Digital has changed the rules of generating and handling leads.
Customers have an abundance of online information at their disposal, meaning greater efforts need to be made to nurture strong leads to bring them from the ‘top of the funnel’ to the bottom.
But it’s not all bad news. The digital age has brought new lead generation and nurturing techniques that are less burdensome and time-consuming than older methods. Here are some lead generation ideas for your business.
These days customers can easily find you online from the comfort of their laptop or mobile device so it’s important that you are in a position to welcome them.
Your website is your most valuable digital asset in generating and nurturing leads. It is the greatest online expression of what your business is all about. By finding your website, browsers have already shown themselves as having some level of interest. Do not lose their attention. Not only is your website the cold call, the tradeshow and the print advertisement rolled into one, it is also the location that you will hopefully end up selling your product or service.
Your website therefore needs to create an immediate and lasting impression.
Potential customers will shop around and if the content of your site is appealing they will return. How do you make that appeal? By providing them with the information they are seeking.
Content marketing is about building and maintaining their trust in you. It is mid-funnel activity where the aim is not to sell but to engage leads by providing them with relevant and useful information.
Show expertise in your area by providing visitors to your site with informative articles, instructive videos and how-to guides. Customers will be seeking this kind of information anyway. If you are a quality provider, a customer’s trust in you is assured, bringing you closer to securing the sale.
What are your target market’s common search terms? What words and phrases are they punching in Google?
The answer to that is what your website content should be based on.
As the customer is now seeking you, you must make it easy to be found. A proper search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy is a vital tool in generating leads online.
Potential buyers who have expressed some interest in the type of product or service you sell will go onto an online directory or search engine and type in various words or phrases to find a website such as yours. You must bring them to yours.
SEO seeks to ensure that your website appears prominently on a search engine results page (SERP). Your ranking on a SERP will be dependent on how relevant your site is in relation to the words and phrases searched.
If your business is at an early stage in its life, then you are at a disadvantage against older more established online businesses because you haven’t established a following.
That is why search engine marketing (SEM) may be useful. SEM is a queue-skipping strategy. Rather than hoping to appear among the top-ranking organic search results, a business can have its website advertised either above them or on the far right column of the SERP. It may level the playing field but it comes at a price. They are essentially paid advertisements. It may be a price worth paying because they are effective lead generators.
If your business is unable to afford to adopt an SEM campaign, generating leads via social networking sites will cost you nothing more than some of your time. Social media accounts for a vast amount of online activity, providing your business with a forum that attracts leads in multiple ways.
By attaching social sharing buttons to your website, customers can recommend your website to others, many of whom may share their interests. It is advertising to an interested audience that is free to produce and free to distribute.
Gathering subscribers on YouTube and Facebook and followers on Twitter is a way of building an online affinity with your business and an effective means of generating leads.
Viral videos will ensure a YouTube presence; the promise of sporadic promotional offers will attract Twitter followers. They will all help the new generation of leads find you.