Lead generation: 5 success stories from marketing legends

Question: how do you design effective lead generation campaigns? It's the number one challenge for B2B marketers. At least, that's what emerges from a study by B2B Technology Marketing, which explains that generating quality leads is "the biggest challenge" for 61% of marketers.


At a time when the Internet is awash with free resources, fewer and fewer Internet users are willing to divulge their personal details in exchange for content, however good it may be. To shine, you need to aim for the useful, the ultra-practical, the original and the bold.

Looking for inspiration? Here are 5 success stories from LeadGen campaigns run by marketing legends. Let’s get started!

1. Larry Kim: creating an interactive tool that generates qualified leads

Free tools are all the rage. The proof? HubSpot, Moz and Unbounce are investing heavily in the creation of small free tools that can be integrated into marketing workflows. This is precisely what Larry Kim, CEO of MobileMonkey, has set out to do by developing a free keyword tool. What’s special about it is that it allows marketers to search for and prioritise new keywords in just a few minutes, free of charge and with no headaches!

Clearly, developing an interactive lead magnet requires a lot of work and the involvement of a developer, but the ROI is there, “with an enormous quantity of leads generated” according to the tool’s creator.

2. Cara Hogan: integrate lead capture forms directly into video content

At one time or another, all marketers have to make a choice: should I block out my best content to turn it into a lead magnet, or provide it for free to attract organic traffic? The answer from Cara Hogan, content strategist for Zaius: why not do both?

For the Marketing Unboxed video series, Cara had the brilliant idea of adopting a hybrid approach: rather than giving access to her best content via a form, she integrated forms into each video: “We created the Marketing Unboxed video series as a piece of top-of-funnel content designed to engage our target audience. By including a lead generation form in the video itself, we encourage the audience to subscribe, but we don’t require it,” she explains. Clearly, this freedom given to the viewer is appreciated, with results that are nothing short of rave reviews!

3. Aaron Orendorff: interview a third-party expert (and integrate reserved resources)

For many brands, generating leads involves a consistent blogging effort. The good news is that you don’t have to create all the content yourself.

You can interview experts in your field and share their advice on attracting qualified leads.

Former editor-in-chief of Shopify Plus, Aaron Orendorff interviewed a leading expert in the e-commerce sector. The aim: to rank Shopify for certain long-tail keywords, in particular “e-commerce re-platforming”. But it’s not all about interviewing an expert… the interview has to be of high quality if you want to generate leads.

In practical terms, Aaron has integrated three separate lead generation calls to action throughout the interview, each offering visitors downloadable content related to the subject of the interview. The third-party expert approach makes it possible to create new and original content, a far cry from the ‘rewording’ blog, which simply reworks third-party content in terms of form.

4. Andrew Davis: sharing an engaging customer experience

Before Internet users agree to give you their details, they need to trust you to a greater or lesser extent. One of the best ways of doing this is to create a bond with them. And how do you do that? With customer testimonials and positive reviews!

The problem of authenticity has yet to be resolved, as Andrew Davis, author of several best-sellers and a distinguished lecturer, has pointed out. For him, most video testimonials are cruelly lacking in authenticity. And he’s not entirely wrong. The solution? Follow a path, tell the customer’s complete story to indirectly generate leads and don’t hesitate to mention the difficulties, the limits of the experience and the points to watch out for, as a certain Vance does in this YouTube video… 

Lasting 5 minutes 37 seconds, this viral video (over 100 million views!) follows Vance’s incredible transformation over 365 days. Unlike other video testimonials, this customer’s story is filmed in real-time. It’s compelling, emotional and, most importantly, there’s no call to action. Instead, throughout the video Vance mentions the diet and exercise programme he is following to lose weight. The references are subtle at first, before becoming the central element of the video, with a discreet CTA.

5. Ryan Robinson: experimenting with new types of content

What if we told you that sometimes the best lead magnets can come from projects that have little to do with your business? By focusing on related subjects, you can discover whole segments of customers who might not otherwise have been exposed to your brand.

That’s what successful blogger Ryan Robinson found out. He simply took his audience on board a nascent business idea, from feasibility study to product development, with regular articles and updates. In just one month, this LeadGen campaign generated over 3,000 new subscribers to his blog! An eloquent example of the adage “Think outside the box”!


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