Like traditional lead generation, online lead generation is founded on demonstrating expertise and building trusting relationships. While online marketing continues to evolve, here are ten proven lead generation techniques that work for small and medium-sized businesses as well as for charities and organisations in the third sector.
1. Lead Generating Website
Most websites are not actually designed to generate leads. In fact, many of them are almost “anti-lead generators.” These websites are usually filled with too much jargon and focused strictly around their services, like an online version of an old-fashioned brochure. This makes them passive and mostly unhelpful to web visitors. A lead generation website will have a user-friendly description of what you do (value proposition) and (in a matter of seconds) identify key problems or needs you can solve. Unless your visitors get that after a few seconds on your page, they’ll go somewhere else. A lead generating website is one which provides easy access to valuable information, offers opportunities to sign up and provides an effortless contact method.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you know how to use SEO to your advantage, you will end up on your prospects’ shortlist when they search for answers or solutions to their problems. Because what is one thing most of your potential clients have in common today? They will use a search engine to find an answer, in fact they may say to themselves “I will google that”. SEO can help you use the right tools to guide your ideal clients to your content online.
3. Online Networking
This may sound odd but this is what those social media tools are for in your marketing strategy. The success you have on social media is dependant on the quality of your networking. Of course the style of interaction does vary from one social media channel to another, yet it’s all about making the right connections, providing an easy way to connect and refer and getting attention for your services and products.
We have always been big supporters of blogging for business. The tricky part about blogging is that even though a blog doesn’t generate many direct leads, it’s still the most effective driver of leads to a website. A blog is directly connected to your SEO and increases your chances of being found online. Moreover, you can use social media, bookmarking websites and article directories to promote your blog further. Let’s be honest – without hosting a blog on your own website, your on page SEO efforts are challenged…to put it mildly.
A webinar is an online version of a seminar in which, through displaying expertise or dare we say “thought leadership”, you can generate leads. Via the online registration you can collect the basic information of the attendees and present educational and interesting topics to them. Make sure the webinar has a good value to your ideal client. A webinar may not always result in immediate leads, but with time attendees will come to trust your business and you will have a better chance to be considered when they need your services.
6. eBooks/White papers
eBooks and White papers are basically another way for you to demonstrate expertise and thought leadership (a white paper is typically shorter than an eBook). Pick subjects that are relevant to your target market, provide information regarding their common challenges or needs. This is one of the most common techniques for lead generation, because it establishes credibility and attracts qualified leads. You can offer them a white paper for free via a registration screen or you can distribute it using a third-party. You may even want to consider paid content.
7. Online Marketing Videos
One of the biggest content marketing trends recently has been online videos. It is one of the perfect marketing mediums you can use to build credibility and get referrals. Have a client provide a testimonial or introduce your team with a video or explain some of your business’ more complex services with the advantage of the visual storytelling method. Online videos can play a tremendous role in lead nurturing.
There are many benefits to using a newsletter – you can spread educational content, make special offers and this way build a good subscriber list. When you are sending a newsletter to people, the key is to have great content to send. The better the content and the more exclusive your offers, the more attention you’ll get.
9. Industry Research Reports
Think about offering a full research report on the industry that you serve. It is a proven strategy which can generate leads and strengthen your brand’s reputation. This can be a great lead generation source and another benefit of a good research report is that it can help you partner with a non-competing business or a trade association. Again, this has a massive role in increasing your credibility and improving your marketing.
10. Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
One way to land straight on your prospects’ radar is to have a direct control over the keywords you’re being discovered by, i.e. buy your way into the search results for the keywords that are most relevant to your business. With PPC you pay when someone clicks on your link and it’s completely trackable and measurable. PPC advertising is also typically more affordable than traditional advertising.
Which of these tools have helped you generate most leads? Share with us in the comment box below. Or contact us for a full lead generation strategy.