Does your business generate enough quality leads? Without a steady stream of qualified leads, your business will fail to make a profit moving forward. Lead generation really is that important. Here’s a closer look at how to generate leads in 2019…
How to Generate Leads
Businesses generate their leads through a mixture of inbound and outbound marketing channels. To help you get the best lead-generation results possible, we’re going to drill deeper into each of these channels.
Inbound Lead Generation
When marketing professionals talk about inbound lead generation, they’re referring to creating content and campaigns that generate visitors and convert them into leads. Here’s a look at the key inbound lead generation techniques and channels.
Lead providers are platforms that offer leads. Simple!
But choosing the right lead provider is no easy task. When it comes to the quality of the information provided, there’s a variety of sources of information.
For instance, Salesripe helps businesses fuel growth by making it easy for them to identify and connect with their future customers. We offer high-quality B2B contact data that helps you target the right leads. (And our built-in Lead Manager tool makes it easy to stay organized.)
For many businesses, Search Engine Optimization is an important part of lead generation.
But it’s a famously unpredictable and fickle channel. So to attract quality leads to their websites and landing pages, marketing professionals need a good understanding of the fundamentals.
A long-term SEO strategy focuses on publishing great content and achieving stellar optimization to help businesses generate a steady stream of leads. And many of these leads will organically stumble on your business, which means they’re valuable leads with genuine interests in your service or product.
This approach is another foundation of many lead generation campaigns.
Marketers call on content to engage potential leads throughout the sales funnel. In other words, they use content to educate leads and inspire them to act with winning CTAs that close deals. Of course, great content is shared to boost the power of owned media even more.
(Source: HubSpot Sales Blog)
When it comes to content marketing, there really is no limit. The best companies using content marketing like HubSpot work round the clock to keep finding new and exciting forms of content. Marketing managers also work hard to find new ways to drive leads to that content and boost results across the board.
In recent years, social media has become less dominant, but it’s still an important lead-generation tool.
Social media powerhouses (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn) can provide a steady stream of leads if they’re used properly. Social media managers must work hard to find novel, effective ways to fight back against dwindling organic reaches. Then they get in front of the leads they want to attract.
Cost is one big reason that social media is still so important for businesses. A range of studies have found that social media is a cost-effective tool that can drive ROI.
Forums (Quora & Co.)
Forums aren’t quite as flashy and trendy as social media. But they’re hubs for intelligent, engaged, and discerning users.
Many marketing managers find that forums are valuable lead-generation tools that can be leveraged to acquire organic leads. Platforms like Quora and Reddit have unbelievable traffic numbers. If you’re able to communicate authentically and organically, you might be able to attract new customers.
But it’s important to remember that forum users always value authenticity. If marketers are viewed as shills, the damage to your reputation could be huge.
Public relations has always existed in one form or another. The subject of conversations will naturally generate intrigue (and leads).
Edward Bernays, the nephew of the great Sigmund Freud, is heralded as the father of public relations. Bernays understood that institutions can benefit from coverage, and even play a role in shaping the opinions of customers. When something newsworthy happens in your organization, you should shout it from the rooftops. Then you’ll feel a burst of activity.
We all know that PR is a tough world, though. So it’s important for businesses to be authentic and organic when communicating important news.
Essentially, Search Engine Marketing refers to the activities that help boost the profile and prominence of websites. All activities that are related to paid ads on search engines fall under the umbrella of SEM.
SEM is so critical that almost every modern business has to engage in it on some level. Every minute, 3.8 million Google searches are performed, so your website simply has to rank when appropriate.
Social and Display Ads
Digital display advertising is a delicate science, but it has certainly established itself as a mainstay in the marketing mix.
Social and display ads are very effective at lead generation. This ongoing impact is particularly impressive when you consider that its effectiveness has remained intact, despite ad blockers and banner blindness. In other words, digital advertising deserves a place within the lead generation strategy of most businesses.
Digital ad experts are able to optimize your spend, too, and really get the most from your investment to drive sales and generate qualified leads.
So far, we’ve exclusively focused exclusively on the digital world. But the real world still offers incredible lead-generation opportunities to businesses.
There are lots of marketing and advertising channels in the real world, and they can be incredibly effective at targeting local audiences. You can use your local knowledge to connect with your target customers exactly where they are.
While online local searches keep skyrocketing (in terms of popularity and efficacy), you really can’t beat offline advertising. This impact is evidenced by the fact that the world’s largest businesses keep making the most of offline advertising.
Engineering as Marketing
Engineering as marketing could be viewed as content marketing on steroids. Essentially, this technique revolves around driving value to your leads.
These initiatives build strong links with potential leads by offering them valuable tools. They also help businesses differentiate themselves from the competition, so they’ll really leap out at valuable leads.
For example, take a look at Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool. This powerful and intuitive tool gives website owners feedback about the performance of their websites, and it drives a lot of genuine value to them.
Some businesses leverage the power of the social web, in order to create strong, vibrant communities that legitimize and highlight their brand.
These communities give businesses the opportunity to simultaneously forge sincere connections with their leads, and drive some real value to them. Let’s imagine a startup that offers an app that helps landlords complete their day-to-day tasks. This startup could consider creating a Facebook group to give these leads a place to connect. Or take the SEO software company Ahrefs as an example. They’ve created an engaged Facebook group for all of their paying customers to discuss the latest SEO trends and answer relevant questions.
Community-building is a fun, rewarding way to interact with your target audience while you’re generating grateful, sincere leads.
There’s nothing quite like putting a face to a name, which is why trade shows never disappear as important lead-generation tactics.
As a species, we’ve increasingly appreciated social interactions over millennia. If you send your business development and sales professionals to trade shows, they’ll be able to connect with your leads on a deeper level.
Since 81% of trade show attendees have buying power, trade shows are powerful ways to accelerate your sales process.
In our digital world, there’s a growing appetite for authentic experiences and connections with people, which is one of the reasons why event marketing is bigger than ever before.
You could host a huge range of events to attract and engage your leads. Perhaps a seminar on a particular topic would be appropriate, or a more informal event for a good cause? These types of events give you a wonderful opportunity to create in-person connections that last.
It’s little wonder that 31% of marketers believe live events are more effective than any other marketing strategy!
Rather than throwing their own events, many professionals take the opportunity to share their knowledge at a variety of speaking gigs.
The rise of platforms such as Meetup means that people find it easier than ever before to congregate around their interests. Can you drive value and contribute something interesting, given your unique experiences and abilities?
Many businesses land speaking gigs, in order to target customers and demonstrate their commitment to their industry. By using this tactic, you’ll have another opportunity to forge strong, authentic connections.
Affiliate marketing is a huge business. Essentially, it involves businesses paying commissions to affiliate websites that provide them with traffic.
The big benefit of this technique is its safety. Since these programs revolve around commission structures, they only pay for the leads they receive. And their partners are incentivized to perform well and provide quality leads.
But some risks come with affiliate marketing. Some businesses are anxious that they’ll open their businesses up to reputational risks by placing their brands in the hands of others.
Many businesses decide to team up with a partner, in order to exchange publicity and drive value to one another.
At times, partnerships will naturally emerge between two businesses. So it often makes sense to publicize and highlight those partnerships! This tactic can be mutually beneficial for both parties and create new leads and prospects.
For example, take a look at Spotify and Uber. This collaboration allow Uber users can personalize their music throughout their journey, which offers everyone involved more exposure!
Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation involves directly reaching out to leads, in a bid to capture their attention. But since this tool can often be disruptive, brands must tread lightly.
Email marketing might sound old-fashioned, but 59% of B2B marketers consider it to be the most effective channel, in terms of ROI.
Because of the effectiveness of email marketing, businesses spend a lot of time and resources cultivating vast yet accurate mailing lists. This tactic helps businesses directly share important updates they make to their mailing lists.
But businesses need to have the most accurate data possible, which is why so many businesses partner with SalesRipe.
Cold calling is often frustrating for both sides. Few salespeople enjoy the task, and most targets find it intrusive. But when properly performed, it still has some potential.
Some talented salespeople have the abilities and skills they need to pick up the phone and get what they want. So to accomplish their goals, they harden themselves against the rejection.
At the end of the day, cold calling is potentially an effective outbound lead generation technique if you’re pitching a quality product you believe in.
Most people love to make authentic and lasting relationships with other people. Social selling capitalizes on this tendency.
Many businesses approach social selling with a lighter touch. It’s more about being unobtrusive than sharing relevant updates with prospects. In the future, this amicable and productive relationship may develop into something more.
The best sales professionals make the most of social media platforms, email, and other channels to engage in social selling over time.
Outreach on Existing Platforms
The web is populated with countless platforms that have active and engaged communities. And you could join the conversation.
For example, let’s imagine that you work for a startup that offers a cloud-based notes app. You could visit popular software review platforms (e.g., Capterra), and engage with the community of software buyers there. And to organically present your product, you could make the most of messages and forum posts.
As always, this approach will be most effective when you communicate transparently. You don’t want to deal with the damage to your reputation you could experience by coming across as inauthentic.
Now that you have a better idea of how to generate leads, are ready to rock? We’re sure you’ll do a great job. For many of these activities, you’re going to need quality data about your leads. Find out more about how SalesRipe can help you.