In our last article we analysed in detail what a lead is and clarified the various types of existing leads. Today, instead, we take a look at actual lead generation, from its functioning to the applicable strategies.
Why is lead generation important?
Lead generation helps companies continuously expand their client base. This method is also extremely important for a company to steadily improve its product or service. Besides, lead generation is an essential phase for the acquisition of new clients. It's a basic element in the targeted search for new clients, therefore increasing sale opportunities.
Thanks to high quality leads, the company also improves the targeting phase, as it acquires precise information on the client's needs. The chances that a lead becomes a client therefore increase.
Qualified leads have a greater interest in a product or service. As a consequence, this aspect positively influences the measurement and optimisation of campaigns that can be more specific to important content for the client.
Lead generation has the potential to build long-term relationships. It's not only about immediate acquisition; for example, in the lead nurturing phase, companies can establish direct communication with prospects, gaining trust and strengthening their interest over time.
How lead generation works
Lead generation usually starts with marketing activities that make your company known to prospects. This can be done in various ways, like online advertising, social media posts, or in-person events. Once you've made your company known to prospects, you should give them a reason to stay by providing them with precious information. If you can provide prospects with precious information, it's much more likely that they'll become clients.
There are several ways to attract clients, and the best one to generate leads depends on your activity and objectives. An important aspect concerns the choice of applying inbound or outbound marketing strategies.
Inbound marketing significa produrre contenuti di valore che i vostri potenziali clienti possono trovare. Li attirate nel vostro imbuto di vendita catturando la loro attenzione con contenuti pertinenti.
Inbound marketing means producing valuable content that your prospects can find. You attract them into your sales funnel by capturing their attention with relevant content.
Inbound marketing examples include:
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Video content
- Content creation and marketing
- Reaching out to influencers
Outbound marketing refers to a situation in which the prospect's flux or activity is interrupted asking for their attention.
Outbound marketing examples include:
- Advertising on social media
- Video advertising
- Paid e-mail lists
- All types of advertising (TV, radio, press, billboards)
- Cold calls from sales
Strategies for lead generation
A lead generation strategy can be divided into four phases, each of which requires one or more different tactics.
1. Lead capture
Refers to the gathering of a lead's information, like a name and contact information, as well as other relevant details about the person or organisation.
2. Lead magnet
Induces visitors to become new leads. A lead magnet is something similar to the free samples you receive at a fair or grocery store. It can be free trials, test samples, coupons, free consultations, white papers... Anything that drives people to exchange their information for your offer
3. Qualifying Leads
A specific method is used to discover the probability that single leads will buy from you. In fact, not all leads are ready to become clients. It's important to qualify leads to determine their interest level and their readiness to buy.
4. Contact segmentation
All the information gathered in the previous three steps is analysed and conclusions are drawn based on the analysis. This will help you to understand which lead generation techniques work best for you.
Now that we know the basis, we can deepen some strategies from the lead generation world.
1. Contact acquisition through the landing page
This is one of the most effective and well-known strategies for lead generation. Landing pages are web pages specifically designed to capture the attention of visitors and obtain their contact information in exchange for a valuable offer.
Some useful lead generation elements to consider when creating a landing page are:
1. Contact forms: we are talking about forms that visitors can compile to access, for example, an offer. These usually require information like name, email address, and, depending on the context, further relevant information. Once the form has been compiled, visitors will become leads and can receive further communications and content from the company.
2. Pop ups: these are windows that appear on the web page to capture the visitor's attention. They can be used in various ways, such as offering a discount, signing up for a newsletter or downloading a resource. Pop-ups can be timed according to the visitor's behaviour, for example, appearing after the visitor has spent a certain amount of time on the page or when they are about to leave the site.
3: Chat-bots and live chats: chatbots and live chats are real-time communication tools that allow visitors to interact directly with the company. They can be used to answer questions, provide assistance and collect contact information. For example, a visitor may ask about a product and the chatbot may offer to send further details via e-mail in exchange for the visitor's e-mail address.
2. Identification of website visitors
The identification of website visitors is a crucial aspect of lead generation. Understanding who your visitors are, what they search for, and how they interact with your website can help you create targeted and more efficient lead generation strategies.
Important aspects to consider are the analysis of surfing behaviour, tracking of traffic origins, audience segmentation, conversion monitoring, site registrations and user accounts, retargeting, real-time interactions and integrations with your CRM. Usually an external company or agency takes care of this part.
Some of the advantages of obtaining information about your visitors:
- Understand how and why they use your website.
- Know how they found you
- Number of visits
3. Direct Response Marketing
One of the last trends in lead generation is direct response marketing. It's a strategy based on the creation of persuasive and engaging communication to encourage the recipient to perform a specific action. The objective is to obtain an immediate response from people who come into contact with direct response marketing activities. In other words, obtaining new contacts and increasing sales.
The objectives may be:
- Attracting visitors to a specific website
- Gain many new followers on social media channels
- Obtaining subscriptions to newsletters
What usually works:
- Targeting a specific buyer
- Adding a time limit to the offer to create urgency
- Organise a competition or raffle (e.g. with webinar participants or among followers).
4. Gated Content
As the name says, gated content refers to valuable content that is put behind a "virtual barrier," which can be a form or a subscription, for example. To view this content, visitors have to provide their contact information, like their name and email address.
Gated content contributes to lead generation in several ways because it creates a value offer, and, consequently, those who share their details will be highly valuable leads as they demonstrate genuine interest and potential engagement. However, the process is not only limited to data collection; a long-term relationship is created through lead nurturing by sending correlated and custom content, nurturing trust and interest over time. By positioning authority through the provision of informative content, you build credibility and increase your conversion rate, as visitors are motivated to exchange their data for access to valuable resources. This methodology not only improves website conversions, but also enables accurate audience segmentation according to interests, further optimising your lead generation strategies.
5. SEO Contact Generation
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about directing organic traffic from search engines to your website and getting them interested in your product or service. SEO lead generation has a high ROI (Return on Investment) because companies that rank high in search engines are very likely to acquire new customers.
Generating contacts through search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential strategy for attracting and engaging potential customers. Through a targeted keyword search, it's possible to identify the most relevant search terms for one's sector and orient high-quality content creation around those keywords. On-page optimisation and website techniques ensure that the pages are optimally structured to be found by search engines. Quality backlink acquisition from authoritative sources enforces the website's authority. It's possible to monitor organic traffic and make strategic adjustments to maximise the generation of qualified leads through constant analysis and optimisation.
Remember that SEO lead generation activities won't give you fast results. It takes time to position yourself on search engines. This is an area upon which you must continue to work on develop, while actively using other lead generation strategies.
We have an entire blog section dedicated to SEO; if you want to deepen the topic, we suggest you take a look.
6. Paid ads for generating contacts
We are constantly bombarded with online advertising of every kind. Paid advertising is a lead generation strategy that involves the promotion of content, offers, or products through online advertising platforms.
This tactic allows companies to immediately reach a specific target, guide them to a desired action, and collect data on people who clicked the ad.
Platforms where paid lead ads can be run:
- Google ads and other search engines
- Blog posts
Practically everywhere it is possible to buy advertising space. Prices vary greatly depending on the platform used and the advertising campaign to be carried out. This tactic can be expensive if you do not monitor and control your advertising expenditure. However, it can be an effective way to obtain quality leads, as only people interested in you will leave their contact details.
7. Contact generation via social media
Generating leads through social media means using strategic marketing tactics to attract not only potential leads, but also quality leads. If you are active on social media, you can:
- Increase brand awareness. Have you already tried TikTok? It's one of the fastest-growing platforms and has reached 1.5 billion people.
- Reach new clients. Concentrate on the main activity and show it on the right social media channels. Also, remember to share only appropriate content and interact with your followers and existing clients to create an engaged public.
- Increase traffic. Even if the quality of the traffic is more important than the number of effective visitors, you can't generate contacts if nobody visits your website. Therefore, create content that brings people to your specific landing page and entices them with the lead magnet.
Some ideas for lead generation campaigns to try out on social media:
- Run competitions to gain followers and increase awareness of your brand.
- Use relevant influencers to inform their audience about your product or service.
- Use your social channels to promote a new product/service/webinar/event.
- Give your existing customers an incentive to recommend you on their social networks, perhaps through testimonials and success stories.
- The more authentic you appear on social media, the greater your chances of generating contacts.
However, always remember to pay attention to a number of mistakes that companies make on social media.
8. B2B prospecting tools
If you just started developing your inbound lead generation process, it could be a great idea starting to use a prospecting tool to build a list of cold leads to contact. A B2B prospecting tool is in fact an applilcation or software helping companies to identify prospects withing the business market.
With the help of prospecting tools you can:
- Find marketing leads
- Get lots of contact information
- Find sales leads
- Facilitate the work of the sales team that does not have to search for prospects manually.
There are many smart tools you can use to build your list, some might be LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, Hubsport CRM and Up Lead, but it only takes a little research to see how many there are to find the best solution for your lead generation needs.
How can lead generation in B2B be helpful?
B2B lead generation is particularly important because we are talking about a context in which transactions involve companies that relate to each other for products, services, or partnerships.
In this case, the application of lead generation is not only to identify quality potential customers, but also to select potential business partners. This is because in addition to establishing qualified customer contacts, it is also possible to establish contacts with companies that could contribute to the growth of one's own business.
In addition, the contacts collected help to improve the segmentation of target audiences and the customisation of communications according to the specific needs and interests of each company.
Through lead nurturing it is then possible to create long-term relationships, develop one's authority and corporate credibility, and improve the involvement of existing customers, e.g. by offering additional information/content or exclusive offers
In short, in the long run, lead generation in B2B gives rise to a multifaceted sales and marketing activity. Potential customers become satisfied existing customers and turnover increases.
Lead generation is an important digital marketing pillar because it allows companies to collect and cultivate quality leads, starting an engagement and interaction journey with their target audience. Therefore, we explored the importance of this strategy, highlighting how it not only feeds the prospects flux but also provides precious data for a thorough comprehension of market needs.
We've examined how lead generation functions, focusing on the dynamics that allow us to capture visitors' interest and transform them into qualified leads. From landing pages to gated content, from SEO strategies to paid advertising, every strategy intends to establish a connection with the user that later translates into a commercial opportunity.
The lead generation strategies analysed, such as the use of confidential content, search engine optimisation, and the use of targeted advertisements, are versatile and can be adapted to different business needs. Furthermore, we explored the applicability of these strategies in the B2B context, highlighting how lead generation can play a critical role in supporting business-to-business relationships.
If you would like to rely on a competent partner for the creation and implementation of tailor-made lead generation strategies for your company, please consider DevInterface. With their expertise in digital marketing and ability to design targeted and effective campaigns, we stand out as a reliable partner for generating quality leads and supporting the growth of your business in the digital world. Choose DevInterface as your ally to achieve concrete results through lead generation in the B2B landscape.