a lot of time on) and it will tell you what those areas are, so you can then work on improving them.
Always be testing
Don’t just guess. Don’t assume. And don’t rely on the “gut” reaction of your marketing team. They might love that new layout you’re testing, but it could backfire if the results aren’t there for you.
However, if you do your research and testing properly, you will find what works for your specific audience. You’ll know exactly what to test and how to test it.
Optimize A/B test all aspects of your lead generation campaigns, social media platforms, topics, headlines, button copy, and background images.
Good entrepreneurs are always testing. Your conversion rate may surprise you, but you’ll be making much more informed optimizations in your lead generation process.
Online lead generation Strategy – remarketing
Remarketing enables you to re-advertise to people who have shown an interest in your product, but haven’t yet bought it. It lets you reach those “in-between” customers, and turn them into fans, and eventually into buyers.
It’s crucial for every successful entrepreneur. Remarketing turns abandoners into leads which is huge since 97% of people who arrive at your landing page will likely leave before converting.
Remarketing is an amplifier of all of your other marketing activities. It makes them more effective. It positions you in front of your potential clients again to remind them of your business, product or service.
Link your CTA to a dedicated landing page
Calls To Actions work great… but… only if they are used properly. One of the biggest mistakes people make is using a CTA as a “grabber” to get someone’s attention and then not providing them with enough valuable information (like a clear call-to-action) to entice them to take the desired action.
That’s what CTA’s are for – sending visitors to a landing page where they can receive a specific offer. If you want someone to take any action on your site, make sure it is action related to what they were looking at. Don’t send them to a generic homepage.
If you are selling a product, use the CTA to direct them to a relevant page that has an opt-in form. If you are promoting a service, use the CTA to direct them to a relevant page that has an opt-in form.
Get your sales team involved
Before you can lead score, you must know what sales qualified lead are being sold. You need to know this so you can properly define and qualify those leads for sale. You need to make sure your sales reps and marketing people are aligned before you even start to capture new clients.
Furthermore, be open to evolving your relationship with sales and how you guide leads along your funnel. Your definitions will likely need to be refined over time; just make sure to keep everyone involved up-to-date.
The goal is to marry the best of both worlds by using consistent, data-driven, nurturing outreach to develop leads who are closer to becoming sales-ready.
Most B2B leads come from referrals:
B2B marketers say that that over 60% of their leads come from referrals.
Turn existing leads/customers into brand new ones. Referral campaigns are one of the best ways to multiply your results and bring in loads of fresh new customers and leads. When you know how to automate the process, it’ll will be even more productive!
With Blazing Conversions, you can set up fully automated referral campaigns using this automation workflow, or create your own based on the criteria of your choice.
The first thing you want to do is offer a strong enough incentive for the customer referring you to their friends or contacts. An even better idea is to offer rewards to both of them for spreading the word to as many people as possible. This will exponentially increase your sales.
Best Lead Generation Strategies – Summing it up
By now, you would have seen for yourself how powerful online marketing is when it comes to generating leads.
Effective digital marketing strategies will boost your business and brand awareness among internet users. Online lead generation strategies are the new territory that marketers implement; to establish and maintain a strong and active presence online that generates profits even as you sleep.
Therefore, through online lead generation, local businesses can gain a firm foothold in this new modernized age.
A proficient internet lead generation system will attract your audience by:
- Defining the channels that best fit your demographics
- Speaking their language
- Connect with your audience’s viewpoints
- Being culturally aware
- Considering partnerships with strategic partners such as influencers
- Focusing on action-oriented involvement and results rather than just the product.
You can integrate more than one marketing channel in your lead generation strategies to further expand your presence in the marketplace.
If you are keen on engaging our services, you can contact us here.