Lead generation. Sure, this is far from a new concept—the concept of gaining new customers is as old as business itself. But as industries change and evolve, so do ways of accessing new customers. Many lead generation strategies have been around for hundreds of years, and, as a result, many consumers have become skeptical and almost immune to them. Here is your guide to lead generation strategies that actually work in Lead generation is the act of creating potential customers for your business.
At its core, lead generation is simply about getting as many high-intent, high-quality potential customers in front of your business as possible. All in, lead generation goes hand-in-hand with marketing and brand exposure, though lead generation strategies will be unique in their proximity to the sales process.
Even knowing that, though, many small business owners still struggle to determine which lead generation strategies work for their company, industry, or for business size. But why? Well, paralysis of choice, for one. In this era of digital marketing , there are so many lead generation tactics. Some are impactful for sure—but many are gimmicky or, worse yet, expensive and unproductive.
Some industries are just better suited for social media lead generation tactics, while others still rely on word of mouth to generate new business. Take a look through this guide to modern lead generation strategies to help you find the right fit for your business—whether you run a brick-and-mortar boutique or a digital-only enterprise:. The best possible thing you can do to harness the power of referrals?
Get granular with your details. Sell a product or service online? Create customized referral codes for individual clients and prospects—a new client gets a discount for their first purchase, and your loyal client will get a referral discount, too. This works particularly well for online retailers. However, podcasts have stolen lots of listeners from the AM and FM dials. And content creators still need advertisers, so you can still turn listeners into leads, but with even greater potential. Which means you can identify where your audience is captive.
Own a homebrewing shop? Offering custom, injection-molded parts for airplane engines? We know. Plus, you can offer better discounts, coupons, or other enticements to get new leads to take the next step.
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Think of direct mail as your first foray into getting someone to go to your website or call you, rather than your final step in getting new clients. Sharing leads with related but not competing! But to make this tactic work now, you have to digitize these swaps to make the most of them.
But with so many different deals and discount sites, it might be worth considering seeing if your product is a fit for any national or local opportunities. But you certainly can generate new leads on them who can hopefully convert into loyal customers over time. Gone are the days where only digitally focused businesses, media companies, and tech organizations needed to impress with beautiful websites.
A website that gives visitors the clear who, what, where, and why behind your company is your best asset.
A good website is like your digital business card. That makes it difficult for any business to get their website in front of potential leads, no matter how well designed or informative it is. Basically, it puts your website in the best position to get on that first page of results. SEO might seem like a mystery to all but the most digitally savvy business owners, but the core tenets of search engine visibility actually boil down to three fairly easy-to-grasp ideas:.
Learning SEO best practices yourself is free—but if your business is in a particularly competitive market, investing in a consultation from SEO experts could provide extra value to your lead generation tactics. But for most, investing in good content and digital-savvy writers should be enough to provide you with a clear advantage. A content-based lead generation strategy—as long as that content is well optimized, that is—allows you to increase your presence in search.
Search engines give preference to websites that help answer questions quickly and simply.
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Then, you might be on your way to dominating local search. The days of free social media publicity are all but over. Most social media networks offer robust tools that can help enhance any lead generation strategy. Platforms including LinkedIn and Facebook offer one-click email submission. That allows users to submit their information at the click of a button, and gives businesses a simple way to collect info on potential leads with minimal hassle.
Other channels, like Instagram and Twitter, let companies purchase in-stream ads. These appear just like a regular post from a friend or fan page, but with the added bonus of pointing directly to a page or signup that you pick. Best of all, these advertisements usually cost pennies on the dollar if you build your audiences to be the right size and specificity. You can get there with a little practice! Email marketing lead generation is similar to content and social media lead generation strategies.
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Think of it as a content strategy smushed together with social lead capture techniques. If it works out, you get a lead generation tactic that delivers a captive audience with a stream of updates from your company or industry.
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The promise of exclusive sales, experiences, or knowledge are great draws. But make sure you keep those newsletters coming—if you can, the rewards of targeting a captive audience can lead directly to the acquisition of highly valuable leads. Are you an expert in your subject area? Then your knowledge is really valuable—so capitalize! You can offer free white paper downloads featuring your expertise and, of course, your small business to generate leads.
White papers let potential leads get specialized knowledge on-demand in exchange for their contact info. Best of all, white papers also serve a dual purpose of acting as an informative, additive sales pitch that extends beyond industry jargon and advertising copy. Offering white paper downloads in exchange for contact information makes prospective leads comfortable exchanging their details in order to receive something of value. That makes the transaction more hospitable—and who knows, you might even see your white paper passed around the industry.
Plus, they can end up being shared among peers. Another email-for-knowledge exchange is a five-minute lead generation questionnaire. Best of all, you get to learn quite a bit about the respondent in the process. Although more expensive and time-consuming, experiential lead generation tactics can really build deep, meaningful relationships with potential customers.
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