Small Business Marketing Blog

Lead Generation: What Works Today

I recently presented a workshop at the New England Business Brokers Association meeting about how to integrate online and social media marketing for lead generation. As professional service business owners, we build our credibility by demonstrating our expertise and knowledge of our discipline and the use of social media makes building your reputation much simpler than before.

As a small business owner, how you approach online marketing can make the difference between a successful campaign and an overwhelming exercise. Learning how to use online marketing to drive visitors to your Website and generate leads is going to impact your marketing and ultimately the success of your business.

Here is a summary of the slides:

Slide 3: Small Business Marketing – What has changed?

Social media and the Internet channel has opened up opportunities to reach more potential customers that were unavailable to most small businesses not too long ago. What has changed in the market is the ability for the customer to:

  • Research service providers long before engaging in the sales process
  • Obtain reviews about the service provider that may influence the purchase decision
  • Acquire a perception about the business based on what they do and don’t find about you
  • Engage with the business through social networks to learn more about you

Slide 4: Small Business Marketing – What has not changed?

What has not changed, however, is the need to develop a brief, but focused marketing plan to help you effectively reach your prospects.

Slide 5: Benefits of Online Marketing

  • Levels the playing field
  • Positions you as the expert in your industry
  • Increases online exposure
  • Develops relationships / grows contact list
  • Encourages online WOM
  • Influences purchase decisions
  • Increases your reach
  • Drives visitors / generate leads

Slide 6: Challenges of Online Marketing

Not understanding what you are trying to accomplish with online and social media marketing can lead to activities that are disjointed, inconsistent and totally ineffective. Online marketing requires:

  • A strategy on how to approach it for your business
  • A marketing system to ensure consistency
  • A definition of what makes you different to stand out from the crowd
  • A valuable offer (content, information) to get attention
  • Understanding how to sell without selling
  • A plan for how to prioritize time, energy and money for best results

Slide 7: Online Lead Generation

Acquiring leads is accomplished by doing something that gets a person to take some action, such as:

  • Fills out a form on your website
  • Signs up for your mailing list
  • Calls you to initiate the relationship
  • Likes your Facebook Business Page
  • Connects with you on LinkedIn
  • Takes an action based on something you do online

Slide 8: Online Lead Generation

As with all marketing activities, if you establish a goal, the strategies and tactics will be more apparent and cohesive.

Getting Started with Online Marketing

Slide 10: Do you have a Web presence?

  • Evaluate your presence on the Internet by conducting a “vanity search” – search your name and business name. What is your first impression of what you find?
  • Do a review your brand – name, logo, color scheme – to ensure that it is aligned with who you really are and that it is consistent across all your web properties.
  • Review your website for brand consistency, fresh and relevant content and whether it is developed so that you can easily update it.
  • Review your existing profiles on social networks – are they consistent and project your value?

Slide 11: Define your Internet Marketing Strategy

The hub of your online marketing strategy is a professional website and/or blog where the goal of all marketing activities is to drive visitors to your website. Do your keyword research and ensure you have a list that you use consistently.

Slide 12: Establish Your Home Base

Spend some time on ensuring your Website has been appropriately optimized. Then develop a content strategy: Know what you want to achieve and the content that will attract your ideal prospect. Take an inventory of the content you have and re-purpose for different uses. Create new when needed.

Develop a comment strategy to become visible. Develop a list building strategy that you can use to market your information products. Syndicate your content via the RSS Feeds or through Article marketing sites

Slide 13: Social Media Strategy

  • Research your target audience and listen to what they have to say.
  • Find out where your target hangs out online.
  • Determine how you can help, educate and gain visibility.
  • Identify the tactics for engaging your target audience and attract them to you.
  • Create your complete and keyword rich profile that sets you apart and projects your human side.
  • Integrate your valuable content – blog posts, eBook, presentations, audio, video posts, advice – to attract your target market
  • Upload a quality picture that projects YOU!

Slide 14 – 21: Social Media Tools

Google Profile – Shows up when people search for your name. Provides a portal to your online identity.

Facebook Business Page – Profiles your business and enables your clients / prospects to get to know you through your content. To grow your supporters:

  • Add Like Box to your blog / website
  • Invite your opt-in email list to like your Facebook Page
  • Start a discussion so fans can interact with each other
  • Acknowledge fans when they write on your Page Wall
  • Create and promote events to your fans and friends
  • Incorporate your Blog posts
  • Welcome new fans with a welcome tab
  • Update your Page status with tips, advice and other useful information

Twitter for Business – Connect and network with people who share your industry, share your views or share quality information and ideas. Get instant access to what’s being said about you or your industry. Extend the reach of your thought leadership by communicating your blog posts and other content

LinkedIn Profile – Create a compelling, keyword rich profile. Make the full view public enabling Google, Yahoo and Bing to index. Get your vanity URL. Claim and update your company page. Marketing using LinkedIn:

  • Get and give recommendations
  • Join or create groups of interest, participate in discussions and display your expertise whenever possible
  • Update your status with content relevant to your connections
  • Participate in Questions & Answers to attract a targeted audience and make new connections.
  • Share your expertise and help people
  • Create & promote events
  • Incorporate your blog, presentations or e-books on your profile

Slide 22: Integrating it All

  • Connect LinkedIn to Twitter, Facebook to Twitter
  • Use Friendfeed for integrating other networks
  • Use HootSuite for a single dashboard

Slide 23: Internet Marketing System to ensure a Consistent Flow of Information

Daily:

  • Update Facebook page
  • Update status messages across networks
  • Scan Google Reader subscriptions and share content that would be valuable to your followers (add to Friendfeed to ensure it goes out to all social networks)
  • Check Google Alerts for mentions of your name and business name
  • Respond to new Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook connection requests

Weekly:

  • Blog once a week at a minimum
  • Scan LinkedIn Q&A and answer a few questions
  • Review content for new uses (presentations, videos, screencams, articles, ebooks, etc)

Monthly:

  • Tweak profiles
  • Check Webmaster tools
  • Check Google analytics for information on traffic
  • Write a recommendation for a contact in LinkedIn, request one in return
  • Review Facebook Business Page, update and add new features

Slide 24: Get Connected, Get Found™

Schedule time to work on your marketing and make social media part of it. Don’t overlook any content you create that can be useful to your followers. Set your system up and work it – the value of social media on your marketing will become evident. Be realistic on what you can do with the resources you have available.

What lead generation activities do you use? How do they work?

I am available to present this and other marketing topics for your organization. Please contact me if you are interested in discussing your presentation needs.

Other items of interest:



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