It’s been years since the power’s shifted away from marketers and advertisers and in favor of Internet consumers. Now more than ever, people are empowered to choose their own experiences online. They’re actively avoiding ad content — and instead of living by advertisers’ rule books, they’re deciding what to click on, what to read, what to download, and what to buy … and what not to.
And they have a lot of choices.
When inbound marketers like us are looking to generate more leads from our website, we need to think not just about how to capture people’s attention, but how to capture it in a way that makes people want to learn more from us. A smart lead generation strategy includes creating valuable offers and experiences that fit seamlessly into the context of what people already like and want to do online. It’s the consumer’s world; us marketers are just living in it.
People read calls-to-action that say things like “Sign up here!” as basically synonymous with “We’re gonna spam you.” If you’re recycling these same old lead generation tactics over and over again, it’s quickly going to become white noise. But calls-to-action that fit into the context of what a person’s doing already? That’s smart marketing.
If you want to increase the conversion rate on your website, you need to get smart and creative with your lead generation tactics. Asking for blog subscriptions and gating high-quality content like comprehensive guides, ebooks, and whitepapers behind landing pages still works, but you have to be smart about where you’re offering them on your website. And they shouldn’t be your only lead generation plays.
There are many ways to get creative with lead generation to make sure you’re reaping the benefits of the traffic you’re working so hard to get. Here are some lead generation ideas for B2B and B2C marketers to try. Test them out, tweak them according to your audience’s preferences, and share your own ideas you have in the comments.
1) Put your calls-to-action in people’s natural eye path.
CTA placement can have a profound effect on the number of leads you’re generating from your site. And yet, not many marketers are spending a whole lot of time thinking about, testing, and tweaking CTA placement to optimize their conversions. Many claim that as long as they place their primary CTA above the fold, they’re good to go. (Side note: Even though putting primary CTAs above the fold is often considered a best practice, even that is still up for debate.)
2) Use pop-up and slide-in forms the right way.
Pop-ups have been vilified in the last few years — and quite understandably, too. Far too many marketers use them in a way that disrupts people’s experience on their website instead of enhancing it.
3) Add anchor texts to old blog posts that align closely with your gated offers.
It’s common for business bloggers to add an end-of-post banner CTA at the end of every one of their blog posts, like this one:
In fact, you might already be including CTAs like this on your own business blog posts. At HubSpot, we include an end-of-post banner CTA on every single one of our posts, and we also add slide-in CTAs to blog posts that prove themselves to convert visitors into leads at a high rate via organic traffic.
4) Support the launch of a new campaign with a launch post and other blog posts on related topics.
Every time you launch a new marketing campaign, posting the good news on your blog should be a key part of your launch plan. It’s a great way to let your existing subscribers know what new content, products, and features you’re putting out there, and it also helps introduce these launches to brand-new audiences.
5) Use social media strategically for lead generation.
Top-of-the-funnel marketing metrics like traffic and brand awareness isn’t all social media is good for. It can still be a helpful — not to mention low-cost — source for lead generation.
In addition to promoting new blog posts and content to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social sites, be sure to regularly post links to blog posts and even directly to the landing pages of offers that have historically performed well for the lead generation. You’ll need to do a lead generation analysis of your blog to figure out which posts perform best for lead generation.
When you link directly to landing pages, be sure the copy in your social posts sets the expectation that clicking the link will send people to a landing page, like Canva did in this Facebook post:
Contests are another way to generate leads from social. Not only are they fun for your followers, but they can also teach you a whole lot about your audience while simultaneously engaging them, growing your reach, and driving traffic to your website.
In addition to posting links to lead generation forms, you’ll also want to make sure you’re using the real estate for lead generation that’s available to you on the social networks that you’re using. On Facebook for example, use the feature available for Pages that lets you put a simple call-to-action button at the top of your Facebook Page. It can help drive more traffic from your Facebook Page to lead generation forms like landing pages and contact sheets.
Here are more lead generation tips for Facebook, and for Twitter.
In addition to optimizing your webpages and social presence for leads, always be looking for opportunities to increase the traffic of your highest-converting pages by optimizing these pages for the keywords they’re already ranking for, and linking to these pages internally and externally.
I hope this list has helped spark some ideas for lead generation tactics to test for your own audience. If you’ve tried any of the tactics I’ve listed above, tell us about your experiences in the comments — and feel free to add more ideas to the list.