In today’s competitive market, getting the attention of potential customers can be a difficult task. With so many businesses vying for attention, it’s important to find ways to stand out from the crowd. And not just stand out but build a customer base that you can rely on to consistently deliver revenue for your company.
The key to success is lead generation marketing: initiating contact with prospective buyers or clients and converting them into leads (people who are interested in your products or services).
In this article, we will discuss some of the best methods for generating leads, from SEO to PPC advertising to help give your business a boost.
In this article, we’ll discuss the following:
- Lead Generation in Digital Marketing
- Why Lead Generation Marketing is Important for your Brand
- Different Types of Leads
- How to Convert Cold Audiences into Warm Leads with Lead Generation Marketing
- What’s Next After Lead Generation
- Effective Lead Generation Strategies for Attracting Quality Leads
Lead generation marketing is a process that uses a variety of methods to attract potential customers to a business. Once leads are generated, the next step is to convert them into paying customers. This can be done through various online advertising methods, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, and email marketing.
However, generating good leads can be tricky. Reaching out to the wrong prospects will have adverse effects on your sales.
Luckily, we'll let you in on all the secrets of lead generation marketing in this article so that you can launch your successful lead generation marketing campaign.
Lead Generation in Digital Marketing
Without a steady flow of leads, any business will eventually dry up and close. This is especially true for online businesses, which often have to compete with large companies that have more resources.
Lead generation marketing is one of the best ways to get leads, and it can be done through a variety of methods.
But before we go there, let’s talk about what leads and prospects are.
Simply put, leads are potential customers who have shown interest in your product or service.
They may have visited your website, subscribed to your email list, or responded to one of your ads.
You might think that leads are the same as prospects, but they are not.
The main difference between leads and prospects is that leads are potential customers while prospects are actual customers.
Leads are people who might be interested in your product or service, while prospects are people who have already shown an interest in your product or service.
Leads are at the top of the marketing funnel, while prospects are at the bottom of the marketing funnel.
In essence, Lead Generation Marketing is the process you use to attract leads and convert them into prospects.
The influx of modern marketing software and tools allows marketers to improve their lead generation marketing skills and get only high-quality leads that turn into prospects. But there's a catch—your primary challenge would be deciding what leads are high-quality and ready to make a purchase.
Nevertheless, there are several strategies you can use for lead generation marketing, including networking, emails, coupons, landing pages, social media, blogging, live events and seminars, content marketing, and many others.
One common mistake you can make when generating leads is marketing to everyone. Note that every individual has different needs and preferences, so not everyone would have an interest in your business.
Each industry has its own proven lead generation marketing strategies. For example, while blogging and live events might work for software companies, the same approach may not work for online Fashion stores.
People looking for Fashion items might want to keep up with what's trending, which is why social media marketing or email marketing would be a more effective lead generation strategy. Hence, it would help if you stuck to what works best for your industry.
As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
But of course, if you feel like you can create and explore new avenues and you have the funds to do so, by all means, try it out.
Why Lead Generation Marketing is Important for Your Brand
In any business, you have two scenarios when it comes to leads.
First, you have targets that show interest in your business, and the buying process of such targets always feels natural. The case should be that your brand helped them solve a problem or fulfill a need.
Second, you have customers that don't have an interest in your brand. Any attempts to convince such people will only make it seem like you're forcing them to make purchases. It can hurt your brand reputation if a customer feels like you forced them to buy your product.
Here's where lead generation comes in. Using lead generation will help connect your brand to the right customers.
But that's not all.
Other benefits of lead generation marketing include the following:
Helps you target the Right Leads
With lead gen, you can focus on targeting specific niches or markets. Doing so ensures that you're not wasting time on leads that will never convert.
Time is always of the essence in business. The goal of lead generation is to help you save time by doing the hard work for you. It's a process that identifies potential customers and puts them into your sales pipeline. All you have to do is follow up and close the deal.
Generates High-Quality Leads
The leads generated through lead generation marketing are high-quality leads. These are people who have already shown an interest in what you're selling. They just need a little nudge to convince them to make a purchase.
Increases Sales and ROI
At the end of the day, lead generation is all about increasing sales and ROI. And it does just that by helping you target the right leads and saving you time in the process.
Improves Brand Loyalty
When you build a community of similar customers with lead generation, you can improve brand loyalty. Hence, your customers will always choose you first whenever they want to purchase.
Boosts Brand Awareness
You can also build a strong brand reputation and awareness with lead generation. When prospects find your brand, you can give more information on your product features and offers.
Helps Collect Important Marketing Information
With lead generation, there's a chance that you can gather valuable marketing information from your prospects.
Marketing Information like preferences, wants, and needs can help you improve your products and services to fit your targets' needs. This can even help you build a better buyer persona.
Different Types of Leads
Now that you know how lead generation marketing can help you, the next step is learning the different types of leads that you can get and promote to.
There are actually three ways to categorize the types of leads, and these are through:
- How leads are collected;
- Where they are in the marketing funnel; and
- Their level of interest in the product or service.
Types of Leads Based on Mode of Collection
There are two main types of leads based on the mode of collection: inbound and outbound.
Inbound leads are generated when potential customers come to you, usually through your website or blog.
Outbound leads are generated when you reach out to potential customers, through methods such as cold-calling or emailing lists of people who might be interested in your product.
The best lead generation strategy will likely use a combination of both inbound and outbound methods.
Inbound Lead Generation
In order for inbound lead generation to work, you need to have a way for potential customers to find your website or blog. Generating inbound leads involves creating valuable content for your prospects and strong enough to attract them to your brand.
This can be done through search engine optimization (SEO), which is the process of optimizing your site for Google’s search algorithm.
When potential customers search for keywords related to your business, you want your website to appear as high up on the list of results as possible. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as keyword research, backlinking, and creating high-quality content.
SEO is an important part of inbound lead generation, but it’s not the only method. You can also generate leads through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, native advertising, and email marketing.
One great example of inbound lead generation is the pop-up that appears here in our blog encouraging people to Get Started with Brax. If this article or any other article in our blog has convinced you that we know what we are talking about and you want to learn more about using digital marketing for your business, you would likely sign-up. That is inbound lead generation, and our tool is this blog post.
Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation is the process of reaching out to potential customers who might be interested in your product or service.
Outbound marketing is a more proactive strategy that reaches out to targets through different kinds of advertisements. In contrast, inbound marketing generates leads by reaching out to targets on their buyer's journey with resources and content that will make them interested in your product.
One of the most common methods of outbound lead generation is cold-calling, which is when you call someone who has not expressed interest in your product.
Another common method is emailing lists of potential customers, known as email marketing. This can be a more effective method than cold-calling, as you’re contacting people who have already shown some interest in what you’re selling. However, it can still be considered a form of spam if done incorrectly.
Social media marketing can also be used for outbound lead generation. This involves creating content that is relevant to your target audience and sharing it on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Below is an example of a company (Headbanger Sports) using social media marketing to gather leads.
It’s important to remember that outbound lead generation can be very time-consuming and expensive. It’s important to only reach out to people who are likely to be interested in your product by targeting your audience appropriately, as otherwise, you’ll just be wasting time and money.
Types of Leads based on Where They Are in the Marketing Funnel
The marketing funnel is the process that potential customers go through when they are considering buying a product or service.
The marketing funnel consists of four stages: awareness, interest, decision, and action.
Awareness is when potential customers become aware of a problem that they have.
Interest is when potential customers start to look for solutions to their problems.
Desire is when potential customers decide on a particular solution based on their desire.
Action is when potential customers take action and purchase the product or service.
For more information on this topic, read our article What is AIDA and How Does it Impact Your Native Strategy.
Leads can be categorized based on which stage of the marketing funnel they’re in. The three main types of leads are the top of the funnel (TOFU), the middle of the funnel (MOFU), and the bottom of the funnel (BOFU).
Top of the Funnel Leads (TOFU) or Cold Leads
Top of the funnel leads are people who are just becoming aware of a problem that they have. They’re not yet looking for solutions to their problem and they don’t know much about the products or services that are available.
These leads are still cold, which means that they’re not ready to purchase anything yet.
The best way to generate TOFU leads is through content marketing, such as blog posts, infographics, ebooks, and whitepapers.
Middle of the Funnel Leads (MOFU) or Warm Leads
Middle of the funnel leads are people who are starting to look for solutions to their problems. They’re aware of the products and services that are available, but they haven’t decided on anything yet.
These leads are getting warmer, which means that they’re more likely to purchase something than top-of-the-funnel leads.
The best way to generate MOFU leads is through lead nurturing, such as email marketing, case studies, and free trials.
Bottom of the Funnel Leads (BOFU) or Hot Leads
The bottom of the funnel leads are people who have decided on a particular solution to their problem. They’re interested in a specific product or service and they’re ready to purchase it.
These leads are hot, which means that they’re very likely to purchase something.
The best way to generate BOFU leads is through lead conversions, such as special offers, coupons, and pricing pages.
Types of Leads based on Interest
Another way to categorize leads is based on their level of interest. The two main types of leads in this category are qualified and unqualified leads.
What are Qualified Leads?
A qualified lead is a lead that is ready to purchase a product or service.
Qualified leads have gone through the entire marketing funnel and they’re interested in a specific product or service.
Not all leads will be qualified, which is why it’s important to only reach out to leads that are likely to be interested in your product.
What are Unqualified Leads?
An unqualified lead is a lead that is not ready to purchase a product or service.
Unqualified leads are at the top of the marketing funnel and they’re not interested in a specific product or service.
It’s important to only reach out to qualified leads, as otherwise, you’ll just be wasting time and money.
Your main aim should be converting leads into qualified leads. Achieving this depends on several factors, including what you sell and if you have an online business.
How to Convert Cold Audiences into Warm Leads with Lead Generation Marketing
Now that we've gone over what lead generation marketing is and why it's important, it's time to learn how to convert cold audiences into warm leads. Doing so will help you increase sales and ROI.
Generating leads can be a time-consuming and expensive process, but it’s important to only reach out to people who are likely to be interested in your product. There are various methods of lead generation, such as SEO, PPC Marketing, native advertising, and social media marketing.
Before you advertise, though, you must first prepare.
Preparing Your Lead Generation Marketing Campaign
Step 1: Create a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It takes into account factors such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and motivations.
Creating a buyer persona will help you better understand your target audience. From there, you can create targeted content that appeals to their specific needs.
To learn how to do this properly, visit our guide on How to Build the Perfect Targeting Persona.
Step 2: Think of your budget.
You should also consider your budget and what kind of leads you want to generate. For example, if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to focus on generating inbound leads through SEO or content marketing.
If money is no object, then you can focus on outbound lead generation methods, such as purchasing lists of leads or advertising on high-traffic websites.
Step 3: Set your goals.
You need to set some lead generation goals since these will help you measure the success of your lead generation campaign.
Some common lead generation goals include the following:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating more leads
- Improving conversion rates
- Decreasing cost per lead (CPL)
- Improving return on investment
Setting your goals also helps you create better marketing materials for whatever strategy you choose.
Step 4. Craft a Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is an incentive that you offer potential customers in exchange for their contact information. It can be anything from a free e-book to a discount code.
The goal of a lead magnet is to get people to sign up for your email list or download your app. Once you have their contact information, you can then market your product or service to them directly.
Once you have your lead magnet and lead generation strategy in place, you can start generating leads.
Step 5: Set Up Your Lead Generation Campaign
Now that you’ve prepared your campaign, it’s time to set it up. Depending on the type of lead generation campaign you’re running, this will involve different steps.
For example, if you’re running a PPC campaign, you’ll need to create your ad copy and choose your keywords. If you’re running a social media lead generation campaign, you’ll need to create targeted ads and landing pages.
You can also use retargeting as part of your lead generation campaign. Retargeting is when you show ads to people who have already visited your website or interacted with your brand in some way.
This is effective because it allows you to stay top of mind and increase the chances that they’ll come back and convert into a paying customer.
Step 6: Measure Your Results
Once your lead generation campaign is up and running, it’s important to track your results. This will help you see what’s working and what needs to be improved.
Some common metrics that you can track include the following:
- Number of leads generated or collected
- Cost per lead (CPL)
- Conversion rate (CR)
- Time to convert
- Revenue generated
- Return on Investment (ROI)
You can track these metrics manually or use an ads analytics software, such as Brax, to do it for you.
Brax is a tool that optimizes your lead generation campaigns and tracks your results automatically. It also allows you to A/B test different elements of your campaign, such as ad copy, landing pages, images, and call to action buttons.
To learn more about how Brax, can help you with your lead generation campaigns, schedule a free demo today.
Lead Generation Marketing Strategy
Step 5 in the process above is all about setting up your lead gen marketing campaign, but there are a number of ways to generate leads. The most effective method will vary depending on your business and target audience.
Here are a few popular methods of marketing you can choose from:
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google’s search algorithm. The goal is to rank high in search results for relevant keywords. When potential customers search for these keywords, your website will appear in the results.
SEO is a long-term strategy, but it can be very effective in generating leads.
To get started with SEO, you need to do keyword research. This will help you identify relevant keywords that potential customers are searching for. Once you know which keywords to target, you can optimize your website for them. This includes updating your content, titles, and tags.
You should also make sure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly. Google considers these factors when ranking websites in search results.
If you have come to this page with the help of a Google search and you have signed up for our newsletter or for a demo, then this blog post is an excellent example of a lead generation campaign using SEO.
PPC advertising is a form of paid advertising where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The most popular form of PPC advertising is Google AdWords.
With PPC advertising, you can create text, image, and video ads. You can also target your ads to specific demographics, interests, and locations.
PPC advertising is a great way to generate leads quickly. However, it can be expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to do your research and test different campaigns before investing a lot of money into PPC ads.
Below is an example of a Google search result for car insurance in Canada. As you can see can in the PPC ads, two of the ads are more intent on getting leads by offering free online quotes and car insurance comparisons instead of outright convincing the reader to buy insurance from them immediately.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is the process of promoting your brand on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The goal is to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and generate leads. You can use social media to create engaging content, run ads, and host contests or giveaways.
Club Pilates’ advertisement on Facebook and Instagram (as shown below) is a great example of a local business gathering leads to turn to prospective customers for the opening of their branch in Colorado Springs.
If you want to generate leads from social media, you'd need to do some social listening. There are many things you can discover through social listening, including topics your audience is most interested in and what people say about your brand.
You can also watch out for specific 'buy words' on posts that may show a user has some interest in what you're offering.
When you have enough insight, you can tailor your message and make content that reaches out to your target audience on social platforms.
Pop-up or Pop-under Advertising
Pop-up or pop-under advertising is a form of online advertising that appears in a new window when someone visits a website. These ads can be annoying, but they’re also very effective in getting people’s attention.
If you want to use pop-up ads, you need to make sure they’re well-designed and relevant to your target audience. Otherwise, you risk turning potential customers away from your website.
One example of lead generation campaigns using pop advertising is this one by Prize Pagoda. The ad features an offer of a PS4 or an Xbox One upon purchase completion, but at the moment, the ad is just convincing the audience to enter their email address. Lead nurturing will follow later.
Native advertising is a form of online advertising that blends in with the surrounding content. These ads are usually labeled as “sponsored” or “suggested” content.
Native advertising can be effective in generating leads because it’s less intrusive than other forms of online advertising. It is actually considered one of the best ways to generate leads by some experts because the nature of advertising revolves around gently taking the audience from cold prospects to warm leads through informative posts.
Content marketing is a sub-category of both native advertising and SEO, which revolves around providing value for the customers to keep them interested. It also helps convince the user that an email subscription with you is worth registering to.
Below is a real native ad that aims to get the user to subscribe to the insurance comparison company. As you can see, the ad doesn’t outright tell you to sign up but instead encourages you to read the “tip”, so you would head on over to the article.
Upon clicking on the native ad, you will arrive at this page below which features an article. Take note: you do not see a sign-up form. Instead, you will see links to what the article pertains as the solution. All these links lead to one page, which is the sign-up page for Smart Financial.
Display advertising is a form of online advertising that uses images, videos, or animations. These ads can be static or interactive. Display ads (also known as banner ads) are typically found on websites, streaming platforms, and mobile apps.
Display advertising can be effective in generating leads if it’s well-designed and relevant to your target audience. However, if done poorly, display advertising can be intrusive and annoying.
Below is an example of display advertising for lead gen at work for Survey Junkie.
What’s Next After Lead Generation?
Lead generation is just one part of lead generation marketing campaigns. What happens after lead collection?
Managing leads comes immediately after lead generation. It's like a bridge that connects your marketing efforts and your sales.
When managing leads, you should first identify them, qualify them, and turn them into sales opportunities.
Additionally, there are various lead management software that can help you find leads and keep records of their details, how you can reach them, and how to find them.
Examples of services that offer lead management are Zoho, Zendesk, SalesForce, and Hubspot. These can capture lead information of people that make contact with your brand.
After identifying and collecting leads, you should now qualify them. Lead qualifying is the process of determining if a lead is ready to be passed on to sales.
To do this, you need to consider several factors, such as budget, authority, need, and timeline. You can use various methods to qualify leads, such as surveys, interviews, and questionnaires.
You can also qualify leads based on their engagement with your company during the Lead Nurturing stage. You may use your lead management software to collect such data.
Lead nurturing involves taking actions that will adequately foster your new relationship with your leads. It is the process of developing relationships with potential customers. The goal is to turn them into paying customers.
This can be done through various methods, such as email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing.
It’s important to nurture leads because it takes time to convert them into paying customers. By nurturing leads, you’re building relationships and trust, which can eventually lead to a sale.
Some targets may require quick responses on social media, while others may want frequent emails. Some might even call to talk more about what you're offering.
Nurturing your leads involves telling them about the features and benefits of your product or service, your latest industry trends, and inspiring them with success stories that they can relate to. In other words, you'll be keeping your prospects engaged and educated about your brand.
A good strategy here would be focusing on the nurturing tactics that are most comfortable with your customers. You'll get good results once you develop an effective lead nurturing tactic.
Brands and companies that effectively use lead nurturing can make more sales-ready leads without using many resources and boast more sales quotas.
Score and Grade Your Leads
After generating, qualifying, and nurturing your leads, you'll be filling your sales pipeline with quality targets that can help you generate revenue and close business deals. However, without proper management, your sales pipeline could crash.
To avoid that, when new leads enter your marketing funnel, the first thing you should do is qualify them and find out which ones to focus additional effort and time on. You can also use lead scoring and grading technology to automate calculating a lead's value and the chances of the lead becoming an active customer.
While lead scoring looks at the activities of your prospective customers, lead grading focuses more on individual prospects.
With lead scoring, you can find out the level of interest a lead has in your brand through various activities like the number of forms completed or the number of pages viewed by the lead. Additionally, lead grading looks at the key factors of your prospects, including their company size and location.
Lead grading and scoring combined can help you filter out low-quality leads and ensure you're only getting high-quality leads. Also, it saves your time since you'll only be reaching out to the right lead.
When you pack your pipeline with high-quality leads, next comes lead routing. Routing your targets simply means moving each lead to sales reps that can guide them through making a successful purchase (if you have a sales team).
You can assign leads based on offer size, product and service type, or geographical territory. There are different ways to distribute your leads amongst your sales team. You could use your software for managing leads to create fixed assignment rules depending on your lead qualification criteria.
You can also generate reports on the performance of your sales team and pipeline status automatically.
Effective Lead Generation Strategies for Attracting Quality Leads
Now that you know what lead generation marketing is and how it works, it’s time to learn about some effective strategies for attracting quality leads.
Here are five effective lead generation strategies to help you attract quality leads and make your lead generation process easier:
1. Use Targeted Keywords
One of the most effective lead generation strategies is to use targeted keywords. These are keywords that are related to your product or service.
By targeting these keywords, you can attract potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer. You can use targeted keywords in your website content, blog posts, social media posts, and even in your email marketing campaigns.
2. Create Compelling Offers
Another effective lead generation strategy is to create compelling offers. These offers can be discounts, free trials, ebooks, reports, etc.
Compelling offers can attract potential customers and convince them to sign up for your email list or contact you for more information.
A common way is to offer discounts and coupons. With this strategy, you can generate short and long-term leads that add value to your brand. You can also offer freebies like a free trial to attract more leads.
3. Make Gated Content
Gated content is a type you can lock until people complete your desired action to unlock the content. You can either ask users to create an account or fill out a lead capture form before they can access gated content.
The gated content strategy is effective because it offers something valuable for free while allowing you to attract quality leads interested in your content. If they are not interested, they won't fill out the form or sign up.
You can lock the following type of content to create gated content:
- White papers
- Online tools
This tactic is highly recommended for B2B companies since they tend to have longer sales cycles.
4. Promotes your Lead Magnet in your Social Pages
If you have an effective lead magnet for attracting quality leads, ensure you let your followers on social platforms know what it is.
You can promote it on your posts so that when they see your offer, it will inspire them to the next step towards doing business with you.
Be sure to take advantage of CTA button links so you direct prospects to your lead magnet and not your home page.
5. Host Events
Another effective way to collect leads without being too forthright is by hosting events. It can be face-to-face or online events that can offer value to your target market while allowing you to collect valuable information through event registration.
You can also use live events to create a real-time connection with your customers. You'll be able to answer questions, learn more about them, and actively guide them through your sales funnel.
Here are a few event options you can leverage:
A great example of events that are focused on gathering leads is Affiliate Marketing Conferences. These conferences are centered around helping affiliate networks and direct advertisers meet affiliates that are willing to work with them to promote their offers (products and services).
6. Use Chatbot Conversations
As a marketer, you'll always be busy. Sometimes, the time and effort to pursue leads won't be there. Luckily, you can get some help from chatbots.
Chatbots are excellent lead generation marketing tools that can serve as an extension of yourself when you're not available. Since it's always available, it can create rapport with your prospects and answer their questions.
But be sure to set your chatbot to match your brand personality. Otherwise, conversations with the bot would feel off.
7. Use Multiple Channels
To generate leads effectively, you should use multiple channels. This means using a combination of paid and organic methods.
Paid methods include pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, display advertising, and social media advertising. Organic methods include search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media marketing.
By using a combination of both paid and organic methods, you can reach a wider audience and increase your chances of generating leads.
Final Thoughts on Lead Generation Marketing
When it comes to lead generation marketing, there are a few key steps that you need to follow in order to be successful.
First, you need to identify your target audience and craft a buyer persona. Next, you need to set a budget and some goals for your campaign. Once you have those things figured out, you can create a lead magnet and start choosing the best approach you want to take. We recommend sticking to one strategy or marketing platform at a time so that you don’t spread out your budget and energy too thin.
Finally, once your campaign is up and running, don’t forget to track your results so that you can adjust accordingly. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to generating more leads and converting them into paying customers.
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