Lead generation plays an integral role in keeping small business alive, but it often gets pushed aside for more ‘sexy’ topics like content marketing or social media. Yet, according to a study from Hubspot, 63% of the marketers surveyed admitted that their top challenge is generating enough site traffic and leads. So shouldn’t lead generation be at the top of everyone’s priority list? Here are five tips for small businesses looking to reignite their lead generation strategy for 2018. (For even more tips, check out this previous post on generating your first 100 leads for your small business).
K.I.S.S Your Landing Pages Goodbye
For many small businesses, landing pages form an integral part of the lead gen process. It’s easy to see why — they’re cheap, easy to tweak, and often have great ROI.
But a poor landing page can mean a wasted paid advertising budget, and a diffuse lead generation strategy. Long forms, distracting elements, bad copy, and lack of real product or service information can all turn a visitor away from your lead gen marketing funnel. Small businesses will also have to try hard to not look amateurish when compared to big industry players.
You’ll need to optimize your landing pages and make sure that you haven’t forgotten any of the basics of persuasion or consumer psychology. It’s not rocket science, but it goes a long way….
- Eliminate ALL distracting links and from the page. Make sure there are 0% opportunities for the user to click away. Provide all of the information you need on ONE page to land the lead. (Use a paid service like Leadformly to help you generate optimized landing pages automatically)
- Opt for landing page elements that add to your brand’s narrative. For example, a video introduction to your services can work well and attract inquiries.
- Chatbots are another exciting way to make your landing pages more ‘sticky’. Automated chatbots can be programmed to initiate conversations with your site visitors. This can help you qualify a lead online, as well as provide users with vital service information and reassurance them that they are making the right decision.
With tools like Typeform, you can even make chatbot conversations that bring a bit of humor to the lead generation proceedings. To create an interaction that’s more fun and lifelike, insert some funny GIFs to keep the user engaged as they proceed through your marketing funnel.
Email Marketing: Updated For 2018
Email marketing is an ‘old hat’ marketing technique, but it’s still a powerful lead generation tool.
To update your systems for next year and beyond, set up automated email campaigns that link from your CRM system. This will ensure that every recipient receives a personalized and timely message based on their individual needs.
A service like Insightly can set up customized automated emails for your customers, vendors, and potential leads. It will also collect metrics on how many emails were opened and read to help you optimize your email marketing funnels more efficiently.
Personalized offers based on buying and site behaviors have been proven to be highly effective. According to eConsultancy, 74% of marketers agreed that targeted, personalized email marketing campaigns attract more customer engagement than almost any other medium (except maybe video and chatbots).
For more on automated tools that make the process of lead generation for your small business easier, check out this previous post packed with recommendations.
Set Up Remarketing Sequences On Facebook
Generating leads through social media is an affordable small business marketing tactic.
Using Facebook’s segmentation tools, you can set up retargeting campaigns to find people who have previously interacted with your brand through the platform.
Setting up right-hand sidebar retargeting ads can help trigger memories of interactions with your brand in the past. You can also set up video advertising as a paid ‘first push’ to a targeted segment and then use the retargeting options to send a secondary post to their mobile news feed.
Facebook has also installed a paid Lead Generation campaign option. This is the only Facebook ad type that allows you to build lead gen forms directly from your Facebook post. You will need to check the terms and conditions carefully, as there is a privacy issue with the data you collect. You are not permitted, for example, to sell the leads to a third party. Get more information here.
Facebook just announced that you can now target users based on their ‘dwell’ time on previous ads you’ve run, and that you can also link your ads to a branded Whatsapp account! For a small business, lead generation on Facebook is just getting better and better…
Expand Your Lead Generation Strategies
If you are looking for a creative way to generate leads for your business, why not diversify your sales channels a bit?
For example, if you’re looking to build an email list of contacts who may be interested in buying a motorhome or RV (a high ticket purchase), set up a shop that sells smaller pieces of camping equipment. (You can use a dropshipping arrangement to eliminate inventory costs).
Once you have your store in place and have attracted buyers, set up some funnels for capturing email addresses from first-time customers. If you set it out like an automated survey sequence, you may be able to pique people’s interest in hearing more.
For example, you could ask your previous customers:
Where do you most like to go camping?
- By the sea
- In a forest/ national park
- Mountain trekking
You can also conduct surveys on social media, or set up a niche-relevant blog to help increase your niche ‘real estate’. The more you own and the more you engage with your industry, the more you can potentially sell.
If you haven’t got the time or inclination to build a secondary brand or sales channel from scratch, head to an ecommerce marketplace to buy your own (or set up shop on Amazon). You may be able to find a ready-made store you can use for cross-promotional purposes, or even one that will fully support your main revenue channel. Selling accessories or tie-in products has high profit margins, and thanks to automation, need not take up too much of your time.
Getting creative with your lead generation techniques will encourage you to research your audience in more detail. Plus, you will get the opportunity to generate even more profit for your business. Diversification is particularly lucrative after a few years of solid small business trading and results.
Don’t Neglect SEO For Lead-Gen
Even if you can afford to pay for PPC and social media campaigns, SEO should always be a lead generation mainstay. It’s one of the best ways to engage with qualified customers, and most small business SEO is affordable.
Here are some ways to marry SEO with lead gen:
- Focus on commercial intent modifiers and keywords when optimizing a site
- Start with SEO, then look to UX (user experience) and conversion rate optimization in order to make the most of any incoming traffic
- Create lead gen assets that also rank well so that you can generate more ‘passive leads’
You should also work on building a link profile for your site by taking up guest blogging opportunities on influential blogs. This will help you ‘fuse’ your lead generation content to the broader internet conversation on your subject. You can find suitable blogs that take guest posts by searching for “subject keyword” blog + “write for us.”
Hopefully, these lead generation tips have helped you see that by diversifying your sales techniques, you can draw in new customers from multiple sources. The key to getting lead generation right is offering your customers something of value in the first place, and making the most of your small business status. The best funnel in the world isn’t going to save a subpar brand, product, or service.