24 Time-Tested Lead Generation Strategies To Start Using Today

What’s a Lead?

As a quick primer, let’s talk about what we mean by a “lead”.

  • An initial lead-which is most often generated via a content upgrade or similar (such as a quiz)-is essentially an email address or phone number;
  • A marketing qualified lead (MQL)-which is a lead that is more engaged on your site, maybe downloads multiple pieces of content, and ultimately contacts you about your services or for a demo (depending on your offer);
  • A sales qualified lead (SQL)-which is a marketing qualified lead that has spoken with the sales team and is deemed to be qualified to be taken down the sales funnel and ultimately to become a customer.

Here are the lead generation strategies we’ll cover:

  1. SEO (search engine optimization)
  2. Consistent editorial content
  3. Content with proprietary data
  4. Content upgrades
  5. Guest posting
  6. Dominate your search results using other sites
  7. Be a podcast guest
  8. Incentive-based referral programs
  9. Organic social media
  10. Build an email list
  11. Hold webinars
  12. Throw an online summit
  13. Try live chat
  14. Social media advertising
  15. Niche conference sponsorships
  16. Podcast advertising
  17. Local event sponsorships
  18. Join a (paid) mastermind
  19. Simplify your landing pages
  20. Invest in a copywriting course
  21. Build your brand
  22. Leverage case studies
  23. Speak at conferences
  24. Write a book
  25. Invest in less popular content types
  1. Organic lead generation strategies;
  2. Paid lead generation strategies;
  3. Longer-term strategies.

Organic Lead Generation Strategies

First, let’s cover organic lead generation strategies. While these take a bit longer to get tangible results than paid strategies, they are also more consistent and don’t require a constant input of ad spend to provide value.

Search engine optimization

See SEO companies on Credo

  1. Solid technical SEO;
  2. Solid keyword research and content;
  3. Promotion (including link building)

Consistent editorial content

See content marketing companies here

Proprietary data (surveys and internal data)

Speaking of content, one of the best ways to build links and your brand with content is by analyzing and publishing your in-house data. Too many companies lock up insightfu-sometimes fascinating-data sets.

Content upgrades

You’re thinking: “So I write content to get traffic but how does that turn into leads?”

Guest posting

Another great way to engage in content marketing and build links back to your website is guest blogging.

Dominate your search results using other sites

Let’s say you want to rank for the term “best hr software”.

Be a podcast guest

Podcasting is on a meteoric rise, with over 2.4 million active podcasts in 2022. That’s up nearly 200% from 2019 when there were about 700,000 shows -up from 550,000 in June 2018. That’s seriously exponential growth.

  • Make friends with those who run them, then ask if they are looking for guests;
  • Pitch them an interesting story with you as their guest.

Incentive-based referral programs

Sometimes you have to pay to get referrals, and if your business model supports it then building an incentive-based referral program (sometimes known as an “affiliate program”) can return big dividends for your company.

  1. If a software company, then a true affiliate program where you pay a percentage of the sale or lifetime value to the person referring the customer to you;
  2. If a local company, give a customer $25 off their next service for referring a new customer their way;
  3. If an ecommerce company, give a percentage of the sale.

Organic social media

When marketing professionals talk about social media, it’s usually in the context of paid social media in the form of advertising on various social media channels.

  1. An engaged audience;
  2. Consistent value-adding content;
  3. A consistent cadence of posting, while also not overwhelming them.

Build an email list

Continuing on from the above, email has consistently been one of the most profitable channels for businesses.

Bonus strategy: email as an acquisition strategy

Now, if you want to turn email into an acquisition channel there is indeed a strategy for doing that.

Hold webinars

This one dovetails well with the above of building an email list. But to get SQLs and MQLs you have to provide outsized value to people of value.

Try live chat

This one is more tactical, but can be useful depending on your company.

Paid Lead Generation Strategies

Now let’s look at some paid lead generation strategies that you can try. If they work, you can then double down on them.

Social media advertising

We talked about organic social media earlier, so this is the paid side of advertising your business.

Niche conference sponsorships

Conferences can be a great way to get in front of your target audience. Depending on the size, you can sometimes get these fairly cheap and get a lot of exposure to everyone at the conference.

Podcast advertising

Podcasts and voice-driven content are some of the hottest and fastest growing types of media today.

Local event sponsorships

If you’re a local business, sponsoring a local event can be a great way to get your brand out there and known. It’ll be relatively cheap, and your physical presence there will mean the world to the audience.

Join a (paid) mastermind

This one is a bit outside the box, but I firmly believe that as your business grows you need to get access to people who are doing big things that can teach you, promote you, and more.

Long-Term Strategies For Leads

Finally, there are some longer-term strategies that you should consider to increase your leads.

Simplify your landing pages

Many of us who create digital content tend to over-explain. Plus, it doesn’t help that we’re told that you need to create more content in order to rank better on Google and drive traffic.

Invest in a copywriting course

Good copy can be one of the highest leverage parts of your website. The difference between good and bad copy can be literally hundreds of thousands of dollars based on conversions and the quality of those conversions.

Build your brand

“Build your brand” might be viewed as nebulous or unhelpful advice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

  1. A product people love;
  2. Longevity in the space to become known-i.e. The Lindy Effect;
  3. A personality that people are attracted to;
  4. A brand voice that people interact with;
  5. A specific culture/cultural value that resonates;
  6. Consistency across products, teams, and messaging.

Leverage case studies

Case studies show what your company does and who you do it for. They show your successes and how your business achieves those successes for your customers or clients.

Speak at conferences

Conferences can be a great way to build your personal and company brand, and if done well then you can get directly in front of your target customers as an authority that can help them solve their biggest problems.

Write a book

Continuing in the vein of building authority, writing a book is (according to many) the single best way to help others see you as the authority that you are on the topic about which you write.

Invest in less popular content types

Finally, if you want to stand out from the crowd in your industry then you should investigate creating content using different content mediums than others.

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Founder & CEO of Credo (getcredo.com). Veteran digital marketer in Denver. Entrepreneur. Traveler. Skier. Other sites: johnfdoherty.com and singlegeared.com

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John Doherty

John Doherty

Founder & CEO of Credo (getcredo.com). Veteran digital marketer in Denver. Entrepreneur. Traveler. Skier. Other sites: johnfdoherty.com and singlegeared.com