A lead is a person who has initiated contact with a brand and expressed interest in the brand’s products or services.
Let’s paint a little picture here.
While scrolling, you come across a post of a friend of yours that you haven’t seen in a while. You scroll through your social media, for example, Instagram, and come across a post of a friend of yours that you haven’t seen in a while. You came across a sponsored ad from an e-Learning platform while you were randomly browsing.
You clicked on an ad, watched a video that they posted, went to their site, and answered a simple pop-up survey. You answered the survey and submitted your response.
To that brand, you are a potential customer. Whether you qualify as a good or bad customer will come later in our discussion.
The former often focus on leads with the highest possible value and the latter focus on leads that are more likely to close Even though the definition of lead quality differs for marketers and sales, they both focus on leads that will be most beneficial for the company. The former group considers the number of leads generated to be the measure of quality, while the latter group may not consider all of them to be actual leads.
It’s what’s known as a marketer’s myopia.
How to Know a Lead Is Qualified
Someone who is a marketing lead is more likely to become a paying customer, as they have demonstrated an interest in the company and responded positively to attempts to nurture the lead. These people may not purchase anything immediately, but they are potential customers.
A qualified lead is one who is close to becoming a customer. If the sales and marketing departments have a good relationship with each other, it will result in a significant increase in lead generation.
Sales leads are more likely to convert to customers because they have already been screened and approved. If you have a good plan and some help, it shouldn’t be hard to turn sales-qualified leads into customers.
5 Types of Leads
When you examine the different types of leads, you can see what characteristics a lead has at different points in the conversion process.
- New Lead: A prospect who interacts for the first time with a company.
- Working Lead: Someone who keeps interacting and conversing.
- Nurturing Lead: Someone who can be convinced to buy in the future.
- Unqualified Lead: Someone who isn’t interested anymore.
- Qualified Lead: One who is a ripe prospect, ready to be converted into a customer.
Lead Generation: What It Is & How It Works
Lead generation is the process of creating interest in a company’s products or services among a target audience. This can be done through various means, such as creating attractive offers, or by providing useful information that helps the audience make a buying decision. The main goal of the process is to bring in new customers, and to care for them until they make a purchase.
Companies of all sizes, from small to large, across all industries use lead generation as a way to expand their businesses. The majority of marketers (60%) believe that lead generation is a key marketing strategy.
Even though we talked about what characteristics a lead has, it’s not cut and dried when it comes to day-to-day dealings.
Sometimes all you need to do to capture a lead is make it easy for them to download resources from your website, like ebooks and guides. Other times, it might take a more sophisticated approach, such as targeting them with different marketing campaigns.
Overview of Lead Generation in the Digital Era
The days of salespeople knocking on doors to try and sell products or services are gone. Instead, customers are now convinced to buy products or services based on the decorated and carefully recited marketing speech.
And that presents a big challenge for marketers.” Sophisticated customers who are well-informed and influenced by social media present a big challenge for marketers. According to Tim Barker, Chief Product Officer at DataSift, in order for marketing to be effective, it must create content that people actually want to see.
The quote suggests that cold calling is no longer an effective lead generation strategy. Archery is not about throwing arrows blindly, it is about practices such as spreading brand awareness, creating relatable and useful content, and developing customer relationships.
Inbound marketing is a solid lead generation strategy in which businesses attract customers through relevant and helpful content instead of interruption marketing techniques like advertising.
The way that customers behave has changed, and because of that, the ways that companies generate leads has changed. Along with that, the relationship between sales and marketing has changed since digitization became prevalent.
Nowadays, marketing teams are responsible for much more than just collecting leads and handing them over to sales. Their responsibilities have expanded and evolved.
Both marketing and sales teams can target and qualify leads to be sent to respective teams for further nurturing.
How It Works
- The audience discovers your brand on a marketing channel (like a social media post, website, blog, etc.)
- Prospects click on a CTA (an image, link in bio, button)
- Navigate to a landing page exchanging some resources for customer information.
Importance of Lead Generation
Let’s understand why companies invest a lot of money in lead generation strategies.
Boosts Brand Awareness
There are many great ways to put your brand on the map and get your target audience to notice you, such as lead generation campaigns, social media promotion, email campaigns, and marketing.
If you have a good lead generation strategy, you will be able to try new ways to increase brand awareness and teach customers about what you have to offer.
Helps Identify and Target Quality Leads
There is nothing worse than wasting resources and time by targeting low-quality leads that you may find from purchased email lists or cold-calling customers.
If you want prospects that are interested in your product and have a high chance of becoming clients, you should invest your time in developing a strong lead generation strategy. You can identify high-quality leads that are likely to convert to customers further down the sales funnel by implementing effective content marketing and other marketing campaigns.
Doesn’t Cost Your Whole Capital
When you use digital marketing techniques that are available online, you can more easily target specific customer groups that are more likely to result in increased sales leads. You will be able to get more high-quality leads that have high conversion rates if you do this. Overall, it will cost you less money to get each high-quality lead from inbound marketing than from any other method.
There are various tools available in the market which can help automate online lead generation and management, such as BIGContacts. These tools can automate email marketing and sales CRM.
The goal of this method is to get salespeople to spend less time looking for leads, and more time dealing with ones that are likely to result in a sale.
Running the Blog Leads Report
While marketers can calculate the total number of leads their blog generates, they cannot discern how many leads each blog post contributes. However, the information we obtain after a post is published is important in order to help us determine which topics and formats are most effective for our posts.
To learn which touchpoints are most effective in your marketing funnel, generate an attribution report in your marketing software. To learn how to create reports in HubSpot, see this blog post.
What should you look at in the report?
The size of your monthly report will depend on how many blog posts you write. Choose your 5 best and worst performing posts to analyze.
Are there similar topics?
You should begin by examining the five most popular (or least popular) posts to see if any patterns emerge. Begin with topic commonalities. Are there popular topics that consistently appear in posts that generate leads? The ranking of the topics may surprise you, with certain topics you thought would perform well not being in the top five. It is beneficial to understand what topics interest your audience so that you can tailor content that is more likely to be well received. This will give you ideas for future post topics.
In the example situation, the top two blog posts are about big data, and the next three are about Excel data analysis. This information can help me target my future content toward the topics that generate leads.
Are there similar formats?
The layout of your blog post can also affect whether or not a reader will convert to your post. People have different preferences for the types of posts they want to see on a blog. Some people prefer list-based posts while others look for visual posts that include infographics or SlideShare presentations. Look at your blog posts to see if a particular format is more successful with your audience. Researching how your audience consumes information will help you better understanding them.
The top blog post in the example is a visual piece. Although four posts are still remaining, it would be a good idea to create more posts that are instructions with visual content mixed in.
Are they similar lengths?
A blog post can include an unlimited amount of information. But how much is enough? Or what is too much? Compare the lengths of your blog posts to see if some are driving more conversions. The number of conversions you get from longer posts may be lower than shorter posts. If your readers aren’t finishing your posts, it may be a sign that your calls-to-action are located too far down.
Were there embedded media in the post?
In addition to traditional blog posts, many blogs also feature social media posts, videos, SlideShares, or infographics. Blog posts can be enhanced by adding extra content such as images, videos, or links, without having to write another full blog post. The content of your post can come mostly from the media.
According to the example, the most successful blog post was one that featured infographics about big data. This suggests that readers may be interested in this type of content.
Which CTAs did these posts use?
The most important thing you can do to make your blog posts more effective at driving conversions is to include a call-to-action for your readers to convert. Look through the top five blog posts and see if you have used a certain CTA multiple times. You should make your Calls to Action (CTAs) similar to the content in your blog posts, so that if there are similarities between the two, it will increase the number of conversions. This can be a good indication of what is working if you are testing out multiple CTAs on the same content.
I may have a few different calls to action that I use for blog posts about big data. My top two posts were about Big Data. I would take a look at which calls to action were on the posts that resulted in conversions. I’m only interested in using a CTA if I know it will perform well. If the different calls to action have something in common, like colors or keywords, I can see if they are effective.
If you want to try different types of pop-up CTAs and learn more about your blog’s visitors, try HubSpot’s free lead capture tool.
Where were the CTAs placed?
I also need to see where the CTAs on my blog posts were placed in order to continue the CTA analysis. Are they at the bottom of the post? In the sidebar? Do they slide in? Are they in the middle of the blog post? I need to know what kind of CTA works best. Compare the performance of your CTAs to see which is more effective.
If you have more than one CTA on your blog post, test which one works better by seeing which one gets more clicks. You may be surprised at your results.
Were there links to a landing page? Where were they placed?
If you have a blog post, you may have different types of CTAs, not just images. You could also have links to landing pages or other helpful pages on your site in the text of your blog post. Shorter URLs are often easier to remember, so you may want to use a URL shortener like bit.ly to set up your tracking URLs. Track the most important links in your blog post by setting up tracking URLs and using a URL shortener.
Analyze where in your blog post you placed the most recent comments. If shots are only being fired at the beginning of the blog post, it might be an indication that readers aren’t finishing the post. If your website has a lot of pages, Google Analytics may tell you which pages are most important so you can put them at the beginning of your post.
The number of clicks on links at the end of your blog post may indicate that your readers want more information on the topic after reading the main content. The location of your links can tell an important part of the story, no matter what.
THE PROBLEM: YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T GROWING AS FAST AS IT SHOULD!
Your sales have stagnated or decreased, and you can’t figure out why. Discover what’s holding you back from achieving predictable sales growth in your business.
If you want to grow your business, you need a proven plan and framework. That’s what you get with the 2X Your Sales Discovery Session.
Want to learn about a formula for Predictable Growth that will put your business on a 90-day path to 2X Your Sales?