In these challenging times when competition is stronger than ever and everyone is trying to get your customers’ attention on the internet, it can be hard to generate leads online and make your voice stand out against all that background noise.
However, you don’t need to ‘scream’ in order to get heard: by developing the correct digital lead generation strategy, you will be able to attract your customers organically and selectively instead of wasting lots of money on generic advertising.
Let us show you how.
Our Guide to Generating Leads Online
In case you’re wondering what exactly that word means, a lead is a contact with a potential customer—also known as a ‘prospect’—who is interested in your products or services. Simple as that.
But how do you acquire them?
Gone are the days of unsolicited telemarketing and door-to-door sales (luckily, may we add). Today’s customers and businesses really do value their precious time and are much more selective: they certainly don’t wish to be harassed or pretty much begged to take an interest in your product. Your best chance to make an impression is to catch their attention in the online world through a conscious combination of well-targeted marketing and sales strategies.
How to Generate Leads Online – The Basics
First of all, you need to make sure you know your target audience like the back of your hand. Remember that you’re not just shouting and hoping to be heard: you’re virtually whispering into the right ears, selectively attracting those who fit specific demographics rather than trying to get random users interested in your business. That’s why you also need to create a strategy with thorough planning.
Since every business is different, we recommend trying various techniques and reviewing them periodically to make sure that they are actually working for you. Bear in mind that these should not be kept in watertight compartments: most of these practices can actually complement each other and feed into a bigger overall strategy.
Sounds good but you’re not sure where to start?
10 Digital Lead Generation Ideas
1. Come up with effective lead magnets
A lead magnet is an incentive or a free piece of content that can be accessed in exchange for contact information such as an email address. An effective lead magnet, to be more specific, is something that gives users exactly what they need. Discover what your target audience is googling and surprise them with a free PDF on that subject or a discount code for a specific product that will make them feel like you’ve just read their mind.
2. Create targeted Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn Ads
We don’t recommend wasting money advertising to the masses, but… a campaign with different ads matching each of your customers’ personas? Yes, please! Discover on which social media your target audience is most active and prepare personalised ads that will interrupt their continuous scrolling.
3. Try Google ads
If a user has googled something, it means they’re already somewhat interested in it. Discover the most relevant keywords for your business and bid on them to show up at the top of the SERP (search engine results page) next time someone looks them up.
4. Boost your SEO
While it can be beneficial to experiment with paid ads, remember that you don’t necessarily need to spend money in order to appear in the coveted first SERP. Improving the SEO of your website by optimising it for the relevant keywords that your target audience is googling will help them find you in an organic way.
5. Write engaging newsletters
If you have an effective lead magnet, this usually means that your prospects have subscribed to your newsletter in order to receive that life-changing freebie that you promised them. Don’t let them hit unsubscribe the following day! Keep them engaged with compelling newsletters that bring value to them every single time they open them.
6. Up your social media game
Your followers are leads: you’ve grabbed their attention—nice one!—and they’ve decided that they want to hear more from you. However, social media are competitive and users are quick to hit that unfollow button, so don’t be lazy or post just for the sake of posting: create a unique strategy that involves regular outstanding content. That way, you won’t just attract more followers, but you’ll be able to retain most of your existing ones.
7. Keep blogging
Blogging on your business website is, together with the previous two points, an incredibly useful part of your content marketing strategy. As found out by Demand Metric, content marketing can generate three times as many leads as traditional marketing while costing 62% less. This is because industry-related articles help you establish yourself as an authority in your industry and build trust. But there’s more to it: each blog post allows you to target a long tail keyword, helping you rank higher by improving your website’s SEO and reaching more prospects.
8. Create videos
Eye-opening statistics show us that 90% of users consider videos helpful in the decision process and that 64% of them are more likely to buy a product after watching one. Whether on social media or on your website (or both), make the most of the benefits of video content to catch the attention of your target audience.
9. Focus on your landing page
As we’re sure you’ve heard before, you only get one chance at making a first impression. That’s the same for your website: with an average attention span of 8 seconds amongst internet users, your landing page must show them immediately that your products or services are the solution to their problem. Does your written copy do that or is it too wordy? Have you got an engaging short video? Is everything on brand? Start thinking about all that!
10. Create unmissable calls to action
Ultimately, there’s one thing that can stop your target customers’ constant scrolling or prevent them from bouncing away from your website within seconds: a call to action that they can’t miss out on! Not just a generic ‘swipe up’ or ‘learn more’, but a targeted action that will lead them to the solution to that specific problem that they’re experiencing right now.
Lead Generation Trends for 2020
Now that you know how to generate leads online, don’t forget to keep up with the times. As well as the top 10 strategies that we’ve just mentioned, here are some trends that are expected to grow in 2020:
- chatbots, to provide your customers with an immediate way to interact with your brand and ask questions;
- influencer marketing, a modern staple of B2C strategies that is now making its way into B2B marketing;
- increasing personalisation to stand out from the rest of the internet crowd;
- as we mentioned before, videos, videos and more videos.
Defining Your Demand Generation Strategy
Did anyone in 1892 really need a carbonated drink made from coca leaves? We doubt it. And yet, Coca Cola boomed and is still the most popular soft drink in the world after over a century.
The moral of that story?
Some prospects don’t actually know that they need your products or services. Moreover, only 4% of website visitors are actually ready to buy, so you definitely need a strategy to catch them when they are.
The most effective way to do so is to craft the data-driven content strategy that we’ve talked about earlier, but here are other techniques that you can consider to create demand:
- display re-targeting ads to users that were interested in your products but not enough to commit to an immediate purchase;
- provide a free resource to inform them about the subject (who doesn’t love free things?);
- run webinars to promote engagement and build trust.
Using Digital Marketing to Build a Lead Pipeline
You’ve got someone’s attention. Great!
Well, getting leads is obviously a fantastic achievement, but prospects are still not customers and, if you forget to cultivate your relationship with them, they never will be.
As found out by Hubspot, 79% of all marketing leads never convert into sales and the common cause is a lack of lead nurturing. Basically, if you forget about them, they’ll forget about you. You need to build a good lead pipeline in order to facilitate this conversion, and it should be something like this:
- Lead generation
- Prospect nurturing
- Closing the deal
- Post-sale interaction
Digital marketing allows you to direct your sales efforts where they matter the most, focusing on the narrow part of your marketing funnel (prospect nurturing) instead of just the top (lead generation).
So what to do?
You keep your prospects engaged and interested in your company by building relationships and trust. This can be achieved through some of the same digital marketing techniques that you’ve used to generate those leads in the first place: excellent content.
High-quality content that your target audience can relate to—whether it’s in the form of social media posts, compelling newsletters or industry-related blog posts—allows you to establish yourself as a leader in your industry, gaining your potential customers’ trust and keeping them engaged until they’re ready to buy.
Make Your Lead Gen Efforts Work Harder for You
As we briefly mentioned a few sections ago, every business is different: that’s why something that seems to work well for your competitor might not work for you, and vice versa. For this reason, it’s important to monitor your strategies, so as not to end up wasting time, money and energy—or, worse, all three—by going in the wrong direction.
Do you need help with your digital lead generation?
The BeeBrilliant! team would love to offer you professional marketing support to help you generate leads online and, most importantly, convert your prospects into customers. Check out our services and get in touch to start attracting and retaining a higher percentage of your target audience.