Lead generation is that little phrase that has businesses on the edge nowadays, with attention spans of their respective customers going down and the simultaneous growth in the sheer number of places that they can now hang out at.
Lead generation isn’t easy, I’ll give you that. If you want to build a pipeline that never fails, you’d have to be nonchalant, work with numbers, embrace networking, and put in more work than you thought you’d have to.
Leads won’t show up because you did. Engagement is key, and not shoving ads on people’s faces. You’d have to line up your marketing resources (including content) to make lead generation happen.
Also, you’d have to keep at this consistently while working to develop a systems for how you do things.
Always Keep Blogging
It’s surprising that after almost a decade of blogging, there are many businesses that don’t blog regularly.
Quality is important, and not quantity and it looks like everyone knows that. But it’s the “frequency of publishing” that seems to befuddle many businesses.
Most businesses don’t have the resources to continue blogging high quality blog posts, forever and ever. In fact, according to , here are a the challenges in certain order that businesses face when it comes to content publishing.
First, here’s what the stats have to say about blogging:
Jon Rampton of Forbes.com has already done the good work of putting the stats with respect how frequent your blog posting should be:
“…a recent study from HubSpot shows that B2B companies that publish 16-plus blog posts per month receive 3.5 times the amount of traffic as companies that publish only 0-4 posts per month. The story is similar for B2C companies: those that post 16-plus entries a month enjoy 4.5 times the amount of traffic as those that upload only 0-4 posts.
But you can’t just think in terms of immediate traffic benefits. According to another HubSpot study, 75 percent of their blog views — and 90 percent of blog leads — came from older posts. This shows that relevant and sticky content can actually gain value over time.
And once companies publish their 401st blog post, they experience a significant spike in traffic (about twice the traffic of companies that have a total of 301-400 posts on their sites).
So, using these numbers, you can see that your best option is to post 16 times per month, or roughly four times a week. If you do this consistently for six and a half months, you’ll achieve 401-plus blog entries. And at that point, you’ll be able to maximize the value of your blog.”
To help blog consistently, do this:
- Prepare and plan for posts much ahead of your blogging schedule. Use editorial calendars or tools like CoSchedule for this.
- Write more per day than you are supposed to. Say, your frequency is 4 blog posts per week. Try to write up at least 8 – 10 blog posts that week so that you’ll be covered for downtime (writers’ block or whatever) and you can schedule posts.
- Aim for more than 1000 words at least.
- Make it a habit to link out to credible sources, influencers, statistics, and other research. Every link lets those sources know, and it’s a healthy practice.
To generate leads from your blog posts “after” the traffic starts coming in:
- Use “bottom of the post” opt-in forms (see below) to generate subscribers.
- Insert opt-in forms in between blog posts and below blog posts for content upgrades. See OptinMonster’s 30 Content Upgrade Ideas to Grow Your List
- Optimize your entire website to help maximize conversions.
- Measure, test, and analyze every single session on your site. Use Mouseflow to get an accurate picture — complete with video sessions of users, heat maps, click analytics, form analytics, and more.
Amplify Content On Social
Follow the 50:30:20 rule on social media. What that means is that out of the total social updates you’d do each day, spread out your social updates this way:
- 50% of your updates should be from non-competing sources of information relevant to your niche.
- 30% of your updates should be your own content (and for this, you’d need “your” content).
- 20% of your updates are meant for pure engagement such as comments, replies, mentions, conversations, etc.
I’ve written about some amazing tools you can use to help manage your social better. It bears repeating again.
- Use tools like HootSuite, Buffer, and Sendible to schedule your social updates in advance.
- For every single update with a link in it (except those conversations), use Snip.ly for making some of that traffic come back to a CTA (Call to Action) you control.
- Use tools like Brand24 to monitor brand mentions, conversations, and mentions of your brand.
Social media is not for selling. Don’t get out there to hustle, and only hustle.
Use it as a platform to connect with real people who’ll be your customers, partners, vendors, and others within your network.
Contribute on Other Social Platforms
Did you know that with a consistent effort on forums and online communities, you can generate a massive amount of traffic. Again, it’s a job that requires you to commit time, energy, and a true sense of purpose. That purpose is to help others, contribute to the collective pool of knowledge, and make sure that you are not pitching at all.
Users will find you when they want to. These are some of the places you should be actively involved in:
LinkedIn groups are filled up with people passionate about whatever the group is about. There are countless groups on freelancing, business, online marketing, online trading, traveling, cooking, Interior Decor, real estate, and so on.
Just some of the most active communities and start sharing some of that goodness you’d have developed over all these years of being in business.
Most people tend to discount Google+ communities.
This is in turn means that those communities that you’d choose to participate in and work with on a daily basis tend to have more eyeballs that you’d have bargained for. Just like LinkedIn groups, Google+ communities give you another platform to expand your presence on.
Quora, if anything, can be a massive traffic generation and lead generation platform for you, depending on how you approach it. I’ve written on How Quora happens to Generate Massive Amounts of Traffic on SmartHustle. Look out for questions within your niche, and then go all out to answer the questions to the best of your ability. If it makes sense or if it adds more value to the conversation or content, go ahead and share your links on the thread.
Doing this consistently (and well) is the key here. If you just do it for a month and vanish, your traffic and lead generation efforts will be abortive.
Reddit is tricky, but if you make it there, you’d never have to worry about traffic ever. Reddit users cast more than 21 million votes on their favourite content pieces per day.
With more than 10,000 passionate communities (on topics you can’t even imagine), you’ll never fall short of traffic and leads off a massive base of 234 million engaged and passionate users.
Depending on your business, seek out any other niche forums that you should be a part of. Yes, all this is extra effort (and who says Digital Marketing was easy).
Doing this gives you what I call as digital footprint, and once you post, you have that content up and permanent.
Find Emails. Send Emails. Make Money
For one, we are talking about email outreach (for lead generation or for building your network) and not email marketing.
Email marketing works best with an already captive audience (and not as much to build a new audience, although even that happens).
Email outreach sounds simple enough, but it’s not. Email outreach is a fantastic way to:
- Find new prospects
- Develop new connections
- Get sales
- Do outreach for SEO, and more.
- Get backlinks.
In fact, once you send the right kind of emails out and find the right people, the sky is the limit. Get book contracts, speaking assignments, feature on blog posts, and more. You can also do guest blogging, appear on podcasts as a guest, or start a podcast, or co-author a book, or whatever it is that you want to do.
The key is to find emails of the exact person you want to reach out to, and you’d have to do it fast and efficient. Here are a tools to help you do email outreach like a ninja:
Please do thank Dmitry Dragilev, founder of Justreachout.io, for a few tools on this list.
Use them Crazy, Annoying Popups
There must an annoying pop up for every million dollars in revenue? The debate is on whether or not you should use popups for your site.
While everyone is busy debating, a few smarty pants went ahead and used popups to pump up their email lists or to generate leads.
I suggest you do the “smarty pants” thing too. Pick any popup tool you like and start making some awesome offers, right there on your website. Be careful as to which tool you’d finally use for PopUps.
At least, you’d do well to have the following features:
- The ability to choose when, where, and how exactly the popups should appear (an ability to control the behaviour of your popups).
- An additional option of using custom opt-in forms right below blog posts.
- Ease of designing and deploying popups.
Last time I checked, here are a few tools you could use:
Pop ups from Unbounce Pages
I use the convertibles option from Unbounce.com extensively — for my own landing pages and for every client who works with us on a long-term. More often than not, we offer clients completely free landing pages (and as many as they’d need) to help generate leads.
Here’s the best part about using Unbounce Convertables: deploy Popups, generate leads, and every lead generated gets into the same lead generation workflow you’d have setup for your Unbounce landing pages originally.
Bloom OptIn From Elegant themes
See those big opt-in forms below each post and on the footer? You can create those (with your colors, branding, and offers) with the beautiful, ever simple, Bloom Plugin from Elegant Themes. The only way you’d get your hands on this premium plugin is if you get a premium plan from Elegant Themes for a year or a lifetime plan.
Bloom has everything you’d need to easily create and use Opt-in forms in various formats. The regular pop-up, the below-post opt-in form, the side-bar opt-in form, the fly-in opt-in form, and more.
OptinMonster is supposedly the most popular and is really affordable for many businesses just starting out.
OptInMonster, the last time I heard, is complete platform agnostic — it can work on absolutely any platform you might be using for your business. So, deploy popups on Magento, WordPress, Joomla, or even a basic HTML/CSS site.
While Sleeknote is on an expensive side, it has the best popup designer among all the other options, including the popular ones.
The technology is also way smarter and it allows you to put in all sorts of conditional logic based rules for when your popups should show up.
Paid Marketing for Lead Generation: If You Know How
Most businesses don’t go anywhere near paid marketing because it’s “money” being spent (instead of time). The fact that money just keeps draining off your account is a scary proposition for most business owners.
If you setup your paid marketing channels the right way and work hard to get your sales funnel in line, nothing pays off as good (and fast) as Paid marketing does.
What are you doing to help generate leads? Tell me about it.