The success of any business depends on its ability to generate quality leads.
Businesses that enlist effective lead generation strategies have a better chance at keeping their pipeline full with the right leads.
And, thereby, converting them to paying customers for the business with the right nurturing tactics.
Unfortunately, this is hardly the reality with most businesses. In fact, most marketers struggle with lead generation.
A recent HubSpot study found that generating leads is the top priority for most marketers. Close to 40% of marketers say generating more leads is their top priority for the next 12 months.
Image via HubSpot
The other top priority, according to Safefrog, is to convert the generated leads to customers.
Image via Safefrog
On their own, these stats show how crucial lead generation strategies are for brands and agencies.
But considering how most marketers struggle with lead generation, the need to implement a fool proof lead generation strategy is indisputable.
In this article, we’ll highlight the best lead generation strategies that will help you gain ground on your competitors in the coming months.
How Lead Generation Strategies Work
The ultimate goal of any business is to get as many customers as possible for its products and services. However, before a person becomes a customer, they start as a lead.
That said, a lead is any person who, in some way, expresses interest in the products or services of a company.
Lead generation, therefore, is the process in which brands generate interest and add prospects to their sales funnel.
As you will see in the graphic below, lead generation strategies take place in three steps, namely:
- Attracting traffic
- Getting contact information
- Lead scoring
Image via Semrush
The first step of the lead generation process is to drive relevant traffic to your marketing assets and lead magnets.
There are several ways to do this including:
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Directing social media traffic to your website
- Display ads
- Influencer marketing
When prospects land on your assets, you don’t want them to leave without giving their contact information.
But how do you collect personal contact information from people who are interacting with your brand for the first time?
Remember, leads want to hear from businesses after willingly sharing their personal information as opposed to getting random cold emails from someone who bought their contact details.
This means your lead generation strategies should be based on compensating users for their personal information. The resources you offer as compensation are called lead magnets. They include;
- Free trials
- Professional services like site audits
- Product discounts
- Free tools
As a result, you get leads for your business whenever a user shares their personal information to receive one of these resources.
For example, Attrock, a digital marketing company, uses several lead generation strategies that include lead magnets. One of these is a detailed marketing plan that users can access when they share their personal details.
Image via Attrock
When you secure a visitor’s contact data through one of these assets, you can move the lead to the next stage of the sales funnel – lead qualification.
This step is crucial since it helps you determine if a visitor is interested enough in your products or services.
Once deemed a marketing qualified lead, pass the lead on to your sales teams for subsequent nurturing through the remaining stages of the funnel.
13 Proven Lead Generation Strategies for Brands and Marketers
Lead generation strategies need to fulfill three key requirements for it to be effective:
- Provide a good experience to your potential leads
- Help you collect high-quality leads
- Make sense financially
Your lead generation strategies should not be pushy or overbearing. Instead:
- Create an environment where prospects willingly share their personal information. Hook them with resources that capture their interest or that solve the problems they face.
- Only collect the contacts of people who have the potential to buy your products. Marketing qualified leads are people who need what you are selling and have the budget to make a purchase.
- Ensure your lead generation strategies make financial sense. For instance, your business will assuredly fail if it costs you $100 to acquire a lead who only spends an average of $50 doing business with you.
Calculating your lead acquisition costs helps you strategize better for business growth. For instance, you can choose to spend more money in acquiring high-quality leads who will spend more money on your business.
That said, let’s now take a look at the best lead generation strategies that will fill your sales funnel with prospective leads.
1. Create Useful Content
The top marketing strategy for attracting new leads is to create useful content that informs and educates your audience. Helpful website content that can be added to your lead generation strategies ranges from blogs, case studies, eBooks, and FAQs.
Creating valuable content that helps your readers positions you as a thought leader in your industry. And helps you attract new leads in various ways.
First, it makes your website more discoverable on search. As a result, potential customers will find your content through search engines and have more reasons to stick around when they land on your site.
Additionally, more quality content means you have more marketing materials for your outreach. You can choose to offer gated content that users can access when they share their contact information.
For example, Attrock offers several eBooks to complement its lead generation strategies. These resources are gated and users have to provide their contact details to access them.
Image via Attrock
Most marketers make the mistake of asking for too much information when implementing lead generation strategies.
This is the easiest way to lose potential customers – people hate filling long forms. Instead, make your form simple and only ask for information that’s relevant to you.
As you can see from Attrock’s form, they only ask for the user’s name and email address. This way, it only takes visitors less than one minute to fill out the form to receive the eBook.
2. Offer Free Tools
Offering free tools like a domain analyzer and website traffic checker is a great way to generate leads.
This is because only 4% of website visitors are ready to buy. The rest just browse and leave sites when they don’t find anything interesting.
By providing your visitors with something valuable, you leave a good impression and give them a reason to come back to your website.
As a result, they’ll first come to your website whenever they need to analyze their website traffic or compress an image. Just ensure you have a plan for nurturing those leads into customers for your paid products/services.
For example, Attrock has a free image compression tool as one of its lead generation strategies.
Image via Attrock
When you add your image, the tool compresses it and makes it available for download. However, before downloading, you have to fill out a simple form with your name and email address.
Image via Attrock
3. Social Media
There are 4.6 billion active social media users. That’s a whopping 58.4% of the global population.
As a marketer, you cannot ignore social media channels as one of your lead generation strategies. Other than the large number of users, social media platforms have impressive targeting mechanisms that allow you to reach highly qualified audiences.
Other benefits of social media for lead generation include:
- The ease with which you can establish trust through connections and relationships with online communities
- Enhanced search performance through links from your social media sites
- Decreased dependency on search engines as you have a large number of followers on social media
- The ability to understand what customers want from your products/services through group interactions
That said, let’s now review the lead generation strategies you can use on social media.
Present Compelling Offers
Sharing the right incentives on social media can compel visitors to give their personal information.
For this, you want to create enticing offers for your audience. This could be anything from a free tool, product trial, or research report.
You can also share discount codes, white papers, case studies, and invitations to a webinar.
Forrester tweeting a prediction for 2021 in the form of a GIF and asking users to download the report is an excellent example.
Image via Twitter
The company uses an ordinary social media post to create interest in its gated content to generate leads.
Share Customer Testimonials on Social Media
Next up in our lead generation strategies for social media is customer testimonials.
Sharing customer testimonials on social media gives brands the social proof they need to attract new leads. Showcase how past clients have benefited from your services to demonstrate your value.
A Wyzowl study found that 2 out of 3 people are likely to buy a product after watching a testimonial.
IBM often shares testimonials of people who have benefited from its services. The Tweet below shows how its P-TECH initiative is helping students start a career in STEM.
Image via Twitter
Use these social media design tips to turn your customer reviews into engaging animated videos.
Launch Targeted Ads
Social media ads are a powerful tool for generating leads. Facebook is particularly impressive with its advanced targeting capabilities allowing you to reach your target audience.
Facebook Lead Ads are similar to LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms in that they also allow you to attach several lead magnets such as:
- Newsletter subscriptions
- Deals, discounts, coupons, etc
- Product demos
- Interest generation forms
The example below shows Facebook’s Lead Ads in action.
Image via Facebook
The image shows Jasper’s Market ad inviting users to fill out a form to schedule a test drive.
They are offering the test drive for free in exchange for contacts of people who may be interested in buying a car in the future.
4. Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
PPC is another impressive tactic to include in your lead generation strategies.
Your customers use search engines to find the products they need. Google search ads put your business in front of such users, making it one of the best lead generation strategies for online businesses.
There's a common misconception that PPC only works for e-commerce businesses, but that's not entirely true.
PPC can be used by almost any business that wants to maintain a consistent supply of inbound leads into its funnel.
Insurance and financial companies, as well as those that provide B2B software are examples of businesses that use lead generation strategies often.
By running targeted lead campaigns, such companies collect valuable leads that they nurture into new customers.
If you want to give Google ads a try, here are certain things to keep in mind to improve the performance of your lead generation campaign.
- Entice users with offers – Provide something in exchange for the visitor's contact. This can be a guide, white paper, or report.
- Conduct keyword research – Since every click costs money, make sure to bid for the right keywords. Use the best SEO audit tools to measure the performance of your search campaigns.
- Write engaging copy – Use action words to encourage visitors to act.
- Use a focused landing page – Highlight the benefits of your products and why visitors should give you their contact data. Use primary and secondary call-to-actions to increase opt-in opportunities.
SEO is not as fancy as the lead generation strategies we have talked about, but is still a very useful addition to your marketing arsenal . However, you need to be on top of your game to excel with SEO as a lead generation strategy.
SEO complements your lead generation strategies by helping you rank on SERPs for relevant keywords. Appearing on the first page of Google increases the awareness of your company, thus making it easy for your customers to find you.
This will help you drive organic traffic to your site, lead magnets, and other marketing assets.
So, how do you use SEO as a lead generation tactic? The following lead generation strategies come to mind:
Perform Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation of successful SEO.
It involves identifying the phrases your customers use when looking for your products online.
Once you identify these terms, use them in your content to ensure your customers can locate you when they query search engines
Create a Blog With Search-Optimized Content
Setting up a blog with SEO-optimized content is an effective way to use SEO to generate more leads.
Similarly, by regularly publishing content on your blog, you essentially add more keywords, links, multimedia, and backlinks that improve your search ranking.
Here are our top tips for optimizing your blog posts;
- Use keywords
- Publish regularly
- Use subheadings
- Add links
- Format content appropriately
Increase Site Speed
Your search ranking is also affected by the speed at which your website loads.
Google intends to provide its users with the best user experience. As such, it will not recommend websites that take too long to load.
Implement these lead generation strategies to increase your website speed;
- Make your site mobile responsive
- Use a reliable host
- Optimize your images to load quickly
- Fix broken links
- Remove unnecessary plugins
6. Retarget Visitors with Ads
Most people who come to your website will not become leads straight away – and that’s okay. But this doesn’t mean you should give up on them. Ensure to use retargeting to stay on top of their mind.
Unlike paid ads that can be based on different criteria, retargeting shows your ads to people who have interacted with your website in the past regardless of their location or occupation.
For example, if you visited an e-commerce store and clicked on one of the products without buying, you will likely see an ad from the company when you log into Facebook.
The image below is an example of a retargeting ad that showed up on a user’s timeline. The user visited Google's website looking for certificate courses in digital marketing.
They left the site without buying a course. Moments later, the user logged into Facebook and came across Google’s ad for its Digital Marketing & E-commerce course.
Image via Facebook
7. Live Chat
Live chat is one of the best lead generation strategies your business can use right now.
When people come to your website, they usually have questions before making a purchase. Engaging them through live chat is a great way to connect with them and capture their interest.
MobileMonkey exemplifies how to use live chat to collect leads with its live chat that pops up when you land on the website.
The chatbot introduces itself and asks users to choose a topic they need more help with.
Image via MobileMonkey
When users choose a topic, the bot shares more information on that topic. It then invites them to do a simple survey to understand the topic in great detail.
Upon completion of the survey, the chatbot notifies the visitor that it would like to send them more resources on that topic. Interested users then give their contact details to receive the content.
Image via MobileMonkey
8. Host Webinars
More than half of B2B marketers (53%) say that webinars produce the most high-quality leads out of all top-of-the-funnel lead generation strategies.
This makes sense because webinars provide specific information in exchange for user attention and contact details.
Not only will you learn the topics that are valuable to your target audience, but you will also be able to reach them to nurture new sales leads.
YNAB (You Need A Budget) implements different lead generation strategies but none is as effective as the free webinars they offer.
The webinars are meant for public consumption but are tied to their mobile app which helps users with their personal finances.
Image via YNAB
But before adding webinars to your lead generation strategies, there are certain things you need to do to ensure the success of the workshop.
First, conduct audience research to understand the issues that are important to your users.
What problems do your customers face? What are the most pressing issues in your industry at the moment?
Next, state the unique solution you intend to provide through the webinar. In the example above, YNAB explains how difficult it is to manage one's finances.
After stating the problem, they give their unique solution which is a live session with YNAB teachers. The session will provide step-by-step guidance on budgeting.
Lastly, you want to add a button that allows users to register for the webinar. YNAB has a “Sign Up Now” button for that purpose.
9. Try Video Marketing
Video marketing should also be added to your online lead generation strategies for various reasons. First, video-sharing services like YouTube also act like search engines where visitors come with a purpose.
Secondly, the platforms have lots of active users that you can reach with your brand messaging. For example, YouTube has 122 million daily active users who watch an average of 16 minutes and 44 seconds of content per day.
Thirdly, people prefer tutorials, product presentations, and unboxing videos to reading manuals. This is because videos are easy to digest and deliver the intended information more quickly than other forms of communication.
These factors make video marketing a useful addition to your lead generation strategies. To improve the performance of your videos on video marketing platforms, do the following:
- Optimize your video content for search by adding relevant keywords to your description
- Add hashtags to improve discoverability
- Create compelling thumbnails for your videos
- Include captions in your videos
10. Use the Right Tools
How much do you know about your site visitors? Do you know how they navigate your website and the pages they frequent? What do visitors do before they fill out a lead conversion form?
If you cannot provide answers to these questions, chances are you are struggling with your lead generation strategies. That’s why you need to get the right lead generation tools that provide you with all the answers you need.
Successful digital marketing teams have formal systems for collecting, sorting and storing sales leads.
With the help of lead generation software, companies can plan and optimize their lead generation strategies.
Different tools will help you implement specific lead generation functions on your site. They include:
- All-in-one lead generation software that combines marketing automation, form builders, email marketing, and CRM
- Form builders to drive your lead generation strategies
- Landing page builders
- CRM software
- Email marketing automation tools
- Marketing automation software
11. Create Relevant Offers for All Stages of the Buyer’s Journey
Your site visitors are at different stages of the buying cycle. Some have just discovered your website and want informational pieces like a guide.
Others are ready to buy, but want a demo or free trial to get a feel of your product.
To provide the best user experience, ensure you design relevant offers for each stage of the buying cycle. Similarly, provide CTAs for these offers to make it easier for users to take full advantage of them.
Of course, creating valuable and relevant offers for your lead generation strategies is hectic, but you will lose customers if you don’t provide them with anything that nurtures them down the funnel.
Some of the relevant and effective offers you can use for the different stages of the customer cycle include:
- Product trials
- Cheat sheets
12. Work With Influencers
Influencer marketing has grown to become a popular B2C marketing strategy for brands that target younger customers. However, it has also proven to one of the effective B2B lead generation strategies for agencies.
To succeed with influencer marketing, you need to ensure you’re working with relevant creators. Don’t go for an influencer just because they are popular.
Instead, pick an influencer who matches your goals and has a loyal following with the consumers you are trying to reach.
Ask the influencer to promote your products on their platforms and share lead forms with interested parties.
13. Regular Testing
As you implement the different lead generation strategies, ensure you are constantly testing different campaign elements to know which version has the best impact.
A/B testing eliminates guesswork from your campaign optimization efforts and allows you to make informed decisions.
Rather than using one version of a landing page element for an entire campaign, A/B testing allows you to compare different versions to see which one drives business metrics.
For example, you can test different layouts of your landing page CTA to see which one generates more clicks. You can have different wordings for the CTA and button layouts.
Implementing the winning variations of the tested elements will help you optimize your lead generation strategies and increase your ROI.
The campaign elements you need to test regularly include:
- Copy for your headlines and subheadlines
- Ad content body
- Design and layout
Q1. What’s a lead?
A. A lead is any person who, in some way, indicates interest in the products or services of a company.
Q2. What is lead generation?
A. Lead generation is defined as the process of generating customer interest in a product. You generate more leads by capturing user information through lead generation strategies like forms on landing pages.
Q3. What are the best lead generation strategies for online businesses?
A. Successful lead generation strategies will fill your sales pipeline with high quality leads that you can nurture into customers. They include:
- Creating useful content
- Offering free tools
- Social media marketing
- Pay-per-click campaigns
- Video marketing
Q4. Are there tools to help me with my lead generation strategies?
A. Yes, there are many free and paid tools for your lead generation strategies. These tools will help you collect, organize, and store your lead.
Q5. What next after generating leads?
A. The next step after implementing lead generation strategies is lead scoring. This is where you access a lead to see if it is interested enough in your product. Once you determine a lead is marketing qualified, pass them to the sales team for nurturing.
Ready to Start Generating High Quality Leads?
When it comes to generating leads, it helps to be open and try as many lead generation strategies as you can.
Each tactic mentioned in this post gives you an opportunity to put your business in front of a wider audience.
Use the examples we have highlighted to come up with fresh ideas for your lead generation strategies.
Feel free to get in touch if you need more help generating quality leads for your business.
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