What is Lead Generation and Why You Need It

5 December 2019

Leads are the lifeblood of any business and in today’s world, small businesses have to get innovative to find them. Ecommerce has become a major competitor to small businesses of all types, edging into what little market share the giant chains have not yet conquered. If your small business is finding it difficult to get more customers, then you need to make lead generation your number one priority. It will build a valuable, targeted list of interested potential customers that your sales team can use to dramatically increase sales.

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Small businesses don’t have money to throw away, you need to get as much as you possibly can out of your lead generation budget. To do this, you must make an effort to identify where their most likely potential customers go online, what kinds of interests they have, and what kinds of things they care about. Then select the lead generating strategies that will work best for that demographic.

Small Business Lead Generation Strategies

Blogging

Social Media Ads

Google Ads

If your customers will be mostly coming from your local area, you should consider social media ads. You can target them by area, meaning that people on social media in your locale will see your business’ ads and you waste no money showing them to people from elsewhere. You can further target these ads by age, gender, interests, and more, letting you really zero in on the potential customers who are most likely to convert.

If your potential customers share a common interest, or all have the same kinds of problems, you could get a lot out of a company blog. Blogs are free, and easy to set up. All you need to do is generate regular, quality content about the interests or problems your potential customers care about. Not only does this content prove your company’s expertise, it allows you to include calls to action at the bottom of each post, inline somewhere, and even in the side panels. You can also include links to additional information. These links will then guide your readers to landing pages with sign up forms, special offers they can opt into, and anything else that will get them to give you their contact information.

Have you ever seen those ads at the top of every Google search results page and map? You can get your your small business up there too. Given that 90% of all people use Google for searches, this is a very cost effective method of generating leads. Just have a link in the ad that brings them to an information-gathering landing page.

Referrals

If your budget for lead generation is low, you might want to consider lead generation by referral. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. One is by hiring people to talk to their friends and family about your company’s products or services, to leave reviews about your products or services online, and to mention them on their social media accounts. If even this is outside of your budget, you can entice the loyal customers you do have to help you get more clients or customers.

Free Samples and Trials

Never underestimate the power of free trials and samples. There might be a lot of potential customers out there who are intrigued by what you have to offer but who are not sure they want to pay money for it. When you let them try it for free, you let them make up their minds without risk. If they like what they get, not only will they buy from you in the future, they will also tell their friends about you. Just make sure that your offer gives them a positive experience that makes a strong impact on them.

The Takeaway

If you want to get the most of your lead generation strategy on the smallest budget, you need to invest a lot of time in fine tuning your lead generation strategy for maximum effectiveness. Try a variety of different strategies with short term, small budget campaigns, and see what works and what doesn’t. Lead generation is the most important part of your business. Without customers, all the other parts have no purpose.