WVU Online | Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Whether your company is product or service-based, you’ll use digital marketing to build awareness, generate interest and work prospects through a sales funnel.
In the world of digital marketing, lead generation is crucial. For someone aspiring to enter the field of digital marketing, you have to understand lead generation. Learn more about lead generation in our detailed overview.
Simply stated, a lead is someone who has shown interest in your product, service or company. They have interacted with you in some way, noting their interest by making information about themselves known to the company.
They are a potential customer and nurturing leads is a cornerstone of successful digital marketing campaigns.
Most commonly, they share their interest and intent by filling out a web form or engaging in various other digital methods.
Now that we know what a lead is, let’s look into lead generation and the role digital marketing plays.
By definition, lead generation is collecting prospective consumer contact information by generating interest in a product or service with the goal of turning that interest into a sale or revenue.
Lead generation has evolved through the years, becoming very data-driven today.
Before digital marketing took off, cold calling, direct mail and in-person events were the primary lead-generation strategies — often very resource-intensive with poor targeting potential.
As digital marketing grew, the strategies shifted to targeted digital ads, search ads, content marketing, social media, and more, with strategies continuing to grow with the newest innovation in AI.
There are a few key components to lead generation:
For those interested in entering digital marketing, understanding lead generation is crucial. Want to get into digital marketing? Check out our blog and learn more about building a digital marketing career.
You can significantly impact a business's growth by mastering lead generation strategies. Let’s explore key strategies for effective lead generation, covering various approaches and skills needed to be competent at lead generation in the workplace.
There are two distinct approaches in marketing, inbound and outbound. These approaches shape the way businesses reach and engage their target audiences.
Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach that focuses on attracting, engaging and delighting audiences by providing valuable and relevant content. It’s like a lead magnet that draws potential customers to a brand organically. It’s content-centric, permission-based, relationship-focused and utilizes digital channels. Some examples of inbound marketing:
Outbound marketing involves pushing a message out to a wide audience with the aim of generating immediate sales interest. It is a more proactive and intrusive form of marketing. It’s promotion-centric, interruption-based and multichannel. Some examples of outbound marketing:
While both are often presented as distinct strategies, successful modern marketing often involves an integrated approach. A well-balanced strategy combines the strengths of both methods, leveraging the immediacy of outbound and the relationship-building power of inbound.
Choosing between the types depends on factors such as the nature of the product or service, the target audience and the overall marketing goals.
What is SEO and SEM? Let’s explore both and their roles in lead generation.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing a website’s content and structure to improve its visibility on search engines’ organic search results. The goal is to enhance the website’s relevance to specific keywords and provide a seamless user experience. Key components include:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a broader term encompassing paid strategies to enhance a website’s visibility on search engine results. It includes paid search advertising, commonly known as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Key components include:
Both SEO and SEM play a role in lead generation. SEO is useful for increasing visibility and building trust and credibility. Your website will show up higher in search results, driving more organic traffic. SEM gives more immediate visibility, under a controlled budget. You’ll be able to target specific audiences on a set budget, creating a cost-effective way to generate leads.
Whether organically building authority through SEO or strategically placing ads with SEM, mastering these techniques is essential for businesses seeking to thrive in the competitive digital space.
Organically posting to social media platforms generally only results in about 10% of your followers seeing the posts as a business. This is where social media marketing comes in.
Plus, many of the platforms allow you to have lead generation forms directly in that system meaning customers don’t have to leave their social media platform to engage. Let’s take a look into a few of the platforms:
With so many social media platforms out there, it can be hard to know which accounts you should and shouldn’t have, and with more and more accounts, the more difficult social media management can become for the busy small business owner. You do need to know your channels, you don’t have to use every platform. If your brand’s audience isn’t using a specific platform? Don’t use it!
For a deeper look into the different platforms, check out our guide on how to get into social media marketing.
So, you’ve captured information about prospective customers. Now what? This is where email marketing plays an important role. You need to nurture leads to drive successful conversions. Whether this is through a specific communications plan, set to automatically send, or it’s a newsletter that will build your inbound marketing, email marketing has to be used in lead generation strategies.
There are a few techniques you should use when building your email marketing campaigns and plans:
A well-crafted email nurturing campaign involves understanding your audience, delivering personalized and valuable content, all while strategically guiding leads through the sales funnel.
As technology continues to evolve, there are so many new lead generation tools and technologies. Here is an overview of a few key tools and technologies that help marketers efficiently generate and manage leads.
Customer Relationship Software (CRM) is designed to manage and analyze customer interactions throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Some popular CRM tools are Salesforce, HubSpot and Zoho. Key features include:
Analytics and data tracking allow marketers to gain insights into user behavior, website performance and campaign effectiveness. Some popular tools include Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics and Hotjar. Key features include:
Discover the significance of analytics in understanding and improving lead-generation strategies. WVU Online offers degree options in this field: Data Marketing Communications M.S., Data Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate.
Automation tools can streamline lead generation by setting up repetitive tasks and workflows that occur automatically, increasing efficiency. Some popular tools include Marketo, Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Zapier. Key features include:
Let's delve into a real-world example of successful lead generation campaigns, analyzing the strategies that made them effective.
NeilPatel by NP Digital has been a top example in successful lead generation through inbound marketing, providing valuable content and building authority. With numerous blogs to draw customers, NP Digital features pop-ups and built-in CTAs, focusing on using quizzes to capture more information.
For example, pictured is their CTA for a 7-week SEO Action Plan. You answer a few questions before receiving the guide via email. Once you’re in, you gain valuable information with a plan to boost your website’s SEO.
With WVU Online’s degrees in Marketing Communications, you’ll learn how to meet your potential customers where they are through SEO, organic and paid search, display marketing, social media marketing, content marketing and more! You’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to be a digital marketer and build a lead-generation funnel for your future company.
You’ll take courses such as:
You’ll gain the knowledge you need to build campaigns that will reach the right audiences to generate qualified leads. Many careers in digital marketing focus on lead generation, within roles such as:
As technology continues to evolve and consumer behaviors continue to change, the future of lead generation has a positive outlook in the future. Marketers who stay ahead in this dynamic digital landscape have the potential to grow lead generation in their future roles.
There are so many exciting evolutions in the future of digital marketing and lead generation. You have to embrace innovation and stay on top of emerging trends to succeed. Knowing the strategies and tactics you can use behind these trends is also a key element.
One way to do that is by expanding your education with WVU Online’s fully online master’s degrees in Marketing Communications. Our programs are focused on what is happening next in marketing. Learn more about the M.S. in Data Marketing Communications, the M.S. in Digital Marketing Communications and the M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and how you can learn from practitioner faculty who are literally practicing what they preach every day.
Develop a solid understanding of lead generation and pave the way for a successful career in digital marketing.
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