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Lead Generation – Our Guide for Middle East Businesses

Marketing your business can be hard if you don’t have the right strategy. The internet is crowded with businesses trying to catch your customer’s attention. How do you stand out? What’s the best way to get customers to come to you, rather than to your competition? Is there a way that is cost-effective?

In other words, you want something that works. If you’re open to something new, lead generation could be the answer to all your questions. Here is a deeper look at how lead generation can work for you.

Why is lead generation important?

Without lead generation, your business is vulnerable to sudden changes in the marketplace. Everyone is fighting for a customer who’s ready to buy. This puts a strain on your marketing efforts. Yet, there is a rich source of potential profits – customers who are still in the decision-making mode.

You can start a relationship with customers before they are ready to buy. You can build trust and teach them about what you have to offer. You will also have less competition, as most businesses are not focused on finding leads.

Simply put, if you’re not generating leads you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Your marketing costs may also be too high. At the same time, finding quality leads could multiply your profits over a short period of time.

So what exactly is lead generation?

Lead generation could be defined as attracting potential customers to your business. You do this by capturing their contact details. This allows you to use cheap marketing methods to keep reaching out until they’re ready to buy. Your lead generation process will also give you insights into what your market wants. As a result, you’ll be in a strong position to increase profits whilst growing your business.

What is a lead?

A lead is a potential customer who has expressed some kind of interest in your products and services. A lead is valuable because you have a level of confidence that they want to buy a product. But, before you can attract leads, it’s important to look at how the process works.

How do you go about lead generation?

The process is relatively simple. You create an ad or a promotion that offers customers something of value. This could be a report that is related to your offerings. You could also organize free workshops or offer free consultations. The idea is to show a potential buyer that you can solve their problem.

Once a customer has gotten in touch with you, you record their contact details. In most cases, you also want to store the channel from which you got them. For instance, if you run an ad in a newspaper, you should keep track of all the leads that came from that ad. This allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising. You will also know exactly how much it costs to attract that customer.

Over time, you will keep sending marketing materials to the lead. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to do this. You can also send direct mail packages with your brochures or other information. You may want to mix it up as well. For instance, combine phone calls with invitations to visit your premises. The exact methods will depend on your business model.

As you keep connecting with your leads, they will begin to trust you. When they’re finally ready to make the purchase, chances are you will be the first business they think of. You’ll also have the advantage of having educated them, so they’ll be confident when they buy from you.

PPC Channels

There are many ways you can use to attract leads. The key is to find a channel that works for you. Yet, the most reliable way could be using paid advertising. This is also known as Pay-Per-Click (or PPC) advertising. Here are some of the most reliable channels.

Facebook Ads

Facebook has one of the most advanced targeting systems we have today. You can go after the perfect customer. All you need to do is to describe your ideal lead within the Facebook Ads dashboard. For example, you could go after parents who like coffee within two miles of your location. This ensures that only people who are likely to buy from you will see your ads. As a rule of thumb, the more specific you get the higher your chances of attracting a lead.

You can also tailor your ads to specific devices. For instance, you may choose to only show your ads on mobile devices. This kind of control allows you to fine-tune your ads. Once you hit the “sweet spot” you could attract leads while you sleep!

The “secret” to Facebook Ads is to make your promotions exciting and engaging. Typical brand advertising tends to fail in this regard. People don’t really care about brands until they’ve tried them. On the other hand, Facebook is perfect for lead generation. Focus on making a relevant offer and you should see some very exciting results.

Google Adwords

Google Adwords is an evolved advertising platform, based primarily on search marketing. The best part is you can show your ads to people as they search for businesses such as yours. In effect, you’re in front of potential customers at the right moment.

The downside of Adwords is that there is a learning curve involved. In most cases, it’s best you consult with an expert before you get started. This will help you avoid costly mistakes. An expert can help you figure out a way to boost your profits at a rapid rate. If you’re serious about results, ask a specialist about how you can profit from Google Adwords.

Google Display Network

The Google Display Network is part of Google Adwords. The main difference is that your ads will be shown on targeted websites. This way, you can reach people actively looking for info about offers similar to yours. It’s very cost effective. Again, an expert can help you discover the best way forward.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization allows you to attract “organic” traffic from search engines. This means that people could find your website as they search for products or services. Although the traffic is free, it costs money to get to a top position in search results. It’s usually best to combine SEO with PPC (paid traffic).

In order to make SEO work for you, you will need to create relevant content. You can write it yourself or hire a professional. The idea is to help your customers with information even before they purchase from you. Once you’ve created a connection, you can then convert them into leads. The most common way to do this is by presenting them with a free report on an important issue they’re facing.

Getting links from relevant sites is a crucial part of SEO. As long as your content is valuable to readers, you’ll be able to build a network of quality links. In addition, the sites that link to you will send highly targeted traffic to you. This can result in a snowball effect. Over time, your site could be attracting leads on autopilot.

Remarketing

Sometimes you have to show an ad a few times before a potential customer decides to get in touch. Customers may be reluctant to share their contact details with you at first. You can overcome this problem with remarketing. All it means is that people who have visited your site will see your ads again on other websites.

This is done using what’s known as the “remarketing pixel”. It’s much simpler than it sounds. For the most part, you copy and paste a piece of code onto your website. This is then used to track visitors to your site. If you want to get the most out of your lead generation, you definitely want to include remarketing.

Custom audiences & similar audiences

How about showing ads to your existing leads and customers? That’s possible too! You can upload a list of customers to Facebook to create a custom audience. That’s a powerful to present additional offers to your customers.

Facebook Ads takes you a step further. The platform will analyze your custom audience. Then, it will find potential customers for you based on similarities. This is called the “lookalike” audience. When you present your ads to this audience, you are more likely to make a sale or to generate new leads. By the way, your ads can also be shown on Instagram and the Audience Network.

Creating your lead generation strategy

When you have the right lead generation strategy, the world becomes your oyster. As long as you keep refining what you do, you will see improvements. However, the most important thing is to start small and build it up.

As your first step, decide who your perfect customer is. You can look at your existing customers and see what they have in common. Once you’ve got their profile, think of what would catch their attention. What kind of offer would they be interested in? When it comes to social media, what kind of content would they want to share?

Next, choose a single channel to start with. Facebook is great for beginners so you may want to start there. Allow your first few ads to “fail”. It’s normal to test a few offers before finding one that works. Don’t be scared of making a mistake. Business owners who persevere are the ones who end up dominating their markets.

With time, you want to add to your strategy. When you have many sources of leads you never have to worry about where your next customer will come from. Lead generation will become a reliable source of profits for you and your business.

As you can tell, lead generation is both an art and a science. If you want to make it easier for yourself, let an expert help you. With the right advice, you are more likely to see quick results. Get in touch now and see how lead generation could help your business move to the next level.

Omar Kattan
About Omar Kattan

Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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