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Although Emily Dickinson wrote nearly 1,800 poems, only 10 were published in her lifetime. She’s now considered one of the greatest American poets ever to live, but people didn’t recognize her brilliance until they had the opportunity to see her work. You can be the best in your industry, but your potential customers will miss out on what you have to offer unless you use the right lead generation strategies.

Key takeaways

  • Lead generation is a rapidly evolving landscape, and using the right lead generation strategy is the key to growth.
  • Specific marketing is replacing simple marketing.
  • Customers are tired of sharing information but receptive to virtual events and communities.
  • As virtual spaces become more niche, effective lead generation strategies are evolving.

What is lead generation and why does it matter?

Lead generation is the process of attracting potential customers to your platform and gathering information you can use to convert their interest into sales. Put another way, lead generation is the fuel that your sales machine runs on. 

There are over 10 million companies in the U.S. alone, which means that markets are more saturated than ever. The right lead generation strategy is the razor’s edge that separates you from your competitors, so understanding what makes a strategy effective is a top priority across every industry.

With third-party cookies going away in an aggressively evolving marketing world, the old digital lead generation strategies are rapidly becoming obsolete. Marketers need to adapt to new strategies to differentiate themselves from competitors and cater to a new generation of customers.

3 lead generation strategies that work

Here are three lead generation strategies you might have never tried before:

1. Use digital events to collect quality data

42% of B2B digital marketers say they don’t have a plan for collecting data after the death of third-party cookies, but the rapidly changing digital world also creates unique new opportunities for digital marketers.

In the wake of COVID quarantines, digital events such as webinars, concerts and livestreams are at an all-time high. This allows marketers to drive traffic to their platform and provides an excellent opportunity to gather quality data on potential leads.

Customers who may otherwise be unwilling to share information are glad to provide an email address and opt-in to cookies when they get something in return. Creating engaging digital experiences meets customers’ needs and captures their attention, and digital events are a unique way to generate leads and collect quality data.

Salesforce is one company that’s enjoyed massive success from their digital events. When COVID uprooted their event schedule, they adapted quickly and as a result, their virtual World Tour event brought over 1.2 million views to their social channels. That’s 1.2 million potential leads.

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2. Talk to your niche

Specific marketing is replacing simple marketing. 

As many businesses are returning to in-person work, many of your potential customers opt to keep working from home. Increasingly, online communities are becoming niche spaces as the separation between home and work life dissolves.

Casting a wide net catches the most fish, but it’s also the most expensive. Identifying your niche audience is a key component of your digital strategy.

Targeted marketing is nothing new, so what does this look like in practice?

  • Offer value to niche customers: People are looking for new sources for education and community. By offering value in terms of insight and advice, you will earn dividends in terms of data and trust. 
  • Personalize your messaging: Meet people where they are by using account-based campaigns to target specific customers with personalized messages. Strengthen your existing connections and pursue new relationships by incorporating account-based campaigns into your digital strategy.
  • Let your hair down: As the walls between personal and professional lives are coming down, many business people are looking for a more personal touch in their digital strategy. People want to feel like they’re doing business with unique individuals. Don’t be afraid to show off your unique personality through distinctive personal branding and personalized services.
  • Use digital video platforms: Digital video allows your customers to hear about your company and put a friendly face to it. Capitalize on the popularity of platforms like TikTok and YouTube to offer personable and informative content to your audience. In fact, 86% of digital marketers say video has helped them generate leads.
  • Participate in communities: As personal lives are becoming more profession-centric, professionals are following TikTok creators, joining Facebook groups and subscribing to industry newsletters. Become a voice in those communities. You may even consider creating your own digital community, like what Winz Digital did when they created their Digital Marketing Tips & Jobs Facebook group that’s grown to over 436,000 members.

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3. Leverage marketing emails

The average office worker receives 120 emails per day. Once you have a potential lead’s email address, your marketing emails have to stand out from the crowd. Filling your sales funnel with unconvertible data won’t meet your or your customer’s needs, so converting that data into leads is the key to successful email marketing.

Email marketing continues to have unparalleled ROI, but the saturation of email marketing also presents unique challenges. In addition to standard practices like A/B testing and writing compelling subject lines, here are some ways to leverage your marketing emails to generate leads:

  • Avoid generic formatting: Of those 120 emails the average person receives in a day, how many do you think they actually read? Humans are pattern-recognizing machines, and it only takes a few milliseconds for people to register a first impression. Unless your emails can be read in a fraction of a second, that means your potential customers are deciding how they feel about your marketing materials before they’ve even read a word on the screen.
  • Use animated GIFs: Email marketing containing animated GIFs has more than double the ROI of those who don’t. What static text gains in clarity, it loses in richness. Finding the appropriate balance of catchiness and usefulness means marketers should consider using GIFs in their marketing emails.
  • Personalize the experience: Use dynamic content to tailor your email marketing to individual leads. Remember that people want to have their needs met, and if your marketing can speak to those specific needs, your product will sell itself.