In today’s world, lead generation is an important strategy for modern marketers. Leads are very important for any business, without potential leads you can’t be successful. You must acquire leads & convert them into potential customers. Marketers use lead generation to build brand awareness, nurture customers & generate revenues. Some outbound strategies such as cold calling, direct mail, TV ads & expensive advertising are not generating qualified leads quickly.

Inbound marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing”

In this article, we will discuss about how inbound marketing can generate qualified leads for your business.

What Is Lead?

Before knowing about inbound lead generation, we must know about what is a lead. A lead is a person who has indicated an interest in your company’s product or service. Some examples of lead are- You get a random call from a person for information about your service or product. Some people respond to a survey, people visit your store and submit their information on your lead capture form.

What is Inbound Methodology?

With inbound lead generation, you attract a steady stream of potential customers to your website with interesting content and build their interest in your products and services over time. You need to focus on inbound methodology, it is a best way to convert strangers into customers & promoters of your business.

First step, You have to work on unique ways which attract people to your business like unique & informative content, social media. Second step, convert visitors into leads through forms, call-to-action(CTA) & landing pages. Third step, turn these leads into customers through emails, work-flows. Forth step, delight your customers through smart content, events & turn them into promoters of your business. See This Visual.

Ways in Which Leads are Generated

A lead is generated through information collection. We know that a lead is a person who has indicated an interest in your services or products. Now let’s talk about the ways in which leads are generated.

Job Application: When an individual fills out a job application, they are willing to share a lot of personal information. Filling out the job application shows their interest in job. This person can be considered as a lead for company’s recruiting team.

Coupons: If you place out an online coupon on the Internet and people find it valuable, they will share their name & email address to get it. This information is enough for you to know that person has interest in your service & it allows you to continue the conversation through email.

Content: In order to understand the interest of a person in your service or product, you will need to collect more information. Enough information is very essential for a sales representative to understand the interest of person in your service.

Here is an example, how to collect enough information: Like if someone provide an online ebook for inbound marketing, but to download it, you need to fill a form & provide some information like- first name, last name, company name, job title, email id, phone number, website url & other.

Components of Lead Generations

Now lets understand the mechanics of lead generation. Here are some components:

1. Create Content

In order to convert leads faster, you should provide visitors with relevant content that they are more willing to exchange their contact information for on your website.

Here are 3 things to consider when creating content :

         a. Value:

Content should be valuable to your visitors & prospects. Content must solve the queries of your target audience.

          b. Relevant:

Create unique content & offer that are relevant to your target audiences.

          c. Unique:

Don’t offer content similar to your competitor. Be creative & offer unique.

2. Landing Page

It is a web page where your visitors land after they click on your call-to-action. You need to make sure that you offering a relevant landing page to visitors. You can also provide video content on your landing page. Elements of landing pages:

         a. Headers:

-Keep headers simple.

-Include company name or logo

-Put contact information in header

        b. Headline

-Clear & strong headline

-Use words which grab visitors attention

        c. Copy

-Strong & clear copy about what you offer

-Keep copy to few short paragraphs or use some bullet points.

         d. Visual

-Always include an image

-Image must be relevant enough to understand what you offer

Businesses with 31 to 40 landing pages got 7 times more leads than those with only 1 to 5 landing pages.”

3. Lead Capture Form

It is the most important element of landing page to collect contact information. Now collect information of visitors via lead capturing form which contains name, company name, email address, region, phone number & some additional information.

Use a call to action button like “Download Now” for ebooks or guides or “Book My Seat” for webinar. Once visitors fill their information, they should be redirected to a thank you page.

4. Offer

If you are providing an offer on landing page which must have enough value, so visitors encourage to fill it out & provide personal information. Offers can include free trial or demo of your product. Offer should be designed to start a conversation.

5. Call-to-Action (CTA)

Next step is creating the call-to-action to place on your website. CTA grabs visitors attention and takes visitors to the landing page. A Call-to-Action(CTA) can be an image, button, or message that calls visitors to take some action.

You need to make sure that your CTA must be action oriented & clear. You must place CTA everywhere: on website pages, in emails, in blog posts, content offers etc.

Conclusion

This is an overview of inbound lead generation. Inbound lead generation is one of the most effective ways to take leads and convert them into customers. Results of inbound marketing are measurable.

Cloud is everything for new technology lovers. Servers are shifted on cloud, data is stored on cloud, and applications are running on cloud. All in all cloud in the product or service of this new era.

What is cloud?

Cloud or cloud computing can be defined as a group of servers and applications/software running at a single space on the Internet instead of some desktop where data is stored in hard-drives.

 

What to consider before switching to cloud?

Its about the Internet and do not think of it useful for business which do not need Internet in their job.

All about moving to cloud is to ease your management and administration panel and enable business to operate more efficiently. Choose your vendor smartly looking to every pros and cons associated with the services. When discussing about shifting the servers to cloud, it need an efficient, secure and reliable service provider.

Cloud infrastructure requires a good bandwidth; secure access, efficient and active team, instant support service and lowest downtime with trusted backup facility in case of worst situation.

Why One Should Move Business to Cloud

Why one should move to cloud?

#1. Speed

Speed always makes you the winner. Business capable of innovation, experiment and deliver software-based solutions faster than others are the winners.

Launching new applications and introducing regular upgrades with unique features is considered based on days, months, and year. This will decide one may survive in the market or not.

Introducing new features and recovering from the old mistakes quickly will help you go for bigger projects and grow more and more.

All what a business need is to search a good vendor and start shifting. You vendor will then be there, as your guide and this elasticity and self-service of cloud infrastructure will let you grow quickly and creatively.

#2. Safety

Safety is necessary if you are moving with speed. Nothing is better than this combination of speed and safety. Only speed will lead one to a bad accident.

It is necessary to recover quickly from the past mistakes and take a new risk and improve the system. But the entire system needs a safety measure to secure the documents, data flooding online.

What we need for a safe and secure system:

a) Visibility

All the faults, which occur to a system, must be clearly visible and there must be proper access so to get the things in line. This is to check the failure and follow the next step.

b) Isolation

System must be prepared such that the accident is limited to a particular area and so that we may keep other areas untouched. This will help limit the damage.

c) Tolerance

Whenever short-circuit happens the system works and make the circuit open to limit the damage. Cloud infrastructure also needs this feature. There must be option to stop or prevent the failure.

d) Recovery

At last comes the recovery option. Whenever a failure occurs system should be able to find the failure and start the automated recovery to some extent. This will ease out the manual process and recovery will be faster.

#3. Scalability

Initially there was a need to prepare the infrastructure, which demanded buying new and big servers along with other hardware. Later this hardware was deployed. This all was slow and costly. This we may call as vertical scaling.

But once the setup is complete with a good running infrastructure, business needs to follow horizontal scaling, which do not require buying big servers and expensive accessories. This needs a creative team to

Buy machines that are cheaper and easy to buy and are easily accessible to replace large servers for running the applications.

Follow horizontal scaling to replace a larger poorly employed server with several smaller servers and assign multiple isolated workloads to them.

#4. Flexibility

Once your company starts growing and needs a higher bandwidth, shift all your service to cloud. This will give you a speed to grow faster with quick working scenario.

#5. Recovery

Another remarkable benefit of cloud service is quick disaster recovery. The assurance comes from the SLA given by the vendor to recover the services within minimum time duration. The providers take care of most of the issues.

#6. Offline backup

No need to get tense about your data backup in case of any accident, crash etc. Cloud keeps several copies of your data and store it so one may restore it even if the system is not running.

#7. Automated software updates

Updates include security updates, software upgrades and many other features. The provider does not occupy the time and resources of their customers and thus keep them free.

#8. Competitive

Internet is used by many business firms to keep there working online and efficient. So, if you are using a good bandwidth then switch to cloud as your competitors are doing. This will make you quick and responsive and help you grow in a market of so many flaws. Be in current era instead of sticking to the old technologies.

Explore these before moving to cloud

#1. Maintenance schedules

There’s no guarantee when will the maintenance process run and when will be the downtime and how will this affect your business. Choose a vendor who provides you all the necessary information with SLA to know the scheduled maintenance and hence be prepared and keep your customers prepared for the downtime.

#2. Upgrades

A software application regularly goes through a phase of upgrades that is necessary and cannot be avoid. But then how will the business people cope with it, as they need to train the employees again with each upgrade. One solution can be to assign a team to work on software and teach the rest of employees time and again whenever required.

#3. Legal problems

Being on cloud means to be accessible from anywhere and one is not just bound to the computer hardware. This is a serious issue as your information is floating on cloud and is vulnerable. Get in some discussion with your vendor and find out the security terms they’ll follow and what will be the scene in case of security breach. It will be wise to involve your legal advisors.

I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison.” – Steve Jobs, late chairman of Apple (1997)

mobile marketing trends

The total number of sms sent each month is twice the total number of active email subscribers. So, this field of mobile marketing is more sound and performing as compared to others.

  • Total percentage of mobile subscribers was 58.2% in 2012 which grew to 61.1% in 2013 and this will further grow in coming years to up-to 63.5%
  • Spam message count is around 10% as compared to ~65% in email
  • Average sms sent per month is 400-450
  • Time spent on mobile devices is around 80%, more than that spent on desktops
  • Dedicated applications for each brand which runs similarly and easily on phones is helping grow the conversion rates on mobile devices
  • Web pages browsed on smart phones is approximately 70% or above than on desktop which is comparatively low.

Growing use of mobile application is dragging the users to the growing need of security, protection, infrastructure, easy blockage etc. This will not avoid the need of innovation, as innovation is necessary to bind the running subscribers and grow the list. There are certain trends commonly practices in the industry, some of which are listed below:

Mobile applications V/S Desktop Applications

With the ratio of mobile users increasing, the requirement of developing of mobile device applications is also necessary for the survival of all business (small/medium/big). Coming years will not the marked use of smart applications through smartphones, tabs and other mobile device leading to a boom in mobile marketing.

Ease of using smart devices is another factor responsible in marked growth in mobile device use.

See the ease that you may access any information, buy anything, and pay anything while you are in your bed, in a street, in your car without keeping your desktop near.”

Security Prior to Innovation

With every new innovation grows the risk of security. It is sure that all the data will be stored within the application and the user will surely be worried about the security breach happenings.

While developing the app the team should focus on how to secure the customer data to make our customers at ease and develop a trustable environment.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments, though was initiated by Apple, which then were followed and used worldwide by all the applications. Firstly, brining the banks to pay on your phone is a big thing and then integrating this payment system in the modern desktop and mobile application is another big achievement.

The craze of using online payments to buy anything through your phone is high in this decade. This process allows one to choose the product anywhere and pay it by the integrated online system.

Develop Smarter Apps & Think Out of the Box

Come out of your box before developing an application for your subscribers. You cannot build an application for your subscriber unless and until you know your subscribers and know all possible needs.

Run a general survey, get the feedback, be a client and find our why to use specifically your business application though there are a let present in market.

smart mobile app

Billions of devices connected by the end of 2015

Estimate is that at the end of 2015 industry will connect billions of devices. People will use the smartphones for online usage of application, sms, mms, tracking and many more and business and markets will use them for mobile marketing, thus growing their subscribers.

Online Sales

There exist a lot of e-commerce websites, which brings the store online selling all the products. What one has to do is to choose the product and pay it online. This is the best and easy method to buy anything at home and get the home delivery of purchased product.

Non-mobile business website at risk

Every business demands a 24-hour presence online. This is necessary to make your place in market and be in competition. You are running a website online which is desktop based. Is it enough? The answer is a Big No.

Nobody will or can start the desktop to find out about your business when the person is in his car, is in a restaurant etc. Build an application, which is mobile, based so that your connections may use it to know about you without any difficulty. One can view desktop-based application on mobile also but it will be distorted and will not work fine.

So, be a step ahead and provide an easy platform for your connections to watch you anywhere, anytime.

Integrate advertising into business apps

Everyone is aware of online games in the phones. We all play the games and while playing the games we can view the advertisements. These advertisements are integrated into the applications so whenever you run the application they will appear. This is one of the mobile marketing tactics used.

Another approach is to build or integrate games in your application similar to Facebook and many others. This will get you more and more subscribers just for playing but later most of them end using the services too.

Challenge to create a app which is in regular use

Develop something, which runs for a long term is a big challenge. Daily many applications are developed which many smartphone owners download but 80% of them are ignored after 2-3 days of use.

Create a team and generate ideas first, thinking you as an end-user. Develop something useful enough to be used for a regular and long time period.

Pacing with a new business in small town is not an easy process. You need buckets full of

  • Patience
  • Creativity
  • Potential

Starting fresh means you have to start from zero audience and build your contact list. This is no easy process and this requires a proper strategy to set it up. Your strategy should include as where to target and how to target an audience. What must be the steps to let the audience register with your company?

This is not a one-night process, this will consume time, manpower, and money and then if all goes right, you’ll get fruitful results.

how to grow business

Here is how we will start it.

  • EASY SIGNUP

Now when you’ve finished creating your website, now the focus must be to grab the visitors and hence the subscribers. Create a sign-up form and insert a simple link on your website. Make it extra visible on the page so to grab the attention of the visitor.

Another approach would be to create a newsletter and share it on social media to drag the population. Place a sign up form link in this newsletter so that the interested ones may complete the signup process.

This will help you grow your subscriber list. While following the process patience is necessary and hence this will take a while to increase your subscriber list.

  • OFFER SOMETHING VALUABLE & INTERESTING

Offer your subscribers or new visitors something valuable and interesting enough to be grabbed at the earliest. Name your offer and launch it weekly or every 2 weeks or as per the comfort of your business.

These offers, if valuable, will help you maintain the high open rate and develop the references to let new person join in.

  • EXPLAIN YOUR STRATEGY

Creating and sending newsletters to the subscribers will help you know what your customers like the most in your company products. So, after a few number of campaign are sent, change your strategy and try to focus on your subscribers’ interest and serve them accordingly. This will hike your open and click through rate.

This fragmentation will also help you create the articles accordingly and share the posts.

Ones your subscriber list grow, fragment it according the interest of the clients. Target them with specific posts and articles with a topic of interest.

  • USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Sharing news on social media implies to share it with millions on users on social media accounts, though it must be worth enough and with an interesting topic and content. If a few like your post then it will surely be shared and liked and this will give your more signups.

Share and likes received for particular post will help increase the page indexing and like this you will increase your presence online.

  • MAINTAIN A GOOD SUPPORT DESK

for customers, who are phonic, live chat and ticket option. All these will make it easy for the clients to get the resolution at the earliest and finish the work as soon as possible.

Provide instant reply to your customers to build the trust and this will reflect the efficiency of the team too.

You’ll grow if your clients grow. So, take good care of them.”