A critical component to the success of any content marketing strategy is lead generation. That said, prospecting can be an overwhelming (and boring) part of the sales process.
Cold calling doesn’t work – only 1% of cold calls result in an actual meeting. And other methods you use to put together your marketing list may fall on deaf ears. After all, your prospective customer is asked for his email address hundreds of times – why should he give it to you?
It’s time to shake up your lead generation strategy. Try one of these 9 creative lead generation ideas to capture the attention of your potential customers.
1. Demonstrate expertise by sharing thought leaders’ secrets
Enrich your own content by sharing secrets of success from thought leaders in your industry. Consider interviewing a reputable source, and quoting that source within the content you share with your readers.
Implement this strategy as you develop your content marketing strategy and as you schedule your social media posts. Potential customers want to know your business can be trusted; what better way to do that than by demonstrating a desire to deliver relevant and timely expertise?
2. Identify a problem you faced and share how you solved it
Every business faces challenges, whether those challenges relate to marketing, branding or even employee retention. Has your company overcome stagnant growth? Learned valuable lessons regarding outsourcing?
Share those lessons. Doing so will not only inspire other businesses who are experiencing similar obstacles but will also demonstrate that your business is transparent and approachable.
3. Offer a tool that simplifies a process
Within every industry, there are time consuming, tedious and cost-ineffective tasks. For instance, sales reps spend about 15% of their working hours leaving voicemails. Has your company devised a way to make an inefficient task more efficient?
There are other businesses that face the same problem as your business did. Show them how to solve the problem by offering a tool in exchange for their contact information. That tool may be as complex as a desktop application or as simple as a worksheet; what’s important is that it provides value to your prospective customer.
4. Take advantage of the SEO power of review platforms
Your leads can’t become your leads until they find you. As your potential customers search for your industry online, there’s a high probability that review sites like Agency Spotter, Manta and even Yelp will appear first in the search results.
Leverage the power of that (free) SEO. Encourage your existing client base to spread the word about your service by leaving positive reviews on third party platforms. While you’re at it, encourage your employees to contribute to sites like Glassdoor and Indeed.
By taking advantage of these sites’ SEO success, you’ll find that your own business will become more visible, and you’ll reap the reward of increased lead generation.
5. Don’t be afraid to answer the tough questions
Unfortunately, the term “thought leader” has become a bit diluted in today’s community. Most business executives would agree that thought leadership involves more than mere thought. It requires tried and tested experience, research and a willingness to collaborate.
Demonstrate your thought leadership by answering a question few have previously answered. This creative lead generation strategy follows along the same lines as providing a tool to your prospects, but allows you to delve deeper into a commonly faced problem that your business has found a solution to.
6. Blog regularly
Perhaps one of the simplest ways to nurture lead generation is by blogging consistently. In fact, it’s one of the most accessible content marketing strategies available to you.
Your business blog provides your company with a bump in search engine optimization, sure. But consistently showing that you “know your stuff” as you blog about industry trends, challenges and even industry basics will also provide a bump in lead generation.
Aim to update your blog at least once per week, if not more. Some businesses blog once per day. As you schedule your content, ensure that your posts are timely, relevant to your customer base, and that they include a call to action, such as asking your readers to subscribe.
7. Network at conferences
Never underestimate the power of networking. Many business leaders are of the mindset that others in a similar industry are, by default, competitors. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead of edging away from your counterparts from other companies at your next networking event, try this: talk to them.
Every business is slightly unique. Share your thoughts and your experiences with others in the same industry as yours. Doing so will lead not only to an enrichment of your own knowledge, but also to the exchange of leads. Perhaps the patent law firm received an inquiry regarding to real estate law, your area of expertise.
8. Add a slide-in scroll box to your website
The premise behind this creative lead generation idea is simple: you can’t get a lead if you don’t ask for it. Using a simple feature like a slide-in scroll box is a great way to ask for contact information without distracting or annoying visitors to your website.
Slide-in scroll boxes are unobtrusive, and they won’t interrupt the user experience. Your visitor may either enter his information or simply click the box away. To prevent your reader from closing out, it’s recommended that you entice him with an offer, such as a discount, a download or even a free consultation.
9. Create a quiz
You can give your lead generation a generous boost with content marketing by taking advantage of human nature: people love to talk about themselves. Give them the opportunity to do just that by creating a quiz.
Your quiz can take the form of a direct email, a social media post or an addition to your website. Test your prospective customers’ knowledge of your industry, or just survey them, asking what they’d like to gain for their own business. Be sure, of course, to ask to provide their email address, informing them that you’ll follow up if you have questions about their survey answers.
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