(Guest writer: Yulia Zubova)
Lead generation is heard by all B2C companies. They are ready to invest around 11.3% of revenues in marketing, in particular, content production and promotion.
Immense sums are spent to contract celebrities and authors who advocate for this or that brand, and lead gen campaigns’ effectiveness is tracked with surgical precision.
For those who are still not much about what is lead generation marketing and why to conduct it, we’ve prepared a brief guide to bear in mind.
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What’s a Lead?
When a company creates a marketing mix it considers the target audience or prospects. It is aimed to satisfy their needs, and, consequently, earn revenues and profits.
When prospects show interest in what the company offers, they start being treated as leads. Interest means sharing a piece of contact information, like email or phone number.
Think of an example. Adidas may target women between the ages of 25 and 34 who live in big cities and run in the morning. These are the brand’s prospects.
As soon as women share their personal data with the company, e.g. visit adidas.com and sign up with the Creators club, they become leads.
“Companies use different honey traps to ask for one contact information”
What is Lead Generation & What’s Its Importance?
Some prospects may discover a brand and make a purchase by chance, but in most cases getting a conversion requires certain acquisition works – a lead generation process.
Lead gen allows companies to build brand awareness and nurture prospects up to a conversion. The process doesn’t end with the deal, however. Post-purchase follow-ups and excellent customer care may turn occasional buyers into loyal clients and even brand advocates.
4 Reasons You Should Start Generating Leads
Taking control over lead gen is important for companies that want to be profitable in the long term. Meaning that – for every single business. Sales lead generators to allow to:
- Keep the sales pipeline full.
- Forecast cash flows, expenses, and revenues.
- Perform successful staffing and personnel planning.
- Align Sales and Marketing efforts better.
Main Channels of Lead Generation
Many B2C companies combine offline and online lead gen efforts. First include in-store promotions, such as merchandising, and out-of-home advertising.
Although digital ads slowly but surely displace offline channels, they are still essential for reaching out to the less tech savvy populations, e.g. aged people.
Online lead gen comes through Inbound or Outbound marketing activities or both. Inbound is preferred by the majority of companies, because engaging content and good SEO may bring more qualified leads than paid aids, especially from the strategic perspective.
Lead Generation Strategies
Every marketer can advocate in favor of one sales lead generator or another, but there are 5 prevalent lead gen strategies that fit pretty any company.
Lead Magnet Strategy
Here, the idea lies in sharing something valuable for free in exchange for prospects’ contacts. Online retailers usually offer rewards for signing up or subscribing to a newsletter. These may be one-time discount codes, shopping points, or gift cards.
“To collect and shop with points at amazon.com a user should first sign up with an email”
Email Outreach Strategy
Email is the widest and cheapest marketing channel. Because there are 4+ billion registered accounts, it’s always a big chance your prospect has at least one valid email.
Moreover, if you use mailing software, you can create a drip campaign – to automate the entire sales funnel. Email outreach allows companies to:
- Achieve greater audience coverage.
- Track leads engagement and conversions better.
- Nurture leads with an email drip campaign.
- Reduce overall promotional expenses.
Content Marketing Strategy
A company may attract leads by providing them with relevant and engaging content. You can perform content marketing by handling blogs, social media profiles, online publishing platforms (e.g. Medium.com), and YouTube or TikTok channels. The content itself may be articles, tutorials, reviews, How-To’s, videos, etc.
To implement the strategy, you should know target audience interests and identify informational “gaps” to fulfill. For example, if you sell recipe books or own restaurant networks, like Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver, you can film cooking videos and get subscribers, who will then (hopefully) turn into leads.
“Content marketing comes in different ways, including the filming of appealing videos”
To benefit from organic searches, fill in your content with relevant topical keywords and perform SEO optimization.
Ask existing customers to suggest your brand to their mates or colleagues. Referral strategy is much about word of mouth, however, you can encourage recommendations by providing incentives, e.g. cash bonuses or some non-monetary perks.
The latter can be extra points in the loyalty program, discounts, access to invitation-only events, etc.
“Stick to Jonah Berger’s 6 principles of sharing and word-of-mouth”
Paid advertising is a good tactic to increase awareness, re-target leads or get instant conversions. You can launch paid ads in a search engines environment, e.g. by using Google or Bing Ads, or set PPC campaigns on popular social networks.
An effective PPC strategy stands on 2 pillars – targeting and bidding. To get the highest possible ROI, use the following algorithm:
- Define the list of target keywords to show ads.
- Use automated bid strategies.
- Create different ad groups.
- Set up 3-5 ads per ad group.
- Use quality creatives.
- Monitor and AB test campaigns.
What’s a Lead Generation Funnel?
Every customer passes over decision stages before he or she is ready to pay money for a good or service. The process is called a “funnel” and has a V-shaped contour.
A lead gen funnel includes decision levels that differ in terms of how ready a person is to buy.
“Lead gen funnel 3 layers”
The Stages of Lead Generation Funnel
Prospect passe through 4 steps on their way to the deal:
Here’s where leads are acquainted with the brand for the first time. Their intent to convert is low, and they don’t distinguish the brand from analogs on the market.
Once moving to the middle of the funnel, leads start collecting information about the brand. Although their intention to buy may still be low, they weigh the pros and cons of the purchase.
Here’s where selling happens. To close the deal, salespersons should provide customer support and timely follow-up with all relevant information.
An increase of retention by 5% may increase profits by up to 95%. To initialize new purchases, use upselling and cross-selling techniques, nurture leads with email marketing, and establish loyalty programs.
Understanding what is a lead generation and why its important is the first step to ensure your prosperity in B2C the market. Remember – elaborated lead gen funnels will keep your sales cycle short, your sales pipeline full, and your sales team – self-satisfied.