Top Tactics for Lead Generation
Smooth Fishing in Rough Waters
Tactics for Business Lead Generation
One of the biggest areas of concern for any business is lead generation; yet this is often an area that is neglected when business is good, and under approached when business slows. Lead generation tactics can also be used in attracting a customer base.
Any business must be constantly filling the pipeline with new leads (or attracting a customer base) in order to generate new business.
Which are you?
- B2B (business to business) – Businesses selling products and services to other businesses rather than to consumers.
- B2C (business to consumer) – Businesses selling products and services directly to consumers or customers.
B2B and B2C designations are used to differentiate companies and their target audience or markets. In lead generation a company will be reaching out either to other businesses or will be reaching out to consumers directly.
MAJOR STRATEGIC TACTICS FOR LEAD GENERATION
Here are 4 major strategic tactics for lead generation that should be used by B2B and B2C companies both offline and online.
1. Practice Strategic Lead Generation: Identify Industry trends and do research on your potential market and the influencers within them. (What should you concentrate on and with whom will you interact?) Establish geographical boundaries, key projects, future projects, major initiatives (what firms will be concentrating on), companies in a growth mode, key industry players, company names, addresses, websites, blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook and other social media pages, email and other contact information. Now you will have a targeted list and information data base of potential interested parties.
2. Establish Online and Offline Lead Generation methods: Lead generation includes the use of public relations, print/media relations, press releases, advertising and cross or fusion marketing, niche targeting, cross-targeting (people who do this, also do this), trend spotting, microtargeting, branding, brand extension, research and testing, street teams, word of mouth marketing, newsletters, bloggers, social media adopters and leaders, direct mail, referrals, networking, joint venturing, speaking engagements, teaching, workshops, seminars, mini-clinics, community relations, charitable or other sponsorship, social groups, business groups, professional groups, community groups, testimonials, events, tradeshow marketing, awards, open houses, seasonal and special event participation, special promotions, contests, radio/TV appearances, books, articles, industry reports, whitepapers, tip sheets, how to series.
3. Establish a process to applying your research. Business leaders establish direction in locating quality leads and in finding the best way to approach these leads. Apply a strategic approach to how you will make contact once you do establish a lead. What will you send them? What will you offer them? How will you make your company, services, products and offers relevant to their needs?
4. Polish your approach. A warm approach is always better than a cold one. Can you warm them up through an introduction? Is there anyone you know that knows or does business with this company or person? LinkedIn is a powerful tool for such relationship management. Remember to practice best networking etiquette – always offer to do the same, and be a referral for those in your network.
Searching for Sustenance
Establish Online Lead Generation methods:
One of the biggest areas of concern for any business is lead generation; yet this is often an area that is neglected when business is good, and under approached when business slows. Using online methods for lead generation may feel strange to those unaccustomed to it, but what you are doing is engaging your audience, claiming leadership in your area of expertise and using online tactics to make the frequent contact it takes before consumers will convert to a lead.
- Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to bring leads to you. The best leads are those that show curiosity if not outright interest. SEO methods mean that when searching, your site and pages should be offered up more frequently, and in the first page of results. Don’t use Black Hat methods. (Black Hat methods are tricks designed to falsely deliver results, and include many bad practices.)
- Demonstrate and engage using use video, audio. We have become a nation of visual learners.
- Extend learning with complimentary webcasts, webinars. Post to YouTube. Establish information leadership and people will return to your site for more.
- Post polls and questions on your website and allow viewers to see the responses as they happen. Consumers want to have their say and be counted – let them.
- Create an online newsletter with permission based subscription. Show sample publications to overcome reluctance to sign up. Reassure subscribers that their information will not be used or shared for any other purpose.
- Invest time and creativity in a business blog and blog about topics in your profession, (not about your company or its specific services).
- Submit your blog to directories. There are many. Find ones that specialize in business and your area of expertise. (Newer blog platforms will automatically ping for you, including to Google and Technorati. Be certain that they do.)
- Post frequently, and ping blog directories when content changes. (Ping-o-matic and others). Posting frequently at the same rate (daily, every other day) will meet expectations and keep them engaged.
- Add a forum (discussion and comments section) to your blog to encourage interaction. Ask a question on your blog and allow readers to discuss and answer on your forum.
- Add a subscription option to your blog.
- Add social bookmarking tools and an RSS feed, so that readers come back.
- Publish videos on your site and on YouTube with the URL for your site at the beginning and the end. You can also use video from within your blog.
- Turn your best blog posts into articles, post them on your website and 2 days later, post them on the internet.
- Leave relevant and useful comments on blogs of others. Sign in and provide your contact information and URL through a profile registered with your name rather than an overt URL post. Readers will track back to you if your comments are helpful, interesting or move the topic in a meaningful way.
- Use your URL signature of your website and blog and other social media contacts in all your communications including e-mails. Shorten the length of your URL if necessary so that links can easily be shared digitally and through social media. (See TinyURL and Bit.ly and other services that shorten links and URL’s.)
- Use Analytics for Lead Generation: There are many programs, tools and methods to gather customize, and analyze who is coming to your website, how long they stay there, what they look at, how they arrived there (search, referral, direct). Google Analytics is one; there are many.
- Use this information for lead generation. In search, list keywords that brought them to your site. Establish a baseline for keywords you want associated with your firm and what you do.
- Work backwards to make sure there is fresh keyword rich content on your site to continue to pull in leads. In the referral leads category, list what the referral was and the reason they referred the visitor to your site? Are you listed as a source in someone’s newsletter? Are you on someone’s blogroll? (A list of recommended blogs) Did you comment on a forum related to your niche and someone followed you back to your site?
- Analyze and utilize what you learn; expand what works into a formal lead generation program.
- Warm up a potential leads by attracting them to your website and then nurturing their interest once they are there. Entice them with a white paper, a video, a newsletter, an article and your blog. A company blog is a way to establish a human and interesting face to your business.
McKerns Development and PR. 264 Cypress Trace, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411.
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.