Lead generation is really the ultimate goal behind everything that we do in this online world that we live in. Without new leads, you will have no new business – and new business is what keeps a company going. However, if you own a small business, staying within your budget is typically always on your mind. Most likely, spending a ton of money on your online efforts isn’t something you want to do. Luckily for you, generating leads online can be done in an extremely cost-effective way that your business can afford, no matter what your budget.
There are three main things that you need to be on top of in order to generate online leads: your website, your blog, and your social media accounts. You’ve probably already spent some time setting up a solid presence in each of these three areas. If not, it’s time to get things taken care of.
When it comes to your website, you need to make sure that it’s more than just the static online brochure of years past. It should be fun, interactive, and informative. It should include any information that your target consumers could possibly want to know about your business, as well as any testimonials, photos, articles, etc. that you may want to include. It should be easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. It should also include calls-to-action on every page that guide viewers to continue engaging with your business.
These CTAs are a major driving force behind capturing the leads that you need. Use them to send visitors to specially designed landing pages that showcase free content offers that they can download in exchange for their contact information. These content offers are the number one thing that you have to offer your online visitors, and the majority of them will be more than willing to give you their contact information to collect if they find value in the content you are offering. The way to insure that they do find your content valuable is to create several different offers that are geared toward your target consumer. This could be an eBook full of valuable information, a video showcasing the work that you do or guiding them through a process, a checklist or fact sheet – the possibilities are endless. The more you know about your consumers, the easier it will be to create the content you know they will find value in.
After you have your website taken care of, focus on your blog content. Your blog should be updated frequently and consistently, with keyword enriched content. Use this platform to really work your way up in the search engine results pages. Focus on keywords that you know your target buyers are searching for, but make sure they are not extremely competitive so that your odds of ranking high are better. The more often you update, the better, so try and shoot for several times a week. It’s important to be consistent in your posting, so be sure to make your goals realistic to your current workload and the amount of content you believe you can create.
Finally, spend a good amount of time engaging and interacting on your social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ can all be incredibly beneficial for a business. Figure out where your target audience spends the most time, and begin by focusing on those. It’s important to have a presence across most social platforms, but it’s even more important to have a great presence on one or two if it’s unrealistic to do so on all.
You should answer any questions, comments, or concerns that are left on your pages as quickly as possible – definitely aim for within 24 hours. You should be posting updates a couple of times a day, and engaging with your fans and followers whenever possible. Post links to every new blog post you publish, any new updates to your website, interesting articles or videos that you’ve found on the web, heartwarming or funny things you think your followers would enjoy – basically, anything goes here. As long as it’s something you think represents what your business is about and your fans will find some value in it, it’s fair game. The more you interact and engage on these sites, the more likely it will be that your followers will visit your website and that your business will come to mind when it’s time for them to make a buying decision.
As you can see, your website, blog and social media sites can easily be used to generate leads. The best part is, the majority of what you do on these sites can be done for little to no monetary investment. When it comes to online marketing, success is often found through hard work and time rather than lots of cash. This is good news for small business owners who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and are looking to save. To get a more in depth look, download our free "Guide to Online Lead Generation for Business Owners" eBook.