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When it comes to lead generation on social media, most marketers cringe from the bad taste in their mouths left from the last campaign that turned sour. In fact, for 63% of marketers, generating traffic and leads are the biggest challenges in their companies in 2019.
As of 2018, organic reach has plummeted yet again, favoring posts from friends and family rather than those from pages. However, social media is still one of the most effective channels for lead generation, simply because it’s where your ideal target audience spends a huge chunk of their free time every day. On top of that, the laser-precision targeting makes it effortless to market to very specific audiences.
In this post, we’ll give you 5 underrated ways to generate high-quality leads on social media – without breaking a sweat or spending a fortune on ads.
Just a couple of years ago, LinkedIn was taken anything but seriously compared to other major social media platforms. It was a dull network where people went to update their position every now and then.
In recent years, however, LinkedIn has become the go-to place for B2B and B2C discussion – and lead generation. Besides paid ads, there’s room to generate leads for free, using LinkedIn groups. This is also one of our most successful lead generation channels.
The idea is simple:
Obviously, things are a little more complicated than that. The reason why marketers shy away from this approach is that it takes a significant chunk of time and it’s difficult to measure success. Here are some general tips to make the most out of this lead gen approach:
Your leads have common sense and it’s not difficult for them to differentiate someone spamming their content with a genuine expert, offering advice and help. Out of all the methods here, this is the one that takes the most time. Moreover, tracking the return on investment is fairly difficult.
By definition, gated content is a piece of content which visitors can only access by providing their details on your landing page, such as an email address. This piece of content can be anything from a case study, white paper, webinar ticket, cheat sheet, swipe file, etc.
When promoting your gated content on social media, there are bound to be visitors who click through but don’t leave their data. There could be several reasons for this:
Remember, your followers have plenty of free content available out there – you need to make an offer that’s worth their precious contact data.
For example, Hubspot is one of the most renowned names in marketing today, and they owe much of that success to the gated content on their website. Below you’ll see a screenshot from one of their resources, a Content Marketing Workbook, which you can download for free - if you provide all of the data they require. Much of the gated content they have is posted as sponsored on their social media profiles, such as LinkedIn.
I’ve downloaded this workbook and several other materials from Hubspot and they always provide value - you can use them to better your marketing efforts. Note that in return, Hubspot not only generates leads but also collects all of the data needed to qualify those leads right off the bat. If you can create a captivating social media post that leads to a valuable piece of gated content, you’ll have a fresh stream of qualified leads at all times.
Everybody likes free stuff, and your leads are no exception. Take a look at the example below from Instagram:
In return for a chance to win a cool gadget, this company’s followers are willing to leave a comment, tag 3 friends and follow the page. The benefits are threefold, and the company is getting massive exposure while investing only a couple of hundred dollars.
There are countless ways to set up a contest, but the rules for generating quality leads are more or less the same:
Needless to say, you should run the contest on the platform where your target audience spends the most time. Finally, if you can’t give away physical products, you can always offer discounts, coupons or special offers.
Do you remember a few years back when Buzzfeed blew up with their quizzes? Everybody wanted to find out which country they should really live in and which Friends character they are. It turns out that quizzes are actually great for generating highly qualified leads.
Why and how do quizzes work actually? It’s simple – people love the moment of introspection, getting to find out more about themselves in mere minutes, and they leave their contact data to get the results. Besides, they’re a great way to waste time at work (when you should be writing this article, for example).
Even though Buzzfeed’s popularity has died down over the years, quizzes remain an excellent solution for lead generation on social media, with apps such as LeadQuizzes, Interact, Qzzr and others. What’s great about quizzes is that they work for every social media platform out there.
Video is the next big thing in marketing, according to absolutely every marketer out there. In fact, research says that 78% of businesses increased their generated traffic through video marketing. This presents a huge opportunity for businesses of all sizes to get some relevant traffic and qualified leads.
The biggest issue with video marketing is that it takes significant time and resources. Filming and editing quality videos do not come cheap and it’s difficult for smaller companies to justify the ROI. However, live video comes at a much cheaper price and you don’t need a talented team of video editors to pull it off.
Using live video (on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram), you can tune in directly with your audience and showcase a demo of your product, keep them up to date with industry news, invite someone exciting for a guest interview and do anything that comes to mind.
Here’s why live streaming works so well. First, on each of these platforms, your followers will get a notification when you go live. In the age where organic traffic is dying, it’s an excellent way to get impressions for free. Two, there’s an element of scarcity - the video is live only once and followers will want to participate. They can replay it later, however. Finally, live streaming is authentic - there is no expensive editing, special effects or a clever script. It’s just you and the audience, as intimate as it gets.
Wondering if it works? Here's an example: Buzzfeed started a live stream video on something seemingly simple - how many rubber bands does it take to cut a watermelon in half? Call it trivial, but they were able to get 800,000 participants by the end of the 44-minute video.
Your aim is probably not to get as many viewers as possible but to turn those viewers into income. You can do this by promoting your products, answering customer questions, offering discounts and special offers and other methods of lead generation.
Lead generation doesn’t have to be boring – it can actually be a great way to interact with your followers. Whether you’re working in B2C or B2B and no matter the social media platform you use, you can generate high-quality leads without resorting to paid ads. What’s your favorite way to generate leads on social media? Let us know in the comments.
Author bio: Mile Živković is a content writer and work-life balance expert at Chanty – a simple and AI-powered Slack alternative. When Mile isn't busy writing epic posts on productivity, work-life balance and time management for Chanty blog, he's probably driving somewhere. His hobbies include cars (huge fan of Alfa Romeo), photography, and collecting pocket knives. You can catch him on LinkedIn.
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