We are going to look at the variety of ways that you can attract prospects and leads to your website using SMB (Small Business) digital marketing strategies.
If you haven’t already set up 2 – 3 buyer personas and a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), start the process before you start driving traffic to your website. The buyer personas and KPIs will affect which online marketing channels you focus on.
Some businesses will want to focus on only a few marketing channels and others may choose to focus on every marketing channel possible. Your industry, type of business, budget, and life cycle of business are a few of the factors that will determine which channels to focus on. If you have questions on this send an email and we can work through your options.
Inbound marketing has quickly become one of the most effective ways for SMBs to drive new business leads.
Inbound marketing is based on attracting prospective customers to your website by having a strong presence on search engines, your blog, and social media. Inbound marketing is about making it easy for prospective customers to find you online.
Inbound leads are often more qualified (more likely to become a customer) and actually are the least expensive cost per lead because the customer found you based on their own research and buying path. Inbound Marketing costs on average 62% less than traditional outbound marketing (Source: Voltier Digital Infographic).
One of the main goals of your website should be to drive leads for your business. Sure, it should inform visitors about you and your products and services. But none of that matters if no one visits your site, or if your visitors don’t convert into meaningful conversations and customers.
You need to give visitors a reason to come to your site. Provide them with valuable content at every stage of the buying cycle. It is important to know that approximately 96% of visitors to your site are not necessarily ready to buy right now. They are in research mode (Source: Kiss Metrics).
A couple of things that you need to do with your website to ensure it gives your website visitors the best chance to convert into a customer:
- Optimize your site – If your site isn’t coming up in keyword searches when your prospective buyers are searching online, you are missing out on potential leads. Know the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and implement them on your site.
- Give value – Offer something of value like a case study, newsletter, white paper, video or industry report that your prospect will find valuable. Offer it in exchange for their lead info. People don’t mind sharing their information as long as they are receiving value in return.
- Be Clear – Sites that have clear messaging and call to action have higher lead conversion rates. For example, if you engage prospects who are “just shopping” to sign up for your newsletter on your site, make it easy to find and complete the sign-up form. Use a call to action that is compelling by describing what is in it for them.
Another great way for entrepreneurs to drive inbound traffic and leads to your website is through blogging. Why? First, prospective buyers trust non-promotional content on blogs, unlike the self-promotional advertising done by most businesses. Second, the content on your blog can be found by search engines like Google, and blogs are an effective way to keep your website updated with the relevant content that search engines love.
- Content is King – Keep your blog updated with the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. Take some time to understand your ideal buyer and think about the content they might need to do their jobs better.
- Know Your Customer Base – You have great customers, what do they have in common? Are there topics/challenges that always seem to pop up?
- Know Your Story – Thinking about your unique background and experience, how can you leverage your past and current success to help your prospects be more productive, save time, and make more money?
- Be Relevant – When creating content, always remember to put yourself in your prospective customers’ shoes and write about what interests them.
- Make it shareable – Ask yourself this simple question: if you were a prospect, would you share your business’ blog post with friends, family, colleagues? If it isn’t shareable, don’t post it!
Stats show that people who follow your business online through social media are more likely to buy and recommend your brand to their friends.
Social media is an inexpensive and effective way for entrepreneurs to reach potential customers when used correctly. Networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, are good ways to distribute your message, understand what prospective customers are sharing, and engage with current customers.
- Make it Easy – Make your website and blog social media friendly. Make it easy for your visitors to share and like your content and follow you.
- Narrow your focus – Start small and focus on one or two networks at a time. Know which social networks are a better fit for your target audience. If your business is a retail boutique, Pinterest may be a great social media lead generation channel for you. Spend just a few minutes per day periodically checking out the latest news and sharing what’s important to your community.
- Target – Use the network’s search tool to find your ideal customer. Once you’ve done this, observe what that audience is sharing and responding to; it’s a good way to understand their interests. If you are selling to businesses or B2B, LinkedIn can be a great social lead channel for you with over 200 million members and opportunities to connect with potential buyers.
- Promote – It’s ok to promote yourself or your business… but not too much. Spend time sharing and engaging with your audience first. Distribute value-added resources like white papers, how-to guides, and videos that drive followers and fans back to your website.
The above marketing channels are just a few of many. Remember to benchmark your KPIs today so you understand your most effective marketing channels next month. Using Google Analytics will allow you to benchmark all relevant areas of your website and various marketing channels.