Small businesses are often plagued with numerous challenges—access to funding, generating sustainable revenue, getting ahead of the competition, among other things.

Once the company expands and grows, some of the aforementioned issues get resolved.

However, in order for the company to grow, leads are required.

Unfortunately, generating leads employing the conventional inside sales model will entail both people and time—2 resources many small businesses often fall short of.

The good news is there are a lot of innovative (and effective) lead generation ideas small businesses can turn to achieve amazing results even with resources that are limited.

Some of the best lead generation ideas for small businesses include:

Content Marketing

This strategy works by using videos, infographics, articles, and other content to cater to the educational needs of your current and prospective clients.

For instance, if you are engaged in the landscaping business, creating content about companion planting and caring for popular plants will be a good idea.

If you are an accounting firm on the other hand, creating videos on tax reporting and compliance will surely resonate with your audience.

The content marketing strategy would be able to accomplish 2 things:

  1. It can help showcase your expertise and leadership in the industry you are in—both of which are critical in converting leads into paying customers.
  2. Given that it is of superb quality and your prospects or current customers searched for it, Google (and other search engines) can easily direct your customers to your content.

Inbound Lead Generation

For many, an inbound lead generation model is deemed very efficient.

For those who have not tried it yet, the concept is actually pretty straightforward.

In essence, you just need to create an online presence that will give you the opportunity to entice online visitors and capture the names and addresses of those who might be interested in what you have to offer.

A simple newsletter subscription and “Contact Us” form will often do the trick.

If pursuing customers is not your thing, then you’d surely love inbound lead generation.

With this model, there is no cold e-mailing or cold calling involved. You don’t even have to do advertising as well.

With inbound lead generation, you can assume everyone you come in contact with is interested in what you have to offer and has given follow-up permission so connecting is way easier.

Video Marketing

Many believe content is the future of the Internet.

In fact, according to statistics provided by YouTube, millions of hours of content are consumed on a daily basis. And that’s just on their platform alone.

That being said, creating awesome video content would do your small business a whole lot of good.

Let’s take the case of Mirabeau Wines.

Their video on how to open a bottle of wine sans a corkscrew has been viewed over 10 million times and has turned them from an unknown brand to Internet marketing legend overtime.

While the aforementioned Mirabeau Wines video was not originally intended as lead generation ploy, it could have been used as a call-to-action, directing viewers to visit an about page, a newsletter sign-up, etc.

Direct Mail

While direct mail has been a proven marketing strategy, many small businesses tend to just forget about it.

However, taking into account all it has to offer, that shouldn’t be the case.

Unlike in the 80s and 90s (way back when the Internet was new), e-mail accounts now overflow with spam, making cutting through all the noise all the more challenging.

Fortunately, since traditional mail now pales in comparison to other digital means (click to tweet), there is undoubtedly less competition.

Despite the cost, many consider direct mail as a highly effective yet underutilized lead generation tactic.

You have the option to provide prospects with stamped envelopes or you can use direct mail to complement your digital marketing efforts to achieve better results.