Marketing a business can be quite challenging these days. With technology constantly evolving, online lead generation is becoming an increasingly important strategy as you market your business.
Back in the day, the main form of advertising a business was by word of mouth. Although this method still proves to be effective today, the popularity of various mobile devices and online technologies now enable clients to source information about products and services with just a click of a button. Getting information using the internet and high-tech gadgets has paved way for an entirely new form of marketing.
Using the internet to gain exposure for your business is a really cost-effective way to attract a lot more customers compared to using traditional methods. This is a key reason that more and more businesses are incorporating online lead generation in their marketing mix.
Traditionally, lead generation was achieved using methods such as snail mail, direct advertising and direct sales – as well as by encouraging referrals by word of mouth.
What exactly is online lead generation?
As the term suggests, it describes the process of finding new business on the internet. Today a web presence is just as important as a phone number and a fax machine were a few decades ago.
Without a credible web presence, you cannot be found when people search for the type of products and services you offer. And these days, that means that you’ll miss out on more than 50% of your market activity.
It is a fact that as a business you need to constantly get your services out in front of potential customers. And it’s not just a matter of getting out in front of people, it’s about getting in front of the right people. It doesn’t really matter if you’re successful in getting in front of millions of people who cannot or will not buy from you – successful lead generation relies upon getting in front of the ‘perfect’ potential prospect. This is perhaps the most important factor if you want to generate more revenue for the business, not just more exposure.
By targeting the right people, your marketing efforts will not go to waste. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s tempting to broaden your target market in an effort to attract as much attention as possible. This strategy, however, is usually a waste of time, money and energy. Not only will you be wasting your time by engaging with unqualified prospects, but, even worse, you are also wasting precious time that could be spent in getting in front of the ideal prospects.
This is where online lead generation really comes into it’s own. It has never been easier to target any demographic or geographic segment before. The theory is simple – find out what your perfect prospects are looking for and make sure you make yourself visible for these terms.
Unfortunately, this is a lot easier said than done.
A good online lead generation program will focus on attracting the right prospects by specifically targeting and positioning your products and services in the places where your prospects are already engaged, using terms they’re already using to find you.
As most business managers already know, when you have the right leads (which is extremely important in every business), you increase your chance of turning those leads into actual customers. No more wasting time on talking to someone who is not interested in your services in the first place.
There are plenty of lead generation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_generation) strategies – in fact, seo and local search are probably the fastest growing industries online today – but this is also a problem. So many strategies, so little time!
Once you understand that the key component to online lead generation success is consistency and long term effort, you’ll immediately realize that this is an undertaking that requires time, energy and dedication.
It can seem completely overwhelming. If so the best thing to do is to find an expert in this field who can assist you. This assistance can range from simply advising and guiding you, to taking over your online lead generation activities completely.
It’s best to honestly assess what you want and the investment you’re prepared to make – whether you decide to undertake this yourself or outsource. Make no mistake, whatever route you choose, an investment of either time or money or both will be necessary. The next decision is to actually begin implementing an online lead generation system. Until you do, the whole subject remains purely academic.