Every business needs to generate leads on an ongoing basis to maintain a healthy funnel and customer base. In the good ‘ol days of business marketing, everything was done offline. Today, with the tips, tools, and technology for digital marketing more widely available, the ability to generate leads online is more important than ever. Read on to learn how to use online channels to reach new prospects and generate leads for your business.
Online vs Offline Leads
This post may be about how to generate leads online, but not because leads generated offline are of any less value. There are many ways to generate high quality leads offline—so many, in fact, that offline lead generation will get its own blog post.
Keep in mind also that online and offline methods of generating leads can compliment one another, so an integrated and overlapping mix of strategies is important. For this post, we’ll go over lead generating activities that could go into your online marketing bucket.
How to Generate Online Leads
As mentioned above, there is an overwhelming number of ways to generate leads online. Below are six methods that can be used by any business to get the job done.
Use Your Business Blog to Get Leads
In addition to establishing you and your brand as a thought leader in your industry, business blogs also provide excellent opportunities to generate online leads. Place calls to action in the body of your articles, or on a sidebar, top bar, or footer. Calling your readers to action at a time when you are providing something of value to them makes them more likely to become leads.
Rather than creating a button that leads to a landing page with a form, you can also put short and simple forms right on the page, so that people can quickly submit their information and become a lead.
Leverage High-Quality Gated Content for Leads
The key to making gated content an effective online lead generator is quality. Provide your readers a free and valuable resource that will compel them to provide their email address or some other form of contact information to gain access to the content. Experiment with various forms of gated content and use analytics to see which types of offers garnered the most responses. Distribute these gated content offers to your email marketing lists and across social media channels.
Generate Leads From Your Website
Your business website is used to inform your visitors about what you do and how they can obtain your products/services. With proper navigation and attractive, strategically placed calls to action, you website pages can become a major source for online lead generation.
Keep in mind that most—if not all—of your other marketing activities eventually lead customers and prospects back to your website. This is the space on the world wide web where you control the message 100%. Here on your turf you can create unique landing pages targeting specific demographics, and have additional calls to action on product pages and other strategic locations throughout your site.
Email Marketing Lead Generation
Generating leads through email marketing has a relatively high conversion percentage compared to other methods. If you have permission to email someone, that means they are already interested in some portion of the goods or services you provide. Now it is up to you to craft a call to action that will turn them into a lead that you can nurture and convert into a sale. The contact form can be embedded directly into the email or you can direct them to a specific landing page.
Online Advertising Leads
Paid advertising is another effective way to generate leads online. This type of advertising comes in a few different forms.
Social Media Ads
Social media advertising platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter allow you to target your ads on a granular level based on a number of demographics such as age, gender, income, interest in your product/service, zip code and more. Ads can be as inexpensive as $5, yet they can guarantee that they will reach a certain number of people for your campaign. To learn more about social media advertising, check out the following posts:
Search Engine Ads
Search engines are another hot spot for online advertising. With paid search advertising campaigns, you can position your ads prominently in front of people while they are searching for your products and services and are in a buying mood.
Display ads are another form of pay per click advertising that can help to generate leads. These ads show up on web pages that targeted users are visiting, and can be effectively retargeted at users who have visited your website already.
With the number of people online and the amount of time they spend there, online lead generation should be a core component of your marketing plan. Start implementing these strategies to get more of the right people to discover your business.