The process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service, Lead Generation is vital for attracting new customers to your business.
Traditionally, leads would come from sources such as personal referrals, telemarketing, direct marketing, advertisements and events. While these lead generation strategies are still relevant, the world has become more digitalised, and so too must our lead generation tactics.
A 2015 study conducted by eMarketer found email marketing to be the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing and search engine optimisation; proving that online lead generation has taken over. The following are several tactics used by today’s digital marketers that can be used by SMEs across sectors to increase their leads.
Optimise Your Website for Lead Generation
A website that is optimised for lead generation will have a succinct value proposition identifying the key problems or needs of the customer that your products or services can solve. This should be obvious to visitors within the first few seconds on the website while you have their maximum attention.
In order to generate leads from your website, it’s important to drive action. Clear calls-to-action such as relevant offers, an opportunity to sign up to a business newsletter, or a useful article or eBook should be put in place in order to capture not only the user’s interest but also their details for your business.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! conduct over 100 billion global searches each month [Search Engine Journal, 2013], so appearing at the top of the results page can provide a huge lead generation opportunity. If you can optimise your website for search engines, you will end up on your prospects’ shortlist when they search for answers or solutions to their problems.
There are many techniques you can apply to your website to increase its chances of appearing in search results. Refer to our previous blog, ‘What is SEO?’ for more in-depth information on the topic.
Online networking is about getting your services and products noticed through making the right connections and providing an easy way for prospects to connect with your company.
Social media is the number one activity that people do online [Business Insider, 2013], providing an excellent opportunity for businesses to network with prospects. By considering your business and what it sells, and evaluating the channels most relevant to your audience, you can leverage the power of social media marketing to increase your audience and customer base.
Other online networking techniques include attending, webinars relevant to your industry, hosting significant online events, and sharing and responding to relevant content from other businesses that you are (or want to be) affiliated with.
Create Sharable Content
While content may not necessarily generate many direct leads for your business, it’s still one of the most effective drivers of leads to a website. The more content you create, the better for affects your SEO and increases your chances of being found online. The statistics speak for themselves, with 67% of B2B companies that blog generating more leads than companies that don’t [WebDAM, 2014].
Get creative with your content marketing and publish a range of pieces from blogs, to eBooks, White Papers and video content. The more in-depth pieces of work are ideal for establishing thought leadership, while videos and blogs are inherently sharable amongst the masses, and perfect to expand the reach of your company; generating new leads for your business by getting you noticed by new potential customers.
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is a type of online lead generation, where advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. As these adverts can be quickly created and run instantly, PPC can provide much quicker results than using search engine optimisation to earn visits organically.
There are many forms of PPC advertising that can be used for lead generation. Search engine advertising is one of the most popular as it gives businesses the opportunity to be noticed by prospects when they are searching for similar products or services, effectively generating new leads for the company.
In order to survive today’s volatile business environment, businesses need to be able to continuously generate more leads, and better quality leads. By following the above steps, you will be able to use your website and online presence to its full lead generating potential.