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Confused About Lead Generation? Here’s What You Need to Know



Lead Generation

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Everyone in the marketing community is always talking about “lead gen” and how it’s the only way to get customers these days. It can be easy for small businesses to ignore lead generation since the term seems so jargon-y, but it’s something every business should take seriously if they want to improve their sales.

If you don’t have the budget for a marketing agency to handle lead generation for you, don’t worry. With a little bit of training and research, you can start to integrate lead gen into your small business’s marketing efforts and get more customers. Let’s take a look at what exactly lead generation is, how it can help your business grow, and where you should start.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is simply a process that helps your business bring in new customers. “Leads” are what the marketing world calls people who may not be ready to buy your product or service yet, but may in the future. If they get those potential customers’ information early on and strategically retarget them with follow-up marketing efforts, well-produced lead generation strategies can get those people over the finish line and to the point where those leads finally become a customer.

Lead Generation Assets

One of the easiest ways to add lead gen to your marketing strategy is by offering assets of real value to potential customers in exchange for their contact information. People do this all the time without even thinking about it (ever subscribed to something with your email to get a discount? That’s a lead gen strategy). The assets can be a lot of different things, but most often look like:

  • E-books
  • Industry guides
  • Videos
  • Templates
  • Case studies
  • Webinars
  • Memberships
  • Offers & coupons

These “lead magnets” as they’re called are surprisingly effective in getting a business’s name out there, build up goodwill with potential customers, and cement themselves as authoritative figures within their industry. If you’re not sure which lead magnet to start with, keep in mind there’s not a single lead magnet that works better than others—it’s all about what will provide the most help to your leads.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing what assets will resonate with your leads. The best lead magnets, no matter their format, follow some similar features:

  • They address a real problem your customer faces
  • They promise a real (and quick) solution
  • They aren’t vague with their solution
  • They are easily digestible
  • They are perceived as high-value (even if it’s not a big deal on your end)
  • They are easily accessible

If your lead magnet checks those things off the list above, you have a good chance of gaining some solid leads and building up your loyal customer base relatively easily depending on your traffic sources. If your leads are coming from organic marketing, you can expect a steady stream of leads. If you’re using paid ads, the leads will ebb and flow more. But you should still get lots of viable leads either way.

The Bottom Line

Will lead generation help your business? Absolutely. There are some costs related to lead generation efforts, but you should easily be able to get enough leads and bring customers to the checkout stage to offset those marketing costs.

If your business is in a position to hire a marketing agency or team, they’re (hopefully) going to put some effort behind lead generation. In many cases, the lead gen process is a dual effort between marketing teams and sales teams, but can also be done with just marketing specialists if needed.

At the end of the day, your business probably needs to spend time, effort, and money on lead gen. Without it, it is almost impossible to get people to the finish line and actually become a paying customer. You don’t have to spend your entire marketing budget on lead generation, but there needs to be some sort of formalized effort around capturing those leads at every stage of the customer journey.

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