Sat there scratching your head, wondering how to find new customers in 2021?
You’re not alone. The past 12 months has forced many of us to shift the way we advertise and do business. We’ve noticed that many business owners aren’t sure how to reach new customers.
In this article, we discuss 5 lead generation strategies that will help you this year.
Let’s dive straight in.
1. Referral Scheme
One of our favourite ways to finding new customers is by asking your existing customers for referrals.
This method is extremely effective, providing that you do it in the right way. Don’t call your customers and ask them if they have any business contacts who might like your products or services.
It is vitally important that you’re asking for a referral at the right time.
If you’ve just closed a client, and they haven’t even begun using your product or seen the benefits of your service, then it’s less likely that they’ll vouch for you and refer someone they know.
The same goes if your client has recently been in touch with you about some problems they’re facing. If you’re in the process of resolving this for them then they probably won’t vouch for you, so don’t bother asking for a referral.
So, when is it a good time to ask for a referral?
In general, we have found that anniversaries are a good bet. If your client has been working with your company or purchased something from you a year or two ago, then send them a nice email, and use the opportunity to ask for a referral.
Another effective time to do this is if a client has upgraded from a basic plan to a premium plan or placed another order with you. This is usually and indication that everything is going well, and they are getting value from your offering.
2. Social Media Visibility
Another fantastic way to generate more leads into your business is to increase your visibility on social media.
When we say increase your visibility, we are not asking you to spend the bulk of your day posting on Facebook and Twitter.
We recommend that instead of spreading yourself too thinly over several social media platforms, choose just one or two platforms and focus your efforts on them.
Make sure you perform your research before jumping in to one of them, and don’t just choose one based on how much time you personally spend on each platform. Depending on who you want to target, will depend on which platform to use. For example, LinkedIn is by far the most effective platform for companies who want to connect with B2B buyers.
As well as this, studies reveal that LinkedIn drives over 64% of all visits from social media channels to corporate websites. If your industry is aiming to target business customers, LinkedIn is the place to be.
So how do you make sure your social media activities are going to benefit you? First, take the time to fill in your business profile. Facebook gives you loads of opportunities to supply information, from opening hours to a brief background of your business. According to statistics, users who have a completed profile are forty times more likely to receive incoming enquiries.
As well as filling in a couple of boxes, it is advised that you encourage your page visitors to visit your website by using click through buttons, such us ‘learn more’. This will have a huge impact on the amount of website visitors you receive, and in turn, the level of enquiries and sales.
Last but not least, make sure you post on a regular basis. Businesses that share content at least once a week are ten times more likely to be contacted for opportunities, so keep posting!
3. Blog Posts
We have been in the sales and marketing industry for longer than we would care to admit, and we remember that 10 years ago, the idea of blogging was fairly new, and nobody really understood the benefits of it.
The quality of blog content back then was fairly low but as long as your company had a blog, and you published content regularly, you were pretty much regarded as an expert of your industry.
In this day and age, pretty much every company has a blog, and if you are one of the ones without one, you are missing out on a huge market.
So, if everyone is writing blog articles, are they no longer effective in generating leads?
This all depends on you.
If you’re going to wake up one morning, chuck together a 500-word blog article once a month and share it on your Facebook page, then the chances are, you aren’t going to see a rise in your enquiries.
However, if you blog a handful of times a month and you add real value to your target audience, then this will have a significant impact on your leads.
According to HubSpot, businesses that published 16+ blog post articles every month got almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that published zero to four monthly posts.
Waiting for your blog posts to appear on search engines can take months so we advise that you invest your time in sharing your content to channels where your audience actively participates. These can be business groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, discussions on forums and other popular discussion sites, such as Quora.
The key to creating a blog post that has a high impact on your enquiry level is to focus on both quality and quantity. If you’re slacking on either of these, then your leads will head towards to your competitor instead.
Make sure you’re optimising your blog articles for search engines by applying simple SEO strategies. To learn more about Search Engine Optimisation, head over to Amazon and order our Complete Guide To SEO.
4. Free Website Tool
When we talk about inbound marketing, we are referring to the idea of creating value for your leads and customers, so they come to you and make an enquiry.
If you speak to any sales rep, or have experience in this yourself, you’ll know that a very effective lead magnet is to offer;
· Case Studies
· Cheat Sheets
What do all of these have in common?
They are all static.
This means that you don’t need to go and find a website developer to build a bespoke tool to use on your site. You could simply create a PDF Cheat Sheet with some great ways to improve a business.
Sure, you’ll generate a couple of leads off the back of this and that might be enough to warrant taking the time to create something like this. But, providing potential customers with a resource that’s interactive will be even more effective in generating leads.
As human beings, we love to interact. That’s why giving a website visitor something they can interact with will keep them on your website for longer and increase the chances of converting them in to a lead. These tools could be as simple as an interactive quiz to determine what type of trainers will be most suitable for them.
Other interactive website tools to consider using include:
5. Paid Ads
Our final method of find new customers and increasing sales is to use paid ads of PPC. I’m sure when we mention PPC, your first thought goes to Google AdWords.
Google AdWords is a great way to advertise a business and get more leads, but there are two other marketing channels that are more effective; Facebook and LinkedIn.
So, why choose Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads over Google AdWords?
Firstly, Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to deliver advertisements to a highly targeted audience. You can refine your audience according to a huge range of demographics, including location, age, job title, interests, and the industry they work in.
Want to target sales managers in Cardiff? Or 25–50-year-old electricians in Swansea? You can do that with ease.
Of course, Google AdWords can target an audience as well, but you’re limited to a small number of demographics in comparison to social media. It’s also worth mentioning that Facebook and LinkedIn Ads are a lot more cost effective than Google, but why?
Google AdWords is such a mainstream platform, and competition for keywords on AdWords is tough. The more businesses that are targeting specific keywords means Google will just hike the price up and get us all bidding for the top positions. In all fairness, it is an effective business model and they have done very well from it over the past two decades.
Facebook and LinkedIn, on the other hand, isn’t as popular with marketers yet.
That being said, the shift over to social media advertising is happening and it is progressing at a very fast rate. We expect to see the cost of advertising on social media to increase over the next five years, but don’t foresee it exceeding the cost of advertising on Google AdWords, so you’re safe to use this method in 2021.
Now that you know where to advertise, it is important to choose the right type of advert to ensure you reach your goals. In this case, we want to find new customers, so a lead generation ad would be perfect. Other commonly used ads are Sponsored Content, Direct Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, Text Ads and Dynamic Ads.
Relying on Paid Ads is a sure way of finding new customers and increasing sales but there are plenty of other strategies out there that can work for your business.
The key is to look at the resources you have. If you have a lot of great ideas on how to help businesses, then try writing a blog. If you have a group of loyal customers, then ask them to recommend you to others.
To ensure lead generation success, keep grinding until you find what works for you. If you need any help, support, or advice on how to find new customers and increase sales in 2021, please contact us.