Generating new leads is one of the most important aspects of business for entrepreneurs and CEOs. You might have the perfect product and the best branding in the business but if no one knows about it, your business isn’t going to be a success.
Lead generation is all about the conversation. You need to be able to communicate your ideas to people and, ultimately, persuade them to buy into what you’re saying. This means that you must think carefully about the best approach and utilize different marketing strategies.
The more you put your business message out there, the more likely you are to generate leads. So, while some of these suggestions might seem a bit circuitous, remember this: all roads should lead back to your business and the message you want to convey.
1. Paid Search Ads
One of the most obvious ways to generate leads is through paid search ads.
Not just a fast track to the top of the SERPs, paid ads allow you to optimize your approach using keywords so that your site appears to the most relevant searchers to you. Paid ads also offer exceptional value for money as you only pay for clicks.
This means that if your ad is in the wrong place – i.e., no-one is clicking – you won’t be charged a small fortune for a failed attempt.
That said, you must be picky about the ads you place. Some keywords carry a large fee because they are so competitive.
For smaller businesses, starting out using longer keywords and phrases that have less competition is probably the best way to go. Once you have established your presence on one keyword and begin ranking organically, you can move on to the next, more competitive keywords.
2. Informative Content
If you want people to visit your site, you have to give them something interesting to read. This is why the humble blog is so important to your content marketing strategy. Providing interesting, informative content will encourage people to stay on your site and visit multiple pages.
Ultimately, the more opportunities you have to persuade a potential customer of your expertise, the more likely they are to convert and become a viable lead.
Your content must be persuasive but you must also provide what your readers are looking for. This means that you need to provide plenty of detail without deviating too far from your main point. Remember: lots of small detailed pages are far better than a few large, vague pages.
Recommended Read: How to Create a Killer Content Marketing Plan
3. Guest Blogging
While your blog is a brilliant location for information, the further you can spread your expertise, the better. Guest blogging gives you a chance to reach a new audience and put links to your own website in new places. The more links there are to your site, the better your SERP results will be and the more likely people will visit your site.
A study published by Backlinko found that the number of domains linking to a page was the factor that had the highest correlation to rankings in Google.
When you are guest blogging, keep in mind that you are writing for a different kind of audience. So, while you might expect your usual customers to have a good understanding of what you do already, you may wish to explain some of the details more clearly here.
There is nothing wrong with going through the basics, especially if you plan to put links to more detailed articles on your website into the text.
4. Engage With Other Blogs
Engaging with other blogs is another good way to get more links to your own site and share your expertise. Commenting on relevant blogs is also a nice way to show your support for other businesses within your industry and make friends.
The key here is to be complimentary with your comments and try not to talk exclusively about your own business or ideas. Commenting on other blogs is about starting a conversation, not hijacking someone else’s marketing materials!
5. Answer Questions
Another way to engage is to answer questions on online forums. This is a great way to place relevant links to your site and show off your capabilities and knowledge.
Remember: this is a chance to share information, not a sales pitch so pass on what you know and suggest further reading but don’t try to seal a deal just yet!
Quora is a brilliant site for answering questions but you may find other industry-specific forums could be more suited to your knowledge and client base.
6. Make a Free Tool
Everyone loves a freebie and if you can offer a free tool on your site, this will certainly offer you an opportunity to appeal to a new set of customers. Providing useful content is the best way to show your good intentions and give people yet another reason to visit your site.
The best tools are those that provide useful information or offer a form of entertainment. Some tool ideas will combine the two.
For example, you could create a blog title generator that could provide entertaining results as well as useful ideas. The main thing to remember is that while the tool should be useful, it shouldn’t cost your business too much to run and shouldn’t detract from your business either.
7. Create Viral Content
If you want your business to be noticed, you need to put your branding out there. But how you do this depends largely on who you want to attract.
That said, viral content is always a good way to put your name in the papers (without having to pay for the privilege) and push your website’s popularity.
Red Bull is a great example of a viral content producer. While almost none of their videos feature anyone drinking Red Bull or describing the taste or product in any way, what they do achieve is a large audience.
Why? Because they know that their audience love adventures and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. With this knowledge, they produce videos that will appeal to their target audience and then use subtle branding throughout.
The more shareable content is, the less effort you will need to make in pushing your message. As Red Bull shows, all you really need to do is present what your audience is looking for. If you can add excitement, hilarity or any other feel-good emotions, you’ll be onto a winner.
8. YouTube is Your Friend
If Red Bull can teach you anything, it is the incredible value of video marketing. Videos are great because they are eye-catching, can fit a lot of information into a short space of time and allow you to present that information in a different way.
By creating videos that complement your blog and other website pages, you give your customers twice the chance of understanding what you do. You also give yourself a second go at persuading them to convert.
You may have also noticed that Google is ranking videos much more highly these days. This means that creating high-quality video content could give you a better chance of reaching the top of the first page, especially if you embed the video within relevant content.
Make sure that you use SEO markup techniques to optimize your videos and make them searchable too.
Many YouTube channels amass large audiences and can become income streams in their own right. With this in mind, you might like to use AdWords and AdSense to boost your visibility and profit from clicks at the same time.
9. SEO for Conversions
The conversion funnel on your website should offer the most natural and direct route from interest to conversion for your customers. Usually, this means that you provide the information they are looking for, persuade them to explore more and then ask them to convert, either by adding an item to their basket or by getting in touch.
If you have a problem with your conversion funnel, you are unlikely to get the leads your business deserves. Even small problems such as a typo in a link or a button that doesn’t work can cause serious issues for customers who are trying to convert but can’t.
Optimizing your conversion funnel is the best way to see where you can improve your results and gives you a chance to test other ideas. For example, you might like to trial a different color scheme to make your buttons stand out more, or perhaps you might choose to rearrange your pages and see if that makes a difference.
10. Use Social Media
Social media is another good way to open up a conversation. You can chat via direct message but you can also post links and encourage comments. Talking to your audience is the perfect way to show your availability and answer any questions they may have. In fact, many companies are now using social media for their customer services because this is where customers are most comfortable chatting.
You should think about the best channels for your social media presence and consider creating a particular strategy for each channel.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are regarded as the 3 main social channels for content marketing but Instagram and YouTube are definitely contenders for your attention too.
Make sure that you curate your marketing strategy according to the channel and the audience you will find there.
For example, Twitter tends to favor shorter posts and links to further information, whereas YouTube may host longer videos. Instagram is obviously tailored to photos and short videos so while you might put a link to your blog in your bio, each picture should tell a story on its own.
11. Connect with Influencers
Influencers are the next big thing in content marketing. They provide a middle ground between curated strategic content and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Connecting with the right influencers can give your brand greater credibility and generate interest from a wide-reaching audience.
Connecting with influencers requires a lot of patience and an understanding of what both parties should expect from the relationship. This is why selecting the right influencers is essential – you need to make sure that your audiences crossover and the relationship doesn’t feel forced.
12. Start Networking
Connecting with influencers is a lot like networking, which is yet another good way to generate leads through word-of-mouth.
The more you can establish yourself within your industry and connect with others in relevant industries in your area, the easier it will be to generate organic leads.
To network effectively, you should always make sure that you are offering your help without directly selling your services. So, instead of giving your elevator pitch, you should focus on finding the “pain” your companion is dealing with and then tailoring your response.
You should also take this opportunity to find chances to work with other companies and collaborate on larger projects, which will expand your horizons even further.
13. Email Marketing
Keeping in touch with your customers is a good habit to be in. However, you must understand the difference between unnecessary spam and useful, frequent emails. Some industries can get away with daily emails, where others might be more strategically spaced.
Putting an automated email chain in place as soon as you have an email address is a good idea. This will give you a chance to catch up with your new contact and provide them with tailored information.
Emailing this way is especially smart for businesses that can predict which information will be required over the course of a few weeks or months. This will show your customers that you are still interested in their business and you understand their needs.
14. Use Databases
Gathering email addresses yourself through gated content and connections is one way to create a database but there are plenty of databases out there that you can pay to access. These databases are often industry-specific so they may present multiple opportunities for lead generation.
However, a word of caution: cold calling at random is a waste of your time. Don’t simply email every contact on the database with the same message.
Use the database as a foundation of research and then create a tailored introductory email for each contact. Spending a little extra time on each lead will almost certainly pay off in the long run.
15. Revisit Closed Opportunities
Sometimes, you will find that opportunities don’t quite go the way you expect and a lead doesn’t fully convert. This is okay and you can add this contact to your database and earmark them to revisit them in the future.
Many clients will explore their options well before they are ready to make a decision. This means that while they may appear to be cold, they are, in fact, biding their time. In this case, it’s a very good idea to revisit the opportunity by getting in touch later on. An email chain is the perfect way to automate this process but you might also like to put a notification on your calendar to drop them a call.
16. Offer a Free Consultation
If you want to show off your knowledge and expertise, the best way to bring new customers in is to offer a free consultation. Many customers are put off by consultations because they don’t know what the value will be like. By removing the cost and offering a short, free consultation, you can encourage more people to get in touch and start a conversation.
A variation on this idea would be to host an educational talk in which you explain your business and take questions.
This is a bit like networking but puts you at the very center of the event. Jazz things up with a free drink and some nibbles and you would be surprised how many people you can tempt through the doors.
Of course, the information you really need to know is that you, the business owner, don’t need to worry about any of this if you have an excellent outsourced marketing department on your side.
If you want to know more about how to generate more leads and thrive in the digital landscape, contact the experts at RSM at 877-272-7810 or fill out the form below.