Did you know that 70-80% of people research companies online before they make a purchase? If you want to get new customers for your business, you need to take advantage of the opportunities that the Internet presents.
How? Internet lead generation. In this post, we’ll define what lead generation is in digital marketing and discuss some of the most effective Internet lead generation strategies.
Keep reading to learn about online lead generation strategies. For additional information about Internet lead generation and other digital marketing topics, subscribe to our Revenue Weekly newsletter.
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What is a lead?
Before we discuss the meaning of lead generation in digital marketing, let’s define a lead.
A lead is someone who demonstrates interest in your brand, products, or services. Typically, your company will hear from a lead before they hear from you.
Leads may demonstrate interest in various ways.
In digital marketing, they might, for instance, fill out an online form or sign up for an email list.
Becoming a lead is an early step in the marketing funnel, which is a method of visualizing how someone goes from being unfamiliar with your brand to becoming a loyal customer. Once someone becomes a lead, you can work on moving them through the rest of the funnel.
What is lead generation in digital marketing?
In digital marketing, lead generation is the process of attracting leads to your business using Internet-based methods, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media advertising, and content marketing.
Lead generation in digital marketing may also be called Internet lead generation, online lead generation, or digital lead generation.
The 3-step Internet lead generation process
The details of the lead generation process will differ somewhat depending on the method used.
The overall lead generation process, though, consists of three main steps:
First, the user discovers your company through one of multiple channels. They might see one of your posts on Facebook, find one of your blog posts after conducting a Google search, or see one of your videos in their recommended video feed on YouTube.
Creating content that prospects can discover is crucial to the Internet lead generation process. You also need to make it easy for people to find your content through strategies such as SEO and building an engaged social media audience.
2. Taking action
The lead then demonstrates interest by clicking on your call to action (CTA) — a message that encourages a user to take a specific action.
For example, at the end of your blog posts, you might add some text encouraging users to sign up for your email newsletter with a CTA button that says, “Sign up now.”
Check out this example of an email newsletter CTA on the Atlantic’s website.
3. Providing information
Your CTA takes the user to a landing page where they provide some information to get what you offered.
For example, to subscribe to your email list, they might provide their email address, name, and some other basic information about themselves.
If you offered them a free ebook, you might require them to provide their name, contact information, and some details about their interests.
Here’s an example of the form you need to fill out to download a free report from Make a Living Writing, a website for professional or aspiring professional writers.
The form is relatively simple. You just need to input your name and email address and select what type of freelance writer you are.
Next steps: Lead nurturing
Once the user provides you with their information, they are now a lead. Next, you begin the lead nurturing or lead management process, which aims to convince them to become a customer.
Your lead nurturing strategy might involve sending different emails depending on where the lead is in the marketing funnel, for example. You might also serve ads to a lead that relate to the services they told you they were interested in.
5 types of lead generation strategies
Digital marketing includes many different types of lead generation tactics you can use to grow your business. Here’s a look at how these various Internet lead generation strategies work.
About 93% of online sessions begin with a search engine, so you want to ensure your website ranks well in search engine results for relevant keywords.
SEO is the way to do this, and it’s crucial to the discovery phase of lead generation. SEO involves a wide range of tactics, including using specific keywords in your content and earning links to your website from other reputable sites.
WebFX can help create and implement an SEO strategy for your business that helps bring leads to your website through search.
2. Content marketing
Content marketing can help with various phases of the lead generation process.
This digital marketing strategy involves creating content that potential customers will find valuable. Your content can come in the form of blog posts, videos, infographics, ebooks, and various other mediums.
When you create a piece of high-value content, you create an opportunity for a lead to discover your company. They might find your content on a search engine, on social media, or even through a recommendation from a friend.
Content marketing can also help with the later stages of the lead generation process. For example, you could create a whitepaper, ebook, or online course and offer it to users who fill out a form with their information.
The team at WebFX can create a lead-generating content marketing strategy and develop, write, edit, and promote world-class content for your business. We have more than 100 specialized content writers and have produced content for clients across industries.
3. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Another useful Internet lead generation strategy is PPC advertising, which is online advertising where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Types of PPC ads include search engine ads, website display ads, and social media ads.
You can target your PPC ads to specific groups of users, helping you reach people who are genuinely interested in your products or services.
For example, if you run a grocery delivery business, you could target your ads to people within your delivery radius who search terms like “grocery delivery near me” on Google.
Here are a few examples of PPC ads on Google for that search term.
People who click on PPC ads also tend to be close to making a purchase decision. In fact, 65% of high-intent searches — meaning searches where the user is likely to make a purchase or complete another targeted action — result in an ad click.
At WebFX, we can develop and manage a PPC campaign that reaches the right leads and helps grow your business, as well as uses our experience from managing more than 650 PPC campaigns for our clients.
4. Social media marketing
Social media offers numerous ways to find leads. You can share your content to enhance brand awareness and increase traffic to your website, where users may provide their information to gain access to exclusive content.
You can also run contests on social media that require users to provide information to enter.
Social media ads provide another excellent Internet lead generation opportunity, as they allow you to reach more users. Again, those that click on ads may be more likely to make a purchase.
At WebFX, we offer industry-leading social media management and social media advertising services that can increase brand awareness and engagement with your customers and contribute to your lead generation process.
5. Conversion rate optimization (CRO)
CRO involves making improvements to your site to increase its conversion rate — the percentage of visitors that complete a targeted action, such as making a purchase, filling out a form to download a whitepaper, or subscribing to an email list.
This lead generation strategy focuses on the later stages of the lead generation process.
CRO helps you get more leads from your existing site traffic. It increases the likelihood that site visitors will take a targeted action that indicates interest in your company, resulting in a new lead, by testing different features of your site.
CRO services, like those offered by WebFX, may include:
- Usability analysis, which makes your site easier to use
- Internet marketing conversion analysis, which helps attract the right leads to your site
- Conversion funnel analysis, which focuses on the path leading users from new visitor to customer
- Copy analysis, which improves your website copy to increase conversions
- Aesthetic analysis, which ensures your site looks professional and visually appealing, encouraging users to spend more time on your site
One excellent free tool you can use to improve your CRO is Google Optimize. It enables you to easily create and run tests and understand the results, even if you don’t have a development background.
For example, you could compare two different CTA button styles to see which gets more clicks. Then, you could use the winning style to increase your conversion rate. Later, you could run another similar test to continue refining your site design and growing your conversions.
Get more leads with Internet lead generation from WebFX
WebFX is a top lead generation agency, and we love to help businesses grow — both by partnering with them and by sharing digital marketing knowledge.
In the last five years, we’ve generated more than 6.3 million leads and $2.4 billion in revenue for our clients. Our team of more than 200 digital marketing experts can help get results for your business.
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