Cost-effective Lead Generation for Small Businesses
Many people face the challenges of running a business in its initial stages. Approximately two-thirds of businesses survive only about 2 years since their establishment. And one of the major reasons for that is the difficulty of lead generation. The lead generation strategies employed by large corporations are too expensive, and can never be executed by small companies. So the best option left for small business owners is to outsmart the competition, rather than outspending it. And it can be done by utilizing cost-effective or no-cost lead generation strategies.
But unfortunately, the majority of small business owners are unaware of the effective tools and tactics to upgrade their lead generation process. In this article, we’ll be discussing some of the major cost-effective lead generation techniques which you can utilize to increase your sales.
What is Lead Generation?
A lead is an entity, which could be a person or organization, who shows an interest in your products or services. And the process of employing certain strategies to extract your target audience among the masses is known as lead generation. The goal is to attract the audience to your products or services. Then by proper cultivation and nurturing, you can make them into your regular paying customers.
The utmost priority for the majority of marketers is to generate quality leads for their business prosperity. And they spend more than half of their resources on doing that. Lead generation is considered to be the biggest challenge among the majority of marketers. And the reason they give is not being aware of effective tools and strategies to deploy.
There are many effective strategies to attract the audience to your business e.g. organizing an event, hiring a celebrity to promote your brand, running a TV commercial, etc. There is no denying that these methods could bring fortune to your business, but they are also very expensive. That’s why small businesses should focus on deploying cost-effective methods to generate leads. Some of the key strategies are explained below.
Identify your audience
The first and far most important thing to do is to identify your potential customers that might buy your products or services. This would allow you to focus all your marketing strategies on a particular set of people instead of the mass population. This would save your resources and time as well. For example, if your company provides honeymoon suites to newlywed couples, then obviously you should focus on people who are engaged or had a recent wedding.
Run social media ads
In accordance with datareportal, there are more than 4.6 billion users on social media platforms, which is more than half of the current world population. Hence, it makes social media the best platform to interact with your targeted audience, and enhance the process of lead generation. That’s why the majority of marketers lean toward social media as their major lead generation source.
You can create a Facebook page, a Twitter and an Instagram account, and even a YouTube channel as well for your business. This would allow you to interact more effectively with your audience through uploading informative content, posts, and videos. And you can add a call-to-action option beneath your posts to guide your audience toward your lead generation form. Join the relevant social media groups and communities as well to engage with your prospective customers.
Running low-budget social media ad campaigns is also a privilege that you can have to boost up your lead generation process. You can start your advertising programs with just 5$ on Facebook. Other major social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter also provide many advertising tools at minimum cost.
Run search engine ads
Social media is not the only platform to promote your products or services. Search engines such as Google, Baidu, Yahoo, etc. also provide the privilege of promoting your business for lead generation. Even though this strategy is relatively expensive but if being utilized effectively, it can provide a decent ROI. It contributes almost 80 percent to your brand-building process. And the sales conversion rate in this strategy is 50 percent, which is very high compared to other strategies. Some of the major tools for advertisement provided by popular search engines are Google Ads, Baidu advertising, SEMrush, Yahoo Gemini, and Microsoft Advertising.
Use LinkedIn for B2B marketing
With more than 722 million users, LinkedIn is considered to be the best platform for professional activities. It may have fewer users than other social media platforms but its audience is occupied by qualified, professional, and sophisticated people. According to research, 80 percent of LinkedIn users are impelling business decisions. That’s why it is considered to be the number one platform for B2B lead generation. Also, its users have 2 times the buying power compared to the average audience.
Considering all the facts, it would be a big mistake not to utilize this marvelous tool for business growth. So create a strong LinkedIn presence for your business and start uploading relevant content to entice your audience. You can utilize paid ad campaigns to target your audience by their profession, designation, company, and location. LinkedIn also provides many useful tools for the lead generation process. If someone shows interest in your ads, their information would automatically be transmitted to you instead of them going through the hassle of filling out the form. It also keeps track of your ad campaigns and provides you the real-time statistics for you to formulate your marketing strategy.
Publish useful content
The purpose of providing educational and helpful content is to enhance your brand awareness and boost your SEO. The content could be in the form of a blog post, a video, a webinar, or an eBook. You can add a call-to-action button on your content and can guide your audience to a lead generation landing page. This strategy can enhance your lead generation process by roughly 60 percent. According to 87 % of marketers, content marketing is the most valuable source for lead generation.
Utilize referral marketing
More than 90 percent of the population trust someone they know instead of sales pitches by an unknown company. Hence, establishing a referral marketing strategy could be very useful. You can ask your current customers to recommend your products to their relatives and friends. You can set up an incentive system for your regular customers for every customer they refer. This helps both parties and you can relax while your customers do all the work to boost your sales.
Employ E-mail marketing
Half of the B2B marketers consider email to be the most effective tool in the arsenal of lead generation strategy. But its major purpose is to build a strong relationship with your leads and keep them in touch with your presence. It is the best tool to convert your leads into paying customers. Besides, it is an easy, flexible, and inexpensive technique to follow.
It doesn’t matter how many posts, videos, blogs, or ads you upload on your social media platforms if it is not attracting the audience to your business. Therefore, as a small business, you need to approach your audience with some useful tactics to attract them to your products or services. Some of the tips are mentioned below.
- Give your audience a discount and offer deals during a few initial purchases.
- Offer free services, in the beginning, to get them accustomed to them.
- Help them by providing free consultation
- Try to answer their questions to remove any doubts related to your product.
- Organize fun contests and events, related to your business, to provide entertainment.
- Increase the credibility of your products or services by providing customer stories, testimonials, accolades, etc.
- Ask for their recommendations and insights relevant to your products or services.
- Make the data collection process, in lead generation form, as simple and user-friendly as possible.
Which lead generation strategy would be the most effective for your business? Well, that depends upon your business nature, location, and targeted audience. The best course of action would be to utilize Google Analytics to keep track of your leads. This would help you in determining which strategy suits best for your business. After figuring out the most appropriate strategies for your business, you can utilize more of your resources on them and can omit the rest.
Lead generation is the most vital process for the growth of any business, small or large. Hence, determining cost-effective strategies for lead generation should be the priority of every business owner. But keep in mind that lead generation is just a process to collect information from people who are interested in your product. If you don’t spend time nurturing those leads, then utilizing all the resources for lead generation would be futile. So along with generating leads, you should also be focused on your sales strategy as well.