People can’t buy your product or service if they don’t know it exists — that’s why generating leads is crucial. A lead is someone who has an interest in your service or product. By following the steps below small businesses can use local lead generation to directly increase sales.
What is local lead generation?
At its core, local lead generation is finding potential consumers. People who go through a business lead generation funnel are likely to become paying customers, that’s why lead generation is at the top of the funnel. Leads interact with your business before making a purchase. Some people will go through the sales funnel faster than others, but they all start at the top. So it pays to have a good lead generation strategy.
Lead generation on a local scale includes ways of engaging with your audience, like website SEO, Facebook or Instagram ads, and email marketing. But, before you can figure out how to generate effective leads, you need to know your audience.
How small businesses can identify target audiences
Identifying a target audience often gets overlooked. However, not having a target audience makes it harder to reach potential leads. Sometimes when you want to become big, you need to think small. Creating an audience persona is one of the fastest ways to pinpoint ideal customers.
An audience persona is a profile of your ideal client. Think of it as a best guess as to what you would like them to be like. This includes information like their age group, how they spend their time, and what their pain points are. It helps to visualize this perfect lead as a single individual who would buy your product or service. You can even pick an existing client or someone you know as the framework.
Once you have a single persona who would buy your product, it’s easier to brainstorm lead generation ideas. For example, if Persona Percephone spends most of her time on Instagram, you’ll likely find other leads there.
How to use social media to generate local leads
Like organic searches, social media is a great tool where people can discover a new business. Not surprisingly, this makes social media one of the best tools small businesses can use to generate leads.
On average, a lead needs eight marketing “touches” before they buy a product or service. Not only does social media make it easier for potential customers to find your business, but it also gives an extra opportunity for marketing and conversions.
Generate leads on social media by being where your audience is and creating content they will enjoy. Think about your persona and create content for them. Creating beautiful Instagram posts might seem great but it won’t help if your audience is on Facebook.
Social media is also a great space to identify and address your audience’s pain points or problems and challenges that customers want to solve. Many people turn to social media to help with their pain points, whether they are looking for a restaurant recommendation or a community with an answer. Answering your potential customer’s questions helps them and establishes you as an authority leading to more potential sales.
Developing local SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, draws clients in passively through Google searches and social media. Using SEO and tools like Google My Business will make your business more visible. If someone looks up your industry followed by “near me,” what are they going to find? You want your business to be as close to the top as possible, and SEO is how you do that.
SEO can seem daunting, but it all comes down to creating valuable information for your audience. While algorithms change often, develop website SEO by choosing keywords targeted to your audience. It also helps to have a blog or to post updates since search engines like new content. If you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself what your target audience would interact with and go from there.
SEO also applies to social media and other platforms. While it looks a little different, the concept is the same. For example, on Instagram, it is key to use hashtags that are relevant to your target audience.
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How small businesses can use lead magnets
A lead magnet is, in essence, something that attracts new customers. A simple example of this in the physical world is a food sample. Potential customers try the item and some come back to buy more. Common lead magnets online include eBooks, webinars, personality quizzes and whitepapers. Any download of value is a lead magnet.
While the goal of a lead magnet is to attract new customers, that can look different for each industry. Often, a lead magnet is used to grow an email list which leads to conversions, rather than customers buying as a direct result of the lead magnet.
How lead magnets work and what kind is best to use depends on your desired audience and specific industry. Even if you own a brick and mortar store, having a lead magnet can be a valuable asset because it allows you to attract new customers that might have otherwise skipped you by.
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How small business can use email marketing to generate leads
Email marketing is not just for big businesses. Small, local businesses can benefit from email marketing whether it is in the form of a scheduled newsletter or a discount code and promotions. No matter how often you want to send emails, make sure they are attuned to your audience’s needs and provide value.
Email marketing is also a good place to provide personalization and local information. For example, “How To Find The Best Real Estate Deals In [your city]” will have a higher open rate than general information. It is also good to use birthdays and holidays to run special deals or timely information.
It takes some finesse and practice to write high-quality marketing emails. So, if you have the funds, it is easiest to hire a freelance writer. Otherwise, do plenty of research before launching an email campaign and be prepared to learn as you go. We prefer the easy to use tools from MailChimp which is great for new users and powerful enough for pro’s.
How to develop a content calendar
Managing social media, blogs, email marketing and other lead generation systems can be overwhelming. An easy way to simplify things is by keeping a content calendar or promotional plan.
While it helps to have a scheduling system or manager, you can create a content calendar for free on Google Docs or Google Calendar. Simply decide what, when, and where you are going to post. While it doesn’t generate leads directly, keeping a content calendar facilitates strategically reaching your audience.
How do small businesses get leads?
Small businesses get leads by being where their audience is and engaging with them. Once you know who your audience is, you can create an effective local lead generation strategy. Social media, email marketing and lead magnets are fantastic for finding leads and can be strategically planned with a content calendar.
It’s vital to accurately identify your target audience because your business needs to be where your consumers are. Where do your ideal customers spend their time? That’s where you should focus your local lead generation strategies. After all, people have to know about your small business to buy your product or service. Lean into what makes your small business unique – the one-to-one connections and personal relationships you offer. With effective marketing behind your local small business will thrive in no time.
It takes time and effort for small businesses to master local lead generation.
If you’d like to learn more, comment below or schedule a discovery call.