Many small business owners are now looking for ways to move their business online and increase their customer base. Identifying who your ‘leads’ are – people who have shown an interest in your product/service and could potentially be a customer – and working on attracting and engaging leads will be key to do this. You want your potential customers to be familiar with your business, follow you on social media and subscribe to your newsletter so they are up-to-date with your news and they can move along the buying process and become a customer .
- Identify your target market
The first key step of lead generation is clearly defining who your target audience is. Researching their likes, dislikes, preferences, shopping tendencies and how much money they are willing to spend will save your business a lot of money in the long run by preventing you from investing your time and resources in the wrong places. For example, if you’re aiming to target young working professionals who love to drink coffee, they may be willing to spend more on coffee from artisan roasters in comparison to those who simply drink it for the caffeine hit.
- Build relationships with your customers
It really can’t be repeated often enough when it comes to your building your online presence, but content is crucial. By producing content that your followers love and engage with, they will start to build a relationship with your brand and choose you over your competitors. Depending on your audience, blog posts, social media updates, and IGTV videos are all great ways to offer appropriate and engaging content, creating trust and building authority for your brand. And don’t just think about creating strong content for your own platforms, consider featuring content on other platforms such as a guest blog post. It is a great way to attract new leads from a different consumer base.
- Develop a Landing Page
A landing page is a page on your website where people end up when they click a specific link. If a potential customer has come to your website looking for the online shop, make sure they don’t end up on a page for recipes instead. Landing pages should also gather information about the visitor so you can continue to nurture these leads and build a strong relationship. Most landing pages capture this information through the use of offers, subscriptions or free trials. A great landing page defines the consumer’s problem and offers a way that your business can fix this problem, capturing the lead’s information through a signup form.
- Create a sales funnel
When you know who your target audience is and how to contact them, developing a sales funnel is the best way to move them along the buying process. Good website design is crucial in this process, as your landing page should encourage visitors to enter their contact details so you can contact them with updates on special offers or new products. One of the best ways to stay in touch with these leads and begin to build a stronger relationship is through an email newsletter. A call to action (CTA) is extremely important in a newsletter, but make sure not to overwhelm your reader with too much copy or too many links to your website. Your CTA should lead directly to your landing page. It is important that you allow a lead to move along the sales funnel at their own pace. Your job is to provide information for them along the way, slowly building their trust without it feeling forced.
- Social Media is key to connect
Social media is an essential tool to stay in touch with your customers, keep them up-to-date and start a conversation. Great social media attracts new leads, and with the help of the sales funnel you can guide them along to become a customer. Including a call to action in your posts, having an active link to your website in your bio, and utilising the ‘swipe up’ option on Facebook and Instagram stories are great ways to remove the hassle for followers. Include your social media handles in all newsletters to encourage subscribers to follow you. The more touchpoints a follower has with the business, the more likely they will be to trust you and in turn purchase from you.
- Encourage consumers to tell their friends
It may sound obvious but a crucial part of increasing your leads is getting more people to know about your business. 92% of people trust recommendations from their friends and family over any other type of advertising*. This means that leads generated through customer referrals are often of a very high quality. By encouraging your customers to tell their friends about your product or service, you are increasing your brand awareness and growing the number of leads in your funnel. Setting up a referral scheme where people are rewarded for telling their friends with discount codes is also a great way to gain repeat customers as well as attracting new leads.
Lead generation is something your business should not be ignoring, it is an essential element of any marketing plan. Although it can be slightly tedious at first as you attempt to get all the pieces to fit together, it will mean a big increase in sales for the business as well as the added benefit of increasing brand awareness.
*Statistics are taken from research conducted by Nielson, 2012. https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/report/2012/global-trust-in-advertising-and-brand-messages-2/