Small businesses face a razor-thin margin for error when it comes to generating leads and increasing their customer base. With a new year underway, businesses already have their resolutions in place to grow in 2017.
Increasing leads is almost always among these goals. If you're unclear on how to generate leads but know you've got to find a way, consider these 10 steps to create more opportunity for your company:
1. Send Personalized Emails
Personalization goes a long way via email. Simple efforts at personalization can increase open rates by more than 50 percent, and they have higher click-through rates as well. Start with adding personal names at the tops of emails and then experiment with other personal touches.
2. Offer Free Content
A company blog is a famously simple way to conduct inbound marketing while engaging consumers through free content and advice. Go one step further in 2017: Create downloadable content, such as whitepapers, that interested consumers can receive for free in exchange for providing their contact information. If the content offered is relevant to your target audience, you'll enjoy a steady stream of contacts that are as good as any lead you'll find online.
3. Guest Blog to Reach New Audiences
You've got your own company blog, but appearing somewhere else can be a great way to expand your digital reach. Look for industry experts, influencers or past partners who might be interested in getting your perspective for an article.
4. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Mobile optimization is important for many reasons. Where lead generation is concerned, it's valuable because many paths leading toward your company start on mobile. Your contact form should be mobile-friendly, and you should ask for information that's easy to supply via touchscreen.
5. Invest in Automation
Automation of emails, retargeting, pop-up ads and other strategies can capture the attentions of leads and collect additional information without adding to your workload.
6. Increase Your Social Media Activity
Expand the networks you have accounts on, create more daily content — which affects search rankings, in many cases — and engage with consumers via social media to create lead opportunities.
7. Collaborate with Top Influencers
Consider Q&As and short videos, as well as other content that those influencers can share through their own social networks.
8. Tap Third-Party Data
According to MarTech Today, third-party data can be a source for pulling together the contact information of companies that might want to do business with you. This is particularly wise for B2B companies.
9. Try Different Content Types
Maybe blogs have been performing reasonably well. But who's to say video won't get you more leads and more conversions? You don't need to commit to a year of creating new types of content, but dabble with new forms and strategies every so often to see what sticks.
10. Go All-In on Direct Engagement
Digital solutions like live chat and online forums are invaluable for providing excellent customer service. They're also an easy way to capture leads that might otherwise be lost, so it's well worth the investment.
Hopefully, these new tips on how to generate leads can open the door to an even more successful 2017.