Whether you’re B2B or B2C, digital marketing gives you unprecedented opportunities to attract and convert leads – and inbound marketing is the undisputed king of the digital realm.
Yet, sitting at the engine of your business is lead generation.
What Is Lead Generation?
Before defining lead generation, it's important to understand what a lead is.
A lead is any person who shows some sort of interest in your company's product or service.
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting website visitors, prospects, and strangers into someone who indicated interest in your products or services.
Why Is Lead Generation Important?
Web traffic isn’t the lifeblood of your online business – leads are.
The more leads you have, the more robust your business will be. You’ll experience less “famine” and more “feast,” even if you’re a one-person shop or a lean, hungry startup. The same holds true at any scale.
15 Lead Generation Strategies to Get Your Business More Leads
When it comes to generating leads, there are a lot of different avenues you can take to reach a wide variety of people.
It's important to diversify your efforts and implement more than just one strategy to expand your reach and actually convert more people.
Here are 15 of our favorite lead generation strategies to help you grow your business.
1. Publish Interactive Content, Especially Quizzes.
Interactive content is incredibly popular in B2C, but it can also work great for B2B.
The most common interactive content in B2C is the online quiz, which gives you a little nugget of dubious personal wisdom after you answer a few quick questions.
Of course, your B2B leads don’t really need to know which Hogwarts house they would be in (the answer is Gryffindor, naturally.)
Interactive content is compelling: The cycle of input and feedback holds attention. Done wrong, however, it can be cheesy, so keep these rules in mind:
- Results should be customized, not just a generic call to contact you for details.
- Provide some actionable ideas for leads, even if they don’t follow up.
- You can require an email sign-up for your quiz, but be alert that this reduces conversions.
2. Use Product Videos and Gate Them.
Videos stand head and shoulders over other forms of content in piquing user interest.
But here’s the thing: Videos increase landing page conversions even when people don’t watch them, but simply know they’re there.
To make your video more enticing, put it behind a gate that requires users to share their email address. They’ll do it just so they don’t miss out!
3. Turn Your About Page Into a Conversion Engine.
About pages are often misused online. Older companies – those prone to treating their websites like old-fashioned product brochures – often turn these pages into long-winded speeches about the brand’s history or its leadership team.
By adding value on your About page, you turn this paradigm on its head.
A good About page tells your story in a compelling way. At the bottom of the page, visitors who need your services should be fired up about what you can do for them. Why not give them that little extra push with a call to action and enticing button?
4. Blog Consistently.
On its face, this might seem like the most common advice in the world. We consider it an out of the ordinary lead generation strategy for one obvious reason – so many brands fail to do it!
Every post you make should contain a customized CTA based on the subject matter. By blogging at least once a week, you are adding more ways for prospects to reach you.
5. Find Great Prospects on Social Media.
There are now plenty of great apps that will help you sort through social media connections and find the influencers you’re closely connected to.
You can partner with these people to broadcast your message further or even launch a joint venture where you get direct access to their mailing list. Whatever the case, the right social followers can be worth their weight in gold.
6. Launch Creative Email Lead Generation Strategies.
Email marketing is consistently ranked by marketers as one of their most valuable lead gen strategies, so it deserves to be on this list. Still, a boring email campaign is worse than none at all.
Adopt these tactics for making email lead generation more spicy:
- Enhance urgency with graphical countdown timers on email and landing pages.
- Solicit and incentivize feedback to give prospects a bigger stake in the process.
- Use list segmentation best practices to fine-slice your messaging and offers.
7. Develop More Premium Content.
Organic lead generation doesn’t have to be hard – just remember that content is king!
No matter whether they’re getting it from an ebook, webinar, or in person, people ultimately decide to give your brand their attention because of the content they can access by doing it.
Only once that trust is established do they really consider making a buy.
8. Use Remarketing to Get Eyes on Your Offers.
If you’ve got a mature paid traffic campaign ready and waiting, remarketing is one of the fastest ways you can achieve more with your existing list.
Remarketing allows you to target people who have interacted with your content in the past. These ads are smarter than the average bear: You can focus them based on exactly what content has been accessed in earlier sessions, so they tend to convert at high rates.
9. Implement AI Chatbots on Your Site.
AI chatbots are sweeping the online world, and they’re awesome when it comes to lead gen.
It might seem strange, at first, that an AI bot is more effective than a simple FAQ page. After all, they have a lot of the same information. Once again, the key is interactivity. Users feel more invested when they see their input guiding your output.
Chatbots naturally get more effective over time as they gather data from prospect interactions. Still, you should ensure that prospects can easily flip from your AI rep to a live human being and have clear lead generation strategies for each case.
10. Push SlideShare Traffic to a Landing Page.
SlideShare is a terrific tool for sharing presentation decks, especially when you’ve distilled your whitepapers, case studies, or other high-level research into PowerPoint.
Don’t forget, however, that all your presentations should be strongly branded with your website. At the end of the deck, use the opportunity to promote a special offer just for those who’ve downloaded it.
11. Get More Invested in Thought Leadership.
Good B2B web content answers a question or solves a problem.
When you’re doing that all day long, every day, it can be easy to forget that answering questions – and receiving good answers – can also be a lot of fun.
Luckily, a whole new generation of thought leadership sites is out there to help you put the fun back into showing off your expertise.
Sites like Quora and Medium focus the spotlight on a punchy question-and-answer format that lets you skip the fiddly details and go straight to the meat: Look up a question, post an answer.
Depending on your industry, you could find a rich vein of leads or a trickle. Still, by creating a closed loop that amplifies your Q&A posts on social media and email lists, Q&A can prime the pump of your content strategy. Speaking of Quora...
12. Answer Questions on Quora.
In a world where Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn get most of the social media play, Quora has emerged as the place where subject matter experts connect with people in need of real insight.
Quora allows experts from any background to build a true reputation for thought leadership by answering community questions – and that’s a great opportunity to find prospects.
13. Host Live Events.
If your prospects are largely local, getting them together can be an amazing way to ignite collaboration and garner signups.
Most people who decide to attend in-person events are “go-getters” or really, really want to be. That allows you to provide the spark that will get them to the next level – whether it means adopting a new software solution, pursuing training, or whatever else you have to offer.
Just remember: Sheer value is the key here, with soft sells waiting at least an hour.
Collecting detailed attendee information before an event will tend to scare people off, so make it easy for them to RSVP without giving up too much. Once things are rolling, you can qualify leads throughout the event and pass around a signup sheet for follow-ups at the end.
14. Pair Your Best Content with Infographics.
Although video is the king of content today, it has some serious drawbacks. It can take a lot of time, effort, and expense to produce something truly professional.
Plus, in today’s world of more “raw and authentic” livestreaming, a simple misstatement can be a PR disaster.
What’s out there that gets shared even more than video and has none of the drawbacks?
The answer is infographics.
Infographics are shared at a rate of about 3X more than any other type of content. Although they call on different skills, they offer the same polish and professionalism as your video content, without the expensive software or learning curve.
And, like quizzes, they can be used to help prospects self-qualify so they can start off enthusiastic about what you have to offer.
15. Set Up a Micro-Meeting.
Entrepreneurs in professional services, such as career coaches, have had incredible success with micro-meetings. These are quick consultations, 10 to 15 minutes in length, where you laser-focus on a single business, professional, or personal problem.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to show you have the skills to pay the bills.
What differentiates this from a regular “discovery call” is a dedication to delivering actionable value fast. You have the opportunity to build rapport quickly and can follow up in a week or two to find out how things are going – usually, the prospect needs additional personalized help.
This can be a great way to softly lead into a long-term engagement. Sometimes, it can even pole vault over most of the long sales cycle.
How to Create a Sustainable Lead Generation Process
Processes make the difference when it comes to business success. And this is why having a consistent, repeatable lead generation process is crucial to filling your pipeline with quality leads and actually scaling your business.
Luckily, the best lead generation process comes down to some simple ideas.
Here’s how you bring them together.
The first thing you need to do is stir up all those prospects out there and get them to your (online) doorstep. How do you do that?
The short answer is search engine optimization. The longer, more accurate answer is by building a digital presence that’s authentic, authoritative, and helpful.
That part of your lead generation process looks like this:
Create Amazing Content – Consistently.
To get the best content in front of the right people, you need to understand what questions and problems are driving them online.
There are dozens of great keyword research tools you can use to find out the exact search queries people are typing in online. Once you know them, then you simply need to craft mind-blowing content that connects to the deep need expressed by each query.
That content needs to be helpful, informative, and interesting – roughly in that order.
Develop Magnificent Lead Magnets.
A lead magnet is whatever you’re going to offer your prospects as a show of good faith. By accepting your lead magnet, they give you permission to contact them on a regular basis through email. That’s your “in” to truly expand the relationship.
While your website will be chock full of excellent blog content, your lead magnets should be even meatier. We’re talking things like ebooks, whitepapers, detailed how-to guides, and videos that dive deep into a specific topic your leads are hungry to learn about right now.
These lead magnets will do the heavy lifting when it’s time to convert prospects into leads.
Amplify Your Brand Voice.
Once you start pulling in the web traffic that will ultimately fuel your online revolution, it’s time to start engaging on social media. Every time you put out a new piece of content, promote it on all your social channels.
During this time, set up the analytics you’ll need to understand how your social messaging is received. Watch closely to figure out what your audience likes, when the best time to post is, and when you need to be listening to turn conversations into bonding moments.
As long as you keep plugging away at the items above, your online traffic will grow and grow.
Now, it’s time to make sure prospects can qualify and convert on your site. After all, this is what really makes it a lead generation process: transforming all that traffic into gold.
Roll Out Offers and Targeted Landing Pages.
With luck, you’ve had a slam dunk or two early on in your content strategy. Now, you need to make sure you have clear, compelling offers. Every one of your products and services needs its own focused landing page aligned with your keyword strategy.
Once you’ve defined those offers, go back through your blog posts and make sure every single one of them is funneling views to the right offer.
For right now, just do your best to follow digital marketing best practices. Done is better than perfect – and it gets you to the next step.
Implement Lead Capture Mechanisms.
No matter how eye-popping your offers are, they won’t convert on their own.
You need some stellar lead capture mechanisms to make sure you squeeze every drop of potential value out of your growing geyser of web prospects. There are plenty of methods to try here:
- Static sidebars
- Pop-up windows
- AI chatbots
Contact Continuously by Email.
When looking at a lead generation process, the jump from lead to email subscriber is only the first of many milestones leading to the sale.
With this in mind, email marketing is the next way point on the journey. That means delivering hot, fresh content straight to subscriber inboxes.
Once you've attracted the right prospects and converted them into valuable customers, take a step back and see the ways your process could improve.
When you identify areas that could be adjusted, you'll see even more lead generation for your business.
Start Performing Conversion Optimization.
Evaluating and improving different elements of your site to pump out even more conversions – that’s the goal of conversion optimization.
Your content is posted, and your conversion opportunities are up and running. Now, you need to present conversion actions in the best way.
Usually, that means A/B testing.
Get More Data and Feedback ... And Use It.
Congratulations are in order! You’ve almost certainly gotten some sales by this point. That means you have customers!
This is a fun part of your lead generation process: Get as much new info out of those folks as you can, then use it to make future efforts produce better results.
Post-sale surveys, a phone call, or a quick follow-up email can all be worthwhile here.
In the end, your lead generation process is a closed loop. Every part builds on the previous one and the final step reinforces the first.
Digital marketing itself is a cycle: One you can make faster and more effective each time you revisit it. With this basic framework in place, you’re good to go.
Finding New Ways to Get Your Message Across Is Key in Lead Generation
By focusing on lead generation, you keep your pipeline full and the sales team busy. That, in turn, energizes your brand with new customer insights and new opportunities to deliver the best service possible in your space.
Add these lead generation strategies to your mix and try them out for a quarter like you would with anything new. You’re sure to find several that will not only work well alone, but enhance your other efforts, too.