I’m sure you’ll agree:
Lead generation is frustrating.
And it often leaves you feeling disheartened about growing your business, doesn’t it?
Yet, in spite of all this, visitors just won’t convert into leads…
But here’s the catch:
The chances are that you focus on converting web visitors using methods that don’t match their current stage of the buying cycle.
Lucky for you, that’s exactly what I’m going to help you change. In this post, I’ll show you 3 lead strategies guaranteed to find you leads and clients.
Intrigued? Let’s do it then.
Why You Must Understand the Buying Cycle to Generate Leads
Every person landing on your site is looking for something.
It could be more information to evaluate you as a potential IT vendor. Some visitors might be looking for advice that could help them understand a particular problem they have.
But only a small group of them will be ready to buy during that visit.
In fact, 94% of B2B buyers will do some form of research before the purchase.
What’s important, the majority of them will conduct that research on the supplier’s site.
In spite of that, though, they aren’t ready to connect with you.
In fact, only 28.6% want to speak with a company’s representative during the research.
The rest prefers to do it on their own.
And so, positioning sales-focused calls to action in front of these people might deter them from continuing with the process.
To convert web visitors, you need to offer them lead magnets that match their stage of the buying cycle.
And here are 3 of the most efficient lead generation strategies guaranteed to generate those leads.
#1. Content Upgrades
If you’ve been trying to generate leads for some time now, then I’m sure you already know it:
The best way to convince someone to hand you over their email address or other contact details is by offering them something in return.
And that’s why you create lead magnets. eBooks, whitepapers, reports, and many other lead magnets help companies convert visitors into potential business.
But here’s the problem with traditional lead magnets:
They take a lot of effort to produce.
Take an average eBook for example. Writing, editing, and designing a 20-page publication could take weeks. Plus, you have no guarantee that it’s going to resonate with your audience.
Luckily, there’s an alternative – content upgrades.
“[…] a complementary piece of information your readers can download in exchange for jumping through a hoop such as sharing the post or giving you his/her email address.”
Pat Flynn adds another element to the definition, calling it:
“A bonus content that people can get access to in exchange for their email address. Unlike traditional “site-wide” lead magnets, however, content upgrades are unique to the specific content that people are already reading or listening to on your site.”
On a more technical level, a content upgrade is typically a shorter document, offering additional information that upgrades what you’ve shared in the article.
Some examples of content upgrades include:
- Resource list,
- Cheat Sheet
- Or even a printable version of the post.
And you can see them pretty much everywhere these days:
But do you know what the most exciting thing about them is?
Content upgrades receive one the best conversion rates of all lead generation strategies.
It’s common for content upgrades to convert at anything from 5% – 20%.
To create content upgrades:
Collect the data you want to offer your readers. Remember, the purpose of this lead magnet is to upgrade the post so make sure that the information is relevant. Some easy ways to create content upgrades include:
- Converting the content into a checklist.
- Putting together a list of additional blog posts or resources that would help a person learn more about the topic.
- Converting the post into a PDF and offering it for download.
Create the lead magnet. You can do it in Google Docs or use a dedicated software like Beacon that can automatically convert your content into content upgrades.
Include a call to action within the post. A common practice is to place a couple of calls to action throughout the content. At a minimum, you should display one at the end of the introduction, and another at the bottom of the post.
#2. Slideshare Presentations
A couple of weeks ago I called Slideshare one of the top marketing channels to build your MSPs credibility.
And the benefits of using Slideshare are undisputable.
- It gives you instant access to LinkedIn’s audience. As part of the social network, Slideshare propagates presentations to your LinkedIn connections and beyond.
- It helps you rank in Google faster. You know, the secret to Google rankings is simple: the more authoritative is your website, the higher it ranks for relevant keywords. And given SlideShare’s popularity and authority, its presentations tend to rank quite high even for competitive phrases.
- Slideshare helps build your credibility. And I’ve talked a lot about this in my previous post.
However, did you know that you could also use it to generate leads for your business?
In fact, Slideshare offers three ways to place lead generation calls to action in your presentations.
You can include a lead capture form:
You can specify its placement, and how you want it to appear (i.e. if you want to show it at the end of your presentation or require a person to sign in to view a part of it).
Important, this is a paid lead generation strategy. Linkedin charges you per lead generated, with rates starting at about $10 per email (note: rates might differ between industries, regions, etc.).
You can also include a call to action on a slide.
In this instance, instead of clicking on a form, readers would be directed to an external page (or their email program).
And finally, you can include a call to action in your presentation’s description:
Podcasting might seem the most challenging strategy of the three.
But before you discount it, do hear me out:
I agree, launching a podcast might seem intimidating at first. You have to record an episode, edit, publish, promote it…
But doing all this is well worth it. Here are some reasons why:
- Podcast listening grew by 23% between 2015 and 2016 (source)
- The same number of Americans listen to podcasts and use Twitter
- Podcast listeners stay tuned 5 times longer than reading a blog post
- And 67% of podcast listeners don’t mind sponsorship messages and occasionally find them useful
Plus, as it turns out, launching a podcast isn’t that difficult at all.
For one, your episodes don’t have to be that long. That’s a major misconception about podcasting.
Many successful B2B podcasts run for 10 minutes or less. For example, Tyson Downs’s shows are only a couple of minutes long. Hell, he even openly calls his podcast “The 10 Minute Healthcare Marketing Podcast.”
The IT Marketing’s episodes are even shorter. Many clock sat 2 or 3 minutes.
You don’t need to create unique content for a podcast too. Many podcasts feature audio versions of the company’s blog posts.
One of my favorite podcasts, the Founder’s Journey, features Baremetrics’ CEO, Josh Pigford reading his articles. Here, take a look:
You also don’t need a professional studio or expensive equipment. Many business owners use a basic (but good) microphone and audio software on their computer.
You even don’t have to edit your shows. Companies like Cashflow Podcasting can do it for you.
And here’s how you can generate leads with podcasts:
- You can point your listeners to lead magnets from the show notes. These links would work like calls to action, taking a person to a landing page, where they could sign up and download eBook or a checklist.
- Mention additional resources that point to lead capture forms. Have a complimentary post to the podcast episode? Tell your listeners about it, share a link, and get them on your site and list.
- Point listeners to your site, services or products. Podcast listeners don’t mind you talking about your services or products. So do it.
- Build authority that prompts prospects to reach out to you directly. And that’s the benefit of podcasting many small business owners talk about. They get direct inquiries from people who have been listening to their show.
And now you know it…
…the 3 lead generation strategies guaranteed to get you more leads and clients.