Many big companies started out as small businesses. Growth is the driving factor for businesses to do well, but starting small also has its challenges, including generating leads despite limited budget.
Lead generation aims to expand a business’ customer base and to retain them. Hitting the big time does not happen overnight, and garnering high-quality leads is something you have to work overtime.
Here are some of the things small businesses must do to generate leads, and some tips to further improve marketing and promotional efforts.
Know Your Target Audience
As with all businesses, the first step to lead generation is to know the people to cater services to. In this case, it is essential to take note of the Ws and the H—who they are, what their personality is, where they live, what they like to do, what they do for a living, and how much money they make.
Collect Contact Information
Once the target audience has been identified, it is time to reach out to them. However, this is only possible if you have their contact details.
In this era, the best and cheaper way to collect customer information is through landing pages. A landing page, preferably on the website, should have a standard form that would encourage them to share contact information and a call-to-action.
It would be even better if the customer gets something in return like a coupon, sample, or freebie. It should also include contact details of your business.
Once the information pours in, make sure to have a customer relationship management (CRM) database to keep track of them.
Pick the Right Promotional Method
Now that you enough information about the audience, you can now promote your services. Fortunately, for businesses today, there is a myriad of ways to do such, all thanks to the Internet.
Based on the information you have so far, you should be able to conclude which method to use quickly. Here are just some of those ways.
Assuming that the customer opted to receive emails from your company, you should be prepared to send them one daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on how often you want to update them.
Remember to send only significant updates and relevant content, unless you want your efforts to go directly to Spam or worse, the Trash. If you want to take it up a notch, you can always use email tracking tools to keep track of your email marketing efforts.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube—the list is virtually endless. And the best part? It is basically free and your audience will see it, considering the amount of time people spend online nowadays.
Social media opens up multiple channels for you to attract your prospects and engage with them. Start by sharing quality content that could help start conversations, which would eventually help gather more data about your customers.
Content marketing is the articles, photos, videos, or infographics posted by your favorite business on its website or social media account that trend or get passed around.
Not only will you be able to demonstrate to the customers your business’ expertise through content marketing, but it is also a great way to generate leads when the audience search for it on Google or other search engines.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Aside from placing advertisements on traditional media, you can also take advantage of paid search through a search engine.
PPC would allow your business to be on the first page of search engine results that use keywords relevant to its products and services, making it the top choice for potential customers.
A more traditional approach such as attending or sponsoring industry events to form connections and to make deals are still good ways to generate leads.
For small businesses that are still a bit under budget, hosting a small gathering, possibly after the main festivities of the industry event, is an even more personal way of reaching out to both possible customers and investors.
A lot of things can distract your existing customers from purchasing your products and services, which is why it is crucial to retarget and remain top-of-mind. Aside from keeping your current clients, you can also garner new ones.
Display ads, whether online or traditional, are a great way to run a retargeting campaign.
Even with a small budget, it is still possible to create an effective small business lead generation strategy, as long as it is planned carefully. Just keep in mind that this process is continuous and still evolving, and that created leads are worth nothing if you are not able to make a sale out of it.
If you want to know more about how you can generate leads, read our Lead Generation Guide.