The digital era has led to a considerable shift in how we do business. The importance of lead generation cannot be understated, as it is at the heart of any successful digital marketing campaign and a key component for businesses. It is essential to understand what Lead Generation entails, how it can benefit your business, and how you get started using it in your own business.
To fully understand the vitality of lead generation, we’ll be breaking down the basics and how they can be used in your digital marketing.
The definition of ‘lead’
A ‘lead’ is someone who has already shown interest in your business. Whether they are a returning user or someone who has previously searched for a product or service you offer. They can also be potential customers who have already engaged with your services via a free trial, contacted your business via email, or signed up for newsletters.
Why are leads important for your business growth?
In terms of marketing, there are many reasons why leads can be a helpful resource. For one, it can help provide a picture of who your target market is. A general market can be harder to reach depending on your services, especially if you have competition. What leads can show is a more specific customer persona, your niche. Who they are, where they live, how they communicate etc.
Secondly, leads tend to have a higher chance of conversion as they represent an audience that have already expressed interest in what you are selling. Marketing to leads will also become an essential element for first-party marketing campaigns, such as email marketing or customer match audiences in Google Ads.
The Different Types of Leads
In the past, marketers often found leads through surveys or promotional vouchers in exchange for contact information. However, lead generation has become more sophisticated in the digital marketing climate because it can help build more targeted and meaningful messaging to already interested potential customers. But – not all leads are equal. Different types of leads manifest at varying rates throughout your business, so it’s best to have a strategy for each. Here are the different types of leads to look out for:
Marketing Qualified Leads
Potential customers who have already engaged with your marketing. For example, someone who has claimed an offer, like 10% off or a 30-day free trial.
Sales Qualified Leads
Users who have indicated a strong interest in purchasing a product or service. For example, someone who has contacted your brand with a specific question about your product(s) and/or service(s).
Service Qualified Leads
Customers who have contacted a member of your customer service team with the intent to purchase. Sometimes, they can be current customers who may contact customer service to upgrade their existing subscription with you.
Product Qualified Leads
Buyers who have already used your product(s) and taken actions show you a strong interest in becoming paying customers. These leads are those who have signed up for a free trial or purchased other products from your business.
Different Types of Lead Generation Marketing
As widely mentioned in our blog you can use various channels to promote your landing page(s) to get traffic and generate leads. Lead generation marketing is often at the front end of the process, so here are a few examples of lead-generated marketing:
Content marketing is one of the most valuable sources in digital marketing regarding SEO and generating leads. When you create written content, such as blogs with useful, expert, and free information, you can include a call-to-action (CTA) to direct the reader to your landing page.
Email campaigns can help connect your business with people who already know you and are interested in your brand. With first-party data becoming a more reliable and privacy oriented form of digital marketing, emails and newsletters with compelling copy and eye-catching designs can help guide keen customers to sales.
Paid Ads / Remarketing
The sole purpose of an ad is to encourage action from its viewers. Therefore, creating and remarketing paid ads (Google Ads or Facebook Ads) can provide a near-accurate hit for lead generation, so long as the campaigns have a clear purpose and audience.
Regarding lead generation, social media bridges the gap needed to find your niche audience. Social Media has allowed businesses to engage with their followers directly. In addition, social media platforms make it easy to guide followers to take action and learn more about your brand and values.
B2B and B2C Lead Generation
Marketing is often split into two categories: Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumers (B2C). Lead generation can be effective with both, depending on the set goals.
B2B Lead Generation
B2B marketing is a specialised form of marketing that relies more on building long-term relationships with customers. To put it simply, B2B marketing boils down to customer engagement. Therefore, B2B Lead Generation is integral to the sales process. Improving lead quality and quantity can help identify a niche audience and provide information and news that may appeal to the target market.
B2C Lead Generation
Unlike B2B, B2C companies often work towards achieving large volumes of reach. The more leads you get, the faster you can act on them. Marketers have to constantly move prospects through their sales funnel at a faster rate through inbound marketing. B2C lead generation will usually need more urgency, which is why offering discounts and free trials work best.
Start to generate leads with your marketing
Lead generation can be used in many different forms of online marketing. Here’s a quick checklist:
- Build your basic local SEO.
- Utilising Google My Business directory listing.
- Publish content frequently on your website/blog.
- Guest post on relevant websites to your industry.
- Get active on social media.
- Run paid search ads.
- Build a referral network.
When done well, leads provide focus and clarity to strategies, and results that have a higher chance of conversions and customer loyalty.
Businesses must keep up and continually adapt to develop their digital marketing strategies. Social media and SEM are synonymous with lead generation, each playing a vital role in getting brands noticed and setting the stage for a successful digital marketing campaign.
Lead generation is the most effective strategy but it is a long-term solution that takes time to implement rather than a one-time tactic. In terms of digital marketing and the current climate we shop in, companies’ marketing strategies and budgets must shift to prioritising obtaining and maintaining leads for a successful campaign. In the long run, lead marketing will help to advance your business for the digital age.
We have extensive experience in running lead generation campaigns in Hong Kong through specific digital marketing strategies that are developed around our clients’ needs and business model. If you want to learn how our digital marketing agency can help you to start a successful online lead generation campaign, get in touch with us.