Crucial to the success of your business, leads are valuable assets: potential customers who must be ushered gently through the sales funnel. But generating leads can be tricky, as it’s not always easy to build up interest in your products or services.

Once a lead is generated, it’s time to tell them about all the benefits of becoming a customer. When properly managed, a skilled B2C or B2B marketer can bump up your leads by over a hundred percent in a short amount of time.

SEO and Lead Generation

In today’s world, interactions between people and businesses are usually online, particularly during the early stages of any relationship. This pre-lead stage is divided into two segments: organic traffic and paid traffic.

  • Organic traffic is where search engine optimization (SEO) is a budget-friendly tactic that reaches out to potential buyers at the exact time they are seeking information that you can provide. Already engaged, they are ripe for conversion, with no fees for these clicks. This is why SEO-rich content is a lead magnet, feeding a slow but steady stream of almost-prospects into the conversion pipeline.
  • Paid traffic puts your brand front and center of tightly targeted audiences, quickly driving heavy traffic volumes to your landing pages. However, this high visibility comes at a price, as each click is paid – which is why effective marketing strategies are needed to  ensure acceptable ROI. This is also why everything on your website must be focused on turning casual visitors into qualified leads.

Defining Lead Generation

Anyone showing an interest in your service or product is a lead, often indicated by filling out a form and providing contact details. Lead generation is the process through which this interest is triggered, attracting browsers to your website.

There are many kinds of lead generation, with some tactics working better for certain businesses. This is why lead generation marketers are constantly tweaking their techniques, always pursuing the best results. The major split is between inbound and outbound lead generation, with some interesting crossovers between them.

 – Inbound lead generation happens when a prospect takes the first step, often triggered through well-planned content marketing. Strategic placement allows these materials to be discovered organically. They should be packed with well-researched infographics and illustrations, providing relevant and up-to-the-minute information. They usually include:

  • blogs, videos, newsletters, and press releases;
  • white papers and eBooks,

Having located your content (through social media links or search engine results pages) and enjoyed it, a potential customer fills in a form seeking further information. The natural response comes through email marketing, building up the relationship as the lead moves through the sales funnel.

 – Outbound lead generation happens when the seller takes the first step, often through paid ads on social media or Google. Other channels include:

  • direct-mail shots and cold email campaigns;
  • radio, television and print advertising.

Each of these channels has its own advantages and drawbacks, with widely-varying costs and ranges. However, a strategy that blends inbound and outbound marketing is usually the best bet for attaining lead generation targets.

Lead Generation Channels

There are many ways of generating leads, particularly in today’s digital world. Converting these leads into sales is a job for professional marketers, specialized in reaching out directly to potential buyers through a wide variety of techniques:

  • Social media posts that attract likes and shares;
  • Paid ads on Google, Facebook and other channels;
  • Email messages tailored to personal preferences;
  • SEO-rich websites that are constantly updated;
  • Content marketing, with appealing content that builds shells and attracts traffic
  • High-converting landing pages designed individually for consumer groups.

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Lead Generation Boosts Business

Leads are vital stepping stones for any company, because no leads means no conversions into sales – and no revenues! Qualified leads are the first step towards success.

  • Polishing up your homepage is an easy way of generating more leads, with incoming traffic drawn from search engine listings and social media channels. Although eye-catching, every CTA should blend in with all the other elements, particularly headlines, taglines and logos.
  • Low-cost but professionally-presented webinars showcase your message to targeted audiences eager to learn from experts. Over 50% of marketers find webinars the most effective way of engaging with targeted leads, underpinned by added credibility through providing a high-value service with data-driven content.
  • Using Google or Facebook as a login allows marketing efforts to be deployed more efficiently, addressing customers as individuals. Many potential leads have Google or Facebook accounts, attracted by the across-the-web convenience of these trusted sites. With their full names, addresses, and phone numbers already recorded, sign-up flows are streamlined and data-rich right from the start.
  • Spotlighting landing page differentials takes lead generation up to a whole new level. The gateway to your marketing strategy, landing pages should be constantly tested and tweaked, with headlines, taglines, subtitles, calls-to-action, and bullet points all playing important roles.
  • Bonus tip: headlines with five to nine words boost click-through rates, according to trustworthy studies.
  • Nurturing leads requires different skills from selling. Lead generation means stimulating interest in a product or service, turning browsers into prospects. By persuading, inspiring and educating them into taking action, they are drawn into the sales pipeline. Only then does the sales team take over, focused on exchanging goods and services for money, under clearly-defined conditions that ensure memorable customer experiences and high retention rates.
  • Powerful headlines grab attention and boost click-through rates, mainly through strong action words. In fact, 80% of readers click on headlines that catch their eye, and some veteran marketers believe that over 70% of the buying decisions are already made at the headline level. Endowing headlines with conviction and clarity, strong verbs ensure added visibility for marketing materials, website pages, blogs, and social media posts all gain credibility.
  • Make them an offer they can’t resist, making sure that it’s compelling, relevant and exclusive, for added desirability. Offers with high perceived value strengthen your brand and build trust, enhancing your reputation as an authority within your industry.

Lead Generation: The Final Word

Showcasing your offer across channels is a great way of growing leads. Once you persuade people to complete a form signing up for your newsletter, your webinar or your e-book, you’re well on the way to highlighting the links between their problems and your solutions. And that’s more than halfway towards closing a deal for your products or services!

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