How Do Successful Small Businesses Manage Lead Generation?
A surefire sign of any successful business is one that is succeeding at lead generation and perpetually populating its pipeline of clients. The ones who stand apart from their competition are persistent and understand the needs and interests of their customers, offering them valuable products and content that are relevant to them depending on your line of business.
Here are the most common ways small businesses leverage lead generation to maintain their growth and success:
Find your Target Audience
First things first, you can’t market to your leads without knowing who they are or what they’re looking to get out of your brand–what are their pain points? You want to ensure your message is being received by the right people by narrowing down your focus. Yes, it will result in a smaller percentage of the market, but it’s better to target the right leads than to advertise to a general audience and get undesirable results.
Have a marketing campaign goal in mind–what is it that you’re hoping to achieve by appealing to your leads? Are you promoting a new product, trying to generate a repeat purchase or highlighting your brand as a thought leader? Not only is it imperative to identify your target audience, but it’s also essential to determine the most conducive marketing channel that will attract their attention, i.e. social media, email campaigns, blog posts, etc. The best way to do this is to create your customer persona.
Educate Your Leads
Be sure you’re always finding ways of keeping your customer base in the loop by providing information on your products and services. You can do this through many different forms of media such as video demos, blogs posts, webinars, whitepapers, ebooks, guides, etc. Format them as gated content that compels users to relinquish their contact information in exchange for the materials. This way, it’s an efficient way to collect their email addresses and begin the lead nurturing process.
Make it simple
Customers in general like the path of least resistance. Successful lead generation is a result of all marketing efforts aiming to reach a central point. For example, have all of your gated material direct leads to the same population form from blog posts, social media posts, email campaigns, etc.
Create an urgent CTA
Putting a sense of urgency behind a call-to-action (CTA) such as “Sign up within the next 24 hours to get the first month free” on promotional items will entice leads to jump at the chance for a great deal. People tend to act more impulsively if they know there’s a deadline and they don’t want to miss out. So, take the time to add a CTA to the bottom of your blogs posts, feature them in your email campaigns, or entertain the idea of adding an exit popup to your website that detects when visitors are about to navigate away, giving them one more chance to find out more about your company.
Ensure Your Website Is Up To Date
Your website is your storefront. Plain and simple.
This is where you have a chance to make a strong first impression on your leads, so you need to ensure your online presence is the best representation of your brand.
Your website is a lead magnet that showcases your products and services and provides your visitors with informative marketing materials such as product descriptions, blogs, infographics, videos and how-to guides. Make sure the information is organized and that leads can easily navigate from one section to the other.
Your homepage should also include all of your social media icons that are very prominently displayed, preferably near the top of the page, which are great tools to increase engagement with your leads and prospects while amplifying your products, services, content and marketing campaigns.
It’s also imperative that your website demonstrates responsive design, in that it looks the same way on a mobile device as it does on a desktop, as more of the population currently tends to do their online shopping right on their smartphones.
Flesh out Your Content
Your website’s content is a robust lead magnet. Leverage your blogs, videos, ebooks, white papers, infographics, newsletters, etc. to provide engagement and open the lines of communication with your leads. These are also useful tools to build trust among your visitors who are looking to increase their understanding of your company, your brand and your products.
Your content, when optimized properly for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is a tool that will significantly improve your website’s rankings, creating better exposure among your target audience’s searches.
Remember when it comes to content, you should be putting quality over quantity. Yes, it’s important to keep your website top of mind by populating it with fresh material every day, but developing a robust content strategy that creates a variety of content including videos, podcasts, blogs, webinars, that you put a solid amount of effort into, will help move leads and customers more smoothly through their respective stages of the sales funnel.
Update your Contact List
It’s always a good idea to gauge where each lead or prospect is in your sales pipeline. Take some time to clean and organize your list before you plan your next marketing campaign.
Identify and remove any inactive phone numbers of those who haven’t returned multiple voicemails or email addresses of those who haven’t opened your messages or those who haven’t made a purchase in a while. Depending on the level of engagement prior to their inactivity, consider moving these contacts into a remarketing campaign to see if you can refresh your interaction with them before you permanently remove them.
Then, you can take your newly structured list and customize it into groups using a Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool such as Keap’s and segment your contacts by their interests, purchase history, their position in the sales funnel, etc., creating a much easier process to execute targeted campaigns and distribute personalized messaging.
It is essential to nurture your leads with constant to follow up to ensure the connection does not go stale. If they reach out with a question or a quote, be sure to get back to them within hours of their request, if not sooner. If you hosted an event and managed to collect an abundant amount of phone numbers and emails, ensure that you reach out within a couple of days and tell them it was nice to meet them and offer to provide more information about your company.
Use the automation feature in your CRM by setting up a generated email response that’s triggered when a lead fills out an online form, setting concise parameters as to when you’ll follow up. You can also use your CRM to gauge where your leads are in the sales funnel and customize each form of correspondence.
Personalizing each message catering to where your leads are in their buyer’s journey will create a more meaningful interaction. Paying attention to where your customers are in the sales funnel will help you create the best communication strategy.
As mentioned above, automating menial tasks will help you save time and be smarter in your lead generation efforts to grow your business.
Take the time to automate some of your more repetitive marketing strategies such as setting up email campaigns, creating social media posts, scheduling blog publications, etc. that will be delivered to the proper leads at the most opportune time.
If you’re running a small business, automation can take pressure off having to hire more people that can do the work of a CRM to help with lead generation, letting you focus on more important tasks that will help expand your client base and operate your business more efficiently.
Mind your Metrics
Lead generation is a fluid concept, therefore it’s imperative to track your efforts with tools such as Google Analytics to keep abreast of your metrics to reveal your ROI.
Monitoring your lead generation outcomes against your original goals will help you evaluate which strategies were more effective than others and what you could do next time to make the most of your funding and your engagement.
Take a look at your conversion rates, your open rates, your engagement on social media, how many readers your blogs reached, etc. Investing in advanced marketing tools will always give you insights into how effective your efforts have been or where you can improve. There’s no excuse for not knowing how your leads and customers react to your attempts. As long as you pay close attention to how your target audience interacts with your brand, you will always have a leg up on your competition.
As time goes on, the process of managing lead generation will always improve as long as you’re making the effort it takes to create the most efficient and organized process in ensuring you’re nurturing your client base every step of the way. The more proficient you become, the less time and effort it will take in the long run, paving the way to better serve your customers and grow your business.