This blog is focused on the second way in which to grow your business, lead generation, and is part of a series of 7 blogs.
As a small business lead generation can be challenging, especially if you are in a competitive market. Then when you add the potential of a smaller marketing budget into the mix, to generate more leads as a small business is more about outsmarting your competitors rather than outspending them.
Before you consider which marketing and sales strategies may be best for your business the most sensible place to start is with understanding the marketing funnel.
The marketing funnel works from suspect through to an advocate for your business. When you understand the funnel, you can then identify where you need to focus to generate more leads. Take a look at this simple diagram that explains the marketing funnel.
The Marketing Funnel starts with someone who is in your target market but hasn’t responded to any marketing – a suspect. When that person responds to marketing or makes an enquiry, they become a lead.
Following up on your leads is essential as this gives them an opportunity to buy and for you to negotiate and learn from their responses. When they have an opportunity to buy, they move from being leads to being prospects.
At this point, we move from the lead generation phase to the sales phase, and our prospects become our likely customers. After a single purchase, they become our customers, and after repeated purchases they become our loyal customers.
Finally, we want to get our loyal customers to become raving advocates who tell everyone about their experience with us and generate referrals.
By understanding the marketing funnel, you can then start to consider the ways in which you can start to direct suspects through the funnel using a variety of smart marketing strategies.
Here are 4 basic ways to help you generate more leads:
If you don’t already have a website, then you need one and pronto! To be found you need to be visible. Your website is your digital shop window and is essential for you to generate more leads in today’s digital world.
The basic idea of a lead generation website is to capture information about your visitors so you can then sell to them, either online or offline. The most common, and arguably effective, way to gain this information is via an online information form.
Here are the essentials for a lead generation website:
- A contact us section that can be reached within a couple of clicks
- Regular content updates in the form of a blog or news section that can be linked elsewhere and that brings visitors onto your website
- Clear call-to-actions (CTA) to direct users on the page or platform to fill in your information form so you have their details
- A subscription option so visitors can sign up to newsletters, offers etc.
- Clear and easy to digest landing pages making it simple to understand the benefits along with your products and/or service offering
- Simple and easy navigation will ensure visitors don’t get frustrated when they can’t find what they are looking for visual appearance is important too!
The most effective way to generate leads is to direct suspects to your website. There is a simple yet essential formula to understand when it comes to lead generation. The quicker you can make sense of this, and track the key metrics, the faster you will generate leads:
Traffic x Conversation Rate = Leads
So, the more website traffic you can generate, and the higher number of website visitors take you up on an opportunity to buy the more leads you will generate. With a google analytics account linked to your website you can monitor your website traffic and your conversion rates. If you don’t have a google analytics account set up and linked to your website set this up first.
The above formula is by no means the extensive list of analytics you could be monitoring when it comes to lead generation however it is a sensible place to start.
3. Basic Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is the process of getting traffic (visitors) to your website using the “free” or “organic” options that are built into search engines. By complying with the search engine guidelines and ensuring compliance the impact on the number of website visitors and ultimately your leads can be significant.
Here are some basics to get you started:
- Claim your Google My Business directory listing and follow all the hints and tips when you set up this free listing so that you have an optimised account
- Check all of your website’s pages and ensure each page is labelled with a unique (to your website) and concise descriptive title
- Ensure each page contains the descriptive title every 150 words and always within the opening paragraph
- Claim any other local business listings such as Yelp, Bing, Yellow Pages etc.
- Encourage customers to post Google reviews about your business when asked the majority will happily leave a few sentences
It is important to note that SEO is a complex and time-consuming activity that often specialists are hired or contracted to manage so for the purpose of generating leads focus on the basics first. You can always invest in your SEO further down the line.
4. Get Social
Social Media doesn’t have to be scary or time consuming. If you aren’t already on social media, then start with one social media channel and when you grow in confidence add additional social media channels.
Before jumping onto Facebook or Instagram consider where your target audience may be located. There could be little point in setting up an Instagram account targeting 50+ males that are interested in Fishing because they may exist in greater numbers on Facebook. Look at the social medias demographic but also ask your existing customers which social media channels they use and for what purposes.
When you have set yourself up on social media the next step is to consider what you are going to post and how often. A general misconception is that you must create all your social media content, when in fact is fine to use a mix of curated or “borrowed” content along with your own. Just don’t take someone else’s content and claim it as your own!
Sharing other relevant content from within your industry or on related topics is a great way to show how connected you are to current developments. If you are sharing “borrowed” content its good practice to share it with comments from your business perspective. Your customers still want to hear from you, so always share content from your point of view. It’s also a great way to start a conversation ask your social media followers what they think, do they agree or disagree and why?
The next aspect to consider is frequency, social media algorithms like consistency so if you decide to post every 3 days then it is important to keep that up. To further bump up the number of views your posts are likely to gain, consider how you can make them interactive. Likes, comments and shares will really help you gain visibility.
Finally, don’t forget point number 1 try and direct traffic to your website. Include links so it is simple and easy for suspects and customers to engage and buy from you.
Don’t be fooled by these 4 basic areas to generate more leads. Lead generation is a complex marketing tactic. Your business may already be much further down the line when it comes to lead generation and are therefore looking for more sophisticated ways to attract visitors and convert them to leads.
Likewise, if you still need to implement these 4 steps, when you are satisfied you have done what you can in these areas, the job isn’t over. There is a lot more to be done!
For a more tailored lead generation strategy that stretches your marketing efforts it is best to speak 121 with a marketer for more support who can work with you to create a lead generation focused marketing plan.
For a complimentary Discovery Call to discuss the most appropriate level of support, a personalised quote and a guarantee of our best possible service, please complete the form below and one of our senior advisors will contact you. Or if you prefer, please call 01296 681341 for our Wingrave Bucks Accountants office.