Approximately 63% of all companies state that generating leads online or website traffic is their biggest challenge. But, why is it so challenging, and what can you do to improve results?
Before we look into how to generate leads online, let’s answer a more important question, ie. – what are leads?
There’s this common saying about how you can lead a horse to the pond, but can’t force him to drink from it.
Let’s assume the pond is your business website, the horse is your customer and water is the product you sell. Your ultimate goal is to get the customer (horse) to buy (drink) from your website (pond).
But what if you didn’t have this horse, to begin with? You’d have to go look for them or set up a system that directed dehydrated horses to your pond. That’s where lead generation comes in.
Online lead generation is all about finding these metaphorical horses and thinking of effective strategies to get them to your pond.
So, How Can You Generate Leads Online?
The virtual world literally sees 3.01 billion users. That means, 3.01 billion potential leads, waiting for you.
Here are 9 tips to help you reach them.
1. Use Social Media Wisely
Now, this might seem like it’s straight out of marketer’s 101, and who didn’t know that, right? Fair enough. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that social media is not limited to just Facebook and Instagram.
Finding the right platform to advertise and connect with prospective leads can be quite challenging.
So how do you choose the right one?
Finding Your Niche
It is of course, undeniable that those are perhaps the most effective of the platforms, in general. However, sometimes your brand might be targeting a niche audience, which would logically call for a niche platform.
To find your niche you will need to take into consideration the age groups you’re targeting, the demographic, the persona and what interests them. Millennials, for example, are notorious for their love of platforms like Instagram.
However millennial musicians might be easier to find on YouTube.
Getting Your Content Right
As a brand, you have a lot to say. You want to tell the world how great your product is, but almost nobody wants to hear that. Social media is all about finding content that is relevant and engaging to your followers, without deviating from your brand.
Timing Is Everything
Your content may now be on the right platform, targeting the right niche, but at the wrong time. Finding the right time takes a lot of research and trial and error.
2. A Visible, Accessible Website
The single most important thing for an online business is having a well-optimized website. This largely includes (but is not limited to) search engine optimization (SEO) for your site.
What Exactly Is SEO?
A good percentage of online leads are generated through organic searches alone. Search engine optimization, in a nutshell, is all about making sure your website visibility is strong. It involves a lot of keyword research, well-structured content, optimized landing pages, creating strong meta tags and descriptions.
Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?
63% of internet users access the virtual world through their mobile phones. That’s more than a billion potential leads lost.
Creating a Fantastic User Experience
This could range from writing simple, effective copy to designing beautiful graphics. The idea is to enhance the user experience in every conceivable way. While this may sound like a complex idea its really just about making a simple, uncluttered website.
Monitoring web traffic is important to figure out whether or not your visibility is improving. If you are struggling to generate traffic, you could also consider buying an established website.
3. If They Can’t Find You, Find Them!
That being said, when it comes to reaching out via email, you have to be careful. Emailing prospective clients is especially tricky. You don’t want to be dismissed as spam or go unread.
You’ll need to go beyond a conventional promotional mail while sticking to the absolute basics.
- An effective subject line
- A personal touch
- Highlight your benefit
- Keep it short
- A non-disruptive time
This will undoubtedly take some creativity and persistence on your part. Having a dedicated outreach team to work on prospective clients is one way to ensure consistent follow-ups and effective research.
The goal should be to collaborate with high traffic sites that are relevant to your service. E-wallet sites, offer sites and other similar platforms are a few sites you can consider to access leads in marketing.
4. Promote Your Brand
Online advertising is the fuel behind the fire. The reason digital advertising is so popular is that it’s so effective. Over the years, the multiplicity of options have increased making a cost-effective option for even small business who are still finding their ground.
Social media holds a huge percentage of the virtual population. However, while your advertisement campaigns might successfully get you a huge number of leads, they can also wind up being a bit of a disaster.
A good idea would be to run tests and trial ad campaigns to measure your success in smaller groups before you take a good, strong, swing at it.
This will help you experiment with and try out new trends while ensuring that your investments are set to maximize your profits.
Pay-per-click advertising allows you to target very specific phrases, making it easier for you to access your niche audience. This form of advertising is offered by most popular search engines like Google and Bing.
5. Get the Most out of Referrals
In a world where people have such an overwhelming number of options to choose from, you can bet that simply asking a friend is going to be their go-to.
One way to do this is to ensure that you’ve built a strong relationship with your current customers. This means having efficient customer service in place. Consistently responding to feedback, loyalty perks and following up on issues regularly is just as important as any other lead generation tactic.
If your current customers don’t like you they’re not going to recommend you.
However, with marketing, you generally need to give a little to get something in return. In addition to keeping them happy, you may have to consider offering benefits to current customers in exchange for a referral or recommendation to their friends.
For example, you might offer them credit points in return for a referral, or a discount on their next purchase. What you’re doing is creating a two-way street of reciprocity.
6. An Active Blog
What your blog post needs to be is the answer to someone else’s question. Not just any answer, a really good answer in a clutter of answers. As if that weren’t enough, even if you have everything they’re looking for they may not be able to find you.
So what can you do to fix this?
Keep Your Blog Updated!
This one is simple – the more content you have the more likely you are going to be found. A blog that is regularly updated with recent trends, ideas, and relevant information is going to seem more attractive to the average user.
Writing Simple, Readable Content
You’ve probably heard about the infamous low attention span, the bane of every content marketer’s existence. This massive influx of content makes it necessary to go above and beyond to keep someone engaged for longer than a minute.
This means your blog needs a consistent tone, format, and style that makes for a quick, simple, no-nonsense read.
It’s All in the Structure
A well-structured blog can keep users on your site for hours. Once you’ve got consistent great content, you can focus on the design. Is your blog mobile friendly? How do you subtly link your blog to your business? Don’t forget – this is all about generating those leads online.
7. Pay Attention to the Details
The details here include the consistency of your brand image across all platforms. You need a consistent USP, tone, and style of communicating in order to present a truly authentic image to potential leads.
We live in an age where the littlest things can put people off. However, the good news is the littlest things can also bring people in. Sometimes a single Star Wars reference might get someone to subscribe or follow you. A silly pun might get them to click on a link.
Simple phrases, or particularly creative design, a bit of authentic charity might earn you the trust of your audience. The point is, the world is an unpredictable place with impulsive consumers.
Online reputation management is also something you will need to consider. A single bad review can put off a hundred potential leads.
8. Embrace the World of Influencer Marketing
This works in a very similar way that referrals do. While a lot of people are wising up to marketing gimmicks, this new-age form of marketing seems to produce very real leads online for businesses.
Brands don’t really inspire trust anymore. However, trust remains a huge factor that determines whether or not people want to buy from a business. However, people have a fair amount of trust in people they know, respect and follow.
Hence, you may be able to leverage some leads by associating your brand with an influencer your audience trusts.
You’re most likely to find your influencer on social media and blogging sites than any other place. Your next dilemma might be choosing the right influencer for your brand.
In a lot of ways, micro-influencers might get you better leads than their big-name counterparts. The reason being, micro-influencers usually nurture their personal relationships with their followers, thereby, presenting themselves as more authentic.
As a business, your relationship with your influencer is crucial to the success of your campaign. Audiences often pick up on friction between brands and their influencers which does nothing to help you with your business.
9. Consider Hosting Your Own Webinar
Let’s face it, everyone loves free stuff. People love to feel like they’re getting something at a bargain. While this has to be a measured investment, if you’re somewhat of an expert in your fields, a successful webinar can substantially increase your chances of getting leads online.
Well, for one, it shows the world that you genuinely know what you’re talking about. For another, it can help you access people who are looking for answers that you can provide.
A lack of funds or budget constraints can sometimes make it difficult to invest in more effective lead generation strategies. In such a scenario, time management is especially essential to be able to appropriately analyze your results and figure out a cost-effective way to carry out your business.
All This Means Nothing Without Patience and Persistence
To be able to generate leads online, you need to be able to play the waiting game. For most people its the result of a consistent, collective effort to grow a business.
Some of you might subscribe to the idea that it is about having that one great idea that sets things in motion. However, while this may not be entirely unfounded, most “big ideas” come after years of deliberation, which goes to show that you do need some consistent effort to make it as a business.
Following these nine tips are a great way to start, and master, lead generation marketing. If you can pair these ideas with the right offline strategy, you’ll be well on your way to tapping in those leads online.
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