This is, after all, the main struggle for businesses – getting seen and noticed online, and finding potential clients and customers. In this blog post, I’m going to share 5 effective ways of generating more leads for your business.
When it comes to online lead generation, there are a few main ways that get the most results:
- Content marketing
- Influencer marketing (micro-influencers)
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
Now, let’s go into more detail on how you can start generating more leads for your business:
1. Webinars: offer value and gain leads
Content marketing has proven itself time and time again as one of the most effective lead generation techniques available. And out of all forms of content marketing, one of the best ones when it comes to generating leads is to hold a webinar.
With a webinar, you’re offering your audience a lot of value; you’re teaching them something that they can use to improve their lives, their work, their businesses. You’re showing them that you have the knowledge to help them and you’re offering them real value – which makes webinars a great way to build trust with audiences, to nurture leads, but also to generate leads.
To create a successful webinar, you first need to think of what problems your audience has that you can help them solve. Most webinars last for about an hour – or, really, 45 minutes plus 15 or so for a Q&A session where attendees can ask any questions they might have after your presentation.
However, it’s not just quality that will get you success; the way you promote your webinar is also very important. Use your social media, your website and your email list to heavily promote your webinar ahead of time.
Once you’ve thought of a subject and started working on your webinar, there are plenty of webinar services to choose from that will help you every step of the way, from sales and marketing tools to webinar hosting services. Some good services include ClickMeeting or GoToWebinar.
Some people are reluctant to try webinars because they feel it’s a one-trick pony that involves a lot of work; but just because the webinar day came and went, that doesn’t mean you can’t still use the webinar. In most cases, you won’t get 100% attendance; so, you can keep pushing this webinar, so long as it continues to be relevant, to the people who weren’t able to attend, and even to the rest of your email list.
2. Content downloads: build up your subscriber list and gain more leads
Content downloads, in my personal experience, are some of the most effective ways of gathering more leads and subscribers. I’m not talking about using the same content download across your entire website; but rather, creating one-off content downloads for all of your guides and how-to blog posts.
The reason why these types of downloads work so well is because they are highly targeted. When you get traffic to your homepage, your audience is much more varied; but, when someone is reading an article on SEO for beginners, for example, you know that they are interested in getting started with SEO – therefore, they are much more likely to download a PDF guide to SEO for beginners, or an SEO checklist, for example.
Whenever you publish an educational post, such as a guide, try to include content downloads throughout it. These can be, for example, a PDF version of your guide, a checklist, a useful template and so on. The only important thing to remember is that it needs to be something that complements the main article or post.
Craftsy.com for example offer lots of free knitting patterns for their readers.
3. Email marketing: still one of the best lead generation tools available
Have you heard yet that email marketing is dead? I’ve been hearing this for years, but the truth is, email marketing is still going strong. A good list of subscribers can be one of your most valued assets as a business – so, you need to start gathering subscribers as soon as possible and make use of that list consistently.
We’ve already discussed how to get lots of subscribers for your list (content downloads!), but how can you generate more leads from these subscribers?
Many businesses are afraid to sell to their list; they don’t want to be too forward and they’re afraid they’ll start losing subscribers if they push too many sales emails. But the harsh truth is, if you’re not getting leads out of it, why continue to use email marketing?
Sure, you might lose a few subscribers here and there, but if they’re not willing to buy anything from you, what’s the point? As long as you don’t overdo it, sending out a few sales emails here and there can get you more leads.
First, make your emails look professional; make sure that the ‘from’ name is recognizable by your list, so that they’re not scared to open it. Get yourself a professional gmail signature like Wisestamp’s and a tool such as GetResponse to help you manage your email marketing.
Then, segment your audience into different groups. By doing this, you will be able to set up marketing automation and send each group of people emails that are more relevant to them. For example, if someone has already bought something from you, you can use the opportunity to promote other, similar products that they would like based on their previous buys. Or, if someone was on your online shop and left their shopping cart before buying, you can send them an email alerting them of that.
Similarly, set it up so your sales emails are sent when visitors take certain actions on your website; for example, if they visited a certain landing page, or if they viewed a video ad on your website.
4. Micro-influencers: small audiences, big power
Influencer marketing is probably one of the biggest buzzwords in digital marketing right now. Influencers are popping up left and right and businesses and marketers are trying to make use of their power and influence to reach a larger audience of people.
Influencer marketing can get quite costly, though, particularly if you go for some of the bigger names in your industry. But, the good news is that you can use micro-influencers, i.e. influencers with about 10k to 100k followers on social media – and, in fact, you could even get better results than by using only one, big influencer.
The reason for this is that even though they have fewer followers and their reach isn’t as impressive, it’s actually because of their smaller audience that their followers are that much more targeted and engaged.
Then, you can contact them directly asking for their support (for example, for writing up a product review or taking part in a product reveal) or you can start following them and engaging with them on social media to grow these relationships organically.
5. Use social media monitoring to discover leads
On social media, you can wait for the leads to come to you – or, you can be more proactive and start looking for them yourself. One of the best ways to do this is through social media monitoring. You can use a professional web monitoring tool like Brand24 or you can use your own social media management tools’ monitoring features.
Then, set up different monitoring searches. First, set up one for your own brand name – some people won’t use your social handle when mentioning you, so it’s useful to keep an eye out for these mentions; you never know when there’s a business opportunity there!
Next, set up searches for different keywords that people would use while searching for a business like yours – once you find someone, jump on that opportunity and start engaging.
If your business only operates in a certain area, make sure to set up searches for particular locations.
If you want your business to survive online, you need to set up multiple lead generation sources. Set your lead generation goals from the start and establish a plan for how you can achieve them – use content to gather subscribers and generate leads and use email and social media to nurture and grow these leads into your customers.
What are your best methods for generating leads online? Let us know in the comments.