Mackenzie | October 08, 2019 | Digital Marketing
Everybody is looking for new leads, but sometimes it seems like there are only a few ways to draw them in, and for small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with smaller budgets and specific locations, lead generation can be tiresome work. If you're looking for great ways to jumpstart lead generation for your SMB, you're in the right spot. Let's talk about a few lead generation tips and tricks for SMBs that will actually work.
We're going to start by first looking at how you convert leads. When it comes to any business — small, mid-sized, and even huge corporate companies — there are really only three key ways to convert leads through digital marketing:
If you're in the digital marketing game, you probably have all three of these lead generation tools, and you're probably using them to convert your leads as often as you can.
But, while content offers, calls-to-action, and landing pages convert leads, the rest of your digital marketing strategy does the actual work of guiding the right potential leads towards those conversion opportunities.
You can have all the landing pages and content offers you want, but if you don't have any traffic coming to your site, you're not going to see the lead generation you're looking for.
For SMBs, this aspect of lead generation is quite possibly the toughest. You can have picture-perfect conversion opportunities, but if you don't have the traffic, you're not going to see results.
And drawing in a ton of qualified traffic can be easier said than done. Not only are you competing with other local SMBs in your industry, you likely also have to go up against corporate giants who have more manpower and budget than you. This is where strategic digital marketing comes in.
We're going to break down 8 lead generation tips and tricks for SMBs, that will help your small-to-midsized business stand out from larger competition and draw in the leads that will help your company grow. It all starts with your target buyer.
The first and best way to make sure you're generating only the leads you want, and none of the leads you don't, is to identify who you want to sell to.
Odds are, your product isn't for everyone. There is a specific industry, a key job title, or type of person your product or service is right for. Where do they live? What do they want? What do they do?
Understanding your target buyer through and through will help you implement lead generation tactics that are accurate and specific. And the more accurate your targeting, the less you'll spend to get the best results.
One key lead generation tip every SMB should take advantage of is social media. It doesn't matter whether you're a mid-sized manufacturer or a small local lumber supplier, social media is an inexpensive way to build awareness throughout your community and drive traffic to your site.
We've provided a ton of resources about how SMBs can get ahead on a variety of social media channels, (see this blog, this blog, and this article about Social Media Marketing vs. Social Media Advertising) but at the very least it's worth it to create accounts on platforms like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Start with one, if your company doesn't have any yet, and build from there.
We recommend starting with Facebook and LinkedIn if you're planning to do any social media advertising. Both of these platforms make advertising easy, and they have powerful targeting abilities that can help you create effective ad campaigns, without spending more of your budget than you'd like.
One key advantage that most SMBs have over larger, national or international companies is the benefit of just a few locations, in one specific region. While those bigger companies have to create marketing strategies that speak to leads throughout the country, you're able to focus on just one region.
And if there's one thing we know for sure: more targeted, personalized marketing gets more leads.
Local search is a huge component of successful marketing for SMBs, and when done properly, it works to help you draw in just the leads that are good fits for your company.
We've written a lot about local search, so check out these blogs: What is Local SEO, Customer Loyalty = Quality Local Search Results, and Optimizing for Local Leads, for some in-depth guidance on how to develop your website and marketing campaign to rank well for those local search terms.
Today's consumer wants content that is specific to their concerns. The best way to boost lead generation for the leads you actually want is to create content that is very targeted. General solutions aren't going to help those potential leads.
A lot of times we'll hear from clients, "well, we don't want to give all of that information away because [insert reason here: you don't want your competition to know, you don't want clients to solve their problems, you're afraid if you give information away, they won't call your sales team, etc.]."
The fact is that if you're not educating your potential leads with content that truly answers their questions and solves their problems, you're not going to get any leads.
Today's consumer will not contact a salesperson until they're 80% of the way through the buyers cycle. Until then, they want to find the information that answers their questions and empowers them to make an educated decision about why your product is their best option.
When you're creating that content, your company will be the first your ideal consumer contacts when they're ready to make a purchasing decision.
Not sure what information your customers want? Ask them! Chatbots are a great way to engage directly with your ideal buyers, figure out what they're looking for from you, and even capture their email addresses so you can deliver that great content.
If you're new to chatbots, this is an awesome guide from the folks at MobileMonkey explaining how to capture emails with a chatbot.
If lead generation is your SMB's goal, quality should always be your priority. You can write a million short blog posts and not see a single leads from all of your posts. You can also write a million general blog posts and end up with a million leads, but none of whom are good sales fits for your company.
If you want to generate quality leads, you need to generate quality content.
Consumers can spot an unhelpful, keyword-stuffed, general blog post from a mile a way. They can also pick out a quality blog post, just as easily.
If you're creating content that's focused on keywords, but doesn't really say anything, you're not going to see the lead generation you want. Why?
Because content creation is about more than lead generation. It's also about setting yourself up as an authority in your industry.
When you're putting out the best, quality, in-depth content in the industry, people are going to start looking to you for answers. When people look to you for answers they can trust, they're also going to look for you when they decide they need your product or service.
When you create quality content, you boost your SMB's lead generation capabilities threefold.
In the end, quality content keeps delivering quality leads. The more great content you put out, the more qualified leads you'll generate in the long run. A great content creation strategy works like a snowball effect — the more great content you put out, the more qualified leads and brand awareness you generate. The more leads and awareness you have, the more authority you build.
If there was a golden rule of lead generation, "always include a CTA" would be it.
Why? Because a CTA gives you the chance to convert a lead. And worst-case scenario, the lead doesn't click on it. You have nothing to lose by including a few relevant CTAs with every blog post, whitepaper, or helpful article you put into the world.
Your calls to action should always provide something useful to your readers, like more information about the topic they were just learning about, or a free consultation or audit of their company.
Gated content still has its place in the digital marketing world, but it's not the end-all-be-all way to generate leads. In fact, more customers prefer companies who are offering up the content they want, with no strings attached.
A new popular lead generation trend is to develop long-form, ungated content. Then, instead of putting the gate on your content on the site, you offer a PDF version of that long-form content, so people can take it home with them and read it at their leisure.
This is a really great tactic to get you contact information for just the leads who are really interested in what you have to say or sell. While a lot of unqualified leads might give up their email to download a gated content offer, only the leads who are genuinely interested in your content are going to download the PDF and take it home with them.
This is the last tip we're going to cover, and while tracking your leads doesn't necessarily help you generate leads, it is an important point to end on.
All of the work you're putting into lead generation is real, and it's going to deliver you results. The worst thing to happen is to get all of those amazing leads, and then not have anywhere to organize them and keep track of them.
We understand that SMBs don't always have the budget to invest in an expensive CRM, but there are a lot of free CRM options that will help you keep track of the leads that are coming into your website, and that stick around to learn more. Our personal favorite is HubSpot, of course, but do some searching around to find an option that's right for your company.
Lead generation for SMBs can take a bit of strategy, but it doesn't have to blow your budget.
When you approach lead generation with a clear picture of the leads you actually want, and who are likely to purchase your product or service, you'll be able to put your effort towards just the tactics that will draw those ideal clients in. Strategic digital marketing is the best way to get the local leads you want, at a price that makes sense for your company.
Looking for a little more help? These blogs have answers:
We can help too. Get in touch with the Evenbound team to chat about your lead generation strategy. And for more information about how we generate leads for SMBs, be sure to check out the case study below:
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
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