How to Generate Leads for Your Business

A new breed of sales leaders with technical expertise and a strategic mindset is emerging as buyers' preferences change. They are more content-driven, technical-savvy, and comfortable interacting on digital channels. That is to say, they know how to leverage their website and digital marketing to generate leads.

However, the process of generating leads for professional services firms is complex: selecting the right tactics to generate quality leads, implementing lead generation activities consistently, getting the attention of busy decision-makers, despite the noise, measuring and tracking what works, and so on.

According to HubSpot, 61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads to be their greatest challenge. Yet, it doesn’t have to be if you follow our lead generation strategies.

Ready to learn about the lead generation process?

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of identifying, targeting, and nurturing the initial interest prospects have in your products or services, with the goal of converting them into buyers and increasing sales.

Today, marketers use data to understand and reach relevant customers. Using information about potential buyers, companies develop marketing messages and sales pitches tailored to their needs. This approach empowers businesses to target specific audiences and run highly personalized campaigns relevant only to those who are interested in buying.

Having a successful lead generation strategy allows your sales cycle to run more smoothly and increase customer acquisition success. However, lead generation is not a one-size-fits-all affair. To generate quality leads, you need to combine a variety of strategies.

What Are the Different Types of Leads?

Five types of leads

Business leads are part of the lifecycle consumers follow when they transition from visitors to customers. In digital marketing, we classify leads according to how they are qualified and what lifecycle stage they’re in.

Information-Qualified Lead (IQL)

An information-qualified lead is at the very beginning of the sales funnel. They’re looking for essential information about your business’s products or services to see if it’s a solution to their problems. These potential leads usually exchange their email address for a lead magnet that provides additional information.

Marketing-Qualified Leads (MQL)

A marketing-qualified (MQL) lead is a potential customer who’s been reviewed by the marketing team and satisfies the criteria necessary to be passed along to the sales team. These leads have likely already interacted with your marketing efforts but are not ready to make a purchase.

Sales-Qualified Leads (SQL)

A sales-qualified lead (SQL) is a prospective customer who has moved through the sales pipeline to a position where the sales team can work on converting them into active customers.

Product-Qualified Leads (PQL)

A product-qualified lead (PQL) is an individual or business that has experienced value from using a product as a result of a free trial, use of a limited feature, or other types of first-hand experience with the product.

Service-Qualified Leads (SQL)

Service-qualified leads are also individuals or customers who have indicated they’re interested in becoming paying customers. For example, a lead communicates they wish to upgrade their product subscriptions.

You need to understand different types of high-quality leads. From there, you can design lead-generation strategies that guide them through your sales process.

So, Why Is Lead Generation so Important for Business Growth?

Lead generation campaigns keep cash flow steady. To grow your business, you need a steady flow of customers interested in buying your products. In reality, you require many leads to reach your business goals—remember, not every lead turns into a customer.

Generating leads online is a crucial aspect of a successful business. However, reaching out to strangers out of the blue is obtrusive.  Think about telemarketers; many potential customers put down the phone without hearing what’s on offer.

With digital marketing lead generation, you invite prospects to initiate contact with you. They show an organic interest in your brand and prompt you to respond. Thus, it allows customers to develop organically as they follow your marketing path.

Why Businesses Fail to Generate Leads Online

Law firm wrong efforts to generate leads

Weak website performance is one of the most common reasons why eCommerce or digital marketers fail to generate sales leads. Consider your website as the door to your online store.

It’s harsh, but prospects won’t even take a look at your website if it isn’t visually appealing. Other common lead generation issues include:

1. No website visitors: You’re not attracting visitors to your website. If this is the case, your digital marketing efforts aren’t generating enough traffic, meaning you’re not directing your content (ads, landing pages, blogs, case studies, videos, and so on), to where people’s attention is focused.

If your future customers, clients, or patients are on Facebook, YouTube, Google, or Yelp, then that is where your content needs to live and in high enough volume. If you aren’t doing this, it will explain why you are not generating enough new business.

Again, volume is also key, as Google gives preference to companies that have plenty of content providing information or answers to the questions every day people ask (of/about your business/industry).

2. Low conversions: Perhaps your website receives many visitors, but few convert into actual leads. This means they don’t take any action, i.e., fill in a contact form, call you, or provide any way for you to follow up with them.

There could be many reasons why your website doesn’t convert visitors. Occasionally, this has to do with focusing too much on design, and not content strategy goals. Other times, it may indicate a lack of website optimization and clear calls to action. A professional digital marketing agency will be able to provide an assessment and rectify these lead-nurturing issues.

3. Leads don’t turn into sales: People may visit your site and convert into leads, whether by calling you, filling out a contact form, or contacting you via Facebook Messenger. However, although they’ve expressed an interest, they don’t convert into actual sales.

If your leads aren’t turning into sales, it’s a clear sign your content marketing funnel is underperforming. Your content marketing strategy should attract, engage, nurture and retain your target audience. If it doesn’t, then you may need to redesign it.

How Content Marketing and Lead Generation Work Together

Content marketing is a digital marketing lead-generation strategy that delivers relevant information to a specific audience based on their needs.

There are many types of content, including blog posts, infographics, podcasts, videos, email newsletters, and social media posts. So, how do you decide which type is best for your business?

Actually, it’s all of them!

Generate Leads With the TAWA Technique

Many of our clients understand the value of content marketing to generate business leads but struggle to brainstorm relevant topics or design adequate content strategies to maintain a steady flow of new leads.

For starters, we recommend using our “TAWA” or “They Ask We Answer” formula. In other words, your website should be answering all the questions your prospective customers, clients, or patients are asking (or reasonably would ask). Your social media posts should also address these questions.

Suppose an orthodontic practice has a prospective patient who wants to know the difference between Invisalign and traditional braces. An answer to this question could serve as the foundation for creating a lead generation campaign by that orthodontist practice.

TAWA offers a framework for you to generate leads.

How to Use the TAWA Technique to Get More Leads

While there’s a lot more to it than three steps, here’s a basic rundown of how it works:

  1. Make a list of questions prospects have asked of you and others in your industry. These questions provide content themes.
  2. Determine where potential customers are seeking answers. A hint: It’s Google!
  3. Create content based on these topics and publish them on your blog and social media profiles. When your target audience sees this type of content, they understand it’s for them. And, they like what they see because it’s helpful.

Many of our videos and blog posts (like this one) provide digital marketing solutions for free. They’re crafted to help, not sell. This is how effective content marketing lead generations are done.

For example, we could make an offer like: “Download this checklist on lead generation strategies.” Or, we could say: “Schedule a zero-obligation meeting to discuss how your website can generate more leads.”

Is our offer only available if you buy something? No. We provide it free of charge. If you like it and see the value, you might convert. We recommend every business creates content that showcases how their products or services solve their customer’s pain points.

How to Build a Lead Generation Content Funnel

New customers, old customers, and potential customers don’t need the same marketing messages. That’s why a content marketing funnel is vital to help you align your content with different stages of the customer’s journey.

There are five stages of the lead generation funnel; awareness, interest, appraisal/desire, action/confirmation, and conversion.

  1. Awareness: Using lead magnets to capture your target audience’s attention.
  2. Interest: Demonstrating your company’s value with blog posts, videos, and such on your website and social media.
  3. Appraisal/desire: Focussing on a prospect’s interest in a particular product or service, and demonstrating via content how it provides them with a specific benefit or solution.
  4. Action/confirmation: Convincing the prospect to pull the trigger and buy the item or service they’ve been considering.
  5. Conversion: Closing the deal by making a sale.

Whether it’s email newsletters, pay-per-click advertising, how-to articles, testimonials, case studies, videos, or special offers—every piece of content you create should always be geared toward lead generation.

10 Tested Lead Generation Strategies

It’s one thing to understand how to create a content funnel but another to know how to implement strategies that transform content into lead generation magnets.

Next on your priority list must be to optimize your website and content for traffic, your conversion goals, and user-friendliness

Below are 10 useful strategies to improve your lead generation game:

1. Increase Customer Referrals

Customer referrals increase

The data is in: Referred customers are 18% more loyal than customers acquired by other means, and are 4 times more likely to refer more customers to your businesses. Customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate.

Evidently, it’s easier to generate leads by mobilizing existing customers. In addition to writing reviews online, or submitting customer feedback surveys, referral programs encourage customers to share their brand experience with family, friends, acquaintances, and followers.

Referral marketing is an inexpensive and quick way to promote your brand compared to traditional marketing, which can take a long time and be costly. By inviting your current customers to help you promote your business, you are making the most of your existing relationships.

Customer referral programs usually include rewarding buyers for recommendations they make, as well as using techniques to motivate leads to endorse your products and services to others. This type of strategy doesn’t just generate leads; it also turns consumers into valued brand advocates.

2. Leverage Social Media Platforms

The power of social media lies in its ability to attract leads at every stage of the customer journey. As a tool, it can be extremely effective at creating buzz for lead generation, i.e., targeting customers at the awareness stage.

Ford’s Fiesta Movement campaign is a successful case study.

Eighteen months before Ford reentered the US subcompact-car market with its Fiesta model, it launched a marketing campaign called the Fiesta Movement.

A key component of the campaign was to give 100 social media influencers a European model of the car and have them complete “missions” and document their experiences on social channels.

When it finally became available to the public, in late 2010, some 10,000 cars were sold in the first six days. Today, 73% of customers say they’re more likely to buy a product or sign up for a service if they watch a branded video that explains how it works.

When used properly, social media can be incredibly helpful for brands in generating brand awareness and sales during the purchase life cycle.

3. Optimize Blog Content

Blog content optimization

64% of marketers report successfully using content marketing to generate sales and revenue, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

Your blog content can be optimized by adding compelling calls to action (CTAs), offering freebies and upgrades, installing lead magnets, using interactive content, and hosting giveaways. Keep in mind, these tactics will only work if you provide high-quality content. Meaning, you need to offer good content first and generate leads second.

Creating good content entails having a solid understanding of your audience and what their pain points are. Ideally, your content should address these pain points and encourage leads to move forward in the sales process. For content ideas, visit forum sites such as Quora and Reddit, and Answerthepublic.

4. Send Effective Emails

Over 50% of marketers believe email marketing is one of the most effective sources of leads online. In most cases, companies acquire email leads by asking users to share their contact information, usually through an opt-in form (lead magnet).

Email marketing is intended to create nurturing campaigns targeted at specific segments of audiences. For this reason, email is extremely valuable because its subscribers (qualified leads) opt into the sales funnel. From there, it’s much easier to convert them into loyal customers.

The more information/data you have about email leads, the better you’ll be able to segment your list and place them in the right nurturing campaigns. Most companies use customer relationship management (CRM) tools to automate this process.

Some email lead generation tips:

  • Keep them short and sweet: Keep your emails between 60 and 200 words, so people won’t get tired of reading them.
  • Use social proof: You can do this by sharing links or information in your emails from industry experts, testimonials from customers, or links from influencers using the brand.
  • Remain consistent: Sending regular emails is the key to successful email marketing. Frequent emails tend to get a better response than infrequent ones, according to studies.

5. Take Advantage of Google My Business

GMB optimization

Google My Business is an online platform that allows businesses to manage their online presence across all of Google’s products, including Search and Maps.

It was designed to help consumers find the best businesses in their area by consolidating the various listings businesses had on Google services into one definitive, accurate, and up-to-date listing.

As such, it’s an excellent free tool for your business to get found by potential customers.

A Google My Business page is essential if you want to improve local visibility on Google. With it, you can manage and create information related to your local business (including store hours, address, and phone number) and connect with potential customers through Google Search and Maps. With GMB, customers can share their experiences and provide feedback. This can lead to more business leads.

Using Google My Business for lead generation has many benefits, including increasing sales by making it easy for consumers to find you online, increasing search engine results ranking (SERP), and increasing brand visibility; since Google My Business posts show up in Google searches, they let you stand out from competitors who aren’t using it.

6. Optimize Your Website for SEO

Investing in organic SEO can greatly enhance your lead generation activities by improving awareness for your business through organic traffic to the website. You are more likely to attract your target customers to your website if you show up on Google’s first page regularly.

SEO best practices on your website’s content will help you be found more readily online since it is always updated with fresh, unique SEO-rich media appealing to your audience’s tastes.

On-site optimization, keyword research, and backlink building are common SEO best practices. We’ll focus for a moment on SEO-optimized web content (keywords) rather than technical SEO factors.

The right keywords should be used on every webpage to match search intent as closely as possible:

  • Primary keywords: Main topics should be based on these high-level keywords.
  • Secondary keywords: Use these as subheadings in articles and pillar pages as often as possible.
  • Supporting language: Scatter these lower-level keywords throughout the text.

Regularly evaluating your site’s SEO ranking is crucial, especially when conducting search engine optimization research and targeting specific keywords.

7. Get Customer Reviews

Customers review importance

In addition to giving you feedback and insights, your customer reviews can actually increase your lead generation. Consumers admit that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions 93% of the time. So, it comes as no surprise that you need to monitor reviews and address any issues that arise.

Think about it: If you place your review in the right place, you might be able to persuade someone to subscribe to your newsletter, which will pave the way for future sales.

And here’s another little-known fact: Testimonials increase conversions by 270%!

Don’t just post reviews on your homepage or share them once if you want to grow leads. Consider the psychology of your customers. What are their pain points? Is there a time when they are most receptive to suggestions? When do they make the final decision to purchase?

You should guide your customers through the purchase decision. Then, anticipate their concerns and introduce honest reviews from similar people to overpower their fears. This is how you leverage positive reviews to get high-quality leads.

8. Improve Your Landing Pages

For every marketer, a lead generation landing page is the Holy Grail. Lead capture pages help you build your email list and initiate the conversion process that converts visitors to leads. Whether your landing page triggers due to a PPC ad or a website pop-up, it should always be optimized to attract leads.

An effective landing page provides a quality experience for visitors and drives conversions through targeted messaging.

Consider these optimization tactics as you create your landing pages to avoid rewriting them:

  1. Draw your audience’s attention with a great headline.
  2. Tell your audience what you want them to do with a single CTA.
  3. Keep your visitors engaged with visually appealing images or videos.
  4. Show visitors that other people just like them are interested in your offer by using testimonials, reviews, and user-generated content.
  5. Provide visitors with a variety of payment options to minimize friction.
  6. Test your page’s headline, images, videos, copy, and CTAs to make sure they’re producing optimal results.

7. Utilize Guest Posts

In terms of SEO, guest posts are primarily intended to generate backlinks. This strategy is pretty simple: find an article relevant to your field and include a link to an authoritative site to increase web traffic and leads.

You’re already creating great content, so why not make it available to other websites as well?

However, using guest posting can also help you expand your audience beyond just the people who visit your site. A partnership with another blog will essentially allow each blog to benefit from the other’s ranking.

Suppose you want more leads from small business owners, but don’t have any authority in their field. Guest posting on different blogs is one of the best ways to reach an audience that would not otherwise visit your site.

All articles help you establish yourself as an authority in your industry either by highlighting thought leaders or becoming a leader. It’s especially essential for B2C Marketing, where personal relationships are critical for gaining or retaining customers.

8. Start Networking

Although networking rarely leads to direct revenue, it is an excellent way to nurture professional connections. Consider networking events that are both local and relevant to your industry. By doing this, you will be able to keep traveling costs low and take advantage of easy business opportunities.

If you walk into networking with ROI in mind, you will almost always be disappointed. Instead, look for oblique wins.

Perhaps you’ll meet a complementary business with whom you can share leads, expanding your reach. You may meet an influencer who agrees to interview you so that you can build great content and expand your marketing reach at the same time.

Don’t forget about online networking! LinkedIn is a great networking tool that heavily focuses on social media to promote business.

Use it to contact those you know and ask them how your business might be able to assist them.  You can also join a group specific to your trade to connect with other pros in your industry.

Who knows? Your company may even be able to find guest blogging opportunities through networking.

9. Advertise and Retarget

Advertising and retargeting

Filling your sales pipeline quickly and cost-effectively with PPC leads is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. It doesn’t matter whether you’re targeting the first page of Google search results or the LinkedIn feeds of top decision-makers; PPC lead generation can help fill your sales pipelines and improve the online presence of your business.

That’s because PPC campaigns can quickly generate qualified leads by serving ads to the audiences most likely to convert.

You can also use retargeting too. These campaigns remind visitors of your products and services after they leave your website without buying anything. They do this by showing your visitors relevant visual or text ads when they visit other websites.

You can run retargeting campaigns with Google Ads, Facebook retargeting, LinkedIn Ads, and other platforms. In today’s world, retargeting is an essential tool for marketers to connect with customers, increase sales, and build customer loyalty.

A staggering 97% of people who visit your site for the first time leave without making a purchase unless you retarget them!

10. Track, Analyze, and Repeat

The days when lead generation relied on local knowledge are fading. McKinsey predicts within the next five years, “the fastest-growing companies will be using advanced analytics and lead-scoring algorithms to predict which customers to target, when to contact them, and what factors truly drive lead conversion rates.”

While many lead-scoring algorithms are nascent, they emphasize the importance of monitoring, tracking, and analyzing lead-generation data. Monitoring certain metrics and other feedback loops can help you refine your strategy and close more deals.

A few of these metrics include:

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks that your content receives divided by the number of times it is shown: clicks Ă· impressions = CTR.
    What is CTR
  • Conversion Rate: The number of visitors to a website who complete desired goals (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors.
    What is conversion rate
  • Time to Conversion: The time it took a visitor to convert after clicking on a call-to-action or advertisement.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): A financial ratio used to calculate the benefit your business receives in relation to its investment in lead generation strategies.
  • Cost per Click (CPC): The metric that determines how much advertisers pay for the ads they place on websites or social media, based on the number of clicks they receive.
    What is CPC
  • Time Spent on Page: The amount of time between a person landing on a web page and moving on to another one.

Having this information can help you evaluate the quality of your sales leads and how well your follow-up activities impact lead generation performance.

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Why You Should Hire Comrade for Online Lead Generation

Given the sheer enormity of the task, most businesses hire digital marketing agencies to assist with their lead-generation strategies. It’s no secret that while highly effective, lead generation strategies take up time and require expertise, which you may not have.

At Comrade, we have a brilliant team of lead generation strategists who know how to follow up with prospects and target various platforms they frequent. When your prospects are ready to convert, we’ll entice them with attractive and convenient offers tailored to your business.

Not only that, but we’ll:

  • Provide you with insight into the volume of online searches and how much demand your product or service has.
  • Establish a plan for achieving your business goals by getting from point A (where you are today) to point B (where you want to be).
  • Provide a quote on the cost and time required to develop your future website and digital marketing campaign efforts.

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is B2C lead generation?

The abbreviation B2C stands for "business to customer." The method of attracting prospective buyers or partners in such a manner that they are added to a contact list is known as lead generation. The sales team would then use the contact list to generate sales or contracts.

What is an example of B2C?

A B2C business model is one in which a company offers a commodity or product directly to a client. Amazon, Walmart, and other B2C businesses are well-known examples of companies where individual clients are the end-users of a product or service.

What is a lead generation strategy?

A lead generation strategy involves approaches for drawing prospects and converting them into leads. A lead is a prospective client who has taken an interest in your brand by taking some action. They've given you their contact information or reached out to you to let you know that they'd like to do business with you.

Where do you operate?

Comrade originates in Chicago, but we worked all around the United States. We can help your business grow and increase revenue whenever you are. We have offices across most major cities in the US. For example, we can offer digital marketing services in San Antonio or Chicago. You can even find our internet marketing experts in Kansas City! If you want to know more about our Portland digital marketing agency or find out how exactly we can help you, contact us via the phone or email.

About the Author
Ivan Vislavskiy is Comrade Digital Marketing’s co-founder and fearless leader, spearheading the agency’s production department.
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Ivan Vislavskiy

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