There was a time when companies would put out advertising and reward their customers for referrals and that was enough to bring in new leads. This is no longer the case. In today’s online world, the business landscape is highly competitive. To stay ahead of the game, businesses, including Managed Service Providers (MSPs), are required to continuously generate new leads in order to grow and stay ahead of the competition.

How important is lead generation? These statistics tell the story:

  • 58% of marketers say their lead generation budget will increase
  • 53% of marketers say at least half of their marketing budget is devoted to lead generation
  • 59% of B2B marketers say generating high-quality leads is their biggest challenge
  • 68% of B2B professionals say increasing the quality of their leads is a top priority and 55% feel increasing lead volume is a priority

Fortunately, lead generation isn’t a complicated process, when you know the right strategies. There are many tried and true methods of lead generation in today’s technologically advanced world that work for any business, including MSPs.

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Best Methods of Lead Generation

The internet is a powerhouse of resources when it comes to generating leads. Some lead generation methods are better than others in terms of the amount of work that goes into them and the ROI. What follows are the best forms of lead generation and how they work.

Email Marketing

Email marketing has become one of the top lead generation methods for both online and offline businesses. Just consider how many times you have gone into a retail store and have been asked for your email address. Or consider how often you are on a website when a box pops up offering something to you in exchange for your email address. This is email marketing at work and MSPs can use it to grow their business.

First and foremost, email marketing gives a return of $44 for every $1 spent. That’s an ROI of 4,400%. In addition to this:

  • 93% of B2B marketers distribute content via email
  • 40% of B2B marketers say email newsletters are a vital part of their content delivery
  • 86% of consumers say they want to receive promotional emails once a month, 61% want them weekly, and 15% want them daily
  • 80% of business professionals feel email marketing increases customer retention
  • 59% of marketers say email is their best ROI

Email marketing requires you provide something of value to the consumer. This can be a report, white paper, eBook, webinar, or anything else that they would find useful. They provide their email address and you provide them with the content they need. Then you send out regular emails, providing a mix of informational and educational content, stories (people relate to stories), and promotional material.

Email is highly targeted because you can segment your list into specific groups. Examples of groups you might want to target include people who have made purchases in the past, people who have abandoned shopping carts, or people who have visited your site but not taken any action. Best of all, email allows you to develop a relationship with your leads. Over time, they will grow to trust you and will buy from you.

Content Marketing

Content marketing can be done as part of an email marketing campaign or it can be done on its own. The basis of content marketing is to provide valuable content to your leads and customers on a consistent basis. Why is this method so effective? Because it demonstrates thought leadership. After all, customers no longer want to be sold. Instead, they want a relationship with the companies they do business with. They want engagement. Providing valuable content allows customers to engage with you and it works. Here are some statistics to prove it:

  • 71% of consumers are turned off by content that comes across as a sales pitch
  • 71% of B2B customers read blog content on their journey to make a purchase
  • 55% of marketers say creating blog content is their top inbound marketing priority
  • Content marketing generates three times more leads than paid advertising and costs 62% less

Content can be delivered in many different ways. You can use things such as:

  • Newsletters
  • Blogs
  • Social media posts
  • Podcasts
  • Video
  • Reports and white papers

Through these methods you can educate people, do interviews with industry experts, provide product reviews, preview and premier products, and so much more. Followers enjoy the content, come back for more, begin to build a relationship of trust with you, and then they are open to buying from you.

Social Media Marketing

People spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media every single day. It’s where they hang out, socialize, get the news, and connect with the online world. It’s also where they get information from and about companies and brands. Businesses are also on social media, with 64% of their marketers are spending 6 hours or more on social media every week.

This means that everyone, individual and business, has a social media presence and that gives you the perfect opportunity to reach people. There are many social media channels and you’ll ideally want to be on two or three of them. Then you need to post consistently. You can post things like:

  • Question of the day
  • Fact of the day
  • Information on new products
  • A customer’s personal story using your product
  • Contests
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Industry news
  • Community and philanthropic work
  • Employee stories
  • Reshared content from your other content marketing initiatives

The key is to set up a schedule of regular posts and stick with it. As long as you are consistent, you will engage your audience and grow your followers. Then, link back to your website, blog, and other content.

Final Word

As you can see, it’s no longer enough to simply advertise, whether you are B2C or B2B. Instead, you need to engage with potential customers and build a relationship with them. You can do this through email marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. And you may have noticed we mentioned “valuable” and “consistent” a lot. Offering something of value and doing so consistently is what will ultimately pay off when you are generating leads. Contact us today to learn more on how SherWeb can help you with marketing.

Written by Mathieu Pipe-Rondeau Marketing Communications Specialist @ SherWeb

Mathieu is responsible for SherWeb’s blog content and organic social media. Highly conscious of branding and related communications, he’s constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to showcase SherWeb to the world. Mathieu has ten years of communications and marketing experience, including expertise in knowledge management, process creation and improvement, technical writing and content strategy. When he’s not producing engaging content, Mathieu enjoys cooking, singing and skateboarding with his son.