Lead Generation is one of the most important activities in Digital Marketing. Lead Generation is the process of creating a database of users who have shown interest in products or services that the company is offering by using a mix of outbound and inbound marketing activities.
The definition of lead generation is much smaller as compared to the how’s and why’s of Lead Generation.
Here is the detailed guide to understanding lead generation in detail.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting more people to your product or service and get them interested in what you are offering. The goal of lead generation is to attract more prospects and turn them into paying customers. The contact information of the visitor is called a lead.
Lead generation has been an integral part of businesses for years. If you look at the traditional businesses when the internet was not around, they used other mediums like commission agents or coupons in order to generate leads. This used to work well for both service and product-related businesses.
With the emergence of the internet, it is now possible to do lead generation at scale. You can generate leads with a professional landing page backed by search engine marketing (SEM) and social media marketing (SMM). In other words, rather than paying any agents or spending money on printing coupons, you can simply pay a search engine like Google or social media platform like Facebook.
What is lead generation in Digital Marketing?
Lead Generation is the process of attracting and appealing to prospective customers to your business by offering something of value in return. Some examples of lead generation techniques could be blog posts, coupon codes, live events, ebooks, webinars, and online content.
Lead Generation in digital marketing often uses digital channels and has been undergoing substantial changes in recent years from the rise of new online and social techniques.
Lead Generation in digital marketing can be broken down into sets of marketing activities that correspond with the customers buying journey with the aim to:
- Generate traffic to the business website.
- Convert the website visitors into leads.
- Convert the leads into customers.
Lead generation is a core part of the sales funnels for many B2B companies as the products can cost thousands of dollars. Web visitors are less likely to buy your product or service directly from the website. Collecting new leads helps in educating and nurturing potential customers through e-mail marketing before they can be reached out to directly through salespeople.
Lead generation is also important for e-commerce and other businesses. Email marketing is still one of the most effective channels for online marketing. Gathering a potential customer’s contact information allows the business to market to them later.
How does lead generation work?
There are two main components to the lead generation process. Getting traffic to your site and then convincing them to share their contact information with you. The first step of the process is an effective way to attract prospects to your website. There are several methods for attracting prospects to your site, depending on your company’s goals and budget. Following are some of the major methods that businesses use to drive traffic:
Search Engine Marketing: Search Engine Marketing is a form of online advertising. That includes paying search engines such as Google or Bing to display ads in search results. Because search is the primary method as people navigate the web. It can be a great source of traffic.
Search Engine Optimization: Search Engine Optimization is similar to Search Engine Marketing. The only difference being you do not pay for the traffic that you are getting from the search engines. Instead of paying search engines for ads, SEO involves optimizing your website for search engine algorithms. So that it is more visible in organic search results.
Social Media Marketing: Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have become some of the most popular sites on the web and introducing searches as major sources of traffic. You can generate traffic from social networks by posting content on social media platforms or paying for ads that run on the network.
Why is Lead Generation important?
Lead Generation is very important especially because it enables your business and your businesses’ website to create enormous traffic and this leads to more sales and higher conversion rates.
If you have a quality lead generation process it will help a lot in finding the right customers your business needs.
Online lead generation encompasses a wide range of tactics, campaigns, and strategies depending on the platform on which you wish to capture leads.
Few Popular Platforms of Lead Generation
What is B2B and B2C?
B2B is a business model, where business is done between two businesses. B2C is a business model, where a company sells goods directly to the end consumer.
In B2B, the customer is the business entity whereas, in B2C, an individual is a consumer.
B2B focuses on relationships with business entities, but the primary focus of B2C is on the product and individual customers.
The buying and selling cycle is much longer in B2B as compared to B2C.
In B2B business relationships last longer but in B2C, the relationship between buyer and seller lasts for a shorter duration.
In B2B, decision-making is completely planned and logical, whereas in B2C decision-making is emotional and impulsive.
The volume of goods sold in B2B is large. In contrast, B2C goods are sold in smaller quantities.
Difference Between B2B and B2C Lead Generation
The methods of lead generation will be similar for B2B and B2C segments. However, there will be changes in the process of lead generation depending on who you are trying to appeal to. The major differences in the process are as follows:
- Length of the Sales Cycle
In the case of a B2B business, the length of the sales cycle is much longer as compared to a B2C product or service. As B2B products are often costly complex and require business decisions, the sales cycle of B2B products and services takes weeks and months as compared to B2C business which can get sales instantly.
- Tone of Content
The content under B2B has to be more formal and business-like while in the case of B2C business it can be quirky and less formal.
For a B2B business, it is important to appeal to businesses. Hence, they need to keep their content formal and properly structured. On the other hand, a B2C business need not stick to these rules when creating content for lead generation.
- Scale of lead generation
The audience to be tapped is narrower in the case of a B2B business as compared to B2C. As a result, the scale of lead generation for a B2B business will be smaller than a B2C business.
For a consumer-facing business, it is easier to do lead generation at scale. However, for a B2B business, it is important to get the targeting right so that they can get the prospective consumers on their radar.
- Final sale
For a B2B business, the final sale typically happens through relationship and trust. These are done by a sales team which is connected with a business for a long time.
For a B2C business, you do not require a sales team to undertake sales. It can happen online based on the online reputation the brand has. As a result, it is important to build a quality-based perception in the market.
Why is Lead Generation important?
Lead Generation is one of the most important business strategies for many businesses. Today, with a lot of crowd and noise around consumers, it is difficult for them to figure out the good from the bad. Lead generation helps in building trust with the consumer.
The foundation of lead generation techniques lies in sharing valuable information by way of content (ebooks, articles, reports, etc), coupons, access to a private community, etc. with the consumer. Lead generation is important in the present scenario because it helps in building trust with the consumer over a period of time.
How to generate Leads?
There are several ways by which you can generate leads. Here are the top methods that can be used to generate leads:
- Identify Your Target Audience
- Pick Your Promotional Methods Wisely
- Create a Sales Funnel
- Use an Email Newsletter to Build Relationships
- Leverage Social Media to Connect and Engage
This must have given you an overview of lead generation, how to get started with generating leads and what are the various types of lead generation tools. Let me know in the comments below how did you find this article.