Lead generation is an essential part of any marketing program. In fact, not surprising, the top priority for marketers is lead generation. After all, if you don’t have a pipeline full of leads – you’re unable to convert customers into loyal brand advocates and increase your bottom line.
Whether you’re receiving pressure from your C-Suite or your sales teams are begging for more qualified prospects, understanding where your leads come from is the first step in streamlining your lead generation process. However, with an evolving digital landscape and traditional channels still in your back pocket, it can be difficult to identify what lead sources you should focus on relative to your budget and resources.
Let’s take a look at the major lead sources and how you can execute impactful campaigns across them to drive conversions.
What is a Lead Source?
In simplest terms, a lead source is a channel through which a lead submitted their contact information to learn more about your brand. The channel is the first step in your lead funnel and where you can begin to build a relationship with the prospect. Determining the lead source is also an essential part of lead management and allows you to track them throughout the customer journey so you can analyze what is working within your marketing strategy.
For example, if you notice an influx in quality leads from a sponsored LinkedIn post, you can deduce that LinkedIn is a preferred platform for your target audience and is worth exploring a larger budget. However, if you notice that a paid search campaign is underperforming in lead volume, you may need to rethink the messaging and strategy.
5 Top Lead Sources Guaranteed to Help Grow Your Business
By understanding what channels are driving more leads, you can simplify, categorize, and offer valuable insight to streamline your process and drive long-term results. It’s important to note that you’ll need to develop a dedicated landing page for each lead source to properly track channel engagement.
Here are the top lead sources to focus your lead generation efforts:
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the bread and butter of your lead generation strategy. Through valuable content like webinars, videos, ebooks, case studies, and more, you can build credibility and establish yourself as the solution provider for prospective leads. Content is a great way to guide prospects to your landing pages by including a call-to-action in the following locations:
- Body copy
- Bottom of content
- Hero image
- Side panel
2. Social Media
While social media is typically associated with brand awareness, many social media platforms offer robust lead generation capabilities. With over 4.41 billion projected social media users by 2025, you can use the following methods to capture leads:
- “Swipe up” Instagram ads
- Lead generation LinkedIn ads
- Promoted Facebook posts
- Sponsored tweets
Within your organic social posts and profiles, you can also utilize short URLs and call-to-actions back to your landing pages to capture more engagement.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing results have an average return of $42 for every $1 spent. Yes, you heard that right – 4,200%. Within your website, include an opt-in form to encourage visitors to join your email subscriber list. Once they’re on your email list, you can send them targeted emails and automated campaigns based on their lead funnel stage and customer behavior. Inboxes tend to be cluttered, so include personalized content and impactful subject lines to increase your conversion rates.
4. Organic Search
Search engine marketing is an essential part of driving users back to your website through the use of targeted keywords, backlinks, and more to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). The higher you rank in search engines, the more likely a prospect will explore your website and submit their contact information.
To take advantage of this lead source, develop consistent and relevant blogs that provide value to potential users. You can tailor the entire blog around a product offering or industry-related material and use a call-to-action at the end to drive conversions. Increase your blog ranking in search engines by researching and including relevant keywords that help solve your audience’s needs.
5. Paid Advertising
While paid advertising can come with a hefty price tag, it’s an effective way of reaching a larger target audience and converting them into your lead funnel. A paid strategy can improve your search performance, increase organic rankings, and maximize your overall visibility. A few different effective lead generation paid strategies include:
- Branded and non-branded search ads
- Display ads
- YouTube ads
- Sponsored content
If you want to capture a user’s attention, ensure your landing page delivers a strong value proposition and incentive to drive your desired action.
Focus Your Marketing Strategy on the Right Lead Sources
Developing a robust lead generation strategy is the best way to ensure your leads are effectively nurtured into becoming loyal customers. However, understanding the proper lead source will inform you about the prospect’s behaviors, demographics, preferences, and more — allowing you to deliver a more seamless customer journey.
The truth is, your top lead sources will depend on your products and industry needs. However, honorable lead source channels include:
- Word of mouth
- Referral programs
- Prospecting calls
- Product trials