Some Lead Generation Strategies
Everyone who operates a business is interested in getting persons to view their offers thereby increasing sales. This involves getting in front of the right persons in the right places as well as directing them to the right place online with the right messages for them. A lot of ‘rights’ there but you get the point. This appears to be daunting task especially when you are up against strong competition from large companies with huge budgets competing for the same audience and which might be employing sophisticated lead generation strategies. Be comforted in the knowledge that there is no one way of generating leads, there are multiple methods of doing this and we will explore some of them below.
Content Marketing. This is a tried and proven method that can help your company to be found and rank well for keywords and keyword phrases that your ideal customer or client might be searching for in the search engines.
Most often, content marketing is done through blogging by companies whereby new content is regularly added to their websites via blog posts to update customers and clients and at the same time targeting specific topics, keywords and keyword phrases. These can be in the form of how to blogs, guidelines on how to use a product or service and occasionally industry information that might be useful.
Google Adwords. These are Google ads. Though old, they are still relevant and useful in the scheme of things. These ads are shown in the return results from a search on Google and are usually at the top of the page. The cost for the ads is based on a competitive bid process and is charged per click (most common). You would identify the keyword(s) that you would want your ad to appear for in the results. Searchers or potential customers or clients would only see the ad if they entered in a search in Google’s search engine that includes the keyword(s) that the business is advertising for. This is a good way to target users who have expressed interest in specific items that you offer.
Google Remarketing Ads. On Facebook, these are retargeting ads. On Google, they remarketing ads both work pretty much the same. These reach out to persons who have visited your website or webpage again back on Google Ad platform with ads that allow them to follow-up with the visitor exposing them to the ad again.
Google has a large online ad infrastructure that includes its search engine as well as partner sites on which it runs ads, so the playing field is large. You might have had this happens to you whereby you visited a site, then went elsewhere online but noticed an ad from the site you just visited. This is remarketing at work.
Facebook Ads. You can run Facebook ads on the news feed of your page to target specific customers or clients. This is where users spend a lot of time scanning posts on mobile or desktop computers and with Facebook being the most used social media, it is a great place to reach your audience and potential customers or clients. Ads can be placed on the side-bar area so that desktop users can view them.
The cost for the ads is usually charged per click or per impression and is at varying rates based on the competition to reach that audience. Facebook ads are valuable in that they are highly specific in their targeting. Because Facebook has so much data on its users, these ads can help a business reach its ideal audience. A simpler ad format is also available called ‘boost’. This can be used for your posts that you share on your page. It has far less features but be sure to drill down and target specifics such as location, age and interest.
Facebook Retargeting Ads. This is a fairly new form of advertising. Since on average new customers need seven points of contact with a business before they are ready to purchase, with this form of ad your visitors can be reached again with an ad after they have visited your website, to help make connections and complete the seven points.
When a visitor goes to the web page for a particular product but does not purchase, the business can use a cookie that tracks and delivers ads to that visitor on Facebook. When the visitor is on Facebook checking his time line for e.g., the business could reach out to say thank you for checking out our product and offer more information and a special offer. This then directs them to a specific web page tailored for them.
This is a great way to increase the seven touch points mentioned before and to follow-up, hopefully nurturing the visitor to become a customer.
Social Media Marketing. This has exploded over a short period of time and has changed the online marketing landscape for good. You either get with it or are left behind.
It is a new way for businesses to reach their prospects and at the same time very different from the traditional ways of marketing and it must be understood that this requires a two-way conversation or communication flow.
For social media marketing to work, businesses would create brand accounts on social media platforms such as Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Facebook among many others. Typically they share blog posts, to connect with their fans and followers as well as to reach prospective customers. The posts are monitored to respond to mentions of the company so that they respond in a timely manner to questions and other inquiries.
It is advisable not to be overtly promoting products and services to the persons on the social media. They are there in the first place to have fun and to be ‘social’. Therefore, the wise business would flow with that. So instead of pushing products and services try to be helpful and provide value. To do this you can:
Be a resource person
Share valuable content and not only yours
Be social and fun too
By offering helpful content, being a problem solver as well as providing entertaining content in a manner that reflects the company’s unique culture, a company can grow its online community tremendously.
Deals and Coupons. These can be used to great effect if you do not have time to bother with blogging. As long as your business uses social media and has a website, another online marketing method available is deals and coupons.
For this to work, you would need an app from sites such as TimeSite.Com, which allows you to set up discount offers and percentage off coupons. This can be added to your Facebook page or website or both. You would then use your social media posts, your email list (if you have one) as well as announcements on your website to send traffic to the offer. You can also use ads to increase the traffic. The advantage of this is that it can also be used to create your own email list or to grow your existing list, to which you can mail anytime you wish.
Free Offers. Like the deals and coupons, free offers can be a resource such as a PDF, an how to video or video training course. These might not necessarily be your main product or service but something that you are offering that is related to what you do and offers value to the user. This will also help to grow your email list and helps identify interested potential customers. It allows you to begin the process of nurturing the visitor to becoming a customer. Webinars can also be used in this way by conducting online presentations or training that informs, instructs, offering value leading towards a sale at the end.
The key thing to remember is that for free offers, you need to offer value. You need to have a landing page or squeeze page or opt-in form for registration in the case of webinars and for accessing the free offers in the case of giveaways (free offers). You need to capture the visitor’s name and email address so that you can grow or create your email marketing list for future marketing activities.
Contests and Promotions. These are similar to coupons, deals and free offers. These are engaging methods in marketing by adding the element of a game and a chance to win something, to the equation. People by nature, like to win stuff. It gives them a sense of fulfillment. Therefore, as long as the offer has value they are willing to enter and compete to win the prize (the offer).
With contests and promotions, make sure that whatever you are offering is related to your product or service. You do not want to offer a prize of an iPad if you are in the hotel business. It would be more suitable to offer a weekend or overnight or day pass as a prize. Get the picture? The entry method needs to be simple and straight forward; persons are not inclined to complete a form requiring long details. Name and address should be sufficient. You must send the word out. A campaign strategy detailing use of social media, email marketing and ways of repeating the process to create awareness and alerts about the contest would be essential for success. People will not automatically come and enter the contest because you created it. They need to know about it. Similarly, a plan should be in place to let persons know that the contest is live, when will it end and who the winner is.
Again, this allows you to grow your list of leads from all those who enter. A plan to engage with those who did not win, using email marketing/Facebook re-targeting ads would be useful.
Final Thoughts As you consider your lead generation strategies, using a combination of methods can be a real value to your business. For e.g., businesses could use a contest – enter to win – combined with Facebook ads to grow awareness and drive traffic for entries and then after the contest, offer those who did not win a coupon as a consolation prize. By a combination of different methods, businesses can create powerful lead generation strategies campaigns online that reach the ideal audience in multiple ways and by multiple strategies.
By using multiple methods in combination a business helps ensure they actually reach their audience as well as the potential to reach them more than once so that it is top-of-mind and then they are more likely to take action on it.
It is important to note that not every visitor or participant is ready to make a purchase right away. Data gathered revealed that it takes seven touches or points of contact, on average, for a new sale to take place. This means having a plan to have multiple touch points with your ideal audience is crucial. Understand how your ideal audience uses the internet and where online do they spend time. Having done this, create a plan that includes the methods that best reach that audience online.
Should you be interested in using some of these methods but not sure where to start or what method works best for your business, please let us know.
So there you have it, hope you had fun and that you found this valuable to you. If this is so please let us know in the comments. Please share this information.