Every business, product, or service needs a reliable source of fresh leads in order to avoid getting stuck in the mud with inconsistent customer growth. Sound familiar? Well, say hello to my full-proof guide full of actionable content marketing lead generation ideas you can begin executing today.
If your funnel is trickling with leads rather than overflowing, the lead generation ideas you choose to pursue today will play an incredibly important role in your company’s future.
Sales and marketing teams spend a boatload of time and money on lead generation. From launching ad campaigns to creating high-quality blog content, hosting webinars, producing videos, and more, they’re always doing something to gain an edge. You should be too.
However, if you’re like most marketers, business owners, or product developers, you don’t have an endless supply of money and time to pursue one lead generation idea after another. You need results, and you need them now. Lucky for you, I’ve got you covered.
Lead generation is a noisy topic full of opinions and ideas, but we’re cutting straight through all of the white noise by digging deep into some of today’s most effective lead generation strategies – the same ones I use to amass thousands upon thousands of leads year after year.
Let’s dive right in and find out how you can do the same. But, before we do, let’s cover our bases first.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is just as it sounds – it’s the process of generating leads. The real question is: what are leads?
Leads are businesses or individuals who like your brand and show an interest in what it sells. In other words, people who may turn into paying customers. Lead generation refers to the process of finding these people.
In one way or another, lead generation helps you find those with an interest in your niche, or help them find you, get their attention, and take them through your sales funnel to eventually become future customers.
Lead generation can encompass several things and take many forms. Some people are PPC experts and strictly do that. It’s their thing. Others consider themselves email marketers and focus their attention there.
In my humble opinion, however, content marketing is king, and it should play a vital role in your overall lead generation strategy.
Content Marketing Lead Generation Ideas That Work
The lead generation ideas below are some of my go-to favorites for generating an endless avalanche of evergreen leads eager to discover your brand and the content you’re creating. Whether it’s written or recorded, there are plenty of content marketing lead generation ideas to explore.
Quality Blog Content
The content you’re reading right now is the bread and butter of my lead generation strategy, and it’s been consistently filling my conversion pipeline full of high-quality leads for years. Just browse my blog, and you’ll find everything from in-depth guides to infographics, case study breakdowns, and more.
Depending on the nature of your business, your content can also include whitepapers, eBooks, and so on. Just keep in mind, however, that regardless of how many hours you spend creating this level of content quantity, and quality, it doesn’t guarantee your success.
To be successful, your content marketing strategy should be built on building strong relationships with your target audience – those who are likely to flow through your pipeline and eventually become customers for your business and loyal ambassadors of your brand.
So, before you begin blogging away, take a minute, or two, or three to decide on the type of content you’re going to post. Think about your audience and your motivations by answering some important questions, such as:
• Who is my target audience and what problems can I help them solve?
• Where do my target customers spend their time online? Which medium do they prefer to consume content in?
• What are they searching for on Google? Which keywords should I target?
• Who are my competitors and how can I stand out from them?
• Would I rather have 10,000 less targeted readers or 1,000 highly targeted leads salivating to convert?
Ultimately, the quality of your content will deeply rely on your motivations and willingness to really delve into the minds of your target customers and help solve whatever pain points they may be experiencing. If your goal is to simply sell as many subscriptions as you can to anyone willing to hand over their credit card, your content is pretty much going to suck.
Rather than trying to sell, sell, sell, you need to teach, and most importantly, inspire. You also need to think long-term. These days, evergreen content is just about all I create. Not only is it designed to connect with my audience, but it’s also designed to rank well in Google’s organic search results for targeted keywords they’re searching for.
Whether you’re selling wholesale merchandise, software, or consulting services, content marketing targeting organic search can provide you with a powerful source of leads.
All that said, publishing great content and getting it ranked at the top of the search results is no easy feat. It’s an arduous journey requiring plenty of time, quality backlinks, social shares, and several other factors in order to pull off successfully. However, if you’ve got the hustle, the rewards can pay off huge.
Books and eBooks
Books and eBooks can be hugely successful lead generation tools. In fact, the ones I’ve written have garnered tens of thousands of fresh leads in just the past few years alone.
I mean, if you think about it, it’s a win-win. Rather than paying $1.41 a click or something like that for a Facebook PPC ad, you can turn the tables and have people pay you instead. The best part is, you get their contact information too. Plus, you already know they’re interested in what you’re selling because they’ve already bought something from you.
Honestly, the people who buy your books or eBooks are some of the best leads you could get. No cold calling here. Not for me. No siree! Keeping existing readers loaded up on fresh new content has been one of my best lead generation strategies. My last launch alone brought in nearly 4,000 new leads. Pretty cool indeed.
You can launch and sell eBooks in any online community where your audience spends their time. After launching in a handful of online communities, which is important for new lead generation, you can then promote the book or eBook via your blog using banner ads and calls to action throughout highly-trafficked posts.
You can keep following my lead by harnessing the power of social media to do what it does best – share. That’s right; ask those who buy your eBook to make sure and share it with others. It’s free publicity at its finest.
Podcasts and Audiobooks
According to recent studies, 104 million Americans tune into podcasts regularly. So, if you’re like me or millions of others, chances are you listen to podcasts too. If that’s the case, it’s not too far-fetched an idea to begin producing your own.
Even if you’re pretty happy with your current audience size, which clearly isn’t the case or you wouldn’t be here, allowing your readers to connect and engage with you through the speakers in their cars, earbuds, and even their TVs can further deepen your relationship.
While I’m no Joe Rogan, I’ve managed to amass a fair share of downloads from podcasts. Beyond that, however, they’ve helped me develop more dynamic relationships with my audience and expand the consciousness of my brand.
Not sure how to create a blog post or what to include? An easy solution I’ve found to work quite well is to simply record an audio version of your best-performing blog posts. I’ve even done the exact opposite by creating a written blog post based on a popular podcast.
The key is getting your name and brand out there, and podcasts have proven a relatively easy way to provide engaging content and do just that.
Much of the written blog content I create actually begins with a video I upload to YouTube. I’ve experienced some terrific results by uploading a new video to my YouTube channel twice a week. Over the years, I’ve uploaded hundreds of videos garnering over a million views. Talk about lead generation!
Some videos, however, gain more traction than others. I’ve had some with only a thousand views and some with tens of thousands. Therefore, when it comes to videos, consistency is the name of the game. You never know which one will catch fire and strike gold.
Nonetheless, to strike YouTube gold and tap into its lead pipeline, you need to bring something to the table. You need to entertain and/or educate. Ideally, both. Once you get this down and prove your worth, or at least your viewability, your exposure, leads, and conversions will jump through the roof.
Grow Your Leads and Your Business Today
We’ve gone over a number of different lead generation methods and strategies in this post today. While there are even more great lead generation ideas out there proven to pull in results, these strategies serve as foundational pieces to the lead generation puzzle.
That said, you likely won’t follow all of my lead gen advice. After all, how boring would that be? The key is to experiment, track the right metrics, and see what works for you. Once you zero in on your lead generation plan, you’ll have a steady flow of people coming to you wanting to hear what you have to say – about anything.
~ First published Huffington Post Feb 2015