I originally wrote this article in 2013. The article was meant to help you to identify the social media marketing trends at that time. Since then I have updated this article, and a more apt title would be “4 Practical Methods To Increase Business Leads”.
Even though these 4 were trendy marketing things to do in 2013, they seem to have staying power (for good reason). If done correctly, each of these methods has the ability to drive a significant amount of leads into your sales funnel.
Before I list these 4 lead generation methods…
The Trend Continues – Websites and Social Media
It’s important to understand that having an online presence, acts as a lead generation “feeder”. It is no longer an option not to have a website and social media presence. They may have been trendy in the past, but moving forward, a business website and social media presence has become necessity.
Your website should be considered your “home base”. It should tell your audience (in under 5 seconds) that you understand their issue, you have a solution for their issue, and an explicit call to action. A website presence should not be considered a trendy thing. It’s practical – not only as a promotional/marketing tool, but as your “grand central” lead capture/lead nurture mechanism. In other words, it serves as an excellent top of sales funnel entry point.
Your social media presence is also no longer a trendy thing, and should be considered as a bridge to your audience, giving your audience the ability (through techniques you implement) to cross over to your website and enter the top of your sales funnel. It may have been a new marketing trend in the mid 2000’s, but has now become a necessity to access your audience.
Use Marketing Trends Wisely
Pay attention to how you use marketing trends.
If you jump on an (unproven) trend too early (an early adopter), you may be doing a disservice to your business. Under a worst case scenario, the “trend” may not work as well as expected and you end up damaging the integrity of your business. Alternatively, jumping in on a trend too late can equally disappoint, where it may be difficult (or cost prohibitive) to gain access to your audience.
You need to find the sweet spot of what works and what’s just a passing fad.
Back to the 4 practical lead generation methods. Keep in mind these were marketing trends in 2013. They have shown their ‘stickiness’, and as long as used correctly, you’ll start filling the top of your sales funnel with business leads.
#1: Pay Per Click and Paid Advertising
Per-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is an effective method to generate leads. Each of the major social media platforms offer some form of PPC.
You need to decide which platform would serve your requirements best.
- Google Ads, for example, is a great PPC platform to capture intent based searching. Google has the tools that help you understand your audiences intent, help drive your audience to your website offer, and help you measure your audiences actions.
- Facebook/Instagram Advertising have a great advertising platform. They too provide methods to drive an audience to a destination on your website and measure the actions of your audience. They have a large, varied and accessible audience – B2B or B2C. Results are effective if your campaign is targeted correctly.
- LinkedIn Targeted Ads gives you direct access to a large professional audience and key decision markers. Just like the other social platforms, correct targeting can bring highly successful results.
PPC Advertising has grown up. It is not a fad, but an effective method to reach an online audience who would be otherwise difficult to reach offline.
#2: Blog Marketing
Your blog is your company’s branding companion and a mechanism to reach an audience who are actively looking for your content.
It provides the image, the character, the tone, the energy, and the intellectual property of your company.
You can collect contact data, provide useful and relevant information, and share ideas on how to improve the experience of doing business with your company.
Be thoughtful in the type of content you post on your blog. It is best not use the blog for overt sales pitches; Instead, provide useful insights into the products, background and community that you function in.
Your blog should also be used strategically. Prepare content that your audience is actively seeking. Keyword tools (many of them) will help you understand the content your audience is actively (and historically) searching. Once understood, just craft the blog post with your audience in mind. It’ll help keep Google happy, and place your content in-line-of-site of a relevant audience, searching for your content on the search engines.
Blog marketing was a fad, which grew into a trend, and that trend has stuck. Blog marketing is a great way to generate organic traffic from the search engines, and when combined with meaningful PPC activity, lead generation becomes very effective.
#3: Video Marketing
Video marketing is important on various fronts:
- Depending on the nature of your business, your audience may prefer a short video instead of reading text. Attention spans have dwindled over the years (especially mine), and other people are just visual learners. Video has the ability to educate and bring a receptive audience (a visual learner audience) into your realm.
- Video also helps define your brand. It’s a very important business tool that helps define your brand and capture a receptive audience. As an example, here’s a 25 second video outro that I used to reinforce my brand. You can do something similar.
Remember when video was a fad. It is now mainstream, and when assembled correctly (content, calls to action, strategic diction, etc.), and promoted correctly, has the ability to generate significant leads for your business.
#4: Event Marketing – Online or Offline
So much can be done in person that can’t be done online in terms of relationship building and establishing trust. Old-fashioned face-to-face time (except in a pandemic) is a huge way to secure your company’s forward momentum.
However, when you think about it, events actually start online, with the event registration process. It’s the registration process that generates the business lead, and the event itself (online or offline) that allow you to move those who are seriously interested in your products and services, further down the sales funnel.
Event marketing is no longer a fad, but a proven method to generating business leads. When used correctly, and when combined with PPC advertising, can produce a powerful business lead generating machine.
There you have it…
4 proven methods to consider for your lead generation initiatives: PPC, Blogging, Video Marketing, and Event Marketing.
Each of them used to be a fad, but continued as a marketing trend, and now used by many to generate a consistent flow of business leads.
Use them individually or combine with activity on your social media channels and ppc advertising.
If you need any assistance in generating more leads from online sources, or wish to discuss strategic lead generation ideas that works best for your business, please contact me. I am more than happy to help.