If you’re hoping to increase your business’s sales and revenue, you need to understand the best way to generate leads. Leads are the best way to know when someone is seriously interested in purchasing your products and services. Using this information, you can compel them to finalize their purchasing decision using different marketing tactics. Without leads, many businesses are casting too wide a net with their marketing and advertisements. That’s why it’s important to understand exactly where leads come from and examples of leads for a business. In this article, we discuss:
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Generating leads helps brands attract people to their websites and businesses. Without leads, companies have a much harder time converting audience members into customers. Instead of cold-calling or direct advertising, companies use inbound marketing tactics to attract their target audience organically. This makes the process of lead generation easier for your business because the audience is choosing to engage with it, which can result in more customer conversions.
In many cases, an inbound marketing strategy is the most effective way to attract and convert leads. When performing inbound marketing, there are a few main strategies that companies use to get their audience’s attention, including:
Content marketing involves creating content that interests a company’s target audience. The point of content marketing is to get the audience naturally interested in the company through the useful information it has to offer. This shows the readers or viewers that the company is an authority figure in the industry, which encourages the audience to read more of the content and information the company has to offer. This allows the company to build trust with its audience and develop leads by directing the audience to different landing pages using well-placed calls to action.
When a company performs content marketing, they often use different strategies, such as search engine optimization and social media, to generate their audience and leads organically. This helps them generate more quality leads because the reader actually sought out their site and content versus someone who went there because of an ad.
Lead magnets are another great way for businesses to learn who’s interested in their products and services. These include things like sign-up walls and content downloads. When a website visitor takes the time to download an eBook or sign-up for a newsletter, for instance, they’re more likely to make a purchase later on compared to someone who opts out. And as your business builds up lists of these types of leads, your marketing team can create more personalized messaging to encourage them to make purchases.
Email marketing is the act of attracting people to your brand by sending useful or informative content straight to their inboxes. Most often, people sign up for your email lists through lead magnets, like a free download. Once you have these emails, your team can create an email marketing strategy to send business leads newsletters, promotions, and special offers to get them to visit your website, download more content, or make a purchase. Like other forms of inbound marketing, the most effective way to do this is by using well-placed calls to action to get people to your landing pages.
Paid advertising isn’t always the most effective form of inbound marketing because ads can often feel like spam. That’s especially true if you haven’t built a strong relationship with your audience yet. However, you can direct paid advertisements to target a specific audience to make the lead generation more effective. Some of the most common places to put paid ads are on social media and search engines. This allows companies to target individuals who are most likely to need or use the products or services they provide.
A general lead is anyone who might be willing to buy your products or services. A quality lead is someone in your target audience who’s most likely to purchase your products and services because they have a need for them. For example, let’s say you attract a lot of people to your site by creating content around current internet trends. Some people might visit your landing pages, some might even give you their email addresses. But if you cast a wide net with general trending content, those leads might not be as fruitful.
Now let’s say you create content around a trending topic relevant to your industry. The people who find your content and take the time to fill out a sign-up form become more qualified leads. That’s because if they have an interest in your industry, they probably have more of an interest in what you have to sell. It’s one thing to attract a lot of people to your site, but you also need to make sure that the people you’re attracting might actually buy something.
When it comes to examples of leads, you can absolutely use paid methods. There are companies you can partner with that will generate leads based on your target audience and offer you their contact information to use in your content marketing tactics. The option is there. But if you don’t take the time to build a meaningful relationship and allow your leads to meet you halfway, you won’t see a positive effect on your sales.
Your audience needs to believe that what you have is valuable and beneficial to their needs. If they’re not ready to make a purchase, buying their email address won’t do anything for you. So even though buying quality leads is a quick approach, creating content is often way more effective. This is because content helps your business establish its authority in the industry and build a relationship with your target audience.
The more of your content they read, the more challenges you help them solve. And the more audiences see your brand as a solution, the more appreciative they become. This can dramatically affect customer purchasing decisions and help increase sales in the long run.
Here are some examples of leads generation that businesses may use in their marketing approaches:
The first step in the lead-generation process is organic content discovery. That means your audience finds your business through organic means, like search engines, word-of-mouth, and forwarded emails. One of the most common strategies that companies use is content marketing and SEO. To do this, they target specific keywords that they know their audience might type into a search engine.
For example, let’s say a company offers its consulting services to other businesses. They might write an article titled, “Why Consulting with Other Companies Can Improve Your Business”. When their target audience searches for that keyword on Google, if the business currently ranks well, the content can help them generate more organic traffic. This is a crucial first step because when you let your audience come to you, it’s often much more impactful to the decisions they make, like purchasing your products or services.
Once you organically attract people to your content, it’s important to direct them to the next step of their buyer’s journey through a call to action. Calls to action are exactly what they sound like. They’re a direction you give to your audience to convince them to take an action. Some common calls to action might include:
These encourage your audience to do something by promising them something in return for completing the action, such as an email subscription, a piece of exclusive content, or money saved. Calls to action might feel a little too pushy, but without them, people won’t know how to interact with your company further. Not only can that be frustrating to your audience, but it can cause you to miss out on some quality leads for your business.
Once someone clicks on a call to action during the lead-generation process, it generally brings them to a landing page. Landing pages are web pages that you create with the sole intention of grabbing your target audience and converting them into leads. These might include purchasing pages, sign-up pages, or content pillar pages. Really, anything that encourages your audience to take yet another step in their buyer’s journey toward actually making a purchase.
Once your audience reaches this page, they have the opportunity to finish their call to action and officially become leads for your business. If it’s a sign-up page, they might enter their email address, giving you the opportunity to send them more detailed information or a promotion to secure the purchase. If it’s a purchasing page, and they don’t follow through, you can send them ads to encourage them to finish their purchase. Whatever the case, you now have an official lead to help you generate more sales.
Here are several examples of leads to help you better understand the lead-generation process:
Stacey Philips is looking for software to help manage and keep track of her employees’ hours worked. She’s been shopping around and looking at different B2B and SaaS companies, but she isn’t ready to make a decision. One company she came across was offering a newsletter that promised to provide other business management and payroll tips, as well as future discounts and promotions for their software.
Stacey was enticed by what the newsletter offered and liked what she saw about the software itself, so she signed up. After reading more of the company’s informative content, and developing a relationship with them, when the company sends her a promotion or discount, she might feel more motivated to finalize her purchasing decision.
Jim Pelger has slept poorly for about a week. He decides to search online for possible solutions to his sleep problem. During his search, he finds an article titled, “7 Tips for Getting a Better Night Sleep” by a company that sells specialized pillows and comforters. Jim reads the article and finds it informative and authoritative. He believes this brand is knowledgeable and could really help him with his problem.
In one section of the article, the company talks about the importance of having the right mattress and pillow for restful sleep. The section includes a call to action and a link to check out the company’s products. He clicks a link and follows that section to the company’s store page. Because of the content, Jim believes the company better understands his struggles and he believes a new pillow or mattress might solve them.
Raven Holly is hoping to buy a new coffee maker. She searches online and finds an e-commerce store with the one she wants. After reading through the coffee machine’s features and examining its prices, she decides to think about it. Raven closes the webpage and continues browsing the internet. The next day an advertisement for that same coffee make pops up on her social media feed. The ad has a call to action enticing Raven to download a coupon to buy the coffee machine with a discount. She downloads the coupon and goes back to the e-commerce store to make her purchase.
If you’re looking for insights into the latest changes in search and how these changes can affect the lead-generation process and content marketing, be sure to catch our next webinar, hosted by Search Engine Journal. Join SEO expert and Director of Content Analysis, Jeremy Rivera, and VP of Client Success, Sabrina Hipps, as they break down the tools and tactics businesses and agencies can use to stay ahead of search updates. Get the info you need to analyze valuable content opportunities and build on these to craft a winning content marketing strategy.
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