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What is Lead Generation? Guide for New Business Owners

Lead generation companies utilize numerous strategies to find potential customers for businesses. 

Below, I’ve listed popular techniques for lead management. 

SEO Lead Generation

SEO is helpful for companies because it ensures users can find their website, social profiles, etc., via search engines. 

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of enhancing a website’s visibility on search engines like Google, often through the following strategies:

  • Optimizing content with keywords
  • Improving site design
  • Building high-quality backlinks

SEO Lead Generation Beneifts 

The primary benefit of using SEO to find potential customers is that it makes your business easier to find on search engines. 

For instance, even if someone isn’t looking for your website specifically, typing specific keywords could lead them to you!

SEO Pros and Cons

The pros of SEO lead generation include the following: 

  • SEO is a cost-effective lead generation strategy. When your website ranks high in search engine results, you attract potential customers without additional costs.

On the other hand, a con of SEO lead generation is:

  • SEO is a process that takes time. It can take several months to see significant results. 

SEM Lead Generation

Although SEO and SEM are similar, they’re different lead generation strategies that benefit companies. 

What is SEM?

SEM, or search engine marketing, is a digital marketing strategy that promotes websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.

SEM Lead Generation Benefits 

Some benefits of SEM include the following things: 

  • It allows companies to advertise within search results 
  • It can increase website traffic 
  • It can drive leads and generate new sales 

SEM Pros and Cons

The pros of SEM lead generation include:

  • SEM offers immediate visibility. Unlike SEO, which takes time to build, SEM can immediately put you on the first page of search results.

In comparison, a con of SEM lead generation is:

  • SEM can be expensive. You have to pay for every click in the pay-per-click model, and costs can add up quickly, especially for competitive keywords. 

PPC Lead Generation

PPC means pay-per-click. 

When someone says PPC, they’re referring to ads on search engines. 

Companies that post ads on search engines pay each time a user clicks on their ad. 

PPC Lead Generation Benefits 

The primary benefit of PPC is that search engines are prime real estate for advertising. 

Think about how many times you turn to a search engine to give you answers. 

Now, think about how helpful search engines can be for consumers! 

PPC Pros and Cons

The advantage of using PPC to find leads is that millions use search engines, meaning you can access plenty of new customers. 

The drawback is that PPC relies heavily on target keywords and your budget. 

Finding the right keywords is tricky, and some small businesses can’t afford PPC. 

Email Lead Generation

Email is one of the most popular lead generation tools because almost every consumer has an email address. 

Email Lead Generation Benefits 

There are several advantages of utilizing email for a lead generation campaign, including the following: 

  • It’s easy to contact multiple people because most shoppers have email
  • It’s an easy way for a sales team to find high-quality leads

Email Pros and Cons

The pros of using email as a lead gen strategy include: 

  • Email offers valuable customer data
  • Your marketing team can automate these tasks
  • There is no financial commitment for the customers
  • You can include CTAs throughout your emails.

Regarding the cons, here’s what you should know about this strategy:

  • You can’t guarantee everyone will read your emails
  • Customers may submit an old or fake email address

Content Lead Generation

Content is an excellent way to generate leads and guide them toward a landing page. 

Content Lead Generation Benefits 

The benefits of using content to generate leads include the following: 

  • It’s a valuable strategy.
  • It contains free information (your prospects don’t need to pay to learn about your brand) 
  • It allows your company to be creative when generating leads. 

Content Pros and Cons

The advantages of content lead generation include: 

  • You can include CTAs anywhere in your content 
  • You can showcase your brand’s message, products, services, etc. 

On the other hand, some downsides of this lead gen tactic include: 

  • It may not bring in many high-quality leads 
  • Teams must continually alter the content to keep up with industry trends

Social Media Lead Generation

Social media is one of the easiest ways to communicate with your target audience. 

Some examples of social media platforms include: 

  • Twitter/X
  • Instagram 
  • LinkedIn 
  • Facebook 
  • Snapchat 
  • Reddit 

Social Media Lead Generation Benefits 

Some benefits of using social media to generate leads include: 

  • It guides your followers to specific CTAs 
  • You can link social media posts directly to your website 
  • The platforms are free

Social Media Pros and Cons

The pros of using social platforms to find potential customers include: 

  • You can collect and organize data about your customers 
  • You can reach several customer segments (and discover new ones) 
  • People can learn about your brand quickly 

Regarding the cons, here are some aspects to note: 

  • There are several spam accounts on social media platforms 
  • Some small businesses may get overwhelmed by the amount of data these platforms provide 

Product Trials Lead Generation

Product trials are an excellent strategy to use to break down sales barriers. 

Also, offering product trials shows potential customers you’re confident in what you’re selling. 

Product Trials Lead Generation Benefits 

Some benefits of offering product trials include: 

  • Potential customers get first-hand experience using your product 
  • Product trials entice consumers to purchase add-on products or services

Product Trials Pros and Cons

Here are some pros of doing product trials to secure leads: 

  • Customers (typically) make on-the-spot purchasing decisions 
  • It’s an excellent way for your sales team to connect with potential buyers 

In comparison, here are the cons to be aware of: 

  • Product trials are time-consuming 
  • Product trials can be difficult to do on a large scale 

Blogging Lead Generation

Blogging as a lead gen tactic is often overlooked. 

Including in-depth articles on your company’s website has several advantages and helps first-time visitors learn more about your brand. 

Blogging Lead Generation Benefits 

Some of the benefits of utilizing a blog as a lead generation campaign include: 

  • Teams can use blog posts to promote an offer. 
  • You can write an entire post to emphasize the end goal (purchase something) 
  • CTAs are easy to see and highly relevant.

Blogging Pros and Cons

Some pros of blogging include the following things: 

  • It can boost your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) 
  • It helps potential and current customers learn more about your brand
  • Highlighting products or services can foster deeper customer relationships 

Regarding the cons, here are a couple of things to know: 

  • People may not read the entire article thoroughly 
  • You may have to hire an outside source to create blog content

Referrals Lead Generation

Referrals are also called word-of-mouth marketing. 

Some sales experts consider referrals the most effective marketing tactic!

Referral Lead Generation Benefits 

The benefits of generating high-quality leads through referrals include: 

  • It gets your brand name in front of more people 
  • It increases your chances of generating more leads 

Referral Pros and Cons

The advantages of utilizing referrals for lead generation include:

  • Referrals come from trusted sources such as friends, family, or satisfied customers
  • Referrals are often an inexpensive way of acquiring leads 

On the flip side, some of the disadvantages include:

  • Businesses have little control over who is referred and when
  • Depending solely on referrals can risk the flow of new leads

Event Marketing Lead Generation

Attending or hosting events is an effective strategy to connect with your audience. 

Also, this strategy helps your team find new leads who haven’t discovered your company yet. 

Event Marketing Lead Generation Benefits 

Some benefits of event marketing include: 

  • You can meet face-to-face with potential customers 
  • Teams can nurture new contacts into qualified leads 

Event Marketing Pros and Cons

The pros of event marketing extend to the following areas:

  • It provides a platform for real-time engagement with potential customers, fostering connections.
  • It offers a unique opportunity to tangibly demonstrate your products or services, leaving a lasting impression.

On the other hand, the cons of event marketing include:

  • Events generally require a substantial investment of time and resources, which may not be feasible for smaller businesses.
  • The return on investment can be unpredictable or difficult to measure, especially in the short term.

Community Building Lead Generation

Community building is an excellent lead generation tool because it can turn visitors into leads. 

An example of community building is including a knowledge hub on your website!

Community Building Lead Generation Benefits 

Creating a community is beneficial for finding leads because potential buyers can get advice or recommendations from people who have used the product. 

Also, community building fosters more meaningful customer relationships. 

Community Building Pros and Cons

One notable advantage is that community building promotes customer loyalty and longevity. 

However, there are also challenges associated with community building. 

A significant drawback is that it can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. 

Mailers Lead Generation

Although physical mail isn’t as popular as before, it’s still effective when companies find qualifying leads. 

Mailer Lead Generation Benefits 

The benefit of using direct mail to find leads is that consumers have a hard copy of your company’s products and services. 

Although technology is widespread, several people prefer a physical copy!

Mailer Pros and Cons

An advantage of mailers in lead generation is their tangible nature. 

Unlike digital ads that can be easily ignored or forgotten, physical mail demands attention and can leave a lasting impression. 

However, a significant drawback of direct mail is its cost

Producing, printing, and mailing promotional materials can be significantly more expensive than digital methods.

Retargeting Lead Generation

Sometimes, people need a reminder about your brand. 

That’s why retargeting is so powerful! 

Retargeting Lead Generation Benefits 

Some benefits of retargeting include the following: 

  • It’s a proven strategy to convert warm leads 
  • It helps teams collect information about their target audience 

Retargeting Pros and Cons

Retargeting efforts have several advantages, including the following: 

  • Teams can automate this task. 
  • It helps separate the people who are actually interested in your products from those who are simply browsing.

On the other hand, some cons of retargeting include: 

  • There’s the potential to irritate customers by constantly showing them ads.
  • There’s a risk of overexposing your ads to people who have already decided not to purchase your product or service.

Video Marketing Lead Generation

Video marketing content allows businesses to create engaging content that informs viewers about their products or services!

Video Marketing Lead Generation Benefits 

A benefit of video marketing to secure leads is that it lets you get creative!

Consumers value creativity and authenticity, and video marketing allows you to showcase both characteristics.

Video Marketing Pros and Cons

An advantage of video marketing is its ability to engage audiences dynamically. 

The audio-visual format can convey information more effectively than text. 

Conversely, video marketing can be costly and time-consuming to produce, especially if you aim for high-quality content. 

Podcasts Lead Generation

Podcasts have become an extremely popular way to attract new audiences. 

Podcast Lead Generation Benefits 

The main benefit of using a podcast to find quality leads is that they’re relatively inexpensive to start and offer a unique way to connect with consumers. 

Podcast Pros and Cons

On the positive side, podcasts allow for deep dives into industry topics and trends, which can position your brand as an expert in the field and increase trust. 

On the downside, creating a podcast requires a time commitment for recording and planning, production, and promotion.

Partnership Lead Generation

Partnerships are an underrated way to find new leads. 

Typically, when businesses are partners, their target demographic is the same. 

Partnership Lead Generation Benefits 

The benefits of partnerships to find leads include: 

  • The strategies can be simple and inexpensive. 
  • The tactic allows businesses to display two logos or brands simultaneously.

Partnership Pros and Cons

The pros of partnerships for lead generation include:

  • Partnering with another business allows you to leverage their resources and customer base
  • Partnerships can be cost-effective, as expenses for marketing initiatives can be shared between the two businesses

Here are the cons to be aware of: 

  • If the two businesses have different objectives or ethical standards, it may lead to conflicts
  • There’s a risk that one partner might gain more from the partnership than the other