Tools of the online trade: Lead generation

seo-1210158_640By Henry Brown

A business needs customers. You might have heard ‘if you build it, they will come.’ In some respects, that’s true. But it’s not enough. Especially if your business thrives in the online world. You need to make them come. That’s what lead building is all about, and the five tools we look at below are going to be some of the most important in your business’ arsenal.

PPC

There are two tools that most businesses will see as crucial when it comes to building leads. The first of those is the pay-per-click advertising campaign. Such efforts are undoubtedly effective, but they are also costly so making the best use of them is important. For instance, the goals of your PPC campaigns and who exactly they’re targeting need to clear. They need focus, and they need to follow through on that focus. For instance, if your PPC advertising is all about gathering subscriptions and leads to a landing page on a different product, then it’s not going to work. PPCs work best when they’re objective based.

SEO

Search engine optimization is the other side of the lead building coin as far as most businesses are concerned. It sets up the most basic of organic interactions with the business. When someone searches for a solution to a problem, your business should be one of the first things to appear if it solves that problem. Learning techniques like link building, the correct use of keywords and ensuring a site is fully usable is crucial.

Content

Besides being part of your SEO strategy, hosting content on the site and using guest content also creates another organic point of contact with potential leads. If your content is informative or helpful, it showcases knowledge from the business. This builds the brand image that you know what you’re doing. If people who have read and like your content later need your services, yours will be the name that comes to mind.

The live event

Sometimes the best impressions are made face-to-face. However, hosting conferences and attending trade shows aren’t just about conversations. They’re also fact-finding missions, and collecting data with tools like conference room management software not only makes the event easier to manage but helps you track the attendants as well. The data you collect makes it a lot easier to follow up on conversations started and leads built during the event.

Proof

Good content can be proof enough for some, but people want to see that your business operates as promised in the market, as well. Collecting a good base of testimonials, portfolios and case studies on your site can help you highlight the real work the business has done. But it’s not a bad idea to ask satisfied customers to join in, too. Whether they’re a business willing to share the work you’ve done on their site, or they can give a shout out on social media or even provide referrals, don’t be shy about asking. Sometimes, just hearing the same thing you’re saying from another source can be the extra convincing the on-the-fence lead needs.

A good lead building strategy has to keep the business ever visible and ever convincing to its target market. It’s not enough to hope they’ll click on your website; you have to get out there and shake some hands, too.

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Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

 

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