If you generate leads, you make money. It’s a simple fact. More potential customers mean more sales. The confusing part is how to generate these leads. The Internet offers great opportunities to small businesses, but there’s a steep learning curve. Many companies spend their whole marketing budget in one week of AdWords, only to see little to no results from their campaign. Lead generation is critical – you just need to know how.
What is a Lead?
In business, a lead is simply a potential sales contact. You’re looking for leads because they have the potential to become new customers. If a lead is someone interested in doing business with you, then generating leads is how your company finds these new customers. Lead generation entails marketing processes that capture interest in your business. Throughout these processes, your company will use a variety of channels to qualify leads and get them into your sales channel.
How to Generate Leads
So you know you want to generate more leads, but you’re still unsure how. Don’t worry! Generating new leads is one of our specialties. Below you’ll find 13 surefire ways to generate leads and boost your small business:
Content is king in the era dominated by Google and other search engines. If you’re not producing fresh content on a consistent basis, then the search engines might overlook you. The key with your blog is to continually add value for your readers. Don’t make a blog about your company. Write about what your readers care about and need to know. While posting informative articles to your site, you’ll be given complete control over the conversation and undivided attention of any sales leads reading the content. Add value to your posts, but don’t forget to promote your products and service on calls to action at the end of the article, extolling the benefits of your company. Sidebar widgets or a newsletter sign up section at the end of the piece are also effective to garner email addresses of potential clients.
If you’re not actively using social media to promote your business, you’re leaving money on the table.
- Twitter offers easy access to influencers in your market, along with the hashtag feature that allows you to connect with millions in a single tweet.
- LinkedIn is an incredible social media marketing tool, especially for those in the business-to-business fields. Instagram offers business marketing an easy way to connect with their young and hip clientele.
- Facebook is still the biggest social media site on the planet. While a Facebook page for your business may not be what it once was, it’s still useful. Facebook ads also offer a great value for your marketing dollar.
Newsletter & Mailing List
No listing of lead generation techniques would be complete without mention of a newsletter and mailing list. Remember how we said you should be incorporating a blog into your website and a sign-up section at the end of each article? One of the main reasons is to build up your mailing list and create a simple way to capture potential customers. Visitors to your website should be able to sign up for the unique content you give away through your newsletter on every single page of your website. You can use your newsletter to:
- Announce new offerings and special sales
- Give readers insider tips
- Talk about industry news you don’t want available to the public
Creating an eBook to offer for free is an easy way to show your authority within your industry and gain the trust of potential customers. Just make sure to avoid sales-y language in your guide. Do give away substantial information that helps your readers. Make sure to include actionable advice. Build a landing page around your offering and ask people who want the eBook to sign up with their name and email. In this scenario, your potential customer gets a free eBook and you get another addition to your email list. When a potential client finds value in your free content, they’ll be sure to come back for more in the future, even if it means paying for it.
While this generation method isn’t for every industry, many companies benefit from adding a live chat box to their website. Potential customers often have quick questions, but don’t want to take the time to send an email or make a phone call to a pushy sales person. The live chat feature offers these customers a quick and easy way to get the info they want. Once in chat conversation, you can eliminate any fears a buyer may have about your service and add a personal touch to the selling process.
Infographics to generate leads are inherently social and shareable, which is exactly what you want for lead generation. Focus the content around an original idea, but make sure it’s not about your company. Instead, generically relate it to what you do. Then make sure to attach your logo and URL at the bottom of the marketing piece. Ask influencers and others in your network to share the graphic. When your well-done infographic finds its way into the hands of someone ready to buy your products or services, they are more likely to take further action through your website.
If content creation isn’t up your alley, and you want traffic right now, a pay per click (PPC) campaign may be the perfect lead-generating solution. The benefit of using PPC marketing to reach customers is there’s little set up time. Build your campaign correctly and the leads should start calling or coming in to your store. The amount of leads you get depends on the amount of your advertising budget. As well, using pay per click allows you to direct leads to the exact point you desire in your sales funnel. Blog posts and email marketing cannot say the same. Thus, using PPC for lead generation can be lucrative if you manage your campaign right.
Businesses have been using customer referrals to boost business forever. One of the best ways to generate targeted leads who are ready to buy is through customer referrals. You may be doing a fantastic job, but most customers are singing your praises privately. If a customer sends you a referral, it’s because you can solve a problem for a someone they know. You can’t get a better lead than that! When you generate leads through customers referrals, remember to sell soft, but sell fast.
Another classic marketing method to help generate leads is cross-promotions, or co-marketing. By forming an alliance or partnering with businesses in complementary, but not competitive industries, you open your business up to a brand new set of customers. Promoting each other’s services and products, having access to new mailing lists, customer referrals and a variety of other mutually beneficial business activities can boost both of your bottom lines. Leads generated from these activities can be valuable, but cross-promotions can eat up a lot of your time in trying to coordinate these efforts.
Simple Ideas Work
Never overlook the small changes that are already free and available to your business. Think about the staggering number of emails you send each and every day. The amount may be into the thousands over the course of a week. So why not add a special offer to your email signature? The process will take ten minutes and you’ll instantly get thousands of potential eyes on what you’re selling with this simple addition. Remember to change the offer frequently so customers look forward to seeing what’s new.
Give Your Marketing a Personal Touch
The digital world can be beneficial, but don’t forget about the physical side of marketing. Make sure you get out to trade shows, industry events, workshops and conferences. These opportunities allow you to:
- Put your face with the name of your company and start building relationships
- Speak at an event and show potential customers your expertise
- Contact any leads generated during these events with follow-up calls or emails to further your relationship
If being present during shows and conferences isn’t an option, consider producing a webinar or a podcast to get your business “out there” digitally.
Contact Info Everywhere
This should go without saying, but sometimes the most obvious steps are the easiest to forget. If you focus your efforts on lead generation, but don’t give these potential customers an easy way to contact you, you’re missing out on business. Just keep things simple and offer natural ways such as a phone number or email address for people to contact you on every single page of your website.
If you’re looking to generate leads at a high number, but the quality of the leads isn’t an important factor, then videos are the way to go. Viral videos on YouTube can send organic traffic soaring on your site, by including direct links back to your business in the content. More traffic often leads to more sales, but, fair warning, you will see your conversion rate plummet after a popular video has run its course. Focus on giving value in any video you create on a relevant topic, but make sure it isn’t just about your company. Whatever you do, be certain to entertain your audience before selling them your products or services.
Stick to Basics
While there are numerous ways to find new leads, don’t spread yourself too thin. Stick to the basics and scale growth in a reasonable manner. Here are some simple steps to take:
- Create an offering by deciding exactly what you want to sell.
- Then work backward and determine how you can get that offer in front of the right people for the least amount of effort.
- Once you get your offer to your leads, give them a chance or reason to act immediately.
- Once you have potential new customers in your sales funnel, go for the sale! Remember, the only reason you’re generating leads is to close them.
Investing in Lead Generation Services
Generating new leads doesn’t have to be difficult, but many find the task challenging. Companies are often in the continuous loop of trying to find leads, instead of improving their offerings and business strategy. There should be a good mix of all of these strategies. Many businesses look for solutions from lead generation services. Any company that helps you generate leads and close new customers qualifies. Video production companies, SEO consultants, content creation firms, social media marketers, and more, all can play a role in helping your business grow.
iWebContent specializes in growing your business through exceptional web design, content creation, SEO optimization, Google AdWords campaigns, social media marketing, and other lead generation strategies. Contact us to learn more about putting together a content marketing plan specifically for your needs.
If you want to receive our latest eBook, How Dogfooding Put Us on Page One, click here. It’s step by step instructions on how our easy formula generates leads for us!