For both large and small businesses alike, the ability to generate new leads out of potential customers is the hallmark of what makes a business successful. The process of attracting, converting, and gaining prospective customers is called lead generation and is cultivated through numerous communication and media channel methods, such as online content, blog posts, live events, job applications, contests, videos, email capture, and landing pages to name a few.
Without lead generation, a business cannot become profitable, it cannot compete with competitors in the marketplace, and it cannot expand past its current products, services, and offerings. In order to understand how lead generation works and why it is important, we are going to explore inbound marketing – what lead generation is a part of – and what you should be doing to generate leads.
What Is Lead Generation and Why Is It Important?
To put it simply, lead generation is the lifeblood of your business or organization. It is what gives meaning to why your business is running in the first place. It occurs after you have attracted an audience to your business, whether that be through your products, through your website, through your services, or through promotions such as ad campaigns, sponsored posts, guest blogging, giveaways, and contests.
Businesses rely heavily on lead generation because it is what generates traffic and the more traffic you have coming in, the more likely you are to convert the traffic into paying customers. When you are able to take your leads and convert them into customers, you gain increased sales, increased exposure, and increased profit margins that make expansion viable.
What Does Inbound Marketing Have to do With Lead Generation?
Inbound marketing is a methodology that is all about creating a positive impact and valuable experiences to your target audience. By providing relevant and helpful content through tools like online chat systems, email communication, and newsletters, one can attract, engage, and delight those who are interested in your business.
The premise of inbound marketing is to do business with your audience in such a way that you are helpful, trusted, and empathetic while simultaneously adding value at every stage of your customer’s journey with you. In business, the methodology is simple, the happier your customers are, the more energy they will provide to you, either through promoting your business, buying your products, or leaving excellent testimony, which, in turn, brings new customers to you and fuels growth. So how does this correlate to lead generation? It’s simple really, with inbound marketing you attract, engage [lead generation], and delight your prospects into converted and happy customers.
So What Do You Need to Do to Generate Leads With Inbound Marketing?
- You need a lead strategy in place.
Without a lead generation strategy in place, you will not be able to optimize your lead generation tactics. There are four major areas you need to focus on when putting a lead generation strategy in place are lead captures, lead magnets, landing page conversions, and a lead scoring system. Chances are, you are not capturing the information needed from every single prospect that comes your way; one way to fix this is by using lead magnets to provide a valuable offer in exchange for email opt-ins, subscriptions, or social media follows and then using call-to-action buttons on your landing pages to convert.
- What Makes an Offer a Good One?
The key with offers is that they need to provide impact, value, and a solution. Your prospective customers are coming to your website, to your socials media pages or to your blog to find pertinent information about an issue; provide them with an offer they cannot refuse based on this premise. The content that you provide your potential customers should be valuable enough that it makes them want to enter their information into your marketing offer, into your lead capture forms, or through your call-to-action buttons on your landing pages. Nurture these leads by offering a free trial, providing product demos, giving away free templates or video series. Give them something that helps them and watch as you reel in another lead.
- Utilize Call-to-Action Buttons.
Whether you use these on your landing pages, in your blog posts, or on your paid ad campaigns on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, these are a huge asset to your business when you are attempting to convert your visitors into proper leads. When someone lands on your marketing elements, you want people to click-through, whether that be into your sales funnels or into your lead capturing elements. But the key here is to use the right call-to-action buttons, so which are they? On landing pages, you want to narrow down the focus, cut out excess information, and include one form of call-to-action link that makes good on your promise. In a blog post, your call-to-action may be to sign up for your newsletter to get a first-hand look at all upcoming posts or it could be a $1 trial into an exclusive series.
- Where to Place Your CTA Buttons?
There are generally two call-to-action placements on a website, above the fold, and below the fold. Determining where to place them will be dependent on the complexity of what you are offering your visitor. Above the fold is a common placement choice but must be accompanied by a powerful headline, a supporting sub-header, a “hero” shot or video/image that showcases your service or product, the benefit statement and trust indicators. The CTA in this placement will work if the offer is simple and not a lot of thinking must go into understanding the page. A call-to-action below the fold works well if there is a lot of information to digest or if the offer is complex because it will require you to capture attention with a headline, generate interest with a visual form (photo/image), develop a desire and then place your CTA.
The main key takeaway here is that you need to create products/services and content that 1) solve a problem and 2) are valuable to your customers. Once you discover what these are, create simple, easy-to-understand marketing that highlights the value you are giving away and utilize a lead strategy and call-to-action buttons to convert.