What is Lead Generation?
First, let’s answer what a lead is. A lead is a person who has expressed some interest in a company’s product or service.
Long gone are the days of a companies starting the relationship with the customer (aka cold calls, blast emails). Today a person will be surfing the web and come across a slideshow, eBook or something else they find interesting and useful. In exchange for that content, the person will give the company their personal information. Through this digital transaction, the person has become a lead.
This process is called lead generation. The exchange of valuable digital content for consumer information is one form of digital lead generation. Lead generation is a segment of inbound marketing or the conversion of a site visitor to a lead.
For most companies, finding potential customers and successfully reaching them is a long and difficult process. Lead generation combines the marketing actions businesses can take to create and build interest in a product or service to generate new customers.
Why is Lead Generation Important?
Consistent lead generation is important because it adds stability and predictability to the process of building your business and growing sales. Companies that don’t proactively practice lead generation are leaving revenues, and their success, to chance.
Lead Generation Strategies
Lead generation requires planning and strategies. In fact, there are many different customer acquisition strategies that are used as part of the lead generation and customer acquisition process. Some methods are more effective with certain types of businesses that others. Many times one method is combined with others, but there are a few basic steps that are included in any type of lead generation and customer acquisition plan.
Display ads are typically highly targeted to different demographic or behavioral actions. You can select where you want the ads to be seen by choosing an online publication that you feel is a place where your leads spend time, or you can also leverage re-targeted ads that can cookie a lead that views your site. With re-targeted ads, once a person gets cookied, your ads appear on other sites that he or she visits afterwards. Through online ads you can reach more of your target audience, educate potential prospects, and drive leads.
With Pay-per-Click (PPC ) ads you pay for each click on your ad which is displayed on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, or on a website. For PPC on search engines, your ads show up as sponsored results on the top and side of the organic search terms. PPC ads are a terrific way to draw attention to your latest content or service offerings. They are also highly targeted so they can generate very high quality leads. Advertisers bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target markets and your ads will display when a keyword query matches your chosen keyword list.
One of the worst mistakes you can make right from the start is trying to get leads from the wrong social media channel. Social Ads are all about knowing your customers. People use social media for several reasons. The top 4 are:
- Keep up with friends (41%)
- Know what’s happening around the world (40%)
- Deal with boredom (39%)
- Entertaining themselves (37%)
Buying things comes in at number 8, a respectable showing for something that many people don’t want to admit they use social media for. Incorporate your paid social goals with one or more of the 4 top reasons people use social media. That’s when paid social works at its best.