High-quality leads are every marketer’s ambition. But if you thought they were hard to come by, then we’re here to prove you wrong.
As long as your marketing and sales teams are aligned on lifecycle definitions, your buyer personas are well-developed and your marketing automation systems are running smoothly, lead generation comes down to a science (albeit a quickly- and constantly-evolving science).
At its core, effective lead generation attracts web visitors by offering value first. But as new technology crops up and buyer expectations continue to change, you need to make sure you’re offering that value through the right channels and in the right ways.
Today, blogging is table stakes. You need so much more than that to fill your marketing and sales pipeline with a healthy amount of high-fit, high-interest leads.
Here are eight lead generation strategies you can’t continue to ignore.
The average time spent reading an article is 37 seconds.
That’s barely enough time to blow your nose, let alone build trust in an interested B2B buyer.
Podcasts, though, can captivate their audiences for upwards of 30 minutes — and they do so when the listener is at home, at the gym and in the car, not just sitting at their work desks.
That’s a powerful time to hold your B2B buyer’s attention. In these moments, the audience is not only interested in your content but also interested enough in it to consume it in non-work-related settings.
Additionally, podcast listeners tend to be affluent and educated, which is also typical of B2B decision-makers who hold the most buying power. They tend to be highly loyal subscribers, consuming an average of five podcasts per week and listening to most if not all of each episode.
You might not consider podcasts to be a lead generation strategy on their own — usually, users can listen to each episode without technically providing any contact information — but they’re a new and unique piece of the lead generation puzzle.
By using podcasts to reach new audiences in new ways, you can boost trust in your subscribers and encourage them to engage further with your brand.
2. Direct Mail
You might be thinking: “Direct mail, really? Isn’t that incredibly outdated?”
Well, yes. But it works.
In fact, direct mail has been found to receive a response rate 10 to 30 times that of email or other digital channels.
Now that digital has taken over and B2B buyers are inundated with hundreds of emails every day, direct mail has room to truly stand out — and if you can do it in a way that’s attention-grabbing, direct mail can be a highly effective lead generation strategy.
Usually, direct mail works best when you send the prospect something that forces them to interact with it, rather than tossing it in the recycling bin. Some of the most notable direct mail we’ve sent or received at New Breed include:
- Bottle openers
Direct mail tends to work well with an account-based marketing strategy. If you know a little bit about what the person cares about and what they use in their day-to-day lives, you can send them something useful, personalized and unique as a warm introduction to your brand.
Although direct mail is much more expensive than digital, you can expect a higher probability of return if you send the right things to the right people.
You probably know by now that video is becoming one of the most rapidly-growing lead generation tools in the industry.
Video hosting tools like Vidyard allow you to add in-video CTAs to capture leads without having to send them to another page. Additionally, if you add videos to blog posts, landing pages and other content offers, you give visitors the option to engage with your content in a new way. That option can mean the difference between bouncing and becoming a lead.
At New Breed, co-branded webinars have been one of our biggest video lead generation tools every month.
By creating webinars with one of our partners and sending the sign-up form to both of our databases, we can branch into new, similar audiences. Usually, these leads are already highly engaged, high-fit leads, so co-branded webinars can be an extremely successful lead generation tool.
Speaking of partners, strategic B2B partnerships can be great for lead generation too.
There are a number of different partnership strategies you can use for effective lead generation, including:
- Guest blogging: By guest blogging on your partners’ sites, you can get an additional link from a website with high domain authority, boosting the authority of your own site. Depending on the type of partnership you have, you could also include a CTA back to your own site and share leads who convert on the offer.
- Co-marketing: When you’re partnered with a company that already has a strong presence and following, you can boost the value of your own marketing activities by collaborating with them. For example, our partners at Drift have a massive social media following, and by creating webinars, blogs and other content with them, we can reach new audiences and drive more high-fit leads back to our website.
- Co-hosted or sponsored events: Industry events are ripe with lead generation opportunities, but they can be extremely expensive to host on your own. By enlisting the help or sponsorship of your partners to throw these events, you can generate high-fit leads in an exciting in-person setting.
Strategic B2B partnerships come with a wealth of opportunity even beyond lead generation. If your business model is stable and you have a steadily growing customer base, you should consider creating a partner program.
Chatbots are quickly becoming one of the most popular tools in marketing today.
Unlike the traditional lead form, which can come across as dry, cold and uninviting to your web visitors, chatbots welcome users to your webpage with warmth, personality and grace.
Sounds like a human, right? That’s the idea.
By offering your web visitors a way to provide their contact information in a way that is conversational, contextual and unique, you can increase the number of leads you capture. Often, chatbots serve to humanize your brand in a way that traditional lead capture tools simply cannot.
For example, New Breed’s chatbot, Demanda, pops up with a friendly greeting and offers to help users find the information the they’re looking for. If you respond that you want to know more about conversion optimization, Demanda offers a quick definition then and there.
The experience for the user is similar to that of a conversation with a salesperson you might encounter in a brick-and-mortar store. Personalizing the experience like this makes users more comfortable and more likely to convert.
Here’s the sad truth: Most B2B companies are using social media wrong.
Most social platforms are designed to keep users on those platforms. Facebook wants its users to stay on Facebook, and YouTube wants its users to stay on YouTube.
But many B2B companies have been using social channels solely to try to drive users to their company’s website, which is working against the fundamental way that the platform is intended to provide value to its users.
It’s time we begin thinking of social in an entirely different way.
Instead of stuffing your social posts with links to landing pages and conversion offers, use social to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Reply to comments, repost interesting content, engage with your followers and start good, valuable conversations with your friends and followers.
In a lot of ways, social is no more than a trustmark for buyers. Similar to the way it’d reflect poorly on New Breed (a Diamond-Tier HubSpot partner) to be absent at a HubSpot event, buyers will think it’s strange if you don’t have an active social presence in today’s day and age.
If you can build that presence successfully, eventually users will pop over to your website to check it out.
7. Pop-Up Forms
Some people still have reservations around pop-up forms — something about them feels a little spammy, a little outbound-y, like a billboard ruining the natural landscape.
But it’s 2019, and it’s time to let those reservations go. Pop-up forms work.
Just be thoughtful about where you place your pop-up forms, what they offer and how they offer it. Make sure people understand exactly what they can expect by filling out the form and make sure, as always, that you’re truly adding value to that user.
One of the best and most straightforward ways to use pop-up forms for lead generation is to provide a simple “subscribe to our blog” CTA on blog pages.
Assessments, quizzes, questionnaires and similar offers are unique and engaging ways to offer tailored value to your prospects.
Instead of asking users to convert on a generic PDF or guide, providing an assessment can deliver value that is uniquely relevant to them as individuals. You can provide advice that is more actionable than your run-of-the-mill guide, which means you can ask for a bit more lead information in return.
In some ways, you could think of assessments as a freemium offer for non-software companies.
At New Breed, for example, our assessments give prospects a free taste of our services, our people and our processes. Neil Patel offers a similar “freemium” assessment with his SEO analyzer tool.
Lead generation isn’t easy.
Prospects want to know they’re getting value before they provide value in return. They want to know you understand their unique challenges and have the expertise and resources to help them solve those challenges.
Using these eight lead generation strategies, you can capture the attention of high-quality leads and deliver that value in the channels where they spend the most time. From pop-up forms to podcasts to partnerships, you have a variety of potent lead generation strategies to choose from.
Tag(s): Reporting & ROI Lead Generation
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.