What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting your target audience and prospects into the sales funnel with the goal of converting prospects into paying customers.
One of the benefits of content marketing and biggest ROIs is the ability to generate leads for your business.
Below are a variety of tactics marketers can utilize to generate leads and encourage your prospects to sign up for your lead generation offers.
12 Unique Lead Generation Ideas for 2018
1. Social proof drives newsletter signups
Today, consumers are overloaded with information and offer to sign up for newsletters, coupons, and more. Without an incentive that says your newsletter is worthwhile, would you subscribe?
Utilizing social proof in your offer reduces the trepidation of handing over personal information.
Based on the image below, would you sign up for this newsletter? The social proof adds credibility to the offer, doesn’t it?
2. Add a referral bonus in your email
Everyone loves free swag and the possibility of winning something substantial. A quick way to motivate your readers to share your content with their friends and family and peers it to incentive them.
Now, I know your thinking; this is going to cost me a lot of money. That’s not necessarily true, try offering an additional discount to subscribers for referring your business or newsletter to their social network with a coupon for them to share in return for the referral.
Every business has the goal to have new customers in their shop and the opportunity to demonstrate why you should be the preferred go-to company for their needs.
3. Don’t make customers wait to engage with you. Consider adding a chat function to your website.
I’m a big fan of Drift; their product offering exceeds any other chat on the market today.
Today, technology allows you to free up your customer service representative and receive real-time feedback and follow up to close the sale. The key is to follow up and ideally within 24 hours and no longer.
4. Partner up with complementary product offerings outside of your area of expertise
Ever been on a website researching a product or service, and have the site offer you a discount or other on a complementary product?
Imagine that your website did this, would you hold the viewer’s interest?
This can be a simple discount code in a blog article of a company you interview that is complementary to your product or service. Ideally, this is a reciprocal relationship and drives traffic to both companies websites.
Use your imagination; the possibilities are unlimited. This is an opportunity for shared leads that benefits both companies and creates a long-term partnership.
5. Repurpose your content
Despite the ongoing debate around gated content, very few companies create content that engages their target audience to get them to sign up for a newsletter or lead generation source.
Utilizing transparency, creativity and repurposing content that is educational and enlightens you can quickly engage an audience that may not be as committed as current subscribers.
For example, take existing content and repurpose it:
- As a deck or SlideShare of the main takeaways and pitch the deck to media outlets.
- Highlight the main findings, concussion, along with the backstory into a blog post of a market study.
- Offer the complete findings and details in a gated PDF or infographic.
Every piece of content has its purpose with the ultimate goal of engaging readers interests so that they download the details and conclusion of the research.
6. Early adopters will reveal the barriers to success
Do you have a firm handle as to why consumers or website visitors are engaging with your content? If not, how do you know that you are delivering the best user experience (UX) possible?
Have you tried recruiting early adopters using a landing page and incentivizing them for feedback?
Incentives can be as simple as a gift card or early access to a new feature or the ability to test drive a new model before the public can. You’ll be surprised how early adopters will respond to an offer and offer ongoing feedback to an offer that peaks their interest or makes them feel special.
Then its a matter of asking the right questions:
- Did you find the content useful?
- Did you find what you were looking for?
- What was lacking?
- What improvements would you suggest?
7. Use exit-intent popups to recapture lost site visitors
There are many reasons why a potential customer leaves a website, from not finding the information they are after, to low-quality content to typing an incorrect URL.
Before a customer leaves, offer an exit-intent popup.
You’re probably wondering what exactly is an exit-intent popup?
This is a ‘final’ offer of assistance or a coupon for them to continue shopping, it can range from a percentage off to free shipping.
The goal of an exit-intent popup is to attempt to recapture the disengaged user before they leave your website.
Take a look at the Quicksprout example below. The exit popup appears just as the visitor is scrolling to close the browser; it is a full-screen experience offering the level of information on the website and the ability to sign up for their newsletter.
8. Let your customer see what goes on behind-the-scenes
Not every business has the ability, resources or capacity to offer free trials or demos for a myriad of reasons.
Consider a gated video that allows the consumer to get behind the scene and see activities or a demo that they would not see otherwise. For example, an auto dealer could show a quick video of how they match paint for body repair post an accident or how the “brain” of a car works and the diagnostics.
9. Webinars are a win-win when deployed correctly
Webinars are an effective onboarding and retention tool to positioning your brand as a thought leader in its market.
Webinars cover specific topics with high-quality insights from subject matter experts; this enables you to capture critical prospect information. This information ranges from full name, work email, company name, and role, direct phone number and revenue. This allows you to qualify the quality of the lead qualification and potential revenue for your company.
10. Use CRM and email lists for lookalike audiences
Think about this; you’ve already invested significant resources and money into your current customers, haven’t you?
Then why not use your CRM data to target high-value users and customers?
It’s as easy as downloading a CSV file and uploading the file to social media, LinkedIn and similar to create a lookalike audience the mirrors your current customer base. The critical aspect here is to keep an eye on the click-through rate (CTR), cost per thousand (CPM) and conversion rate (CR) and optimize the paid media campaign.
11. Personalize the user experience
Today you hear more and more about personalization.
The current thought is that if you can’t customize the user experience based on the clues they leave for you as they travel across the web, they’ll be more than likely to take their business to a competitor.
Today, with the use of contextual data ranging from traffic source, device, location, weather and browsing history (if they are a returning visitor and you are retargeting them) you can personalize the experience based on this information.
See how Demandbase personalizes the experience for Acxiom in the example below.
12. Retarget website visitors with content
It takes a potential customer about seven experiences and exposures to your brand before they make a purchase. So, don’t get upset if they don’t purchase on the first or fifth visit to your website, the key here is to have patience and stay consistent.
This is where retargeting comes into play. By retargeting your potential customer, you speed up the adoption curve.
Typically people assume retargeting means ads; I prefer to continue to add value and retarget with high-quality content that is on the company blog.
By retargeting users who have visited high-intent web pages on your website with related content recommendations that bring them back into the content funnel allowing you to continue to add value with quality educational articles.
Wrapping It Up
Content marketing is far more than blog articles; it is the ability to educate and enlighten your potential customer and repurpose this content to continue to re-engage with them.
Content drives the funnel and when done correctly is a valid and economical lead generation tool.
Every piece of content on your website can easily be a lead generation tool. Every piece of content can be shared on social media, broken down into a storyboard and posted on a schedule. Or turned into a video and posted on YouTube and used as a lead generation with YouTube users.
Content leads your sales funnel and lead generation is a critical part of the process.
The content marketing is simply added value upfront and help you fill the funnel with new prospects.