Generating quality leads, using digital marketing, is the most important task for a small business owner. After all, it is these leads that lead to conversions, sales, and revenues for the business- they are indeed the lifeline of any business.
Getting quality leads is a challenge for most business owners and they struggle with this aspect of their business. Business owners have the added challenge of looking for cost-effective lead generation methods that don’t throw their monthly budgets out of whack and impact profitability negatively.
Under these circumstances, online or digital marketing does offer several advantages for small businesses namely a large addressable market and the opportunity to generate a sufficient quantity of leads on a sustained basis. While the opportunity seems large, it is important to approach the world of digital marketing in a very methodical manner as such an approach will help to get the best results or rather the ‘best bang for the buck’.
1. Start with a website – While we all seem to know the importance of having a website in today’s digital world, few small businesses actually have one. In fact, this should be the first step in digital marketing for a small business and the reason for that are ;
– Customers check businesses online for company info, product availability, and customer reviews
– A good website creates trust in the mind of the customer as the customer is more confident of dealing with a company that has a good website. It shows a prospective customer that the business actually exists, the profile of the business & the products that it sells.
– Opportunity to generate leads through the website and sell online.
Websites are available in several forms and sizes starting from a single page informational static website to an e-commerce store. Choose the type that suits your business needs. If you are a professional or service business, you may not require an e-commerce enabled site from the start. You can convert your site to an e-commerce site later if you start selling your services online.
Your website must have a contact form to collect customer details like mobile number and e-mail address. It is absolutely essential that you start building an e-mail database of your prospective customers from the very start. This database will eventually help you to connect and engage with your customers more effectively using email marketing. You can also use a lead magnet, a free resource like an e-book in exchange for an email address, on your website to encourage customers to share their contact details.
Once you get the website up and running, don’t forget to market it to your current and prospective customers. Ensure that all your marketing materials like flyers, posters, and visiting cards have the website address printed on them. Let the prospective customers access your site online and provide them with all the information that they need to make a purchase.
2. Optimize website (Search Engine Optimization) – Appear before customers look for your product or service on search engines.
While this step is not mandatory in your digital marketing journey, it does help to optimize your website to rank for search engines results. This will help generate organic traffic to your website and increase leads and sales. The best part is that your site appears before people who are showing a high purchase intent and therefore, the probability of conversion is also very high. Moreover, there are absolutely no charges for appearing in the organic search results thereby ensuring a consistent flow of cost-effective leads for your business.
3. Create a good social media presence – Having a good social presence on social handles like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, etc is an absolute must. Customers are on these social platforms and they follow the social media handles and get important content in their feeds which makes them aware of the new product launches, offers, and promotions. These social media handles are a great way of engaging with your audience by sharing relevant content regularly with them.
But you must remember that social media marketing works slowly. It first makes your customer aware of your business, engages with them, and enhances your brand image. This process is not a shortcut to generating overnight leads for your business. Social media marketing takes time to deliver results as you keep engaging with your audience using relevant content. If you are looking for quicker lead generation methods, then the next step will be of greater importance for you.
4. Paid ads on Facebook/ Instagram/ Google – While the other methods of social media marketing like having a website, optimizing the website, and creating a strong presence on social media work, they take time before they start producing consistent results. A faster way of putting your business in front of prospective customers is paid ads on social platforms. Depending on the type of product, you can choose the most relevant platform for advertising your business.
–Linkedin is suitable if you have a B2B product as most of the decision-makers are on this platform.
– Instagram– If you have a product that relies on visual appeal for selling like food products, jewelry, clothing lines, etc.
– Facebook – works for most B2C products as Facebook is the platform with over 2 billion + active customers worldwide.
– Google Ads– perhaps the highest purchase intent is of customers looking for goods and services on search engines like google. Bidding for the right keywords can help you connect with the right audience.
You can use any combination of the platforms to advertise your business but the eventual decision will depend on your budget. You can experiment with advertising on various platforms to see which one works best for you. All these platforms allow you to target your offers to very specific audiences but you must remember that it takes some time and effort, in terms of tweaking the targeting parameters, to get to your real target audience and to start seeing the results.
5. Ensure a good local area presence (Google My Business) – Most businesses are local in nature i.e they get most of their customers from a 5km to 10km catchment area. Therefore, having a strong presence on local business listings like Google My Business is absolutely essential. Take advantage of the free listing provided by Google and appear in the local search results. Ensure that you post relevant content on products and offers on your Google My Business page and get your customers to give their reviews on the page. These reviews help in establishing credibility in the eyes of your prospective customers and build trust which helps in increasing your business.
While there is no sacrosanct process or steps that you need to take to get your business growing online, the above steps should help you to navigate the tricky journey to a successful online lead generation business. Remember, there are no shortcuts to success. The only road to success is to be consistent in your online presence, whether it is your brand identity or the content that you share on social.
Over time, these efforts will help create a strong online presence for your brand and that would be the time to raise a toast to your hard work. At Digital Growth Partner (DGP), we would be happy to help in case you need any help starting the online journey or in fine-tuning your efforts in case you have already started the journey. Wishing you luck!!!