If you’re like us, you’re always seeking out new ways to grow your business by building your list. With the recent publicity surrounding the U.S. Postal Service’s financial troubles, small businesses who have relied on mailing lists must consider how else to spend marketing dollars to draw in new leads. The Internet allows you to leverage technology in flexible ways, all as a means to generate new leads for your business.
Of course, this assumes that you have a website. (If you don’t, we can help.) You’ve probably heard the term “call to action.” Separate from the traditional contact form, your website should include a form on each page that entices your visitors to do something: sign up for a newsletter, contact you for more information, request a free quote, that type of thing. It should be short, no more than 3 fields and a Submit button. Long forms turn off potential leads from taking the few seconds to reach out to you.
Learn more about the value of calls to action from Hubspot in “Strong Call to Action – Convert Website Visitors to Leads.”
We know there’s a lot of mystery and resistance surrounding social media. We even have periods of negligence when it comes to our own Facebook and Twitter pages. It doesn’t matter. You have to have them—your leads are looking for you there. With a little extra attention, Twitter is proving itself to be a great way to network and generate conversation, and the wealth of customization that Facebook offers gives you hundreds of ways to gather leads directly to your inbox, to your email newsletter list, etc. To get the most out of social media, don’t just post to your own page; post on your colleagues’ pages as well to attract new leads by building interest in your expertise from people outside your circle.
For businesses that are product-driven, videos are crucial to showing potential customers the value of your product and its features, but even services-based businesses can benefit from videos. Use free services like YouTube and Vimeo (they’re also social media sites, in case you didn’t know!) to create a profile for your business’s videos. We prefer Vimeo because the interface is much better looking and we love the customizations they offer, but you can’t beat the popularity of YouTube.
OK, we know. The resistance to blogs among non-techy people is just about as strong as it is to social media. Even I hate that the word can be a verb or a noun, and I still cringe when I say it out loud. But blogging does something for your business that descriptions, white papers, contact forms, and photo galleries could never do: It gives you and your company a personality. In the ever-expanding world of interactive marketing, adding a blog to your website is an easy way to give your business credibility, generate conversation, and even gather leads.
Just like with social media, try to keep on top of industry blogs that your colleagues might have and comment on them. Every time you publish a comment to a blog, you have an opportunity to post a link to your website, which helps search engine optimization and can generate leads from those interested in your point of view.
Willing to dive in and explore how blogging helps generate leads? Learn more from this timesunion.com article, “Marketing Tips for Using Blogs to Generate Leads … Plus Is Direct Mail Still Effective?“
You must-Must-MUST keep your content fresh, relevant, and updated. Just because you have a website, blog, Facebook/Twitter page, and email newsletter doesn’t mean you’re done. We wish it could be otherwise, but the Internet feeds off your interaction with it, which is why so many websites start out strong and then drop off in search engines within a matter of months following launch.
Work with a professional (yes, like us!) to develop a plan to roll out a successful lead-generation strategy. They can help you study your competition and website statistics, identify blogs and social media sites you should be interacting with, and build a schedule to keep your own blog posts and social media posts going out regularly. Once you get into a rhythm with it, what is unfamiliar here will become effortless. Trust me: I was one of those people that said I would never have a blog.