Lead Generation Essentials in 2023-2024
Consumers today have access to an essentially endless pool of information at the touch of a button. So, it’s no surprise that social media, articles, video content and podcasts are just a few examples of media sources that can help to influence a consumer’s decision making process.
As marketers, it’s our job to successfully attract potential customers with our messaging and content. But with so much competition out there, generating high-quality leads is no easy task.
To help make your job a bit easier, I have put together a selection of lead generation essentials that will help you to streamline your lead generation strategies throughout 2024.
But let’s start with the basics.
What Exactly Is Lead Generation?
When you capture the information of potential customers who have demonstrated an interest in your service or product, you have generated a lead.
The main objective here is to form a connection with a potential customer as early as possible in the purchasing process, as this provides the best opportunity to build a meaningful relationship and a sense of trust, which should, ideally, encourage them to buy from your brand when they are ready to commit to the purchase.
Lead generation also has several additional objectives, which include building brand loyalty, collecting valuable data that can be used throughout your marketing strategy, and building awareness of your brand.
Lead Generation Strategies
Now, it is imperative to remember that not every website visitor is a lead. So, successful lead generation strategies have particular targets that help to form connections with the right people. These strategies include:
As consumers must opt-in to receiving email marketing from your brand, this is one of the best lead generation tools available to you.
– Social Media
With a proper strategy, social media platforms allow you to engage with your audience in a highly meaningful way, making it an excellent tool to encourage your audience to take a specific action.
– Blog Content
Well-written blog content is an excellent way to provide value to an audience and build your brand authority. This versatile medium can also be used to promote special offers, which can help to attract even more potential customers.
– Landing Pages
Integrating a tracking pixel in key landing pages on your website can provide you with a wealth of valuable visitor information that can then be used within a sales targeting strategy.
Now, let’s go over some of the different types of leads that you may want to capture and pursue as part of your strategy.
The Seven Main Lead Types
Every business is fuelled by sales, however, sales strategies naturally vary across industries and sectors. So, it goes without saying that there are also a number of different types of leads and they can generally be placed into one of seven categories.
1. Hot Leads: Interested in what you have to offer and are ready to convert.
2. Cold Leads: These potential customers aren’t familiar with your brand and may be hard to convert.
3. Warm Leads: Are familiar with your brand but have made no direct contact with you.
4. Marketing Qualified Leads: Looking to determine whether your brand can provide the solution they’re looking for.
5. Information Qualified Leads: Has demonstrated an interest in your brand and has signed up to an email newsletter for more information.
6. Sales Qualified Leads: Ready to make a purchase but may still also be considering solutions offered by one or more of your competitor brands.
7. Sales Ready Leads: Positioned at the bottom-of-the-funnel and will soon be ready to make a purchase.
Lead Qualification and Scoring
As well as different lead categories, every lead also needs to be qualified and scored because not every lead will occupy the same position within the sales funnel. Most businesses score leads on a scale between 1 and 100, with points assigned for specific actions.
So, opening an email may equal 5 points and following your Facebook page may equal 10 points. The values you assign to each action are up to you, but this scoring system is designed to help you to easily determine which of the following stages a lead is at.
1. New Leads: initial contact has been made but nothing further has occurred yet
2. Working Leads: an initial conversation has occurred between a lead and your brand
3. Unqualified Leads: are not interested in what you have to offer
4. Nurturing Leads: may be interested in purchasing in the future, but aren’t right now
5. Qualified Leads: actively want to purchase something you are offering
It goes without saying that you should place more of your energy and attention on leads that are most likely to convert.
Examples of Lead Generation Strategies
Now that we have covered the basic premise and purpose of lead generation, let’s take a look at some specific strategies that you may choose to leverage.
– Email Marketing
Email marketing works. So, developing a specific email marketing strategy will help you to generate new leads. Email is also one of the most cost-effective lead generation methods and provides the opportunity to segment your audience and share the information that is most relevant to their needs.
Don’t forget, good CRM systems will also provide you with plenty of engagement, open rate and retention data, which can be used to refine your email campaigns to drive even better outcomes.
– Content Marketing
Every successful digital marketing strategy leverages the power of content marketing. Creating informative and engaging content is one of the best ways to provide value to your audience, which boosts interest in your business and increases brand engagement.
There are many different forms of content that can be leveraged, including blog posts, video content and podcasts, each of which can be used in different ways.
For example, if you want to increase awareness of your brand, blog posts can be an excellent vehicle for sharing timely information with your audience. Alternatively, if you want to establish yourself as a leading voice within your niche, publishing white papers can boost the authoritativeness of your voice.
– Referral Marketing
Your existing customers can be hugely helpful in helping you to connect with new customers, and it’s simple, too. All you need to do is encourage your customers to recommend their friends to you in exchange for something of value, such as a discount code or gift card.
Alternatively, you can ask your existing customers to write an online review in exchange for entry into a prize draw or discount code.
There are a lot of things to think about here, but the main takeaway I want to leave you with is this:
Now is the time to prioritise lead generation because it can help you to consistently make new sales at a time when every niche and marketplace is hugely competitive.