What Is Lead Generation In Digital Marketing?
Quality leads are essential for any company, regardless of industry. Therefore, attracting new customers should be one of the main goals, as this directly leads to business growth. With the power of digital marketing, social media platforms, and automation software, turning leads into profitable ones has never been easier. The main thing is to use every opportunity correctly. So, let’s find out what is digital lead generation, and how to generate leads in digital marketing?
Table of Contents
- What is Lead Generation in Digital Marketing?
- Why is Lead Generation Important for Digital Marketing?
- How to Generate Leads in Digital Marketing?
- Lead Generation Tools
- How to Start Lead Generation in Digital Marketing
- Online Marketing Lead Generation in Different Areas and Types of Business
- Why Might You Fail in Digital Marketing Lead Generation?
- Benefits Of Digital Lead Generation
Lead generation in digital marketing is the process of discovering, attracting, and converting web users into business prospects. This method employs online tactics such as email campaigns, social media ads, or even landing pages that offer downloadable content. The goal of digital marketing lead generation is to get as many relevant audiences as possible who have left their contact details.
A marketing lead is a potential client who has left his contact information. This can be registered on the site, a subscription to a newsletter, a profile in social networks, an appeal in a messenger, etc.
In other words, a lead is a potential client who somehow learned, saw, or heard information about goods and services through the Internet, radio, mass media, and other means of communication. It is important to remember that a lead is not yet a client, but if you manage to attract them, then they can become one.
An ordinary person will turn into a lead if they:
- Receive information about you and your services online or offline.
- Need your services (fall into your target audience).
- Visit the site or call you.
- Leave a request or contact for feedback.
- Subscribe to your email newsletter.
You'll need customers to expand your business, right? Nowadays, this can be accomplished through the use of digital advertising or social media.
When a lead is created, he is often forwarded to the sales team, who nurtures the connection and ideally turns him into a real customer. This may be accomplished in various ways, but it's important to have a solid and dependable system in place to keep track of everything and figure out what works best in your sales funnel.
Using the latest technological advances to track trends and analyze customer preferences, it is now possible to reach a broader audience through social media advertising.
Businesses need leads because they enable them to fine-tune and build knowledge of their potential customers, their wants and interests when they are most open to hearing from them, and how to effectively reach out to them.
Digital lead generation allows companies to attract real prospects interested in their products or services. This enables marketers to communicate successfully with customers seeking additional information on certain topics or have shown explicit interest in purchasing a similar product or service.
Digital marketing lead generation involves a series of marketing activities that correspond with the stages of the buyers' journey, beginning with driving traffic, converting visitors to leads, and converting final leads into customers. But how to generate leads in digital marketing? Read on to find out!
Search engine optimization
Not every user will remember the address of the site or even the name of the company. This is why, in most cases, searches will be based on a related issue rather than a specific company. If the "rank" of your site is low, then it will appear on the second or third page of the search results. The better the SEO work is done, the higher the visibility of the site and the greater the number of visitors, and consequently potential customers.
A proven and fast way to attract the attention of potential customers. With results being easy to measure and track, it works well with other marketing channels, and provides useful data for the future.
Social media is a great free lead generation tool for digital marketing. You can use different channels to distribute your content and drive traffic to the site. In addition, employees can also be involved in your campaign. A HubSpot study found that employees who share company-created content get more than eight times more engagement than the company's social media page.
High-quality educational content can attract a significant number of new potential customers. Many companies also use email to communicate about new services and promotions. To create your subscriber base, place the subscription form on the site and tell about it on social networks.
Most websites are not designed to attract potential customers. If visitors don't understand what you are doing or what problems you can solve, they will go to your competitors. Therefore, carefully consider the content of the pages and create an attractive lead form.
Some users prefer not to wait for "live communication" with consultants, but to receive information instantly from the bot. Now it is one of the popular ways to generate digital marketing leads and a powerful marketing weapon. AI-based chatbots are used for consulting, entertainment, customer education, etc.
What tools to use to generate digital leads?
Infographics, e-books, checklists
Things like checklists, infographics, eBooks, and guides are all great ideas to create if what's inside is valuable and useful. They can serve as lead magnets. You provide these resources for free, and users give you their contact information in return for receiving them.
This tool is more suitable for B2B sales but can also be a good option for B2C. If you plan to hold a webinar, it is better to do it for free but with mandatory registration. You can use this registration information later to contact members. The main thing to remember is that your webinar needs to be truly useful. That is, it should not be an advertising presentation. Ensure your topic is relevant and your content will be valuable to your audience.
The blog will generate traffic and help build trust among potential customers. Plus, it can position you as a thought leader in your industry and build your trust if you provide valuable and meaningful content. Regarding digital marketing lead generation strategies, blogs are only as good as the content you create and the consistency with which you create it. Blogging every three months will most likely not bring the desired results.
Industry research reports
A proven B2B lead generation strategy is to offer comprehensive research reports on the industries in which you operate. First, these documents are a great lead magnet. Secondly, they increase credibility and build trust in the brand.
One of the biggest hurdles for customers is buying a product or service without testing it first. Offering a free trial or demo of what your company sells is a good way to get qualified digital marketing leads that can be converted into customers once they try your product.
Digital lead generation requires careful study and the right approach. To do this, you need to go through the following steps:
1. Product definition
The first and foremost step towards product definition is using the Value Proposition Canvas. It is essential to understand what kind of target audience is in front of you, what pains and tasks it has, what exactly the company can offer, and compare all this with each other. It is also important to study the proposed product's length and breadth to know its advantages and disadvantages, compare it with competitors and their USPs, and understand how they sell.
2. Building a sales funnel
Proper construction of the funnel contributes to the organization of work with buyers at all stages of preparation, up to the final implementation of the transaction. It is based on the legendary AIDA scheme: Attention (attracting attention), Interest (awakening interest), Desire (creating desire), Action (active action on the client's part).
The process looks like this: a lead sees an ad — visits the site — sends an application — pays for the order. It is a great way to find flaws in business processes: whether advertising is set up correctly, how the sales department works, and how convenient all services are. Everything is immediately visible.
3. Unique Selling Proposition
A unique selling proposition is crucial when choosing a particular company. The USP is a specific offer that hits the client in pain (expressed clearly, precisely and understandably, and with numbers).
4. USP implementation
USP implementation on landing pages for traffic, development of advertising campaigns, and preparation of scripts for sales departments.
5. Testing traffic sources
As for lead generation in digital marketing, it is vital to avoid getting hung up on one channel and constantly testing. So, for example, if cold calling is perfect for one business, then contextual advertising will be an excellent solution for another. Also, use only some marketing methods at the same time. It is crucial to distribute the budget smoothly and control each traffic source, its effectiveness, and ROMI.
Understand why a deal is canceled. It is necessary to build measurable indicators at all stages of the funnel. You can use various end-to-end analytics services and/or data from CRM. At the lead processing stage, analyze lead-to-order conversion rates and closed orders. It will be clear what step you need to work on to increase.
Depending on the results of the analytics, you need to warm up the stages of the funnel. Warming up consists of the following steps:
- present the value of the product;
- show your expertise;
- identify the pains of your target audience;
- propose a solution;
- sell an idea;
- transform the result;
- close the objection;
- and finally, make a deal.
Traffic source testing helps you identify the most effective digital marketing lead generation channels. The data obtained helps the marketer understand which sources are best suited to attract the target audience for each business.
For online stores, the leading indicator is conversion to purchase. It depends on how well this or that source of digital lead generation works. Low rates indicate the inefficiency of the site and its inconvenience for users. Perhaps, at the stage of search, purchase, or registration, something needs to suit customers, and this shortcoming has to be urgently eliminated. You can use special promotions in an online store for digital lead generation (offer a discount in exchange for a newsletter subscription). In addition, tools for returning users of different categories are often used. For example: put it in the cart and did not place an order, looked at the product, but did not buy it, bought a product that could already be out of stock, etc. Depending on the scenario, a warm-up mailing may be included.
SaaS, as a rule, is a cloud solution located on servers on the Internet. For such services, an essential element of the funnel is registration on the site, so the landing page should bring unambiguous benefits, bring value to the client so that he leaves his contacts. The difference here is that the digital marketing leads go through a chain of letters and mailings, receive free access or a grace period, and decide to purchase after testing the product. This is due to the complexity of both the product itself and the complexity of its implementation in the business processes of companies.
3. Service Sites
This includes business card sites, portfolios, promo sites, catalog sites, and showcases. On a corporate website, for example, you can set up a callback order form, offer to subscribe to a newsletter, get a free consultation, make an assessment from a photo, etc. Using a landing page is ideal for maximum traffic conversion into digital marketing leads. This way, you can test the offer, specific audience segments in advertising campaigns, the approach to the advertising campaign itself, and types of traffic, and form a primary database in CRM.
4. Online schools
Here, it is imperative to use lead magnets in exchange for contact details, which will allow you to convert a potential client into a subscriber for a subsequent sale. For example, it could be a demo dance lesson or a short English course for kids. To set up digital lead generation, one can only deal with analyzing the channels for promoting competitors, warming up the audience (for example, live broadcasts and webinars), and concise, understandable, and unique advantages. It is necessary to regularly create thematic content to maintain sales and increase the conversion from leads to sales. It is recommended to use various lead magnets to collect audience contacts. The main thing to understand is that a properly built sales funnel is the basis of online marketing lead generation in any line of business.
Separately, consider the b2b and b2с segments:
B2B is business for business. The peculiarity of the B2B audience is that the decision here can be delayed from a month to a year. Therefore, the organization of digital lead generation is aimed primarily at collecting contact information from various sources: the website, landing pages, and social networks. Further, managers work on warming up the received digital marketing leads for their conversion into customers.
A representative of the B2B segment can use a beautiful design, usability, and other things to convert into a lead. Business is focused primarily on making a profit. Therefore, decision-makers are always interested in financial benefits and guarantees. Obviously, all this should be understandable and accessible on the chosen platform for collecting leads.
Also, to work with this segment, you need to think carefully about the sales funnel aimed at warming up and boosting the client. A special place should be occupied by the newsletter, it can be issued not only by email but also on social networks. Moreover, keeping in mind the interests of B2B, you need to generously spice up your messages with lead magnets.
B2C is a business for the end consumer. Here, online marketing lead generation can be focused on collecting contacts and direct sales. Unlike B2B, the audience of this segment buys in smaller volumes (retail) but more often. Shopping can be emotional when it comes to mass-market products. But when premium and luxury segment products come into play, the time to purchase noticeably increases. Additional warming up is required in the form of the same mailing and calling by managers.
For B2C digital lead generation, it is crucial to understand and use triggers and reasonably create the urgency effect. Hot discounts, limited-time specials, promo codes, and the like are suitable lead magnets for B2C, especially when selling mass-market products.
However, for lead generation in digital marketing in the premium and luxury segments, the above strategy only sometimes gives the desired result (depending on the product). The leading trigger here is getting the additional value that improves the quality of life, broadcasting a high status.
Context and target work well in B2B and B2C digital lead generation. Their effectiveness depends on how competently they fit into the sales funnel, as well as on such points as:
- understanding the values and pains of the target audience;
- competent USP;
- subsequent processing of incoming messages (contacts, questions);
- correct boosting of the visitor into the client.
1. If you have no idea about the target audience and business niche
Target audience consists of segments, and for each segment, you need to understand:
- customer expectations;
- what problem is solved by the service;
- what result does the client want to get;
- other features of communication.
If you try to cover everything at a time, the result will likely not please you.
2. You haven't thought of a concise USP that clearly describes to the target audience the product benefits
The lack of a USP invariably leads to a rise in lead generation cost and a decrease in quality. It can become one of the main reasons for draining the advertising budget.
3. You do not have business process automation:
- sales funnels;
- IP-based phone system;
- collection of applications from the site.
This is only part of the list of processes that have to be automated; otherwise, the efficiency of digital lead generation will decrease. Chaos in business processes harms conversion and leads to financial losses.
An important aspect is the ranking of leads is that they have to be given priority. And for this, you should be able to look at the history of interaction with the client and decide whether it is worth calling right now and selling or whether you should still “warm up” the user.
4. You forgot about the person responsible for processing the incoming flow of applications
It is an error that can lead to negative consequences and entail lost financial benefits. A small call center in the state, consisting of well-trained sales managers who know the services being promoted well, will significantly increase the conversion.
5. You think that your website is a reference and does not require any modifications to get leads
Not all websites are initially configured to receive high-traffic conversion. In addition, each segment of the target audience requires an individual approach: the more carefully the page is worked out to attract a client, the more applications/calls are received.
- Brand recognition. Lead generation informs the audience about products or services, which helps increase awareness of you and your brand.
- Increase in sales and profit margin. Lead generation can increase sales by converting leads into actual customers.
- Target clients. Lead generation in digital marketing allows you to be more targeted and aware of who is receiving your message. You can target your desired customer across multiple channels and different demographics.
- Gathering important information about potential customers. Based on potential customers' preferences, needs, and contact information, you can gather important information that can be used to understand the prospect's journey and personalize their experience. This allows you to tailor product or service messages to them and improve your chances of getting leads as customers.
Most lead generation tactics work best when used as part of an omnichannel approach. For example, leads will respond better when they find out about you through multiple touchpoints: social media pages with interesting content, YouTube videos, targeted ads.
The sequence of messages is also important. Your advertising tactic should reinforce the same message across all channels so that potential customers receive a consistent description of what you have to offer and understand your competitive advantage.
You need to find out where your customers usually look for information and where they spend the most time. These can be specific social networks, websites, blogger pages, and learn the basic formats of these sites.
As such, lead generation has no disadvantages. Unless the need to allocate a separate (and often quite large) budget.