Lead Generation: What Is It and Why You Should Be Doing It?

Inbound lead generation is the solution that will stop your business from being that annoying cold caller interrupting dinner time. Your business needs new leads, new clients and increased revenue. However, the days of cold calling and direct mail campaigns are soon to be long gone. Your customers are on the internet searching for solutions to their problems and comparing options. They are reading reviews, consuming content and searching for networking opportunities to learn more about their challenges. Today’s businesses are staying in front of their industry by using online lead generation. Let’s dive into what lead generation for business is and why it’s important for your company.

What Is Lead Generation?

Let’s start with understanding what a “lead” is within the inbound marketing methodology. According to Hubspot, the leader in inbound marketing, “A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.” For many businesses, this definition of a lead may seem obvious but let’s dig a little deeper here. Showing interest in your company’s product or service isn’t just calling and asking to speak to sales or filling out a form for an appointment. A lead can be any contact that provides their information to your company, such a blog subscriber or a contact who has downloaded an offer. A lead, for inbound marketers, is just the beginning of the sales cycle.

So in order to grow your business you will need to generate more leads, or people interested in your business and services, online. Lead generation is the process of attracting your ideal customers then “converting” them into leads for your business. Finding unique ways to naturally attract your target audience to your website and getting them on the path to eventually becoming a customer is the core process of lead generation. Warm up your potential customers with great content, such as webinars, eBooks, blog articles and videos. Get them to a point where they understand you are a helpful resource and an expert in your industry. The goal of inbound lead generation is generating a relationship and a sense of trust where a prospect can feel delighted to become a customer.

Why Should You Be Using Lead Generation?

With outbound and traditional marketing tactics, your business is initiating the relationship with the prospect. Cold calling, direct mail, television advertisements are all examples of pushing your business on to a large audience that may not yet be ready to buy. Using lead generation techniques such as targeted content and lead nurturing emails you make it easier for a contact to feel less pressured by your company because you are providing them with information they seek out.  

How To Use Lead Generation For Your Business

Lead generation starts with lead qualification. You need to understand who you are targeting and what their “persona” is. By understanding your business buyer personas you can create information that they are happy to consume. Don’t have buyer personas for your business? Click here to learn how to easily create your personas!

Your target audience will search for the content you are creating and find your website as the resource. Using landing pages and forms you can qualify a lead and understand if they are right for your business. Forms on your website can ask questions such as location, job title, and other qualifying information that will allow you to segment qualified leads from unqualified leads. 

BONUS: Learn how to bring more traffic to your website in this blog post

Process of Lead Generation On Websites

Visitor: A visitor comes to your website after discovering your content on search, social media, another website or typing it in directly. They get to a website page and begin reading your content then they see a….

Call to Action: This is an image or a button that promotes entices the visitor to take some type of action. It can promote a downloadable offer, a tool or a service offer. When the visitor clicks on the CTA they land on a….

Landing Page: A landing page can be used to describe a downloadable offer, a service, an event or many other things. The goal of a landing page is to get a person to understand the value of what they will get once they fill out a…

Form: A form can be used anywhere on your website but you will typically find them on a landing page. Forms are used to ask questions to the visitor in order to help your business qualify them as a lead. You can ask name, email, location, job title, department, and more! Visitors will fill out the form with the promise of an….

Offer: Offers are the best way to get new leads from your website. An offer can be a tool, eBook, guide, webinar, event, video, really anything that provides value to your ideal customer. If you’re an mortgage company you can provide access to some type of calculator that will help identify home affordability. If you’re a chiropractic office you can provide a checklist of symptoms for certain types of back pain or a daily exercise schedule for pain management. The key is to create something that will be of value for your target customer. Some type of offer that speaks right to their needs and will get them started on the path to becoming a customer!

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