Your business cannot be successful unless you are actively attempting to generate leads and qualify them for customer acquisition.

There are many different types of online lead generation tactics that you can implement fairly effectively. Here is a list of some of the most effective ways you can generate those leads online.

 

1. Website

A website is often stated to be an online shop front. It can display your products, take orders and deliver sales content. It can also collect leads if you have the right software installed on your site. Some software packages can detect where and what companies (or whether they are private) the visitor is from.

You can also use other lead generation techniques through your website, such as contact forms and quote generators, to collect information on your visitors. To get the most out of your website, ensure you have good call to actions and your page speed is fast. 25% of your visitors will abandon your site should your site not load within 4 seconds and this figure rises steadily afterwards.

 

2. Social Media

Social media is probably one of the easiest ways to obtain the names, details and converse with leads as their profiles are stored on the system and very accessible. However, converting casual followers to leads is a long process that can be difficult.

To make it easier, it is best to follow a set of best practices for social media. For instance:

  • Don’t be too promotional. Only 4% of Facebook users appreciate promotional content on their newsfeeds and 0% of LinkedIn customers.
  • Converse with your audience about relevant topics. However, you don’t need to be too strict. For instance, if you manage a shoe shop, you could converse about fashion in general.
  • Remember to thank new followers for their time, those who share your content for their contribution and to reply to any social media questions.
  • Always be polite and never show any aggression.

In addition, you might want to consider when the best times to post on social media are and the design of your content. Each social media network has different requirements and best practices, so it is best to optimise your content on one network at a time, instead of doing them all at the same time.

 

3. Ebooks / Whitepapers

Visitors love to receive free gifts; that is why you should consider creating an ebook and offering it for free on your website as a way to attract the attention of your target customers. Ensure you aren’t being too generous and ask for their email details (and some others) in exchange for the ebook / whitepaper.

You can make this process even better by creating several ebooks on a number of business areas that you provide services / products for. Then you can use segregated email marketing lists to target potential customers based on what ebook they downloaded and what products / services they relate to.

 

4. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most successful ways you can generate traffic to your site. Affiliate marketing is where other business owners advertise your products on their site(s) to drive traffics to your site and generate leads. If the visitor converts, then the affiliate earns a commission.

This is one of the best ways to generate leads because the affiliate marketer assumes responsibility for the costs associated with marketing your products. Therefore, you only pay when you make a sale. It also allows you to gain more web space for your products, giving you a greater chance to be discovered online.

Although there are some sites that only occasionally advertised affiliate partner products, there are many small businesses whose only revenue is generated from advertising products from other businesses. Some of these latter businesses can earn thousands of dollars per month this way.

 

5. Word Of Mouth

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads because consumers trust the recommendations from their peers. There are several options for word of mouth advertising. These include social media shares and review sites.

Reviews are very important because you can share these on your website and through other mediums such as social media, email and in your physical stores. Try to obtain as many reviews as possible by offering rewards such as a free gift for completing a review.

However, do not charge your customers for poor reviews. Firstly, this can cause outrage online and secondly, research has shown that five stars are not always as highly rated as four star reviews.

You can also encourage referrals by offering customers a small gift or payment should they successfully refer their friends to your business.

 

6. Pay-Per-Click

Pay-per-click is one of the most successful advertising channels online. It is the second most used purchasing avenue for online sales. Therefore, there are significant returns to be made from using pay-per-click to direct traffic to your site. There are many options available for PPC, include Google Adwords.

However, to make the most of this, ensure that you are following PPC best practices and that you have a high quality website as seen by Google.

 

7. Blogging

Blogging is one of the most commonly used tactics for generating leads. That is because many (81%) consumers trust information published in blogs and 61% will make a purchase based on that information. Blogging has also been proved to increase the number of leads generated with up to 70% more leads generated when more than 15 blog posts are published.

To ensure your blogging is effective, make sure you aren’t being too promotional and you can provide highly useful information to your audience. Blogging can also support your lead generation in other ways as being used as a basis for your content on social media, PPC and email marketing. It will also support your SEO efforts.

 

Conclusion

Lead generation is one of the most essential tasks for your business. Without leads you will have a highly ineffective sales channel that will result in low revenue and either a loss or not enough profit to maintain your business.

Therefore, use the above lead generation techniques to grow the number of potential customers and use targeted marketing to convert them into paying customers.

Jake Burdess

Director at Aflua
This post is by Jake Burdess, the founder of Aflua and HEROIC. Jake is an English designer who lives in New Zealand with his wife and three kids.

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