Monday, 26 November 2018 14:26

How To Create The Perfect Mix Of Lead Generation Tools For Your Small Business

Author:  [This article is originally published in forbes.com written by Brandon Stapper]

[This article is originally published in forbes.com written by Brandon Stapper - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Dorothy Allen]

In 2018, a one-size-fits-all approach to lead generation simply doesn't work anymore. Appealing to different market segments to generate leads requires an intimate knowledge of the different lead generation tools at your disposal. And knowing these individual tools isn't enough -- you must also create the perfect blend of lead generation tools to reach all corners of your prospective markets.

As a printing company, we market to a wide variety of clientele. From corporate businesses that need new signage and displays for promotions, to individual clients who need invitations and decor for celebratory events, we've had to learn how to market effectively to them all. Along the way, I realized that the engaging subject line sales email that worked for a company in the trade show circuit won't work for a bride looking to print her suite of wedding stationery. This doesn't mean I've had to choose one or the other, but instead I have had to make a plan to reach both efficiently and effectively.

If you would like to do the same in your small business and create the ideal mix of lead generation tools to work for your markets, here are some of the tried-and-tested tips that worked for me.

First off, what is lead generation?

Lead generation can best be boiled down to how you create and capture interest in your product. This broad definition encompasses a ton of different methodologies, from in person to digital. Most importantly, lead generation evolves with the times. As new technologies surface or the latest social media craze begins, lead generation aims shifts to meet each market segment where they're at.

The biggest trend to date is the desire for an organic lead generation. Cold calling is out and often viewed as an antiquated, interruptive and tiresome practice. Instead, customers prefer a soft sell, in which they organically stumble across your product or service and make the decision to buy.

Find your mix with these three questions.

The answer to how to create your lead generation mix can be answered in three simple questions and validated by on-the-ground research. Before blindly investing in marketing campaigns over multiple platforms, ask yourself:

  •  Where does a member of my target market spend most of their time?
  •  Why would a member of my target market need my product or service?
  •  What is the member of my target market's buying preference?

These three questions will help you suss out the best ways to position your product or service. Pay attention to the last question -- buying preference is a big one. If you're marketing to a younger generation, chances are you'll want to have a clean, uncluttered site with a quick checkout option -- and I mean quick. Filling in a bunch of questions and being taken through a cyclone of pages may convince your younger buyer to leave your product in their cart.

Allocate your funds accordingly.

After some thought, you probably have a pretty good idea of your ideal customer and where they buy most of their products (and why). Depending on the size of each ideal customer base -- like our company, you may have many -- allocate your marketing funds accordingly. If you primarily do business-to-business (B2B) sales, then email lead generation software and state-of-the-art trade show displays may receive the majority of your marketing support. If you're searching for a younger, hipper demographic, you may disproportionately put funds toward influencer campaigns, social media, and web design.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

If you're unsure exactly what tools are at your disposal, do some research by talking to and observing your target market. Here are some rules of thumb to consider in triangulating the perfect approach for an organic lead generation.

  • Content marketing: Writing helpful how-to articles establishes you as a thought leader that people feel encouraged to buy from. Guest posts on other sites are also a great way to gain visibility with new audiences and encourage organic lead generation. Depending on your industry, this approach is a great way to attract the eyes of young professionals looking for career advice.
  • Social media: If your product or service can be marketed visually, Instagram and Snapchat are great platforms to get the attention of younger millennials. Facebook marketing is a strength when appealing to middle-aged consumers. Keep in mind that mindless scrolling on Instagram and Facebook occurs during downtime, and Facebook is the main culprit behind browser tabs when professionals are killing time at work.
  • Trade show and professional networking: Consider joining your town or city's Chamber of Commerce or CVB. You'll rub elbows with decision makers who know other decision makers, and establishing yourself as a leader in your community or industry can easily create organic leads. Trade shows are also a good opportunity for B2B networking and lead generation.

There are too many other examples to count, but if you spend time putting yourself in the shoes of your target market and searching out the points where they would stumble across your product or service during the day, you can't go wrong. Crafting the perfect mix of lead generation techniques is a challenge, but a fun one -- especially when it pays off!

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