In an increasingly digitized and connected world, marketing is all around us. From direct mailings, to social media campaigns, to surveys, to SEO, if you’re a business, opportunities to reach out and engage with customers are all around us.
The most critical aspect of growing a business lies in lead generation. This focuses on building your customer base which is what your business needs to thrive in a hectic market. If you’re not growing, you are essentially dying. In today’s busy marketplace with almost an endless stream of options, customers are not always loyal, which is why you must work extra hard to create new outlets of customers to keep your business going.
This is where lead generation kicks in, but locking down the right strategy and type of lead generation to pursue is often a tricky task. Yet we’ve outlined a couple of things that are essential to think about as you research your own game plan.
Differentiate Your Leads
It’s important to understand that not all leads are the same. From the top to the bottom of your sales funnel, each customer is different and will require different marketing approaches at each step in the journey. Businesses must be adept at identifying where these customers are and how best to reach them.
Understanding who and where your customers are and what your ideal client is allow you to better tailor your marketing and sales approach to reach them. Setting benchmarks and criteria to differentiate the quality of a lead is important. This also allows you to fine-tune your focus so that you can operate more efficiently in growing your business.
Know Your Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Once you understand more about your leads you then need to sort out which ones can be categorized as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
These leads are people who at one point have shown interest in your business, whether they signed up for a mailing list, shared your content, or entered a contest. This qualifies them as meeting criteria as an MQL, even though they have not demonstrated an intent to purchase. With enough strategic engagement, they are more likely to respond positively to the right sales approach.
Reach Out To Your Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
Your Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are people who have gone above and beyond an MQL and have demonstrated an interest or an intent to purchase your product or service. For an e-commerce business, this would be someone who has browsed your site and placed items in a cart.
Most of the time these customers just need an extra little push to close the deal. Your brand identity and overall customer experience do a lot to help, but developing a more reliable relationship with the customer does too. If customers feel like they can trust you throughout the experience they are more likely to make the purchase decision.
Generating More Leads
All of this analysis is best combined with a comprehensive strategy to increase your leads:
Search engines facilitate more than 100 billion searches each month. They are often the gatekeeper for new customers to discover your business, so enhancing your SEO goes a long way in gaining traction online.
Paid media is a great way to target potential customers with campaigns. With the help of technological improvements, you can create more customized engagement with your customers that helps to convert them into MQLs and then SQLs.
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow businesses to better communicate with audiences in a real-time fashion. With the right strategy and careful work on each channel, you can use these outlets to generate more leads for your business.
Content marketing works to generate leads by differentiating your business from your competitors by providing your customers with more value. Content adds value as a non-essential service that provides information on topics and trends related to your business. When customers engage with an appreciate this information they are more likely to give you business.
Email marketing still remains a wonderful way to directly reach customers by providing a channel of one-on-one communication, while it acts to grow your database and potential for new leads. It is also a good way to provide more value-added content.
You can actually use your current customers to bring in new leads with the help of referral programs. This relies on your customer base’s built-in network of friends, family, and co-workers to build brand awareness and enhance your sales team’s efforts.