Lead Generation, or why it is so important in every business to generate contacts interested in their offer. Automating the process as much as possible, creating a mailing list of interested contacts and gathering as much information as possible on your leads to make them qualified leads are the foundation of every digital strategy for acquiring new satisfied customers.
Let’s start from the base, do you know what the difference between lead and prospect is?
In short, a lead is the contact of a potential customer. The prospect is a lead that has already shown interest in your business proposal (product or service). Finally, the customer is the one who bought it from you, at least once. Your goal, in terms of marketing, will, therefore, be to acquire leads, turn them into prospects and then into customers.
How to capture qualified leads?
Your Landing Page comes into play here. If you do not know what it is or if you do not have one yet, read what a Landing Page is and why your business needs it.
A lead is the result of your promotion campaigns. Could be:
- An E-Mail
- A social contact
- A telephone number
A lead eventually becomes a prospect (ie a contact that has expressed interest in your proposal) when you complete your Call to Action, your call to action. That is when:
- Fill out the form on your Landing Page
- Request information / quotes
- Download free information material (report, give away, etc.) that you have prepared for him
You will easily understand that a prospect becomes a very precious resource that must be cultivated. Your goal, now that the contact is inserted (for example) in your company mailing list, is to transform it from a lead to a real customer. But the first step, the fundamental one, is the collection of leads. In other words, you have to do the Lead Generation.
Because the Lead Generation is important and how to do it best
Lead Generation is the process of acquiring contacts potentially interested in the services or products you offer. It is a fundamental advertising operation and is often ineluctable, whatever the niche market is occupied and regardless of the type of activity. Lead Generation is equally important whether you are B2B (business to business) or your B2C (business to consumer).
Every business should guarantee a constant flow of lead over time, as these contacts form the basis of the pyramid that transforms a simple name into a customer of your company.
Thus, being able to acquire leads is generally considered one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. The reason is simple enough. Once acquired, a lead can be contacted over and over again in order to get sales.
In theory, since business is a game of numbers, the more leads you can generate, and the more sales you make. In reality, it is not always like this. It is often advisable to have even a few leads but correctly profiled (therefore strongly interested in what you propose), rather than an endless list of not exactly target leads, which will be unlikely to be interested in completing the purchase process and then turning into customers.
Make Lead Generation at its best: paid strategies vs. free strategies
Basically, there are two different types of strategies to gain the lead: free strategies and paid strategies.
Free strategies are not free! It means investing a lot of time and resources in your brand, creating useful content and finding the necessary visibility. The investment required depends on the sector and the channels that you want to explore. For example, a good website is not enough to be noticed: it takes years to go to the google positions and it takes a lot of patience to optimize the texts and the communication of your site to be effective. How can I test my landing pages if I do not have traffic and how do I drive traffic if I do not know if the content is valid? It’s a cat that bites its tail. Of course, once the band is created, the free leads are really free.
Paid strategies are immediate: you get a number of leads proportional to how much you want to invest. So easy? No. If you invest in the wrong channels you get unqualified leads: your cost per lead may be low but your cost per acquisition increases unsustainable. Compared to the free lead, the pay-paying lead has the advantage of being able to test quickly if your product/service is valid. You can refine the lead technique in a few days thanks to high exposure.
Optimal is to combine paid methods with free methods to get a profitable list of leads. The perfect and universally valid recipe, of course, does not exist. Every activity, every reference market is different from any other. It will be the attempts and experience of a good marketer to find the right percentage between the two strategies for making a profitable Lead Generation.
Three techniques to capture your potential customers
There are actually many more, but to start you can read these three Lead Generation techniques that we propose. They can obviously be combined with each other, as we said before, even if a universally winning recipe does not exist.
1. Paid Lead Generation
AdWords campaigns or Facebook Ads. Needless to say, this is part of paid strategies. It is a technique that is undoubtedly effective and also rather rapid acquisition. All you have to do is buy (paying) visibility in Google’s SERP (ie on the results page) via Google AdWords, or visibility in the Facebook timeline, planning a Facebook Ads campaign. The lapel of the coin is that you cannot do it alone if you are a neophyte. You have to rely on a good digital marketer to avoid losing (even many) money and not generating an adequate list of contacts
2. Lead Generation through valuable contents
Whether it is a report of an infographic, a webinar or post of your blog, to generate hot contacts you must offer quality content that solves one of the problems of your target audience. This is a free Lead Generation strategy that can slowly take you to truly quality leads that will most likely turn into satisfied customers
3. Lead Generation through social presence
This strategy is part of the activities of social media marketing and today all companies (including large and already important) increase and maintains their presence on social networks. The company presence on social media is used to create engagement that is to involve potential customers thanks to ad hoc content, thanks to surveys, posts, images that can involve users and allow the company to do Lead Generation. Follow the link if you want to know the trends of social media for this 2018?
How can I tell if a lead is qualified?
We assume that the ways in which people want to buy have changed and we remind you that today customers are informed and learn on the internet before buying. Both on Google (and other search engines) and via social networks. According to the Report on social media trends 2018, developed by Hootsuite, for some age groups (18-24 years), pre-purchase searches on social media have even surpassed those made on search engines.
A lead, in this scenario, must necessarily become qualified. A generic and universally recognized definition of leads is:
A person who has visited your site and has shown interest in your product or service and has clearly confirmed it.
But we said that each business must make its own qualified leads. A simple lead becomes a qualified lead when
Recognize your prospect as a “potential customer”, because it adapts to the profile of your ideal customer in terms of needs or willingness to spend, time and other factors.
Other indicators are also important to confirm that this is a qualified lead. For example, the demonstrated interest in your product/service as it appears in its online behavior prior to the conversion from visitor to lead. Or the interest was shown during the relationship that you have established with him once transformed into a prospect.