The perks of being a small business owner can be quite commodious compared to running a Fortune 500 company or, at the least, a little more stimulating than ‘spacing out’ in front of a computer screen, trying to finish typing up the latest T.P.S. Reports.
For starters, there’s that unbound sense of independence, such as lunch breaks being a more ambiguous affair, extending longer depending on the weather or ambition. The creative freedom to make decisions for the better of the business without any suites breathing down your neck can be both liberating yet simultaneously daunting.
For every benefit of owning a small business, there are at least several obstacles that need to be hurdled over on a daily basis. You can start with small business competition. Of the over 30 million small businesses currently operating in the U.S., employing just under 60 million Americans, it’s estimated that 20% of them fail within their first year.
Obviously, there are a variety of factors that play into the success of a small business, ranging from employee integrity to lacking in people skills. But one thing every small business owner can agree upon is that the more leads your enterprise is generating, the easier it is to stay in business.
Now before our current era of digital marketing, lead generation was a more manually labored effort. Whether it was word-of-mouth appraisal or hiring the flashiest sign spinner in town, small businesses generally had to go to drastic lengths to spread the word of their services and products. Thankfully, we live in the golden age of lead generation, where even the quirkiest and most eccentric small businesses in town have a shot at landing on that first page of a Google search through thorough digital marketing strategies.
To keep your small business thriving without the aid of an avid sign spinner, let’s break down some of the more applicable and effective online lead generation strategies small businesses can utilize to succeed.
What is Lead Generation?
Before we get into why proficient lead generation strategies are crucial for any small business, let’s define what exactly lead generation is in relation to digital marketing. A lead, in layman’s terms, is any person potentially interested in your product or service who can be converted into a customer.
There are several variations of leads, ranging in interest, knowledge, and relevance to your business, some of which include:
New Lead | A potential customer with limited knowledge or interest in your business who has organically came across your company through any means of marketing.
Working Lead | A potential customer who has had confirmed interaction or communication with your business, showing interest in utilizing your service or product by engaging through any marketing or call-to-action strategies (email newsletter subscription, contact forms, etc.)
Marketing Qualified Lead | A potential customer who has shown interest in your business, specifically through digital marketing campaigns, such as social media interaction, responding to survey forms, etc.
Sales Qualified Lead | A potential customer who has been assessed or researched by your marketing team as interested in pursuing your company’s service or product and passed over to your sales team to close on a deal or transaction.
Nurturing Lead | A potential customer who has shown subtle interest or engagement with your business but is temporarily hesitant to pursue a finalized purchase or transaction.
Lead generation is essentially the process of prospecting all of these different kinds of leads and taking the necessary responsive steps to convert these leads into sales and customers. It’s a primary step in the overall strategy of inbound digital marketing, implementing various tactics to draw in and become aware of lead interest or engagement, which therefore makes the procedure of converting leads into sales more efficient and swift.
Increasing Virtual Visibility
The beginning of the lead generation process generally involves installing strategic digital marketing plans into your company’s website in an effort to make your business more virtually visible.
Here are some of the more popular and effective ways to help your website gain traffic and traction, helping channel more awareness, clicks, and, most importantly, leads:
Content | The content of your company’s website is crucial to the overall lead generation process. It impacts your website’s Google Page rankings, establishes credibility, and above all, drives more inbound traffic and leads. From blog posts to email newsletters to social media posts to photos and videos, the more quality content your business can publish, the more quality leads your virtual presence can generate.
SEO | Search Engine Optimization and content marketing go hand-in-hand. This is the implementation of targeted keywords (words or phrases people type into search engines that are relevant to your business) into the content of your website, social media, etc. The better your content’s SEO, the more virtually visible your website will become, spreading awareness and generating leads.
Paid Ads & Retargeting | While content marketing and SEO are more long-term lead generation strategies, paid ads and retargeting campaigns are quicker, cost-effective opportunities to generate leads. These customizable tactics can put you front and center on the top page of a Google search, as well as quickly connect you to your target audience, as well as draw traffic back toward your website after they’ve left.
Converting Interest Into Leads
Once you’ve invested in increasing your virtual visibility and spreading more digital awareness to your business, it’s time to start converting those online traffic leads into customers. Some of the most utilized strategies of lead conversion are calls to action, landing pages, and contact forms.
Calls to Action | Once visitors have been drawn onto your website, implementing persuasive and effective calls-to-action (CTAs) is what will inform and convince a lead on enlisting your company’s services or purchasing your product. Without frequent, concise CTAs, leads can be confused or uninspired to complete their transaction.
Landing Pages | Landing pages are stand-alone web pages that are more regionally focused, specific to your company’s service or product, and aggressively utilize CTAs. When leads come across a landing page through search engine results, they feel more compelled and motivated to engage with your business, based on the more direct and assertive content.
Contact Forms | The overall goal and motive of CTAs and landing pages is to compel a lead to fill out a contact or service form, or essentially any form that provides your business with their contact information. Once a lead has completed such a form, you can establish and maintain direct contact with them, making them more trusting and comfortable to pursue a consumer relationship.
Retaining & Maintaining Leads
After all of these digital marketing strategies have been implemented, it’s now easier to nurture, retain, and maintain leads than ever before. This final step is intended to harness and progress your customer relationships, evolving one-time purchases or enlistments into life-long partnerships.
Retaining and maintaining your lead generation involves a variety of preservation tactics, ranging from:
- Create a customer follow-up schedule through email newsletters, reward or coupon incentives, etc.
- Establish a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system that stores, tracks, and monitors customer and prospect data.
- Collect, monitor, and respond to all forms of customer feedback to increase consumer engagement and satisfaction levels.
- Produce personalized, relevant content aimed directly at previous customers to strengthen and maintain customer relations.
Strengthen Your Company's Lead Generation With Triton Commerce
Look, as a small business owner, you have enough on your plate to deal with than figuring out how to assemble your own digital marketing plan to boost your company’s lead generation. That’s why enlisting the services of digital marketing professionals will not only lighten your load as far as your daily managerial tasks go but also allow you to focus on what you do best as a small business owner while we work on what we do best: generating you leads.
If you’re looking to upgrade your small business’s lead generation and digital marketing strategies, contact Triton Commerce today to receive a free Digital Marketing Blueprint! We’ll be able to assess the best courses of action for your company’s digital marketing needs, so we can get you converting qualified leads in no time!