What is Lead Generation in Digital Marketing?

Published by Patrick Anidi on

Updated on 6th December, 2023



During the early 90s, the first ‘e’ businesses took off, and digital business owners have never looked back. It has been thirty years since then, and the internet has developed exponentially. The key benefit of digital commerce is that you can reach a wide array of prospects across the world at relatively shorter periods while spending much less. Gone are the days when business promotions were ONLY done with newspaper advertisements, TV placements, or sharing flyers. A small online business from Spain can now launch a marketing campaign in the USA in less than a few clicks with a small budget.


This new approach to digital sales and marketing is heavily reliant on data. Marketers now leverage data to reach their target audience and serve highly relevant content. This has paved the way for the generation of highly qualified leads. However, at the same time, it has also created a fierce competitive environment. You can reach your audience very easily, and so can other businesses. Your target customers are constantly bombarded with adverts, marketing campaigns, and whatnot. This makes having a proper lead generation, engagement, and selling framework critical. In this article, we will discuss how lead generation in digital marketing works, how you can implement a proper framework for your business, and some tools you can use to support your lead generation efforts in digital marketing.


What is Lead Generation in Digital Marketing?

In digital marketing, lead generation is the process of identifying, attracting, and transforming online users into prospects for a business. The method utilizes online channels, tactics, and strategies such as advertising, email campaigns, social media, or even offering downloadable content through a landing page. The most common strategy is to direct traffic to a business’s website and acquire the contact information of prospects through forms.


Image Source: Hubspot.com


Framework for a Focused Lead Generation Strategy

Lead generation strategies must be “scientifically dynamic” to be effective. You don’t simply want to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. It will only lead to a waste of time and resources. Instead, follow this six-step framework to guarantee lead generation through digital marketing.


Assess Your Sales Funnel: Your lead generation strategy raises awareness, creates demand, and produces sales opportunities resulting in meetings with potential customers. Finding out how many leads you will need to generate in order to meet your lead-generating income targets requires some calculations. This is why you need to calculate your leads-to-sales ratio to determine how many leads you need to acquire.


Create Content: Telling your prospective customers that you can do something will not cut it here; you need to show them. You do this by creating content that empowers and enlights prospects and showcases your solutions in the best possible light. Your prospects should understand that you know what you are doing!


For a B2B lead generation strategy to be successful, you need to create content pieces, such as blogs, articles, case studies, white papers, checklists, guides, emails, social media posts, landing pages, and more. Creating content helps you balance two goals — convincing your ideal prospects that you are worth their investment and can actually solve their problems and making your prospects the hero of the show by inherently showing them how you can help position their brand.


Distribute and Promote Content: Publishing content without consistency will not help grow your brand. You must research your ICP thoroughly to inform your content distribution and promotion plans. An integrated digital marketing strategy is necessary to consistently engage prospects through several channels, such as social media and emails. You should have a strategy in place for obtaining high-quality backlinks as well. Additionally, local media markets shouldn’t be disregarded. You should create a holistic strategy that distributes your content through the right channels to your ICP and promotes your content in a thought leadership way.


Follow Up: Nurturing your prospects is an often ignored step, but it may be the most necessary of all. Marketing professionals should hold their sales counterparts accountable for following up. They must contact marketing-qualified leads who have responded to emails from you, joined a webinar, or downloaded a resource from your website. Using the pain point and solution discussed in the particular collateral, they should take conversations forward with prospective customers.


Automate Lead Generation Processes and Use AI: Lead generation processes are scalable, especially because advanced lead-generating systems make use of marketing automation tools. Rather than sending sporadic emails, you can design intricate campaigns and take help of AI for scaling. For example, those who download an eBook can be sent personalized nurturing campaigns that explore solving challenges discussed in the eBook.


From scheduling posts to triggering follow-up emails, you can do it all with automation. This not only enables your marketing professionals to save time and focus their attention on personalization for high-value target accounts, but it also ensures that you never have to worry about consistency. Automated workflows can be a 24/7 salesperson for your business.


Analyze Data Reports and Adjust Your Strategy: Marketing campaigns are not a “set and forget” deal; being dynamic is essential for success. If you’re not monitoring analytics, assessing what is and isn’t working, and honing your approach, you will not know how to pivot your lead generation strategies. The information will be gathered from many sources, such as SEO analysis tools, LinkedIn sales navigator, marketing automation platform, and web analytics tool (like Salespanel). This data is built into reports that showcase exactly where you should invest your time and resources more.


Once you have determined what has to be altered, you should make the necessary modifications and then assess their effects. Perhaps you should have tried a different subject line for an email or changed the focus of the keywords in a blog article. Whatever it is, you will evaluate your progress and adjust your plan of action until you accomplish your objective. You can then reset your lead generation process with a new higher target, which will now be much more achievable.



How to Generate Marketing Leads?

Since loyal customers are the lifeblood of any successful business, lead generation is a top priority for marketers and companies that want to grow. The strategies of lead generations typically involve using content in various forms to increase brand awareness and interest in products or services. Using the sales funnel to nurture the leads interested in your business and nudge them towards taking purchase actions. Seasoned B2B marketers focus on the quality of the lead they attract. They do this by working to understand their buyer persona and ensure that their content resonates deeply with their ideal customer.


Speaking of strategies, keep in mind that content is the medium you’ll use to reach your ideal customers. You need to invest significant resources in creating valuable content that helps your target audience achieve some of their goals related to the product or service you sell. While you’re at it, I’ll share with you three effective lead generation strategies used by highly successful marketers to attract and convert qualified prospects.


If you want your ideal customer to pay special attention to your content when they come across it on any marketing channel, here are the lead generation strategies and tools to keep in mind while planning your digital marketing campaigns.


1. Paid Advertising

If you are a large enterprise with a big marketing budget, you can invest in paid ads for lead generation. It is the simplest, quickest, and most effective method for generating digital marketing leads that you can use to test your MVP (Minimum Viable Product).


In short, paid advertising is a kind of digital marketing where businesses employ a bidding approach to compete in and win real-time auctions to rank higher than their rivals on particular channels, such as social media and search engine results pages. You can promote on a variety of platforms, including websites, social media, Google SERPs, and others, with sponsored advertising. The strategy is to draw your target market’s attention to your company. It is the quickest route to expansion and provides greater value than conventional marketing.


Here are some tips to get paid ads right:


  • Plan a search ad with gated content (explained below) such as eBooks, checklists, templates, webinars, etc.
  • Run social media ads promoting a sales offer for one of your products or services
  • Publish remarketing ads with special discounts for marketing qualified customer lists
  • Create hyper-targeted Google ads to target sales-qualified leads


With paid advertising, primarily PPC ads, you can target the largest possible niche audience group for your business with your advertisements when they search for terms related to your brand, company, products, or services.



2. Content marketing

Businesses can increase their number as well as the quality of leads generated and boost conversion rates by using user-centric, creative, relevant, and informative content. Content marketing, in conjunction with lead generation, fosters trust with your target audience by providing valuable information via various content formats.


While all kinds of content can drive brand awareness and engagement, maintaining quality is essential—and quality content is often gated. Content that has been gated is expected to be extra useful and relevant to your prospect’s business objectives. Prospects who wish to access the gated material must complete the lead capture form. Using gated content works well since it presents your brand legitimately to prospects and develops a positive impression. Additionally, it gives you access to qualified prospects who genuinely want your product or service.


Some other tips to get content marketing right:


  • Create content for audiences at the top, middle, and bottom of the funnels (TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU) by writing articles
  • Create informative blogs that are SEO-optimized and thoroughly researched
  • Build an LMS resource library on your products and services to assist your sales staff
  • Answer FAQs to address frequently asked questions from website visitors


Source: Hubspot.com


3. Social Media

Social media is taking the world by storm, with millions of users engaging daily. It can, thus, be an essential part of your lead generation strategy as an avenue using which you identify and target your ideal prospects with your lead magnets, including gated content, event registrations, and more.


Furthermore, you may segment and target certain audiences with the help of strong ad-targeting technologies available on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Paid Facebook and Instagram ads are already being used by prosperous B2B markets to increase visitors to their gated content.


Here are some tips to get lead generation using social media right:


  • Post relevant information on time to increase website traffic and brand recognition.
  • Use varied content formats to stand out on different social media channels.
  • Interact with your viewers regularly by responding to messages or comments.
  • Address the problems that your customers are facing with tailored solutions.


The most effective way for a business to connect with an audience at the top of the funnel is through social media. It’s a fantastic platform for demonstrating your superiority over rivals. Your social media presence will make it easier for customers to recognize your brand.


Image Source: REVE Chat


4. SEO and SEM

SEM involves paying search engines (like Google or Bing) to display ads in their search results, while SEO focuses on optimizing your website for search engine algorithms to place it higher in the organic search results naturally. Search can be a significant traffic source because it is the primary method by which users browse the internet. This is why incorporating both of them in your lead generation strategy is paramount.


Here are some tips to get SEM and SEO right:


  • Ensure your blog answers the search query in its entirety.
  • Make changes to the meta description and title of your blog.
  • Include relevant internal and external backlinks in your posts.
  • Conduct in-depth keyword research.
  • Optimize website speed to provide users with a better experience.
  • Personalize ad campaigns for specific target groups.
  • Ensure message-match between ads and pages.


By helping the company rank #1 in SERPs, both SEM and SEO increase the likelihood of receiving a steady stream of new leads.



5. Events (Online and Offline)

Events are a wonderful method to interact with your target audience in person and develop lasting relationships with them. Organizing an event such as a webinar, workshop, or conference allows you to engage with potential customers and obtain their contact details at the time of registration.


In the discourse during the event, you should pay special attention to any questions or concerns raised. This can help you gain deeper insight into your audience which can further enable you to skillfully lead them through your sales funnel.


Here are some tips to get event marketing right:


  • Create specialized advertising campaigns for every target market.
  • Educate your staff to provide customer satisfaction.
  • Invite knowledgeable keynote and session speakers.
  • Create relevant and easy-to-fill registration forms.
  • Establish email follow-ups and other forms of follow-up feedback.
  • Inspire participants to post event-related content on social media.




If you prepare ahead, have a clear idea of the information you want to collect, and take advantage of this chance to use a two-way interaction with the most widely used lead gen tools available, your event will be full of potential for lead generation.


Tools for Lead Generation

All good workmen need their tools. Powerful tools accompany many successful lead generation campaigns, ranging from drag and drop landing pages to pop-up form builders. There are also great companies that provide excellent email marketing software and customer relationship management software.



When lead generation campaigns have a well-defined strategy and the use of great tools to enhance the flow, the result is high-quality leads flowing into your company’s sales funnel and onwards to the sales pipeline.


6 Lead Generation Tools for 2024


The first job for lead generation is to bring prospects to your website. But, what happens next? Lead generation is a complex process, and engaging and selling to them is even more complicated. Here’s how Salespanel can help:


  • It identifies companies visiting your website. This accounts for 10-20% of your visitors if your target audience is medium to large businesses. The leads generated serve as a bonus to your existing sales pipeline.
  • It tracks and qualifies every single visitor on your website. This enables you to fast-track qualified visitors for quicker lead acquisition.
  • It tracks buyer intent and helps you serve personalized and targeted content on your website.
    It helps you filter and qualify your leads with segmentation and lead scoring to prioritize leads and send the best ones to your sales team.
  • It tracks the entire journeys of your customers and helps you attribute campaign data to revenue. This lets you increase your budget on campaigns and strategies that perform and reduce expenditure on poor performers.
  • Monitoring your customers’ complete journey will enable you to connect campaign data with revenue. This way, you can reduce spending on underperforming campaigns and allocate more resources toward successful ones.


Salespanel can be the perfect companion for your digital lead generation strategies. Visit us to learn more!



If you’re looking for an agency to work with that’ll handle all your top-of-the-funnel needs, Belkins should definitely be on your list.


This lead generation agency provides a wide array of services, including lead research, personalized outreach, and email deliverability optimization. However, Belkins is best known for its extensive appointment scheduling services.


Apart from finalizing appointments with qualified leads, they equip sales reps with useful information to ace every meeting.




It is one of the top products for on-site lead conversion. In fact, it has several useful components for conversational marketing.


  • The platform offers an on-site messaging feature. Users can interact with site visitors and collect their information to generate leads.
  • Users can also set up rules of engagement according to their requirements. For example, you can set the pop-up to only appear when the visitor is on the pricing page.
  • Users can also segment messages according to consumer behavior. This helps you offer personalized onboarding, support, and retention for each lead.
  • Intercom has an email follow-up option as well.
  • Offers customized bots.




Want to focus on inbound marketing? HubSpot is one of the best options for you. It offers several effective lead-generation elements that help you capture, store, and nurture leads.


  • The platform offers forms, pop-up forms, live chats, chatbots, etc, and provides integrations with most CRM software.
  • Users can also create appealing content and capture leads. HubSpot lets you use emails to nurture captured leads.
  • HubSpot enables your sales team to access the previous touchpoints to close sales quicker and better.
  • It also offers free ticketing.





Paperform is a multi-purpose lead-generation tool where you get forms, surveys, and quizzes. It is an aesthetic tool that combines design with strong conditional logic. You can design quizzes to boost engagement.


The robust editor is a no-code solution that replaces cumbersome side menus with a structure akin to a word document. Using Adobe’s Cloud libraries, you can import your brand assets directly into Paperform and modify the fonts, colours, and images. Paperform combines the best features of most form builders—beautiful design and strong conditional logic. For those who want to decrease busy work and use smart forms to transform their business, this is ideal. You can leverage their in-house analytics to obtain deep insights and add intricate computations and customised success pages for even more in-depth analysis. With Paperform’s flexible SaaS platform, you can design fully configurable solutions, suited to your particular requirements.




If email outreach is your preferred way of lead generation, Mailshake is the smart choice for your business. On this platform, you can automate, optimize, and personalize your cold emails.


Mailshake allows you to generate effective copies using its AI email writer, which tracks data from thousands of winning campaigns. It also offers loads of pre-made templates. This lead generation tool is great for many purposes, including sales development, link building, content promotion, public relations, and more.




AI Becomes a Part of Lead Generation in 2024

Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, lead generation is a complex process. It involves several repetitive tasks and creative elements, such as designing campaigns and engaging leads on different channels.


AI-powered software enables companies to conduct these operations more efficiently, saving time and optimizing resources. From automation to tracking, here are some perks of integrating AI into your lead generation plan.


  • You can automate repetitive tasks like collecting information and sorting out quality leads.
  • These tools can identify purchase patterns of different leads, helping your sales team personalize their pitch accordingly. This results in better lead nurturing and quicker conversions.
  • AI tools measure your performance in lead generation and offer actionable insights.
  • Incorporating AI into your lead generation system can help your sales team prioritize leads.
  • AI-powered data analysis helps in campaign optimization by accurately locating the ideal buyer persona for your brand.
  • These tools segment your target audience based on similarities and differences.
  • They offer customized bots to deliver real-time responses to queries.
  • AI-powered data analysis helps in campaign optimization by accurately locating the ideal buyer persona.


We hope this article provided you all the information you need to supercharge your lead generation efforts for 2023. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or want to understand how Salespanel can help!

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Categories: Marketing

Patrick Anidi

Patrick Anidi is a B2B writer who lives in Nigeria. Patrick frequently writes for Salespanel.