Lead Generation: Utilizing TechnologyBy HYGO
When it comes to lead management for your small business, it only makes sense to use all available tools you can to grow your business. Prior to the advent of Internet-based technologies, lead generation was often a hit-and-miss business. A small business often had to resort to hiring salespeople to make cold calls and to send them out on the streets to hand out brochures.
Choose Technology Based on Trends
With so much advanced technology easily available to the small business owner, the new challenge now is not to figure out how to get leads but how to sift and sort through all the available options to find out what works best for your particular niche.
One way to begin is to put your finger on the pulse of consumer buying behavior in 2012 to notice what technological trends you can leverage to attract visitors to your website.
How would your choice of lead generation technology change if you knew that there are 160 million iPhones, iPad, and iPod users, 152 million Android consumers, and 5 billion Internet-based devices?
Since most people will be accessing the Internet mainly from mobile devices, rather than from their desktops, it only makes sense to seek technology that can be accessed through popular devices. Entrepreneur.com has a great article ’5 Ways to Win a Sale Using Your Customer’s Mobile’, check it out if you have not initiated a mobile marketing strategy.
How would your choice of lead generation technology change if you knew that there are 860 million people who love using social networks? Engaging leads through Social Media is a daunting task, and throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks could end up being a MAJOR time waster. Most business owners are too busy to manage their own campaigns, so the best thing to do is to start looking at your competitors and/or neighboring businesses, and see what they are doing. Does something seem to be working for them, or are they simply ‘getting their name out there’ without measurable results? Next, Like and Follow those people so you can gain ideas. Follow and Like some social media marketers to see what they are recommending. If you haven’t launched a social media campaign yet, the best thing you can do is sit back, learn a little bit, and then outsource. Use a modest budget to start until you see results. Don’t let go of common sense either; if you are a retailer with an industry specific set of widgets to sell, and they are very boring, spending money to get a lot of Likes on Facebook will definitely be a waste of time. Instead, you should look into a web site/blogging strategy that will help the people who are looking for your boring industry specific widget find you on the Internet. If you would like to check something off of your list right now, the best thing you can do is register your business with all social media accounts so you can leverage them in the future, when you are ready to take that step. A good place to start is KnowEm, for a reasonable fee they will register your business with the top social profiles. Once you are ready to proceed with outsourcing your campaign, you’ll be glad these accounts have already been set up.
How would your choice of lead generation technology change if you knew that there are more videos loaded on YouTube than most people have watched in eight years? In fact, YouTube outranks most of the previous big players like AOL, CNN, and even Yahoo. Video is it right now, and being absent from the video world on the Internet is a mistake. Don’t have a camcorder? Is the price of video too high? You can still make videos about your business without actually video recording yourself. Start off with smaller, starter videos, and then move onto the advanced services. A good place to start is Fiverr, and once you have a few that work, you can budget for a more sophisticated provider, such as AnimatedWebsiteVideo.com
1. Start creating video. Give viewers a link to a contact form to learn more about your business and or services. A video alone will not bring leads, you must call them into the action of signing up to learn more.
2. Ensure your web site and email newsletter are compatible with mobile devices. This will enable you to catch the attention of many more prospects.
3. Start a blog to link your social networks to. Web sites are often boring for most businesses. Engage potential customers with relevant content, and link your content to your social accounts.
4. Use metrics to track your leads. Lead generation without watching the numbers and being able to track conversions is a big mistake. Knowing what works will save you time, money and frustration in the future.
It’s an extra step to learn how to move from old-school marketing and gumshoe salesmanship to the incredible reach of Internet-based marketing tools, but it is a step that can make all the difference in leveling the playing field between a small and big business in any niche. There are innumerable ways to use mobile technology, social media marketing, and YouTube marketing to generate leads and close sales.
Alexia McCormick is a contributing author for this post, and is a writer for Netop. When Alexia is not writing, she enjoys sewing and learning about advancements in education. Netop is a leader in classroom management, chat support software and secure remote access for business and educational institutions for almost three decades.