The problem with modern marketing techniques is that as soon as a new technique proves to be effective, it quickly gets overused and run in to the ground.
The effectiveness of well known techniques can drop off over time as poor implementation from others dilute value.
Using these offbeat lead generation ideas can help you to get ahead of the competition by utilising techniques that have yet to even occur to your competitors.
1. Create A Tool
Creating a tool for your industry should be high on your agenda if you are looking to generate leads.
Building something useful – and free! – for others in your industry to use can increase your reputation as an influencer, help you to develop B2B relationships and, importantly, provide a source of organic links that can boost your Google search ranking.
Think about the tasks that people in your industry need to perform on a regular basis, and if any of those could be assisted with a free online tool then seize the opportunity to be the one who creates it.
2. Listen and Respond
By setting up Google Alerts or other keyword alert services, you can be notified whenever your business is mentioned.
A great way of generating leads is by being responsive to both complaints and praise, so if somebody is complaining about your business online it can be a brilliant move to respond in a polite, helpful way.
You never know, you might turn an unsatisfied customer in to a loyal fan.
An additional use for Google Alerts may be to monitor questions that are asked on industry forums. This takes a lot of time and dedication. in the ideal scenario you would create user accounts on at least a dozen forums that relate to your industry so that you build a name for you there.
3. Contribute on Quora Actively
Quora is a question-and-answer site that has blown up over the past few years.
You can link back to your landing page on your profile. This is an excellent feature for businesses as whenever you provide an answer on Quora you have the opportunity to generate leads.
Combining this with Google Alerts, you can get involved with active conversations on Quora. This is great for lead generation as you are already offering value to potential customers in terms of information, building your reputation and their trust in you.
4. Put all Your Presentations on Slideshare
You probably use Slideshare already, but you might not know that this can be an excellent source for leads.
Linking to your landing page in your presentation can drive high quality traffic to your site.
The paid plans get you more lead generation opportunities, but even with the free plan it is still a powerful tool.
Be sure when using Slideshare to use all the usual SEO techniques to drive more traffic to your presentation, as well as presenting an attractive call to action at the end.
5. LinkedIn Groups
Many people will tell you that LinkedIn has been useless for them, warning you away from the platform as a place with very little lead generation opportunity.
Those people are not properly using LinkedIn.
The trick to using LinkedIn groups for lead generation is in finding the right groups and posting in the right tone.
To find the right groups, you should be looking at the “My Groups” list on profiles of influencers within your industry. The sweet spot for member count is between 3000 and 10000 – groups larger than that fall in to self-promotion very quickly.
In terms of tone, it is best to keep it professional and friendly without going too “sales-y”, as this can turn people off. There is an awesome guide on how to use LinkedIn Groups for lead generation. You can read it here. It’s written by John Chen and although it’s bordering on TLDR, I suggest you read it, or have it read to you while you drive.
6. Facebook Groups
Facebook is the largest social media platform and many businesses have used Facebook Groups to market, build relationships and generate leads.
Unfortunately, too many people give up on Facebook Groups because it is difficult to find the right ones.
To find the right groups for you, we recommend using Facebook’s auto-recommendation in the sidebar. Once you have joined a few groups, more relevant and useful groups will start to be suggested to you.
7. Get on Telly or Radio
Given the opportunity, television coverage is always a great way to generate leads.
The trick to scoring a spot on a news segment is to have a unique stance. The most important part of modern television journalism is the headline, so providing an interesting viewpoint that makes for a catchy headline is vital.
This is one way to reach people who you might otherwise miss on online-only platforms. I’d start by following popular journalists and editors on Twitter and LinkedIn. You will be surprised how often they desperately ask for quotes for their upcoming features. Also sign up for JournoRequests if you’re based in the UK.
8. Build Strategic Partnerships
Building strong working relationships with larger (non-competitor) companies in your industry can yield fantastic results for lead generation.
Being able to solve a problem in the short and long term for a larger business can help you to beat out any new competitors by already having an established partnership with the big player.
Many related businesses band together to provide a supportive business ecosystem for everyone, in turn providing value through lead-sharing and free or discounted advertising.
9. Annoy People with Pop-Ups
People have hated pop-up ads since the earliest days of the internet, but despite their drop-off in popularity pop-up ads still offer greater opt-in rates for mailing lists and special offers.
You have to be careful with pop-ups or you risk annoying visitors away from your site.
To this end, you should ensure that any pop-ups you utilise for lead generation are pleasant looking, pleasant sounding and easy to close if the user isn’t interested. Another technical aspect is to only show the popup once per session and preferably on exit intent, i.e. when the visitor brings the mouse towards the top of the screen.
Also, the popup needs to add value. It’s ok to offer a whitepaper, an ebook or a discount code via popups but it’s certainly not ok to sell products and services via popups
10. Use Quizzes for Lead Generation
One very offbeat lead generation idea is to utilise quizzes.
People love quizzes, especially ones that they can share on social media – but you have to get some things right if your quiz is going to be successful and useful to you.
The design has to be simple and sleek. The slightest whiff of clutter or confusion can send a potential customer away.
The topic must be directly related to your products or services. There’s no point doing “Which Love Island cast member are you?” if you are a furniture retailer.
Finally, you must have a call to action with sufficient reward at the conclusion of the quiz in order to convert the lead.
Have you tried any of these offbeat lead generation ideas? Got any success (or failure) stories to share? Or do you have any offbeat lead generation ideas knocking around your head? Share them in the comments section or drop me a line.