Ahh, lead generation. There are many tried and true ways to build an ever growing leads list for your small business. But what happens when your go-to means for leads seemingly begins to dry up? It may be time to take a step or two back and consider some alternate routes.
Lead generation falls under middle-of-the-funnel, one of three portions of the sales funnel. Its area is nestled between prospects, but before opportunity. As a whole, the sales funnel is the hypothetical buying process a company leads a customer through when purchasing a product or service. With each step of the sales funnel being different than the one before or behind it, it may need a different lead generation approach to keep the funnel moving.
The development of automation software in the last decade has reduced the cost of sending mass emails to mere pennies. Look at it this way. You’re already creating engaging and concise content for your blog and social media. With email marketing, you can easily continue the process for email blasts to your current customers. A 2014 study done by Exact Target found that 91 percent of people use their mobile devices for email. With so many people accessing their email at a regular interval, it only seems natural to have your company’s presence in their inboxes.
Then there is the low cost and high return value to email marketing. With a return-on-investment rate of $38 to $1, packaging the information already on your website into a weekly newsletter is a great way to have current customers pass it along to their friends.
Micro-Events and Networking
These small, exclusive networking opportunities are usually surrounding or within larger events, such as conferences and tradeshows. This is a great opportunity to ask your peers about what customer pain points and challenges they’re running into. Simply talking with others is a great way to learn what customers are facing. It can be a more personal way to build a relationship with potential referrals than an unknown person coming from a contact on your website.
If you put together one of these events, remember it’s all about relationship building to start and not a sales process until further down the road. Have a refined pitch practiced and ready to deliver during the few minutes you may have with a potential lead or referral. Their time is as crunched as yours and by listening to what they are saying – or not – you can get an inside look at their challenges and pain points.
Be methodical about referrals, and include employees in the collection process. Giving an incentive to current customers, such as a discount or coupon for a product or service is a common referral method. Other ways to generate a few leads is through surveys. Not only will you be hearing comments and concerns from your current customers, but also including a response for potential referrals.
Feel the Power of Blogging
If you’re reading this, you’ve already taken the first step in finding new leads. And though it may seem like the internet is a vast expanse of ocean with no starting point, we recommend dipping a toe or two into blogging before jumping in with social media. Having a blog can start several conversations, and adds value to both your website and customer relationships. Social media can reach audiences you may previously have not considered and is a considerable resource to use in spreading the words of your blogging efforts.
Add a Quiz
Whether they’ll readily admit it or not, people love to take the Buzzfeed-like quizzes sprinkled throughout social media. And while they’re finding out what their hidden vacation destination is or who their animated character spirit is, businesses are ready to dole out the results, but only after the user submits their email address. Gating quiz results, is a great opportunity to let users know about your blog, newsletter or other periodic updates they can receive by giving their name and email.
If you think a quiz would be a good fit for your lead generation, but aren’t sure where to get information, look no further than the content you’ve already created. An easy starting point is to create a quiz based on information from your high traffic pages then on the results page asking if they would like to receive more related information via email.
Social Media Ad Campaign
Social media has been a boon for lead generation, but with a couple of caveats usually related to ever-changing algorithms. With most businesses utilizing Facebook, it also means a near constant feeling of swimming up stream for getting your post viewed. A way around it is through boosting posts, one of several paid advertising options Facebook offers. Twitter has jumped into the paid advertising realm with its lead generation cards. These cards stand out more than a regular tweet with a URL and have a click through rate of more than 40 percent according to TwitterSmallBiz.
Before jumping into a paid social media campaign, regardless of platform, you’ll need to know what platform your buyer personas spend the most time on. Using your most viewed content is also key in having a successful social media ad campaign.
- Check out our blog: “Why LinkedIn Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy“
Local SEO and Citations
Local search engine optimization and citations are relatively quick ways to be found online. There are many tools for getting listed and found, such as Google, Bing, Angie’s List, and Yellow Pages. These listings are the quick but concise returns you see when searching for a business through a search engine, usually the business name, address, and telephone number.
As the leader in search engines, it’s no surprise that Google AdWords are also a very powerful tool in pay-per-click advertising. A key caveat is what Google determines the quality of your proposed ad is. The higher the quality, the higher the quality score and more likely you’ll receive a top placement even if you weren’t the highest bidder in the ad auction. AdWords appear across the Google Display Network and can be tailored to specific platforms and apps, along with targeting specific demographics and users to see your ad.
The word free can scare small business owners, but it can be a great way to add leads. Consultations encourage people to contact you or fill out a form for more information. This action is a crucial part of developing relationships with customers. People get a quick sneak peak of the product and services your business offers, and how it can help solve an issue or problem they are facing.
Why Do the Work Yourself?
Trying to find the lead generation to end all lead generations is tiring. Throw in the day-to-day routine of running a business and whew, we’re tired thinking about it. But only for the few seconds it took to write the sentence, because the team at Elevare never stops thinking about lead generation. Whether your social media needs a little boost or you’re ready to dive head first into email marketing, we can jumpstart the lead generation train for your business!
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