The Best Lead Generation Articles of 2014

As the calendar year comes to a close, it’s time to look back at the world of lead generation in 2014. From the thousands of articles written, we’ve come up with a list of 10 of our favorites.

These articles show the different ways marketers are integrating new techniques into their lead generation strategy, with a variety of offers becoming a common theme. Browse the articles, strategies and opinions and discover why these articles deserve a place in the sun.

1. A Beginner’s Guide to Lead Conversion With Social Media via Kissmetrics

Article Synopsis: This Kissmetrics article looks into how you can optimize various social channels in order to get new leads for your business. It discusses how to promote content differently across the various networks.

Key Takeaway: We like the emphasis this article places on creating fun and interesting posts like pictures and quotes in addition to your brand content. These can evoke emotion from your Fans or Followers and often get the most engagement and sharing. It also dives into analytics and social media lead gen tracking, a topic all readers should learn and be familiar with.

2. How We Doubled Email Signups in 30 Days: Our Strategies to Get More Email Subscribers via Buffer

Article Synopsis: In this article Kevan Lee discusses multiple changes Buffer implemented to their blog, leading to more than their email signups doubling. Prior to the changes, Buffer was only capturing new email subscribers through one slideup form. After the changes they had 9 different techniques to capture signups including sidebar ads, slideshares and social media lead gen.

Key Takeaway: This post confirms the fact that you should always have a handful of different methods to capture new leads on your website. We love the honesty in this post as Kevan has included stats, figures, and graphs to transparently give readers insight into Buffer’s changes and the impact of those changes.  If you’re looking to grow your email list from your blog this article is one you need to keep in mind!

3. The Truth About B2B Lead Gen: What Really Works via Crazy Egg

Article Synopsis: This Crazy Egg post discusses everything you need to know for B2B lead gen. And I mean everything. It covers how social media, content marketing, free offers and marketing automation can capture new leads for your business.

Key Takeaway: Marketing automation is an effective lead generation strategy and a growing field that everyone will be faced with in the next few years. We love how comprehensive this post is as it digs into every facet of lead generation. It’s an all-in-one piece of content with graphs, statistics and valuable advice about how you should be generating leads in today’s world. Definitely give it a glance regardless of what stage your business is in.

4. 25 Biggest Lead Generation Mistakes (& What You Do About Them!!) via Heidi Cohen

Article Synopsis: This article from Heidi Cohen is jam packed with statistics relating to B2B lead gen. We love how she has used charts to emphasize certain points and how she starts the article with intriguing facts from the Content Marketing Institute to hook in readers from the start. She then lists 25 crucial lead gen mistakes all taken from industry experts. Heidi then finishes the article by giving 5 very important actionable tips every online marketer needs to know for lead generation.

Key Takeaway: From only using social media to promote your brand, to not using a call-to-action, to not building your email list, we have to agree with each of the experts in this list. Our favorite mistake Heidi has selected has to be asking too much too quickly from leads, which was mentioned by multiple of the experts including the CEO of Vertical Measures, Arnie Kuenn.

5. How to Write Blog Posts That Generate Leads via Quick Sprout

Article Synopsis: Another awesome post from Neil Patel, we couldn’t create this list without a post about blog lead generation. Neil discusses the types of posts that don’t convert and then gets into the blog quantity vs quality debate.

Key Takeaway: Neil’s simple strategy to get traffic converting into leads and provides his expert advice from his decade of running various high quality and high return marketing blogs. While his strategy is fairly specific and may only be applicable to certain businesses, this article is one to keep in mind.

6. 11 Lead Generation Tactics That You’re Likely Neglecting via Proof HQ

Article Synopsis: This article from ProofHQ provides a solid list of different lead gen strategies businesses should try, and may have overlooked in the past. They’re all good ways to resonate with readers, engage and ideally get everyone on your site turning into a subscriber.

Key Takeaway: We chose to include this article in our list as at Wishpond we currently use many of these strategies ourselves. We love using slideshares to capture new leads and broaden our brand awareness and are huge fans of the exit popup as a technique to grab leads on their way out the door, two great concepts mention in this list. A great article to keep in mind when coming up with new lead generation techniques.  

7. Measuring Marketing Effectiveness: Find Out if Your Content Converts via Content Marketing Institute

Article Synopsis: In this article Derek Edmond discusses various ways to track if your content is leading to conversions and new leads for your business. He discusses the need of content marketers to track their content assets and monitor buyer behaviours. He looks into Google Analytics Event Tracking and marketing automation prospect reports as ways to track what pages a prospect has viewed. Derek also discusses Google’s navigation summary and targeted social media mentions.

Key Takeaway: Creating content to generate leads is crucial, but you need to know how successful your content marketing efforts are. We love the different strategies he has listed in this in-depth article to track and measure the effectiveness of each of your content pieces. When it comes to content many people don’t know how to track leads, but this article has everything you need to know. We especially like that he has included pictures and graphs to convey how the analytics tracking works.

8. 23 Types of Lead Gen Content to Put Behind Your Landing Pages via Hubspot

Article Synopsis: At times it can seem impossible to think of an offer to give leads in return for their email address or contact information. For that reason we chose to include this great list from Lindsay Kolowich at Hubspot. It gives 23 different things you can offer in order to help you collect new leads.

Key Takeaway: At Wishpond we have tried the majority of these techniques such as ebooks, slideshares, podcasts and many more and have seen great success. This year we have seen a lot of success generating new leads with webinars, but our favorite on the list has to be the always trustworthy ebook. A great article to keep handy when you want to ramp up your lead gen efforts with some new, exciting offers.

9. Why Your Content Marketing Plan Can’t Focus on Both Lead and Demand Generation via Content Marketing Institute

Article Synopsis: This in-depth article from Eric Wittlake does a great job at explaining the difference between the concepts of lead and demand generation. He explains how they’re both crucial but can’t both be focused on at the same time. Eric then covers the 2 approaches of “lead generation first” and “demand generation first.”

Key Takeaway: We love how he clarifies the common idea that a single content marketing plan is expected to deliver leads and drive demand, when in reality it doesn’t work that way. He perfectly explains how you can, however, weave the two concepts together in your overall content marketing plan.

10. Dos and Don’ts of Lead Generation via Marketo

Article Synopsis: We love this article because it includes the thoughts and insights of four marketing experts in regards to what your business should and shouldn’t do to generate quality leads. From developing content for different stages of your buying process to using direct marketing and creating awesome blog content, this article is packed with helpful strategies you need to implement.

Key Takeaway:  It’s nice to have an article that also tells you what not to do, as it shares things you may have forgotten or mistakes you may be making without even realizing it. The facts and quotes given by these marketing experts are great pieces of information that you should keep handy and refer to in the future to find lead generation success.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed our list of 10 of our favorite lead generation articles of 2014 and gained some insight into the fascinating and constantly changing world of lead generation.

The best part of marketing today is that there is tons of lead generation advice and content available at your fingertips all the time. When you’re looking to improve your lead generation techniques, be sure to keep this list handy.

We know there are thousands of articles we could have chosen for our top 10, so feel free to give us your opinions and join in on the discussion below!

Further Reading:

- Written by Claire Grayston

Claire is a digital content marketer at Wishpond. When not racking her brain for new content, you’ll find her hiking or snowboarding the local mountains or cozied up in bed watching a sappy rom-com.