Oh, those elusive sales leads. They are the lifeblood of a successful business venture, but many business owners and sales officers spend a lifetime trying to track them down and still come up mostly empty.
Sales lead generation is certainly not an easy process; in fact, more than 60 percent of B2B marketers identify it as their number one challenge. Still, it’s not an impossible endeavor, if you’re willing to think outside the box of cold calls and bought leads.
To reel in new customers and strengthen your existing relationships, consider embracing these five underrated and underused goldmines for grabbing leads online:
Leveraging Influencers to Amplify Content
This B2B marketing strategy gained momentum in 2015 but remains largely untapped. It entails marketing your product to key individuals – industry analysts, journalists, retailers, etc. – whose actions and opinions drive public behavior.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool. Case in point: Clothing designer Lord & Taylor recently partnered with 50 prominent fashionistas to pose with the same new dress on Instagram. Two days later, with no additional marketing, it sold out.
No matter the line of business, the marketing strategy is the same: convince influential industry leaders of your product’s worth, then rely on the weight of their opinions to advertise and sell it.
Engage with Audiences and Prospects on Niche, Narrowly Targeted, Social Platforms and Communities
The social media giants – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. – can certainly help you generate leads, but your message may easily be lost in the shuffle as well.
Establish a presence on niche social media platforms, however, and you can market your product to a much narrower audience. ActiveRain, for instance, is a social network for real estate professionals only, while OilPro is devoted solely to the oil and gas industry.
Create Premium Content Worth an Email Address
Is there a free download – an ebook, presentation, or some other informative resource – that you can feature prominently on your website? If so, you may already have an invaluable (and often underutilized) sales tool in your arsenal.
The download should tie into your other products but be strong enough to stand independently. Provide a brief form that users must fill out to access the DL. Now that you have their contact info, you can reach out to them directly about your other services and products.
LinkedIn is one of the web’s most pervasive networking sites, so it may look out of place on a list of underused and underrated tools for generating leads. But despite its popularity, many B2B marketers still aren’t using LinkedIn to its full potential.
To generate a steady stream of sales leads, perform an “Advanced” people search and choose the parameters that fit your target audience. Save the search, and LinkedIn will email you updated lists of people who match your criteria.
Aligning Your Brand with a Cause
Supporting a good cause isn’t “just” an altruistic endeavor. It also benefits your bottom line.
A recent study revealed that 9 out of 10 consumers would switch brands if it meant supporting a company that sponsors a good cause. Find a worthwhile charitable endeavor and market it aggressively, making it a focal point of your communications. The charity will likely feature your logo on their website, which will give you positive press and advertise your brand indefinitely.