A typical lead generation process is pretty gruelling. From getting an email list together to sending out cold emails and waiting for responses, the traditional tactics just don’t seem to work for making people talk to your business or even try doing so. That’s why we put together a list of creative lead generation strategies that have worked wonders for businesses and are definitely worth giving a shot!
Creative lead generation strategies
While there are plenty of ways to generate more leads for your business, we go by one rule to ensure that no effort goes wasted – add value to your prospects. Here are some strategies that will give creative twist to your lead generation process and still deliver the best of results!
1. Hack your search engine optimization with customer reviews
It goes without saying that search engines still remain the top most source for businesses to generate more leads. No matter what industry or niche you are in, SEO needs to play a core part in all your lead generation strategies.
While you’re optimizing your website with the right set of keywords, pushing out content on regular basis and working on link building, here’s the hack that you have been missing out on – customer reviews.
Now review platforms have a strong presence on the search engines as they get indexed regularly. This makes them a great platform for you to get your business noticed by the right people.
To begin with this SEO hack, you might need to reach out to your existing customers and encourage them to drop reviews for your product/ service. This won’t just get your brand noticed on the channels, but also serve as a social proof to all the other consumers who are looking for similar solutions and haven’t discovered what you offer yet.
Take for instance the first thing you do when looking for a product. You ask for a few recommendations from friends and then go online to check their reviews!
Takeaway: The more positive customer reviews you have, the greater are the number of leads you generate.
2. Share success stories from the industry
The one thing that is definitely going to add more value to your prospects, is sharing secret hacks that have proven to work in their industry. Lead generation strategies that keep the prospect’s interest in mind have proven to work 10X better than those that don’t!
It might take you a little more time to dive deeper and find such success stories, but they can actually make for great posts that can be a part of your lead generation strategies for a long time – both organic, and paid.
Take for instance, this case study on Intercom’s success. Since everyone is already aware of what Intercom does and looks up to the product in many ways, this one piece of content got Sumo 221 social media shares in no time. And the number of people who subscribed to their blog or signed up for a free trial by the end of the post, still increasing in number.
3. Make use of video content
There’s a lot of content being shared on the internet. Right from social media posts to even the blogs that businesses are publishing every day, a typical internet user has a lot to consume and is often looking for formats that can make it quicker for them to get the information they are seeking. Now, what’s better than visual content in this scenario?
Using videos in your lead generation strategies, can lead to a 144% increase in the number of leads you generate online.
But then again, you can’t get away with just about anything. These videos need to be able to add more value to your prospects and help them make an informed decision about something or offer a solution they have been looking for. If you stick to just promotional videos, you’ll lose their attention in just a few seconds.
-> Make videos around common challenges of your target audience
-> Create product how-tos and guides
-> Share expert interviews
-> Record whiteboard sessions to address common industry concerns (a great example is the Moz Whiteboard series)
4. Create a quiz for your prospects
When you reach out to your prospects with a proposition of helping them understand more about themselves, they’ll be more interested in interacting with you. It’s pretty much similar to how Buzzfeed is able to engage you with their quizzes; just that these will lead your prospects to valuable insights and actionables.
Create a quiz that lets your website visitors easily participate in a subject that they have been doing their research on.
For instance, if your business offers a solution for content marketers, offer a quiz that lets product marketers see how much they know about inbound marketing. The quiz could cover different aspects of content marketing, like best practices, metrics and more, that lead the participant to understanding how effective their current strategies are.
Quizzes have now become a part of lead generation strategies for many businesses. The strategy has seen a 50% conversion rate for many businesses.
-> Establish a rapport with the prospect before presenting the quiz
-> Be extremely relevant about what the quiz has to offer
-> Focus on how you design the quiz
-> Ensure it is easy and quick for a prospect to complete the quiz
-> Solve a problem for one person to encourage more participation
-> Tip more results towards a positive insight (feel good factor always works)
-> Make result sharing really easy and worthwhile
Here’s an interesting video from the conversion expert, Neil Patel, on using quizzes in a lead generation process:
5. Address the most difficult challenge
As of today, almost every business has set aside resources for content marketing. They are doing their best to create content for possibly everything that their target market could be looking for.
Irrespective of the industry or niche you are in, it is obvious that your target market is shared with at least 10 other businesses, and each one of you is going to do their best at gaining this audience’s attention. That’s where the importance of standing out comes in.
You could follow the same old approach of addressing your audience with generic content around your industry, or you could first analyse and see what’s not covered before. Take stock of what concerns and challenges your competitors have already addressed, and what your audience is still looking for.
Pick out the most difficult challenge and create an actionable piece content around it. You will not just be the only one to rank as solution for that concern, but also establish a rapport with your audience as someone who knows what they are doing.
6. Share your own secret hacks
Want to establish your authority, and at the same time also generate leads? Become someone who is willing to share their success secrets with the target market.
For example, if you have successfully nailed getting more traffic to your website, create an in-depth blog around it that shares the tactics that you made use of. Better still, add actual screenshots of analytics wherever possible. Here’s how Buffer used this approach:
Just look at the number of comments and shared that they received on this post.
While you’re giving this information without expecting to generate a lead, it makes the reader trust you more for receiving such content pieces even in the future – and that makes them convert on your lead generation call-to-action.
7. Offer a downloadable
A downloadable, also known as a content upgrade is basically a content piece that dives deeper into a topic that is valuable to your target market.
Now, when you’re publishing blogs on your website, you’re building awareness around your brand and how you know the industry you’re addressing. But sometimes, that’s not enough – particularly because everybody else is doing the same.
But when you add an actionable, downloaded content piece that adds more value to this blog, your reader becomes more likely to convert.
For instance, when Intercom hit success, they knew that a lot of their audience – startups, were looking for a way to incorporate the same strategies that they made use of. So they launched their book, ‘Intercom on Marketing’ – the rest, you already know!
Today, their series of books are a part of their lead generation strategies across all channels.
Depending on the resources available to you, you can alternatively create downloadable checklists or worksheets too. The idea is to create a content upgrade that is as close as possible to what your target market is looking for, and can make use of actively.
8. Create an email course
Similar to content upgrades or downloadables, email courses are becoming a popular lead generation tactic. For a busy professionals particularly, getting quick actionables or information in their inbox on a day-to-day basis, is any day better than having to read an entire ebook.
This approach works well in lead generation strategies that revolve around covering an in-depth topic and adding value to the target market.
For example, Buffer has an interesting social media course on emails. It spans over 25 days and they send across one strategy every day. It gives their subscribers enough time to understand the one strategy, implement and test it, before they are presented with the next one. Check the course out, here.
9. Host an interesting giveaway
Another one of the lead generation strategies that can work like magic, is hosting an interesting giveaway. However, they also increase the chances of you getting junk leads that don’t fit into any one of your customer personas or segments.
That’s why you need to ensure that the giveaway is offering something that is extremely relevant to only your target market.
For instance, if you’re a marketing automation company. You can host a simple giveaway asking marketers to share their experience with marketing automation on their social media profiles. The one that gets the most engagement, is the one who gets to win about 3 months of free use of your tool!
10. Offer a free trial or a personalized demo
A typical internet consumer always tends to be skeptical about interacting with a product or even subscribing to its basic plan. And that is totally understandable. Instead of losing such a consumer, why not incorporate their behaviour in your lead generation strategies?
For instance, offer a free trial or a personalized demo to this website visitor. It gives them a chance to get their concerns addressed by you during the demo or simply try out your product before a bigger commitment.
There are innumerable lead generation strategies that you could make use of today. But the baseline for success still remains ‘adding more value to your target market.’
For your lead generation process to work effectively, you need to understand who your target audience is, what they are looking for, what exactly can you offer them and how, and what the best way for converting them is.
What other interesting lead generation strategies have you seen or used for your business? We’d love to hear about them.