Time and time again, we see marketers jumping on the latest fad in lead generation and trying out new tactics or channels without a second thought. We’ve also seen business owners being so persistent on their own ideas of what is good, that they refuse to try other tactics, even though it may be better suited to their target audience. The result? Little or no leads, declining sales and a stagnating business.

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A lead generation tactic or source is only as good as the leads it can deliver; regardless of whether it’s the latest fad in the industry. So let’s take a look at the proven sources of qualified leads that you should never dismiss.

1. Your website SEO

A key source of leads for your funnel is your own company’s website. To be successful in generating high-quality leads, you will need to build a website on the premise of delivering valuable content to your target buyers. Of course this needs to be supported by Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to increase the exposure of your website. In order to achieve substantial results, selection of the right keywords is absolutely crucial, so that you can optimise your website based on the keywords your target audience searches.

According to research by eMarketer, SEO is second in generating high quality leads among other lead generation sources. Websites, blogging and SEO can work quite slowly to generate leads to start with, but effective SEO does generate high quality leads for a long time, and becasue of this, SEO is a key component of marketing and lead generation success.

2. Content marketing

In recent times, content marketing has risen in popularity. Some people remain skeptical, but we can really see the true value of content in B2B marketing. I’m not only referring to the content on your website, content marketing comprises of all the content used to promote your business. The highest quality leads are delivered to the sales team after being nurtured. Therefore, to generate such leads, you will need to guide your buyers along their buying journey: from visiting your website, they can go to your blog to learn more, then to a detailed whitepaper, followed by a video case study or a webinar and then finally to the contact form which determines their interest in taking the discussion further, over a period of time.

Each piece of content is responsible for leading the target to the next part of their journey. As a result, these content pieces need to deliver value to your audience, focusing on where they are in their journey and providing content that helps them squash their buying anxieties at each stage.

3. Email Marketing

Email marketing has become notoriously popular due to its association with SPAM. With many marketers leveraging this tactic without any regard for privacy laws, email marketing’s reputation has been tarnished, and as a result, many B2B marketers steer clear of it. However, it is still one of the best sources of qualified leads: eMarketer’s research note that 40% of qualified leads come from email marketing.

The key to avoid privacy issues is to only email to a list that has opted-in to receive your emails, perhaps through your website’s subscription form. This way, you are contacting people who have given you permission to email them. Use these emails to communicate valuable information that can help them address their problem or need, and essentially nurturing them.

4. Trade Shows / Events

An older, often overlooked tactic is trade shows and events. Most B2B marketers nowadays dismiss this lead generation technique, citing it to be outdated. Yet, it is still one of the better sources of qualified leads.

With trade shows, you have the ability to meet with your audience face-to-face, and establish a personal connection. Not only will this give you a better chance of contacting them post the event, it is an opportunity for you to assess whether they are a qualified lead then and there. Aside from this, you will have a list of contacts you met at the event, who are all there to discuss a common topic. Essentially, you will have new leads that you can contact and nurture.

New isn’t always better. What’s trendy might not be the best lead generation tactic for your business. It is important to think about your buyers, their problems and needs to determine the right mix of tactics to ensure success in generating qualified leads.

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