Most business owners know that the best time to sell a business or attract potential buyers or investors is when that business is healthy. And one mark of a healthy business is a strong bottom line.
It pays, therefore, for business owners to pay attention to how well they are attracting sales leads and making sure that customers can find you where they searching for solutions — online.
To break through to your audience, here are four sure-fire strategies to generate leads and cement brand loyalty for years to come.
Make it easy for people to find you
The first rule of online lead generation is to make sure customers can find your website. Make sure you have an optimized website.
You can optimize your website by identifying the keywords and search terms customers use to find services like yours. Then, once you know the most popular search terms, make sure you use them prominently throughout your website.
You can also pay to make sure your page shows up first in search results by bidding or paying on keyword phrases relevant to your target market and search engine. In addition, social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offer ads that will target a specific audience.
Listen and offer good advice
Social media can be a tremendous source of leads. But in order to succeed, you must educate and not try to sell. People are tired of the constant barrage of marketing messages.
Instead, customers are looking for useful, educational information that will help them do something better. Listen in to the conversations on social media.
After you have a good feel for the dialogue, chime in with your own unique insight. Better yet, start a blog and post at least twice a week.
Do everything you can to capture email addresses
Just attracting people to your website is OK, but convincing a Web visitor to give you their email address allows you to continue the conversation.
The best way to do this goes back to point number two, and that is you should offer visitors to your website something of value. Free infographics, white papers and e-books are some of the many types of content people want, and they will generate online leads.
Maximize your hard work
You’ve created good content and you have a list of email addresses. But to maximize your efforts, you must stay in touch with those leads to avoid letting them get cold.
If they liked your white paper, send your eBook next. Follow up a few weeks after that with another piece of content.
Meanwhile watch your website to see if they return. If so, it’s time to turn this valuable lead over to your sales team.
Four bonus tips
- Update your company profile in online directories.
- Make sure your website is mobile ready.
- If your business is local, make sure you register with local directories.
- Don’t forget, customer reviews are a powerful tool for adding credibility. Look into services like Yelp or Google My Business.
Kelly Borth is CEO and chief strategy officer for GREENCREST, a 25-year-old brand development, strategic and interactive marketing and public relations firm that turns market players into industry leaders™. Kelly is one of 35 certified brand strategists in North America and works with companies to establish brands and build brand value for their businesses.