Businesses need to constantly grow and develop. To do this, they must focus on achieving two things: generating new leads whilst retaining existing customers. Maintaining quality service and giving competitive prices to current customers should be enough to keep them. However, most problems arise from attracting genuine leads and guiding them toward the sales journey to convert them into a customer.
Why is Lead Generation Important?
Lead generation is important because the buying behaviour of customers have radically changed. To still capture them, marketers must find new ways to reach these potential customers. Instead of using email blasts and mass advertising, businesses must shift their focus on building lasting relationships with their customers.
What are Lead Generation Campaigns?
Lead generation campaigns are marketing operations aimed to create interest in a particular service or product to build a lasting relationship with the target audience. These are long-term strategies that need careful research, planning, and testing. Lead generation campaigns can either be online or offline.
Online Lead Generation
The growth of the internet has brought immense changes most particularly from information scarcity to information abundance. There is just too much information out there and this often results in attention scarcity. Social scientist Herbert Simon first introduced Attention Economics. This management approach views a person’s attention as a scarce commodity, which must be captured using effective marketing. Modern consumers have access to so much information that most have become skimmers and not readers.
Online lead generation covers all methods used to generate interest through the internet. Whilst online lead generation often take some time before achieving solid results, they are often more cost-effective.
To effectively generate online leads, businesses must build a well-optimised website with a strong and consistent brand message that will resonate with your target customers. It is rare for visitors to land on your homepage unless they are specifically looking for our brand, so each and every page on your website must be consistent with your brand identity.
Businesses can also create special landing pages tailor-made for the audience. These pages will receive the customers when they first come to your website. These must serve a specific intent or niche. For example, you are a company offering cosmetics and someone searches for lipsticks, you would want them to land on a page specifically about lipsticks.
It is important that the online lead generation strategy remains centered on the customer rather than the business goals and marketing how good of a company you are. What does your customer want? Why are they here? How can you help them? What are ways of contacting them? These questions must be answered to help you focus on their needs.
Some of the common forms of online lead generation include:
- Email Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Campaigns
- Video Content
- Free Resources
What is Offline Lead Generation and How Does it Work?
Offline lead generation is any method that creates interest around a service or product which does not use the internet. Whilst many marketers will assume that offline marketing is dead, it is false. Online marketing may be far more effective in this day and age but traditional offline marketing also has its own strengths, which cannot be ignored. It can even reach audiences that online marketing cannot.
Some offline lead generation methods include:
Networking: Having a strong network of contacts is powerful. Face-to-face networking offers loads of advantages so every marketer or business person must jump on every opportunity to meet potential contact.
Event Marketing: Events, big or small, are often aimed at getting more personal with leads. Some businesses organise events to allow existing and loyal customers to come face-to-face with new and potential leads.
Event Sponsorship: Many events often offer different packages to cater to potential customers with different budgets. Joining one can be an efficient way to communicate with a target audience.
Direct Mail: Equivalent with email, direct email be not as popular as before but once done right can be an effective and personal way of reaching out to existing customers.
Print Advertising: Print ads strategically placed in a magazine or journal can also be effective in reaching a specific generation.
Outbound Calls: For generations, sales calls have been the go-to strategy of marketers but since it has been overused, it is crucial to make cold calls more effective, particularly on warm leads.
Just like online leads, offline leads must be tracked for efficiency. Each method must be assessed to know which ones were effective and which ones need refining to become in tune with your goal.
Combination of Online and Offline Lead Generation
Modern customers have become more scrutinising of any marketing campaigns presented to them so it is rare for a customer to buy or avail of service after only one contact with a business entity. So businesses must become as visible as possible across a number of channels. Using a combination of offline and online lead generation is an effective way to reach a wider audience than using one.
There are various ways how online and offline lead generation can be used together to effectively reach a target audience. For instance, face-to-face events can be used to gather as much information about the customer including emails and contact numbers. Business owners and marketers can use this gathered information to connect with people through social media or send content-related information about what you discussed during the event.
Conversely, marketers may also send an invitation to contacts or leads generated online to meet during in-person events to tighten personal relationships. Online content may also be printed out and repurposed as brochures or handouts to give out during an event so potential connections can have retention of your business or offering.
Keep in mind that all offline lead generation activities must be aimed at bringing more people to your website. Whether it is an offline or online lead generation that you used, it is more important to collect and analyse data. Learning from these marketing methods is crucial in making a well-conceptualized and informed marketing decision.