As a small business owner, you need a steady flow of new customers. Developing high quality leads can make the difference between your business thriving or floundering without a customer base. To do this, you need a solid lead generation strategy.
Successful lead generation campaigns use a variety of lead generation tactics working together to reach prospective customers and move them into your sales funnel. Learn more about lead generation and the wide range of strategies you can use to generate leads for your business.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of finding and cultivating potential customers. Lead generation involves identifying prospective leads, obtaining contact information, prioritizing leads, and handing these leads off to sales teams. The purpose of lead generation is to attract new leads through a variety of techniques, such as lead magnets, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, and referral programs.
Creative lead generation ideas
- Reward referrals
- Use lead magnets
- Produce video content with CTAs
- Optimize your content for search engines
- Create a blog or newsletter
- Launch a podcast
- Collaborate and cross-promote
Here are some effective lead generation ideas you can consider for your business:
Referral programs incentivize existing customers to recommend your product or service to people in their network. When a customer joins your referral program, they receive a unique link they can share with their friends and family, or post on social media along with their recommendation. When new customers buy a product or service through the link, the person who made the referral receives a reward. These can include free products or services, discounted rates, and exclusive access to new content or events.
You can also encourage your customers to participate in word-of-mouth marketing on social media platforms by rewarding user-generated content featuring your brand.
Use lead magnets
A lead magnet is a powerful lead generation tool companies use to capture contact information from prospective customers in exchange for a free asset, tool, or resource. Feature your lead magnets on crucial landing pages on your website and make it easy for customers to input their information. Only ask for necessary information, like email addresses. Lengthy forms can deter website visitors from engaging with lead magnets.
Make sure your lead magnet offers something useful to your target customers. For example, you could perform market research relevant to your industry and offer exclusive market research reports in exchange for contact information. You could ask visitors to fill in a survey to learn which of your products are best suited for them. Other valuable content could include access to an exclusive ebook, or a free tool like an app, quiz, template, or infographic.
Produce video content with CTAs
Another lead generation idea is to produce entertaining and informational videos to earn organic traffic on platforms like YouTube. Viewers can turn into qualified leads by clicking on call-to-action (CTA) buttons embedded in the videos, video descriptions, and channel pages. These buttons can direct viewers to sign up for newsletters, create an account, or perform other actions, giving you access to their contact information. CTAs can also lead viewers to product and service pages, social media pages, or other relevant landing pages.
Launching your own YouTube channel can take time but also can have significant payoffs. Begin by building a list of video ideas, creating content, and posting videos consistently. Write engaging and accurate video descriptions, and remember to include clear CTAs to drive traffic to your website.
Optimize your content for search engines
Search engine optimization (SEO) is measures taken to improve a site’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO involves techniques like keyword optimization, creating quality content, link building strategies, and technical aspects like site architecture and speed. You can use SEO to raise the ranking of a wide range of content, including website landing pages, product pages, social media marketing posts, and content marketing campaigns like blogs.
Use SEO strategies to improve the content on your website so it attracts more organic visitors who enter queries on search engines like Google and Bing. In this way, your SEO and lead-generation strategies can work together. With more users finding your page, you’ll increase the number of potential leads.
Create a blog or newsletter
Creating relevant blog posts is a content marketing strategy designed to engage leads who are naturally interested in information about your business. Along with thoughtful SEO, a good blog post strategy can earn quality leads who are searching online for useful information.
Start your blog by choosing a focus for your blog content, whether instructional, informational, or personal. Make sure to feature clear call-to-action buttons to direct traffic back to your website or ecommerce store. You can also include lead magnets in your blog posts. Remember to post regularly and keep your content focused on material relating to the needs of your target market.
You can also acquire email addresses on your website by including a sign-up form for a newsletter. Newsletters are a form of email marketing that can capture leads by offering relevant and useful email content for your target audience. Use email marketing tools like Shopify Email to design campaigns, automate email sequences, and stay up-to-date with analytics for your newsletter.
Launch a podcast
Consider starting a podcast related to your company, industry, products, or services. This kind of long-form content allows you to explore industry trends, interview thought leaders, or describe solutions for your customers’ pain points. Although building an audience for your podcast can take time, audio content is relatively inexpensive compared to more traditional forms of marketing like paid ads or direct mail.
Collaborate and cross-promote
Another way to earn quality leads is to collaborate with brands in your industry through cross-promotion campaigns. Write a guest blog post on another website linking back to your site or include a lead magnet for your company. Partner with brands offering complementary products or services and run a joint campaign. Earning trust with individuals and companies in your industry is a great way to enhance your reputation and generate leads from your collaborators’ customer bases.
Another strategy for generating more leads is to organize events and invite entrepreneurs and content creators in your industry. You could host a panel discussion with thought leaders, perform a product demo for customers, or sponsor a networking mixer.
You can also find leads by attending industry events like conferences and trade shows. Having a booth, giving a talk, or simply interacting with potential customers is a great way to cultivate leads. You can develop a personal connection, gauge their interest, answer questions, and get their feedback and contact information, all at the same time.
Lead generation ideas FAQ
What is the fastest way to generate leads?
There are several lead generation ideas that can start working fast, including building lead magnet landing pages, developing search engine optimization strategies, creating referral programs, and cross-promoting your business on complementary platforms using techniques like guest blogging.
How do you generate leads without spending money?
There are several lead generation strategies leveraging organic traffic without spending money, though they do take time and effort. You can develop a strong SEO strategy, or interact with potential customers on social media. Create blogs, newsletters, and video or audio content with clear call-to-action buttons to encourage users to try your products or services.
Can you generate leads offline?
Yes, you can use offline lead generation strategies like hosting and attending events, as well as direct mail marketing.
What is the difference between demand generation and lead generation?
Demand generation is a marketing strategy focused on increasing demand for your products and services in the market. Lead generation is the process of identifying, qualifying, and capturing leads. The purpose of demand generation is to cultivate broad awareness and interest in your products or services. While lead generation is designed to identify specific qualified leads and move them into your sales pipeline.