20 Winning Lead Generation Strategies for 2021

20 Winning Lead Generation Strategies for 2021

Generating high-value leads is a task many companies struggle with. 53% of businesses spend at least half of their marketing budget solely on lead generation. Streamlining the lead acquisition process with efficient strategies can save your business a great deal of time and money.

There are many types of lead generation — from SMM and content marketing to cold outreach. In recent years, social media has grown to be the top lead generation channel thanks to its massive audience and targeted advertising opportunities. As not all lead acquisition techniques are guaranteed to work for your brand, it’s worth examining various approaches to find the ones that match your specific needs.

In this article, you’ll find a list of diverse lead generation strategies that can be applied in a wide range of industries. Explore your options and choose the ones that will resonate with your target audience.

Now, if you’re ready, let’s jump right in!

  • What is Lead Generation?
  • 20 Lead Generation Strategies

 

What is Lead Generation?

A lead is a potential client that has shown interest in your business by sharing some form of personal or contact information — e.g., their name or email address. Usually, this is accomplished by means of a lead magnet — a free item, service, or piece of content offered to a potential customer in exchange for their contact details. 

The practice of acquiring leads is known as lead generation (or lead gen). The example described above is just one of the many lead generation strategies used by marketers and salespeople. Once the lead is captured and is, therefore, at the top of the sales funnel, the challenge is to guide the prospect further down the funnel to reach the end goal — conversion.

The marketing sales funnel

Source: Program Gems

Lead qualification plays a massive role in this process to determine whether a lead matches your ideal customer profile and is likely to become a buyer. This allows companies to assess, prioritize and segment prospects in a process known as lead scoring. Without successful lead qualification, you run a big risk of pursuing the wrong target and wasting your resources.

 

20 Lead Generation Strategies

Lead generation strategies can be as diverse as brands, which is why it’s critical to pick the right ones to capitalize on. Attempting to incorporate all lead generation tactics at once will result in a messy marketing strategy that lacks direction. 

While choosing a lead generation strategy, account for the following:

  • Your audience: What demographic are you targeting, and what preferences do they have?
  • Your budget: How much are you willing to allocate to developing and employing a lead magnet?
  • The size of your business: Are you a small startup building its client base from scratch or a sizable business striving to extend its outreach?

 

With that said, let’s dive into 20 lead generation strategies that can work miracles for a modern-day business.

 

  1. Use Video

Video has become an essential tool for brands to inform and engage their audiences. 83% of video marketers confirm that video has helped them generate leads. Moreover, videos increase the quality of leads by 66%. With this in mind, it’d be unwise to disregard the ability of video to attract leads.

Videos are known to boost click-through rates, which is why you often see them in social media posts or emails. You can experiment with different types of videos and compare the results to single out the formats that generate the most leads.

The downside of video marketing is that the production costs can quickly add up, making it inaccessible for smaller businesses. In these cases, ready-made video templates are a great alternative as they allow brands to create professional videos for a fraction of the cost.

promo video templates

Create My Video

 

  1. Take up Blogging

Blogging is one of the most reliable B2B lead generation strategies. It draws in organic traffic to your website, and when nurtured properly, that traffic can turn into valuable leads. By visiting your blog post, users have shown interest in your content. If what they find on your blog matches their intent, they’ll likely be willing to continue engaging with your brand.

Statistics show that companies that blog produce 67% more leads per month than those that don’t. Search engines reward content that is helpful, easy to digest, and optimized. Offer expert advice, write in-depth guides, answer questions related to your industry, and optimize your content for search engines. In doing so, you’ll attract qualified leads and build authority in your field.

 

  1. Offer Gated Content

Gated content is different from regular content in that it requires an additional step the user has to take to access it. This step can be filling out a form, purchasing a subscription plan, completing a quick quiz, etc. It’s a popular B2B lead generation strategy among brands that have previously established a credible reputation in the market.

etrepreneur.com gated content

Source: Entrepreneur

Gated content is an excellent technique to convert web visitors to leads and collect useful information about your user base. This type of content is typically more comprehensive and thorough and often comes in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, reports, or online courses. 

But keep in mind that users will have higher expectations from gated content as they were required to take action to access it. Ensure your material is value-packed, original, and delivers on its promise. The last thing you want is to disappoint or mislead your prospective customers.

 

  1. Repurpose Old Content

Another tip that can revolutionize your content strategy is repurposing and reusing your old content. With new studies and articles regularly coming out, online content is growing exponentially, and even well-performing content can quickly become outdated.

The good news is, you don’t have to dispose of your old content if you find that it still carries value. Instead, revisit and repurpose the dated material to optimize it for user intent. This applies to any type of content you might be employing — blog articles, social media posts, videos and graphics, and so on.

content repurposing

 

  1. Strategize Landing Page Design

A landing page, alternatively known as a lead capture page, is a single web page designed to guide visitors who have landed on a website from search results. When you study landing pages, you’ll notice that they’re usually short, simple, and straightforward and serve one specific purpose.

More often than not, landing pages are the first thing web surfers come across on your website. Hence, it’s crucial that the structure of your page is well-thought-out and leads to your desired outcome.  

Pay attention to the wording and placement of your headlines and CTA buttons. If you’re new to landing page design, study high-converting pages to analyze why they’re performing well. In most cases, the answer will be in their page structure, use of words, and targeted keywords, so pay extra attention to those elements.

Renderforest YouTube intro maker landing page

Above, you’ll see an example of one of our most successful landing pages — YouTube Intro Maker. Notice how the page features short, skimmable texts and ample white space. The page sections are arranged in a logical order, starting with a quick introduction and ending with customer testimonials.

 

  1. Create Pop-ups

Using pop-ups is a simple, effortless way to draw web visitors’ attention to a message. It can be an email opt-in form, a link to a blog article, or a reminder to download a free guide. While it’s true that some users choose to block pop-ups, there’s still a lot to be gained if you use them sensibly without overloading your site with them.

Renderforest blog pop-up

 

  1. Try Social Media Ads

Social media is a great lead acquisition propellor as most of your prospects probably spend a significant chunk of their time on these platforms. Big social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram support targeted advertising to help marketers get their message across to the right audience. 

The wider your ad distribution is, the higher your chances of reaching people that are not interested in your offer. Look at your existing audience and analyze their demographic and psychographic data. If you don’t have an established audience yet, examine that of your direct competitors. Use the gathered info to target a similar audience with your social media ads.

Instagram ads

Source: Instagram

 

  1. Write Compelling Ad Copy

Besides getting your ads in front of the right audience, you also have to ensure that once your prospects see the ads, they’re compelled to check them out. Your goal is to stand out from the sea of social ads users see every day, and a great ad copy will help you do just that. 

Experiment with different variations to see what impact each one leaves on readers. Use emotional words, try different copy lengths, and speak the language your audience understands. If you’re working with a demographic of teens, for example, eliminate any fancy or overly technical vocabulary. Define your buyer persona and write your copy specifically for them.

 

  1. Consider Buyer’s Journey

If your posts receive a lot of engagement but few conversions, chances are, your audience is not ready for the level of commitment you’re asking for. Buyers typically go through certain stages before making a purchase; this is a process known as the buyer’s journey.

Stages of the buyer's journey

There are three stages in the buyer’s journey: awareness, consideration, and decision. Tailoring your campaigns to each of these stages will assure you meet buyers where they are and will increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.

 

  1. Improve Social Media Presence

Nowadays, consumers are used to constant updates from brands on social networks, so don’t shy away from actively engaging with them via your social profiles. Update your profile pages with fresh info, optimize your profile and cover photos, post regularly, and be responsive to any messages and feedback you receive from customers.

Social media groups are an excellent place to meet people that might be interested in your services or products. You can find groups related to any niche and connect to users by sharing your expertise and experience. Needless to say, concentrate on the platforms where your target audience is the most active.

Homeowners financial group on Facebook

Source: Homeowners Financial Group on Facebook

 

  1. Find Niche Forums

Forums have too many high-quality leads to be bypassed by advertisers. Not to mention, they are very specific and narrow down on one topic, which simplifies the lead qualification process. Instead of forcefully trying to advertise your brand from the get-go, make an effort to integrate into the community and give people assistance through sharing personal experience and genuine advice.

 

  1. Give Bing Ads a Try

If you’ve only been using Google ads, try branching out to alternative search engines that have significant traffic. Microsoft Bing is one of those platforms often underutilized by marketers. It gives a bit more flexibility than Google ads by allowing user targeting based on the device they use. Another pro of Bing advertising is that the competition is relatively milder, so you’ll have a lower cost per click and a higher chance to get noticed.

ads on Microsoft Bing

Source: Gloc Media

 

  1. Keep A/B Testing

Unless you have a superhuman capacity for perfection, it’s hard to get everything right on the first try, especially if you’re launching a big campaign. Luckily, you have the opportunity to test things and find the optimal version without having to redo the entire project. 

A/B testing or split testing is the practice of comparing two versions of a single element to determine which one performs better. You can A/B test any big or small element, but we recommend you pay extra attention to headlines, catchphrases, CTA buttons, and other elements that tend to get the most attention. 

The results can often be counterintuitive, so make sure you keep testing and optimizing your projects to base your decisions on accurate data rather than guesswork.

A/B testing for websites

 

  1. Think Mobile First

You’ve probably heard repeatedly about the importance of prioritizing mobile versions of websites and landing pages. But if you still haven’t gotten around to it, consider this as your reminder. Google has long switched to indexing web pages based on mobile versions instead of desktop. This means that if your page is inconvenient and untidy on mobile, you’ll attract fewer leads than you would have otherwise.

 

  1. Analyze With Heatmaps

Heatmaps are a powerful tool to gain insight into user behavior and see how people interact with your lead magnets. They reveal where visitors click on your website, what they skip, and to which sections they scroll. With this data, you can identify and resolve any obstacles on your web pages that deter users from taking the desired action.

heatmap for websites

Source: Hotjar

 

  1. Employ Chatbots

Chatbots are a great lead generation catalyst able to convert web surfers to leads. They engage users in conversations and are very quick to provide the needed assistance. Of course, chatbots are not yet capable of fully substituting human assistance, but they can be a great first step to making a connection with a potential customer.

 

  1. Have Email Newsletter

One of the best channels for lead nurturing is email, so if you have a decent-sized audience but haven’t yet set up an email newsletter, you should give it a try. Aside from keeping customers up to date with discounts and special offers, email is also a great way to distribute your content and redirect traffic to your site.

Renderforest email newsletter

The data collected from lead scoring and customer behavior analysis will help you create more personalized email campaigns to deliver relevant content to each user group. Don’t forget to take into account the decision-making stages, as you wouldn’t want to offer a lifetime subscription to your newly acquired leads.

 

  1. Retreat and Retarget

Behavioral retargeting is an advertising technique that reconnects brands with users that have previously visited their websites. Google Remarketing allows you to do just that by placing ads in front of web surfers who have interacted with you online. This will remind them of your company and give them a chance to return to your site.

 

  1. Offer a Free Product

Free products are an unmatched lead magnet as they give prospects a lot of value with little to no commitment. Create a free tool or offer a free service and suggest paid upgrades once the user is satisfied with your brand.

HubSpot free tools

Source: HubSpot

HubSpot is a company well-known for a variety of free tools that only require an email address for access. And, you guessed it, by providing their email addresses, users agree to receive relevant content and updates from the software company.

 

  1. Do Social Listening

Social listening is the practice of observing what users say about a specific brand or topic on social media platforms. It can be applied in a number of ways, such as monitoring brand image or competitors. When it comes to lead generation, social listening can help to find consumers who might benefit from your products. You can choose specific keywords relevant to your business and base your query on them.

 

To Sum Up

Whether you’re trying to promote your startup or increase the ROI for your expanding business, you’ll need effective lead generation strategies to rely on. While working with leads, you’ll come to notice that their number matters less than their quality. 

The lead generation strategies mentioned in this article have been tried and tested time and time again, but be sure to focus on the ones that resonate with your brand. It’s the only way to ensure that you generate leads that are a good match for your business and are likely to bring in sales. 

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