Leads are critical to a business. Without leads, a business becomes stagnant and unable to grow to its potential. Generating leads is not always easy but necessary. You want to ensure that you’re putting effort into acquiring the leads but you also want to ensure your leads are actually qualifying leads that are truly interested in your offering, so you can generate revenue. In this post, we’ll provide some great tips on lead generation and how to do it, and reveal the top five lead generation sources.
Let’s start by understanding what lead generation is.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a process a business uses to attract people to their business. There are different ways to attract people to your business. But only when that person actually takes the step to communicate with you do they become a lead.
A lead is someone who indicates a general interest in what you’re selling. They may do something that implies they like your product or service or may want to learn more about it. But sometimes it takes a lot to draw that person in as a qualified lead. And that’s where lead generation comes in.
Through lead generation, a business provides a potential customer with the content they need and nurture them along the way with the intent of converting them into a paying customer. Nurturing is important because prospects go through different stages, so not all leads are ready to convert immediately. There are stages to the conversion process, which means not all leads are yet qualified.
Types of Leads
- Marketing Qualified Lead - Marketing-qualified leads are people who have engaged with your business but aren’t yet ready to buy. They may have completed an online form that required them to leave their name and email address. They received a free product or service, but that’s it.
- Sales Qualified Lead - A sales-qualified lead is someone who has not only filled out a form but has inquired of your offerings to some degree.
- Product Qualified Lead - A product-qualified lead is someone who has possibly used a free trial of your product or service and may now be ready to commit to paying or upgrading beyond the free trial.
- Service Qualified Lead - A service-qualified lead is someone who has actually indicated they are interested in buying from you. That could even be an existing customer who is ready to upgrade or purchase additional or new products or services.
The Lead Generation Process
To start generating interest in your products or services, people first need to see your offerings. But let’s be honest, most people aren’t going to click on buy the first time they come across your site. They may not know who you are or may not be familiar with your products. You likely have a lot of competition out there, and why should they choose you? So, sometimes as a business, you need to help them along. You need to help them to know and trust you and your offerings. So the process goes sort of like this:
- Have an online presence. Make your product or services available through online mediums like a website, blog, or social media.
- Provide a CTA. Provide a call-to-action (CTA) by providing a link or a button the visitor can click on that will encourage them to take some sort of action on your site.
- Provide value for information. Once they click, they go to a landing page designed to capture their name and email address in exchange for them receiving additional information, which you know they would like to have because they clicked on your CTA. That offering can be in the form of an eBook, a course, a template, etc. It must be something the visitor values enough to want them to exchange their information.
- Embrace your new lead. You now have their name and email address which means you now have a new lead.
Why Not Just Buy Leads?
It may seem like a lot to go through just to get a lead, and you may ask, “Why not just buy leads?” After all, buying leads is much simpler, it takes less work, and you can have access to way more leads. But are they really quality leads if you buy them? I mean, do these random people whose information you bought even know who you are? If you called them or emailed them, would they even give you the time of day?
Probably not. It’s a cold lead, and cold leads don’t like to be bothered — especially by people or, in this case, companies they don’t know. If you bother them enough, they’ll end up blocking your call or sending your email to spam. What a waste! Think of the money you lost.
The difference between the cold leads you bought and the leads generated from your site is that the ones who visited your site and clicked on the CTA button made the first move. So when you contact them, they’ll be familiar with who you are and might just give you the time of day. Totally worth it.
Sources for Lead Generation
The source you use for lead generation may determine the best strategies to use. We’ll look at the five major sources for lead generation and the best way to use them.
1. Facebook Lead Ads
Since its inception, Facebook has been a magnet for lead generation. Companies would use outbound links in their posts and information in their bios to attract strangers to their websites. But with the inception of Facebook Ads came even better opportunities. The algorithms used began to favour accounts that used paid advertising. That presented a major shift in how businesses used Facebook to generate leads. In response to the need, Facebook created Facebook Lead Ads.
As discussed earlier, in the lead generation process, it’s important to have an offering of value enough that someone will want to click the CTA button. To do that, they have to be on your site. Since it’s best to look for people where they are, it’s a safe bet to say they’re on Facebook since Facebook has nearly 3 billion active users each day.
Facebook Lead Ads are designed to first target the audience you’re looking for through their algorithm, and your ad shows up in their newsfeed as they’re scrolling. So, the type of person that would be attracted to your offer stumbles upon it while they’re on Facebook. They provide the contact information you would have needed to provide on their landing page, but only it’s on Facebook. The good news is, they never had to leave what they were doing. They never had to find you. You found them where they were, Facebook collects their information for you, and now it’s yours.
2. Twitter Lead Generation Cards
Twitter has lead generation cards that let you generate leads directly within a tweet without having to leave the site. If you’re a tweeter, you already know about Twitter cards— the multimedia content sitting below an expanded tweet. You can generate leads within your Twitter card. The user’s name, email address, and Twitter username are automatically pulled into the card. All the user has to do is click on the submit button on the Twitter card. With Twitter’s Lead Generation Cards, you also get analytics that shows the number of leads generated and the cost of your campaign, as well as the cost per lead.
3. LinkedIn Lead Generation
LinkedIn created lead generation forms that auto-populate with users’ profile data when they click a call-to-action, making it easy to capture information. Although LinkedIn consists of professionals already, they need things too. They’re customers somewhere.
People on LinkedIn are there for a reason. They may be interested in industry news, learning new things, or just browsing for interesting professional topics. Your ads should blend right in with this type of content. Share something interesting and newsworthy in your ads. Then lead people who see it to an optimised landing page with a simple form to capture a lead.
4. Pay Per Click
With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you pay a fee to have your website on the search engine result page — you know those results you see before your organic search results. If you look closely, you’ll notice that they all have the word ‘Ad’ right before the URL. When someone types in specific keywords or phrases that match yours, the search engine displays those paid ads first. You pay a fee based on the number of clicks your ad gets.
Blogging is a great way to promote your offering. The content of your blog can be written with the end goal in mind. If your offer is an eBook on how to find your purpose, you can write a blog post about why purpose is so important. That would make your eBook relevant to the reader and prompt a click.
Blogging is at the core of content marketing, a strategy focused on creating content that would seem valuable to your audience. Your goal is to keep attracting them to what you do and sustaining online engagement for leads down the road.
If the content is right, blogging drives traffic to your site. With a well-placed CTA in a compelling blog post, prospects will be taken to your landing page for leads. Even if they don’t buy the first time, if the content in the blogs is valuable enough, they will continue to visit your site for the valuable information, which will ultimately lead to a buy.
If you are looking for a partner to help you generate leads fast, check out out Instant Leads Growth Scenario.