Generating qualified online leads is one of the biggest priorities in any business, whether big or small. You can’t expect to grow your revenue month after month if you don’t get prospects through the door consistently.
In days of old, you would’ve gone out to the street to hand out flyers, stick posters on the wall, or pay for radio coverage to acquire these leads.
But times have changed.
You now find yourself in the digital age. It’s imperative for you to start finding new ways to generate leads quickly and effectively online.
And in this article, we’ll show you 10 proven methods to get new qualified leads for your business. Most of these are strategies we have used ourselves to bring in leads for Linx Digital, so you can rest assured knowing you’re getting battle-tested stuff here.
So let’s get started.
To begin, it would serve you well to understand what we mean by an “online lead”.
Any individual that shows explicit interest in your product or service online can be considered a “lead” — this is a prospect that you’ve got the potential to turn into a customer. The process or strategy that you employ to attract this prospect in the first place, can be called “lead generation”.
And that’s the focal point of this article. To cut a long story short, lead generation consists of two types — inbound and outbound.
As the name suggests, an inbound lead is a prospect that basically comes to you. He resonates with your message and on his own decides to take the next step.
This can happen in multiple ways: be it by subscribing to your newsletter, downloading your eBook, requesting a demo after reading your blog, etc.
But now, the outbound leads are prospects that you did reach out to directly — whether they expressed interest in your service or not — to invite them to take that next step.
And this can typically occur in the form of a cold call, cold email, and paid advertising.
Now, to be fair, each of these two methods has its pros and cons — none is better than the other. While outbound marketing gives you the full reign over your online lead generation process, the results it generates are short-term focused. Several of the strategies implemented involve a form of cold calling/emailing and/or advertising, and all of these can end up being pricey.
Inbound marketing is a tad more passive since leads are more “organic”, but when done right, it promises returns for the long haul. Costs are significantly lower than with outbound strategies, and with a cheaper entry price, comes lower risks of anything going south.
Now, the strategy you end up applying for your business will be determined by your specific goals. But in case you have the budget, starting off with an outbound strategy for quick results while simultaneously building your inbound channel sounds like the best move. No need to just rely on one — when you can leverage both to take your business to the next level.
Either way, we’ll be getting into both inbound & outbound methods you can utilize as soon as today to start driving more sales for your business.
What is the first thing you do when you have a question about a topic?
If you’re anything like the average person, you likely search for it through Google. And see, your prospect is not different. When a potential lead wants to discover a surefire way to solve his problem, more times than not, they search online.
And here’s where traditional search engine optimization comes in.
SEO practices allow you to optimize your online content — be it your website, blog, etc. — in a way that is visible in search results and ultimately, helps you get more eyeballs on your content.
The way it works is by finding the most relevant keywords or phrases used in your industry, to then tailoring your site’s content based on those keywords. Let’s say you sell skateboards. If a prospect searches for “skateboards”, but that word is nowhere to be found on your site — Google will not rank your site high enough on the search query. And you will miss out on the chance to get this lead through the door.
You need to regularly ensure you’re evaluating, adding, and revising your written content so it matches with the SEO agenda and Google is then able to rank you high. Otherwise, your website will be another fish in the Google sea.
This one ties back to the SEO method, but it's a strategy unto itself.
One of the best ways to generate organic leads for your business is simple: offer genuine value to your prospect. You want to place yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer, and come up with informative content that will help this prospect out in some way — it can come in the form of blogs, articles, infographics, videos, etc.
After all, people only buy from those they trust. And what greater way to inspire loyalty than by offering genuine value to your prospect?
What’s even better is… there’s more than one way to fulfill your purpose. You can package your content inside an online format like a valuable eBook, whitepaper, or guide — more on that in a bit — and place it behind a form on a landing page on your site.
This way, once your lead lands on this page — providing your content is highly relevant and solves the exact pain point the prospect is facing — they are highly likely to give you their contact details in exchange for the info.
Talk about a win-win. You get the lead. The prospect solves his problem. Everybody’s happy.
Here at Linx Digital, our YouTube channel, which focuses on digital advertising strategies, tutorials, and interviews, managed to consistently generate leads for our agency services. So if you are comfortable appearing in front of the camera, and enjoy creating valuable content in video format, then starting a YouTube channel for your business may be a great way to generate leads online.
A blog is the holy grail of inbound marketing. A great source for organic leads. And that’s because a blog gives you two key benefits:
1) Total control of the content that’s gonna be offered as a magnet to attract leads
2) Complete attention of your reader
Two things that can be leveraged in your favor at the time of generating leads. As long as you keep the lesson we learned on the last method top of mind — value is always king — you should emerge victorious at the end of the road.
Inbound leads tend to be more qualified and engaged in general, and since you’re already applying the best SEO practices to rank higher on the search results, you should start landing organic leads with relative ease.
Just make sure to add a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the tail end of your blog so you can capitalize on leads from organic traffic. Catchy titles and glossy visuals also go a long way to make your articles pop.
Social media platforms are the closest thing to “modern networking” as we can get. With over 59% of the world population using social media regularly, fostering a social presence online has become a prerequisite for any business that takes its lead generation seriously.
If you post frequently, engage with your audience on a daily basis, and participate in other communities related to your business on social media channels — you’ll grow a form of “social capital”. Which will come in handy at the time of driving leads to your business.
Now, these should go without saying, but the type of social media you employ for your enterprise will vary on your specific goals. Not every platform is created equal. To gauge whether the style of your business fits the nature of the social media platform you’re looking to use.
Make effective CTAs in your bios, captions, and stories to drive leads to your site. And just like with the blog, keep value and quality content top of mind.
Joining and participating in relevant Facebook Groups is an effective strategy to generate leads for your business, for both B2B and B2C companies.
We guarantee that there is an active Facebook community for almost every niche (and industry) that you can think of, from small business owners, entrepreneurs, digital marketing strategies, online coaches and consultants, real estate, buy and sell marketplaces, etc, the list goes on.
Make sure you conduct customer research, and brainstorm which Facebook Groups are your potential customers hanging out in.
The key to success for using Facebook groups as online leads generation is to bring value to your potential leads, through helpful posts and engagements with the Facebook group members.
Do not be tempted to blatantly spam Facebook groups with your product or service without considering how your contribution can actually benefit the Facebook group.
Trust us, contributing to relevant Facebook groups, and forming our own “YouTube Ad Buyers” Facebook Group, are both powerful lead gen tools for our ads agency.
Your website is the first impression a prospect gets from your business. It is, therefore, in your best interest to make this initial point of contact a splendid one.
Your site shouldn’t only look professional and aesthetically pleasing — but it should also facilitate the experience of your potential lead as much as possible.
After all, imagine an interested prospect lands on your site and struggles a great deal to find what they’re looking for. Chances are, he’ll bounce… never to visit your site or purchase from your business ever again.
As a business owner, it’s your job to make the life of your prospects easier. You will not accomplish this by having a haphazardly put up website where you can barely browse what you’re looking for.
Your website navigation should be:
On top of optimizing the navigation of your site, it's always good to:
The best way to judge how good your user experience is to sit down and browse through your site yourself.
Is it easy to use? Can you find what you were looking for easily and effectively? Is there any aspect of the navigation that could confuse a first-time visitor in any way?
These are all questions that can help you gauge how ready your site is to receive and capture new leads. Don’t put this on the back burner.
A bad website is a surefire way to slow down any form of lead generation strategy you’re applying.
Webinars are the online equivalent of a seminar — just that oftentimes, it's free to attend. They’re considered a great lead-generation tool because they allow you to build a personal connection with your audience while positioning yourself as an authority.
If you possess great expertise in a subject or have great knowledge you’re willing to share on a specific topic; any prospect would be willing to part ways with their contact details in exchange for listening to what you have to say.
Now, the key to hosting a successful seminar is to keep it informative, and value-packed. The goal is not to hard sell your prospect on why your service is the best thing since sliced bread, but to address a topic that is of great interest to your prospect… or that solves a huge pain point in their lives.
Keep it strictly educational. And if the prospects find your webinar useful, they can always share their contact details at the end of the webinar to receive info related to the product or service. Who knows? If you do it right, you might even find your site swamped with leads and prospects eager to take that next step.
Positioning yourself as an industry expert goes a long way.
Since the beginning of the Internet, eBooks have been the go-to online lead generation strategy to attract customers through the door. It’s a tried and tested method that has never ceased to be an effective way to provide value to your prospect in exchange for his contact details.
Similar to the seminar, eBooks help you to position yourself as an expert in the eyes of your prospect and establish credibility for your brand.
Say you worked in the fitness niche. You can set up a simple landing page with a form that offers an eBook on the ‘5 Best Workouts To Gain Weight As a Beginner’... in exchange for the prospect’s name and email address.
Just like with prior methods, the name of the game is value. Write an informative eBook on a topic that is highly relevant to your prospect, and promote it on all your socials and online platforms.
Watch in turn how this eBook becomes your main lead capturing hook that gets you qualified leads through the door like clockwork.
A newsletter is a great way to nurture existing leads into customers. If you’ve been following any of the methods laid out above, you should already have a list of email addresses you can use to start sending highly targeted emails to prospects.
These subscribers already showed explicit interest in what you had to offer — be it your eBook, your webinar, or another lead-capturing strategy — so your job now is to keep building a relationship with these people.
Providing your newsletter offers high-quality, educational content that serves your subscribers greatly, you can keep nurturing these leads every step of the way until they become a paid customer.
Some marketers even combine the eBook strategy with a newsletter — they offer a valuable eBook at the forefront of the landing page, the prospect gives his email address, and you immediately place him as a member of your list. Your content will do the rest.
As soon as they subscribe, aim for a weekly, highly-educational email that’s personalized to your prospect and keeps him engaged. Do set expectations for the newsletter upfront so that people on your list know what to expect from you and when.
You can share new product releases, promotional offers, surveys, you name it. The main goal… is to be of value to your list.
This is how you truly entice people into signing up.
So far we have touched upon some of the best inbound marketing strategies you can apply to grow your business organically. But it does take a tad of time and patience to truly reap the benefits of what they can offer.
If you’ve got the budget, and are looking for strategies that can have a quicker impact on your bottom line each month, then outbound marketing is your best bet.
More specifically, paid advertising.
Due to the tremendous reach platforms like Facebook, Google and YouTube can offer; buying advertising space on these platforms can truly put your business in front of millions of prospects almost immediately.
With a click of a button, you can launch highly targeted ads that leverage specific keywords and phrases that speak to your target audience and attract them to your site.
Not only is this a great way to increase exposure and get the word out for your service, but you can also track and optimize each part of your campaign to ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Because if one thing is certain, it is that on most platforms… advertising isn’t cheap. You need to run effective campaigns in order to make sure you’re landing an ROI from your efforts. Once you get this right, the sky's the limit in terms of the number of leads you could get.
One thing we are noticing right now is that TikTok ads are an incredibly effective and cheap way to generate online leads, particularly if you are in the eCommerce or info-product niche. Check out our case study here to see how we used TikTok ads to generate online leads for our client in the online course niche.
Couple this with a well-executed inbound marketing strategy, and you can rest assured that you’re building the ultimate lead-generation machine that will bring consistent leads for years to come.
Apply the strategies laid out in this article to build your own online lead generation plan, and start putting it to work for your business.
If you would like to find out more about what we could do to grow your business with paid advertising, jump on a free strategy call with us to know how we can help you grow!
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