If you’re new to digital marketing there’s one thing you need to do before diving in. And this advice applies to any kind of business. You’re going to want to become intimate with the concept of “lead generation” as quickly as possible. This is one of the most important concepts in the world of digital marketing and one of the most misunderstood.
What Is Lead Generation in The Digital Landscape
Let’s break the terminology down to the basics. In the new world of digital marketing, a lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form. And, lead generation is the process of continually attracting and converting these strangers and prospects into leads for your sales team.
Many business owners coming from an old marketing paradigm are accustomed to fishing for new leads in uncharted territory. In the old marketing world this would be known as cold calling or sending out mass mailings to a specific zip code. You simply never know if the person you’d be reaching out to has the slightest interest in your product or service.
Some businesses still employ cold calling, though now it’s frequently done with computerized calls and recorded messages. Most people don’t even answer the calls anymore since screening calls is a common practice today. I have no idea what the success rate of those businesses is, and quite frankly, I don’t really care. Neither should you.
An Exciting Digital World That’s Always On
The Internet has changed the need for cold calling as well as some other forms of traditional marketing. You now have the entire world searching for products and services 24/7/365. Now, instead of getting a random cold call from someone who purchased their contact information, prospects hear from a business or organization they’ve already opened communication with.
Lead generation is a way of warming up potential customers to your business and getting them on the path to eventually buying. It’s a method of gathering enough information about a prospect to determine their level of interest in your product or service. So you want to make sure you consistently provide valuable information in the form of interesting and relevant content in your blogs, articles and social media.
Prospects Initiate Contact In The New World
In digital marketing your prospects find you first. You don’t have to go out looking for interested prospects. They find you and initiate the relationship. When they are interested in a product or service they give you information that gives you permission to contact them with more information about your products or services. This is the beginning of what could be a beautiful relationship.
Interested prospects continue to reach out to companies they feel good about which typically turns out to be businesses that provide the most compelling and relevant information or “content.” You never know when or if these prospects will turn into customers. However, you do know that they have established a relationship with you and while they may not become a paying customer they may recommend your product or service to their friends who may in turn become customers and refer more prospects to you.
So, when prospects open the door for you, make sure you give them valuable goodies that will keep them coming back for more.