It is one thing to come up with a campaign that’s creative and fun and draws eyeballs. It is quite another to come up with a campaign that does that AND generates leads that can, ultimately, be converted to paying customers.
With millions of businesses clamouring for market share on social media and other digital platforms, lead generation campaign ideas are a dime a dozen these days.
But how many of these lead-generation campaign ideas are successful and deliver a positive ROI? More importantly, what does it take to create a winning lead gen strategy?
But, first off, what is lead gen?
Lead generation is the process and technique of attracting, engaging, and converting prospects into leads for your business.
And a lead gen campaign is a marketing campaign aimed at attracting leads or prospects.
For this definition, let’s also note that a lead is any person who has shown interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form, including via a survey or request form they completed, a question they posted on your site or any other means of communication.
Of course, not all leads are the same. As such, leads are divided into four categories, depending on where in the buyer’s journey the prospect is:
- Market-qualified lead (MQL)
These are leads that have engaged with your marketing team but might not be ready yet to make a purchase.
- Sales-qualified lead (SQL)
SQLs are leads that have explicitly taken an action (such as requesting a quote) that indicates that they are ready to make a purchase.
- Product-qualified lead (PQL)
These are leads that have used your product via a free trial, for instance, and are now interested in potentially becoming paying customers.
- Service-qualified lead
A SQL is a lead that has expressed their interest in becoming a paying customer to your service team. An example of this is a client expressing interest in an upgrade on their current phone package for instance.
And what is the lead gen process?
In short, the lead generation process looks something like this:
Following a natural progression path, a prospect or lead will discover your business through an email marketing or social media campaign. From here they will click on your CTA and move on to a landing page with a form they can fill out to receive an offer (which is usually in the form of content such as an e-book or template) in exchange for their contact info or other details, which you can then use.
The benefits of lead gen
New leads equal new business, which equals growth. And, let’s be honest, that is the goal of any business.
It is no wonder then that in a recent poll, marketers defined their top priority as generating more leads for their business.
In addition, it also forms an important step in the journey from stranger to paying customer.
Now, you’d think with the roughly 7.8 billion consumers on the planet, it would be easy to sell a product or service. I mean, everyone needs “stuff”, right?
But that is not always the case in a highly saturated and competitive market.
Especially, if you are just starting out or have launched a new product or service.
And while there is no magic wand to turn your lead generation campaign ideas into winning ones, we can almost guarantee using these 5 steps will pay off.
Plus, we know for a fact that the strategies and lead generation campaign ideas implemented in the below campaigns delivered more than just a little bang for their buck. So read on for some inspo and find out how to make your next lead gen campaign a winning one.
7 Lead-generation campaign ideas that will drive results
1. Organise a giveaway
It’s simple but true, everyone LOVES a freebie. Especially around Christmas time, which is exactly why this HubSpot Be Your Office’s Holiday Hero campaign faired so well.
HubSpot organised a holiday-themed contest to give away 18 $100 Visa gift cards around Christmas – one for each winner and one for a colleague of each winner.
The giveaway was promoted widely on social media, including Meta, Instagram and Pinterest.
The objective? To delight current customers, increase engagement and build brand awareness. Of course, the ultimate goal was to build their database which they did by making a valid email address the entry mechanism and then also giving entrants the option to follow them on other social media channels and sharing the competition with colleagues.
The campaign was a huge success as 20% of the entrants were new to the HubSpot database.
This is a great example of how a small freebie can drive huge results. It is also a great way to build brand awareness without breaking the bank.
2. Provide free educational resources
We recently created a super-informative guide for a local flooring company, Top Carpets and Floors.
This top-of-the-funnel campaign was geared towards consumers at the start of their purchasing journey (primarily in the attract and engage phases) and aimed to provide relevant, practical information on how to choose the best flooring for your home.
The easy-to-use comparison guide titled Carpets vs Tiles vs Laminates vs Vinyl: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide listed the pros and cons of each type of flooring, amongst other variables to consider.
Prospective leads would be able to download the guide after completing a quick form on a dedicated landing page created specifically for the campaign.
The campaign has proven a success so far – it’s converting leads at over 14%, well above the industry average of 3%. Top Carpets and Floors have successfully used content campaigns to increase the number of users converting on their website by 150%. Thus highlighting content as a successful lead generating mechanism.
3. Create video content
The study goes on to note that 84% of consumers ended up buying the product in question after watching an explainer video on it.
As video-maker Promo notes: “Video ads are often some of the best performing ads, with stats showing video performing 20% better than image-only ads”.
A company that has had phenomenal success with video ads is MVMT, an online apparel brand. The company utilised short, catchy videos on Instagram and Meta to generate leads and sales, and grow their business from $0 to $90 Million in under five years.
4. Provide a handy checklist or template
One of the easiest ways to win over a potential prospect is to identify what their need or problem is and then to help them solve it.
One of our clients, Hazendal Wine Estate, just outside of Cape Town, recently did just this when they launched their very useful wedding checklist with our help.
Addressing the very real challenge of planning your own wedding, The Little Book of Wedding Planning Checklists, provides brides-to-be with every checklist (from budgets to timelines and even one for the honeymoon), they will ever need to plan the perfect big day.
By starting off their relationship by offering help, Hazendal showed prospects that they cared.
Brides-to-be could download the booklet after completing a form on the Hazendal website.
A captured audience, of course, gave Hazendal the perfect opportunity to follow up with a call to also market their wedding venues to brides.
The campaign achieved stellar results, with a view-to-contact conversion rate of over 35.3%, far above the industry average of 3%. This campaign has also been a significant contributor to influenced revenue for the business.
5. Use Facebook ads to your advantage
Facebook advertising is an effective means of distributing content and generating leads.
Especially as businesses can use Facebook’s Ad Targeting features to zero in on their target audience. The Ad Targeting tools allow users to set a target market, which in FB lingo is referred to as an “audience”. Parameters for an audience may include location, age and gender, as well as income and education level. You can even target an audience based on their partner connections or job title.
By building a niche target audience, businesses can be sure that their ads will be seen by the right prospects, ie those most likely to purchase their product or service because of a pre-existing need.
Even better, by utilising the audience feature with Facebook Lead Ads, you can create a seamless user experience that doesn’t require a prospect to toggle between platforms. As HubSpot explains: “Facebook Lead Ads allow users to stay on the platform while completing and submitting your lead form. Meaning, you can create a form that collects a lead's name, email address, or phone number (among other things) that they can complete exactly where they come across your ad — whether in the Facebook News Feed, Articles, Messenger, Stories, and more”.
We ran a Facebook advertising campaign together with the team at Oticon, a global leader in hearing-aid technology, as part of their lead gen campaign and achieved huge success.
With Facebook advertising, we were able to reduce their cost per lead by 61% and achieve a session-to-contact rate of 23.53% - well above the 5-8% industry average.
6. Create a free-to-use tool
Developing a handy tool prospects can use free of charge is another great way to start building customer relationships and a great lead-generation campaign idea.
MobileMonkey, a sales-automation text-messaging platform, did just this with their free keyword tool for WordStream. The tool allowed users to search for keywords and optimise their use in their content.
The simple tool took the company three months to build but the ROI is completely worth it says CEO Larry Kim, as it has already brought in over a million email signups. That’s a million email addresses and a potential million leads.
7. Buckle the digital trend
In a digitally-saturated landscape, it can pay off to go old-school with flyers, posters or direct mail.
Direct mail, especially, seem to be on the up as more and more recipients swiftly move unwanted emails into their bins or spam folders, never to be opened.
In fact, according to a USPS survey of millennials, 87% love receiving physical mail. Add to this the fact that a study by marketing firm True Impact found that recipients found direct mail easier to understand as it requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than an email, and you can see how going this route can have an impact.
Even digital-first companies such as messaging-platform, Slack has embraced this trend. The company sent customers “Customer Love” boxes and postcards to show their appreciation for their business.
Direct mail can take the form of a simple coupon or discount voucher or a custom map, for instance, showing the route from the recipient's home to the nearest branch of a specific business.
Plus, you can utilise VPD, QR codes and other digital assets to create an impactful omnichannel marketing experience that can connect with prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey. That’s a 360-degree lead-generation campaign idea right there!
Coming up with successful lead generation campaign ideas don’t have to mean sleepless nights. Sometimes, a less-is-more approach, such as simply running an enticing giveaway, is all you need to generate leads.
By implementing one of the above ideas and keeping your message on brand, with clear targeting you should be able to generate leads and drive results in no time at all.