Published on Sep 22,2015
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For a business to thrive, it needs to constantly and consistently generate quality leads which will result in profit. While there are many online platforms available for brands to showcase their advertising and marketing techniques, it is not necessary that each of these will produce advantageous leads. For certain brands, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are ideal arenas, whereas many other businesses bank on webinars, events and telemarketing tactics to generate enquiries. There is no ‘one size fits all’ theory when it comes to lead generation.

With customer acquisition becoming the primary focus of businesses, advertisers are allocating large budgets to online lead generation tactics. Automobile, e-Commerce, education and telecommunications are some of the sectors where online lead generation has taken a leap forward. It is used as the main tool to harness customer interest, reach out to potential customers and ultimately develop internal databases for customer relationship management. Here, lead generation specialists have a prominent role to play. They devise strategies which will help a brand engage with new customers – through referrals, online newsletters, display ads, loyalty programs etc., and obtain contact information of potential customers who may be interested in a particular product or service. The objective of these strategies is to generate sales leads which will be profitable to the business.

Specialists have many tried-and-tested methods to garner customer interest in a brand. Here are some of the assessed and most-effective online lead generation tactics that brands can use to boost their business:

#1 Amplify social media presence

A social media page costs nothing to set up, but can result in increased customer interaction and high sales eventually. With almost everyone browsing social media on a daily basis, they tend to check if a particular brand they are interested in exists on the platform, and what the brand’s activity is like. The content posted on a social media platform can make or break a brand’s identity. Being mindful of online presence and activity can greatly benefit customer engagement with a brand. But this doesn’t mean that the entire focus should only be on Facebook and Twitter. More visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest catch more eyeballs by showcasing images of products. Attractive looking photos of the merchandise, team members, office space, behind the scenes etc. increases customer involvement with the brand and can help in development of positive leads.

#2 Offer opt-in schemes

Many e-commerce sites are already using this tactic with very effective results. Opt-in offers involve providing a customer an incentive to sign up, or engage with a brand. Most often, first time users won’t make an instant purchase. They will review the site, spend time surfing through it, take opinions into account and then may or may not continue to a purchase. If in this period, the brand is not registered and retained in their mind, the likelihood of return purchase is minimal. To avoid such a scenario, brands can provide an opt-in offer where a customer signs in to avail a certain benefit. The possibility of a discount or offer on next use keeps the brand at the top of mind recall, ensuring customers return; thus helping generate leads.

#3 Engage in co-marketing and cross promotions

Building alliances with friends of the brand, such as other businesses offering products or services in the same space but without direct competition, can be an excellent tactic for lead generation. These cross promotional tactics help to promote each other’s businesses to individual target groups, and mutually benefit sales by exchanging leads between vendors. Take into account the tie up between OLX and Flipkart as an effective case study. The two brands joined hands to promote a strategy where users could sell used products on one site (OLX) and buy a newer product on the other (Flipkart), resulting in an almost ‘exchange-offer’ like policy to benefit consumers. Such cross promotional tactics can create viable alliances to boost lead generation and ensure higher turnover for a business.

#4 Employ effective analytics tools

One of the most ideal tools to generate leads with low acquisition costs is to use analytics systems such as SEO (search engine optimisation), SEM (search engine marketing) and PPC (pay per click). Most often, people first search on Google when they are looking for any particular product or service. The SEO, SEM and PPC strategies of the brand determine how high it will rank, which in turn influences consumer perception. Using keywords and highly targeted search terms helps to increase effectiveness of the analytics campaigns. Long-tail keywords comprising three or more words have been found to be more effective in driving traffic due to their high specificity and lower competitiveness compared to shorter keywords which are higher in volume as well as competition. After identifying optimal keywords, it is imperative to develop content around it to give audiences something to benefit from.

Lead generation is a constant, ongoing and evolving process. A brand needs to regularly brain storm and ideate innovative strategies to keep up rate of enquiries. It is not a field where one can expect overnight success. Testing, tweaking and experimentation are a big part of the game. Brands need to regularly assess and revamp their strategies to prevent tactics from becoming obsolete. Consistent, inventive and prolonged efforts can go a long way to attract audiences, increase conversions and generate high amount of leads for a business.

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