Best Lead Generation Strategies: How Businesses Can Generate Leads in 2021

Lead generation is the lifeblood of every business. It’s the process of introducing strangers to your business and converting them into prospects who might purchase your product/service. 

As marketing channels evolve so do lead generation strategies.

However, there is one marketing principle that remains universally true – you go to where your leads spend their time, not vice versa.

Choosing the right strategy or channel is only half the battle – execution determines the success of your lead generation.

An increasing number of people are spending their time online and marketers need to adapt their lead generation strategies accordingly.

I discuss five proven lead generation strategies that businesses can use to generate warm leads. This is especially important given the current global economic climate. Use these lead generation strategies to make 2021 a great year for your business.

Lead Generation Strategy #1: Facebook Lead Ads

1.6 billion people worldwide use Facebook worldwide to connect with a small business. In other words, your potential customers are on Facebook. The best way to generate leads for your business is with Facebook lead ads.

Traditionally, businesses relied on dedicated landing pages to capture crucial data on leads. For instance, a lead clicked your post and gave their information to download your lead magnet. This works great for warm and hot leads. These types of leads don’t mind leaving Facebook to fill out a form. But what about people who just heard of you and are only somewhat interested in what you’re offering?

Facebook knows how to leverage the large amounts of time users spend on their phones using the app. Ads don’t have the best conversion rates on mobile, which is why Facebook designed the lead ads. They’re affordable and thanks to a wide array of targeting options, remarkably effective.

If you’re unfamiliar with Facebook lead ads, think of them as promoted forms. Businesses can obtain customer data and give them a way to get in touch via subscriptions, free trials or contest registration.

When a user clicks on a lead ad, they’ll be taken to a form containing data from their Facebook profile. Any remaining empty fields can be filled easily with a couple of taps.

Facebook lead ads work best on mobile and can be linked directly to your current customer relationship management (CRM) software. This allows you to follow up with leads on time thereby increasing your conversion rate.

Getting Started with Facebook Lead Ads

To get started, sign into the Ads Manager and click on the green Create button in the top left corner:

Image Source: AdExpresso

Then select the Lead Generation objective for your campaign:

Image Source: AdExpresso

Once you’ve selected the page you’ll use in the campaign, you need to set a budget, and define your audience and placements.

Next, choose the format of your Facebook lead ad:

Image Source: AdExpresso

Facebook has several different formats that each work great depending on the information you want to get:

  • Single image
  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow

When you’ve picked your format, the next step is to add your copy and creative. Finally, finish the process by designing a form people will see on the lead ad.

When creating a form for your lead ad, you’ll need to choose from a couple of options. For instance, if you just want people to sign up without too much qualification, then pick More Volume. On the other hand, if you’re after warmer leads, then pick the Higher Intent option.

Also, you can pick between standard questions – name, email, etc. – and custom questions. Your form can have a maximum of 21 questions, 15 of which can be customised. As you know, people are less likely to fill out a lengthy form. Therefore, keep your list short and to the point.

Finally, your lead ad will have an Introduction section that lets people know what they’ll receive by completing the form. You’re required to include a link to your website’s privacy page and a Thank You landing page where users are sent after they sign up.

Optimising Facebook Lead Ads: Best Practices

People are hesitant to submit their information, even when the process is seamless. Let’s take a look at a few tips that will sway users in the right direction.

Pose the Right Questions

People are more likely to complete the form if the questions address their needs and goals. For example, if you want people to sign up to your email list, then ask for a lead’s name instead of age. Facebook has a rubric of business goals to help you come up with relevant questions. 

Use an Incentive

Lead magnets work well with lead ads. Think about the type of content that will work best to get your leads to submit their information.

Be Transparent with Leads

Make sure to be upfront with Facebook users and let them know how you’ll use their information. Use the Introduction section about what they’re getting when they sign up.

Follow Up

Follow up with a new subscriber as soon as possible. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, companies that get in touch with contacts within an hour are 7x more likely to convert their leads.

So, send an automated Thank You email with the instructions to your lead magnet. This is a necessary component of good customer experience.

Lead Generation Strategy #2: LinkedIn Conversation Ads

This message-based ad format was introduced in 2020 by LinkedIn. Conversation Ads are based on Message Ads (formerly Sponsored InMail) that allow businesses to engage leads in a more personal manner.

Conversations are a powerful trust-building mechanism that results in people doing business together. Since the goal is real-time interaction, conversation ads are sent only when a lead is active on LinkedIn. This is to engage leads when they’re in the right frame of mind to convert.

Conversation ads are meant to replicate real-life conversations using several different calls-to-action. Users have multiple response options, which take them on a different conversational path. The outcome is an authentic engagement with leads.

Giving leads a “choose your path” experience with multiple options results in increased engagement. You can use different offers – eBook downloads, webinar signups, case studies, etc. – to increase the likelihood of engagement:

Image Source: Linkedin

A single option can never be as effective as giving leads several different choices to pick. Conversation ads are one of the most promising lead generation strategies because they let leads choose the content that meets their current goals and needs.

These templates will help you get started with generating leads with conversation ads.

Analytics

LinkedIn lets you see how your conversations are doing in the Campaign Manager. Get detailed click reporting and actionable data to optimise targeting to that you’re engaging the right leads.

Lead Generation Strategy #3: Generate Leads in 2021 By Hosting An Educational Online Event

Hosting online events packed with value is a surefire way to generate qualified leads. This is especially true now when people are looking to acquire new skills. Months of government-mandated lockdowns have given people the chance to invest in professional growth.

Therefore, creating valuable online courses or hosting webinars is a great way to attract your audience and in the process boost your reputation. Webinars are used successfully across industries:

Image Source: SALES HACKER

Focus on content directly related to your industry that might interest your leads.

Make sure to explain what the outcomes will be for the attendees. Why should someone sign up to your virtual event?

Also, you need to develop a registration page that will have a summary of the event along with the bio of the speaker(s). Head over to Eventbrite for inspiration.

Next, set up an email sequence for people who signed up for the event but life got in the way. Emails will definitely increase attendance by gently reminding leads of the benefits of your event.

Pro-tip: Breakout rooms allow people to network while replicating a physical event.

Finally, wrap up the event with a direct call-to-action. Why not use the opportunity to try to convert leads?

Lead Generation Strategy #4: Generate Leads on Quora

It’s not easy to compare Quora to other social media platforms. Maybe because it’s not a social media app in the traditional sense. It’s an online forum where users can ask and answer questions.

Like on Twitter, you can follow people. However, the feed doesn’t flow as smoothly. You can also interact with users like on Facebook but without direct messaging.

When people ask questions, they’re hoping that an expert in the field will answer. So, your quora lead generation strategy is based on assuming the role of an expert and responding to users’ questions.

What makes Quora one of the best lead generation strategies is that you’re communicating with leads in a place where they’re looking for answers. Therefore, your leads are the ones starting the interaction and not the other way around. For this lead generation strategy to work, you have to offer relevant content.

This is the only way to cement your image as an expert.

The biggest challenge with using Quora to generate leads is that it takes time, dedication, and care. But it’s completely doable!

Getting Starting with Quora

Before you start answering questions you must optimise your profile. An unoptimised profile will hurt you even if you provide helpful information. The good news is that Quora has made the profile optimisation process simple.

So, you have to upload a professional profile image:

Image Source: NEILPATEL

Once you’ve got your profile picture and job description sorted, you have to write in an authoritative tone. Make sure that you write professionally and with conviction. It doesn’t matter how many questions you’ve answered if you come off as insecure about your stance.

Lastly, the content must answer a user’s question in a significant way. So, craft a well-thought-out response that goes into important details. For reference, this is an example of a great response:

Image Source: NEILPATEL

Notice how Tanya’s post is well-structured and contains useful information on social media marketing. If you write this type of response, you’ll have no issues establishing your reputation.

Keep An Eye Out For Relevant Topics

Follow the topics in which you have expertise and are related to your business. This way Quora will keep you posted on relevant questions people are asking about your industry.

Your home dashboard will be populated with relevant queries. Be sure to follow as many related topics as you can and engage with as many people as possible.

Track Performance with Analytics

Quora offers an analytics dashboard to its users. You can see the number of shares, views, and upvotes your posts are getting.

Make sure to check your analytics at least once per week. Simply click on your profile picture and then click on Stats. You’ll see a dashboard choke-full of useful data:

Image Source: NEILPATEL

Use analytics to identify the posts that are doing well, and try to replicate them.

Automate Workflow

After a while, generating leads on Quora can get demanding. Going through the platform looking for relevant content gets tedious.

This may be why it’s one of the most demanding lead generation strategies. Fortunately, there’s a tool that can help with the lead generation process – QuestionsPro.

The tool finds relevant questions to your Quora profile, YouTube channel, and even your website. It’s a reliable content tracking tool for Quora.   

Lead Generation Strategy #5: Generate Leads in 2021 with SlideShare

A lesser-known way to generate leads is with SlideShare. It’s been dubbed content marketing’s “sleeping giant.”

Slideshare is a social media platform where users can upload and share slideshow presentations. You can include videos, infographics, and documents into your presentation.

Slideshare is aimed at professionals looking for professional content and data.

This marketing channel will help you get your message out to people who are actively seeking useful information.

Slideshare has 780 million unique monthly visitors and 38 million registered users. This makes it “the world’s largest community for sharing presentations.”

It was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012 and sold to Scribd in September 2020. Slideshare doesn’t have its own tools but you can use Google Slides, Powerpoint, OpenOffice, and Adobe to make your slides.

What makes it one of the more promising lead generation strategies is that only 41% of B2B marketers use the platform. You may think that it’s not such a small percentage. But compare that number with 94% of marketers who use LinkedIn, 88% use Twitter, and 84% are on Facebook. As you can see, there are noticeably fewer B2B marketers on SlideShare.

Also, Slideshare users are 5x more likely to be business owners than your average social media user.

This is why you should use it for B2B lead generation – there’s less noise, your audience is there, and it’s easier to stand out than on other platforms. This is the content marketing strategy to generate leads in 2021.

Astonishingly, it’s overlooked by so many marketers even though it’s designed for social sharing. This along with its strong visual impact that can evoke an emotional response makes it a powerful marketing tool.

The great thing about generating leads through SlideShare is that you don’t need to create new content. Let’s take a look at how you can use SlideShare as your lead generation strategy.

Reuse Your Original Content

Find a piece of well-performing content that you can turn into slides. Obviously, shoot for something that hasn’t been frequently discussed. If you can’t, then try to offer a fresh take on a well-covered topic. Your best bet is to go for content that solves a problem and present it in an accessible way:


Image Source: Envatotuts

Typically, lists are a good option. However, you can take any piece of content and break it down into easily digestible key parts. That’ll make it easier to turn into slides. Make sure that your presentation follows a linear path – it makes it easy for users to follow along.

One of the great things about SlideShare is that it can improve your ranking. SlideShare can help if you have a web page that’s not ranking well for a keyword.

Since SlideShare has strong domain authority, it means that content on the website could outrank the page from where the content was pulled. It probably outranks the competition as well. So your content’s reach will improve if you repurpose it for SlideShare.

SlideShare also allows users to include links in their presentations. So if you put together a compelling presentation, your SlideShare content can drive traffic to your website. Make sure to include several links to your company’s website throughout your presentation. For example, include a link on a slide to a webpage with more information.

Make it Stand Out Visually

In a real presentation, you can keep people’s attention by interacting with them. On SlideShare, your presentation has to stand out on its own.

For starters, avoid overused fonts like Times New Roman. You can pick and choose the various fonts to underscore your message – whether you want to be creative, fun, sophisticated – there’s a font out there.

Go to Font Squirrel or Google Fonts to find a huge selection of amazing fonts.

Images play a crucial role in a compelling presentation. SlideShare claims that content with the right images enjoys significantly more views. Therefore, use clear images to attract more views. And you don’t need a large budget to get high-quality images to use.

Don’t use worn-out stock photos which everyone’s seen. Instead, go to Compfight and browse their huge library of original and high-quality images.

The key to an effective presentation is to focus on showing and not telling. SlideShare reports that 45% of presentations have between 10 and 30 slides and average 24 words per slide.

How to Expand Your Reach

The first thing is to include a call-to-action to your slide deck so that readers know what to do next:

Image Source: NEILPATEL

Make sure to add clickable links after the third slide because SlideShare doesn’t allow links in the first three. This is to prevent people from spamming with links.

Track Results with Analytics

Use analytics to track important metrics, including the following:

  • Best-performing slides
  • Engagement by stats
  • Traffic sources
  • Recent visitors
  • Visits by country

Keep track of your analytics because the information can give you a clearer picture of your audience. Therefore, you’ll be able to make targeted presentations.

You’re Ready to Generate Leads in 2021!

Businesses are always looking for new ways to generate leads. The lead generation strategies we covered here are tailor-made to generate leads in 2021. Many businesses are scaling back their marketing to cut down on costs.

That’s a mistake. Businesses should be focusing on long-term issues and finding ways to hit the ground running in the new year. Each one of these lead generation strategies will get you generating leads without breaking the bank.