Generating IT leads can be tough and as marketers, we dedicate a huge portion of our day to planning and delivering campaigns, with the end goal of generating MQLs which the sales team can covert into pipeline and net new customers.
A steady stream of leads is essential in building a pipeline and ultimately achieving business growth through the acquisition of new customers. But coming up with new and effective ways to attract and convert marketing qualified leads is often easier said than done.
We've put together a list of 11 clever ideas to help you on your way for your next IT lead generation campaign.
1) SEO & PPC
There’s no escaping SEO - search engines will crawl your website with or without you – so you must invest the time and resource to fully optimise your site and really use it to your advantage to attract and convert organic traffic . With thorough and continuous keyword research, we can gain an understanding of which search queries are ranking opportunities, and how best to optimise our content so as to move up the search engine rankings. When our content performs better in search results, organic traffic results will be improved.
Taking SEO optimisation and keyword research one step further is PPC. A well designed and positioned PPC campaign can be a quick way to source leads. While PPC can be an effective lead generation tactic, it is crucial that your ads are aligned with your buyer personas and target market, as without specifically targeted campaigns a lot of money could simply be wasted on irrelevant and underqualified leads.
2) Content Creation
Today, buyers prefer to be much more informed before they even begin to engage with a sales representative. Organisations which produce helpful or informative content such as eBooks and whitepapers, are able to establish a position of thought leadership; capitalising on the buyer’s journey, and generating leads much earlier in the process which can then go through the process of lead nurturing.
Blogging regularly has a number of benefits in any IT lead generation campaign. It can provide an introductory platform to your content that captures your prospects attention, whilst also providing the perfect opportunity to boost SEO results on particular keywords.
3) Social Media Marketing
With almost 3 billion people using social media channels globally and with an excruciatingly high percentage of them being mobile users, social media marketing is a lead generation tool which you can’t afford to overlook. It provides the ideal channel for taking your marketing strategies directly into your target buyer’s pockets and onto a device that they are never without.
What’s more, it provides an opportunity to listen to and directly engage with your audience, generating added insights that could be used to fuel additional campaigns.
4) Email Marketing
As one of the more traditional forms of outbound lead generation, there are some who believe this approach has been done to death, and that the results produced can be lack-lustre. This is not quite the case: while email marketing campaigns must now be much more sophisticated with targeted messages, prospects can still derive value from the messages sent straight to their inbox. And where prospects can identify value, the opportunity for lead generation still exists. This channel will not always drive leads which can be qualified immediately, however email nurturing puts your name and your content in front of prospects for when the time is right to get in touch and they are ready to buy.
With infographics being liked and shared three times more often than any other type of content (source), it would be irresponsible not to consider the benefits that a visual content marketing strategy could bring to your IT lead generation efforts. More eye-catching and memorable than the written word, infographics don’t have to be a back-breaking effort that consume a large portion of marketing resource, as existing content can be quickly repurposed with a fresh new look to drives results.
6) Strategic CTAs and Pop-up Forms
A website is an essential component of a lead generation strategy, and as prospects move across your site, strategically placed calls-to-action are crucial in grabbing their attention and directing them to a landing zone to complete a form in exchange for a valuable content piece. By placing these content offers and calls-to-actions on the pages of your site and blog, you can create a strategy which converts website traffic into qualified leads.
In addition to standard CTAs and content offers, pop up forms are proven to be highly effective in generating leads. In HubSpot, this lead generation tool is called ‘Lead Flows’ and these have totally customisable settings to provide targeted content offers without being overbearing. Capitalising on the exit-intent function, this method of IT lead generation can prove highly useful in optimising your website to capture prospects who have previously left without converting.
7) IT Telemarketing
Telemarketing has long been an established method of B2B lead generation. Generating highly qualified leads requires a sophisticated inside sales team who are equipped with the skills, experience and knowledge required to engage directly with prospects. By incorporating telemarketing into your marketing strategy you can create a steady flow of highly qualified sales opportunities.
Targeting your existing client base with a lead generation campaign may seem counterproductive, but as a B2B business strategy, land-and-expand is one which is tried, tested and known to produce the results needed when done effectively. Using existing knowledge and leveraging inside contacts mean that strategies can be specifically designed to profile and target key accounts, producing results of a much higher quality.
9) Re-activate Old Leads
Not all leads are made equal – some go on to become customers, while others don’t. For some, it didn’t matter how qualified they were or how hard you worked, they just couldn’t reach a sales ready stage due to a factor without your control. Revisiting some of these old leads can be a quick way to rejuvenate your marketing efforts. Having previously engaged with you, it will take less resource to re-target these prospects and determine if there is any current scope to progress them into opportunities.
10) Create a Quiz
In effect, a quiz is just a longer form. Combining market research with lead generation? What could be better!
The trick is to create a quiz for which you can “bargain” the results in exchange for prospect information. If executed effectively, it can be a lead generation tactic which could be interactive and fresh, giving it great potential for success.
11) Video Marketing
This year, it is believed that video content would represent 74% of all internet traffic, growing to 80% by 2019 (source). Video content can take a variety of formats - interview sessions, product overviews, or webinars - the possibilities are endless. And by providing real visualisations of your product, service and even the people behind your brand, you are able to quickly build an additional layer of trust in the relationship that you have with your audience. There is no denying that video is already hugely popular, and as this is only set to grow.
A step on from video marketing is creating and hosting online demos or sessions. With sessions that can only be accessed for a limited time, the perceived value of the offer is much higher and prospects are much more likely to sign up. Later, this content can be made available on your website, extending its value over time.
With increasing pressure on marketing to deliver a higher volume of qualified leads into the pipeline, a successful lead generation effort is essential. With its unquestionable importance, use these 11 proven IT lead generation tactics to create integrated campaigns which deliver value to your prospects, and leads into your pipeline.
Checklist: How to Run an IT Lead Generation Campaign
This checklist provides marketers with an essential framework for developing an integrated B2B lead generation campaign.
Tried something we haven’t? We’d love to hear about your lead generation experiences.