You’re getting tons of leads, but are you getting the RIGHT leads? Probably not, which is why you are here. In today’s post, I will give you what you really need to know about online lead generation.
I’m all for online lead generation.
In fact, most marketers would be lying if they told you they weren’t.
Bringing in new leads is bread and butter of what we do – and it also happens to be the thing that clients struggle with the most.
Because frankly, it’s hard work.
So I’m digging in and giving you the dirt. Here’s what you really need to know about online lead generation.
Also, note I know a thing or two about online lead generation. Here is Ignite Visibility’s traffic growth.
First, What is Online Lead Generation
Here’s the thing.
Everyone knows they need to generate leads online. The problem? Effectively executing a lead generation campaign.
Take a look at these stats to see what I mean:
- 80% of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. (BrightTALK, 2015)
- 63% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge. (HubSpot, 2017)
- 58% of marketers say their lead generation budget will increase in the coming year. (BrightTALK, 2015)
So yes, lead generation is a priority. And even if it’s not going great, marketers are still willing to spend money on it.
Being aware of the following will help make sure you put those dollars to good use.
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Paid Advertising for Online Lead Generation
The quickest route to new leads? Paid ads.
Google AdWords, in particular, is the fastest way to get leads online.
- 64.6% of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online. (WordStream, 2016)
- The average conversion rate in AdWords across all industries is 2.7% on the search network and 0.89% on the display network. (WordStream, 2016)
Here’s the dirt:
For AdWords to work, you need great ads and a great website.
You simply can’t phone in an effective AdWords campaign.
The most important elements?
The headline, lead image, and proper keyword selection.
Make sure you’ve done your keyword research with tools like Google Keyword Planner.
And when it comes to the creative elements, test and test again – this includes your website.
AdWords can be expensive.
So, the average cost-per-click (CPA) in AdWords across all industries is $2.32 on the search network and $0.58 on the display network. (WordStream, 2016)
But unfortunately, that number can vary widely depending on your industry and keyword competition.
While you can control your maximum CPC bid, you can’t control how much your competition is willing to spend.
Make sure numbers are working for you and you’re targeting a few less competitive keywords. Adjust your budget as you go along to see how your campaign performs.
There are many emerging new ad networks, but some work better than others for online lead generation.
Not all networks are created equal, but let’s focus on the good.
Facebook is a great option for advertising, but you need excellent creative and a great landing page – much like you do for an effective AdWords ad.
YouTube is another great way to generate leads, and 48% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in the next year. (HubSpot, 2017)
But, you need excellent videos.
And ads. YouTube ads are an absolute gold mine right now. Currently, they have the highest click-through rate of all digital ad formats.
Then there’s Google display advertising. While it’s really better for branding, they have new targeting abilities that are really helping drive more conversions, mainly:
- In market audiences
- Remarketing people who watch a YouTube ad
SEO for Online Lead Generation
The fact is all SEO takes time, but it has the biggest return at the end.
- The first position on Google search results on desktop has a 20.5% clickthrough rate.
- 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2017)
Here’s the dirt:
Local SEO is the easiest option.
Local SEO is a bit different in that it attempts to rank a website for people in a given region.
It’s especially effective for smaller, local shops or companies who don’t necessarily need to appeal to a national audience.
Good news if that’s you – 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. (WordStream, 2016)
On the flip side, national SEO can take years for a new website in a competitive space.
But don’t get discouraged – SEO eventually will have the biggest return on online lead generation.
The wait will be well worth it once you’ve landed on Google’s first page.
You should never cut corners with SEO; you can get a penalty.
SEO used to be a much murkier business before Google began enforcing penalties.
Stay away from any black hat strategies, including:
- Automatically generated content
- Keyword stuffing
- Link schemes
Social Media for Online Lead Generation
Social media marketing will get you leads, but you have to be willing to put in the work.
- More than half of marketers who’ve been using social media for at least two years report it helped them improve sales. (Hubspot)
- 90% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. (Hubspot)
Here’s the dirt:
Social media requires 5 to 10 hours a week on each site to be effective for online lead generation.
You have to put in the time to get the returns.
There’s no exact amount of time that works for everyone, so you’ll have to experiment and allocate to be as efficient as possible.
That may mean bringing in outside help like a marketing consultant.
You need to spend money on social media advertising to make it really worth it if you are a big business.
Social media advertising budgets have doubled worldwide over the past two years.
In order to keep up, you’ll need to invest as well.
You are not going to see a good return from Snapchat.
Though they are trying to get better with new advertising options such as remarketing and branded filters, only a few brands see solid returns from Snapchat.
Unfortunately for most business, it’s simply a waste of time.
Twitter is not for driving leads.
Rather, it is best used for establishing relationships, making connections and setting up meetings.
LinkedIn advertising and organic marketing are excellent for B2B.
Best known as the network of choice for professionals, LinkedIn can be invaluable for B2Bs.
So much so that 80% of B2B leads are generated through LinkedIn.
To make the most of the platform, make sure you’ve set up your company page, are joining relevant groups (and participating in them!) and publishing your own content with links to your site.
All businesses should be on Instagram.
Because frankly, everyone else is.
Once you’ve set up your business account, remember to treat it like any other aspect of your marketing campaign.
Which means you don’t just start posting pictures. Instead, approach it with a strategy.
Pick your main themes, establish brand guidelines, and make sure you’re measuring and testing results.
For a complete guide to Instagram marketing, click here.
Email Marketing for Online Lead Generation
Don’t be fooled by the all the new, flashy marketing channels out there – email marketing is still essential for online lead generation.
In fact, Adestra’s annual email marketing census reports that it delivers the best marketing ROI, outperforming PPC, SEO and content marketing.
It’s a great option, and every business should be using it.
- Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers “excellent” to “good” ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016)
- Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. (The Radicati Group, 2016)
Here’s the dirt:
If you think email marketing is not right for your business, you are wrong.
Email marketing can work for every business.
- It’s an easy way to reach customers – especially through mobile
- It’s easily integrated with other marketing tactics
- It’s a great way to keep customers and leads informed of company news, deals, coupons, etc.
- It’s inexpensive
If it isn’t working for you, you’re likely just not approaching it right.
Which brings us to:
You need to have an email acquisition strategy and an email execution strategy.
Email acquisition: how will you get customers emails?
In order to effectively collect, you need to answer questions like:
- Who are your customers?
- How do they interact with your brand?
- What will entice them to leave their contact information?
- What information is most valuable to you?
- Email execution: What and when will you send?
A few key elements to keep in mind when your strategy:
- Segment your lists (customers vs. leads, daily vs. weekly or monthly receivers, etc.)
- Make sure all emails are mobile friendly
- Repeatedly test your copy and design
- Monitor open rate, click-through rate (CTR) and unsubscribes
Online Lead Generation FAQ:
1. What Are Free Options for Online Lead Generation?
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to generate leads online, there are several free options you can pursue:
- Answer questions on Quora – By answering questions on Quora, you not only demonstrate that you now how to communicate, but you also show people that you’re an expert in your niche. Just make sure to only answer questions related to your industry and expertise.
- Comment on relevant blogs – If you see a blog post that includes content relevant to your line of business, add a comment. Do that frequently and people will start to recognize your name.
- Engage on social media – Use social media to promote content that’s helpful to people in your target market. That’s a great way to generate a little bit of buzz about your brand.
- Guest-post on blogs – Find some non-competing blogs that people in your market like to visit. Reach out to the webmasters and ask if you can guest-post. You’ll often get a welcome reception if those folks are in need of content.
2. Do Popups Work for Online Lead Generation?
That depends on how you use them and who’s in your target market.
A popup that annoys people by appearing on the screen while they’re trying to read your content is often going to get clicked away as fast as possible.
However, exit-intent popups are much more user-friendly. They’re less intrusive because they only appear when the visitor is trying to navigate away from your site.
It’s worth noting, though, that countless digital marketers rely on popups to generate leads. It’s safe to say that they’re effective.
Now You’re in the Know About Online Lead Generation
Everyone’s quick to sing online lead generations praises.
And I agree with them.
But now you know, there’s a lot more to it than most will tell you.
Using the information above, you and your team will be able to form a more effective approach to online lead generation.