Most small business owners and professionals lack the time and often the experience to perform a true sales call campaign. Many, in fact, are very uncomfortable with the process. That is why, for decades, these small business owners and professionals have relied heavily upon networking and referral opportunities.
In this day and age (especially during the COVID crisis), those networking opportunities have become a thing of the past. So what to do?
Well, online marketing does have a strong lead generation potential. And with some assistance, many business owners and professionals can grow their business as effectively or even MORE effectively through digital marketing.
Consider the following ways to generate leads without cold calling:
A landing page is the first page a person arrives at after they access your site. That could be the homepage, but more often it should be a dedicated web page that is designed to convert traffic into leads. If you are driving web traffic to your site from an ad program or social media post, the landing page that you send them to should speak directly to them about the message in the ad or post. It should align in message and visual.
The goal with landing pages is often to capture some contact information in a ‘gated’ form before allowing them to access something of value — often information that they want.
Downloadable offers are an effective “give to get” transaction. The offer could be a video, a downloadable checklist or ebook, or a coupon. If it has enough perceived value to your prospect, you can ask for something in exchange for this offer.
Often the ‘ask’ is for something simple, like their email address. Once you acquire that contact info, you are able to nurture them through the sales cycle (buying journey) with email communications.
Webinars are online seminars that can be structured as an interview of a subject matter expert(s), or you could share your own information with the audience. It is especially helpful if a ‘guest’ in the webinar is known in the industry that you are marketing to. In either case, you should refrain from turning it into a direct sales message. The subject matter should help the audience member do their job in a better way… possibly with your help. But, that should not be the expectation.
The primary expectation is to generate leads by collecting a person’s contact information on an online form in exchange for access to the webinar.
Paid ads on search engines like Google and social media platforms like Facebook are a quick way to drive traffic to your website and capture leads through landing pages. Using keywords and demographics, you can more closely target your audience.
Search engine ads are best used to capture prospects as they are looking for specific keywords and/or intending to purchase. Ads on social media, like Facebook Ads, are good at putting your message in front of your audience, even if they are not specifically looking for your services. So, the message for each campaign channel should match the buyer’s journey location.
In the long-run, your goal will be to reduce the role of online ads and replacing the web traffic with that generated by organic search results.
Retargeting ads are an often overlooked form of advertising, but can be one of the most productive. Studies have shown that this type of ad can be TEN TIMES more effective in converting prospects to customers than display ads.
This ad type relies upon past user experience to determine if they should see an ad message. Often that past user experience is a visit to your website or your ecommerce site. Once you have some steady web traffic, you should consider adding this ad type to your marketing budget.
Email marketing is generally programmed communications that invites the prospect to take the ‘next step’ in the buying journey. There are many automated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools available to help your organization stay connected with the prospect.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to an ongoing process through which a website is optimized to make it more visible and relevant in internet search. Better SEO optimization efforts tend to rank a website higher than their competitors for the same keywords. And many of the current SEO practices improved the overall user experience which is also important for the search engine algorithms.
Studies have shown that the acquisition cost of a new customer is THREE TIMES the cost of a returning buyer. Consider implementing a loyalty program for your current customers. Volume discounts or frequency discounts can entice former customers to return and also attract new business, due to word-of-mouth.
If you’re struggling with how to generate leads without cold calling for your business, contact us today for help. As you can see, there are many different ways to approach this challenge. And there are numerous technology platforms that can be used. Let us help you build the right strategy for your business products and/or services.