12 Lead Generation Marketing Strategies and Methods

Lead generation is a crucial part of any successful marketing strategy. It is the process of recognizing and drawing in prospective clients who have shown interest in your product or service. These potential clients are called “leads,” and your task is to nurture them until they become paying customers. The process involves various marketing techniques and strategies (such as online directories, SEO content, pay-per-click schemes, and more) to capture and engage these potential clients and guide them through the sales funnel.

lead-generation-strategies-1Lead generation. Image Credit: Shutterstock.com/Photon photo

To help your business grow and thrive, you need to consistently attract potential customers and convert them into valuable leads. 

Listed below are 12 lead generation strategies and methods that can help you achieve your goals:

1. Utilize Niche Online Directories

A great way to improve your lead generation is by tapping into niche-specific online directories. Listing your business in these directories can put you in front of an audience that is actively searching for products like yours, so it improves the quality of your leads. For example, Thomasnet.com stands out as the premier directory for the industrial manufacturing sector, offering a valuable platform for businesses in this field. Manufacturing businesses can take advantage of this online directory by creating a comprehensive company profile. Your profile serves as a digital storefront to showcase your offerings to a highly focused audience. This industry-specific platform provides targeted visibility to businesses actively seeking industrial solutions.

2. Create Quality SEO Content

SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the most important and successful lead generation strategies for both B2B and B2C businesses. SEO plays a crucial role in building and enhancing your unpaid, organic visibility on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs). This, in turn, can significantly boost traffic to the specific pages you've identified as priorities within your lead generation strategy. In essence, higher search engine rankings translate to greater apparent authority within the market.

When you start formulating an SEO strategy, it’s important to use SEO optimization tools such as: SEMrush, SurferSEO, or Ahrefs. Your content must be accurate, clear, and concise, and should answer frequently asked questions. Keyword research is another key element that you want to incorporate into your SEO strategy. It’s a way to generate target leads which can improve your lead-to-sales rate. 

Remember that effective lead generation requires quality content. Content-based lead generation strategies allow you to expand your visibility in search engines if your content is well-optimized. The greater your quantity of high-quality content, the more search engines will recognize and reward your efforts.

While it is possible to learn SEO best practices online for free, it can take a lot of time. If your business is in a particularly competitive niche, it may be worthwhile to invest in professional SEO consulting services. In terms of marketing, Thomasnet’s Thomas Marketing Services (TMS) is one such digital marketing option. As a HubSpot Diamond Agency Partner, we specialize in content creation, inbound marketing, SEO, website design, PPC/SEM, email marketing, and social media marketing. TMS also provides a free digital marketing health check to help you assess and improve your digital marketing strategies.

3. Set Up PPC Campaigns

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements excel in reaching people who are actively searching for keywords related to your offerings. The ads connect you with a relevant audience, making even viewers who are unfamiliar with your business into potential leads. The value of PPC lies in its ability to reach a receptive audience interested in your products or services.

Thomas Marketing Services (TMS) is a recognized PPC management service provider that specializes in helping businesses effectively manage their Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns. This expertise helps businesses optimize PPC strategies to reach their target audience and generate valuable leads and conversions.

4. Utilize Video Marketing

Video marketing can be a crucial part of your lead generation strategy for several reasons. Platforms like YouTube are not just for videos; they also function as search engines for users with focused interests. 

YouTube has 122 million daily active users who, on average, spend over 16 minutes per day watching content. Many people prefer watching tutorials and other video content over reading manuals or product presentations. This makes video marketing an effective strategy for generating leads for your products and services.

In the early stages, you don't necessarily need a large number of subscribers. Focus on optimizing your video content to rank well in Google’s search results. You can also use hashtags to increase the visibility of your campaigns on social media platforms. By combining video marketing with other lead-generation techniques, you can expand your reach and connect with a targeted audience.

5. Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy

A social media marketing strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how your business or organization intends to use social media platforms to achieve specific marketing goals. Every successful example will: specify objectives, identify a target audience, create content, post on a regular schedule, have clear advertising strategies and engagement tactics, and contain metrics for measuring success. A well-defined social media marketing strategy helps businesses effectively utilize platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others to build brand awareness, engage with customers, and drive traffic and conversions.

Organic social media traffic is very helpful for startups, especially when targeting local markets. There are specific approaches to amplify your impact on these platforms.

One strategic option is to invest in paid social media marketing. It is often cost-effective and typically reaches a broader audience than organic posts, which tend to engage only a fraction of your followers. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer paid advertising solutions that allow you to precisely target specific audiences and even retarget individuals who have previously interacted with your business.

Moreover, these social media platforms provide the convenience of one-click email submission. This feature lets users effortlessly submit their contact information with just a single click, offering you a straightforward and hassle-free means of collecting valuable data on potential leads. By combining both organic and paid strategies, you can maximize your lead generation efforts on social media, effectively expanding both reach and engagement with potential customers.

6. Simplify Your Lead Generation Form

Lead generation forms are digital forms where potential customers or "leads" enter actionable information. These forms are found on websites, landing pages, or within marketing content and are used to collect details such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, job titles, or specific preferences. The idea is to gather contact information from individuals who have shown interest in your products or services. This collected data allows you to follow up on leads, nurture them through the sales funnel, and ultimately convert them into customers. 

A good lead generation plan will include such forms, but they need to be simple and properly optimized. The key objective is to strike a balance between the quantity and quality of submissions while considering the user experience, particularly for mobile users. Lengthy forms can deter busy users, especially those on mobile devices. To address this, keep sign-up forms short and collect only essential information upfront. You can later supplement data gaps with advanced contextual data points and mobile numbers. This user-centric approach not only enhances the user experience but also boosts conversion rates, making the lead-generation process more efficient and effective.

7. Enable A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a systematic method for comparing the performance of two different versions of a webpage or other marketing materials. This approach is particularly valuable when optimizing landing pages and enhancing lead-generation strategies. To set up the test, you first need to create two variations of your content — the control version and the variant. These versions may have differences in headlines, images, call-to-action buttons, or other components of the webpage. Next, present the control version to one-half of your audience and the variant to the other half. This division gives you a direct comparison of the two versions' effectiveness in engaging and converting visitors. 

After the split testing is conducted, closely examine key metrics to determine which version outperformed the other. Metrics may include: conversion rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and other relevant indicators of success. By combining A/B testing with other lead generation methods, you can fine-tune your strategies for maximum conversions. For instance, you can use A/B testing to compare elements on your landing pages such as headlines, ad types, or quotes in case studies. This data-driven approach lets you identify which elements your audience finds most engaging and which ultimately drive more conversions. 

8. Set Up Remarketing and Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting and remarketing campaigns are key lead generation strategies. These paid ads specifically target prospects who have shown interest in your brand. The goal is to re-engage website visitors who didn't initially convert into leads. By carefully planning your campaigns, you can maximize conversions at minimal cost. Additionally, advertising platforms like Google and Facebook offer the capability to create "lookalike audiences." This feature allows you to target individuals who share key characteristics with your previous customers, expanding the potential pool of quality leads. Retargeted ads outperform general ads, with ten times the average click-through rate (CTR). These ads, which may include discounts or calls for urgency, lure visitors back to complete their desired actions. By adding retargeting and remarketing into your strategy, you keep your brand at the top of visitors’ minds and re-engage potential leads.

9. Launch Live Chat

Live chat functions are direct but convenient methods of communication. This feature eliminates the need for customers to pick up the phone or even compose an email. One of the significant advantages of live chat is that it empowers potential customers to ask questions and seek assistance at their convenience. This flexibility in communication is a powerful way to nurture potential leads and convert them into sales. By building a "Chat Now" button into your business website, you not only make it easier for visitors to connect with you, but you also establish a more immediate and responsive relationship with them.

This real-time interaction not only aids in lead generation but also enhances your customer service. It showcases your commitment to customer satisfaction and your willingness to address inquiries promptly. In this way, live chat functions serve as valuable tools for building relationships with new customers, engaging leads, and improving the overall customer experience on your website.

10. Create a Referral Program

Incentive-based referral systems can be powerful lead generators that capitalize on the continued importance of word-of-mouth advertising even in today's tech-driven world. This approach requires that you develop customized referral codes for individual clients and prospects. When a new client makes their first purchase using a referral code, they receive a discount, and the loyal client who referred them also benefits from a referral discount. The simplicity of this process allows customers to easily share their referral codes through email, text, or social media channels, significantly increasing their chances of receiving referrals.

To ensure the success of your referral program, it's essential to provide strong incentives for both the referrer and the referee. Some businesses take the approach of rewarding both parties, creating a win-win scenario. In addition to incentives, customer service plays a key role in the success of your referral system. Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business to their peers. This is why positive customer experiences are so important to your lead-generation strategy.

11. Host an Online Event

Online events are strategic lead generation tools that can yield valuable insights through your engagement with attendees. Advance registration for the event (with proper permission) nets you some essential data about your audience before you even start and feedback during and after the event tells you more about what your leads want and expect.

The pre-registration process also creates a sense of anticipation and commitment among potential attendees, increasing participation and engagement levels. To maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, select a topic that strongly resonates with your target audience.

12. Encourage Positive Reviews

Positive reviews can drive leads toward you all on their own. Reviews have a significant influence on potential customers' decision-making processes. People often rely on their peers' opinions before engaging with a brand, making positive reviews a valuable asset. They’ll often place far more trust in a review than in your marketing material.

To leverage the power of positive reviews, it's essential to encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback. You can do this via email outreach once they've had the opportunity to experience your product or service. Additionally, make sure you respond to reviews; it demonstrates your commitment to customer service and gives you a chance to address any negative feedback in an equally public manner.

About Thomasnet

Thomasnet.com® is trusted by millions of industrial buyers who have leveraged our content and expertise. We connect buyers, engineers and MRO professionals to more than 500,000 North American manufacturers daily. Reaching these in-market buyers starts with building a comprehensive Company Profile.

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