Leads are the lifeblood of any business, and digital marketing provides an astounding array of lead generation techniques that didn’t exist until relatively recently. If you’re looking to gather new leads from prospective clients (and who isn’t?), the following lead generation techniques are among the most effective.
#1 Landing Pages
A landing page is a standalone web page that exists to accomplish a single goal. Sometimes landing pages are used to sell a specific product, but often they’re used to capture leads. By offering a lead magnet (e.g., ebooks, webinars—see below) in exchange for a first name and an email address, you can gather leads from your target audience. Then you can add them to your email nurture campaigns and follow up to book an appointment (if that’s part of your business model).
You can also focus your landing page on demonstrating your product’s value and include a call-to-action on the end that pushes the reader to start a free trial or book a product demo.
Content marketing in general is all about providing value to prospective customers, and eBooks do just that. A good eBook will help solve a problem that’s relevant to your target audience without overtly selling your product. For example, if you sell marketing automation software and your target audience is Marketing professionals, you could offer an eBook about how to create an effective landing page. By offering an eBook in exchange for a prospect’s contact information, you can follow up with email campaigns or even a phone call (again, if that fits your sales model).
Just like an eBook, free webinars should provide valuable information to prospective customers. Live webinars can be particularly effective at bringing about engagement. Webinars not only raise brand awareness—they allow you to collect contact info from the signup form and voilà… you’ve got yourself a lead!
#4 Google Adsense
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a type of internet advertising where advertisers pay a fee each time someone clicks on an ad. Google Adsense is one of the most popular PPC platforms, and it works by allowing advertisers to bid on key words and key phrases—the more competitive your keywords, the more it will cost you. Google uses an algorithm that factors your bid alongside how relevant your website is to the terms the user is searching for. Based on these two factors, your website may appear among the sponsored search results in a Google search, which can drive leads to your website.
#5 Blogging (with SEO)
Blogging (just like what we’re doing here) is an effective way to drive traffic to your website. And when you combine it with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keywords and keyphrases, you can help boost your search engine ranking. As with all content marketing, your blog should provide real value to prospective customers. For example, this blog post is designed to educate our target audience about lead generation, and the only place you’ll find a pitch for our products is at the bottom of this page. By contrast, if all we did was offer an endless advertisement in our blog posts, you wouldn’t keep reading… would you?
#6 Email Marketing
Have you ever wondered why Coca Cola spends $4 billion per year to show you images of happy people sharing a “coke and a smile?” Although nobody makes a conscious decision to buy a soft drink because they saw it in an ad, these commercials provide repeated exposure to the brand—so when you’re thirsty, you think of their products.
Most companies don’t have the budget for brand advertising, but email marketing serves a similar role. By sending newsletters, special offers, and other messages 1-4 times per month, prospects and customers will remember your brand. And the more comfortable they become with your brand, the more likely they are to trust you and eventually purchase your products.
#7 Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is another form of brand advertising with the added benefit of sparking engagement. When people interact with your brand through content posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms, it’s even more powerful than having them passively consume your emails. Creating highly shareable content provides additional opportunities to reach potential customers when your followers share that content with their friends.
Keep in mind that if you’re selling B2B software targeting CEOs in the finance industry, your target audience probably isn’t hanging out on Instagram—although LinkedIn might prove to be an excellent source of leads. Simply put, go where your target market is.
This principle, in fact, applies more broadly to all the lead generation techniques listed above. One size never fits all when it comes to digital marketing, and since you probably don’t have the resources to use all these techniques, instead focus your energy on those that produce the greatest ROI.