Lead generation is a high priority for marketers.
In a recent study, nearly 40 percent of marketers and sales teams reported finding high-quality leads as their top challenge — rough.
Constant competition and lack of data can make lead generation even more challenging. Even worse, most brands rely on tried-and-true strategies like ebooks, guides, newsletters, and email lists to generate the best leads.
While those strategies have worked for years, they aren't as effective as they used to be. That's because the buyer journey has changed—especially in B2B.
Ready to get creative and take your lead generation to the next level? Here's why what you're currently doing isn't working—and how to actually reach qualified leads.
Leadfeeder identifies website visitors—even if they don't fill out your lead gen form. Try Leadfeeder for free to get more paying customers.
Lead generation is crucial to business growth. Whether you want to sell more socks, software, or manufacturing equipment, you need to generate leads.
The problem? Most small businesses use the same, stale lead generation tactics year after year, including lead magnets like:
Don't worry; we're not judging. We've used these same strategies atLeadfeeder for years.
But, there are a few issues with these strategies:
They're boring: You might think your ebook is exciting, but do your users? I hate to break it to you…
They don't offer value: Nobody wants to hand over their contact information (and risk getting a bunch of spam) for the same content every other Saas brand has on their blog.
B2B lead gen is different: B2C companies can throw together content marketing pieces like a quiz to find out which influencer you are, but those strategies simply don't work for B2B.
TL;DR: Stop using generic, boring lead generation strategies. They don't generate many leads — and the ones they do generate are unqualified. So, what do you do instead? It's time to get creative with your marketing strategy.
Looking for creative ways to generate leads? Coming up with fresh ideas can be a pain on your own. Consider hosting a brainstorming meeting with representatives from sales and marketing. If you have ademand generation strategy in place, make sure that is part of the conversation as well.
Think about not just what your prospects want, but also what types of prospects you want to attract. Do you want leads higher in the funnel or lower in the sales funnel?
To make the process easier for you, we created this handy checklist for brainstorming creative lead generation ideas:
See what your competitors are doing: Fill out their landing page forms and see what they deliver. Can you make it better?
Ask your customers: Create a social media survey to see what your customers actually care about. Competitor reviews can be another source of inspiration.
Look to B2C for inspiration: While not all B2C strategies translate to B2B, they can be a good source of inspiration. How do your favorite B2C brands generate leads?
Analyze your best content: What digital marketing content (blogs, webinars, podcasts, etc.) gets the most traffic or engagement? Can you turn that topic into a lead generation magnet? Optimization of past content is often a missed opportunity.
Think outside the inbox: Email might be an effective lead generation strategy, but it's not the only one. Consider other formats like video and interactive content to help your brand stand out.
Ask for referrals: Already paying customers make great referrals with high conversion rates that lead to lasting partnerships.
Need more help coming up with creative lead generation ideas? Here are a few examples to get those marketing tactics flowing.
1. Give direct mail a try
In 2020, more than 306 million emails were sent and received every day. That makes it hard to stand out. Don't forget about the other inbox—the mailbox. According to the USPS, they handle just 167 million pieces of first-class mail a day, around half of email.
Direct mail is unexpected and unique, making it our favorite creative lead generation idea. Here's an example from Hero Conf, a PPC conference:
While this strategy is more lead nurturing than generation (they had to get addresses to send this mail out), it works well for a yearly conference that needs to generate new leads every year.
They likely gather addresses from attendees and use them to follow-up and generate interest the next year. Even better, it works well for B2B, because your favorite search engine, Google, can give you company addresses.
Give it a try: Who is your dream client? Look up the company address and outreach with some snail mail.
2. Offer personalized templates
Users fill out their name, email, and store name and Shopify sends them a customized template leads can place on their website. Downloading it also signs you up for a free trial of Shopify, which feels a little icky, but they do make it pretty easy to opt-in or opt-out.
Give it a try: If you have a template already, test personalizing it. Does it increase lead quality or quantity? If you don't have a template, what would your users find useful?
3. Share what works for your company
Rather than talking about what you can do for leads, consider talking about your lead generation efforts that have worked—for example, a testimonial from a current customer, social proof, or even a free tool. Whether you're a marketing firm looking for clients or a manufacturing company looking for buyers, showcasing your own wins and losses can help leads see the people behind the brand.
Circle Social shared how they increased ROI by 300% on their blog:
See that box in the sidebar? Lead generation doesn't have to mean offering a downloadable asset. Instead, this brand provides good content and ensures its lead form is visible.
Give it a try: Brainstorm about a recent challenge your company has overcome that your target audience would be interested in. For example, have you overcome a marketing or sales challenge? Upgraded to a new system? Create a case study and add a lead form.
4. Share internal resources like spreadsheets
This easy lead generation strategy leverages resources you likely already have. Think about the spreadsheets or checklists your team uses to make your job easier and consider using them as lead generation tools by converting them into downloadable resources for your target audience.
Use B2B marketing and sales content to answer questions for potential customers with internal resources. This transparency helps to build trust and establishes your brand as a thought leader in the space.
Gong, for example, created a sales tracking template they offer as a downloadable resource:
Unlike an ebook or white paper, this resource doesn't require investing a ton of time. Look for resources your team already uses and generate a clean template for your audience.
Give it a try: Think about the spreadsheets, checklists, and guides you use in your current workflow. Make sure they'd be useful for your target audience, then create a gated version.
5. Use lead-generation ads on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook
Not all B2B lead generation ideas need a downloadable asset. Several social media platforms, including LinkedIn and Facebook, have a specific ad format that allows you to easily capture potential leads right in the ad.
Generating leads is just the start. Once you have a list of leads, you'll need to nurture them through the funnel. With Leadfeeder, you can see what companies visit your website, where they go, and use our automation to send the info to your CRM. Then, it’s up to you.
Note: Sign up for a free Leadfeeder account and get notified when leads visit your website
More leads, no forms.
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