Talk of leads is something that comes very much from more traditional businesses settings. A lead is a term that specifically comes from sales and marketing and generally describes a contact that a business is going to call or email in order to try and encourage sales.
But today a lot of business is conducted online. As such, leads take on a slightly different form and although the basics are still true, the way you interact with these potential customers will be different.
For example, a cold lead is someone who fits your target demographic but hasn’t had any interaction with you yet and is normally someone whose number a business has bought and who they are then going to try and contact by cold calling. If your business is online though, then that cold lead is more likely to be someone who has just landed on your website.
When you’re online in other words, you have different methods of acquiring leads in the first place. What’s more, the manner in which you acquire your leads is actually going to impact on the type of lead you have.
Traffic from social media usually results from some form of content marketing whether it’s content you’ve shared (direct) or a piece of content that has been shared by someone else (referral). The visit from social media users tends to be what we call ‘smash & grab’ they arrive at your page, expecting to see the content they’ve clicked on, once consumed they return back to what they were doing.
Creating a lead from this channel is harder in the sense you only have a few seconds to convince them to stay on your site, click through to another page and hopefully convert to a lead by signing up for something, buying a product, enquiry.. so it’s your job to make sure you have a clear call to action on all your pages.
When you use SEO (search engine optimisation) to promote your site, you are trying to get that site to rank for a particular keyphrase. Depending on the keyphrase you choose, you may be able to attract pre-qualified sales to your site.
How does this work? Simple (in principle, hard in practice): if your keyphrase refers to buying a product (buy hats online) and that is what you want to sell, then the people coming to your website are demonstrating an interest in buying your wares. This is the definition of a qualified sale and that means you can very likely convert those leads into paying customers with just a little more effort.
Conversely, if you get someone to your site using PPC on Facebook, then they are going to be cold leads. But not all cold leads are made equal and you can make the argument that these are particularly desirable cold leads in that theyíre going to be highly targeted. Thatís because you can use the filtering on Facebook to show your ads only to people that precisely match your target audience.
Conversely, AdWords allows you to target specific keyword searches in Google meaning you can bring in qualified sales. Better yet, using remarketing you can target people who have been to your site and actually viewed your products!
So, these are just channels that can create leads for you. There are more like email, word-of-mouth, referral marketing campaigns and viral contests. But let’s wrap it up for today, we’ll discuss each of these in more detail in another blog post.