Digital MarketingMarketing

Lead Generation: Definition and Strategies

lead generation

Lead Generation is the key to developing relationships with users and helping businesses grow  by means of influencing their buying decisions. Though this is not an easy job, the impact is worthwhile and long lasting. 

Whether you’re selling a product to consumers or business services to other businesses, customers today know what they want, who they want it from, and what they want to pay before you can even ask “May I help you?” Growing your business means reaching potential customers before they’ve made up their minds. Lead generation is key.

In this article, we will walk you through what lead generation is and guide you step by step to attracting potential customers for your business.

What is lead generation?

Leads refer to people (individuals or organizations) who are likely to be interested in the products and services of a business.

Primarily used as part of digital marketing strategies, lead generation is the process by which a business or brand finds potential customers (who can buy a product), from the stages of attracting attention or awareness (brand awareness), to interest and desire, and finally to take specific actions such as providing their contact information or starting a product trial.

Through online platforms such as Facebook or Google, businesses often use paid advertising forms to promote leads.

Lead generation is associated with the concept of the customer journey, which is the process by which a user moves from the stage of brand awareness, interest in the brand (interaction), consideration and finally performing a specific action such as contacting the business.

Lead generation is a huge part of inbound marketing with the goal to attract customers naturally and organically instead of in a disruptive way. 

How do leads differ from prospects, opportunities, and customers?

While a lead is often referred to as a customer or prospect, these terms have completely different meanings

Lead: these are potential customers, who may or may not be interested in purchasing the products or services of the business yet. For example, if a user downloads a document from a software company, this action does not mean that they have a need to consult or buy the software of that business.

Prospect: Potential customers in the true sense of the word, who have a need or ability to buy a company’s products (although they may not later buy for some reason such as high prices).

Opportunity: Also potential customers, but these people have specific indications of sales opportunities. A lead is often converted to an opportunity when the sales team contacts and identifies the opportunity to convert them into paying customers. 

Customers: People who have purchased or have begun paying for a company’s products and services.

Though it’s important to keep in mind that all definitions are relative. Depending on a particular business model, industry or strategy, the use of these terms may vary.

Why lead generation is important to a business

Here are some benefits that businesses can get from their leads:

Expand your market

When you started your business, you likely targeted a specific group of people. But is this the only sector you can and should be targeting? Lead gen enables you to learn about your prospects. 

Maybe you’re getting engagement from companies and job roles not included in your marketing campaigns. With lead gen, you’ll see this trend and can add them. 

Now, you have the opportunity to expand into new markets you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Grow your following

Content creation and communication are a big part of lead generation efforts. It consists of crafting quality content and starting conversations on social channels. The goal is to share valuable content with your target audience, so as to position you as a thought leader in the industry. 

In turn, this builds a community of professionals who like and follow your brand. Some will become customers and even more may turn into brand advocates. And who couldn’t use more of those?

Build Visibility and Awareness

Maybe you’re a startup that recently launched without much buzz. Or you’re an established business that’s operated behind the scenes for years. And now you want to get more eyes (and wallets) focused on your company. 

Creating visibility and awareness is vital to turning the tide in your favor. You can do this by creating content your audience cares about and sharing them on the channels they frequent.

Boost Your Revenue

When done correctly, lead generation can maximize your brand’s ability for reaching target prospects. This requires using the right messaging, offer, and content marketing strategies to generate interest from these specific groups. 

In doing so, you’ll find it easier to capture the attention of qualified leads, which makes it easier for sales to convert them. The revenue growth potential is great, especially when you’re focusing on interests and pain points your audience cares about.

What’s the process of lead generation?

Now that we understand how lead generation fits into the inbound marketing methodology, let’s walk through the steps of the lead generation process.

Step 1 – Attract attention: Through means such as posting on social networking platforms, keyword SEO, or other forms of paid advertising (paid ads), businesses reach customers through lead magnets, such as free product trial, downloadable ebook, guide, template, etc.

Step 2 – Take Action: If these users show interest or interest in your products or are enticed by offers (promotions), they can re-engage with the content by clicking to be redirected to landing page to receive the offers

Step 3 – Leave information: Usually, the place where the user is taken to, after interacting with the main content is the landing page, where customers are asked to leave their contact in order to receive the offers. 

See how everything fits together?

To sum it up: Visitor clicks a CTA that takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form to get an offer, at which point they become a lead.

For more tips on how to create lead magnets that brings customers from step 1 to sept 3, check out “Why Your Lead Magnet isn’t Working – How to Fix it”

Marketing channels that generate leads

You can use a variety of channels to drive traffic to your landing page and start generating leads. But most importantly, which channel should you use? To answer this question, let’s explore some of the top channels you can generate leads from.

Lead magnets

A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of gathering contact details. For example, lead magnets can be trial subscriptions, samples, white papers, e-newsletters, and free consultations. These can be placed on your website, in relevant blog articles or as a pop-up.

Email marketing

Email is an effective channel to reach an audience that already knows the brand and company products or services. Using this channel can also make it easier to call users to action because they have already subscribed to your list.

However, your email is likely to be ignored with countless other emails sent to users every day. So use CTA with compelling and relevant content and eye-catching design to attract subscribers’ attention.

For effective email strategies, check out “12 Email Marketing Tips for Successful Campaigns”


The advantage of blog posts is that you can tailor the content to match your final offer. For example, if your offer is a video on how to install Google Search Console, you can write a blog post about how to choose marketing metrics that make it easier to insert CTA.

Social Media

Social media marketing also help you incentivize and guide your followers to take action, from Instagram Story to Facebook profile link or Twitter bitly URL. You can also talk about your offer on social media posts and add a CTA in the caption to direct traffic back to your website.

Free product trial

You can support sales by letting customers try out your product or service. After the potential audience uses the product, you continue to use some incentives or persuade them to buy. Another tip is to add branding to your product for free, so that more and more customers know you.

Word-of-mouth marketing

Referral marketing or word-of-mouth marketing is also a commonly used lead generation method. Word of mouth marketing is a tactic used to generate natural discussions about and recommendations for a product or company. Essentially, getting people to talk about your brand, product, or business.

Everyone wants people talking about their products because those conversations are what drive business—often more than any other marketing effort.

Whichever method you use to generate leads, you still have to direct users to the landing page. So make sure your page is legible and captivating enough for the user to take further action.

Grow Your Business with Lead Generation

No matter what industry you are in, whether you are a startup, small business, a long-term business, B2B or B2C, lead generation can bring great value to you.

By understanding what a lead is or how to find it, you now have more opportunities to help your business drive new customers, drive sales, and more. 

If you want to capture and generate leads effectively while having time for other essential aspects of your business, contact Advesa so we can come up with a tailored plan for your business.



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