Lead Generation

Online Lead Generation (2024 Strategy Guide)

12 Minute Read

Generating leads and sales consistently and effectively is the lifeblood of business. Staying ahead of your competition requires not only being present online, but also building consumer interest in your service.

Prior to working with your business and making a purchase, your clientele goes online to research options, compare competitor offerings, and to truly see if what you’re offering is exactly what they need.

Staying ahead requires more than just a presence; it demands a dynamic approach to capturing the hearts and minds of your audience.

This is where the magic of online lead generation comes into play – a transformative approach that has the potential to redefine the way you connect with your potential clients and customers, and ultimately propels your business ahead of your competition.

Online Lead Generation Explained

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll simplify the intricacies of online lead generation and the lead generation process, tailored specifically for small businesses and real estate professionals. This includes:

  • What is Online Lead Generation? Unpacking the core concepts and strategies.
  • How Online Lead Generation Works – 5 Simple Steps. A step-by-step guide to turning curious clicks into loyal clients.
  • 5 Ways Online Lead Generation Helps Small Businesses. Exploring the tangible benefits that go beyond just numbers.
  • How to Generate Leads Online for Your Small Business. Practical insights into utilizing Google Ads, SEO, content marketing, social media, lead magnets, and email newsletters to get more leads.
  • Which Online Marketing Strategy is Best for You? Tailoring your approach based on your unique business goals.
  • The Bottom Line. How to implement a successful strategy moving into 2024.

Whether you’re just starting or looking to amplify your current efforts, this guide is your roadmap to navigating online lead generation strategies for 2024.

Generate Leads - Small Business and Real Estate Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

What is Online Lead Generation?

In the fast-evolving landscape of digital marketing, online lead generation has become a pivotal strategy for businesses, especially small enterprises and realtors.

Online Lead Generation is leveraging platforms like Google, Facebook (Meta), Instagram, LinkedIn and your website to bring more brand awareness, website traffic and ultimately leads, in your business via online channels.

This dynamic approach focuses on attracting potential buyers or “leads” through various online channels.

Inbound Lead Generation

Inbound lead generation revolves around creating valuable content that attracts prospects to your business naturally.

By offering informative blog posts, engaging social media content, and compelling landing pages, you pull potential customers toward your products or services, turning them into a sales qualified lead.

Strong examples of inbound lead generation include:

  • Form submissions on your website – requesting more information after engaging with content on your website, like requesting a quote or visiting your website’s contact page.
  • Downloading a Lead Magnet – an easily-digestible piece of content (usually a free download) offered in exchange for contact information.

Generate Leads - Inbound Leads Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

Outbound Lead Generation

On the flip side, outbound lead generation involves proactive outreach to potential clients. This method puts your business in front of potential customers, even if they haven’t actively sought out your services.

This strategy can include:

  • Cold emailing – email campaigns to prospective or past clients.
  • Cold calling – sales teams reaching potential customers on the phone.
  • Targeted advertising – a paid strategy to place ads around the web to those who have expressed third-party interest, according to Google & Facebook’s data.

Inbound vs Outbound – Which Strategy is Right for You?

Choosing between inbound and outbound strategies depends on your business goals and target audience.

Inbound strategies often foster a more organic, relationship-based approach with your sales representative, while outbound strategies can yield quicker results by directly reaching out to new business.

Lead generation marketing involves getting a service qualified lead in a way that aligns with your business goals.

Here’s how to generate leads online and ensure that your business can be found through search engines with the following lead generation strategies.

How Online Lead Generation Works – 5 Simple Steps

Generate Leads - How it Works Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

Step 1: Discover – Your Prospect Finds Your Business

The client journey begins when a prospect discovers your business through various online channels. This could be through a Google search, social media post, or a referral from another website.

Ask yourself: “How do my clients and customers find my business, product, or service?” and “how do I currently generate leads?”

The first step in the sales funnel is understanding exactly how people find you – especially online.

New leads can come through your landing pages, lead gen forms, marketing campaigns, organic traffic through search engines, your referral program, and various marketing channels.

Step 2: Engage – Prospects Interact with Your Online Content

Once your business is discovered, engaging your audience with content is a crucial step.

Content examples include informative blog posts, entertaining videos, or interactive social media posts that encourage prospects to spend more time interacting with your brand.

Ultimately, this content is designed to give your audience the opportunity to visit your landing page, and take you up on an offer.

Engaging your prospective leads through your online content is an amazing way to show that your prospect has expressed interest in your business.

This is the first step to start generating leads online and acquiring more leads.

Step 3: Subscribe – Prospects Become an Online Lead

To convert engaged prospects into leads, provide opportunities for them to subscribe. This involves email newsletter sign-ups, gated content (like a lead magnet), industry research reports, or other methods to capture their contact information through your lead generation campaigns.

It’s critical to create a branded piece of content that you can offer for free in exchange for contact information. Then, design a landing page for your offer in order to get more qualified leads.

When leads are captured through content, they’re highly qualified. They’re the exact marketing qualified leads that you are looking for.

If your free offer is carefully crafted, just being interested in your content should indicate to you that they’re the right people.

Step 4: Convert – The Online Lead Becomes a Client

The conversion phase involves turning existing leads into paying customers.

This is achieved through targeted promotions, personalized offers, or effective sales funnels that guide your leads through the client journey.

Align your offer, key messaging, and landing page with your lead’s goals, and it will maximize the chance your lead will convert into a client.

Step 5: Nurture – Maintain Relationship and Stay Top of Mind

This step is right after they have become a client or customer. Even after conversion, it’s essential to nurture the customer relationship.

Regular communication, exclusive offers, and personalized content help maintain engagement and encourage repeat business.

Nurturing leads and existing customers will give your sales team the best opportunity to convert prospects into paying customers, and maximize your online advertising efforts.

Sometimes, marketing qualified leads may be within your target audience, but they aren’t ready to buy at this particular moment.

Don’t risk losing a marketing qualified lead or website visitors to your competitors; so this final step is just as critical as the ones that came before.

5 Ways Online Lead Generation Helps Small Businesses

Generate Leads - Help Small Businesses - JP Marketing Associates

It Builds Brand Awareness

Online lead generation enhances brand visibility, making your business more recognizable in a crowded digital landscape.

Consistent and relevant content establishes your brand as an authority in your industry while maximizing exposure to your product or service.

It Generates Business Opportunities

As business owners, we’re always looking for more opportunities, both to increase the amount of business we have, or getting a better ROI on our investments; like advertising and lead gen efforts.

By consistently generating sales qualified leads, you create a steady stream of potential business opportunities.

Actively engaging in capturing sales leads through online channels not only boosts revenue but also lays the groundwork for strategic business growth.

It Improves the Quality of Leads

Digital marketing methods often attract more targeted and qualified leads. Through careful targeting and personalized content, you can ensure that the leads you generate are more likely to convert into customers and clients.

When you bid on high-intent search terms (which means Google search queries that indicate the person is in a “buying mindset”), your quality of leads will vastly improve, as your ads are appearing at the exact moment your clientele is looking for a product or service like yours.

It Reduces Outbound Lead Generation Efforts

With a strong online lead generation strategy, you can decrease reliance on traditional outbound methods, saving time and resources.

This shift often results in a more efficient and cost-effective lead gen process, providing a consistent stream of leads to your sales team.

Perhaps you don’t have a sales team at your disposal; inbound marketing can alleviate this roadblock.

Advanced Targeting for Desired Clientele

Online lead generation tools and platforms offer advanced targeting options. This allows you to tailor your efforts to reach specific demographics, ensuring your message resonates with your desired clientele, and minimizing the research process for them.

If applicable to your business, you may choose your target clientele’s interests, their age, their marital status, their affinity to be interested in your service (based on Google’s data of their search history), and so much more.

Sometimes I can’t even believe the precision that some of these platforms have to offer – it’s incredible.

You want these leads to end their search with you.

Here’s how to do it for your business.

How to Generate Leads Online for Your Small Business

How to Generate Leads for Small Business - JP Marketing Associates

Google PPC Search Ads

Benefits of Google Ads for Leads

Google PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Search Ads provide immediate visibility on Google’s search engine results page.

When a potential new leads search on Google for general terms related to your product or service, for example, “real estate lawyer near me” or “best realtor for first time home buyers in Toronto”, Google Ads allow you to be among the top search results.

By bidding on keywords relevant to your business, you can attract high-intent leads actively searching for your products or services – and fast.

Free Download

Google PPC Launch Checklist For Small Business

This powerful tool is easy to follow for non-technical business owners and realtors.

Download this resource

Drawbacks of Google Ads – Costs Add Up Without Proper Daily Care

Although Google Ads are a cost-effective way to find new business, the cost of Google Ads can add up quickly, and competition for your top keywords can be fierce – especially if you don’t know how to navigate the platform and fight the daily battles.

Additionally, the setup time can take a while, because it includes setting up tracking codes, crafting a well-optimized landing page, plus writing effective ads, which are essential for maximizing the ROI of Google Ads.

RELATED: Google Ads: What They Are and How They Work

If you need help crafting effective ads, maximizing your budget, and fighting the time-consuming daily battles without the hassle, reach out to us and we’ll help bring you sales qualified leads for your product or service.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Generate Leads - Search Engine Optimization Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

Benefits of SEO for Leads

SEO is a long-term strategy that focuses on optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results organically – meaning your leads find you without having to pay for ads.

A high ranking for relevant keywords in your local area or industry can lead to a consistent influx of free targeted website traffic, and will aid in generating leads.

To completely optimize your website for SEO, you’ll need to conduct Keyword Research. The best tool to start with is SEMRush. It’s easy to use, and will get you started with your SEO. Get a Free Trial here.

Drawbacks of SEO

SEO takes time to see results, and the landscape is continually evolving, but it’s completely worth it. It does require ongoing efforts to adapt to Google algorithm changes to maintain a competitive edge.

Starting a blog is a great way to kickstart your SEO efforts; however, the writing process can be a bit cumbersome.

We can help you create an efficient system to carefully craft blog content that is valuable and relevant to your clientele to take this task completely off your plate.

Here’s how a blog and content marketing can be another effective marketing initiative for high quality leads.

Content Marketing / Blogging

Benefits of Blogging for Leads

Blogging allows you to showcase your expertise, address customer pain points and frequently asked questions while improving your website’s SEO.

High-quality, informative content can attract and engage your target audience, which not only helps your business with lead capture, but also lead nurturing – which mean maintaining the relationship and building rapport with them.

Blogging creates content for social media platforms, improves your ranking in the search engines (SEO), gives prospects an opportunity to download your lead magnet, and ultimately supports your website’s main landing pages.

Drawbacks of Blogging – Writing is a Time-Consuming Process

Consistent blogging requires time and effort, and results may not be immediate. It’s a long-term strategy that pays off as your content gains authority and visibility.

Here are a few tools that support you in your blogging efforts to maximize the effectiveness:

  • SEMRush – for advanced keyword research, blog post planning, and competitor research – get a Free Trial Here.
  • SurferSEO – to carefully craft a post that is SEO-optimized and will give the best opportunity to rank on Google.
  • Funnelytics – visually map out your blog content plan so that you know the exactly strategy and how each blog post relates to each other – all on one visual canvas.

Although these tools are incredible, they do come at a cost; although some have free plans.

At JP Marketing Associates, located in Toronto, we have paid access to the tools so you don’t have to buy monthly subscriptions. We also alleviate the burden of creative writing by crafting a custom-made efficient process for you that is takes this whole blogging task off your plate.

All you have to do is approve the plan, approve the completed drafts, and make any minor tweaks to the posts before they are published to your website.

Social Media Marketing
Generate Leads - Social Media Marketing Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

Benefits of Social Media for Leads

Social media platforms provide an excellent opportunity to connect with your audience, share content, and drive traffic to your website.

Launching a paid social advertising can also target specific demographics, and specific people who have engaged with your website, social media posts, and even your ads.

Drawbacks of Social Media – Building a Presence

Building a social media presence takes time, and constant algorithm updates can impact the visibility of your content.

Balancing organic and paid strategies is crucial for a successful social media lead generation approach. Simply posting “for free” is not as effective as it used to be a few years ago.

Lead Magnets

Benefits of Lead Magnets for Qualified Leads

Lead magnets, such as ebooks, webinars, or free tools, attract potential leads by offering valuable information.

They encourage prospects to provide their contact information in exchange for helpful or interesting content.

This is an effective tool to start generating leads, and turn your existing website into a lead generating website with an opt in form.

Drawbacks of Lead Magnets for Qualified Leads

Creating effective lead magnets requires careful planning and execution. Ensuring that the offered content aligns with your audience’s needs is crucial for successful lead generation.

Unless you have the infrastructure to collect contact information, and the marketing strategy to consistently drive targeted traffic to your landing pages, this lead capture method can become stagnant.

Email Newsletters

Generate Leads - Email Newsletters Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

Benefits of Email Newsletters for Qualified Leads

Email newsletters provide a direct line of communication with your audience – and your email list is the one audience asset you actually own.

Regular updates, exclusive offers, and personalized content for qualified prospects will nurture leads, drive traffic and conversions.

Drawbacks of Email Newsletters for Qualified Leads

Maintaining a successful email newsletter requires consistently delivering interesting content. Overly promotional emails can lead to high unsubscribe rates, so it’s essential to strike the right balance of informative, entertaining, relevant, and transactional.

Which Online Lead Generation Strategy is Best for You?

Generate Leads - Which Strategy is Best in Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

If Your Goal is: Getting New Business Fast

Priority Lead Generation Method: Google Ads

Google Ads can deliver quick results by putting your business in front of users actively searching for your products or services.

It’s a powerful tool for generating immediate leads and sales.

Free Download

Google PPC Launch Checklist For Small Business

This powerful tool is easy to follow for non-technical business owners and realtors.

Download this resource

If Your Goal is: Building Your Online Presence

Priority Lead Generation Method: Content Marketing

Investing in content marketing helps build your brand’s online presence. By consistently providing relevant content, you establish authority and attract leads over time.

Priority Lead Generation Method: Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing complements content marketing by promoting your content and engaging with your audience on popular platforms.

Priority Lead Generation Method: SEO for Your Website

Optimizing your website for search engines ensures long-term visibility to target audiences. A well-optimized site ranks higher in search results, which drives organic traffic and leads.

If Your Goal is: Beating Your Competitors

Priority Lead Generation Method: Google Ads

In a competitive market, Google Ads can give you a competitive edge by placing your business at the top of search results, capturing the most leads ahead of competitors.

Priority Lead Generation Method: SEO

Investing in SEO ensures that your business remains visible in organic search results, reducing reliance on paid advertising, and out-pacing your competitors who aren’t taking as much care in developing their website and online presence.

The Bottom Line – Ensure Your 2024 Marketing Strategy Includes Online Lead Generation

Generate Leads - Marketing Strategy 2024 Toronto - JP Marketing Associates

Online lead generation is not just a trend; it’s a fundamental necessity of a successful marketing strategy and acquiring a new paying customer.

By understanding the intricacies of inbound and outbound methods, the steps involved, and the various strategies available, small businesses and realtors can harness the power of online lead generation to skyrocket their growth in 2024 and beyond.

Ready to Elevate the Way You Generate Leads for Your Small Business?

If you’re looking to supercharge your online lead generation efforts and navigate the dynamic landscape of digital marketing with confidence, JP Marketing Associates is here to help.

We specialize in crafting tailored strategies for small businesses and realtors to generate quality leads and drive business growth.

Claim Your Free Lead Generation Strategy Session Today!

Contact us for a free strategy session, where we’ll discuss your unique goals and challenges. Let’s collaborate to design a custom online lead generation plan that aligns with your business objectives.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to transform your online presence and attract leads that matter. Get in touch with JP Marketing Associates for your free strategy session today!

About The Author

Johnny Pomykacz is the CEO & Founder of JP Marketing Associates. He specializes in carefully crafting sophisticated digital experiences for individuals and small businesses in the real estate and healthcare space.

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