By Ale Melara
Your lead numbers are low, and you’re running out of time. It’s nearly the end of the month or quarter, you view your marketing dashboard to check on your metrics, and you see that your lead numbers are not hitting the mark. It’s OK—it happens.
Lead numbers can be impacted by a number of factors that are out of our control as marketers. For example, seasonality, a big holiday season, or even a Google algorithm update can impact your numbers. Even though you’ve launched the right campaigns and targeted the right audience, you may still miss your goal.
The problem is that the executive team won’t care if there was an algorithm update. The only thing on their mind is that the numbers are low.
You don’t have time to launch a paid media campaign at this point, and buying lists is out of the question. So what can you do? Our marketing team has tried and proven seven easy, cost-effective lead generation hacks that might make a difference when you’re running out of time.
Use Your Team
1. Use LinkedIn as an event driver.
For B2B marketers in particular, LinkedIn can be a great audience driver if you know how to use it to your advantage.
Let’s say you’ve created an event on LinkedIn and set everything up properly, but not many people are engaging with it. How can you get more eyeballs on the event?
Hack: Have everyone in the company share the event with at least 100 people in their network. If you have 200 people in your company and at least 150 employees help you, then you’ll have sent out 15,000 invitations on LinkedIn.
2. Use employee advocacy platforms to your advantage.
Employee advocacy platforms encourage your team to share your content, therefore promoting your company or brand. Our team uses PostBeyond, but there are many other platforms, such as GaggleAMP, Oktopost, and Sociabble.
If you have an employee advocacy platform, you know how great they are. If this is the first time you’re hearing about them, here’s a quick overview of what they can do for you:
- You publish the content you want your team to share.
- You add your entire team to the platform.
- Your team can then share the published content to their social profiles right from the platform.
Hack: Create a contest within the platform. You can create your own rules! In the example below, our team was looking for people to share at least one post per day for two work weeks. If they did so, they would be entered to win a $100 gift card to our brand’s swag store
Leverage Your Partnerships
3. Build promo packs.
Partners tend to be more receptive and willing to help promote a piece of content when you give them a “promo pack.”
What is included in a promo pack?
- Graphics for social media
- Sample email copy
- Social messaging
Pro tip: Don’t forget to include a tracking URL for your partner to include whenever they promote the piece of content. This will show you how many leads are coming from that specific partner.
4. Search for influencers and experts in the field.
Look for influencers and subject-matter experts that you know your target audience will listen to and who have a following on social media.
Hack: Make connections and build relationships with these influencers. Start a conversation about topics of interest. Once the opportunity arises, ask if they can help promote a piece of content or campaign.
Pro tip: Don’t interrupt their day or spam their inbox with requests to help you promote. Remember, these folks receive tons of messages like that. What will make yours stand out? Don’t make it about you—make it about them!
5. Join Slack communities.
There are tons of open-to-the-public Slack communities that you can join. These communities can help you not only make professional connections, spot new career opportunities, or gain a deeper knowledge of a particular subject, but also promote a campaign or piece of content.
Hack: These communities are great for lead generation. It’s almost as if you’re running a lead referral campaign without actually running it! That’s because these spaces are filled with experienced marketers that have tons of connections that might be interested in what you’re promoting.
Pro tip: Don’t just blast the general channel with a random, out-of-the-blue message asking for help. Be smart and take a look at the conversations happening in that particular space. If there’s an opportunity in which you feel your campaign or piece of content can provide value, chime in!
6. Run a lead referral contest.
Lead referral campaigns can be a great way to boost your numbers. Last-minute lead referral contests might be just what you need when you’re running out of time.
Hack: Create a contest within your existing database. Ask folks to help you promote a campaign, and offer a prize to the contact that generates the most leads toward that campaign. Build a list with specific criteria, and only include contacts that you know will be helpful when promoting your campaign. For example, include contacts in the marketing field if your audience is full of marketers, or include contacts who work at a nonprofit if your target audience is nonprofits.
Pro tip: Create a specific link with an urchin tracking module (UTM) parameter that allows you to collect responses later on and ensure the contacts know to share that link.
- Send gifts.
Gifts work as incentives. Who doesn’t like free stuff? Especially if what you’re being asked in return requires very little effort.
Hack: Come up with an easy-to-follow social contest. For example, post something related to the campaign and ask people to share the post and tag you in a story. In return, they get a gift. For gifting purposes, our team has used BHN Rewards (formerly Rybbon) and Alyce, which both have a ton of product and pricing options.
Pro tip: Ask people to share on the social channel that best works for your brand. If you know your audience lives on LinkedIn, that’s where you should conduct the contest.
Get Started with Emergency Lead Gen Hacks
These seven lead gen hacks might not be the most strategic, but they don’t require much effort or time. They are great as “emergency lead gen hacks.”
When the time is slipping out of your hands, why not give one or several of these hacks a try? If you’re looking for other lead generation strategies, check out our guide, Inbound Marketing Quick Wins for Lead Generation.
If you’re unsure how to implement any of these hacks, we have an expert team that focuses on getting quick wins for their clients every day. Just reach out, and we can discuss ideas together.
About the author
Ale Melara is a Sr. Content Marketing Manager based out of El Salvador, Central America. Ale is our very first LATAM employee. She's worked remotely for the past 5 years and she's had different roles in sales and marketing. In her free time, she works on creating educational videos around digital marketing for her "Inbound Nomad" social accounts where she promotes traveling the world while being a full-time marketer. Read more articles by Ale Melara.