There are several lead generation strategies that small businesses can employ when seeking to grow their customer base.
The tricky thing about lead generation and small businesses is that most of those strategies seem to be capital intensive.
Usually, small businesses do not have so much money to throw around and as such, are careful with every dollar they spend so that they can get the most returns on all their marketing investments.
This article deeply considers five (5) of the most effective but less expensive lead generation strategies any small business can start using effectively this week and see results change in a short while.
But first, let us reconsider what lead generation means in its simple terms.
What Lead Generation Strategies for Small Businesses Mean
Lead generation is the series of steps involved in attracting a new customer to a business.
It may involve several steps that effectively complete the lead generation funnel or stages but then, it is simply about customer acquisition and retention.
A “lead” just means any prospective customer; i.e. someone who might be interested in what your brand or business offers in terms of products or services.
Since customers are the lifeline of every business, it makes sense to not just seek effective ways of driving customers in numbers but strategic ways to also retain them and make them consistent buyers of your product or subscribers of your services.
How do you generate quality leads less expensively for small businesses?
Quality Lead Generation Strategies for Small Businesses
1. Targeted Advertising Helps Generate New Leads
The first, most important question to answer is that of how you are currently advertising your business.
To effectively advertise any product or service, you should first figure out who the main buyers of such products are.
Without a clear understanding of who your product is for, what influences their buying habit, where they hang out the most, and how to get your product or service to their faces, your advertising would not generate optimal results.
For instance, if your product is about post-partum weight loss, then you should know that your main customers are nursing mothers who are struggling to reduce either their general weight or focusing on reducing their belly fat.
Knowing that weight gain occurs naturally after childbirth would help you structure your advertising message effectively to reach those “targeted” audiences.
Targeted advertising is the most form of advertising and is often cheaper than general advertising where you spend so much money to reach so many people but get little return on money spent.
2. Consider an Effective Referral System
If you can, you should consider a referral system that offers an incentive to anyone that helps you bring in a new client.
The referral system is the major basis upon which affiliate marketing functions.
Deconstructing the way affiliate marketing works can help you increase your customer count without spending any money on advertising.
What products or services do you offer? You can offer any customer that brings in a new client a discount on their next purchase.
What incentive you should give depends on your business and what it can afford but the magic of a referral system is such that it spirals from one customer to tens of customers if your product is effective enough to use and if your incentive is enticing enough to make a customer want to tell another person about your products and services.
3. Reassess Your Website or Landing Pages
The major reason why so many websites no longer generate as many conversions as they used to do is that they have refused to evolve with time.
Websites and landing pages are no longer the little internet pages people visit to know what you do.
It has grown into a salesman!
Innovations imply that you should structure every aspect of your website (contents, user interface, and user experience) to point your website visitors to your services and show them how it is the best thing that would happen to them henceforth.
It may involve that you engage the service of a seasoned content strategist or copywriter but whatever you spend would come back to you in folds as your changes begin to take effect.
You should never forget to always have a beneficial lead magnet on your website or landing page. A helpful and enticing lead magnet makes people give you their email addresses to access them.
Every email address you collect is a potential deep-pocket client when you nurture them and make them buy continuously.
4. Strategic Content Marketing for Small Business Lead Generation
Content marketing has become a masterstroke in marketing systems. It has become one of the best marketing hacks that can help you grow your business beyond leaps.
These days, effective content marketing demands that your website must have a blog. The benefits of a blog to your entire content marketing efforts cannot be overstated.
A search engine optimized blog post helps you remain relevant over a long period and puts you in a better position to get free leads from search engines without paying any money for them.
Consistently and effectively sharing helpful content that relates to your business, products, and services would help your audience know more about your products, why they need it, and how effectively they can be in helping them solve their problems.
This is a very cheap thing to do for any small business. It shouldn’t cost more than $200!
5. Social Media Lead Generation Strategies for Small Businesses
I hope you use social media for your business already. How effective has it been for a while now?
One of the best ways to effectively use social media to drive leads is to build a community around your business.
The tricky thing then is to figure out which social media is best for your business. While it sounds good to have a social media presence on almost all the popular social media platforms, it is absolutely important that you stick and express more with very few of them that have your target audience.
A b2b or services business would do more with LinkedIn than with Facebook or Twitter. A fashion and skincare business would do better with Instagram and Facebook than with LinkedIn. A business that seeks growth through viral engagement would do better with Twitter.
Where does your business fall? Decide on which is best for your business and stick with it while building an army of loyal customers. It costs close to nothing!
Growing a small business can be a very difficult thing to do but when you break through the wall after applying the best lead generation strategies for small businesses, it begins to seem like everything now runs itself.
It is not enough to engage the best quality lead generation strategies but great attention should be given to the best customer retention strategies as well.
Email marketing can be seen as one of the most effective ways to retain customers without spending so much money.
There are other ways like keeping to your promises, understanding customer behavior, appreciating them or patronizing you, and even making effective use of the feedback they leave behind.
Never ignore a customer that buys by merely assuming they would buy next time without any form of persuasion.
Be in their faces (reasonably) and always give them reasons to patronize you more.