What is lead generation and how does it work?
Lead generation is a marketing strategy that helps advertisers capture consumers’ interest in a brand’s products or services to convert that interest into sales. It is an important part of the sales funnel and involves advertisers collecting consumers’ leads through a clear call-to-action lead generation form.
Lead generation is the use of interactive elements and strategies to gain new customers. It is a process that advertisers implement to attract potential customers to their brand, increase interest for products or services, build consumer relationships through nurture campaigns, and ultimately convert audiences into customers by making sales.
To grow, businesses rely on building and cultivating customers; that’s why lead generation is a critical part of a brand’s marketing strategy. For example, if your brand creates a campaign that goes viral but you’re not driving to your company’s website or product pages, there’s a possibility that your brand can lose the spike in momentum. Here’s everything else you need to know about what lead generation is, why it is important, and how your brand can start implementing lead generation strategies today.
In business, sales, and marketing, lead generation is a strategy that helps interested consumers engage with your brand’s products or services. These potential customers may have discovered your brand through a digital ad or a social media campaign. Once prospective customers find your brand, they should be directed to a lead form, which allows them to input their contact information and other details relevant to your business.
Those insights can help your brand understand consumers’ interest in your products or services. To create a plan for lead generation, product or marketing teams will work with their sales teams to develop strategies that have the greatest chance of inspiring lead generation.
Lead generation is important because it is essential for business planning and development. By implementing strategies like launching nurture campaigns to cultivate audience relationships, search engine optimization (SEO) to help increase brand awareness, and landing pages to create a destination, your brand can create avenues to help guide prospective customers through the sales funnel. This could drive qualified leads and could ultimately help your brand increase conversion rates.
As potential customers navigate their way through the sales pipeline, they will learn information about your brand’s products and services, until they reach a point of action where they are able to make a purchase. Typically, as prospective customers move through the marketing and sales funnel, there’s a high likelihood of these consumers taking a high-value action; therefore, they are also known in sales as “hot leads.”
Lead generation works by piquing consumer interest for your brand’s products or services with the goal of turning consumer interest into sales. To capture interested consumers and follow up accordingly, brands can create a web form or landing page to capture a “lead.” In this web form or survey, consumers will leave their contact information and other important details that are relevant to your business.
Before launching a lead generation strategy, or even a campaign, it’s important to gather as much information about your audience, so you know how to best serve them when you’re guiding them through the sales funnel.
Great content increases your brand awareness and helps encourage consumer consideration for your brand and products. Content does this by reaching a wide audience. Once your brand develops the content, then you will select channels to help promote that content to reach and engage customers. Those channel marketing strategies may include search engine marketing (SEM), SEO, audio marketing, video marketing, display advertising, and interactive marketing. Once your brand generates buzz, you want to make sure you’re capturing the contact information of those prospective consumers.
Once you’ve set up a mechanism like a web form or landing page to collect leads, it’s important to organize that information in a safe and secure database. The security of your customers’ information is incredibly important, and you want to make sure those insights are stored securely to maintain customer and brand trust.
Consumers’ interest can vary in your products and services, so it’s critical to set up a vetting system that helps you prioritize your leads. By qualifying and ranking your leads, you can quickly launch into action to help secure sales.
Lead generation tends to be more active and includes actions by your brand, such as making cold calls or sending direct messages. Demand generation focuses more on creating campaigns and content, like blog posts and email marketing, to generate consumer interest.
Thoughtful lead nurturing strategies can help your brand stand out. Nurturing leads is similar to maintaining a relationship with a friend. By creating engaging content, staying active on social media channels, regularly sending out emails, conducting customer surveys, and aligning your sales and marketing team goals with your customers’ needs, you will be able to effectively nurture leads that turn into sales.
The work of marketing and sales teams strengthen lead generation strategies. These teams work to implement tool and strategies that help generate leads but also impact your overall business marketing strategy.
Content marketing is an effective way to drive lead generation. Not only does it increase brand awareness but also the types of content your brand creates, like blog posts and videos, which can be shared across your digital channels to keep your audiences engaged. For example, if audiences visit your website and see fresh content, they will expect to see new information whenever they visit the site.
Having an optimized website is important for driving lead generation. Adding landing pages can help your brand tell its story and create an emotional connection with consumers. That connection can help inspire consumers to move through your sales funnel by engaging with your content and ultimately making purchases.
Reviews, ratings, and testimonials on your website can help build trust with potential customers. Consumers value customer feedback and comments, and featuring customer testimonials on your website could help boost your brand’s credibility.
Staying top of mind is a big priority for most businesses, and email marketing is a great way to do that. Even customers who love your brand may need a gentle reminder to visit your website. To have a successful email marketing campaign, it’s important to share relevant information to your customers while also delivering fresh and engaging content.
Digital ads on and off your website can help your brand reach a larger audience while also increasing your brand’s perception. Using digital and social media ads can also help your brand connect with relevant audiences while directing consumers through your sales funnel.
Leads in marketing refer to consumers or organizations that have interacted with your brand and could potentially become customers by purchasing your brand’s goods or services.
Marketing qualified leads are individuals who have shown interest in what your brand has to offer through your marketing efforts, and have the potential to become customers of your business.
Sales qualified leads are consumers who have moved through your brand’s sales pipeline. For example, they may have engaged with a blog post on your landing page, signed up for an email newsletter, or filled out a lead survey. These are leads that your sales team can now engage with and potentially convert into customers.
Product qualified leads are consumers or organizations that have used your product, possibly through a free trial. Through this exposure, they are familiar with your brand, your product offerings, and the value your business has to offer. These leads have the likelihood of converting to paying customers depending on how they perceive your brand through your marketing efforts, engage with your brand’s sales team, and value your products or services.
Service qualified leads are consumers who have shown interested in your brand and your products and services. They have indicated, either through a lead generation form or other methods, that they are ready to engage with your brand’s customer service team about purchasing your brand’s goods and services.