Generating business leads is a constant requirement for every business. Without new business leads, an enterprise will be starved of income and will eventually close.
Most business models are built on an ever increasing source of new business ie. sales. Unless you grow your business sales, there is no other way to increase business profitability than by cutting costs. And we all know how painful this can be!
What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting qualified prospects to your business offering and increasing their interest in your services and products through nurturing activities, all with the end goal of converting these business leads into customers.
While there are many different methods of finding potential customers, many traditional techniques of the past are no longer used. Instead, lead generation is almost always a digital activity these days driven by digital marketing to make your digital offerings like your website and social network pages more visible and more effective.
Digital Marketers work on finding unique ways to attract people to your business. We need to cultivate potential customers with enough positive offerings to get them naturally interested in your company so they eventually appreciate your brand enough to want to hear from you.
Creating A Sales Funnel (Lead Funnel)
“The purchase funnel, or purchasing funnel, is a consumer-focused marketing model that illustrates the theoretical customer journey toward the purchase of a good or service.” Wikipedia
The sales funnel concept helps us understand what potential customers may be thinking and doing during their purchasing journey. These insights help us to invest in the right marketing activities and channels, create the most relevant content messaging during each stage and turn more prospects into paying customers.
A lot of lead generation strategy goes into attracting potential customers to the top of the sales funnel through inbound content marketing. The top of the sales funnel may be a landing page on a website, an email message, a social media advertisement or a mobile landing page. From there sales teams nurture these leads using various techniques mostly including forms of marketing & sales automation.
Here are some examples of lead generation funnel concept
Example: Lead Generation Funnel
Developing Customers Personas
Digital marketers recognise that customers have different needs of the products and services provided by the business. Defining the different customers that a business caters for is the rationale for developing customer personas. At this point it is possible to tailor marketing content suitable for each customer type, and using this content to attract business leads to dedicated landing pages.
Typically a landing page is designed specifically to gather personal contact information and the specific interests of the landing page visitor. This takes the form of an information exchange for product or service information that the visitor reagrds as valuable, such as a white-paper or free software and analysis. It can even take the form of a trail product evaluation period.
Visually, the landing page is focused on the user (Sales Lead) clicking the Call-To-Action (CTA) button and completing the sign-up process and so providing the contact information required. From this point, the information provided is used to drive a sales automation nurturing process.
Example: Lead Generation Funnel
Lead Generation Strategies
To consistently find new leads for your business, you will need to start thinking outside the box and be open to evolving your lead generation strategies. Stepping away from standard practices to try new approaches can help you generate leads in unexpected ways.
Some ways to generate leads are through job applications, blog posts, social media advertising campaigns, coupons, live events, and online content but here is a list some novel approaches:
Developing Your Digital Footprint
It should come as no surprise that SEO and Content Marketing play a massive role in creating your digital footprint is a multifaceted way to generate leads. But creating multiple customer touch points will also include using social media channels, creating content such as opinion pieces, thought leadership and comments on third-party posts, engaging with the right focus groups through hashtags, upping your credibility through various associations, memberships and connections.
Conduct A LinkedIn or Facebook Lead Generation Program
B2B lead generation campaigns will require differ lead generation strategies to campaigns looking for B2C leads. A linkedIn lead generation campaign works extremely effectively for B2B lead generation, while Facebook advertising will work well for B2C leads.
For long term benefits, content marketing is still the preferred mechanism to draw leads into your sales funnel.
Create Value-Based, Human-Focused Content
Create values-based, human-focused content in various media based on your unique buyer’s journey. Businesses spend far too much time being product-focused in their content and not enough time positioning their products with how a customer’s problems can be solved. By taking a value-based approach to content marketing, brands will be able to bridge the trust gap and shorten the conversion cycle.
Testimonials, Reviews and Referrals
Your best way of uncovering great leads is always referrals from satisfied clients. Quite often this happens without you having to do anything, but don’t be afraid to ask your existing clients for their ideas or for video testimonials, which you can place on your website and social media. Happy customers are your brand ambassadors and tell stories that will resonate with your business prospects.
Lead Gen From Authenticity
Creating a relationship with your customers is more important than a sale. Those who lead with a sales mindset are missing the long term goals of a business. To differentiate your lead generation, start with understanding your “why” and lead with a conviction for what you can contribute to an organization’s success. When you lead from a place of passion, it will be accepted as genuine and can lead to trusted relationships and long term sales.
Focus On Delivering Differentiated Value Services
Service is a primary value differentiator in a competitive market. The best business leads are the ones that your current customers proactively generate for you on the basis of value differentiation. Therefore, a focus on making sure your customers gain differentiated value will be the key to generating solid leads.
Host Educational Webinars
Webinars are essentially marketing opportunities that allow you to share your brand ideas, educate and share your narrative with your target audience. The business leads who click on your invitation have an interest in your subject; those who attend likely have a real need and are worthy of follow-up. Webinar invitations sent via email and social media also serve as great branding tools.
Featuring Ideal Customers
Write blog posts featuring projects or profiling your ideal clients. You’ll not only be helping them build awareness of their businesses, but the subjects of each post will also share the pieces with their respective networks. Their reputation and their trust in you will encourage others to get in touch with you.
Digital Marketing South Africa is a business lead generation company.
We use SEO and Content Marketing to attract the right business leads. We craft effective landing pages and communication channels to create effective sales funnels for business leads. We use marketing automation software for streamlined sales funnel management.