A Guide to Lead Generation for Small Businesses

The definition

It is helpful to first make sure we all understand by what is meant when we use the term ‘lead’. Each lead represents an individual or company that has shown a certain interest in what your small business has to offer. In terms of online activity, which we are focusing on here, such individuals will usually have filled in a form on your landing page to become identifiable as a lead.

The shift

Everybody, by now knows the vital role that lead generation plays in running a successful small business. The days of cold calling and blanket email canvassing are thankfully numbered and all but gone, but just what are the most successful ways of generating leads in the present, more nuanced marketing world?

  1. Quizzes and tests are best

Research shows that quizzes and tests are incredibly popular, providing they tap into an area of interest and the right demographic. The test or quiz needn’t even be explicitly related to your small business, which is the beauty of this marketing technique. However it does make good business sense (however obliquely) to tailor the test to your business type in order to ensure you are attracting the appropriate demographic – i.e. those with the greatest potential to convert into customers.  The quiz itself is a tasty titbit that entices a bite, just like a fisherman flashing a lure past a salmon who’s not even feeding. The colour and flash entices a bite and once hooked there is no letting go. There are two different approaches that can make the quiz work for you. You can withhold the answers until the subject enters his or her email address and any other details or you can ask for the email before the quiz or test. The link to fill in details prior to or after the test can link to your landing page.

  1. Utilising Lead Generation Software

The market for lead generation software has never been so buoyant and with the potential rewards so great there is little wonder. Modern day lead generation giants like Lead Forensics or Market Makers will drag small businesses out of the dark days of cold calling and street surveying by helping to locate and qualify potential customers principally via an intelligent online system, before then sending across all the information gleaned, including search terms, level of interest, company names and details over to the small business manager who can chase them up at their leisure.

  1. Effective Content and Social Media

The importance of these two combined, symbiotic factors cannot be overstated. If you can write or have written by a third party, invigorating and vital content that speaks to your potential customers in a fresh and interesting manner via channels that they use frequently then you have the battle half won. You need to come across as genuine, your advice needs to solve genuine problems that your target audience faces and you should educate without preaching. Content is not, as it may have been in the past, all about stuffing in as many key words as possible at the expense of a cohesive piece, although key words sparsely used can make all the difference. The significance of content format and headlines cannot be overstated. Lists are always popular and headlines and titles need to grab the attention and focus on bringing the right people to your website. Blog posts can be used in conjunction with videos, slide shows and more and all of this should be promoted through social media channels to drive traffic to your site.