One of the biggest marketing challenges is generating leads. Do you ever find yourself asking, “What is lead generation in digital marketing?” Not only is it challenging to find leads, but it is another hurdle to gather quality leads that will convert to sales. So, where to start? We’ve gathered up a handful of lead generation strategies for you to implement in a timely manner (like yesterday). Implement the following lead generation techniques and then test and optimize to grow short and long-term engagement with existing and potential customers.


Lead Generation Technique #1: Ads on social

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn all allow for paid lead generation ads. And according to Sprout Social, businesses show a 24% increase in revenue when utilizing social media for lead generation.  Targeted lead ads seamlessly allow users to provide their contact information without leaving the social media platform. If your audience likes what they see — perhaps an offer or promotion, demo request or event registration — they may click on the ad. Plus, the forms automatically fill out with the user’s profile information, which leads to more completions! If you want to step up your game even more, lead generation ads can be connected directly to your CRM so all leads can be contacted immediately.

Bonus tip: Keep your forms as simple as possible so that basic information — name, phone and email — can auto-populate. Only request additional information if it is critical for the follow-up.


Lead Generation Technique #2: Contests

Looking for ways to generate leads organically — without spending actual hard costs — on social media? Implementing contests is a great way to build interest, introduce and product or brand and engage followers. There are a couple of ways to get a contest running:

User-generated content: Encourage fans of your product to share photos or videos for a chance to win free prizes. This not only builds a loyal fan base, but you can stockpile the submissions to use in your content calendar. This content is relatable and valuable as a customer testimonial.

  • Click-through to landing page: If you have a specific landing page on your website that users can gather more information and submit a form, direct interested users to the page using a shortened URL directly in your social media post. Since this involves an extra click, you’ll get fewer entrants than you would if you just asked people to simply “retweet” or “like” you post, but these prospects are more likely to convert as a customer. 
  • Like, share, comment: Encourage users to enter your contest by liking, sharing, retweeting or commenting on a social post. This is an easy way for people to enter and build engagement, however, you are limited to the profile information that’s already publicly available.

Bonus tip: If you want to implement a contest for higher-qualified leads, make sure the “carrot”  is more valuable to new customers. For example, offer a free or discounted service or an extra perk with a product purchase to seal the deal.


Lead Generation Technique #3: Gated content

If you have valuable content such white papers or guides, consider “gating” the content. That means the content is only available to those that supply the necessary information needed to gain access. Leads will provide basic contact information to access the content and give you, the marketer, valuable information to pass along to the sales team. We recommend keeping such gated content on a dedicated landing page with only one conversion goal — fill out the form or leave the site.

Bonus tip: Don’t keep all downloadable content under lock and key. If your entire site seems inaccessible, building trust will be difficult.


Lead Generation Strategies: BONUS! Native content publisher partnerships

Many publishers offer partnerships to showcase your valuable content on their website, social channels or embedded on an eNewsletter. We call native content like this “Smart PR,” because your content can live on the site longer than if traditionally placed and recycled within 24 hours. These placements may come at a higher cost, but they guarantee for high-quality leads that stand out from typical banner ads.

Bonus tip: Make sure to request daily reports from publishers once your content is published. This ensures that leads are collected and followed up with in a timely manner.


Your leads are waiting

All lead generation strategies take time to implement. It also takes time to create valuable content that is unique to your industry and ultimately valuable to your customers. Building brand loyalty on social media platforms can also be a lengthy process. Experiment with a few trial-and-errors and then determine what resonates best with your audience. Be patient. Experiment. Explore new ways to get the ball rolling.

Looking to get your marketing team’s lead generation strategies mapped out? Download our Jumpstart Plan to access our test 7-step process to get started! 


Originally published May 26, 2019