Get Your Lead Generation Working For You: Small to Medium Sized Businesses
Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Lead generation is the process of generating customer interest for a product or service with the goal of turning that interest into a sale. Generating leads is a core part of the sales funnel for many B2B companies since their products can cost tens of thousands of dollars and web visitors are less likely to buy their product or service directly from the website. Bigger companies tend to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on marketing to generate leads but are largely left with mediocre results. The smaller size businesses do not have the luxury of big budgets and time is always of the essence so making every dollar count is crucial.
How Lead Generation Works
For businesses, the lead generation process involves getting traffic to their site and then convincing them to share their contact information with you. The first step of the process is finding an effective way to attract prospects to your website. Depending on your company’s goals and budgetary constraints, there are many ways to start attracting prospects to your site. The following are the some of the key ways which businesses use to drive traffic:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) - SEM is a form of online advertising that involves paying search engines (such as Google or Bing) to display ads in their search results. Because search is the primary way people navigate the web, this can be a big source of traffic.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Search engine optimization is similar to SEM, in that it involves getting traffic from search engines, but rather than paying search engines for ads, SEO involves optimizing your website for search engine algorithms so that it appears higher in the organic search results.
Social Media - Social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn have grown to become some of the most popular sites on the web, and are beginning to rival search as major sources of traffic.
Display Ads - This type of advertising comes in various forms such as video, image, audio or text. These ads can be purchased on relevant websites in order to drive that traffic to your own site, usually via Pay-Per-Click (PPC) models.
Offline & Online Events - Events such as industry conferences, meetups or even webinars can be a good way to network with potential new customers or to showcase new engaging content. With COVID19 affecting our economy, we have seen the rise of many virtual events.
Having a Good Inbound Strategy
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that is designed to draw visitors and potential customers in via content, rather than outwardly pushing a brand, product or service onto prospects in the hope of customers. According to HubSpot, through the use of various types of content at different stages of the buying cycle, the ‘inbound methodology’ is “the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.” While it is important to put attention into an inbound strategy, work on your buyer personas, develop content, work on SEO and so on, this is incredibly time-consuming and typically this should be a longer term strategy focus. Do not expect results over night because you will be disappointed.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
The clue to understanding the differences between inbound and outbound marketing is in the name. Inbound marketing focuses on drawing potential customers in, while outbound marketing is about outwardly pushing a business’s offering. Inbound marketing is about earning attention, while outbound typically involves buying it.
Inbound Marketing: Owned And Earned Media:
Inbound marketing uses owned and earned media to engage potential customers in creative ways.
Owned media are those channels that a business has control over. For example, your website, blog, brand social media profiles, product landing pages and YouTube channel. You choose what to publish, how to publish it, and when.
Earned media is the coverage you earn as a result your hard work. Offline, this includes traditional coverage in newspapers and magazines. Online, it’s things such as coverage on news sites often gained through digital PR, but also mentions on social media, use of a campaign hashtag, conversations in online forums, and online reviews. You have less control over earned media, but it should be a reward for the work you’ve put into your inbound marketing campaign.
Outbound Marketing: Paid Media:
On the other hand, outbound marketing is more readily associated with paid media. This could be traditional offline advertising, PPC and display advertising, or paid emails.Paid media also encompasses social media advertising, for example Facebook advertising or LinkedIn promoted posts. Although typically associated with outbound marketing, it’s worth noting that social media advertising is often an effective way to boost the performance of inbound marketing campaigns. Advertising on Facebook, for example, allows you to promote your content and campaign to your target audience, no matter how niche it might be. While advertising can be effective, it is very expensive and truth be told for SMB's in the B2B segment that have bigger deal sizes, trust and perceived non-value are usually key reasons why a contact form is never filled up.
Double Down on LinkedIn
Generally speaking, it is important to have an inbound and outbound focus but just as importantly, seek solutions that can give you the quickest results that won't break your bank. I mentioned the use of social media above but let me exaggerate the effectiveness of LinkedIn. With over 600 million users globally, this platform is gold for the B2B market. All your potential customers and suppliers are on this platform so if you do not have a profile on LinkedIn, get on it straight away. Furthermore, it is more and more important to keep your profile updated and add value to the platform. See this blog for further info.
Did you know that you can source and connect with your ideal customers in a few clicks? Which other platform gives you this type of access? Mid level management, top level executives in companies within countries that are looking for good solutions to their challenges. We say go direct but lead with empathy and value. If you do so, you will get the responses you are looking for and this is especially true when you play the numbers game.
However simple the process sounds, the painstaking issue arises when you want to reach out to hundreds of prospects in a month. Imagine sourcing, connecting with personalised messages, awaiting your connection to accept you into his/her network and then you start the process of sending your first message where you introduce your proposal. Didn't hear back from them? Now you follow up with another message. Just imagine doing this at scale? I mean by the hundreds every month! That is just way to time consuming, you'll spend hours in a day focusing on that but there are very effective and affordable solutions to help you with that part. Find solutions that help you automate this process while you focus on the hot leads that reply.
In conclusion, test out approaches and strategies to see what works within your budget. When you find something that works really well, we say double down on it. We at Leadriver can help you accelerate your social selling efforts to systematically generate more qualified leads on a monthly basis. In fact, we guarantee results! Contact us at email@example.com to find out how.