By definition, lead generation is the process of collecting contact info for potential customers with an aim to send offers for your business's products or services.
Without lead generation strategies, your business simply can’t grow. That’s why marketing specialists are ready to invest lots of time and money on various lead generation techniques.
But many businesses can’t afford an unrestricted budget and need to see results right now. If your business is one of them, we’re offering six simple and effective lead generation ideas that will help you grow an audience without breaking the bank. For a list of great lead generation tools check out this article by Uplead.
1. High-quality Content
One of the best ways to generate new leads is to blog regularly. The main purpose of your content marketing strategy is building a trustworthy relationship with your target audience, i.e. the users that are most likely to convert into leads and, eventually, into customers.
Avoid creating content that is obviously aiming to sell. Instead, focus on producing content that educates users, such as round-ups, special blog series, and how to’s. By consistently offering value, you’ll earn the users’ trust and easily convert them into customers.
High-conversion articles are usually at least 1,500 words long and contain facts, statistics, examples, charts, tables, images, and other useful information. They do take some time and effort to create but are more likely to spark interest in readers.
However, even the best content needs to be promoted if you want for people to actually discover it and read it. In fact, you should put as much effort in content promotion as in content creation.
Achieving good ranking in search results is a process. You’ll need to deploy various SEO tactics including research and distribution of relevant keywords, accumulation of backlinks from authority sites, social shares, etc. This process requires patience but if you’re persistent, results will certainly come.
2. Create a Promotional Video
Reading is great but not everyone has the time (or wants) to read articles. Today’s Internet users (65% of them) are visual and audible creatures that devour videos.
Research has found that 55% of people watch videos every day and 78% view online videos every week. It is expected that online videos will make up over 80% of the overall internet traffic by 2020.
Creating a promotional video is a great way to inform visitors about what you have to offer. Video platforms like Wistia allow you to add a CTA along with an email opt-in in your video.
Here’s what you need to have in mind when creating your promo video:
- Keep it short, ideally under 90 seconds.
- Consider creating explainer videos as well, to better describe your products or services. A study by Unbounce found that explainer videos have a lead generation rate of over 30%.
- Since promo video is the first impression visitors will get about your business, make sure it’s done right. Online tools like Animoto can be helpful but if this isn’t something you’re great at, consider hiring someone to do it for you. You can get exceptional & affordable videos on freelance platforms like People Per Hour and Fever.
3. Attend/Speak at Conferences
Find industry conferences related to your niche and make sure you attend one. This is a great way to connect with potential customers, as well as influencers in your field who could promote your brand.
To gain more exposure, you should also speak at events and conferences. This way, you’ll put your products and services in front of hundreds of people at once.
Don’t forget to end your speech with a clear CTA so that everyone interested can sign up or try your products.
4. Get Published on High-Profile Websites
Guest blogging is one of the best (free) ways to reach new audiences. Identify the websites where your target customers go and try to get featured on them. Ideally, try to get published on high-authority sites such as Huffington Post, Forbes, or TechCrunch.
Contact the editors via e-mail and offer to write a blog post related to the topics on their website.
However, be prepared to get rejected. The more established a site is, the harder it is to get featured on it. It helps if you send personalized instead of generic pitches to editors. This means finding out their first name and mentioning some of their past works in the email. Submit a few of your past works in the pitch as well, so they can see that you are able to add value to their website. Quality is your best bet in this case.
These publications are a great channel for sharing your expertise. Be careful to keep things tasteful and not to sound too salesy.
5. Use Social Media
Social networks offer a wide range of possibilities to find prospects and convert them into leads. Here are a few simple ideas:
- Add a CTA or social buttons to your newsletter. This way you allow your email subscribers to share your newsletter and help you get new subscribers.
- Create Twitter lead cards. Lead cards are Twitter’s special feature designed for lead generation. They require a single-click sign up and allow you to easily collect user emails free of charge!
- Write on LinkedIn. LinkedIn has recently opened up a publishing platform to everyone who wants to create content. Since this is a relatively new feature, it’s much easier to stand out. Pair your high-quality post with a great landing page and a strong offer to capture leads.
- Answer questions on Quora. This community site allows you to add links to your landing page or website. In other words, by answering questions on Quora you’ll easily reach leads who are seeking answers in your niche/industry.
- Use SlideShare. With over 60 mil. monthly users, SlideShare is a platform we can no longer ignore. If you’re willing to pay, their pro plan allows you to collect leads directly on the platform. You can also generate leads for free by adding links to your landing page in your profile, description, as well as in your presentations.
- Practice social listening. Find topics and hashtags on Twitter to interact with or follow and engage with people related to your business. Join relevant groups on Facebook to find prospects and engage in discussions. Avoid sounding too self-promotional by talking exclusively about your brand or sharing dozens of links. Instead, show genuine interest and offer your expertise. This way, you’ll build authentic relationships that may turn into new customers.
6. Go Mobile
Here are some numbers to illustrate the huge importance of mobile:
- In 2016, sales made on mobile devices increased by over 60% compared to the previous year.
- This year, the number of mobile devices in circulation is expected to reach 11 billion.
- Email opens on mobile have increased by 180% in 3 years.
This is why your website, including your calls-to-action, need to be optimized for mobile, not just for desktop. Make sure your mobile opt-in forms are short because mobile devices don’t allow heavy typing. If mobile users need to put too much effort in order to sign up, they’ll most likely leave.
Coming up with new and effective ways to increase the number of leads isn’t always easy.
These six tactics are free-of-charge and simple enough for anyone to deploy. And even though there’s so much more you can do when it comes to generating leads, this list will give you a good starting point to set things in motion.