In marketing, lead generation (/ˈliːd/) is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising, but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers.
The increasing popularity of social channels has directly attributed to information abundance. Through social networks, buyers have been able to research and learn about products and services through influencers and peers. Additionally, a profound shift has taken place within social media channels. Although social is still important for branding and generating buzz, lead generation is becoming more and more important. By tapping into all the social media channels, from Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn and Google+, you can be where your customers are and create that trust.
Begin by attracting leads to your website by generating engaging content that can be shared throughout your various marketing channels. Create content about your business in the form of eBooks, blog posts, white papers, photos, infographics or whatever else that would fit your business and your audience. Distribute this content across your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, other social channels, email and where ever your potential customers are active.
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First, an agency develops a website or partners with websites on which they promote and advertise your product or service. A consumer finds these directories or informational sites, then hopefully completes an online quote request form. The buyer's information is verified and matched to the appropriate providers. These matched leads, with full contact information and purchasing requirements, are then sent via email to prospectors and other people potentially in the sales process.
Attention scarcity is driving a shift from “rented attention” to “owned attention”. Historically, most marketing has been about renting attention other people have built. An example of this would be if you purchased an ad in a magazine or rented a tradeshow booth. But in the noisy, crowded market that today’s buyers live in, rented attention becomes less effective as attention becomes even scarcer. Of course, this is not an either-or proposition; you will ideally use a mix of rented vs. owned attention for your lead generation efforts to be affective.
No worries. There are several tools, such as Leadpages, available that make the creation of high-performing webpages as easy as writing an email. Leadpages enables you to quickly create and publish web pages based on a proven formula of success. Their extensive marketplace and library of page templates help even the biggest novice convert more leads.
In many cases, outbound techniques can get someone to think about you even if they haven’t thought about you yet, since many of the methods you use should have more of a “wow” factor to make your company stand out. Outbound communication is often highly targeted, with a call-to-action that is very obvious. As a result, good outbound marketing can push someone through the funnel at a faster rate, assuming they are closer to being ready to buy. Inbound alone often does not drive someone to buy. Outbound gives them that extra nudge they need to drive a lead down the funnel.
Go the extra mile and become a product expert in your respective field. Develop into an advisor that customers can trust rather than just an ordinary salesperson. Customers have a vast amount of knowledge at their fingertips, they do most of their research before ever talking to a sales representative. A way to bridge this gap is by speaking at trade shows or conferences as a way to become a trusted source of information.