“What’s the best way to get leads?” Considering we’ve generated more than 1.6 million leads for our customers, I hear this question practically every day. Of course, the answer depends on multiple variables.
These include your target audience, your product or service, your geographic area, your sales strategy, and how you use lead generation as a channel, to name a few. Here are some considerations for when you’re determining which lead-gen strategy works best for your business’ needs.
There Isn’t Just One Right Answer
Lead generation, as defined by the American Marketing Association, is “the process of collecting contact information and extracting potential sales leads.” In marketing, lead generation is the process of sparking that initial interest in your product or service with potential customers and leveraging that interest into a conversion. Easy enough, right?
Not exactly. Leads can be collected using a variety of paid advertising methods, and can also be derived from non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or customer referrals. There are several conflicting studies out there about which strategy is best for B2B lead generation. For example, Hubspot says the best three (identifiable) lead sources are SEO, content marketing, and social media. Content marketing providers share studies showing email as the top source by a landslide, PPC providers insist paid search is the secret to success, and… well, you get the point.
Inconsistencies aside, the best results come from a holistic blend of strategies — ranging from radio and television ads to paid search, social media, and SEO — all rolled up into one comprehensive strategic plan. This allows you to reach consumers at every vital point of the buying cycle, across various platforms, and convert them into a lead for your company.
Outbound vs Inbound Marketing
As you prepare to dive into the strategic planning for your lead generation activities, it’s important to distinguish between outbound and inbound marketing.
Outbound marketing can be thought of as “interruption lead generation”. Examples of outbound marketing efforts include radio and television advertising, direct mail, and phone calls – all of which are attempts for you to initiate the first interaction by pushing out communication to potential customers or clients.
Inbound marketing is when you pull potential customers to you, allowing them to initiate the conversation. The most common forms of inbound lead generation are content marketing and SEO. Providing valuable content that is easy to find helps you stand out from the crowd, and ultimately leads the customer to reach out to you (as opposed to you reaching out to them).
Leveraging All Points on the Buyer’s Journey
To generate leads you need to determine who you want to reach, how you want to reach them, and what you want to say to them. Throughout the buyer’s journey, you need to provide compelling information to move the buyer along and ultimately convert them into a lead.
Whether the consumer is doing research or needs immediate service, there’s an appropriate message to send them, at an appropriate time, and using an appropriate channel. When all parts of a marketing strategy are coordinated to create multiple touches with your target consumers, the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, and your likelihood of acquiring customers will skyrocket.
1.6 Million Internet Marketing Leads and Counting
As I mentioned earlier, Mediagistic has generated more than 1.6 million internet marketing leads for customers across the country. If you haven’t seriously pursued a comprehensive lead generation strategy yet, your marketing and sales pipeline is likely missing a vital revenue-generating opportunity.
Our strategy team will perform a market analysis to recommend a specific, customized advertising plan that will help you reach your business goals. We exist to help you reach your business goals, and we do that by creating an advertising plan unique to your needs. Join our customers from around the globe that have grown their marketing and sales pipeline using online lead generation.
Luke Steinkopf is Mediagistic’s National Sales Manager. He works with local home services businesses across the country and provides solutions to help them achieve their growth goals. Connect with him on Linkedin.