What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a marketing process by which the potential or possible consumers or clients of business are identified. This likely customer is enticed to enquire and find out more about a product or service. This would then ideally turn that lead into a sale.
Lead generation is a form of digital marketing but in a more specific and targetted manner. With the digitisation of the entire way in which we do business, lead generation in the digital age is an entire area of expertise by itself.
Why Is Lead Generation So Important?
In the digital age, the process of lead generation and marketing starts with generating traffic and views. These visits are then turned into leads and possibly customers. However, most businesses focus their time and budgets on establishing a great website which is meaningless if potential customers do not see it. With a large number of customers researching and looking for products and services online, every business should strategize to be seen by these potential buyers looking for them. And then further strategize to put themselves out there and find their potential customer and generate website traffics.
So, generating business leads should be given a very high priority on par with the development of a good website and app. Sadly, this part of digital marketing is still neglected and a great challenge for most companies.
How Do You Generate Leads?
Lead generation is a multi-pronged process that has to occur across many channels to get the best out of your web presence. The attention span of people on the internet is very short and it is important to get attention and then get the most out of the short time span that you have.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and SERP Performance
Great websites, as well as great content, is only as effective as the size of the audience that it receives. Great content should be promoted well. Organic searches are the most common way that websites are found. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is mandatory for all content that is posted to get the best Search Engine Results Page ranks or SERP performance.
Excellent Respected Content
People are willing to research and read up about the product or service that they are looking for. Creating excellent content that is highly relevant to your service or product will keep your readers engaged. When you become a respected advisor in your field it makes your content valuable. Having a regular free subscription-based update or newsletter is another way to keep yourself in the mind of the potential buyer. When they do decide to buy, you will have the advantage of recall value. If you collect data from the subscribers you can further manage the lead with tailored and targetted content. All your content should be tailored for SEO keywords. The objective of lead management in digital marketing is to eventually turn each lead into a paying customer.
Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
Social media is not just a powerful networking and sharing platform but also a great channel for digital marketing. Building an audience on social media with catchy and appropriate content is a great way to gather leads. It is the ideal way to build awareness of your business and brand. Social media has the additional advantage of one lead being shared and multiplying into many. SMO or social media optimisation makes it easy for your readers to share links to your website across social media platforms. So, it is vital to put both SEO and SMO at the top of your digital marketing strategy list.
Social media platforms have very attractive advertisement packages that are great for business leads. Building a significant social media following takes time, consistency and effort. But, with the right management and handling of your social media, you can get up close and personal with your viewers and convert them into buyers. This is wholly dependent on how well targetted, unique and engaging your content is. The number of platforms is so many and so nuanced that it is best to have a dedicated person or outsourced company looking after the SMO facet of lead generation.
Email marketing has got a bad reputation for good reason. It is most unethical to spam and flood people with unwanted mail. But, when used respectfully and with easy unsubscribe options is a great way to convert an existing customer into a repeat customer. If somebody has enquired about your services or product you could offer to put them on a newsletter list. You could gently remind them of your offerings and especially of anything new that you have to offer. Information on discounts and sales might be the slight push that could nudge them into buying from you. When the newsletter list signup collects details about the potential customer, your emails can be extremely specific and targetted to segments of customers. This will make this marketing truly valuable to the reader. When this process of digital marketing is automated and linked to the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) of your business it can help to manage existing customers as leads for repeat business.
Online advertising is the channel to add leads from a pool of viewers that is large. It is an investment that is well worth it if the campaign and the related keywords are well managed and appropriately chosen. There are different pricing models that vary based on the platform that is chosen. The Cost per thousand or Cost Per Mille (CPM) model is the model that charges the advertiser for the number of times that the advertisement is viewed. This charge is for every view regardless of whether the advertisement is really read or has generated any click-throughs.
The Cost Per Click (CPC) model charges the advertiser only when the advertisement is clicked on. However, with growing competition between advertisers, the search keywords are becoming more expensive. This calls for expert management of your cost per click campaign to get the best out of the money spent while generating website traffics. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) advertising charges the advertiser only for a lead and sale that is generated from the advertisement. However, demand and competition have seen rising costs in this type of advertising as well. It can be priced so that the advertiser pays only when the click generates a sale. It can also be used to start building a database of leads and their details for other marketing efforts.