In the marketing world, those who haven't mastered the art of generating leads online will quickly be left in the proverbial dust. With that being said, some people are ultimately more successful at it than others. Likely those who struggle to find success in this area are simply not utilizing all the tools at their fingertips. As you know, there's a huge difference between passive and actionable leads, so it is important to understand how lucrative the actionable ones can be. Whether you're struggling in this area or just looking for more ideas, this guide will help you generate real, actionable leads through digital channels.

Create a Designated Place For Communication

Any company in the sales industry should strive to make it as easy as possible for their current and prospective customers to contact them. That's why it's important to create a designated place for communication on your website and through your social media channels. There are a few ways to do this, and depending on your goals, you may go with one, or a combination of each:

Landing Page

If your company is highlighting a service, or offering a special deal, you might find that a landing page is a great way to direct traffic to this information quickly. Through a designated link, you'll be able to direct visitors from other marketing channels, namely social media, newsletters, blogs, and other online avenues to your landing page.

Be sure to direct them to the link using language that speaks directly to them, but reflects your company's values and goals. Basically, speak their language. As the former Chancellor of West Germany once said, "If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen." Translated to English, the second portion of the quote reads "Then you must speak German."

Lead Capture Form

Including a lead capture form on your website (especially landing pages), alongside information about your services, is another way to gather potential customers' contact information. Make sure to keep things short and sweet - ask for a name, and email address. Check out Bizible's lead capture form:

lead capture form

Master the Art of Social Media

Social media has become so much more than simply a way to promote businesses. Today, social media marketers are finding ways to generate real, tangible leads through their social media channels.

Here are a few ways to do it:

Determine Your Target Market

Some social networks are more helpful for reaching certain audiences. Identify and analyze your target market before you even begin to create accounts on social media. This way, you can make sure that every move you make through these channels is tailored directly to your end goals.

Focus on Quality and Consistency Over Volume

Generating 5,000 leads through a particular channel doesn't necessarily translate into actionable sales prospects; you might even end up spending time unnecessarily sorting through them all. As such, it's important to determine your target market prior to starting any social media campaign. One hundred quality, actionable leads are far more valuable than 5,000 passive, flaky ones.

Monitor Trending Topics

Jumping into trending topics is a great way to interact with new people. For instance, if you're a car dealer, look for tweets by users in your area about something you can help with, such as vehicle issues or looking for a new vehicle. You'll also benefit from identifying the difference between passive and active interest. For instance:

  • Passive: I think I need a new truck.

  • Active: I'm shopping for a new truck today!

Social media channels like Twitter allow you to tailor the trends it displays to the interests and location you indicate. Take advantage of these settings and reach out to users who exhibit an active interest in your product.

Engage With Your Customers With Purpose

Social media marketing is the quintessential way to solidify customer relationships and your brand image. Host a hangout session by engaging with users simultaneously through Twitter and Google+.

After your hangout, you can convert your session into a YouTube video and share it with your other social media channels to cover all your bases. This is a great way to show your customers that you value their input and are willing and able to answer their questions and concerns.

Ultimately, how you choose to generate leads for your business will depend greatly on your individual goals, your product or service, and your target demographics. Once you have a clear idea of whom you are trying to reach, and a basic knowledge of social media marketing strategies, the rest of the equation should fall into place.

About the Author: Angela is a freelance writer and graphic deisgner who resides in Chicago, IL. When she isn't writing she is playing guitar, reading and attempting to cook.