How to generate leads to grow your business
Everything you need to know about using an inbound marketing strategy to generate leads to grow your business.
February 10 · 8 min read
Does your online business have a lead generation strategy? Leads are the lifeblood of your business, and if you don’t have a full pipeline, you’re leaving money on the table.
Many startups complain that it’s challenging for them to find qualified leads for their business. However, with inbound marketing strategies, you have the chance to create a never-ending stream of leads that come to you instead of you hunting them down.
Inbound lead generation can revolutionize your business, bringing you qualified leads that improve your conversion rate. Sound interesting? Let’s start unpacking everything you need to know about using an inbound marketing strategy.
What is a prospect or lead?
A prospect is a term used by salespeople to define a qualified candidate for their products and services. In the online world, you’ll never meet your potential customers face-to-face. Therefore, you need a solid marketing strategy in place to get them to convert into a customer.
The prospecting process starts with you identifying your ideal customer profile, also known as your “buyer persona.”
You’ll use the demographics of your ideal customer, such as their age, income, location, and interests, to create their buyer persona. That persona gives you the formula for identifying a qualified prospect, or lead, for your business.
Your leads need to be as qualified as possible. If you aren’t dealing with a qualified lead, they’ll never convert into a customer.
There are plenty of ways to get qualified leads, but we feel that the inbound marketing method produces the best results for adding qualified prospects to your sales funnels.
Inbound marketing is exactly the opposite of old-school cold calling that salespeople did decades ago. Cold calling involves reaching out to a cold prospect to pitch them your product or service.
However, that rarely works out, and you’ll go through a ton of unqualified leads before you find a buyer.
With inbound marketing, you let the leads come to you. You set up a strategy that entices qualified leads to enter your sales funnels.
What is the lead generation process for inbound marketing methodology?
Marketers need to master the lead generation process if they want their business to thrive in the digital age of inbound marketing. Let’s outline the basic steps involved in qualifying, capturing, and following-up with your leads.
A visitor comes across your link through your social media feed, landing page, or guest post. After clicking the link, they enter your landing page to present them with your value offer (more on that in the next section).
If the prospect thinks your value offer is sufficient, they’ll click on the CTA (call-to-action) below the sales copy. Your contact form pops up at that stage, and the prospect leaves you their name, phone number, and email address in exchange for your offer.
After your lead magnet captures the lead’s contact information, it sends it to the sales funnel, where you start your email marketing campaign designed to convert them from a new lead into a customer.
The email follow-up differs from market to market, depending on what you’re selling. If you’re selling a high-value item, chances are you’re going to need a longer email series than if you’re selling a low-value item.
Email marketing is one of the oldest lead generation strategies available. However, if you’re a startup, you probably don’t have an email list. If that’s the case, you’ll need to find someone with a list you can use or a Solo Ads provider with a list you can buy.
Landing pages also offer you a great opportunity to build an audience and collect leads for your email marketing campaigns.
Create landing pages for a value offer you can pitch to your client when they arrive through your link. When the prospect clicks on your pop-up or lead magnet, it presents them with the option of taking you up on your value offer.
The value offer needs to entice the prospective customer into filling out the contact form to access the offer. Therefore, it has to be worth it to them – a 5% discount coupon isn’t going to cut it, unfortunately.
You’ll need compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that entice your prospect to click the button and take you up on your offer.
It’s important to note that the value offer needs to present the prospect with something they feel is a fair exchange for their information.
Using high-quality value offers like eBooks, templates, and email responder content strategies is a great way to get people to leave you their information.
Using these methods gives you high-quality leads and subscribers to add to your sales funnel to start the follow-up process.
Related: How to create a landing page
SEO - Search engine optimization
Your SEO strategy plays an essential role in bringing your website new leads. The only issue with SEO is that it takes months to start showing results.
However, when your strategy starts paying off and you start ranking for your keywords, expect the traffic to flood your landing pages.
Search engine optimization involves using best practices designed to optimize your site and your marketing strategy.
Optimizing your on-page SEO involves understanding the top keywords you want to rank for online. Embed those keywords in your product sales copy and descriptions to make your pages more appealing to the search bots when they crawl and index your site.
SEO also involves optimizing your site for speedy access. When a prospective customer opens your site, they’ll only wait a few seconds for your page to load. If your site loads slowly, they’ll bounce back to search results.
SEO professionals can conduct an audit on your website and fix the errors they find that are slowing down your website.
SEO also involves tasks like identifying those primary keywords and long-tail keywords phrases that attract your traffic.
You’ll use marketing strategies to build high-quality links between your website and leading authorities in your niche (more on that a bit later).
Blogging and guest posting
Domain authorities are websites in your niche with high rankings and massive amounts of daily visitors. Many of them offer you guest posting opportunities to publish an article, infographic, or case study on their blog.
As long as you deliver high-quality content, the editorial team won’t have any issues with your posting. However, some of the bigger sites might charge you for a guest post.
The purpose of the guest post is to leave a dofollow link permanently on the influencer’s website. The link needs to point to your landing page.
This strategy benefits you from direct traffic visiting your pages from the link. It also gives you the advantage of piggybacking off the bigger site’s reputation.
As a result, you rank better in search, and you get more traffic visiting your pages and more people converting on your CTAs.
You can find guest porting opportunities ranging in price from $5 to over $1,000, depending on the publishing authority ranking.
Another recent trend emerging in a similar media format is the podcast. Podcasts present you with an opportunity to reach out to your audience. If you have specialist knowledge on a specific topic, there are probably people out there willing to hear you talk about it.
If you don’t feel like starting a podcast or webinar yourself, you could always make guest appearances on other people’s shows.
Some podcasters with large audiences present excellent advertising opportunities. It’s similar to the influencer and guest posting model where you pay them to promote your products and services to their audience.
Social media platforms
Social media platforms offer you an excellent method of generating high-quality, qualified leads for your website. Social media rules communications, and there are several ways to use social media in your marketing strategy to get more sales leads.
There are plenty of ways to funnel traffic to your site and capture leads, from the swipe up on the Instagram story to Facebook bio links or a bitly URL on Twitter.
Social media gives you a chance to build your reputation. LinkedIn is the biggest professional network online, and it also has one of the highest sharing rates of content across all social media platforms.
You can use LinkedIn to post your blogs and get your network to share them through their groups to your target audience.
Influencer marketing is becoming a popular and affordable method of marketing through social media. If you’re starting on social platforms, you won’t have a following.
You can gain followers by identifying influencers in your niche and reach out to them through DMs for a collaboration project.
You pay the influencer a fee, typically dependent on how many followers they have. They promote your product or service to their followers.
Using Facebook Ads is another excellent way to capture leads., for a small budget, you can create buyer personas using your target audience demographics. Create an ad, and promote it directly into the Facebook feeds of your target audience.
Adding the “Facebook Pixel” technology to your posts allows you to laser-target your prospect, increasing traffic to your site and conversion on your CTAs.
Word-of-mouth referral marketing
Referrals are the best kind of leads you get. Some of the most successful sales professionals only work off referrals and gives them all the business they need.
A referral is the pinnacle of your prospects, and your lead gen strategy should include how to handle a referral. A referral brings qualified traffic that’s ready to buy from you; you just have to close the deal.
Think about it for a second, would you rather send out cold emails all day or speak to a stream of referrals that are already familiar with your product or service and looking to buy?
We thought so.
Your current customers need an incentive to give you a referral. They’re not going to hand over their address book unless they completely trust your company and have the proper motivation.
Offering discounts or access to exclusive deals are some of the tactics you can use to get more referrals out of your customers.
Another good idea for new business ventures to get more traffic to their sites and more referrals is through offering an affiliate program. With affiliate programs, you have someone else do the selling for you.
If you have an information technology product that cost you nothing to produce, you can afford to offer huge commissions to affiliates to incentivize them to push your product.
It might seem crazy to give away 60% of the sale to an affiliate. However, would you rather have 40% of the deal or no sales?
Use B12 to build a website that brings your business qualified leads.
Building a website that generates leads is expensive. Hiring a development team to design and maintain your site can cost you thousands of dollars.
Small businesses and online entrepreneurs need a website. However, the cost of building the site often prevents them from taking action on the development.
Some underestimate the costs and end up with a half-finished website that does nothing to bring your leads.
If you want to take your digital marketing to the next level, you need to hire B12 to build your website.
B12 is the only company offering you an AI-assisted draft of your website template – for free. It utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to complete the repetitive tasks involved with building your site.
You get your website in less than 2-weeks, instead of the 2 to 3-months for completion with other design firms.
B12 websites are functional, and they come with compatibility for CRM and SEO plugins. Install your automation tools, and use your website for any commercial purpose.
Instead of B12 hitting you with a huge development cost, the company offers you an affordable subscription plan where you can pay for your website monthly.
Your subscription includes all maintenance and the work required to optimize your site, saving you money. Take a look for yourself and visit the B12 site for your free template draft right now.