It’s a fact for business owners: to grow your business, you need new leads. And to get new leads, you need a lead generation strategy. There are a thousand old-school ways of generating leads for your business offline. But you might have wondered, in our increasingly digital age, is it possible to grow your business from digital lead generation alone? Especially these days, when we are all seemingly at a hiatus, what can be done for leads and marketing now?
With the right digital marketing strategy in place, it’s absolutely possible. And it can come with many benefits, from being affordable for small businesses to cost-effective for larger ones, to creating a stronger bond with your customers and prospects.
That’s the power of a strong digital marketing strategy: you can get high-quality leads just from digital lead generation.
In today’s blog, we’ll talk about digital lead generation. Why do you need it? Why does it work? And how can you do it right to grow your business?
Why You Need Digital Lead Generation
Why is digital lead generation so important? Because the way most of us shop has changed rapidly over the past decade (and even more rapidly in the past month, thanks to the coronavirus keeping us at home). And maybe those old-school marketing campaigns like flyers and big billboards still work for some industries.
Almost Everyone is Online
But for most companies, your potential leads are online. This is true whether you’re a national industry or in a very local business. Your target audience is spending more and more time doing research and making purchases online. And this is also why online reviews for your business are so important. So if all your marketing tactics take place in person, you’re missing out.
You’re also putting up an additional barrier to a sale of your product or service if you’re not doing extensive digital lead generation. What’s easier to get a prospect to take action on today: giving you their email address in exchange for valuable information, or taking action from a poster they saw as the walked by on their way to the park?
Cutting Through the Noise
We live in a very noisy marketing environment these days. Customers have more options than ever, and they’re also being bombarded daily with huge amounts of ads – online and in person. Your marketing messages need to stand out from the rest of the noisy crowd, which is no easy feat.
So how can you grab – and retain – attention from your potential customers? By becoming a trusted authority they can easily find online, with information that speaks to their needs. This is the essence of content marketing – producing useful and valuable content that brings you leads through either being search-engine-optimized or shared through your social channels.
Content marketing is a way of generating sustained leads for free over time instead of paying for quick leads. Want to learn more about the difference between these two types of leads?
Check out our YouTube video on quick vs. sustained leads.
Why is Digital Lead Generation So Effective?
1. It’s Low-Cost
What’s the big advantage digital lead generators have over more traditional marketing strategies? They can be very cost-effective to produce. Sure, some large companies pay their employees or contractors to write their free eBooks or produce beautiful-looking white papers.
But smaller businesses don’t need to miss out. With free or low-cost online tools and some time, you can create digital lead generators yourself. After all, you’re the expert on your business and on what your customers want to know. You don’t need to pay a creative agency for that content if your budget is tight.
2. Because Email Marketing is Key
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing techniques, for several reasons. They can be highly targeted, which is a must in our marketing-saturated world. They have a high conversion rate because the process is more seamless than anything done off-line – just one click can lead to a purchase with a thoughtful nurture campaign.
Plus, with a digital lead, your prospect has already expressed interest in your product before they have even entered your marketing funnel. This saves your sales teams from hours of hopeless cold calls, and lets them talk directly to a qualified lead more quickly.
3. It’s Friendly and Feel-Good
If you think about many traditional avenues of outbound marketing like cold calls, they can feel intrusive or pushy to some prospects. Coming home after a long workday to a mailbox stuffed full of menus from the Thai restaurant around the corner when you don’t eat Thai food is irritating to you, and a waste of money for the Thai place.
On the other hand, getting a friendly email with useful information from the Italian grocery store you shop at frequently, after you give them your email address on their blog to get a coveted recipe? That is a welcome interaction, building your goodwill with the company.
Creating Digital Lead Generators
Once you’ve got potential leads to your site, and they’re interested in your content, how can you take them from being interested to being a qualified lead?
First, you need their contact information and permission to get in touch. This is where lead generators come in.
Digital lead generators can be anything that is valuable enough for your prospects to hand over their email address. This could include a mini eBook, a case study, a worksheet, or anything that speaks to the needs of your target audience.
Want more ideas for creating effective digital lead generators?
Check out our YouTube video with 10 essential ideas for lead generators.
With the right lead generators on your website or social channels, you can get real leads who are interested in becoming your customers. Just make sure you’re speaking to what your prospects want to know, not just want you want to tell them.
Qualifying Your Digital Leads
The process isn’t over once you’ve got your effective lead generation strategy in place. You still need to qualify your leads – determining where they are in the decision-making process.
Are they a marketing-qualified lead: someone who has engaged with your content but isn’t ready for a sales call yet?
Or are they a sales-qualified lead: a lead that’s ready to talk to your sales team about making a purchase?
Determining where your leads are in your marketing funnel is essential, and it can be tricky – check out our YouTube video explaining exactly what you need to do and why. This is where the importance of an overall digital marketing strategy becomes clear. It’s no use going through all the work to generate leads if you don’t know what to do with them once you have them.
Why Digital Lead Generation is the Best Way to Grow Your Business
Digital lead generation is an incredibly powerful way to grow and market your business.
After all, lead generation is just a way of getting prospects organically interested in what your company offers. And since most of your target audience (depending on your industry) spends a good amount of time online, it makes the most sense to meet your leads where they already are.
But digital lead generation is most powerful as part of a strong overall digital marketing strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought businesses to “tomorrow”, so if yours hasn’t embraced this yet, the time is now.
We Can Help with Digital Marketing During the Pandemic, and After
Looking for more personalized help on your digital marketing strategy right now? Schedule a free business review here to find out how we help businesses grow. You can use these insights for inspiration, and let us do the marketing for you.