Once upon a time, brands used to have the upper hand and only convey information they wanted the customer to know. Gone are those days, though. Your customers today have unlimited information, including the prices and range of products your competitors are offering.
As a result, lead generation today is a new challenge altogether. While some companies manage to generate leads through search engine optimization, others choose to use the social media route.
Hence, here are seven cost-effective methods you can generate leads for your business:
Content Marketing Is Vital
Did you know the average American spends 24 hours a week online? It goes to show the influence of the internet on our lives today. Hence, your aim should be to generate content on these topics and promote it on various online platforms to increase your company’s visibility.
There’s a variety of content you can produce to fulfill the educational needs of your target audience, including articles, infographics, and videos. Providing content that’s high in quality signals your buyer that you have the expertise to meet their informational needs and emerge as the market leader.
Invest In Video Marketing
An important aspect of content marketing is video marketing. Video marketing, in particular, has risen to new heights of popularity with internet users. Video marketing statistics show that approximately 84 percent of consumers have bought something after watching a video. Not only that, but 79% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product.
Hence, it’s safe to say that your target audience is more likely to find appeal in visual content rather than content they have to read. Keeping this in mind, it’s a great idea to create videos of your product range and share the videos across different social media platforms. You can also branch out by offering informational videos, such as tutorials or solutions, that may tackle any questions that arise in your target audience’s minds. Every video should subsequently end in an effective call-to-action that directs viewers to your website or social media pages.
Pay Attention To Search Engine Optimization
A post about lead generation can never be complete without time devoted to search engine optimization (SEO). SEO lies in the middle of any successful lead generation strategy. It’s the tool you need to master to ensure your business is turning up on popular search engines like Google.
Today, just creating a website for your business won’t suffice. You need to develop an effective strategy around it to ensure you’re ranking high for particular keywords. You should reevaluate your website to determine whether each page is optimized.
Getting your connections to talk about your business and share your content is also a great way to improve rankings. With a multitude of SEO strategies out there, you can easily experiment with a few to determine which ones are the most effective in generating traffic.
Change Your Approach Towards Networking Events
Back before the internet took the world by storm, companies used to generate leads by participating in trade shows and other kinds of networking events. You don’t need to invest time, money, and effort in organizing a huge event or conference. You can easily book your own space in someone else’s event and promote your brands or contribute to these events as a guest speaker.
It’s important to remember, though, that the traditional way of generating leads through such events is still useful, but the way you go about them has changed dramatically.
Gone are the days where you would use fish bowls and paper forms at these events to generate leads. Investing in a tablet and a lead capture app doesn’t cost a lot, and the return is extremely high. Data input through a tablet leaves less room for error and can potentially lead to 150 percent more leads.
You can attract attendees through different contests, such as a trivia quiz, that they can participate in through the tablet. You should ensure the app you opt for should have badge scanning features to cater to those who don’t have time to participate in contests.
A lead capture app also offers the advantage of being able to qualify leads there and then by asking a question before entering their email address. Once the event is over, you can use an easy to use CRM for small business to follow up.
Partake In The Best Social Media Group
There’s a reason why businesses are focusing their marketing strategies on social media, and that’s just because of its potential. Platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn provide businesses with endless opportunities to connect with potential customers, with the former being more useful for B2C companies and the latter working well for B2B lead generation.
Groups on these platforms are extremely popular so join the one that’s the largest for your target audience and see for yourself what people are interested in and how they respond. These groups comprise people who are at least remotely interested in your business through the affiliation.
Once you’ve gotten past the initial phase, write an article these group members are bound to read and share. Publish it in PDF format with your branding and host it on a landing page. You can even consider outsourcing this task if it doesn’t fall under your expertise. The landing page should be accompanied by a CTA that encourages people to share their email address to access the full article.
All you need to do, then, is to promote the article within the group. It appears more credible when the group owner does it instead of you, and you can also offer something in return, such as inviting him or her as a guest blogger.
Co-Host An Engaging Webinar
Co-hosting a webinar with someone with similar interests as yours is the latest trend that’s proven effective for small businesses. Why is that? Well, that’s because, through the webinar, you’ll have exposure to your partner’s email list, resulting in new
leads for your business. This audience is already pre-qualified as potential customers since they’ve expressed interest in what you’re offering.
It’s important to cover a topic that appeals to new and old audiences, both. The good thing about webinars is that they’re useful in targeting B2B, as well as, B2C customers. You could also reach an agreement with an established brand by promoting their product on your webinar. For the promotion, they’ll simultaneously promote your business to their extensive email list.
Don’t Forget Email Marketing
Email marketing is a strategy that’s still effective as it was in the past. By using every opportunity you have to attain your potential audience’s email addresses, your ability to generate qualified leads skyrockets to new heights.
Once you create a website, you can easily use it to make visitors sign up for free tutorials, newsletters, update, and other relevant content. Keep your email list interested by sending relevant content on a regular basis to ensure they stay subscribed to your emails.
Small businesses have many different opportunities to generate leads in cost-effective ways. Lead generation isn’t a “one size fits all” strategy and what works for another may not necessarily work for you. Every business has a different blueprint which is why experimentation is essential.
You should test methods according to your budget and use test runs to decide what works best. Once you’ve identified an approach that’s yielding positive results, you can scale up your plan.
and yet one more little beauty:
Cost-effective LinkedIn lead generation
Close to 13% of LinkedIn users are senior-level executives carrying out important decisions for their organizations. This, in addition to the relative ease of obtaining their contact information, contributes to the fact that more than 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. Here are a few ways to acquire leads on LinkedIn for your business, without breaking the bank:
- Data Extraction: You can use tools like LeadGrabber and Voogy to extract contact information from profiles if you want to supplement your prospecting with outbound LinkedIn lead generation.
- LinkedIn Groups: While this is the most time-consuming way to gather leads, it’s cost-effective and builds brand equity. Post relevant content, drive discussions, and provide value to group members without being too salesy. Focus on building relationships first!
- Content marketing: Continuous posting of engaging content on LinkedIn Pulse is a great way to supplement your inbound marketing strategy.
Create a free tool for lead generation
Simple and free tools could be a great lead magnet for B2B lead generation, especially if you want to promote a SaaS product.
Free tools can help you to promote your core product with them. If someone used a free tool, you could be sure these people are very close to your target audience. Moreover, if you helped them to solve their problem with a free tool, they will be more likely to upgrade or try something that will help them even more.
I really like how CoSchedule uses this approach. Their primary products that generate revenue are a blog calendar, a marketing calendar, and a marketing suite. It’s pretty evident that their target audience is marketers (CMOs, content marketers, social media managers, etc).
For each of their core products, they developed free tools. For example, Social Message Optimizer helps users to write better social media posts.
On each of the free tools pages, you can find very targeted CTAs to try their core products.
Have you tried any of these strategies before? Or do you have any recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comments below!
Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.