Android Market Celebrates Ten Billion Downloads Milestone

Google announces that Android Market has completed ten billion downloads so far. This is yet another reason why you shouldn’t be ignoring the Andriod domain if you are working in the mobile space. Mobile phone (especially mobile phones based on iOS and Android) usage for social media, videos and marketing is taking off in a big way.

Android Market Completes 10 billion downloads

Check out the following link: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/10-billion-android-market-downloads-and.html and see the rate at which the Andriod Market is growing.

As part of the celebration, Google has announced that Android apps from select Android developers will be available for ten cents each during the promotion period (next 10 ten days).

 

Social Media and Internet Lead Generation Conference for Online Marketers

I came across this awesome Social Media, Internet Lead Generation and Online Marketing Strategies conference put together by Don Crowther and his associates. Unless most other internet marketing conferences with lots of bull and sales pitches, this seems to be a content packed, value-for-money seminar. If you are in lead generation business, whether capturing leads for your own business or generating leads for sales, this seems to be great resource.

Social Profit Live Conference for Online Marketers

Here are some of the top speakers and contents of the 3 day Social Profit Live social media and internet marketing conference.

  • Don Crowther – Social Profit Formula Author and Conference Organizer
  • Paul Colligan – Social Media Strategist
  • Leslie Rohde – The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Expert
  • Dan Thies – PPC and SEO Expert
The Social Profit Live link includes content rich videos and webinars by these experts. They provide a ton of resources in terms of tools, techniques, insights and processes to increase traffic to your website by following the right PPC / SEO strategies.
For example, Leslie Rohde talks about the recent Google Panda updates and how it impacts in-page SEO.
Paul Colligan delves into the Social Media strategies that should be followed by those seeking leads on the Internet.
Dan Crowther provides an overview of today’s challenges faced by online marketers and biggest mistakes marketers make.
Dan Thies gives an insight into his popular Adwords Triangulation Method and discusses PPC (pay per click) strategies.
Take a look at these videos and contents and decide if the Social Profit Live conference is a fit for you.

Online Lead Generation Tools and Techniques

There are several online lead generation tools and techniques which can be used by businesses to originate their sales leads. However, there no one single tool or technique that will solve all issues or address all solutions. One or more solutions have to be employed depending on the nature of business, type of product or service offered, competition in the industry and marketing dollars that can be invested in lead generation efforts. The following inbound marketing techniques can be deployed for sales lead generation.

Understand the Prospective Customers

In order to craft a successful lead generation strategy and choose right tools and techniques, we need to understand your prospective customers. Where do they go to learn about the product in the first place? Research studies indicate that over 80% consumers turn to the Internet to do research on their requirements. In other words, most customers start with the internet, whether they are buying online or offline. Then, as a seller you need to go the internet first.

Start with Your Website

Many businesses, especially small businesses, underestimate the need for a good website with right content. It does not matter whether you are selling and taking online orders on the site or not.

When the prospects hit the internet and make a search for a product (sold by you), they are most likely to check out your website.

If you are a local, brick and mortar business, make sure that your business is added to Google Places. Google places show up in the search results along with maps!

Complement with a Blog

Again, whether you are a tiny business or a mega corporation, it does not matter. Also, you may blog once a week or once a month. A blog helps update the contents easily in a chronological fashion. A basic website generally includes static information without any date stamp. Whereas a blog includes updates stories, news, product specs and related information in a time stamped manner, so that prospective customers can put it in right perspective. And search engines such Google and Bing love the blogs and hate stale websites!

Social Media Tools

Social Media tools such as Facebook and Twitter have become part of online marketing channels. While these tools are still in the infancy stage, the adoption rate growth during the past couple of years is phenomenal. You should research how your business can fit into the social graph and plan out suitable strategies.

If you are a selling consumer oriented product or service, social media presence is a must. Large corporate brands leverage social media (including location based services and social games) to a great extent.

Search Engine Marketing

As mentioned above, search engines are the primary research sources for consumers. Following Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are available for generating leads via online marketing.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC)

Search Engine Optimization, popularly known as SEO, is the process of optimizing your web properties (including websites, blogs, and social media) for specific keywords or keyword phrases, so that your website links will get displayed when prospects search on the search engines. Search Engines index and list the websites based on certain algorithms in order to determine the relevancy of the contents on the websites.

Pay Per Click marketing, also known as PPC, as the name suggests, involves making payments to the search engines such as Google and Bing, based on key words and clicks. Note that the cost of a click will be higher if the competition is high for the given keyword. This is the easiest lead generation techniques to implement, but you will lose money fast if you don’t know what you are doing!

Other Web 2.0 Tools

As the Search Engine Optimization is one of the leading (free) techniques used to drive traffic to a website from the search engines, the following web 2.0 tools are used to increase the visibility of the websites. Search engines determine the relevancy of websites to be displayed in the search results based on the contents and authority of the website. Hence adding more relevant content is a must for successful SEO.

Text Contents: Articles and discussion forums are used generate quality contents relevant to the product or service being offered. Other web 2.0 sites such as Squidoo, HubPages,  DocStoc, Scribd

Video Contents: Video hosting sites such as YouTube and Vimeo has become enormously popular within the past few years. Google shows video contents in the search results on the first page. Hence short video tutorials and how to lessons are created and posted to the video sites linking back to the product sites.

Lead Capture and Management

Once the traffic is generated and directed to the website, converting the web visitor into a prospect is a critical step in the online lead generation process. The traffic is generally driven to a web pages known as Landing Pages whether the prospect’s contact information can be captured for further engagement and follow up. Landing page design and optimization have to be planned to achieve maximum conversion.

The captured leads can be aggregated using a lead distribution and management system or a CRM (customer relationship management) system and added to the lead conversion funnel.

Lead Generation Channels and Sources

Lead Generation is the most critical activity of all businesses. Lead generation is nothing but the process of identifying specific prospects for the products / services sold by the business. This is the beginning of the sales process. Large companies and organizations classify the lead generation process as part of the Marketing domain. Note that the large companies look at Marketing and Sales differently, though the differences are blurring nowadays.

Lead Generation Sources and Channels

Traditionally, leads (and sales) were generated through the following channels:

  • Print media (Yellow pages, Newspapers, Magazines, etc.)
  • Electronic Media (Television and Radio)
  • Telephone (Outbound Call Centers)
  • Direct Marketing (Mailers, Door to door selling, etc.
  • Brick and Mortar Stores (Retail outlets, Distributors, etc.)
  • Trade Show Marketing

Online Lead Generation

With the adoption of Internet as a mass communication medium by the masses, lead generation and sales techniques have undergone tremendous changes during the past decade.

Online marketing (or digital marketing) is growing at exponential rates. The importance and ad spend on traditional marketing and lead generation channels are declining significantly.

Digital Marketing Techniques

The following lead generation and digital marketing techniques have taken root during the past few years.

  • Email Marketing
  • Blogging (Web 2.0)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEO and PPC)
  • Display Marketing
  • Webinars, Whitepapers

Inbound Marketing

In the above list of online marketing techniques, Email Marketing is classified as part of the Outbound Marketing as the emails are pushed out to the prospective customers. In the current scenario, outbound marketing produces least results. Email Marketing is not dead yet, but the importance is declining fast, due to the privacy concerns and spam issues.

All other online marketing techniques (web 2.0, social media, PPC, CPA, SEO, etc.) can be categorized as Inbound Marketing as the prospects are raising their hands and reaching out to you based on the content provided by you.

Inbound Marketing is most effective online marketing strategy for all types of businesses. Whether you are in B2B or B2C segment, small or large business,  or a non-profit organization, inbound marketing, if done right, can provide excellent results.

Let us see more details on these inbound marketing techniques in future posts.

Lead Generation for B2B and B2C Segments

Though the Lead Generation strategies and techniques for B2B and B2C segments vary widely, the underlying concepts, tool used and resources required remain the same. Let us explore why we need to differentiate the B2B and B2C lead generation scenarios in the first place.

B2B (Business to Business)

As the name suggests, this activity is related to selling goods or services by a business to other businesses. For example, if you are producing machine tools or manufacturing equipment or creating enterprise software packages, your operations will fall under B2B scenario, as you will be selling your products / services to other businesses.

B2C (Business to Consumer)

In this case, a business sells its products or services to the end consumers (and not businesses). For example, if you are an insurance agent selling personal insurance services, you fall under B2C scenario. However if you are selling group insurance plans, then you will be selling to corporates and businesses.

Similarly if you are selling Debt Consolidation programs or Satellite TV services, then you will be selling direct to the consumers.

Most small businesses such as retail shops, realtors, dentists, florists, re-modelers and contractors sell their services direct to consumers and hence classified as B2C businesses.

Selling to Small Businesses

If you are selling your services to small and tiny businesses, it will work like more of B2C than of B2B as there is no corporate structure and elaborate procedures.

B2B and B2C Selling

Why should you differentiate between B2B and B2C? There are inherent differences in the sales processes and hence these points are to be kept in mind while generating leads. For example, B2B Sales is generally a complicated process with a longer sales cycle (months or even years). Whereas a B2C Sales is typically a very short sales cycle (days / weeks).

The decision making is a complex process in B2B sales whereas the consumers take a quick decision.

Lead Data Collection

The data to be collected in the lead generation process varies with the type of sale (i.e. B2B or B2C) as well as the nature of business and products sold.

For instance, in the case of insurance lead generation, all details including full address, phone number and insurance requirements are collected upfront.

In other cases, especially in B2B, very minimal prospect data is collected on the landing pages. For example, most B2B lead generation pages include the name and email address. Additional details are collected at much later stages during the prospect engagement process.

Keep these basics in mind when we discuss lead generation strategies, tools and techniques in future articles.

Welcome to Lead Generation Resources!

Welcome to Lead Generation Resources! Whether you are generating B2C leads or B2B leads, this blog will serve as a resource. This site includes blog posts containing views, opinions and references, how to guides and short tutorials, tips, tricks, best practices in lead generation, software tools and technologies used for leadgen, small business resources, and other related resources.

The following are the key topics that would be included in various resources:

  • Landing Pages Optimization
  • Lead Generation
  • Lead Capture and Distribution
  • Lead Management
  • Selling Internet Leads
  • Inbound Marketing
  • Trade Show Leads
  • Leads Sources and Channels
  • Software Tools for Leadgen and Distribution
  • Leadgen Strategies for B2C and B2B Leads
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) for Leadgen
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Leadgen
  • Local Search Marketing
  • Engaging the Leads for Conversion
  • Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies
  • Social Media Tools and Strategies

Please stop by often when you have few minutes; or you may subscribe to our RSS feed. Also, please add your comments and let us know what you think about the resources.