Lead generation is not a new concept by any standard, but we are still talking about it so much. This is not only because of how important it is but for the fact that it is evolving finely into different strategies and methods by the day.

However, the simple mistake which many people make is misunderstanding what lead generation is – or simply not knowing how to go about it effectively. At the end of this piece, none of those will be a problem anymore.

What is Lead Generation?

As of the time of this writing, up to 85% of marketers claim that lead generation is the single most important tool in all of their marketing plans. So, what is this strategy which seems to be turning many businesses on its head?

Simply put, lead generation refers to a series of strategies that are leveraged to incite the interest of a potential customer in services and/ or products offered by a brand. It is a form of customer prospecting which is aimed at piquing the interest of the target market in what the brand has to offer, often to make a conversion as defined by such a brand.

Thus, lead generation helps a business do what it has been created for – sell a service or product to consumers who might not have found out about it otherwise.

Different Types of Lead Generation

Lead generation comes in various ways and forms. At the same time, they are constantly growing and evolving, improving the number of ways by which brands can make initial contact with a prospective consumer.

However, not all of these methods will work for all brands, making it important to know what options to be pursued.

1 Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a canopy term used to define all the efforts which brands exude in drawing customers in for their products and service via channels such as social media, content marketing, and SEO, among others.

2 Sponsorships

Sponsoring an event gives brands a platform to stand on while announcing themselves. They also have a ready, willing audience to showcase themselves to, helping to foster trust since they are riding on the influence of another trusted brand.

Finally, sponsorships help a brand get associated with a certain theme, concept or idea, registering them better in the minds of potential customers

3 Showrooms

The aim of showrooms is not to make a direct sale – but show the customer what can be sold. This is why showrooms are always meticulously arranged and positioned for the best exposure and making of maximum impact.

4 Networking

A lot of people gain success with their brands and ideas not because of what they know, but for the people they know. This is the influence of networking to brand success.

Lead generation via networking is something LinkedIn has taken to the next level, helping to bring together people of like mind to interact with one another. The best thing about networking is that it allows brands/ persons to learn too while also allowing them the influence they need to push their brands forward when they leverage this network effectively.

5 Cold Calling and Telemarketing

This has grown to cold messaging and cold emailing for a while now, but that does not take away the basic operational model of this form of lead generation.

Cold calling/ texting/ emailing – effective ones, that is – requires the researching of prospects to be approached to see if they fall within the definitions of a target audience. If they do, a cold call/ text/ email is fair though to them to pique their interest in the said product.

Cold calling should neither be intrusive nor spammy, while also featuring content which has been optimized to drive the desired result.

6 Referrals

Referral leverages social proof to work, and that is one of the most brilliant ways to generate new leads.

Past customers, or people who simply believe in the brand’s idea, take up the role of referrals and get more people to try out the service/ product. Since it is impossible for the brand to know everyone else on a personal level, they leverage the personal relationship which these affiliates have with the referrals to easily convince them to join the family.

Generating Leads on LinkedIn

The decision of what prospecting channels to focus on is a serious one. After all, the above choices make it obvious that not all lead generation strategies will work everywhere.

Taking LinkedIn as an example, networking will be the first thing that comes to mind here. That is because the platform itself has made that possible in the way it operates. However, LinkedIn lead generation does not stop there – seeing as everyone has access to this barebones package anyway.

So, what to do?

LinkedIn is not just an online resume service anymore. It has now gone beyond what you have on paper to what you have on offer too.

Thus, creating thought leadership content and sharing useful insights is in a top swing. To say that in another way would be calling inbound marketing to the table.

Likewise, not many people leverage networking on LinkedIn the right way. While lead generation is usually an active program, LinkedIn allows you to make a passive effort to the same results.

To that effect, you can develop your profile by choosing a niche and optimizing for that so much that you get found in searches and connected to. At the same time, viewing the profiles of leads you are interested in will send them a notification – which they can follow up to land on your perfect profile.

Talking about LinkedIn prospecting will be incomplete without cold texting. The platform already provides the basics in the form of congratulatory messages and birthday wishes, but you have to go beyond that.

Thank your network for connecting, have a short and sweet elevator pitch at hand, and offer to discuss with them off-platform. Pick things up from there, and you could be on your way to making a conversion

Lead generation can happen in different ways all around us, taking a trained eye and focused effort to find out these opportunities. Once you do, though, and have the ideal strategy to implement, it could be the singular catalyst remaining to catapult your brand into the limelight. To chat about how a bespoke, outbound campaign using LinkedIn will benefit you and help to drive new business and booked sales calls, give one of the team a ring on 0161 503 7654, or fill out the form below and we will reach out to you.