lead generation

What is lead generation?

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Lead generation is the process of engaging and capturing audience interest in the products and services you sell with the goal of guiding them through a customised sales funnel that results in customers purchasing at the end. A lead is a potential customer that has shown interest in your products, services and content that has given you their contact information, usually their name and email address, in return for a high-value asset like an eBook.

This user becomes a lead because of the small commitment they have made showing a higher level of interest, but most importantly because their contact information allows you nurture them with specific automated and non-automated content that guides them from whatever funnel stage they were captured towards purchasing. 92% of first-time website visitors do not purchase, so creating a way to continue to communicate with potential customers is an essential way to increase the number of customers that purchase your product. Different pipelines that leads are guided through do not always result in a purchase, this depends on what stage of the sales funnel each customer is in. Some lead generation strategies move through one pipeline for customers in the interest funnel stage, that for example, result in the customer setting up a consultation or sales appointment, this then transfers them to an alternate pipeline for customers that are ready to purchase.

Lead generation is ultimately important to all businesses and all forms of marketing. In the online marketing sphere, inbound marketing strategies are proven to be an innovative and incredibly effective method to engage potential and current customers and capture high-quality leads.

We are now in the era of the self-educated and well-informed consumer – traditional lead generation techniques are no longer the best way to acquire quality leads. We need to understand that building long-term relationships with customers is key, having data-driven knowledge of their interests and what stage in the purchasing funnel they are. Generating leads is needed because it allows companies to start an ongoing conversation with potential customers at different stages in the buying funnel. We’ll be talking about why that is so important in this article.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound:

  • 2 out 3 marketers say inbound marketing is the best approach to reach customers while only one-third say outbound is the best
  • Companies are 3 times as likely to see a higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound ones, regardless of company type or marketing spend

The self-informed consumer

People now have access to an astounding amount of information because of the internet. A survey conducted recently by Lori Wizdo at Forrester Research shows that 74% of business buyers research extensively online before making an offline purchase. This changed much of the way B2B marketing is done. Furthermore, 88% of consumers say that they read online reviews of products before purchasing them and this deeply effects whether they will buy a product or not.

People rarely purchase on their first website visit

The fact that 84% of people do not purchase anything the first time they visit a website shows that facilitating the means to capture consumer data and turn them into leads is extremely important so that you can communicate with them and move them down a longer-term sales funnel.

What stage of your the sales funnel is a consumer in?

Not all visitors to your website are in the same buyer readiness stage. Some website visitors will be in an interest and research phase trying to find more information on your type of product or service, or investigating possible solutions to a problem they have that your product or service can solve. Other visitors may be in the consideration phase where they know what they want and are looking for the right product, and others may be in the purchasing phase ready to buy when they find what they are looking for.

Lead generation is integral to being able to capture consumers at different stages and open a dialogue that educates them and keeps your brand top of mind until they are ready to purchase. It is also important to have different lead generation tactics that attract consumers at all phases in the funnel. This is exactly what inbound marketing allows you to do, you can educate and inform consumers in the awareness and interest phase or offer more specific product benefit focused assets for those that are ready to purchase.

Effective lead generation techniques:

The below have been rated as the top 5 best ways to generate leads:

  • Content Marketing
  • Website and SEO
  • Landing Pages
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing

A comprehensive inbound marketing strategy, which is always based on creating value-adding content, can include all 5 of the above techniques.

The Inbound marketing methodology accounts for each stage of the consumer funnel.Here are some of the ways that inbound content marketing generates leads:

  • Inbound marketing attracts the kinds of visitors and leads you want. Inbound content has been very well researched and tailor-made to specific customer personas. Leads generated through inbound marketing are informed, interested and want to continue the conversation with your brand.
  • Content marketing keeps visitors interested by offering insight driven, problem-solving content. The longer someone engages with your brand the more likely they are to give you their information and turn into a lead.
  • Content creation results in further social media shares and backlinks to your website which both attracts more of the visitors you want and increases your website ranking.
  • Facilitates positive brand awareness.

Malcolm Campbell

Malcolm Campbell

Malcolm is a dedicated and innovative digital marketing professional who is constantly seeking new ways to improve his skills and the businesses he works with. As the Co-Founder and MD of Digileads, he has leveraged his extensive expertise to drive success and growth for his clients across a range of industries.

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