As a small business entrepreneur, you always want to ensure that your products or services reach as many people as possible. But in this technologically-advanced space where aggressive marketing campaigns won’t cut it anymore, you’ll have to be more strategic if you want people to do business with you without feeling overwhelmed.
That’s where lead generation comes in. Successful businesses continuously seek effective marketing strategies to increase audiences, and lead generation is an effective scheme that serves as a stimulant for potential customers. According to Ruler Analytics, 91% of marketers say that lead generation is their most important goal.
Now, you might be thinking, “What is lead generation?” Learn more about this tried-and-tested marketing strategy, and let this infographic be your guide!
What is Lead Generation?
According to Forbes, lead generation is the process of proactively attracting leads, a person or an enterprise showing interest in your product or service, to convert them into paying customers.
Lead generation work is much more strategic and far less intrusive than those random sales and marketing initiatives that come in messages or phone calls. Often, leads hear from companies after engaging with them. These interactions could be as simple as liking a brand’s post online or as extensive as completing an online survey.
Each lead is categorized into a lifecycle stage, helping marketers develop an appropriate action plan for the brand. Here are the four of its most common types:
- Marketing qualified leads (MQL) have interacted and shown interest in your products and services, but they’re not ready for a sales call yet as they need more nurturing. An example would be someone who added your products to their online shopping cart.
- Sales qualified leads (SQL) are contacts who want to buy your product or service. They’re the easiest leads to convert to customers since they’re ready for a sales talk. An individual seeking sales assistance to learn more about your product falls under this type.
- Product qualified leads (PQL) are customers who have already tried out your product and shown interest in upgrading to a paid version.
- Service qualified leads are prospects interested in your product or service and are ready to be pursued for conversion into full-fledged customers.
The primary goal of lead generation is to establish a sales pipeline by capturing the attention of buyers and stimulating interest in your product or service. You can acquire leads online, offline, or a combination of both and filter them accordingly to generate high-quality leads for your enterprise.
Why Does Lead Generation Matter?
No matter the industry, every company needs leads to drive the business forward. Without a solid lead generation strategy, you risk wasting your time, money, and effort on marketing efforts that don’t sell.
Below are more reasons why you need lead generation for your business:
It builds brand awareness
Whether you’re a startup business needing more hype or an established enterprise that wants to sustain exposure in the field, lead generation activities help build brand awareness and generate interest in your products or services—eventually leading to a sale.
It boosts revenue
The right lead generation strategy can maximize your brand’s ability to reach prospects using the right messaging, offer, and content to capture the interest of niche groups and eventually qualified leads for conversion.
It improves lead quality
Everything you produce for your brand online should target groups with the potential to be qualified leads. With lead generation, you’re taking a specific approach to content creation, improving your leads’ quality and overall conversions and sales.
It reduces cold calling and emailing efforts
When you have a solid number of leads coming to take an interest in your product or service, you won’t have to spend so much effort on outbound methods like cold calling and emailing. That way, you and your sales team can focus on developing campaigns that help you stand out from your competition.
It generates more business opportunities
Lead generation helps you reach prospects and exposes your business to non-competing brands that might want to collaborate with you. Doing these can help you gain access to their audience and vice versa.
Effective Methods to Generate Leads Online
There are two types of lead generation: inbound and outbound. Inbound lead generation is where any prospect or lead interested in your product or service comes to you from your various channels. On the other hand, outbound lead generation means your business is the one reaching out to these prospects.
Inbound lead generation can be any of the following:
- Filling out a feedback survey
- Contacting a salesperson for more information
- Registering to download an e-book
- Requesting a demo after watching a webinar
Meanwhile, examples of outbound lead generation include:
- Cold calling
- Cold emailing
- Mass emailing
- Social media advertising
There are many lead generation platforms and methods today, especially with multiple digital marketing work you can look into, such as:
Search engine optimization (SEO)
People immediately go online whenever they want to know something or solve a problem. Once they find you and your content helpful, they’ll likely buy a related product or service from you. As a business, that’s a sure way for prospects to discover you, and that’s lead generation using SEO.
Creating informative and relevant content can send qualified leads to your website or service page. If your content can address their main concerns, they’ll likely sign up for your product or service.
You can have a small team or a content writing virtual assistant take over content marketing tasks, such as drafting articles and proofreading texts for your site or social media accounts, until your business sees positive results.
Social media marketing
A great way to gather followers using social media platforms is by sharing useful content and guiding them to take appropriate action afterward.
Create a publishing calendar and engaging social media posts with a clear call to action (CTA), which you can assign to a social media virtual assistant to build a better online presence for your brand.
Email is a good place to reach out to people who already know your business since they already have subscribed to your list. Getting a virtual assistant specializing in email marketing ensures your company that effective materials are sent out to the prospects, and further communication gets taken care of, should there be any.
Referral or word-of-mouth marketing works because of the relationship between your customer and the referral. The trust is already there since your customers refer your brand to friends, family, and colleagues. You don’t have to put much effort into convincing these referrals to do business with your company.
Another way to make a more personal connection with your target audience and convert them into customers is by hosting an informative webinar specific to their wants and needs.
Leads generated by webinars are already considered high-quality since they’ve shown initial interest by signing up for your event. If they find your webinar extremely helpful, they should be willing to share more of their contact details to get updates on your product or service.
Lead Generation Strategies to Adopt for Your Business
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to generating leads. You can employ several strategies to maximize your prospect search. Below are some you can consider for your business:
Launch conversational marketing efforts
Conversational marketing uses real-time dialogue to guide potential consumers throughout their buying journey.
A chatbot is a good way to establish interaction by efficiently answering questions from interested leads. You can also get outsourced lead generation support from a virtual assistant who can keep track of inquiries and send out personalized responses to these leads.
Perform competitor analysis
Ultimately, conducting competitor analysis helps you figure out your industry’s audience. Having a lead generating VA work on this lets you know what makes your competitor’s customers happy or unhappy with their products or services, which you can use to your advantage and improve your overall operations.
Conduct customer surveys
Surveys are a good way to gain insights into your prospects’ actual wants and needs and how you can help address them. It’s one of the sure ways to identify your MQLs and collect testimonials, which your brand can use as social proof of your product or service quality.
Provide attractive deals and discounts
Giving discounts and promos to your prospects can increase your conversions, as such unique moments can help delight them and choose your brand over the others. It’s another way to boost your company’s overall customer experience, benefitting you in the long run.
Partner with influencers
Connecting with influencers who greatly impact different buyers’ decisions is an effective marketing strategy that can help your business get exposure, build authority, and reach more audiences online.
Good Leads, Good Business
Lead generation is a holistic strategy that can help you grow your business over time. Any good company is wasted when it doesn’t have the right design, tools, and people to work on it. Now that consumers are almost always online, the competition is tougher, but the width at which you can expand your reach becomes endless.
Having the right people to help you with the entire lead generation process can make a big difference for your business. If you want to work with professionals that provide quality work with great flexibility, you can consider partnering with a virtual assistant company like Outsource Access.
Outsource Access has a pool of talented virtual assistants who know the ins and outs of lead generation, helping you scale your business—interested in finding out more? Check out our process or book a call with us today!
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