There is a reason why businesses, both in B2C and B2B segments, are allocating large budgets to lead generation. No one can doubt that creating a great product or polishing up an existing service is important — just like it is important to invest in employees and human talent pushing your company forward. Still, no matter how great your product is or how talented your employees are, the business still profits from clients. And, every client used to a lead once, which is exactly why lead generation is vital for your company’s progress.
Today, any lead generation strategy rests on five building blocks: email, SEO, paid traffic, social media, and content marketing. These blocks do not work separately but rather contribute to a larger whole. Let’s now take a quick look at how each of these channels can help generate more leads.
Email is one of the best channels for attracting cold leads. Those are people who could be potentially interested in your business but may know nothing about it at the moment. There are several ways to get your hand on the prospective leads’ emails. For example, you can buy email lists, which seems quick and easy. In practice, those lists’ quality is often lacking, and using them may affect your brand reputation online.
Ideally, you should create relevant email lists all on your own — plenty of professional tools today allow just that. SignalHire is one of the best examples because its 400+ million databases of contacts can be searched by specific keywords, job titles, industries, etc. This is enough for your very first cold email list, so read more here if you’d like to give it a try.
Another way to compile an email list of your own is to have a signup form on your website. You can offer clients a discount or a free ebook if they sign up for your newsletter. Sure, this process takes time, but the upside is that such leads are no longer cold. This means your chances of turning them into clients are already higher — if, of course, you email valuable information tailored for each lead type.
Search Engine Optimization
Who doesn’t want to hit top results in Google search? SEO is a time- and money-consuming process, but it always pays off. There are plenty of free and paid courses that can help you improve your site SEO. Still, we would suggest hiring a pro expert for this lead generation strategy. First, Google does change its SEO algorithms every few years, so SEO experts need to continually adjust their strategies. Next, optimizing a new website for Google is often a full-time job, so it calls for a full-time employee. Perhaps, the only universal SEO tip is to avoid gray and black-hat techniques. Play fair, and your site will maintain its position even after the next algorithm change.
If your website is not yet on top of Google search results, don’t despair. That’s what Google Adwords is for. A carefully targeted ad campaign will help you hit top results based on specific keywords and/or location. You will be paying a fixed amount per every click to your website, which is both budget-wise and effective (if, of course, your website has what it takes to attract clients).
However, generating leads with paid traffic goes beyond Google Adwords. Influencer marketing is one of the most popular and effective marketing strategies today. The logic, however, is pretty much the same as paying Google for your ads. Brands hire influencers (bloggers, celebrities, industry experts, etc.) with a vast followers’ base to promote their brand. Influencers create quality content and refer their clients to the brand in question. The reason why this strategy is so effective is that people love taking advice from someone they trust.
Social media marketing
There are plenty of ways to promote your business and generate leads on social media. For starters, there are paid ads. Next, there is posting quality content people will share. Finally, businesses can participate in group discussions and interact with their leads directly. Ideally, a quality social media strategy requires all three; still, the actual emphasis will mostly depend on your chosen platform.
For example, Facebook has around 2.7 active users every month, so relying on quality content alone is not wise. So, you will need to set Facebook ads to expand your audience. LinkedIn is not so heavily populated, so active participation in chosen groups can convey your message to the target audience. This platform is particularly beneficial for the B2B segment.
Another benefit of using LinkedIn is that you expand your prospects’ email lists when browsing for new connections. Remember an email lookup tool we mentioned earlier? Well, it also has a handy plugin. Installing a SignalHire extension will pull LinkedIn users’ real-time contacts, essentially contributing to your email marketing campaign.
Next, there are many other social media sites, such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and many others. All in all, the key to successful lead generation with social media is to understand which sites your target customers use. Few businesses can (and should) cover the entire vastness of available social media platforms. So, it all goes down to targeting your ideal customers and engaging them on the websites of your prospects’ choosing.
The final building block on our lead generation strategy list is content. Marketers need quality content for everything — creating compelling ads, posting media updates, crafting enticing email campaigns, and so on. Video content is another effective tool for promoting your brand message and attracting new clients. And, of course, an informative, regularly updated blog on your company website can eventually contribute to higher SEO rankings.
Still, to achieve such results, businesses cannot rely on generic content. The information has become a commodity these days, and users are growing ever pickier. An emerging company can hardly cover all possible content types, from videos and infographics to articles and press releases. So, it is once again important to determine your target audience and create relevant material for your prospects. On the whole, the best content marketing strategy is to make your posts both informative and entertaining. The right ‘infotainment’ ratio will be the key to success.
No doubt, allocating time and resources to each of these channels is not always easy. If you are just at the beginning of your marketing campaign, you can start with two or more channels you are most comfortable with. Still, you should be prepared to invest in each of these lead generation tools eventually because it will always pay off in the long run.