I hope you have found my two previous posts on where to find sales leads to be helpful. This week, I will share some ideas on how to fill your sales funnel with leads from events and content marketing. This is a sample of the possibilities but it should give you a good start.
Online Events – Having spoken at and/or conducted many web seminars, I am a fan of this medium and have used it to generate tens of thousands of leads. While there are a lot of moving parts to online events, there are two critical requirements. First, plenty of people to market to, and second, a good topic and speaker.
Live Events – Live events include trade shows, conferences and public seminars. The growth of online events has led to a reduction in expenditures for live events but they can still be a valuable part of the marketing mix. In some cases, this may be the only way you can make contact with a senior audience. The costs of live events tend to be quite high so they work better for selling big ticket products and services.
Videocast and Podcast – Videocasts and podcasts are very inexpensive to produce and can be extremely effective lead generation tools. A podcast is sound only, while a videocast includes images (e.g. video stream or PowerPoint slides). The idea is to give prospects a small taste of your offering; 3-5 minutes is ideal but I have seen successful examples of as long as 10 minutes. We usually advise our clients to require registration to view the videocast or listen to the podcast.
Content syndication – There are many websites that are consolidators of content focused on a particular industry or subject area. An example of this is Capterra.com which helps visitors find information on software products. Capterra offers both free and paid listings and operates much like Google or AdCenter. The difference is that you bid on a category (e.g. accounting software or CRM software) instead of specific search terms.
Information offers – People are always interested in finding new ways to make their companies more effective, as well as make their own positions more fulfilling and productive. Information offers (whitepapers, executive briefs, videocasts, etc.) are consistent lead producers. The objective is to create something of sufficient value that prospects are willing to give you their contact information to obtain the premium.
Article marketing – Unlike the information offers mentioned above, articles are not usually valuable enough to prospects to get them to opt-in. However, you can create links to other offers within the article text and you can also use articles to drive prospects to your website, where you can entice them with other great offers.
eBook – Consider writing an eBook related to the products and services you offer. What you are reading now is a good example of eBook marketing. We created this and other eBooks as an information premium to drive awareness and generate leads. Your eBook can be as short at 15-20 pages although a longer book will usually generate more interest. Always, always, always require the prospect to register in order to receive the eBook.
I hope you find these ideas helpful. Lead generation is a key skill of the B2B marketer and the better you are able to perform in this area, the more value you and the marketing department will have to your organization.