Some define it as “the soul of a company”, so it must be something fundamental. In this article, we will try to understand what lead generation is, what it is used for and how to do it. To get fully into the subject, we will also talk about lead magnets and lead nurturing.
Lead generation: meaning and why it is essential
Generating leads means implementing strategies to get contacts from people interested in a company’s products or services. To do this, the company creates free content that meets the needs and curiosity of its target audience (for example, e-books, webinars, reports, podcasts, tools, etc.).
To enjoy these contents, the process is straightforward: people must fill out a contact form (which must be brief and precise to avoid dissuading them).
The most crucial thing in all this work is to get the “lead”: the contact of the person who expresses an interest. Leads allow the company to focus all its energies on an already profiled audience (interested in its products or services) and, therefore it’s easier to convert.
In a 2020 study published by Forbes, Nikolas Kairinos, CEO, and founder of Soffos.ai, stated: “Lead generation is the lifeblood of a business, so it’s worrying to see so many companies struggling in this area.”.
“Our research shows an over-reliance on old methods of generating leads, which would have been the norm decades ago but are not appropriate in today’s digital world. Companies must adapt to remain competitive and increase the number of leads that, at the last moment, become sales.”
How to get new customers, both online and offline
A good lead generation strategy can include online and online actions to get interesting contacts (prospects).
How to generate offline leads:
Lead generation is not a new marketing strategy: it was born with word of mouth, “cold calls”, the purchase of advertising space on television and radio, and participation in industry events. All these methods to get contact are probably the ones that Nikolas Kairinos defined as “ancient”.
However, that does not mean that they should not be considered: we can incorporate them into a strategy that includes online actions.
How to generate leads online:
Lead generation experienced its revolution with the arrival of the Internet, social networks and email marketing. Online means you can get many contacts and data quickly; with these, you can create a database for strategic decision-making.
This “new way” of generating leads should be used by all companies, as it allows them to obtain incredible results. Let’s analyze it.
Lead magnets: what they are and how to create one
The name already promises a lot: a lead magnet is a “potential customer magnet”. It is unpublished and free content created by the company to attract them. All lead generation starts here, in the creation of a lead magnet. What kind of content can be made? They can be very different; for example:
- Guides and electronic books: unpublished content in which you offer, in a very pleasing way, advice and good practices on matters related to your business.
- Reports: The company may have collected various vital data over time. Through words, you can inform an interested audience about industry trends.
- Courses, webinars, tutorials, podcasts: if you deal with topics related to your business, you can offer helpful content that meets the needs of your target audience.
- Free tools or demos: large companies that create tools usually offer some free tools to complement their offer. They can also get leads through demos of their products.
What is the use of creating a lead magnet?
Studying the characteristics of the product or service you want to direct customers to create readable content that you can offer them is essential.
It is also necessary to study the target audience well since the lead magnet must solve a problem or satisfy a need of your buyer persona (a term used to define people potentially interested in acquiring your product or service).
These are the two requirements that you must meet for your content to exert its “force of attraction”. Investing your energies in creating something that is not taken care of makes no sense. Remember: uncared content = uninteresting contacts.
Once you create the lead magnet, you will need a landing page where you present it (or a pop-up that you add to your web page) with a contact form that must be filled out to enjoy the material.
To optimize the effort, we recommend that you promote it on social networks with organic or sponsored posts and mention it in your newsletter (if you have one).
The leads you get this way are “gold” for your company: they are contacts of people interested in your activity to whom you can send personalized offers.
From contacts to clients. What is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing refers to activities that can help you create a relationship with your “interested contacts”, offering them personalized content and offers. “Nurture” in English means to nurture, care for, and help in growth. That’s just what you have to do with all your contacts. It would help if you did not allow them to sit there collecting dust.
How to create a lead nurturing strategy?
To build a solid relationship with potential customers, we must offer them personalized and careful content.
All the information that you manage to collect from your interested contacts (profession, number of followers on social networks, rate of opening of emails, actions carried out within the website, interactions in social network publications) help you to create a:
“Lead scoring»: a score assigned to each lead that tells you how interested the contact is in your company and, therefore, what type of content to offer.”
Of course, automated marketing platforms are designed to put a numerical value on behavioral data. So, you won’t have to deal with that.
The most used tool to do this is, without a doubt, automatic email flows, which allow you to create personalized paths for each contact with the goal of conversion. By conversion, we mean that your lead buys your product or service due to having “nurtured” it with the appropriate content.
Email marketing is a fundamental resource, but it is not the only one. A multi-channel approach will be the most effective. We know that, on average, it takes 5 to 10 contacts with the company to transform an interested user into a client.
Therefore, the company that manages to create more contact opportunities with potential customers will have more chances of converting them.