Building a lead generation strategy is not for the faint of heart.
But, if you’re not consistently generating leads for your business, sooner or later you are going to regret it.
Generating qualified, targeted leads is essential to the wellbeing of every business, but what is lead generation about, exactly?
What is a Lead Generation Strategy
A lead generation strategy is a set of marketing activities implemented to actively attract potential customers to your business to convert them into clients.
An effective strategy is structured in several stages and it involves different activities, from the generation of traffic, the acquisition of the lead and the conversion into a client.
The last stage of the process is clearly the dearest to most businesses, up to the point that 70% of marketers say that converting leads into customers is their most important priority.
Even though converting leads into customers is what determines the final success of a lead generation strategy, the real main challenge for most marketers, is to generate highly qualified leads in the first place.
In fact, when it comes planning a lead generation strategy, it’s easy to get lost in old ideas and obsolete best practices. As anything else in the online marketing space, lead generation strategies are subject to the exponential growth of the market.
Therefore, marketers need to adapt and be constantly looking for the most efficient ways to generate the best leads.
4 Ways to Generate the Best Leads
If you are one of those marketers, looking for inspiration to generate more qualified leads, these are 4 ideas that will make you rethink your strategy:
#1 CONTENT MARKETING
The “Content marketing is king” statement is now largely supported by numbers.
More than half of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority, and a 45% of them refers to content marketing as the most effective online lead generation strategy.
If that wasn’t enough, a research by Demand Metric shows that doing content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and it generates approximately 3 times as many leads.
Photo from Search Engine Journal
That said, a content marketing strategy is not necessarily easy to implement since it includes a variety of content types that goes from blog posts, to lead magnet, videos, webinars, podcasts and so forth.
As you can see in the chart above, some type of content performs better than other.
But it’s important to consider that, as the market gets more and more saturated, the way people consume content changes.
Many marketers are investing a lot in video content for their content marketing strategy.
The numbers of active users on the two main video platforms, Facebook and YouTube, are a great incentive with respectively 2 billion and 1.5 billion monthly users.
Monthly Active Users on Social Media
Regardless of the type of content you choose to implement in your strategy, the most important idea to take away is that quality content production drives quality lead generation.
Investing in producing original and useful content will set you apart from the huge amount of mediocre content shared every day.
#2 ONE-PAGER LEAD MAGNET
The kind of lead magnet offered then becomes crucial.
Considering that most of the people are generally busy and might not have the time to read a 50-pages long ebook, a better option is to create a “one-pager” lead magnet, a very short document that cuts straight to an ultra-specific solution to a very specific problem that your readers have.
The goal is promising your leads solving that problem by giving them a practical list of things to do or by giving them practical tools to make their life easier.
A few examples of one-pager lead magnets to offer are:
A checklist is a list of actionable points that your audience can follow and apply to grow their business in some aspect (eg. how to us drone footage for real estate marketing videos)
2. List of tools
A list of tools is simply a list of resources to increase a prospect’s ability to level his business up or simplify his day to day work-life (eg. a collection of online tools or services free to use).
A mind map is a simple way to visually organize information and to help someone to better understand a process so that they can go through it by themselves. It is like a flowchart, where people are guided step by step to a procedure that will get them from point A to point B (eg. how to properly set up an e-commerce store).
A template is a pre-designed model to produce a more effective, nice-looking and professional output. They are usually highly appreciated because they are easy to customize without needing technical skills (eg. sales email template).
#3 QUORA & MEDIUM
Diversification is key to succeed in the lead generation game.
Today’s online market allows marketers to leverage different channel of communications to attract potential clients, for example by answering questions or participating in communities threads with valuable insights.
Two rapidly growing platforms to implement this subtle marketing strategy with the goal to generate qualified leads, are Quora and Medium.
Both platforms are largely populated by highly educated people, but for different purposes:
Quora is a community where you get to answer the most relevant questions about your industry.
To understand its huge potential for lead generation, it’s important to consider this data: 55% of consumer would pay more to have a better customer experience and “89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service”.
That says a lot about how much customer service weights to the success of a business relationship.
On Quora, potential customers are constantly asking for help about some issues that they are facing.
A tremendous opportunity for marketers to serve them, simply by providing useful answers, before they even know about your business. A very effective strategy to win their trust since the very beginning.
A few tips for an effective Quora lead generation are:
The first thing users do after receiving a good answer from a contributor is to check his/her profile.
It’s important to optimize your profile to inspire trust.
Use a nice picture and edit your description, by sharing few words about yourself and the company you work for.
The profile can be edited similarly to the home page or welcome page of your website, including social proof, collaborations or particularly important achievements in your field of specialization.
Also, add some link to your landing pages, courses or free resources to drive traffic to your best content.
Include as well your social media contacts so that people can find you outside of Quora.
Last but not least, make a promise of how you can bring value to the community.
Most people on Quora are simply looking for the best advice in the shortest amount of time.
The best practice to succeed on it is to answer specifically to the actual question by cutting straight to the point you want to make.
Answers including bullet points and short paragraphs usually perform better and receive the most upvotes.
Consistency + Tracking
Consistency is important on Quora, to establish your authority in the crowded user base of 100 million people.
By consistently providing valuable answers in specific categories related to your niche market, there is a good chance to end up among the “Most Viewed Writers”, which reinforce your position as a leader and generate more traffic to your profile/website.
Track the traffic with UTM links to understand what specific article you linked is performing better, and leverage it more as you continue your activity on Quora.
Medium is trending social media platform that is steadily gaining its spotlight as a place for marketers to share their content.
The power of the platform lies in the fact that, unlike sharing blog posts on your company’s website, on Medium you are part of a community where people can discover your content or have it shared on their personal feed, if its relevant to their interests.
Share good stories
As an increasing number of businesses have access to online advertising platforms and social media communication, marketing messages are more likely to fall flat under repetitive generic words and expressions.
Medium, on the other hand, gives the publisher the quite unique opportunity to break free from the usual pattern and actually share real stories and insights around the business.
Since the platform rewards quality sharing, writing stories about “behind the scenes” insights on how your company had to deal with some initial struggles, how it adapted to new circumstances or how it managed to succeed and accomplish positive results, it’s likely to pay off.
The reason why stories can have a huge impact on other people, sometimes more than any other marketing message, is that stories allow other people to understand the emotions and the “why” behind your company’s efforts.
Focus on the important metrics
The stories on Medium are shared in order of quality and interestingness according to the number of “Claps” and views but and the “Read Ratio”, meaning how long people have read about the story.
However, longer articles tend to have lower “Read Ratio” compared to short articles, but they can generate more “Fans” and therefore be considered of higher quality.
A general rule of thumb is to write stories that range from 400 to 2000 words, but remember that value beats any metric.
Depending on what kind of business you run, you can push to publish your stories in one of the many highly targeted Medium publications.
There are two ways to achieve that, the first one is to simply being picked by the publication itself, the second is by outreaching to them.
In any case, a fair amount of time should be spent reading and confirming your writing style to the editorial guidelines of the publication you are interested in.
Call people to act
Every time you craft a good story to share, insert some call to action in the middle of the story and at the end of it.
A call to action can be a link to drive people back to your website or simply the request to give a “Clap” to the article (the way people can show appreciation on Medium, similarly to the like on Facebook).
Since the platform itself is not meant as a way to promote yourself, generally speaking, always use informal and sincere copywriting to do that.
If used correctly, these two social media platform can generate a lot of quality traffic to your website.
Even if 96% of your visitors are usually not ready to buy from you yet, bringing them to your website from places like Quora and Medium catalyzes the process to convert them first into leads and then into customers.
#4 LIVE EVENTS
Online lead generation is a source of value for many businesses but combined with offline events it doubles its power.
Organizing business meetups, workshops or any kind of events around your niche market by using Event Management Software such as Eventbrite, is a solid way to generate new qualified leads.
People attending your live events show a strong interest in what you do.
To take the most out of live events, it’s important to set up email marketing campaigns before and after the event.
Normally, the people subscribing to the event list by buying the ticket, only receive a confirmation email with their ticket attached. It’s a good idea to warm things up by sending a welcome email right away after their subscription.
Then once the event is over, right when the lead is engaged the most, it’s crucial to send a follow-up email to sell your product or service, maybe with a special discount offer.
The best way to do this is to automate your email communication by syncing your Event Management software to your Email Marketing software so that you don’t have to do it manually.
A Successful Lead Generation Strategy is Not Built Overnight…
But implementing the right ideas can really make a big difference for a business growth and revenues.
In an increasingly competitive market, the goal should always be to work smarter and not harder.
He has a strong passion for sales and marketing and his aim is to have the opportunity to collaborate with companies, helping them to expand their business and at the same time have the chance to acquire new knowledge for his personal and professional development.