There are many ways to obtain leads such as cold-emailing, offering a free e-book and asking visitors to sign up for your weekly newsletter.
Sometimes however, this can prove to be not only tedious but also ineffective, especially when it comes to generating leads that actually love and care for what your brand offers.
Even if they don’t become customers right away, leads that actually love you (or at least like you), are golden and can help turn your idea into a thriving and profitable business.
Face it, without a constant flow of interested leads your business will not be able to grow or flourish and will eventually crumble due to competition- is this the fate your brand is heading for?
If you are certain that this is not the fate you desire for your business, keep reading as we are going to share with you 11 tried and true ways to generate leads who actually love you.
Some of these techniques you may of heard of, others may be out of the box and different, but either way, use this list to stimulate some ideas and get savvy on the world of generating leads that love.
1. Share Successes From Thought Leaders In Your Industry
No matter what industry you are in chances are there are a few dominating players that are popular and well-recognised. These players are not just your competition, they are also your biggest allies as they offer information and a personality that you know your audience will appreciate.
To use this to your advantage, consider interviewing a thought leader in your field. By interviewing an expert you not only get a detailed insight into their secrets and successes, but you also put yourself out there to be discovered by their fans and potential customers.
Groove, a website that helps business to grow and thrive have used this strategy quite successfully. They interviewed the CEO of Olark, Ben Congleton and asked him some pretty specific questions that helped their audience to become engaged. The interview was also tailored to offer a lot of value for audience members in their demographic.
According to HubSpot, the results of this article were- 38,000 unique visitors, 1,210 subscribers and around 54 sign ups to a free trial that Groove was offering.
Alex Turnbull, who wrote the article on the Groove website also offered additional pearls of wisdom about his time interviewing thought leaders-
“It’s impossible to understate how much I have learned from mentors, advisors and other smarter and more experienced than myself throughout my career. Getting expert perspectives- culminations of lifetimes of experience solving the same problems I might be struggling with at any moment- has helped me to bust through obstacles faster than any test or hack I have ever tried. Interviewing experts for the blog is our way of sharing that same experience and insight with our audience.”
2. Make Help Videos for Solving Issues That Your Prospects Face
You have a business because there is a need for your products and services and along with that need are a group of customers who also have questions, queries and different ways of life.
All of these “off-shoots” from the need that your products or services fulfil are opportunities for your business to attract and draw in an audience.
This is why offering a video that helps to solve some common issues for potential customers in your field is a great way to generate leads that may actually go on to become life long customers.
Visual content is also becoming increasingly popular and more and more studies are finding that consumers prefer to watch videos and peruse through infographics.
Wistia, a video hosting and analytics company is a great example of this strategy in action. They released a whole series of help videos for companies looking to start their own video channel. From these help videos, the company was able to generate over 15, 500 plays and nearly 4000 leads.
Alyce Currier, from Wistia’s explains-
“(Our videos) are a way for us to create value for people who may not have even gotten started with videos yet. We want to offer a useful educational experience for everyone, at every experience level. The downloadable resources are not just a way for us to gather leads, they are a way to help people learn by doing, by giving them tools they need to get started right away. We believe that the lessons are much more likely to stick if the reader/viewer gives something a try right after they consume the content.”
3. Make an Interactive Quiz
Quizzes are a creative (and sneaky) way to get potential customers to offer their contact information. The goal here is to make customers feel as if they are part of an interactive experience that offers them insight or information into their personality or if they are a good fit for your products or services.
Offering a quiz is also a great way to help potential customers understand more about your products or services without appearing too salesy or forceful. A good way to do this is to offer the result of the quiz in exchange for their contact information or details.
An excellent example of a company using a quiz to gain leads effectively is from Eastern International College. They created their quiz to help students make a selection over which major would be best suited for them.
On their website the landing page reads- “Take this short quiz to find out what program is right for you! Take this short quiz to find out how your interests fit with the programs you can pursue at Eastern International College.”
According to Karen Walters from Eastern International College, the quiz has helped to generate over 1000 leads and this number is continuing to grow.
“I do not believe in forcing marketing messages on anyone. I found the best, clearest place on our website and a nice slogan…this way, it is full up to the website visitor whether or not they want to participate. If using the quiz for lead collection, be sure to inform the quiz taker on the contact information form page that there may be contact from your office f they submit their information.”
4. Offer Informative Guides for Best Practices
In your industry there are probably ways to go about things and ways to not go about things. For example, if you are a chef there are probably best practices for making the perfect pastry, or if you are a marketer there are probably best tactics for sending emails.
Whatever field you are in, creating a list of best practices helps to offer value to interested readers and helps to increase your lead generation opportunities. It also helps to showcase your skills and expertise in your industry.
A good example of this in action is from the website, Vero which offers marketing advice. They compiled a comprehensive list of best practices for email marketing which resulted in 90,000 page views and 1,500 email sign ups in just 53 weeks.
Jimmy Daly, from Vero commented that their success with this post was due to the fact that there was a serious gap when it came to offering information about email marketing.
“I decided to write that post after my keyword research revealed a serious gap. Nearly every post that ranked well for email marketing best practices was a link roundup or category page. Nothing truly satisfied the need for best practices on the topic. So I went to work collecting the best email tips I could find and was thrilled that the post gained traction so quickly. In short, I came across a problem and solved it.”
5. Reveal Your Company’s Successes or Failures
Offering a behind the scenes look into the inner workings of your company helps to generate interest and therefore more leads.
When you share your success or failure stories you become more transparent and more accessible to your potential audience.
This helps to generate interest with your brand and shows that you are not afraid to offer tried and true advice about your pit-falls or glory moments. It also offers a way to lead in to asking customers to sign up or input their contact details.
For example, LeadFuze a lead generation and software site offered readers an insight into how much revenue they were making or loosing from certain products and campaigns and then asked readers interested in doing the same to leave their contact information.
They ran a report titled: ‘From Idea to 6 Figure Run Rate in 90 Days- Here are the Details’ which helped them generate over 1,000 views and even paying customers.
Justin McGill, from LeadFuze had this to say about their report-
“Our revenue reports help us get business from ideal customers because it shows that we can be trusted. We are putting it all out there and so people’s guards are lowered and they feel less suspicious.”
6. Create a Spreadsheet of Resources and References
Creating a spreadsheet that contains useful information for your demographic is a great way to offer value that is different from the regular blog posts and video content.
Although they are time consuming, many brands have used spreadsheets as an effective way to boost sign ups and get contact information from interested parties.
Heinz Marketing is one of these examples. They created a spreadsheet that contained a detailed directory of the 2015 Marketing Technology Landscape. Their directory included 1,800 companies organised into 43 categories and subcategories as well as the website of each company and their headquarters.
This database helped the company to generate around 20-30 downloads per day, which has helped them to increase their lead generation substantially.
Matt Heinz, from Heinz Marketing had this to say about the reference database-
“Prioritising the creation of this was simple. I knew it had tremendous value; that people want it. For relatively little effort I could create something that both delivered on the value plus helped me begin new, potential relationships to benefit both parties into the future. It was a win-win.”
7. Offer Detailed Content for Significant Questions
Have a question? All you have to do is type it in to Google and chances are you will find a wealth of information on the topic.
But how much information out there is actually well-thought out, detailed information? How many resources out there actually delve deep into the answer and provide a thorough understanding?
While obtaining information quickly and easily is always good, sometimes by offering a more in-depth article or content piece you can peak the curiosity of a more interested and more-likely-to-buy demographic.
Taking the time to create a detailed answer to a popular or tough question in your industry is a great way to attract attention and establish your brand as an authority.
It also allows you to stand out from the crowd because you are offering more to your customers for free, which in-turn helps to build instant brand loyalty.
A good example of this strategy in action is from the brand Interact, which wrote a tutorial style blog post on how to create quizzes. The blog post went into a lot of detail over how to create a successful quiz and ended up generating the brand over 1,100 leads.
Micah Larsson from Interact said that this blog post helped their company to stand out from their competition while offering an in-depth guide to a common search query.
“We like to create content that helps marketers look good in front of their team. For example, with this post, we know that a lot of marketing teams are looking to get into quizzes right now, but there are lots of technical details associated with creating quizzes. We built a guide that arms the reader and makes them look super smart. Sometimes they return the favour by opting in for our product.”
8. Simplify a Complicated Process in Easy to Follow Steps
Creating an easy to follow, step-by-step guide for a complicated process is an excellent way to draw traffic to your blog and enhance your lead generation opportunities.
For best results with this strategy, consider one of the most complicated process that customers in your industry may face. If you run a B2B company, this may be relatively easy to work out, but if you run a B2C company, you may have to do some research to see what your consumers are really looking for.
Once you have determined the complicated process, work on creating an easy step by step guide that contains simple instructions, graphics and more.
You can also take this strategy one step further and ask people to fill out a worksheet of some kind in exchange for their details.
For example, the company WP Curve created a template for reviewing your website design that was geared to conversion optimisation best practices.
This template was downloaded after entering your email and made consumers feel that they were getting exclusive advice just for their brand. Consequently it helped the company to generate 8,160 views and over 1,018 email opt-ins and counting.
Dan Norris from WP Curve states-
“Every time we ask people to sign up for our newsletter we get no conversions. If we create a long, detailed, useful post about a particular topic and add a valuable, related opt-in offer, it converts very well.”
9. Create a Free E-Course
Move over free e-book and make way for the free e-course instead.
Offering a free e-book is a great way to generate leads, however running an e-course for free is much more valuable and can really help your brand to get noticed.
For best results with this strategy, select a topic that you know your potential customers would want to know about and get to work creating a combination of videos, worksheets and tutorials.
Even though creating an e-course seems time consuming, with just a little bit of effort you can be well on your way to doubling or even tripling your leads.
You can also get creative and work out a way to repurpose some of your existing content into an easy to follow presentation.
The good thing about an e-course is that it can also help your brand to stay consistent and fresh in the minds of your audience, especially if you are sending them reminders, information or classes on a weekly or even daily basis.
Buffer, the social media marketing tool has had a lot of success with their free social media e-course- “25 social media strategies in 25 days”.
The course was emailed to readers after they opted-in, helping the company to generate over 22,057 leads and counting.
Kevan Lee from Buffer offered this advice for brands looking to do the same-
“Initially with our courses, we were looking for a way to repackage content from our blog posts into more digestible bits. Taking a 2,500 word blog post and breaking down into a week long email series felt like a fun experiment to try. With the 25-day course, we realised there were a number of posts on the blog that touched on specific, actionable tips- and this was some of the most common feedback we received after our initial courses in terms of what content people might like next.”
10. Create Case Studies for People to Learn From
Offering case studies or examples for your potential clients to learn from can be a very effective way to peak their curiosity and help them better understand what your company does. This is especially true if you offer the case studies from your own experience.
Sometimes the best way to learn is through experience and by showcasing different examples from your industry you can easily drive your prospects to opt-in and share their contact information.
A great example of this is from the website Kapost which put together an article titled – ‘The Top 50 Content Marketers’.
This article allowed customers to read which brands were breaking ground in their industry and had been successful with their strategies. From this, Kapost was able to generate 1,042 leads and counting.
Anne Murphy from Kapost believes that the article did so well because their demographic were hungry for brands to learn from and emulate.
“Marketers are hungry for examples of brands doing marketing content right and the Kapost 50 calls out specific examples of excellent, strategic content year after year. It is a traffic and lead driver, but more than that, it provides opportunities for our sales team to engage current prospects with content examples from related industries and for customer success to share content wins with customers. Especially in B2B marketing, content should support each stage of the sales cycle from awareness to lead to close to advocacy and the Kapost 50 does exactly that.”
11. Host a Giveaway or Competition
You could say that we have saved the best for last as running a giveaway is often one of the most successful ways to acquire leads if it done right.
The reason for this is that often users will blindly input their email address hoping to win something or receive something and then very quickly forget about your brand or services.
The trick with avoiding this is to give away something that your audience really wants, something that only a person that would want to buy from you would sign up in order to receive.
For example, Ninja Outreach ran a giveaway of several software products that were useful to their targeted demographic. In fact, the software was something that only those in their target demographic would even know how to use.
Depending on your niche, it may be hard to find such a specific product, but through a little experimentation and trial and error you may be on to a winner.
For reference, this promotion by Ninja Outreach scored them around 268 leads, a modest number but one that is sure to convert in the long run.
Dave Schneider from Ninja Outreach explains-
“The reason we do this is to generate opt-ins to the newsletter, so it is a form of lead generation. Everyone who doesn’t win is a potential customer down the line. As people are sharing the giveaway, they are inherently promoting the product….People are always so happy when they win and often send us thank you emails.”
When it comes to generating leads it can be easy to follow the norm and stick to the simple pop-up or weekly newsletter, but if you are really looking to generate leads that love and care for your brand, consider adopting some of these strategies and see how it transforms your leads into life-long customers.
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