Today, technology has changed the way we market and promote our products and services. Generating leads has become one of the primary objectives of marketers. Marketers use various tactics to nurture their leads, but a significant number of them still believe that generating a lead is an art, and to master this art you need to attain more high-quality sales-ready leads. In the contemporary economic climate, marketers are looking for channels which are highly accountable, and the return on investment (ROI) is easily calculable.
WHAT IS LEAD GENERATION?
Consumer behavior changes from time to time and so does the process of lead generation. Therefore, it’s important to revisit the lead captures and take advantage of the evolving technology trends and consumer behavior.
Lead generation is the process of attracting visitors to your site and getting them interested in your offerings. You convert your potential customers into leads and persuade them to provide their information. It has become one of the most cost-effective and measurable ways to track potential customers. It is about getting the contact details of the customers who have requested a piece of information for the product or service.
Here are some various lead generation practices that every marketer should consider for an effective marketing campaign.
1. Inbound Marketing
At Lead Advisors, our definition of inbound marketing is “the process of helping potential customers find your company—often before they are even looking to make a purchase—and then turning that early awareness into brand preference, and ultimately, into leads and revenue.”
Gone are the days that a marketer only relied on outbound techniques like trade shows, cold calling, and advertisements to get leads. Today’s buyer is in control. Buyers seek out three pieces of content about a vendor for every one piece sent by a marketer, and for every one piece sent by sales. Because of buyer self-education, your job as a marketer is to be heard through the noise and come up with new ways for leads to find you. To be a marketer in today’s world, you need a solid grasp of inbound in order to truly amplify your lead generation impact.
How do you do that? You need to create interest by offering a relevant mix of informative and entertaining content that builds a meaningful relationship with your audience. And you have to make sure that you are distributing your content through all the right channels – where your buyer spends time. This section goes into a bit more detail on some of the common tactics for inbound lead generation.
2. Outbound Marketing
While inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz, a well-rounded marketing mix should include both inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Inbound works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts and target specific opportunities. So what exactly is outbound marketing? It’s using outbound channels to introduce your message and content to your prospects, typically through rented attention, rather than making your content and messages available on your own properties.
In many cases, outbound techniques can get someone to think about you even if they haven’t thought about you yet since many of the methods you use should have more of a “wow” factor to make your company stand out. Outbound communication is often highly targeted, with a call-to-action that is very obvious. As a result, good outbound marketing can push someone through the funnel at a faster rate, assuming they are closer to being ready to buy. Inbound alone often does not drive someone to buy. Outbound gives them that extra nudge they need to drive a lead down the funnel.
Combining outbound and inbound can multiply the number of views you generate, dramatically increase sharing, and ultimately increase the number of potential customers who see your content. While your mix may differ from ours, we find that the following outbound tactics work best.
3. Email Marketing
Email is a cornerstone and key component of every marketing campaign. Whether you are hosting an event, sending out a new piece of content, promoting a new service offering, or staying in touch with customers, email should be one of your main forms of communication. The most used lead generation tactic is email marketing, with 81% of respondents citing it as the most effective channel. By putting your content in front of prospects, you can find people who might not be looking for you.
4. Social Media
The increasing popularity of social channels has directly attributed to information abundance. Through social networks, buyers have been able to research and learn about products and services through influencers and peers. Additionally, a profound shift has taken place within social media channels. Although social is still important for branding and generating buzz, lead generation is becoming more and more important. By tapping into all the social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Google+, you can be where your customers are and create that trust.
5. Content and SEO
Your content is the foundation of your inbound marketing efforts. Content marketing is “a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. Think of content as the fuel to all of your marketing campaigns from email to social. Create content that is impactful to your audience and drives sharing. Through creating high-quality content, you can begin to gain your buyer’s trust and start breaking through the noise.
Because search engines equate high-quality content with a high-quality website, creating content with value is very important. Conduct a content audit to see how many of your assets fall into the thought leadership vs. promotional category. That means making sure that your thought leadership content has substance to it. Lots of companies are jumping on the content bandwagon, so do it right: focus on quality over quantity, and on providing useful – not promotional – information.
Once you have a good mix of high-value content, including visual content, start promoting it on social channels. The more engagement you get, the more Google considers your content to be of high value, which in turn boosts your SEO rankings. Search engines look for natural links, so the more informative your content is, the more likely people will link to it naturally.
6. Pay-Per-Click Ads
With Pay-per-Click (PPC ) ads you pay for each click on your ad which is displayed on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, or on a website. For PPC on search engines, your ads show up as sponsored results on the top and side of the organic search terms. PPC ads are a terrific way to draw attention to your latest content or service offerings. They are also highly targeted so they can generate very high-quality leads. Advertisers bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target markets and your ads will display when a keyword query matches your chosen keyword list.
7. Sales Development Reps
Sales Development Reps (SDRs), also often called Inside Sales or Lead Qualification reps, are focused on one thing: reviewing, contacting, and qualifying marketing-generated leads and delivering them to Sales Account Executives. Simply put, SDR teams pass the baton from Marketing to Sales. Why does it this way? Because you want to make sure every single lead marketing passes to your Sales team is as qualified as possible. Your SDRs should take the time to help each and every lead, offer them value, make a positive impression, create future demand, and become a trusted advisor. This step is critical in the lead generation process because you don’t want to treat your leads as blank faces to be simply questioned, qualified, and harvested.