You have an interest in growing your business. Whether selling a product or services, they are interested in figuring out how to get more customers. The easiest way to become overwhelmed is to see all of this as a bunch of inaccessible programs and algorithms and lose sight of the fact that ordinary people are making the buying and selling decisions. An important thing to keep in mind is that you are looking to draw customers to their business in much the same way you were drawn to this article. Even though everyone is plugged into this massive seemingly endless digital miracle, it is all being used by ordinary people with goals and motivations. The potential customer, the lead, approaches their purchases the same way someone approaches an article like this. They identify a need and decide to learn more about it. Often they will do an internet search to either find what want or try to figure out what that actually is. If this article comes up in a search result, it will be because terms like “lead generation,” “seo,” “online marketing,” are used. A customer that knows they want to buy a car might know the exact make and model they want. They might search “Honda Civic near me.” They might know they want a four-door hatchback that is pet friendly.
Or they may know only that they want to buy a new car. They don’t know what kind of car to get. They may not have even really identified their needs yet. The person reading this article may have started with this article, or they may need to read a lot of more basic stuff first before they know lead generation is thing to learn more about. They may start by doing a lot of searching and reading before they get from “how do I grow my business?” to “lead generation.”
Chasing the Lead
A journalist or a detective chasing a lead is usually looking for information that will propel the story or the case forward. An investor chasing a lead is looking for information that could lead to a profitable investment. For a business with goods or services to sell, a lead is a person who is also looking for a lead. It’s important to remember this. In sales, leads want to be found. The leads are looking to be found. In fact, the leads feel better when they do the finding, the discovery. Today’s consumer usually resents being targeted and the discovery seems more valuable when they feel they discovered it for themselves. It is a odd relationship, because both the buyer and seller is looking, but neither wants to seem too obvious about it.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process getting the attention of a potential customer. Lead generation is match-making, connecting a business that has a good or service with a random stranger out in the vast internet looking for those goods or services. The internet is a great equalizer and democratizer. People no longer have to rely on businesses with a local reach. Businesses must not only compete with local businesses, they also have to compete with every business in the world that has positioned themselves to take advantage of the internet.
Lead generation is capturing the attention of potential customers, and there are a lot of ways to do that online. Many of these ways are a natural evolution of tactics used in the real world. For example, instead of renting a billboard near a highway, a business can buy a banner ad on a popular website. Many of these ways, however, are wholly new and have no easy analog to the real world. That is where systems like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Content Marketing, and link building come into play. These are entirely new terms for new methods for capitalizing on a still relatively new and dynamically evolving marketplace.
Examples of Online Lead Generation
There are many types and strategies for online lead generation, but they all use the same basic forms of digital media: conventional websites, social media, and email. Not only is this an oversimplification, but new media are developed and popularized all the time. However, for the purposes of explaining lead generation and helping to also generate some ideas and interest in the subject, oversimplification might be a good strategy to start with. Essentially, everything online lives at websites. When customers go looking for something, it is Facebook or a fan site for collectors of old coins, they usually look for or wind up at websites. The goal then is to have some control over where people wind up. Someone who develops a great new way to store coin collections should try to get their product talked about on every website that caters to collectors of old coins. They should also develop their own websites. They should have a digital storefront where their goods can be easily purchased, and maybe even have a blog where they create content for people interested in coin collecting. When business want to attract customers, they may use email marketing. They may establish a presence on social media. They may buy advertising in a constantly growing advertising marketplace. Another important way to attract customers who get online searching for the same products or services using Search Engine Optimization. SEO is used to get top ranking on search engines with a variety of key words.