How do I get new clients using the Internet?

Updated: Jan 12, 2019

Today’s buyer feels he/she can gather more than enough information on the web without needing to speak to anyone before they are way down the buyer journey and close to purchase. How can you build a digital presence compelling enough to attract these new buyers to your company?

One of our favourite quotes at GlobalTec is this gem from Graeme Wood: Change has never happened so fast, and it will never be this slow again. To say the Internet has changed our lives, including our businesses, is an understatement. The Internet has transformed the way any of us do anything.

Today’s buyer feels he/she can gather more than enough information on the web without needing to speak to anyone before they are way down the buyer journey and close to purchase. In fact, according to Forrester, buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they even reach the vendor.

However, there is a small problem with all that information buyers are finding easily: information abundance equals attention scarcity, which leads to an entirely new buying process where the customer, not the company, is in control 100% of the time and chooses what content they respond to or engage with.

So, in this brave new world, how do companies like yours go about getting new customers? How do you build a digital presence compelling enough to attract these new buyers to your company?

Change has never happened so fast, and it will never be this slow again.” - Graeme Wood

Two words: Lead Generation.

Lead Generation is the process by which you attract and convert strangers and prospects into customers. And to clarify further, a lead is a person who has, in some way, shape or form, indicated interest in your company’s product or services.

We also refer to Lead Generation as Inbound marketing, versus Outbound Marketing, which are a set of tactics where a company reaches out directly to consumers (cold calling, direct mail, advertising, etc.). Outbound marketing is also often referred to as interruption marketing, as it usually involves interrupting someone from their current task with an offer or a sales pitch.

We all know how great you feel when you’re about to sit down to your family dinner and you get interrupted by a telemarketer with a once-in-a-lifetime offer.

Essentially, Inbound Marketing focuses on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content that adds value at every stage of their buying journey. It’s all about letting your marketing add value to your potential customers, and about letting them lead the buying journey, however they see fit. Your role is now to become a trusted advisor to your prospects by publishing and creating valuable content assets and thought leadership.

So why is lead generation important to your business? Essentially, because it puts the customer in control of the buying process, and lets you respond accordingly and add value along the way. The reason why it’s getting better results that traditional outbound marketing is rather simple: people don’t want to be sold to (or interrupted) anymore.

Lead Generation is the perfect way to warm up potential customers to your business to get them on the path to eventually purchase from you. Since they started the relationship by showing organic interest in your business (instead of you starting the relationship by reaching out to them with interruption marketing), it makes it much easier and more natural for them to want to buy from you somewhere down the line.

There are generally five phases in an inbound marketing strategy. Here they are represented in a graphic we often use with our customers:

Lead Generation falls into the second step, after you’ve attracted an audience and are ready to convert those visitors into leads. As you can see, generating leads is a fundamental point in an individual’s journey to become a delighted customer.

So how do you do lead generation? By offering a relevant mix of informative and entertaining content that builds a meaningful relationship with your audience. And you have to make sure that you are distributing your content through all the right channels – where your buyer spends time.

How does it work in reality?

Let’s put all that together with a simple example of a lead generation campaign. Let’s say you want to generate leads by offering a free trial of your products, in the hopes that prospect will then sign on for your service. There are four steps to creating this lead generation campaign. Let’s explore them in detail:

1. The call to action – Once a visitor has discovered your business through one of your marketing channels (website, blog, social media page, etc.), you need a call to action to get them to act on your offer. In this case, the call to action would be something along the lines of ‘’click here for a free trial of XYZ product today.’’ This call to action would then direct them to a landing page.

2. The landing page – This is the page where the visitor lands to find out more about your free trial offer. The idea is to generally capture their information, so you can keep communicating with them. This landing page will explain the details of the free trial, how it works, why it’s of value to them, and how to go about getting that free trial.

3. Forms – Essentially a series of fields that collect information in exchange for an offer. In this case, you may need the contact information of the visitor in order to fulfill the free trial offer. You can add a few questions (such as how many employees work at the visitor’s location) but it’s usually best to keep the form as simple as possible as to not discourage abandonment.

4. A compelling offer – The offer is essentially what you are offering in return for the information, and it must have enough value to the visitor to merit them providing you with their personal information in exchange for it.

So, there you go. You’ve created a lead generation campaign. But how do you promote this landing page and call to action in order to generate leads?

Here are seven basic places you can start with:

1. Website pages – The first thing you should do is to link your landing page on different pages of your website with the call to action. In our free trial case, a product page would be the perfect place to promote that free trial, since consumers looking at the details of a product are usually closer to the buying stage.

2. In your email signature – Employee emails are often overlooked as a channel companies can take advantage of to distribute content. And it’s simple. By pairing an on-brand signature with a clickable call to action banner that drives visitors to your landing page, you can use email signature to help fuel your campaigns.

3. On Social Media – sharing the link of your offer’s landing page is the main way you can use social media to generate leads. Describe the value that fans and followers will get out of the offer in the space allowed by the social network.

4. Within press releases – If you use business releases to promote information about your company, don’t overlook the opportunity they provide for lead generation. As a bonus, you’ll likely reap SEO benefits from this practice as well.

5. In Pay-per-click (PPC) Campaigns – If you’re using such campaigns as a way to complement your organic SEO efforts, think of those PPC ads as a call to action for your offers.

6. In your blog – If you publish a blog, you should always include a call to action by aligning the content of the offer with the content of the blog post as best as possible. You can also link to other marketing offers within a blog post if the content of the offer is relevant to the post.

7. Email marketing - Email is a key component of every marketing campaign. Whether you are hosting an event, sending out a new piece of content, promoting a new service offering, or staying in touch with customers, email should be one of your main forms of communication. By putting your content in front of prospects, you can find people who might not be looking for you.

We hope this was a good introduction to lead generation. When lead generation is done successfully, everyone benefits. For more advice on how to take your lead generation efforts to the next level, book a free consultation with us today!

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